16 September 2014

Oh, yeah...there will be

Details forthcoming. And don't worry, if you already donated, you're already entered.


14 September 2014

See this guy?

He totally just won the 2014 Arty for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet.

I *TOLD* you my kid was an amazing actor!

He owned that role. Fark yes I'm proud.


12 September 2014

There are 70 days until the San Diego 3 Day.

There are 6 days until online check in begins.

I am a little more than halfway to reach the amount raised that will allow me to walk.

I have spandex.

I have a low threshold for embarrassment, but I'm willing to go there for this.


Spandex. Colorful spandex. What I have here are spandex tights with matching tank tops. Clingy, clingy articles of clothing.

I am not a small person.

I am, in fact, quite chubby.



So... Here's the deal. I have $1015 to raise still. If I hit that by 19 September, 8 p.m. Pacific time, I will don said spandex, grab a guitar, and I will sing. In spandex. And there will be video.


If you guys get me to goal by that deadline, not only will you get me to do something I truly will find embarrassing, I will fully fund DKM's walk.

So what you're getting:

Me, in eye-blinding spandex
Me, singing, while wearing eye-blinding spandex
Video of my singing while wearing eye-blinding spandex
And two walkers fully funded for the San Diego 3 Day

It's all to save the boobies, people.



7 September 2014

All righty.

It's going to happen. There are about 75 days until the San Diego 3 Day, and I'm pretty determined to get there and walk.

The intestinal issues that have plagued me in the past couple of years have been addressed (it was simple...cola-based soft drinks apparently hate me. This was discovered by accident when I stumbled upon Snapple Diet Raspberry Tea and stopped drinking Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, and bingo...misery cleared up) and my foot is 99% better. I have splints and special tape to use on the foot to get me through training, and I don't think it'll be too much of an issue.

I will get fit with new shoes soon.

Walking has commenced; I can still do 10 miles without problems, which is about 23 kinds of spiffy. We've gone to SF to walk around and are planning on heading that way this week to pound out a few more miles on the hills there, because it's far cooler in SF than here, and here is pretty flat and boring.

There will surely be pink hair, because what's a walk without pink hair now?

The downside to that is that my hair is no longer an effective fundraising tool. I still don't have any great ideas for that, but there is new spandex on its way so I might use that somehow...just not sure how.

I'll figure it out.

I am prepared to self fund it, no worries about that. But if you want to grab a charitable tax donation, I have a spiffy page where you can do just that.

Think I suck? You can always donate to DKM, who is doing the walk with me, and with our team The Pink Slips. We each have to raise $2300...right now we're both sitting at exactly zero.


3 September 2014

A couple of weeks ago I traded in the pretty blue motorcycle on a pretty red one. It was a little more complicated that normal; the dealership has sold their last red one earlier in the month and all they had on the floor were a couple of fugly weird gray-green models.

Added to that: I needed the low suspension version, because my lower back no longer allows me to get on and off a taller bike without issues.

So the sales guy called around, and by the day after we asked, he'd located a single red F700 GS with a factory lowered suspension in the LA area, and they were willing to trade bikes.

Yay for me.

It got here about a week before my birthday, and I've been having some fun on it.

Now, with it being lower--only a teeny bit higher than the seat on my last bike--I didn't think I would have any problems getting on the bike or getting off of it.


There's this little knob on the pillion grip bars; it's there because it's a fix-point for BMW's hard cases (saddlebags, which I do not yet have because they are freaking spendy).

While we were taking a break from a mediumish-long ride (70 miles...long for us, short for most riders) I attempted to get back on my bike to move it forward in the parking space...and did not swing my leg up high enough to get over that low height seat, and slammed it right into that freaking small knob.

That freaking small knob freaking hurts when you slam your freaking leg into it.

This is the end result, several days later. It's about the size of my palm and while it's healing quicker than I normally do, it's still very ouchy.

Still...ouchy aside, this new bike rides so smoothly, is so well balanced, and stops so much easier than the Bonneville that I'm already convinced it was the right move. I don't miss the Bonneville, even though I thought I would, probably because the ease and smoothness of the BMW overrides the prettiness of the Triumph.

Whoever winds up with the Triumph is going to love it...it just wasn't the right one from me.

And the most important thing...the new bike matches my car.

Hell, yes, that's more than half the reason I wanted the red one. IT MATCHES MY CONVERTIBLE.

Priorities, people. I haz them.


1 September 2014

I woke up at 4:20 this morning with--surprisingly--no help from Max, mostly due to the weirdness of a dream I'd had, in which I had been arguing loudly with someone about the pronunciation of the word "meme."

I contended it's pronounced "meem" because that second 'e' elongates the first. They contended it's "memm" because...reasons.

