Baby You Can Drive My Car

And, of course, Thumper behind the wheel:

It’s not perfect: it’s a ’95 Lebaron but it has pretty low miles, and the brakes started squealing after we paid for it and were 25 miles away. =sigh= It figures. It didn’t make a single wayward sound when we test drove it, but as soon as I was a block from the house, as I turned a corner, the squeal started.

As long as it’s just the pads and not the drums, it shouldn’t be too much to fix.

But it’s pretty, and it’s MINE!



Last year I bought myself a nice comfy toilet seat for my birthday. This year I bought myself an adaptor for earphones—I had earphones with the mini-stereo plug but needed the older-style larger plug. We went to Best Buy and bought one for $2.99. The highlight of my day.

Well, I did get to eat at the mall food court. Chick-Fil-Et (sp, I’m sure) strips and a large Diet Coke.

After that, we sat around the house waiting. And waiting. And waiting. There were a couple of Lebarons advertised in the paper and we called about them, only no one was home. Spouse Thingy left messages on answering machines, but the calls were never returned. So I spent my birthday sitting here at my desk, playing computer Mahjong, one game after another, with sporadic internet surfing, until midnight.

The problem with car shopping seems to be that we have a far smaller budget than the market seems to demand. There aren’t many listed for sale to begin with, but the ones that are even worth looking at are so far over what we can afford it’s not funny. Cripes, people are selling ’89 Miatas with 120,000+ miles for $7000. A ’97 Sebring is going for $10,000. The two Lebarons we’ve test driven have been around $5,000 but had problems that would have been another couple of thousand to fix. I really don’t want to trade one problem car for another.

But it sucks, it really does. And it’s a little mind boggling. When I drooled over convertibles on the Lemon Lot at Travis AFB, they were 5-6 years old and the prices hovered around $5,000-$6,000. Same cars here are way more. Go figure.


No Go Zoom

My poor pretty little purple car is slowly dying L After putting new brakes and new front drums on it, a new sway bar, another stabilizer bar (not sure what it’s really called), the transmission is slipping and sounds like it’s about ready to just fall out of the car.

Anyone wanna buy a pretty little purple car??? It’s cheap.

So, we’re in the market for another used car. This time it has to be a convertible. We already test drove one (’94 LeBaron); it was marketed as “low miles mint leather.” Kind of made it sound like it was mint condition, but no, they meant mint leather. And it was, the inside of that car was absolutely perfect. The paint job was in need of some TLC, but I could live with that. The salesman fired it up, and it made an awful chirping sound—probably the alternator, but they would fix that before delivery. And it had a ding in the trunk, one of their guys backed it into a table, they would fix that too. So I had high hopes … but then we drove it, and the steering was a little loose. Not terribly, but I’m not so desperate I’d buy a car with loose steering.

There are other convertibles out there.

Hell, even Yugo made a convertible for 2 years. Heh. But no, I don’t want one of those. Just a nice ’94 or ’95 LeBaron, or a ’96 or ’97 Sebring. Or a Pontiac Sunfire ragtop.

I’m not picky.
Just not picky.



You would think, at my advanced age, that I would have learned a few basic things. One being if you have a cat, leaning an uncovered plate of sliced turkey on the counter is not the wisest thing to do.

My apologies to Spouse Thingy, who must now take a sandwich for his lunch tomorrow, because the PsychoKitty licked all the turkey…


How Stupid Do I Look?

I just checked my email and had something from a PayPal address with the subject header “Verify Your Account.”

Now, I knew before I opened it that it was a fraud; PayPal does not ask you to verify your accounts via email. But I opened the email anyway, just to see what it said. And this was it:

Dear Costumer,

This email was sent automatically by the PayPal server in response to verify your identity. This is done for your protection --- only you, the recipient of this email can take the next step in completing the Verify Your Identity form. To verify your identity and access your account, follow these steps:

1. Click on the link below. If nothing happens when you click on the link (or if you use AOL), copy and paste the link into the address bar of your web browser.

(link removed)

The link will take you to our Verify Your Identity page.

2. On the Verify Your Identity page, answer ONE of the questions, and click Submit.

You will then be able to access your account and becoming a REAL verified costumer.

Thanks for using PayPal!

Dear Costumer ??? =snort= #1

You will then be able to access your account and becoming a REAL verified costumer =snort= #2.

That’s a relief, to know that I can become a REAL verified costumer. I mean, that is my life’s ambition, to create odd clothing for people who perform on stage, or want to dress like it’s Halloween year ’round.

Sheesh, if you’re going to run a scam, at least get it right.
No, I Do Not Care To Smell You

If I had my way, perfume and cologne would be banned. Along with smoking. It’s not so much that I wish to infringe on others’ personal choices to cover up their own body odor with alcohol-laden smelly things, or stop them from committing slow suicide; it’s just that I happen to enjoy breathing, something I cannot easily do while in the presence of someone wearing perfume, cologne, or who is smoking.

