Monday, October 29, 2007

Close to finishing!!

The living room is painted!

Okay, so that's a lie. But half of it is. And that half looks amazing.

There's something amazing about having a clean area to live in, not-white-walls, and floor space.

And today the couch arrived. At first, I wasn't liking the way the colors went together, but now (with the sun hitting it differently, perhaps), I like it just fine.

Clearly, we have to finish painting today. And cleaning. Yes, it would also be good to finish cleaning.

When the couch guy came with the couch, he flattered me with, "You
have such a little voice. I thought you were about five when you answered the phone."

Gee, thanks, buddy.

Then, the other guy says, "I bet it happens all the time."

And then the first guy says, "So people tell you all the time that you sound like your four, huh?" Doh.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Top Ten Best Ways to Stay Awake Driving

10. Daydream. This works until your daydreams start putting you to sleep. Sleeping while driving is bad.

9. Talk to yourself. Or sing. This works well, but you might feel dumb. Other drivers - with people in their car - might look at you funny.

8. Call people and force them to talk to you. This only works if people answer. You look less odd.

7. Splash water in your face. It feels amazing, and it wakes you up. Drinking water also wakes you up, especially cold water.

6. Ice cream. McDonalds, Dairy Queen, the bars from gas stations, anything will do. Instant sugar. It kinda wakes the body up because of the cold. It's a quick thing, though.

5. Coffee. Or espresso. Chug it! Or drink it slowly... savoring is best. Those buggers are expensive.

4. Apples. They have the sugar of coffee and ice cream, but they take longer for your body to digest because of the fiber, and they're healthy.

3. Cold air. Just turn on the air or roll the window down. The problem is when you get cold and wanna turn the heat on. That'll put you right back to sleep, I promise.

2. LOUD music. Combined with cold air and coffee or apples, this is amazing.

And number one is:

1. Imagine how satisfying it would be to punch/kick/beat up someone you're mad at... or detest. This works unless your forceful punches make you shake the car. And then the terror of going off the road wakes you up. You win both ways!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

What do you mean "No Connection Available?"

Sitting in Starbucks this morning, I had no connection (to the internet) for several minutes. Normally, that ticks me off (just ask Melody). Today, though, I was okay with it, and started going through my files for stories/articles that I could revise or finish.

I stumbled across one that made me laugh, mostly because I remember exactly how I felt. I called it "The Herding Mentality." It's a story about the first time I saw - as in saw in person, REALLY saw - the Eiffel Tower. It made me laugh because I'm a dork. And maybe it will make you laugh, too.

The Herding Mentality

Our first night in Paris, Sarah and I caught a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. I think we stared at it, open-mouthed, for five minutes, before either of us breathed. Maybe not quite so long. In any case, it stood, only miles away from us, lit up like gold. We both gasped when it began to sparkle.

That remains my image of the Eiffel Tower, lit up in gold, with bright blue sparkles dotting the length of it, while the spotlight spins around, illuminating the sky.

Days later, Sarah and I paid our respects to the Tower. We’d visited it during the day, but it wasn’t until early evening of our last day that we climbed it.

It was still quite light when we stood in line, but, to my disgust, the line barely crawled. We waited for the elevator. We waited on the next floor for the next elevator. To add insult to injury, while others wandered freely, we were forced to stand in a single-file line, waiting for the poky elevator.

And to my utter humiliation, in my disgust (I hate lines), I cried out to Sarah, “I feel like a sheep!”

I can still see the expression on Sarah’s face while she waited for me to register what I’d just said. I don’t recall if she laughed or not; she probably did. After a moment, in a vain attempt to (unsuccessfully) regain my dignity, I added, “Well I do!”

To my relief, the elevator door opened soon after. We climbed slo-o-owly up the Tower. And at the top, there we were, finally. Finally, at the top of the Eiffel Tower, the top of Paris… the world spread beneath our feet.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Power outage

The electricity went out last night. I love when that happens. For a lack of options, Melody and I lit almost all of the candles we could find in the house. It immediately made me want to write. There's just something about writing by candlelight that's so.... enticing. The candle's glow casts a spell over me that just makes me want to write... four hours if I could.

I think it has a similar effect on Melody. She pulled out my camera (her batteries were dead), and started taking pictures.

Maybe it's the aura. Or the silence. In this day and age, we so rarely have silence. There's the tv, or the radio, or car horns honking, or the sound of keys clicking away on a computer.

Last night, the sounds were... much more natural: the sound of the rain hitting the windows, or the sound of the distant thunder. The whisper of the wind through the trees, and the splash of the rain as the drops hit the tree's branches, or the sound of a puddle forming outside on the road.

Of course, there was the sound of my pen on the paper, and clicking of the camera, but I'm not sure those count.

And while I think Melody wanted the electricity to return (okay, I know she did), but I was thoroughly enjoying the relative novelty of the situation.

And then, my cell phone rang, thus breaking the spell.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Mess of Events

I should be working right now. Well, I am working right now... just taking a short break. I love working from home.

In any case, that's not exactly what I wanted to write about. Yesterday, after a nice date with Mike, I pulled a me. In other words, I managed to forget my house keys, and my car keys, leaving them in the house. What do I do? Well, there's not much TO do. I called Melody. Repeatedly.

