How To Feel Old Without Even Trying

Just start poking through old image files.

Sooner or later you’ll find a picture than not only shows your kid as a toddler, but you in your early adulthood.

You’ll look at it and have 2 thoughts:
“Damn, I was young.”
“Holy crap, I was thin.”

But mostly, you’ll just feel old.
double post again.
Blogger hates me.


'Tis a good thing that I can't take a long walk or anything immediately after eating, because we have this awesome pizza place about 2 miles from here. It's a nice walk, but I'd never make it home before exploding...


All Hail Flipper!
Ok. We really did unpack. Mostly. There’s an entire storage room full of utter crap that we had no space for (old garage stuff, and stuff from closets and a spare bedroom…we don’t have nearly as much storage here.) But we’re moved in now, and really like the apartment—and we’ll weed through the stuff in storage and throw most of it out, I’m sure, donate lots and lots and lots of books to the library, and then there’s Ebay…

Ok, go peek if ya wanna. The pictures are big, so there’s only 1 per link…

Living Room Before
Living Room After

Dining Area/Kitchen

Mike’s Computer Room Before
Mike’s Computer Room After

My Office Before
My Office After

Bedroom Before
Bedroom After


Double entry...which gives me an idea of how the rest of my day is going to go...
Well now.
Dependable Auto Shippers is sending us a check.
Yep. A check for a whopping $150.00

$2000 in damages, they pay $150.00
They say their liability is $250, but guess what! They have a $100 deductible!

Oh, I am such a happy person right now.
I am.

When I feel a little less happy, I’ll tell ya all about how the Spouse Thingy’s last military paycheck might get here very, very late.

This is so much fun.
Yes it is.


4,000 more words, and I will have succeeded at NaNoWriMo.
Sure, what I'm writing sux for the most part, but 50,000 words is 50,000 words.
Nine more days to get 4,000 words; I usually can do 2,000 a day.
Oooh yeah.


Paint me disappointed.

A while back, while surfing, I found the spiffiest pair of Chucks I've ever seen. It was a case of instant I HAVE TO HAVE THESE!

So I ordered them.
And I waited.
And then I get an email...they no longer have them in my size. So I went back to the website, and looked. =sob= If my feet were half a size smaller, or half a size bigger, I could still get these.

I don't often HAVE to have a pair of shoes, but dammit, these are the Best Ever!
This pretty much pisses me off. Target (and its subsidiary Mervyn’s) are banning Salvation Army Bell Ringers from collecting at the front of their stores during the holiday season. Their reason? If they allow one non-profit group, they have to allow them all.


Look, I know some people find the bell ringing annoying, but it’s not like the people manning the kettles are tackling shoppers on their way in or out of the stores and forcing them to donate. The worst some of them do is sing. People who do find the bells and singing (oh! And let’s not forget those pesky wishes for Happy Holidays!) annoying can get past them in about 5 seconds—anyone who can’t tolerate a bell for 5 seconds should probably not be out in public during the holiday shopping season, anyway. Bells are everywhere…get over it.

If other non-profits want to sit outside and gently solicit donations, fine. I can pick and choose to whom I donate my money, and I’m perfectly capable of walking past them if I don’t want or am not in the position to donate.

Dropping a few bucks into the Salvation Army kettle is a tradition; we do it every year, and we actively seek out those kettles. After seeing the Salvation Army in action during the Grand Forks, ND flood in 1997, they have my utmost respect—and any spare change I have in my pocket, every time I pass one of those kettles.

I doubt I’ll be shopping at Target during the holiday season this year. I’ll look for other places that aren’t so uptight…I have a can full of change, and I’m ready to dump it.

Just nowhere near Target or Mervyn’s.


December 6th.
The Spouse Thingy starts work December 6th.
Not until then.
:::lays head on desk:::


Top Five Email Questions About Having Moved

1. How do you like CA?
2. How’s the Spouse Thingy like his new job?
3. Are you driving around topless a lot? Did they fix your car?
4. Why no pictures since you unpacked?
5. Met any of your neighbors?


1. CA is terrific. This is the place that most feels like home, and it was nice to actually know where most everything was when we got here. I’m really liking the apartment, and I’m actually using my office—a real office!—to work instead of Internet surf most of the time. I think the only thing I don’t like is our sucky tasting water.

2. If he ever gets to start his f’ing job, I’ll let you know. He expected to start the beginning of November. But now it looks like the beginning of December is the best we can hope for. And even then it’s not guaranteed. On that note, if we usually swap gifts at Christmas, I hate to tell ya, but it’s not happening this year. We’ll be lucky to pay rent.

3. Yep, as much as possible. It’s almost a little odd, though, being the middle of November and being able to ride with the top down. We get some odd looks (I think some people already think it’s too chilly for topless driving) but I’m going to go topless as often as I can, until it gets really cold. But no, the car isn’t fixed. If the auto people pay on it they’re only paying $250, and the estimates we close to $2000. So my toy is going to remain dented and gouged. And bouncy, too.