Yesterday the Spouse Thingy and I decided to go to an afternoon movie; we got there early, got the seats we wanted (heck, we were the first ones there), and the theater filled up fairly quickly. And all was well, until three people came in during the previews and sat directly in front of us. One of them was wearing perfume—and a lot of it.

I wound up watching the movie while breathing through folds of a sweatshirt. I tolerated it, but just barely.

There’s no escaping the stuff, really. Walk into a department store, and guess what’s right up there near the front door? The perfume counter, complete with testers that have been sprayed so many times the air is thick with it. And in some stores there are so many counters, and they’re so freaking long, that getting past them while holding one’s breath is damn near impossible.

And smoke… this is something I seriously miss about California. There I could go into any public place and know I’d be free from other peoples’ cigarette smoke. I’d be able to breath without the worry of suffering an instant, choking asthma attack within 2 minutes. Spouse Thingy I enjoy playing pool (badly) but we’ve yet to find a place here where we can play. The few places we’ve been into the smoke is just hanging there in the air, visibly even, and I can’t take it.

Now the mall, I like it because it’s smoke free. Not perfume free, but in a space that large I can get away from people wearing perfume easily and I can just not go into stores with large stinky displays up front. But other places loose my business—and that of lots of other people like me—because they allow smoking. And really, that’s too bad.

Face it, people can shop, and go to dinner, and play pool without smoking. I can’t do any of those things without breathing.

I just want to be able to breathe without fear, where ever I happen to be.
Is that too much to ask?


Set The Night To Music

I can’t sing.

I used to be able to; not that I was ever in danger of becoming the next American Idol Old Farts winner, but I could carry a tune in a bucket without too many holes. I started singing in elementary school, was in the choir through 5th grade, and kept singing on my own—self-accompanied by the guitar—well into adulthood. I appeared in high school talent shows and did all right. No one laughed or booed me off the stage, in any case.

Then came Real Life and the amount of time I spent playing the guitar and singing along decreased dramatically. I had other things to do, and never gave it much thought.

Until a couple of days ago, when I bought a Roberta Flack CD.

And don’t ask “Who?” unless you want me to reach through the monitor and bitch slap your way-too-young face.

I seriously like this CD; it’s music from my youth, and I know all the words to most of the songs. I used to play a few of them on the guitar. So as I sat here at my desk, playing a computer game, I decided to sing along.

If PsychoKitty could howl, he would have. As it was, I got a “you should stop that” look. He jumped off my lap and left the room.

I’ve totally lost my singing voice.

I am now equal to That Kid from the American Idol tryouts—you know the one. He tried to sing “Like A Virgin,” complete with Madonnaesque body rubbing, and had no clue he was completely, painfully awful.

Really, it was that bad.

It’s not a total loss, however. When the Boy comes for the holidays, I now have a sure fire way of embarrassing him in front of his Significantly Better Half.

Life is good.


Here, Kitty, Kitty

Ok, so we decided the cat was too complacent in his life, and decided we’d dedicate the last couple of days to totally freaking him out.

Well, it just worked out that way. He has the tendency to get his fur in a wad when the furniture is moved (slinking into the living room after a nap you can see the “oh HELL no! Sonofabitch we MOVED again!” look) and over the last couple of days it’s been moved several times.

The urge to rearrange struck after realizing that we really only had seating for two, and the Boy and his Significantly Better Half are probably going to visit for the holidays. Our old sofa and loveseat were still in the garage, so why not move the love seat in? Sure, no problem—no problem other than the way this house was designed. The architect must have dedicated many waking hours to figuring out how to design a home with little actual usable space, both storage and furniture-wise.

We got the love seat in, and it worked, but everything was awfully jammed together. It was enough to really get the cat going, so we left it like that overnight, figuring we could move it around again the next day. Just when he relaxed, I started taking all the knick knacks off the entertainment center and put them on the table.

He was not happy. As I made my way from the table back to the entertainment center for a 4th or 5th time, he launched across the room and wrapped both paws around one of my legs, trying, I think, to stop me. Or trip me. Or rip my leg off. When that didn’t work, he crouched on a chair and watched as his little world was ripped apart. All the knick knacks were on the table. Pictures were taken off the walls. The rug was rolled up and moved. Then to add insult to injury, we moved the entertainment center across the room.

Pissed off kitty.

He began to relax as things were put back into place. It wasn’t as painful as he seemed to think it was going to be (but I am definitely checking the bed before I climb in tonight, just in case he left me a little present) and he seems positive that the love seat was brought in just for him—with the bonus that it still smells like the dog (could have something to do with all that dog hair embedded into the cushions…) The living room seemed much bigger once everything was where it should be, and there was more space for the kitty to play. Time to relax.

We couldn’t have a relaxed cat. Nope. So we put a battery in the uber-nice clock that my ultra talented father-in-law made for us and got it going … and sat back to watch what he’d do when it chimed. Every fifteen minutes.