I don't know who won, but just before I woke up I called them a Farking Flaming Bag of WonderSnot. Only it wasn't "farking."

No, I didn't eat anything weird before bed.

Max was thrilled I was awake, because this meant he didn't have to work hard to get breakfast. It did mean he had to wait until 7 a.m., but he seemed all right with that.

I was up until 8:30, when the sleep bomb went off and I had to crawl back into bed. I have no idea what I was dreaming about when I woke up later, other than I had just saved the world from a contagion of evil that was turning people ginger.

Redheads, I apologize.

I don't think you're evil. At least not consciously. Well, not all of you. There was that one guy I dated just after high school...

'Course, now I won't be able to sleep tonight because I didn't get back up until almost noon, and I have to be up tomorrow because for Bast knows what reason, the insurance company is sending someone over to evaluate our house for replacement costs. We haven't had a claim, ever. We don't anticipate a claim. The only thing we can figure is they were notified of the permits pulled for the kitchen re-do. The county tax assessor wanted an itemization of costs for it, maybe the insurance company got the notice, too.

Well...I suppose I don't have to get up. She can assess right over my sleeping body, I suppose. That would assure she'll also be taking pictures, right?

Maybe I'll make the cover of USAA magazine.


28 August 2014

All righty.

I tapped 3 people for the ALS ice bucket challenge, all 3 followed through. Sandy and Curt actually dumped ice water on themselves--and Sandy went big, she got a bunch of her students to do it, too, and Ian donated $1000.

Since they ponied up, it's only fair that I do, too. So tonight the Spouse Thingy pulled out the clippers, and went to work.

I started out with a nice blue fauxhawk...it was really stylin', too.

When I looked down...all may hairs. Well, almost. He buzzed it, he didn't shave it.

And voila...it's about an eighth of an inch long. And I look like a serial killer here, cripes.

There is video, but it's almost 3 minutes of a haircut. I'm going to see if I can figure out how to edit it down, and then if it's even worth seeing. Probably not. But here are the results, which is what matters, I suppose.

And the Spouse Thingy did his challenge tonight--the Boy got him--and he even did his with real ice cubes. There's video on Facebook and it's public, so anyone can see it. I'll share it to my wall, so just pop on over there if you want to see it and hear me laugh at him.


25 August 2014

All righty... I have been tapped twice to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, by Roberta Harris and by my sister Mary. Because of health reasons I can't drench myself in ice water (the sudden, biting cold has too high a chance of sending me straight into the flare from hell), but I could certainly make donations, so I've donated $100 for each of those challenges.

Now...I'm supposed to challenge three people, so I'm tapping Sandy Swartwood, Curt Thompson, and Ian Murphy (which is why I'm doing this on my blog and not of FB, because SOMEONE can't remember his FB password, but I knows he reads this.)

Here's the deal: For Sandy and Curt, if you do the ice bucket, you only have to donate $10 to the ALS Association. If you choose to pass, it's a $100 donation.

For Murf, since I know $10 is like Kleenex...if you do it, you only have to donate $100. If you pass on it, you need to cough up $1000.

This my serious face cuz I'm serious.
Now...here's the kicker. If all three of the people I've tapped follow through, I'll do something I've done before but really don't enjoy.

See my messy blue hair?

I kind of like it.

I kind of don't like not having hair.

But since I can't do the ice bucket, if Sandy and Curt and Murf follow through, I will buzz that hair down to stubble. And we'll find a way to record it for proof.

Tomorrow is my birthday, peoples.

All I want for it...take the Ice Bucket Challenge or donate.


16 August 2014

I am in line for the self checkout at Walmart. Behind me is a guy that's practically followed me up and down the aisles, and near him is a woman I've seen around a lot, mostly at Starbucks. The guy apparently thinks I'm totally deaf.
Him: Fucking faggot freak.
Her: Huh?
Him: I hate faggots. (I can see him out of the corner of my eye, he nodded in my direction)
Her: Wow. Her husband is going to be surprised.
Me: snickers audibly.
Random asshole stomps off, presumably to another line. Yes, I thanked her. No, it's not the first time someone has brought up my marital status when countered with someone being a bigoted assmunch. I really don't care if people assume I'm gay; so what? I don't care if people think I'm different; I probably am. I do care about the underlying anger when someone says it that way, and I appreciate how other people can drop them like flies with just a simple sentence.

Not sure what I would have done if he'd said it to my face.

☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼

 Asked by a friend:
The Parkinson's angle; if you suffered from something--not necessarily that--that locked you into your body, would you still want to live?