Melody sleeps like the dead. I wanted to leave a message telling her that, but didn't. No point. I just called. Over and over and over. Mike kept telling me she left her phone downstairs or turned it off. I insisted he was wrong, and that it was near her. He right. I hate that.

At one point, I thought to myself that it was highly probable that I left the spare keys in the car. Neither Mike nor I know anything - ANYthing - about breaking into cars, but that's okay. My mom's car has one of those keycode things. So, while calling Melody, we tried that.

Problem? I haven't the slightest idea what the code could be, how many numbers it is, or anything else. We tried different combinations to no avail. Unless, of course, setting off the "thief" alert thing counts. Fortunately, it didn't beep, but if it had, that might have woken up Melody. And the rest of the neighborhood.

Then I had the bright idea to call my brother. Ken was the last one to live with my parents, he actually understands cars (comparatively speaking), he might know the code. Mike laughed at me because I kept changing between saying, "Please be awake" to "Please don't be on duty."

My poor little brother was sound asleep, "Wh...wha...what do you want?"
After a few minutes, I determined that he didn't know either. So, we tried calling Melody again. And then we tried Cheryl. A boy answered her phone. Friend's boyfriend. Hmph. She didn't know either and I suggested I call mom and dad. I felt horrible, but did it anyway. They didn't know, either. Of course not.

Mike and I each took a door and pounded on it, me in back, him in front. Evidently, that's what actually woke Melody, but I was unaware of that. I walked back in front and told Mike that I'd given up, and asked if he'd drive me to a hotel.

"Hon, you're not going to be able to find a hotel tonight. The Notre Dame game is tomorrow, and it's a home game. It's going to be booked. We'll get you in the house."

Seconds later, we saw Melody's outline behind the door. I was saved!

Thank you, Melody!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

fixed water? hah

Well, here are the latest pictures of our basement. Needless to say, the plumber did NOT fix the problem.

"Love Actually: Focus on Sarah

I know, I know... I over-watch this film, right? Well, this time it was destiny. As E News finished, I was looking for something else to watch, and what is on, but "Love Actually?" Amazing. Just amazing. And so I decided that the first character I saw would be today's focus. Which is why we're looking at Sarah.

Now, it's a good thing I know this movie so well, or this wouldn't be so good, now would it?

Sarah is a friendly, sweet girl, who can't seem to figure out relationships. She has a brother who is institutionalized for... who knows what. "He's ill," whatever that means.

At her friend's wedding, she confronts Mark, asking if he is in love with him. Good question... wrong person. I don't know if she gets the answer she's expecting or not, but the important thing is that she asked. She understood that Mark is clearly hurting, and so she asked the awkward question so should he want to talk about it, he could.

And then, there is the horribly awkward conversation with her boss, Harry. I don't know about you, but if my boss were to ask me how long I'd been in love with a coworker, I'd want to sink through the floor.

Sarah has a similar reaction, but for one thing: she answers the question. She is rather shocked when Harry then suggests that she ask him out, then "casually drop into the conversation that you'd like to have lots of sex and babies."
"You know that?"
"Yes, I know that. Everybody knows that. Even Karl." Poor girl. And then, she thanks him for his advice, still a little stunned and leaves - as in walks the man of her affections. Ouch...

I came in as Sarah was sitting at work, late, after hours, putting on makeup. Karl walks out, and tells her goodnight. And she repeats the kind words. I can only imagine that her boss's words came to mind... but whether she had any intention of following through with his suggestion, we'll never know, because her phone rang. Her brother. Again. As usual.

A "concerned" Harry asks about the matchmaking plan, but agrees when Sarah explains she's gone goose egg (chickened out), and it's a good thing, because he's too good for her. I think his reaction is more to encourage her to do it than to be truly cruel. But her phone rings while they're playfully hitting one another with pieces of paper. Her brother. Again. As usual.

Oh, and you have to love her. Karl asks her to dance at the company Christmas party and the girl completely chokes, "Who, me?" He starts to back off, and then she fixes it. Fortunately, Harry's wife, who she's been talking to, has the foresight to take her drink so she doesn't have to worry about it any longer.

As they step out on the dance floor, the song, originally a fun dance song, turns to a slow dance song. And they dance happily in one another's arms.

Karl drives her home, and then, after a few awkward moments and some passionate kissing, Sarah invites him in. We all know they intend to have sex. Just as Harry encouraged her.

Funny insert: Karl, who is incredibly handsome is standing in his underwear by her bed, and one of the first times I watched this, my then-roommate (Portuguese, Euridice) and I were discussing how I think men in tuxes were hot. She was non-commital, and then, in this scene she turns to me and said, "Yes. He's hot. You can know because in a tux anyone is hot. But in your underwear it's just you and your underwear." Well, there is that.

In any case, just as Karl and Sarah look like they might actually be getting somewhere... the phone rings. Now, I don't want to encourage them to have sex... but she knows who's calling!!! Don't answer the phone! For goodness sakes DON'T DO IT!

