Interstellar Adventures

July 31, 2007

Ninjas on Swamp Boats

Filed under: Family & Friends,Interstellar Casa,Mr. Wonderful — by InterstellarLass @ 7:14 pm

Pop loves The Dukes of Hazzard. There’s enough slapstick humor in there that he can enjoy the show even if he can’t hear it. He also watches the news and leans up to read the ticker on the bottom of the screen. Since his eyes aren’t so good either, it takes a couple of passes of the ticker for him to get the whole story.

Tonight’s Dukes episodes are from the Coy & Vance season. Right now I have the TV on mute and Pop’s just laughing away. No one likes the Coy & Vance year, but I guess Pop’s not as picky. Funny is funny I guess. And ninjas on swamp boats fighting with Coy & Vance are evidently humorous. Hughie just drove a little white VW bug through a sewer pipe. Chuckle chuckle guffaw guffaw.

The offer on Pop’s house fell through. We don’t know why. There’s supposedly another offer on the table too, but it’s not as good. So, we’re trying to save Offer 1 while negotiating with the guy on Offer 2 to make it more to our liking. This house selling negotiating stuff is no fun. I’m not looking forward to that part of selling our house.

And who knew it was so damn expensive to sell your house! There’s costs everywhere! And then turning around and buying one. And our realtor is so magnanimous…if we use her for both transactions, she’ll knock .5% off her commission fee. Fortunately where we are, housing prices haven’t been affected as bad as some other areas. But there is still a lot of inventory in our area both in where we’re selling and where we’re buying. We’ve looked (spied) at some open houses in our neighborhood and I think we’re going to be in a really good selling position in comparison. Nick got the vanity and new sink installed in the hall bath last night. Tomorrow I’m off while the door guys are here, so I can finish painting and possibly start tiling in there. It’ll feel really good to get a whole project done!

Nick sure is taking a long time to go to Starbucks…I knew when he took his cigar with him he’d be a while. Grrr. I want my latte! I’m so spoiled…

July 30, 2007

Pretty Soon We’ll be Pooping Outside

Filed under: Family & Friends,Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass,Married Life,Mr. Wonderful — by InterstellarLass @ 1:01 am

No, not really. I’m well assured that Nick will get the hall bath back in order. So, still down one shower, now down one sink. Hopefully we don’t have to pull a toilet. (Really, Nick is doing an awesome job with all my ‘honeydo’ projects. AND he made breakfast for me this morning. I love my husband. He’s just the best.)

We spent the day today between Lowe’s and Home Depot, looking at countertops, back splashes, bathroom vanities and cabinets, french doors, and various other things. We usually are Home Depot shoppers. But, we weren’t happy with the way they did the estimate for our counter tops, and so we went to Lowe’s to comparison shop. We found a counter top color in a different brand that they don’t carry at HD, so I’m glad we did it. And, based on my early estimates, it’ll be at least $150 less. I hope. But, the checkout girl at Lowe’s was so snarly, surly, and otherwise just plain grumpy and mean, I won’t look forward to shopping there again anytime soon. My basic evaluation is that Lowe’s has cleaner stores, but their customer service is far worse. HD is typically better on the customer service end, but sometimes it’s hard to find people. You know, the syndrome where there are 10 people around asking if you need help, when you don’t have any questions, and then when you do you look around and there is no one within five aisles.

So, I’ve painted the kid’s bathroom, and Nick is changing out the vanities, wall cabinet, and eventually, the medicine cabinet. Once HD gets one in stock that isn’t water damaged. If you’re looking for me on August 7, that’s likely where I’ll be…the date they’re supposed to get a shipment. After the vanity is installed, I’ll bust the tile out of the garage, and actually make some visible progress.

One Wednesday we have a contractor (FINALLY!) coming to the house to install the french doors. Hopefully mentioning that fact here won’t jinx the plan, and the guys will show up on time, complete the job on time, and not leave a gaping hole in my house.

Elle & Zed come back on Wednesday too. I’ve been missing them a lot. Thankfully the time seems to have gone by quickly. Nick and I have had some peace and quiet though, and we’ve been able to go to a couple of movies too. This weekend we saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I liked it of course. They’re really showing Harry take charge and showing the fact that he’s truly growing up.

Pop’s doing really well too. He had cataract surgery two weeks ago. His next follow up appointment is next week, and he’s happy that his vision is finally improving. It’s clear for the first time in a long time. Not a lot they can do about the fact that it’s an 86 year old eye behind there, but he’s pleased with the results. He’s had an offer on his house, which really puts the pressure on us to get things finished up around here.

Oh, and if you guys haven’t seen the video for the new Brad Paisley song “Online” you need to go check it out. It’s so funny! And I think I’m going to have to adopt Blake Shelton’s “The More I Drink” as my personal theme song. Kidding. Sort of. Mmmm. Martinis. And doesn’t Mr. Shelton just have the cutest dimples and blue eyes? I wonder if he’s single…my sister needs a good Country Boy.