Barring anything else...yeah, I think I would. If I still have my mind, I think I'd be okay with being stuck inside my body if I'm not in additional pain. My brain is a freaking fun place to be most of the time; I might not be able to sit and write, but if I can still create those things in my head? Of course I'd want to live. I'd feel bad for my caretakers, but I would want to live. And they damn well better know that I want to watch Doctor Who.

Pretty much...give me a TV tuned to what you know I like, music you know I like when that's not possible, audio books, and chocolate every now and then, and I'll be okay. There are about 200 worlds spinning inside my brain, and I'm comfortable there.

☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼

It's another one of those days...

☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼

I should go clean the bathroom, but...meh. I need to mop the kitchen floor, but...meh. 

☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼

My birthday is in 10 days. Hopefully this will end this years' How freaking old am I? mindfark. I get confused a bit every year, because most of the time the Spouse Thingy and I are the same age, but for 4 months he's "older" and I start thinking of myself as the same age, and then my brain trips on itself and I have no idea how old I am.


It makes sense to me.

☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼

I really need to get up and do something. My ass is starting to hurt from sitting here.


15 August 2014

From a friend:

He sat there with the bottle in front of him for hours and says that he knew if he opened it and took just one drink, that was it. He was a dead man. He wouldn't stop until he was dead. We asked him if he'd thought about the damage he would leave behind, how many lives would be broken because he'd killed himself, and he said something I'll never forget: I thought I would be doing all of you a favor. You'd never have to deal with my shit again. Killing myself would be like doing something good for anyone who cared about me.

He's been sober for what, three or four years? He seems happy and healthy, but we will always worry. It will only take one thing, it could be something big or something small, and he might bypass the drugs and alcohol and go straight to ending everything, and in his mind he's giving us the gift of him being gone. It doesn't make sense to us but it makes sense to him, and that's terrifying.
I've never had depression issues; I've never had suicidal thoughts. I've had anger issues, self-worth issues, body image issues, chronic pain issues, issues about my ability to keep writing anything worth someone else reading, issues about a plethora of other things that I'm sure I share with a majority of the world, but I don't think I've ever really been depressed and I know I've never felt suicidal.

So is it puzzling that I understand what he was saying? I get the point he was trying to make?

The discussions opened this week about depression--true depression, not the sorts of sadness or the blues that are a part of being alive--are already dying down. It's like, yeah, sure I get it, now let's move on.

Not everyone can.

I've been metaphorically holding my breath the last couple of days, hoping to not find out that a few friends who do teeter on the edge have had triggered, hoping to not realize that a few who struggle hard with depression are slipping deeper into it. I don't know whether the open discussions that have been going on have been helpful or harmful to them, if it's giving them a line to grab onto or if it feels like someone is trying to shove them under and hold them there.

But I do get what my friend's brother-in-law was trying to say.

It's scary. I'm sure right now he grasps the concept of suicide being a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but I get it.


11 August 2014

Only a short time since the news hit that Robin Williams is dead, and quite likely by his own hand, and the shame-blame games have begun.

He committed the ultimate sin.



And that's utter bullshit. Suicide is not undertaken because someone is weak or selfish or flipping off God and "sinning." Suicide is the last hope far too many people have for ending pain.

Many, many years ago, a very gentle soul known online as Boston Bill, someone to whom I had spoken and had gotten good advice over the chronic physical pain that had consumed my life, became one of Jack Kevorkian's last patients. He made a conscious, deliberate decision to end his life because the only thing he could see ahead of him was unrelenting, unforgiving pain. Pain that narcotics couldn't even touch, even if his doctors would have given them to him.

He was not weak; he had endured more than most could ever fathom. He wasn't selfish; he spent hours upon hours helping others, even when he couldn't help himself. He didn't commit some grievous sin; God's a better man than you, you know. If anyone understood, He did.

The only thing to blame for Bill's choice was the overwhelming pain that had grabbed hold of him and refused to let go. He couldn't take it anymore, so he chose his own way out.

Many of you remember Hoss, that wonderful, spirited, incredible soul who spearheaded Oregon's Right to Die efforts and chose assisted suicide in the end. He knew when his time was done and he wanted to go out on his own terms. I still miss him. I will always miss him.

I have known far too many people, most of them online, a few in person, who saw no other way out. Unlike Bill and Hoss, who left for reasons that are easy to touch upon and understand, most of them suffered from depression. It varied in degrees from day to day or week to week, but the undercurrent was always there for them. It was always the shadow in the hallway, one that could jump out and strangle them at any time.

No one chooses to live that way. There's little to be gained in blaming someone for their depression and so much damage to be wrought.

Blaming someone for having depression is like blaming someone for having diabetes. Blaming someone for needing medication to control it is like blaming a diabetic for needing insulin. We don't choose the diseases that invade us, and no one should have to defend the medications that control them.

And yet, that's what happens.

