Monday, August 25, 2014

Progress is not for the faint of heart

Today was…noisy.

Because they were doing this to my poor Den.

You know those moments when you look at something that is in-progress and you think to yourself, OMG, wait, this can-NOT be right, time out, let’s think about this…!

I had that moment late this morning, when I was on a call and there was this tremendous whump from the construction area and then I heard something crash in the kitchen.

It took pretty much every last ounce of willpower I had to remain calm, stay with the meeting I was in, and not tear off my headset and go flying downstairs to see what on earth had made that ungodly clatter. (<= this is always a mistake – if I set foot out there, it will take a good half hour before I can get back inside, and, well, I really don’t have an endless supply of extra-long-coffee-break periods in an average day that I can burn on Such Things)

Later, I discovered that it was the kitchen knives, falling off their magnetic holders; apparently, having the other side of the wall they are on, you know, ripped off the house was a little too much vibration for them to maintain a good grip on the knives.

I looked at the knives, and I said to myself, “Right…now, where did I put that old knife block…?”

And then I had one of those little walks down memory lane, remembering that phase Captain Adventure went through some years ago as a toddler, where we could not keep his chubby little mitts off the blasted kitchen knives. He was fascinated by them. I tried putting them into a child-“proof” drawer => he’d have them out in under five seconds flat. I tried “hiding” them in a child-“proof” cupboard => hahahahaha, yeah, how’d THAT work out?!

I tried the top of fridge. I tried keeping them in the den. Eventually, I got that magnetic strip, hung it over the stovetop, which is a terrible place to put your good kitchen knives but as much as he looooooooved to play with my knives (!!!), he was afraid of that stovetop. He wouldn’t go within a foot of it.

Voila. He never went after the knives again. Although he did pitch a few huge temper tantrums about their new location; he’d sit on the floor, tilt his head back and just howl about it, occasionally looking at them out of the corner of his eye with undisguised longing and despair.

And would go absolutely pink and purple with fury if I tried to offer him something like, you know, a spatula, or a toy knife instead. You insult my intelligence, woman! Begone, and take your lousy imitation-of-life with you!

But I digress.

According to theory, all of this stuff – and there’s rather a lot of it, let me tell you – is going to magically become walls…and the first story of our two-story addition will be framed.

You guys have no idea, NO IDEA!, how hard it was not to be a smart-arse about this today. They kept going, “Blah blah blah and then this will be framed…” and I so wanted to say something like, “Gasp! Should I start looking for a good lawyer to get it off with maybe just some community service or something? or is this going to be so thorough a frame-job that it’s just hopeless and the best we can hope for is 30 years in Sing-Sing?!” But I did resist. Because I figured either a) they wouldn’t get it or b) they would get it and be all like “HAHAHAHA…like we haven’t heard that one a few hundred times…today…”

Another thing that took an awful lot of effort from me…well, they needed to make room for what-all they’re doing and their supplies and such-like. So they did this.


Not at all? Nothing jumping out at you? Like maybe a slight difference in, you know, texture, front v. back parts of this pile…?

AW, C’MON. The back of this pile is just dirt. It’s (some of) the just dirt they dug out so they could pour the concrete slab that is currently mocking my ripped-out outer walls with its pristine newness.

But the front pile, the one they so cavalierly hurled atop the just dirt one they made last week…that…is my garden bed soil.

It is not dirt.

It is a magical blend of just dirt and compost and peat moss and you do not want to know how much time and sweat and tears (OK, fine, in the interest of full disclosure, any actual tears in there were probably caused by my sunscreen dripping [or being wiped] into my eyeballs) went into making it into that frothy confection suitable for growing ruler-straight carrots or big, round-globes onions or, you know, whatever.

Of course, it is also garden soil that isn’t going to have a bed to go into for quite some time; even after they get this first story frame up off the ground, the second story is just going to be rush-delivered right into the same spots.

Still. I keep looking at it, every time I go out there. That is some awfully nice soil, right there, I think to myself.

And then I just kind of look around the yard…surely there must be somewhere out of harms way where I could get, you know, a small-ish new bed built, right?

Good dirt is a terrible thing to waste, after all…

Monday, August 18, 2014

You ask a simple question…

Danger Mouse had a dentist appointment today, to get some fillings.

The husband made the mistake of sending me an email asking me how it had gone.

So, I told him how it had gone, as follows…and the moral of this story is, don’t ever ask me a simple question, as I am incapable of providing a simple – or short - answer

OMG. Well. Therein lies a tale. And it goes like this. I got to the school at 10:35 and I was walking over to the administration office like a boss, looking around at all the other adults milling around there like, "I understand.  I'm responsible now too.  Just look at my groceries. Plus also I am totally on top of these things, because I am very mature and responsible that way." (Sadly, I’m not entirely exaggerating…I was so darned proud of myself for not still being at home at 10:50 going, “Oh…@*^&@…is that the time?!” like I usually am…)

So I get her all signed out and the secretary calls her third period PE class and goes, “Yessss, so, I’m calling for…uh…Buhhhhhh…” and I hear this perky voice on the speakerphone go, “Oh, let me guess, Danger Mouse? Yes, she said she’d be leaving during this period, she’s sitting with her things over on the benches, I’ll go let her know.”

And now I’m looking around like, “Yeah, my kid? => totally on top of it. That’s right. She even told her teacher she would be leaving right about now. This is teamwork, people. This is what we should all aspire to as parents. I am the best parent in the history of parenting.(<= conveniently ignores the fact that laundry is still piled up all over the house, nobody has had a home-cooked dinner in approximately two years and that I have now officially lost more forms than I have successfully turned in over the course of their school careers.) 