July 19, 2007

Bless the Dry Martini

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Family & Friends,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 9:06 pm

Stress is an ever-present factor in my life. Always has been. Always will be I’m sure. I can wish for the carefree days, but just when it seems they’re around the corner, something else will pop up for me to worry about, take care of, or whatever. Today was no exception. New worry added to the list. I’m amazed I don’t have any grey hairs or stomach-eating ulcers.

So, when I got the opportunity to go to a going-away happy hour (someone else is going away, not me) I got to enjoy a nice dry Absolut martini with extra olives. Mmmmm. Good. Then I went to dinner the lovely project manager that I’ve been working with on my recent project. I spent a little too much on my dinner, but it was a good conversation, good food, and great dessert. It was nice to relax and have adult chat time. I’ve had a few ‘Calgon, take me away’ moments lately, but I don’t particularly enjoy baths, so bathing plump green olives in dry vodka is particularly enticing to me.

Tomorrow is Friday, and I will leave work early so as to get my kiddos from their dad. Elle has soccer practice, and then I’m taking both kids to a Harry Potter launch party at the bookstore from which we pre-ordered the 7th and final book. Zed has read them all. I couldn’t get past Chapter 3 of the first book. I figure since we’re on the 5th movie it’s a little too late to go back to catch up. We’ll get the book at midnight and then head home. Elle has a soccer game at 9:06 am Saturday. *Yawn* I’m already tired. But the kids and I will have fun at the party.

What are your weekend plans? How Harry-hip are you?

July 18, 2007

I haven’t felt this way in some time

Filed under: Family & Friends — by InterstellarLass @ 8:52 pm

Not since I came home to find half my furniture and my (ex)husband gone. As I was then, I am so angry right now. I think at one point my head lept off my shoulders, spun around and fire came out of my eyeballs. And then I cried.

Everything is OK, for now. Someone close to me is having to go through some things right now that are completely unfair and completely unfounded. Evidently up until today things were not going very well. In fact, things could have gone very, very, very badly. And it’s not over. He has a fight ahead of him. Hopefully it will all come out right and for the best.

I know there are bad people in this world. And then there are people that are just plain evil. And that’s what we’ve encountered. Plain evil. It’s wrong for me to wish bad things on someone else. Bad for my karma. Not right in general. But at this point I can’t help it. I try believe that all people have some positive, redeeming qualities. But in this case I don’t see any. 

July 13, 2007

Just call me Princess Vivian

Filed under: Interstellar Casa,Rants & Opinions — by InterstellarLass @ 10:14 am

Wow. Being a contractor just must be the life. Work when you want. Show up when you want. Or not at all. These guys must be raking it in so much so that they can afford to just not show up for jobs, blow off estimate appointments, and just plain not call you back.

What happened to common decency? Not wasting someone’s time? Calling when you are going to be late? Letting someone know that you need to reschedule? One hour late is NOT on time. You say you’re going to be somewhere at an appointed time then you should be there. And if you know that you’re going to be late – a clue…you’re 30 minutes from where you need to be and not ready to leave yet and it’s say, 30 minutes before the appointment time: YOU’RE GOING TO BE LATE – then you need to pick up the damn phone.

I’m amazed at how people run their businesses. And I use the term business in the loosest sense of the word. They treat it more like a paid hobby.

I feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. I have money to spend and people won’t help me! You get paid by the hour right? I have work to do for which I will pay you with money. But you obviously don’t want my money. And Angie’s List isn’t any help. I’ve called contractors with A ratings, and they’re just as likely to offend as the guy from Craigs List or the guy from the flyer in the coupon mailer. Jerks.

Anyone know how to rip out a sliding glass door, reframe and install French Doors? I’ve got the money. Seriously. Just call me. I’ll even buy you beer when you’re done. Just please…call!

July 10, 2007

Ow, Ow, Ow…

Filed under: Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 9:51 pm

Monday I had a root canal redone. Ow. My bottom lip was completely numb, and I was numb from my hairline to halfway down my neck, and all the way to my ear. It didn’t hurt then. Monday night wasn’t too bad. Tuesday morning I woke up with my jaw throbbing. Ouch. The 800mg ibuprofen didn’t hardly touch the pain all day. I have to go back in two weeks to finish the fill. I hope it stops hurting before then.

The kids have been gone for 11 days. I’m missing them bunches. I’ve seen them both briefly a couple of times. Thursday I get them for dinner and to spend the night. Can’t wait!

I spent the evening filling out forms and writing letters for Pop’s change of address and change of direct deposit. Oh, and getting his email set up. Had to upgrade his Hotmail to Hotmail Plus so that I could set up the POP3 connection to Outlook Express. That was not an intuitive process. The upgrade I mean. Plus I think the service wasn’t working, because I went through the same process 3 times before it finally worked. At least Pop’s online now. It was cute watching him peck out emails with one finger. I mean, he has nine others, but seems only one works for typing.

It’s still raining. Just not as much. Rather we’re having brief but intense downbursts. Instead of raining all day, it’s raining really hard for 30 minutes to an hour. At least it’s saving me on my water bill.