The cold hard truth of it, too, is that even when you understand that on a very fundamental level, it doesn't mean you're going to be any good at dealing with someone who has depression. Chances are, you're not. It's not because you're thoughtless or dismissive; you just don't know the right things to do or say. Listening doesn't seem like enough, so you spout off these platitudes that you've heard online or on TV, not realizing that not only are you not helping, you're hurting.

Chances are, too, you don't realize that what you're seeing is depression. 

I learned a long, long time ago: I am not the person to whom someone struggling mentally or emotionally should turn. It's not because I don't care or want to brush it off, it's because I am not good in any situation in which I don't have the time to self-edit. I go quiet while I'm thinking; I'm panicking because I don't know if what tumbles out of my mouth will be the right thing or something monumentally stupid that will make things worse. Quiet is often interpreted as not caring. And that helps no one.

I suspect most people are a lot like me; they might want to have the coping mechanisms that a friend with depression needs, but want those tools does not equate having them.

Depression is a stone cold, black-hearted, mean little bitch.

If you suffer from depression, you already know that more friends than not are a lot like I am, and the things they say not only don't help, it often hurts. It doesn't help that you know it's not intentional; you're backed into a corner where nothing is really helping. Those shadows get darker, thicker, and it's just so hard to see anything where the light is, and it's so incredibly fatiguing to keep trying.

But I'm begging you: reach out.

Find those who DO know what to do, and who know the right words and the order in which they should tumble out of one's mouth.

It might not be a friend--it probably won't be a friend, because we're up so close that we can't see the bigger picture, not really-- but try to reach through that thick molasses of fog, the one that makes your arms feel like they weigh a ton and a half, and pick up the phone.


Check out the International Suicide Prevention Wiki. Bookmark it. And please don't be afraid to use it.


In the U.S., if you don't want to wade through the Wiki, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). They also have a website. http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Believe me, this world is so much better with you in it than not--more platitudes you don't need, I know--and there are people who have been trained, who know how to help you cope, and will never, not ever blame you. It's not your fault, no more than it's my fault for having a bad back or for having had that tumor.

Shit happens, and it feels like it splatters really good people the most; your friends might want to be the ones to clean you up and be some magical fairy like ray of sunshine in your life, but the reality is that they will unintentionally say some really stupid things. So please, reach out. Call one of those numbers.

I don't want you to die. I desperately, truly do not want you to die.

And if you're one of those people who think depression is weakness, selfishness, and something that a good attitude check will fix...fark you.

Depression is a disease. Blame doesn't help and can only make things worse.

So don't be a dick. Try being understanding and compassionate. It might not help, but it at least won't hurt.

...and I'm rambling because I honestly don't know how to end this, because all I really want is for the people I love, the people I care about, the people I know only peripherally, and the people I don't know at all to be okay.

Bookmark those sites.

Call if you need to.

It's okay to call.


2 August 2014

Oddz N Endz #812,432,126.x2b Part 99

♦ Mister Max has been--again--waking me up every morning between 4:30 - 4:45. Unlike previous weeks-longs stretches when he seemed to do this because a neighbor was either coming home from or going to work, this time I think he's decided I need to pee. I do not know why he thinks so, but he won't leave me alone until I get up and go. I appreciate his consideration, but I would really like to sleep straight through the night.

♦ Because it's been so freaking hot, I have not yet geared up to start 3 Day training. Tonight the Spouse Thingy hooked up the treadmill TV for me again, though, and I cleaned up some Goodwill-destined piles of clothing to make room for the treadmill's track, so I can start inside.

Has not helped
♦ Level of difficulty: I've been battling plantar fasciitis for a couple of months, and all the usual things that help haven't been. I can't sleep in the night brace so I wore it while sitting around doing nothing; didn't help. I sucked it up and started wearing orthotics in my shoes like I'm supposed to; didn't help. An ortho boot didn't help. Icing has not helped. I bet if I dropped 90 pounds of ugly fat, that would help.

♦ Since the brace and ortho boot didn't work, and in the past high-topped sneakers have, and because I had a coupon, I ordered a pair of bright red Nikes. They should be here Monday...if I can keep the foot at 90o without wiggling it like crazy (because the brace drove me nuts) maybe that will help. I'm starting to grasp at straws here.

♦ The shoes are kinda custom. I don't know why I was then surprised that the shipping notice shows them coming from China. I have no idea why I just assumed they'd come from somewhere in the U.S. I know better. Any guilt I have over that will be nullified if they work.

♦ A couple of weeks ago we ordered a new kitchen table and were told it would take about 6 weeks to get here. Happily enough, it arrived and was delivered yesterday. Someone discovered it pretty quickly, and claimed it as his own.

