Today I handed in my keys to my old apartment. You may remember that I had issues with the apartment management. I still do. I have HUGE issues....but it doesn't matter at this point because it's OVER. I will never ever ever (hopefully) live in another apartment and never have to deal with this again. But just to fill you all in on the story: I did end up calling the management company, who took FOREVER to get back to me and when we finally did touch base, it was for her to tell me that no matter how good of a tenant I have been for five years, it would really set the tone for them to be asked to let others out of their lease, blahblah, sorry, can't help you.
Great, whatever. So I paid for the last month at the apartment and didn't live there. Great, whatever. I did feel free to take all the garbage from my new house over to the apartment complex to offset a little of the cost, though I was told I'm not allowed to put anything in the dumpster that wasn't created or came from living in the apartment. Whatever. I just saved myself $30.
We did the walk through today and the mean manager pointed out the stupid little things, like there's no light bulb in the storage unit. There never was, I said, but then she starts flipping papers and says, well, it wasn't noted here, so I have to charge you for it. WHATEVER.
After we had finished cleaning and pulling out the very last of the stuff last night, I told Andrew to give a wave goodbye to the place where we spent the last five years, and he held up his middle finger. I didn't feel bad (okay, I laughed). I did the same today as I drove away. I hope I never ever ever have to see the mean lady or her smelly maintenance guy again (though granted, he was really nice).
My housewarming party is coming up!!! Feel free to check out my gift registry and buy up as much as you can before the party!!! I'm registered at Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Search for Kaylen. Last name Miller. Go ahead, try it!!! I'll print out your picture from your blog and make sure all the real life party guests know that you are one of my biggest fans! Go ahead. I'll wait....
Back? Okay, great, on with random stuff.
If you came across an older blue vacuum in a parking lot of a local grocery store today, it may or may not have been left there by me. If I am arrested anytime soon, you can suspect this is the reason.
Tonight is my big art project night!!! That sounds really big and exciting, but really it's just me, a bunch of paint and some canvasses. I might have pictures to share. Unless it turns out horrible, which is VERY possible.
Cereal is way too expensive. But there was some mostly-sugar-cereal on sale for $2.50 and while in the aisle, a nice lady came along and offered me some of her $1.00 off coupons which were expiring. So I got cereal for the price that it should be in real life before the company decided to over-inflate the price!
I won about 5 times in a row at bingo...and then lost twice in a row. The winning streak is over. Sad. We're going back Friday afternoon so we'll see if it was just a temporary winning streak or if it was a temporary losing streak. I like to think I'm a winner on hiatus.
And I emphasize the P there...cause I don't think that guy really ever had any peace. Well, maybe about a 5 month period when he first became famous at what, age 7? I bet that was really exciting and probably the most peaceful time in his life.
I've managed to avoid almost all of the media blitz covering his death, but I caught about 20 minutes of an NBC special called Living With Michael Jackson and I hate to be the one to tell ya'll, but that man was Effed Up. Capital E and Capital U.
Perhaps he was schizophrenic, or just manic, or bipolar...not really sure. He was just a mess.
He was adamant that the only surgery he had was on his nose.
He loves his fans so much that he wanted to share his baby with him and dangled him over a hotel balcony. I know we have all done some stupid things with our babies, but having the potential of them plummeting to their death from 6 stories up....nope, never done that one.
He was a GREAT artist, he was an amazing dancer, he really was one of the best musical artists of our time.
HOWEVER, he was not a sane human being.
I suspect that certain other artists might be like this some day...maybe um...Britney? Or Miley? This is their potential future....
I haven't liked his music for a long time, but I am so glad that we all have such great memories of him. Remember how great the anticipation was for the Thriller video? And how everyone competed to learn the song and dance first? And how certain people were maybe a little scared-I wasn't!!!! It was ...Amy or someone in my friend group! It wasn't me! And remember that one year when we all somewhat eventually questioned whether Michael and Janet were the same person? That was fun. Remember when his hair caught fire in that Pepsi commercial? That seems so unreal to me, but I remember watching it over and over-it was crazy. I think that same week was when they said he died from breakdancing. Wait, was that Michael? Yes, it sounds like Michael. Remember how we all accepted the highwater black jeans with white socks and black shoes - we forgave him that because he really worked those white socks.