Nick and I spent the 4th of July with our brand-new pole saw. We gave our backyard monster tree a major trimming, cutting off two major branches and clearing a lot of low-hanging stuff. In fact, we filled up our driveway and side yard with the trimmings. After spending 5+ hours cutting, lugging and clearing, we were too tired to finish cutting the pieces down to size. Boy were we surprised and happy when the city came and took it all off as-is! And when the first 4-man crew held up the oncoming 4-man crew, all 8 of them were hauling the stuff off. We were doing the happy dance inside as they drove off.

I didn’t get as many other projects going as I would have liked, but I think we’re well on our way to making progress. Nick finished sheetrocking our shower. Well, mostly finished. He has a few trim pieces to put up before I can really start tiling, but he’s 95% finished.

The Vicodin I took 20 minutes ago still hasn’t kicked in enough. Hurry hurry, please. It hurrrrts. I’m whining. Yes I am.

July 5, 2007

You said your favorite color was blue

Filed under: It's Me, Lass,Mr. Wonderful — by InterstellarLass @ 7:40 pm

So I wore a blue skirt, blue earrings and a blue ankle bracelet. I had exactly one hour. You know, just to be safe.

You were already there, and I was even a few minutes early. Punctuality is good.

I spotted you after just a few moments of scaning the room. You were looking at the display on the back wall.  And scratching your head.

I walked toward you. You turned around. And saw me.

You smiled a goofy smile and waved with the hand scratching your head. It was a little goofy looking. But then again, I’d already seen you hanging out of the tree.

“Want some coffee?” you asked. “Sounds good.” and convenient, since we’re in a coffee shop.

We talked. A lot. You made me laugh. You were real. Sweet. Sincere. I could tell you had a big heart.

At the end, you asked me for another date. I said yes. I’ve never regretted it since.

I love you baby.

July 2, 2007

It’s Quiet…Too Quiet

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass,Texas Life — by InterstellarLass @ 11:39 pm

Yesterday, being the 1st of July, means that it’s going to be rather quiet around here for a bit. Elle & Zed have gone to their dad’s for the month. I won’t see them for a week Thursday at the earliest. I made a schedule for the Ex with Zed’s timekeeper duties and Elle’s practices and games. I hope he manages to stick to it remember it. The kids are pretty smart though. They’ll remind him.

Nick and I both work tomorrow, then we’re off for the rest of the week. It’ll be a good five days to get things done around here. It’s actually a bit like deja vu. Last July we re-did both of the kids’ rooms while they were gone, and painted the front room. This July, we’ll paint bathrooms, Elle’s room (while we love it, we’re not sure buyers will like the sea-green and pink stripe), the living room, possibly the kitchen, install French Doors, and take down the ugly 70’s wood paneling and put up beadboard. And that’s the short list.

We’ve been looking at houses. There are quite a few that are potential candidates that would work for us. Only one is in our school zone where neither kid would have to switch schools. We’ve looked at a few areas outside of our city, but in the one area we looked this weekend, NONE of the houses had yards. What do builders have against grass? And there was one house in this really strange neighborhood. The street seemed normal, but then off the street there were five little mini-cul-de-sacs on each side of the street. On each of the mini-cul-de-sacs were six houses, crammed wall to wall and door to door. In my cross-over SUV, I felt like a giant driving down the streets of Safety Town. I’m not too keen on my next door neighbor being able to watch me eat breakfast from their own kitchen. There were a couple of homes that didn’t immediately get flushed, so we’ll see.

We had thought that Pop’s house would be sold by now. The neighbor was going to buy it. But, as they say, no good deed goes unpunished. We were going to sell waaay under-market and at a reduced realtor commission. But they held out and stalled and we couldn’t figure out why. Turns out the neighbor didn’t qualify, and he was stalling to a) get his brother to buy the house and b) to start work on the house before even buying it so as to not have a mortgage to pay and have the ability to turn it around more quickly on their own and resell it. Pop has been sending this neighbor money each month to compensate him for looking after the house and watering the lawn. Turns out he hasn’t been watering the lawn at all, and when the realtor went by to confiscate the neighbor’s key, the thermostat at Pop’s house was set on 50 and the AC was running full blast. Explains how his electric bill was so high last month – higher than when he ever lived there. So, now the house is listed for a fair market value and if the neighbor’s brother is still interested, he’ll have to pay the same price as the general public. A complete waste of three weeks worth of our time.

I hope you all have a great Fourth. I doubt we’ll have fireworks here, and if we do, they’ll be scattered and abbreviated. Rather like the thunderstorms forecast from now until next Tuesday. My yard is no longer draining. The ground is saturated. So far we haven’t been affected by any flooding. But a few more days of rain and a heavy deluge may just do us in. Nothing is able to dry out, and so our plans for Shakespeare in the Park aren’t sounding too appealing. Unless you like a wet butt and sinking your lawn chair into the muck. I think I’ll opt for a dry spot indoors somewhere.

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