♦ Since he can no longer get to the top of the refrigerator, and thus the top of the cabinets, he's lacking a definitive UP spot. I think this week we'll pick up a shelf to go up high in my office and perhaps a couple of smaller ones, so that we can create a path for him to be able to look out the high window, and get to the top of the bookcases. Because he really does need UP.

♦ This lives in my bathroom now.

♦ What? You don't have a gnome-nomming Godzilla in your house?

♦ He was a lot smaller than we thought he would be; he was intended for the yard but he's too small, so in the bathroom he went.

♦ No worries; if you come over, he totally can't watch you pee.

♦ I think.

♦ It's 11:30 p.m. and Mister Max is bitching at me to go to bed. When he decide to become my mother?


30 July 2014


All righty.

I'm going to go for it again.

Three days, 60 miles, this time in San Diego.

Why San Diego? Well, San Francisco no longer has a 3 Day and even if they did I might be more apt to walker stalk or crew, because that's a ton of fun. San Diego is now the closest, but more important...friends.

Yep, DKM is walking, as well as some of my team mates from Atlanta 2011, and it'll be a blast to meet up with them again and pound out some miles on the pavement.

Yes, I am immature enough to have hanging with my friends as a reason to go.

But the biggest part of it hasn't changed since I accepted that first invitation to walk. I know too many people who have had to face that battle, and some have not survived. I think often about my friend Anne, who died when everything she wanted in life was right there at her fingertips; she was the friend with whom I share a birthdate, and I don't get through a birthday without thinking about her. I also think about Bridget Spence, who battled the disease nearly her entire adult life, and who just wanted to make it to age 30. She died a few months short of that, and that sucks.

There's also Heather, a woman I met at McDonald's about a year and a half ago. I haven't seen her since, but she crosses my mind every now and then, especially when the Komen-is-so-worng discussions begin. The two things she said that still stick with me:
“Komen kept me alive. That’s the bigger picture. I’m alive.”
“I wish they’d get over it, because there are things more important than their offended sensibilities.”

This walk matters to people for whom waking up in the morning is more than just a matter of course. It matters to people for whom that is not a certainty, and the organization as a whole--no matter what wrongs they may have committed--makes a difference every day.

And there are the personal things...I need something to get me off my asterisk again, and training for this walk will do it. I've been fighting a horrible case of plantar fasciitis which will probably make training all kinds of fun, but I'm hoping some new shoes and some KT Tape will help with that.

So. Yeah. I am walking again.

What weird things do you want me to do for donations? 'Cause y'all know, I will do just about anything legal.


26 July 2014

♦ All right, this is where I admit that the Spouse Thingy was right, and going ahead with the kitchen was a good idea, even if it did make me nauseated to drain that much from savings. It occurred to me tonight while I was making dinner that I didn't mind that I was making dinner; I didn't have that twitchy, claustrophobic feeling I always got when I was trying to cook before.I didn't even realize I had that feeling, until I no longer had it.

♦ This evening Max was on my lap and in order to give him thorough chin and neck skritches, I took his collar off; this is nothing new, I do it frequently. But when I started to rub my fingers through his fur I realized he had a spot where the fur had rubbed off. I wrapped it around his neck to test how it fit, and it wasn't tight but it also wasn't as loose as I would like and I suspect the spot has been bothering him some. He hasn't been bitey or shying away from being petted, but he has been a bit grumpy lately. So we'll see.

♦ He sat on my lap while I perused Amazon for a new collar and ignored me while I pointed out options...until I got to a spiffy hot pink one and then a red one. He pointedly looked at the screen then, so I ordered them both, plus one I like, and he can pick when they get here. Shut up, he will, too.

♦ Yes, we then checked Buddah's neck to make sure his still fit right.

♦ I dyed my hair blue. I do not like it. I suspect it's the length as much as the color, so Monday the Spouse Thingy will cut it for me, and we'll see. I was hoping for neon blue and this is really dark. It makes me sad.

♦ In another First World Problem; I've been seriously considering trading my bike in on something with ABS. I know the one I want, but I kept not going up to the dealership to test ride it. And now it's been sold. Yeah, no, don't feel sorry for me, it's a toy. Another toy will come along. But there was a lesson learned there...

♦ Man, if it were not so late, I would totally bake a cake. No reason.


23 July 2014

Overheard at the ‘Bux today:

If you’ve had 3 divorces you just don’t give marital advice. If you have just a toddler, you don’t give parenting advice. And for fuck’s sake if you’re a lifelong vegetarian, don’t try telling me how much better a sirloin tastes than a ribeye.

I know it’s not true that we only use 10% of our brains, but I swear to God, she only uses about half that amount.

Shut up. I’m old. I’ll fart in public if I want to.