Anyway, he was good times, for a good time.
But then he really wasn't. And then it turns out he really wasn't good for a good amount of time. It was a sad story. I'm glad there was some happy parts to it and I'm glad I lived through the era of the King of Pop. It was a good time.
I'm not broken-hearted over it though.
I hope you are all good too.
Hot and sunny days to me mean that my allergies are going to act up, I'm going to be miserable and I'm going to be sleepy.
Summer nights are pretty great though. Last night, I had 5 friends over and we sat on the deck in my new patio set and played Outburst. The night was beautiful. Summer days over 85 though--not so great.
My house is messy for the first time since I moved in. I had every intent to clean it after the afternoon bingo session today but instead I laid down on my new over-sized chair (over-sized, as in the size of a small couch) and promptly fell asleep. I must go clean it before the New House Patrol comes by and gives me a ticket for being ungrateful in not taking care of my beloved new space.
Hearing him cry makes me sad. But he's not one to be trusted to be set free just yet. The other cat, Ginger, is much more mature and I think if she was startled or if we saw danger lurking around her, we could yell or make a noise and she would run for the safety of the indoors. We suspect if it was Whiskers and we needed to yell or make noise to scare him back inside, he might just take off or run in circles or climb a tree or something. He's not very smart. I love his cry, it's original, but it makes me sad:
I got a package in the mail from Nature Valley!! I signed up for some blogger thing to get samples and I got four full-size bags of yummy nut goodness! More on this later.
Since moving, we've been cooking more. I have a few recipe books and we're selecting some to try out. The other day was meatless lasagna:
The strawberries are coming in!! They are super-juicy. They are small sized but wonderful and yummy. Really, they are WAY better than the ones I've been paying for at the store. We have a lot, so Andrew has been picking a handful a day and then we eat them slow and marvel at how great they taste. I just wish I had raspberries to go with them. Maybe next year...
Thanks to my stupendous bingo winnings this month ($360!!!), we were able to buy a new bbq. We've had this little one for the last four years and loved it and used it as much as we could, but when you have company over for a bbq, it's not really kosher to have people eat in shifts because you can only fit so much on your grill at a time. I love this pic, it makes the old bbq (um, on the right, duh) seem like a child's toy. And people say bingo is a waste of time!!! We will be testing our new bbq out with some delicious boneless skinless chicken breasts in about 2 hours. Can not wait!
I'm sad about Jon and Kate getting divorced. Not surprised, but sad. I just watched the 5th birthday party show and it was traumatizing. The parents don't talk to each other. Very sad. Also sad is that people showed up with six presents...ugh, I would just hope that my son wasn't friends with a family of sextuplets. One of the little girls (maybe two, I can't tell if I'm looking at the same girl) reminds me exactly of this 4-yr old I used to teach in Korea. I loved her, she was my little buddy. And now she's part of the J&K+8 mess. Sad.
I just finished the second book by Jennifer Lauck, Still Waters. It's REALLY good. I can't recommend her enough. She's just a great writer and the story is amazing.
Is there anything better than a tall glass of cold water right before bed? Is there anything worse than waking up at 4am with a full bladder?
I have a hummingbird feeder that keeps going down in liquid, but I have yet to see anything humming around it...
I am crafty. I am creative. I am crafty and creative....however, I am not really artistic. I can't really draw anything. We all have our limitations, I know mine is being artistic. However, for some reason, I believed it would be possible for me to create some work of art involving paint and canvasses. I suspect it will turn out like a 4th grade art project, but I'm a positive thinker and I saw a picture of some art I want and so of course I rushed out and bought the materials needed to recreate this. I'll keep you posted on how this turns out. If all else fails, I can just say my son made them in 4th grade, right? That's a bonus of being a parent. Someone to blame things on.
I forgot that Julia Roberts was in Satisfaction with Justine Bateman. What a classic movie. I don't know why it wasn't a bigger hit than it was. I wonder if Julia and Justine stay in touch. Liam Neeson was in it too---apparently he said he did the film because he would get to be on the beach with pretty girls. Funny. Liam and Justine make out in the movie. I wonder if they stay in touch. I like the song Talk to Me. It's actually in the songs that I loaded on my cellphone.