But Sarah must be a nicer person than I, because she answers the phone. And it's her brother. Of course. As usual. She's off quickly, and she's left with a hot almost-naked man in her bed. Now what? The phone rings. Again. Of course. And she answers it. And it's her brother. Again. Of course. And she tells her brother that she's not busy, and agrees to go to see him.

While Sarah's sitting, talking with her brother, I can only think about what she's given up for the brother who loves her, but is never going to fulfill her. And I can't help but feel sorry for her.

Later, Sarah and Karl have one last goodbye and Merry Christmas... and threw her tears, Sarah calls her brother.

This movie doesn't end with a predictably happy ending for Sarah. And I think that's one of the charms of this film. Not everyone gets a happy ending. "Love Actually" shows love in all of its forms... love unreturned, love unfinished, love broken, sweet love, patient love,,and love triumphant, too. And that's pretty cool.

(Off the subject: we have hot water!!!!)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

New Water Pictures

I meant to update much earlier, but my computer was running slowly... among other things.
In any case, here are the water pictures from this morning:

The good news is that I spoke with the home warranty people today and they're sending someone out tomorrow between noon and one!

Now, I'm smart enough to know that they'll probably not be here until... say 2, but there's always a chance that it'll happen, right?

Yeah, the water's pretty bad, now isn't it? I guess the idea is to NOT use the hot water until then.

I hate waiting.

And I really really hate not having hot water.

This is ridiculous.

Monday, October 8, 2007

More pics of the house

I hate Fed Ex, and from now on I will be using only UPS. More on that later, once I know the results of tonight's conversation.

In the meantime, I will honor my father's request for pictures of the house. Here are some pics posted a few days ago, and here are some from the day I bought the house.

The dagger I bought at RenFest

And then there are the latest pics.

my bedroom so far...

A peek into the guest bedroom

Bear in mind that the house is still a mess as we are in the middle of unpacking and have been hindered by our recent plumbing problems. Yes, there are basement pics, too.

Clearly, the washer and dryer

So, if anyone has any advice as per whom to hire, what to look at, or how to fix it, it would be worth it.

water in the basement

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

"Water, water, everywhere..."

The plumber came today! We had hot water!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I said had. Why "had" you ask? Well, "had" is because of the short-lived nature of our hot water. Melody and I returned from our coffee run tonight (yay coffee in Nappanee), and when we returned home, it was to the alarming sound of the basement's fire alarm. Oh yes. Hot water. Everywhere. "Water, water, everywhere, and all the boards did shrink. Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink."

We turned off the pipes. Of course, the basement's puddled, and moist and humid and, well, wet, and now, we no longer have hot water to the house. I called the plumber. If he'd come tonight: 140/hr and 75 for labor/driving out. I don't think so. However, he did confirm how to turn off things, and was soundly unhelpful. Needless to say: I'm not thrilled.

Thank you, Melody, for thinking of bringing out a nice, cold one. And thank you, Ryan, for teaching me how to chug beer. Even if I'm not going to. It's funny how something as nasty as beer can make you feel better. I was telling Mike the other day that Ice Cream does that... but somehow beer does, too.

To cheer me up, though, here's what one idiot customer said to me today. "Is your guys's layaway gone?" Just say that with a hick accent, and half your teeth missing, and you pretty much know what I was up against. Guys's. Erg. One more day. "One day more..."

Funny, in "That Seventies Show", Fezz has his shirt off - and he doesn't look half bad.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Wish List

Because my birthday was a few days ago and my parents (mom) and my sister keep asking, here's a short wish list:

1- Gas money so I can go visit Melissa!
2- Cool writing pens like these at Barnes and Noble that I always look at longingly
3- Shopping Spree!!!
4- Espresso Machine, need I say more?
5- Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich (I have 1-6, so say any 7-13)
6- Dave Duncan "A Man of His Word" Series, (includes "The Magic Casement", "Faerie Lands Forlorn", etc)
7- Anything by Patricia A McKillip
8- Cute Shoes!
9- Games: an extension pack to my Fairy Tale Game
10- Smallville Season 6
11- Scrubs Season 1 (well, any season, really, but one seems like the logical place to start)

Oh, and to my Euridice-roomie: it was good talking to you today! And as soon as I have pics I'll post them. Or email them to you.

Murphy's Law: If something can go wrong, it will

Melody chose to focus on the good things of our move... namely, how wonderful it is to live in something that's not a small, nearly non-existent town. Generally, she's a realist. Now, she's still a realist, even in this post, but she's chosen to be an optimistic realist.
I, on the other hand, am typically an optimist. I'm pretty sure I haven't the any optimism left in me. Here's why:

Borrowed my parents suv. It broke. It's been essentially out-of-commission since Friday.
My FORMER (hurray) apartment manager entered the apartment without letting me know he'd be in. That annoys me.
There's no hot water.
My computer cord was missing a piece. It was found. Then I left it in the locked car at the Ford place.
I missed three days of work. (Not too upsetting, honestly)
I worked most of Sunday night (since my computer cord made working Saturday impossible)
We had to stuff things into various vehicles several times. And still had to leave things downstairs, hoping they'll still be there
Still need to change our address.