Why are there so many kids in here? Why aren’t they in school? I don’t care if it’s summer vacation; I want peace and quiet while I sit here making fun of all the people with their Apple computers.

No, he’s your son today. He licked the floor, that’s why!

Fuck off.

Enjoy today because by Saturday Satan will be belching ghost pepper fumes all over the damn place and we’re all going to melt.



19 July 2014

This is why I'm not a huge fan of text tattoos. You can stare at a stencil for 10 minutes and your brain keeps telling you "Yep, this is fine," no matter how well you can spell in any other situation. But once that mistake is on your skin, chances are it's there for good, because fixing it? Not as easy as getting it.

Hell, I am frequently guilty of typing "loosing" when I meant "losing" and I rarely catch it (it even made it into a book...the print version.) It's easy to gloss over "then" when it should be "than." Some of the brightest people I know type out "to" when they meant "too" and hit enter before realizing it.

This chit's permanent, people...find an image to symbolize your favorite quote. If you really, really, really want that quote, proofread, get a friend to proofread, get another friend to proofread, and if you don't have the spelling and grammar skills to put something on your skin forever, find someone who does. And then proofread again.

This rant brought to you by having to tell someone today that their tattoo of "This to shall pass; I would rather suffer then live life statically" was not quite right. Luckily, it's a tattoo big enough to fix, I think. I hope, anyway.


15 July 2014

We are now about 99% done with the remodel. We hit a hiccup with having one transformer fewer than needed for the under cabinet lighting, and Amazon was the only place to get it. The tile guy came this morning to grout the back splash tile but no one had told him he was also expected to paint the exterior wall where the window was removed, so that still hasn't been done. They keep forgetting to bring the screen door for the patio, and somehow in changing faceplates for outlets and the like, our phone line no longer works in the kitchen, but all that will be done by the end of the week.

The kitchen is useable, and it's pretty, and right now that's what we care about.

Click to biggify the pictures...

Main wall, before
Main wall, after
Instead of posting 60 pictures, there are a bunch of pictures from before and after on Flicker [clicky here], with a few more including the cats...because clearly, we did this for Buddah to have a place to plaster himself...

When this all started, the projected timeline was 2-3 weeks, so we were pretty sure that meant 4 weeks, and as of today it's been 4 weeks. We lost a day to an inspector that didn't show, a day to a holiday, and a couple to having the wrong grout for the back splash and not having 3 transformers for the lighting, but overall, it's been fairly painless. We'll be glad to not be tied to the house every day and the cats will really be glad to not be stuck in the back of the house so much.

Now...we get to clean up all the crap that got moved around, the rest of the dust (this is a damned dusty thing to go through) not yet cleaned up, and sort through all the things that are not going back into the kitchen. Goodwill is getting a couple of big boxes of stuff.

And tomorrow...finally, a real meal made at home.

On the grill.


It's a start.


13 July 2014

Oddz N Enz #908,123.x2c

♦ The kitchen is still not done. As of this coming Tuesday it'll be 4 weeks since we started, overshooting the predicted 2-3 week mark by about a week. Which, honestly, we expected because chit always happens.

♦ We did lose a few days; one to an inspector who was supposed to be here on the first Friday but didn't come until Monday, two because the sink had not come in and they couldn't proceed until it had, and most of one because we bought the wrong kind of grout for the backsplash tile.

♦ We don't really mind; these delays are the very cliche of having First World Problems.

♦ It should be done by Tuesday. There are only a few things yet to be done that we can see, and then there's a final inspection of the electrical and no telling if he'll show up on time.

♦ I do appreciate y'all on my whine fest in the previous post. I just felt like I was being accused of being glad my mother is gone for the sake of getting a kitchen done, when that couldn't be further from the truth. The kitchen would have been done no matter what, but still.

♦ I was honestly surprised how many people commented, emailed, and messaged about using an inheritance to do home remodeling. It makes sense; at least if I were leaving someone a chunk of money, I would appreciate that they're getting substantial value from it.

♦ The Spouse Thingy had put in to get this weekend off a long time ago; he wanted to go see the Boy play Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet again, and I was supposed to be in San Francisco for the Avon walk. Between my foot still being 3 kinds of ouch and the remodel, I did not make it to the Avon walk, and am pretty sure I am doomed as far as that walk is concerned.

♦ We did make it to the play, and it was really good. It doesn't matter if you know the story backwards and forwards...when performed by actors who understand Shakespeare as opposed to just reciting lines, and they have serious talent on top of it, it's still a moving play. Every time I see it, I want the ending to be different, yet it never is.

♦ The Boy was born to play Mercutio. Shove parental pride aside, he owns that role. And I was still sitting there hoping Mercutio wouldn't die, and the Boy's wrenching emotions during that scene almost made me leak right there in the theater.