If I have a bowl of fruit loops in the morning, sometimes about 11am, I start to shake and get really sweaty. What does this mean?
Summer vacation has started. So far, Andrew's schedule seems to go like this: stay up really late, wake up really early, play computer games on his laptop in bed. Go back to sleep about 1030ish. Wake up around 1 or 2. Play more games. Take a shower. Play guitar. Eat dinner. Snack all night. Repeat. Hopefully he'll get a job soon and this will change.
Have you seen Weeds? I just watched the first season on dvd and it's pretty entertaining! Check it out! It's def not for children, so make sure you are free from little ears.
As I was coming home yesterday, I saw something looking odd on the side of the house…and sure enough---I have a new pole!!!
I never saw or heard anyone around the house.
It’s a mystery, yeah?
Along those lines…if my mystery person wants to do anymore secret work for me, I have a rotted board in my deck that needs replacing and then I need to seal the whole deck. I’ll leave the sealant outside. Have at it.
And thanks to my mystery handy person!!!
Guess who got promoted?
The girl with all the luck!!!
It’s so surreal to me because I literally worked at a job just 3.5 yrs ago where I would bring in a movie and watch it half-screen while I taught myself how to use a particular database (I still heart you Filemaker) and waited for someone to let me do real work. I worked for a manager who seriously felt the need to tell me to fold the letters before I put them in a standard envelope (um, the paper doesn’t fit if it’s not folded…I’m not sure what she thought I would do if I did not fold them). One of the other ladies I worked for asked me to do a large mailing for her one time, with personalized letters and envelope labels. She stressed it was very important that I verify each name on the letter matches the names on the label. Really…why would I not verify the letter addressed to Dr. Littleton is going in the envelope attached to Dr. Littleton? Oh…cause I have small mental capabilities. Another of my managers would get mad for not making the meetings that I added to his calendar because he rarely checked his calendar to see what he had going on, though he insisted that I be the one to maintain it. One month, after he had lost his smart phone for the second time, he decided he needed something bigger—so he bought a large wall calendar, the 3 ft x 2 ft size, and every morning he handwrote what was on his outlook calendar onto the paper one. This was great fun if there were changes throughout the day (which is common). And it was even more fun to see him carry the 3x2 calendar under his arm from meeting to meeting.
Then for a short 18 months, I worked in a place with more normal people who entrusted me to know how to mail a letter properly without directions. It was a great job.
And then one day, I got a call from a recruiter at my current company. It was almost like magic how it all worked out. I happened to have taken the afternoon off. If not, I would not have answered the phone and the recruiter would have left a message, which I would have ignored. I had applied at this company 2 yrs before this day and didn’t get a position I had really wanted, but then I got my current job, which I really liked….so a message from a recruiter-bleh, no thanks.
But I was home. And I answered. And she convinced me to take a look at the job description and not just look at it, but can she call me back in an hour and talk further about it. I humored her a little and said, yes, yes, fine, just call me back and then I made myself go to the computer and review this job that I didn’t need. I knew I liked the company and it is just 7 miles down the road from where we live, so when she called back, I told her I would be happy to interview, but I already found a new job that I like…she was happy to set me up with an interview two days later and from there it was all a blur. I had a job offer with flowers and wine within a week and I gave notice soon after and within 3 wks of that phone call, I was packing my desk and saying goodbye to my 50 minute commute, the arrogant doctors (I worked at a hospital), the weird new manager I had just gotten, the really incompetent manager above my manager, the “friend” I had who stopped talking to me over a little jealousy tiff, and a large handful of people who I really, really enjoyed talking to and seeing every day.
And less than a year later, I’m promoted to a new position on a new team where I fit in so much better than any of my last 3 jobs.
Congratulations to me!
Isn’t this proof that things happen for a reason? That good things happen to those who do good things? That karma is real and true? I have suffered, I have persevered, I have done a LOT of volunteering and I have done a lot of caring about other people---and look where I am.
And I suppose my love for data analysis and quick ability to learn new databases helped too.