Seriously pissed off kitty. Not as funny as the dog was the first time he heard it—he thought it was the doorbell and every fifteen minutes would run to the front door (hence, why the battery was removed. He was going nuts and the cat we had then had a heart condition, we were really afraid the chime was going to terrify her into keeling over and dying right there in the middle of the living room)—but PsychoKitty is going to sit on his loveseat and glare at the clock until it finally shuts the phck up.

Poor kitty.
It’s going to be a long night for him.


From The Plain Dealer:

Dog survives gas chamber with his tail wagging

Jim Suhr
Associated Press

St. Louis- Cast into a city gas chamber to be euthanized with other unwanted or unclaimed dogs, it appeared that the roughly year-old Basenji mix had simply run out of luck - and time.

But this canine had other ideas.

When the death chamber's door swung open Monday, the dog now dubbed Quentin - for California's forbidding San Quentin State Prison - stood very much alive, his tail and tongue wagging amid the carcasses of a half-dozen other dogs.

Animal-con trol supervisor Rosemary Ficken had never seen such a thing and didn't have the nerve to slam the door shut again on the dog and fire up the carbon monoxide.

This 30-pound, orangish ani mal, she be lieved, beat the odds and should live on, doggone it.

"She told me, Please, take him. I don't have the heart to put him back in there and re-gas him,' " said Randy Grim, founder and head of Stray Rescue of St. Louis, the charitable shelter that took in the dog before taking the animal's story public.

Quentin's ordeal was played and replayed yesterday on local television stations, drawing scads of people looking to adopt "such a sweet dog" that showed such dogged resilience.

The center euthanizes dogs nearly every morning - about 3,000 a year.

Quentin's fate appeared grim. Surrendered to the city by an owner no longer wanting the animal, the dog eluded adoption, landing him in the death chamber that he somehow managed to emerge from, groggy from the sedative but otherwise "pretty responsive," if not downright rambunctious.

"There was a reason for this dog not to go down," said Rich Stevson, program manager for the animal center. "Maybe this dog is a special dog of some kind."

The next morning, he said, "it was jumping up and down, wagging its tail."

Grim said yesterday that Quentin was a little malnourished but "in very good condition," being checked for heartworm and other maladies by a veterinarian.

"You can tell he's really digging it," Grim said of the dog. "He has a bed, love, food and water."

And that invaluable second chance.

Nuttin' else can be added to that.
Just... wow.


Ack, Fooey, Furball

I woke up at 4:15 this morning.
I was spooning the cat.


I was lying kind of half on my side, half on my back (bolstered by body pillows on either side) and at some point he stretched out next to me, set his head on my shoulder, and snuggled close. When he realized I was awake, he tilted his head back and rubbed it against my chin—either “Good Morning, how ya doin’?” or “Move and I’ll bite you”—and then settled back down.

Good thing I didn’t need to roll over. I scratched his little head for a minute and then went back to sleep, and he stayed there until Spouse Thingy got up for work at 5. PsychoKitty has his routines, and the Most Important Very Early Thing is to try to trip the Spouse Thingy on the stairs at 5:15 every morning. So when he heard Spouse Thingy get up, he launched off the bed (no, I didn’t need those boobs anymore, thank you) and let me sleep until after 9 a.m.

He has been extremely affectionate lately. If I’ve been out of the house for any length of time, he comes running, complete with an excited feline squeal, as soon as I’m through the door. He’s not pestering me to get up and feed him two hours early. He curls up on me while I watch TV, and he “helps” me type.

I’d like to believe he’s just maturing and enjoy my company, but I know better.
That cat is plotting something.
I am afraid. Truly afraid…


On Another Note…

Know of any cheap places to advertise online? Text ads, etc.? I’m ready to start (slow) advertising for Inkblot Books but I have almost zero dollars for an advertising budget. Any suggestions appreciated.
Jesus Hates My Boobies

Apparently, he does. I realized this in the middle of getting my teeth cleaned this afternoon. As I sat there, allowing a stranger to probe the deepest recesses of my mouth, it occurred to me that I was experiencing increasing levels of discomfort, and not from anything she was doing to me. The pain was coming straight from my chest. My crucifix—which I always wear and tend to keep hidden under my shirt—was digging sharply into fairly tender flesh. I peeked when I got out to the car. On one boob was a nice impression of our Lord and Savior, and on the other an imprint of the back of the cross. Ow.

Double ow—I have a cavity. Phfft. And, triple ow, I need a crown on my back tooth.

Oh yeah, the rain can stop now, at least for a couple weeks. I have this bitchin’ new bike and haven’t really been able to ride it because every time I turn around, there’s thunder and lightning and rain. Spouse Thingy even took my car to work and left me the truck so I could throw the bike in the back and ride the other end of the bike path in Fairborn, but the freaking rain kept me home. Sitting here, playing online, dreading the dentist—who I really only saw for 3 minutes.