♦ I warned the Spouse Thingy that when we weren't stuck at the house this week, we were going shopping. I think he learned to not doubt me. Right now he's in the other room, trying to soothe and comfort his weeping wallet.

♦ The kitchen is going to be worth it, but I will be so glad when everything here isn't KITCHEN.

♦ I'm sure you will be, too.

♦ Kitchen.


2 July 2014

How to piss me off in just 2 sentences =or= Thumpa gonna rant

Your mom died a year ago so it looks like you got a inheritence. Must be nice to inherit money and dump it all on a remodel.

Um, what? Or rather, WTF?

Yeah, I'm a bit ticked off
Whether I got "a inheritence" or not, does it really matter? Just what makes you think we couldn't/wouldn't have done this without a sudden windfall?

We've talked about doing this since we bought the damned house. This was the 2nd house we looked at, and we walked out initially because of the kitchen; when we came back to look again, we decided the rest of the house was all right--not perfect but all right--and that eventually we would remodel the kitchen to make it more useable.

So why now?

Because the frakking thing was falling apart.

Because we were tired of not having storage and having too much crap on the counters.

Because whoever lived here before never cleaned the floors, so they always looked gross.

Because we damn well wanted to.

Really...I'm not sure why it matters to anyone else how we're paying for something we promised ourselves five and a half years ago that we would do and what we started saving for. I'm not sure why anyone would assume we didn't have money of our own to do it. But the thing is, if one person had the balls to say it, other people were thinking it.

Why the hell does it matter? To anyone?

Even if we were paying for this with an inheritance (oh hey, I can spell!) I'm not sure it would be "wrong." My parents worked long and hard for their money, and if they thought they could help us with something that will not only make our lives easier but add equity--actual value--to our house, they would be thrilled.

We farking saved a lot of money over the years to do this kitchen, but that doesn't matter one bit, because it doesn't matter how it was paid for. What matters is that we had and have parents that have always been so generous of heart and spirit that if we did use an inheritance on it, they would have been happy for us.

I know what my dad would say right now.

Mind your own goddamned business.

My dad was almost always right, too.


26 June 2014

When this whole kitchen thing is done, I'm going to have a chit load of cleaning to do.

Today was painting and the floor went down

Tomorrow the cabinets go in, so we're getting there...


21 June 2014

The views from my desk right now...

To my left is the gutted kitchen, with this spiffy plastic tarp that was supposed to hold dust in, but let out a whole bunch of it. It carried all the way to the back of the house, which means we're sneezing a lot.

I also get to look at the room o'junk, all the stuff pulled out of the kitchen before demo began.  I can see the Cheetos from here, so I have an ongoing case of the munchies.

I am getting zero work done, partly because my work computer spent the week covered to protect it from all the dust, and partly because, while I had my laptop with me, sitting on the bed and trying to reassure the cats that their lives are not over kind of detracts from any real creativity. Also, neither the Spouse Thingy nor I have felt all that great this week; he actually called into work sick one night, and he never calls in sick. We're on the mend, though, so it falls into the NBD category.

But work is progressing. It came to a screeching halt before noon yesterday when the inspector postponed until Monday--the electrical work already done, and where the window was removed have to be checked--and nothing else can proceed until he says so.

Still...lots done.

Under the curtain there is no longer a window...it's been boarded up and there's insulation, which is why the curtain is still there and the board is blocking it from curious kitties.

Towels are blocking any holes in the wall right now, because...Buddah. It looks odd to go in there and have nothing, but without the old cabinets and counters it's also easier to see how it's going to come together.

I'm still grumbling about the cost and nauseated when I think about it, but once it's done it'll be totally worth it. And then we can think about redoing the patio, which is going to be screened in for the cats. That's one I don't want to wait too long to get done, because they're not getting any younger, and I know they'd both love it.

Hell, we probably would have done that first if not for the whole cracking of cabinets and fracture lines in the tile that was going on.

I'll give someone $20 to come clean up all this dust...

Oh, and the cats are fine; Max is seriously chill about the whole thing, and Buddah's only thrown a few temper tantrums, and those are because he wants to go out and snoopervise, not because he's scared. No barfing, no hiding, just some yelling while standing at the screen door by Buddah. I'm pretty sure he just wants to go watch...but they're both fine.


15 June 2014

I have a dozen different things I should be doing--there are still things to be moved before Tuesday's kitchen start, plus some cleaning, plus Max's Mousebreath column, plus a book to work on--but instead I've been sitting here looking at porn.

Shuddup. My porn is not like other porn.