Welcome to Random Tuesday!
There was a commercial on in the background as I was chewing something not-normally-a-breakfast food and I wasn't looking or paying attention and what I heard was, "I am so confident that my child is white. Nothing can stop me!"
....it was actually a commercial for some tooth whitener and she really said "smile"-not child.
I bought a theracane! It's wonderful for those of us who have muscles that knot up or aches and pains that feel better after someone sticks their elbow about two inches into your skin. I've wanted one of these for about three years now and I finally broke down and bought it.
It's really great--I bought it because the TMJ in my left jaw causes the muscle that runs along my left shoulder is always really taut and can be very painful. Trigger point therapy helps release that tight muscle and this nice little tool totally helps free me from pain!
The UPS man dropped it off approximately 14 minutes ago and the last 10 minutes have been very explorative. You can use this for any spot!! I can reach almost any spot on my back with it. And then you sit down and use it on your feet and it's like a personal massage!! And it doesn't take a lot of effort on your part to make it feel good!
Wow---look at my infomercial Tuesday....blahblah theracane blahblah.
School is finally out on Thursday. We had a full extra week thanks to the big snowstorm this year. As a parent, I hate summer. I hate having my son be at home all day with nothing structured about his days. I hate having to figure out what to do with him and what he's going to eat and whether he will keep me up all night (there's no bedtime in summer for teens!). Why can't we just have year-round school?? WHY???? Does anyone benefit from this large summer break? No. They don't.
We got a new barbecue this week-it's awesome.
Andrew's cat threw up on my carpet. I want to test out my new bbq and make some yummy cat steak. (kidding of course!!)
Two squirrels had a rendezvous in my backyard this morning. I felt like I should close the curtains and give them some privacy. I turned on a little Barry White for them. It was like a made-for-tv movie in my backyard.
Two things I'm in need of for the new house: crowbar and a leaf blower. There are constantly leaf and tree bits being pushed into the entryway leading up to the house. I have a board on my deck that was soggy and is now split. I have to replace it....but apparently you need a crowbar to do this type of project. I think the teen would like to rip boards out of the deck with a big metal bar. And then I think I have to treat the whole deck so other boards don't meet this unfortunate demise. At what point do I get to rest and relax in my new house?? Oh....in about 4 years? Okay, great. It's on my calendar.
Loretta Lynn made a guest appearance on Roseanne. How did this happen??? I used to watch Roseanne when it was new and I was young (and stupid). Now when I pass by the Oxygen channel and it's on, I cringe everytime. Roseanne just really yells all the time. Her voice is like nails on a chalkboard. She just YELLS. Why was this ever allowed to be on tv for more than one season? It's really horrible. And she's R.U.D.E.
And then a little bit more painting.
Remember how much fun art class was in elementary school? Well that's the last time painting will ever be fun people. Cause painting is really just work. Hard work. Like beads of sweat on your brow work. Enclosed in a small room with strong fumes work.
Luckily, my teen was not adverse to work this day and actually did the bulk of the painting, which was helpful since he has big long strong monkey arms and I do not, nor do I have a ladder.
The previous room color was sunshiny day yellow and the colors around the window/doors were random rainbow brite colors.
Andrew picked out a nice gray color for the walls and a dark gray for the borders, however, when I ordered the paint, I
However, as the paint dried and as we looked at it further, it really was more shiny gray than purple and the young one gave his nod of approval.
Here are the exciting action shots of the painting:
We had planned to paint a two-three foot border across the bottom to make the room appear bigger (it's a small room). But as teenagers do, Andrew changed his mind. I gave him 24 hours to come up with a new idea, but as teenagers do, he put it off and came up with nothing. I offered my suggestion and he surprisingly liked it without any coaxing/convincing/bribing.
So we taped and taped and then painted some more to come up with this: (and we free handed the taping on this so be impressed with how straight it is!!)
However, when we took the tape off (official blue painters tape!), the paint had leaked underneath and the lines weren't nice and neat at all, though it kinda looks like that in the pics above....so I had to do what any good mom/house-owner would do..