4. What makes you think we unpacked?

5. We met one woman, and I cannot remember her name. She’s right next door and seems very nice. Other than that, nope. I do know how loud the people upstairs pee, when they run their dishwasher, and that they do laundry at 1 a.m. And the lady up there can laugh loud. But honestly, none of that is annoying.

If I sound snarky…it’s 2 a.m., and I can’t sleep.
And I have the munchies.
But mostly, it’s 2 a.m. and I can’t sleep.


Say it with me.

National Novel Writer’s Month.

Nope, it’s not a celebration of those who sit alone in a room, typing until their fingers bleed and brains melt, day after day after day. It’s a writing exercise…cough up a 50,000 word novel in one month, starting November 1st, finishing November 30 (or before, if one is so inclined and/or motivated.)

I committed (committed being the operative word) to it this year, and with only 18 days to go I’m only halfway there.

So, if blog entries are few and far between, I’m probably working.
If there are many, I’m procrastinating.

No, don’t ask me why I’m doing it. It’s not like there’s a prize for finishing in a month, nor is it like 50,000 words doth a novel make, nor does spewing forth 50,000 words in 30 days mean it will be any good.

It’s Something To Do.
And who knows, it may shape up to be something publishable someday.


Is it appropriate to say “Happy Veteran’s Day?”

Whether it is or not, that’s what I’m saying. Happy Veteran’s Day. If you’re a veteran, or currently serving in the military, I wish for you nothing but happiness. Well, I also wish for you Peace and contentment, and a bubble of safety 10 meters thick.

Thank you for protecting my rights.
Thank you for being willing to serve, protecting my freedoms.
Thank you for enduring the sheer boredom that explodes into moments of sheer terror.
Thank you for my youth, my adulthood, and the fact that I got this old at all, without knowing true oppression.

The Spouse Thingy is in the last weeks of his 20 years service in the USAF. Right now he’s on terminal leave, but as of December 1st he’s an Official Retiree, with all the benefits that entails. And we’re pretty sure that one of the biggest rights he has is standing smack dab in the middle of an aisle in the commissary with his cart turned sideways, blocking everyone else.

So…for the Active Duty, thank you, too, for not getting all pissy at those who served before you, and are keeping you from getting to the canned veggies and spaghetti sauce. And I hope that one day you, too, will be ticking off the fresh-faced airmen and soldiers and sailors with your cart in the commissary, because you will have earned it.


:::sits in the corner and sobs quietly:::
No one out here sells Caffeine Free Diet Mountain Dew.
If you know me, you know why I’m weeping copiously.
I’m doomed….doomed!


Conversation with the cat:

Max: Meow.
Me: No, it’s not time to eat.
Max: Meow.
Me: Because it’s only 4 o’clock.
Max: Meow.
Me: You eat at five.
Max: Meow.
Me: You'll live through one hour.
Max: Meow.
Me: Because I said so, that’s why.
Max: Bitch.


[insert a deep sigh]

Ok. So. I have this damage to my car from being transported from Ohio to California by Dependable Auto Shippers. It’s a few small gouges (though deep, down to bare metal) up front, plus an ass-sized dent in the hood, toward the front. DAS only covers up to $250 in damage after a $100 deductible. So basically, to get that sweet $250, there has to be $350 in damages.

For proof, they want 2 written estimates, plus photos.

So, off we go to a couple of body shops. Free estimates, what more could you ask for?

First place, the guy looks at it, scribbles a few motes, and then sits down at his computer to compile this massive amount of data. A few minutes later he gets back up, says the hood needs to be replaced because dents like that just don’t pop out of a hood well, and the total damage -- $2000.

That’s right. Two Thousand Dollars.

We had high hopes he was very very wrong, and off we went to body shop #2. I waited in their spiffy waiting room, watching a TV made sometime in 1975 (even had the old style knob for changing channels, but hey, it works and works well!) Guy #2 took his clipboard and went out to look at the car, then came back in and sat at his computer compiling all this data. And when he was done… $1600.

He agreed without even being asked: the hood needs to be replaced. And not only that, the thingy the hood latches to is bent and there’s a small crack in it, but it’s still functional.

Now, when you consider that this car still needs front struts, and there’s an interesting and fun new popping noise coming from the left front wheel, as well as a clicking coming from that side when in motion…and the idle is still off, making it sputter and then die at totally inappropriate times, you can see where we might be reluctant to get this damage fixed. It’s not like DAS is going to pay for what they phkd up.

It’s also not like we were ever given the option to buy additional insurance through them, but their limits were printed on one of the forms we signed. Sure, it was on the BACK, but we did sign it.

And our insurance company would surely cover it, but why risk our rates increasing over this?

The car is drivable…I’m ticked beyond belief that this damage seriously devalues the car, but it’s drivable. And unless it dies while I’m on the Interstate with a semi bearing down on me (and don’t think that hasn’t crossed my mind) I can probably drive it for a while still. At least until that popping sound turns out to be a crack, and the wheel falls of. While I’m doing 65 mph, with my luck.