2014 BMW F700GS
I still prefer motorcycle porn.

The thing is, I was all set to sell my bike and be done with riding. But then one night the Spouse Thingy texted me wanting to know the price, because he had someone interested. I told him, and then felt all ooohnoo I'm not done yet.

Then he found out the person who was interested had found another bike and I was all yay!

It is soooo pretty...
But...I'm still not keen on jumping on that beautiful, beautiful bike and hitting the highway. I know that half the reason why I avoid it is because it IS a pretty bike; it's the dream bike. If I wreck it, I wreck the pretty. If I park it and it gets trashed or stolen, there's no replacing that exact bike. The paint job alone is unique enough that it can't be replicated, and I'm one of those odd people who can't ruin something that unique. The idea gets into my head--frak this up and you REALLY frak this up--that it affects the way I ride and the urge to ride.

So I mentioned that to a couple friends; one said to ride the shit out of it regardless. It's the dream bike, so get out there and ride the dream.

And she's not wrong.

Another, who sold her bike--not her dream bike, but her daily rider--has many regrets about it. And she thought I needed to really sit back and think about why I've avoided riding other than the risk of ruining the pretty bike. Think back to what I wanted before I saw the pretty bike and caved into the want of Spiffy and Shiny and Beautiful.

What did I say then about what I NEEDED in a bike? Why was I looking to replace the MP3 scooter and the Gladius I was riding? And what is it that goes through my brain when I'm not thinking about how pretty my current bike is?

I needed stability.
Antilock brakes.
A flexible, flickable bike.
Antilock brakes.
Upright seated position--0 to 2 degrees at most.
Antilock brakes.

There's a theme there...I don't completely trust my braking ability and wanted to get off a bike that killed my back (the Gladius was awesome but put me forward in a way that was not good for someone with a bad back) and the scooter had hydraulic issues that made riding it scary.

I was all set to pull the trigger on a BMW, but then went into a bike shop in Concord and lo and behold, there was the sales guy from the shop in Fairfield we used to go to, the guy that had sold me the MP3, the Gladius, and Mike's bike.

Super nice guy.

He showed me a few bikes, and showcased the pretty blue and white bike in the corner; it was custom, right down to the hand-painted pinstriping and hand-painted lettering.

It was the dream bike; the bike I'd had in my head since I was a kid.

So I bought it.

And I loved it. It was PRETTY, dammit.

But I rarely rode it. Granted, I got super sick the summer after getting it, which turned that entire year into not riding because of that, but getting back on it never seemed important. We rode once in a while, around town, to get gas through the lines, but I've had the bike for 3 years now and it has fewer than 2,000 miles on it.

I actually miss this...if only they'd bring it out with ABS...
I put 2,000 miles on my first bike in about 3 months.

I put 2,000 miles on my 2nd bike in about a month.

I put over 5,000 miles on the scooter in the first year.

But after getting the Bonneville...nope. I stopped reading much about bikes, stopped visiting bike forums online, stopped reading magazines. I just wasn't excited, and it all boils down to one thing.

I bought the wrong bike.

I bought the dream bike, but that dream was from when I was a kid and has nothing to do with what I need from a bike.

So for the last few weeks I've been poking around the forums, reading articles on motorcycles, and I keep coming back to the bike I was so close to buying before I saw the Pretty.

And I'm excited about the idea of it again.

No, I'm not going to rush right out and buy it. I need to mull it over a little more--not a lot, but a little--and then I need to wait a bit.

For one, I need to sell the Bonneville, but with no regrets because it will be replaced. And we probably need to get through the kitchen remodel.

But, yeah...I really do want to ride. But on the bike I need, not the bike I want.


13 June 2014

Oddz & Endz #17,204,742.3 part B

♦ We finally have a start date on the kitchen remodel: next Tuesday. Everything is in place--permits have been filed and issued, the cabinets are in, we picked out the granite for the counters and have bought floor tile, backsplash tile, grout, and new appliances--and we're a little itchy to get it over with.

♦ In order to not freak the cats out all at once we decided to do the things that most affect them one by one. Last week we moved the sideboard from the dining area window to the front room (and they enjoy it there more, since it means they can lounge on it and look out the window) and on another day we set up another water fountain in the back of the house; this morning I moved their crunchy food back there.

♦ What they don't seem thrilled with...the new screen door that separates the front of the house from the back. We figured this gives them the entire back half while the work is being done, and out worries about them being accidentally let out are lessened significantly.

♦ Bets are now being taken on how long it takes Buddah to try to climb the door.

♦ Other bets are being taken as to how long it will take Max to start stress-barfing, and on how many surfaces he'll barf and how often.

♦ Everything should take about 2 weeks to finish...which probably means 3 weeks after it starts it should be finished.

♦ It's going to be loud. I don't like loud.

♦ Maybe I'll hide in the closet with Max.