Ten minutes later, I’m still standing there, clutching her pink excuse slip. The bell for the next period rings. Kids are milling around in vast numbers. No Danger Mouse. Where the heck IS she? I go back to the window and go, “Uh…?” and they say, rather pointedly, “She’s on her way.” Oooookayyyyyyy…I go back to waiting.

At 10:55 (!!) I called the dentist’s office and said “OMG WUT IDK WHERE MY CHILD IS BUT WE’RE GOING TO BE LATE !!!WAILING FACE!!!” And they said, “Well, just get here as fast as you can.” Then I went back over and banged my fist on the counter until the secretary decided I was annoying and checked on her current location. And she goes, “Oh. She went on to fourth period. I’m not sure why she would do that, since they did make a general announcement in PE…”

After I got done screaming and clawing at my face, I asked what that meant, ‘general announcement.’

And yeah, this meant exactly what I thought it meant: The person on the phone who told us about how she was sitting on the benches with all her things waiting to go and that she’d go let her know I was there to get her did not then, you know, walk over to her and say, “OK, kid, grab your stuff and split.”

No. She walked over to the PA system and went, “Murfle-purfle blissabloss? Pssssst tegere wah-wah sssstic...” over the craptastic speakers in the locker room, where a herd of chatting teenage girls were making themselves ready to rejoin society.

IMPORTANT NOTE: none of these chatting girls were Danger Mouse, because she, AS THIS SAME LADY HAD SAID WHEN WE CALLED, was sitting on the benches, waiting (im)patiently for her mother to arrive. Outside. Where the PA system isn’t. Not that anyone can ever understand anything said over the PA system anyway. But it is even less understandable when the announcement is being made, you know, where you AREN’T.

OTHER IMPORTANT NOTE: Banging your head repeatedly against the brick facing of the school is not advised. It causes not only a pounding headache, but the roughness of the brick tends to break the skin more than, say, a keyboard or a desk does. #ProTip.

So the secretary called into the fourth period classroom and about two minutes later here came Danger Mouse jogging across the quad – but by this time it was a good ten minutes after her appointment was supposed to start. I was already thinking, “Ehhhh, they’re totally going to tell us we have to reschedule, but, maybe, just maybe if they have a slow morning…!”

As we’re driving over, Danger Mouse informs me that she was more than a bit puzzled that I hadn’t shown up and almost went to the office between 3rd and 4th period just on general principle, but then reasoned that she should just keep doing what she was supposed to be doing and wait for instructions, which was of course the right thing to do, so I went, “Oh. Well. That was the right thing to do. Wish you had just gone to the office, though.” Which is sending her mixed messages which is the opposite of good parenting. But I figure at this point my cover is blown anyway so I might as well send mixed messages, belch loudly and blame it on the cat, maybe teach her how to light one cigarette with the end of another to save both time and matches, oh, and, how to identify the scaredy-cat kids so you can trick them into betting their lunch money on a game of mumblety-peg because they will pretty much ALWAYS chicken out before the first cast, thus giving you extra pocket change without any real danger to life or limb from the pocketknife-tossing thing. Brilliant.

We skidded into that office at 11:15 (<= which was pretty darned amazing time, actually, the Stoplight God was definitely with us) and of course they were all, “Yeahhhhhhh, we’re gonna have to reschedule, there isn’t enough time left.”


…siiiiiiiiiigh…soooo, September 5 it is…

Thursday, August 14, 2014

While I was busy pretending I am not insane

Two days ago, late in the afternoon, there was a knock on my door. I opened it up to find a pleasant man standing on my porch with a shirt that said “Windmill Septic” on it.

Over his shoulder loomed a very large truck.

With a very large porta-potty on it.

This was, briefly, a terrific shock to me. Why in the WORLD are they renting a porta-potty?! I thought to myself.

“They” being the crew who are going to be providing a wide variety of noise, dust, destruction, bills and construction that will ultimately lead to the addition of one new bedroom and a loft area upstairs, and one new home office downstairs.

It will be fantastic.

I keep telling myself this. Because otherwise, I will go completely mental, long before we get through this.

Then I realized that I was being rather stupid. Contrary to how it feels to me most of the time, I am not, in point of fact, “always” home. Asking some poor guy to just hold that thought for who knows how long while I’m in actually in the office, or running errands, or who knows what for who knows how long is a bit much.

“You having some construction done?” he asked.

You know how sometimes, you have these moments where you desperately want to say something that you know is probably not the nicest thing you could say right then…but oooooooooh, you’re just DYING to SAY it?

I was dying.


I wanted to say, “Nope. We’re just looking to save on water, what with the drought and all. Family of six does a lot of flushing, ya know…here’s your sign…”

“Yes, yes we are,” I said instead.

Let the games begin!

“So, where do you want this?” he asked, gesturing at Tiny.

I turned and pointed to the construction site – in the backyard.

“That would probably be the most convenient for the guys, and least likely to become…ahem…a neighborhood ‘attraction’” I suggested.

“Yeahhhhhhhh, well, see, here’s the thing,” he countered, holding up his hands about three inches apart. “The hose on the service truck? Yeahhhhhh, it’s not really all that long…”

“Oh, that’s OK!” I replied, brightly. Because like HELL do I want this thing parked in FRONT of my house for THREE. MONTHS. “He can drive right on up on the lawn there, it’s dead anyway, you can see the construction crew is already driving on it…”

“Yeahhhhhhhh, well, see, here’s the other problem: He’s doing his route real early…I mean, real early…”

There was a bit more back and forth, but ultimately…

Bam. RIGHT in front. Helllloooooo, World.


This is going to be…a really fun project.

I can just tell.