We are painting this week!! Just in the teen's room, it's the only one we really needed to get done right away. We did the first color this weekend and last night we taped off this striped design pattern. The original color was a bright sunshiny-yellow with bright colors as the trim: blue, purple, green. So it is now a silvery-gray-purple and will have a 2 ft stripe with a dark color, like a deep gray, which may be black cause I'm painting over the silvery-gray-purple and over the bright trim colors. I'm not really sure if this will work...we'll see. I might need to paint in white on the trim first. Pictures coming soon.
The grass in my new backyard grows about twice as fast as the grass in the front. Maybe on a side note, I need to investigate my sprinkler system because I can't tell that my strawberry garden gets ANY water, though the plants are growing like mad. There are a few spots in my landscaping that appear to be not as healthy as when I moved in.
I am cat-sitting for a friend. I am a big cat person, but these cats want nothing to do with me. They just stare at me. They don't want me to pet them (one of them hisses when I do) and they don't want to play. These cats are the reason dog people hate cats.
Tonight we are setting the treadmill back up. It's been out of commission since the move. I'm not sure why, but when we moved it, my wonderful moving friends laid it down in a weird way-not in a way that would be easy for one-person to set it back up. I should have had them move it right into the right spot, as it is about 9000 pounds and I'm not completely sure how we are going to get it in it's final resting place.
I called the leasing company for my old apartment and the manager there confirmed that there will definitely be no breaking of the lease or negotiating on my last month with them. She said it's just not possible and they would be setting a precedence to break leases in the future. Fine, whatever. Five years of being a great tenant means nothing. The "we care about our residents" slogan doesn't really hold true. It's 30 days, not 300. They could have at least offered to split the month... whatever. I am much happier than them, so that makes me feel better!!
As I drive through the neighborhood, I'm always keeping an eye out to see what other people are doing outside, just to see if there's something I might need to do outside at my house. So far, I've gained no new knowledge. I keep feeling like I am missing something....as I really don't feel like I know everything I should about owning a home.
I keep wondering if I'm using excess electricity by closing my garage door every time I have to go somewhere. Like, if I'm leaving for just 20 minutes, maybe I should leave the door open to save the power. I don't really need to park in there all the time anyway...I've only used my front door twice. It's a nice door, I should use it more.
I have a craving for peanuts, salted in the shell. But my wrist really hurts and I don't like the idea of having to crack them. And I don't like them if I don't directly crack them from the shell myself.
I have always always always cut the watermelon the traditional way: Cut it in half and then cut off moon-slices to eat off your plate or to break in half and eat right off the rind.
This leads to a TON of juice everywhere, your clothes, the counter, your face, etc. And then when you wrap it in foil and put it in the fridge, the next time you pull it out, it’s filled with juices, that again, spill everywhere.
And this is why I have a love-hate relationship with watermelon.
Becky said: Cut off the ends. Stand the watermelon up on one of the ends (which is now flat). Cut down the sides of the watermelon, all the way around.
Wah-lah!!! You’re left with a wonderful rectangle of about 92% of the watermelon in one piece with almost no juice spilling about! You can cut into whatever size pieces you want and store in a container. EASY.
AND, if you are like my son, you will see the wonderful rectangle of watermelon and feel the need to be creative.
Wow, I am OLD. How do I know: sitting on the floor now hurts my back. I remember in the old days, I could just sit on the floor and have no problem, but now I have to limit my floor-sitting to less than an hour or I am REALLY aching. It's ridiculous.
Now I can add bad back to the long list of problems I have:
- Tendinitis, mostly in the right wrist.
- Overweight, mostly all over, but not really in my fingers.
- TMD/TMJ, my jaw is a slow achy pain always in the background but I mostly feel this in the muscle that runs across my shoulder to my jaw. It's very taut/tight and painful. Massages help, but only temporarily.
- Bad back, probably related to the weight, but also because I'm old. OLD.
- I think I have plantar fascitis on my left foot. It hurts when I first start walking in the morning.
Okay, enough about health stuff...let's talk a little about me.
I have been looking everywhere for a loveseat and chair for my living room. I found the perfect one at Lazyboy, but it's $2000 for two pieces-on sale. What kind of sale is that? Not a good enough one. So I have gone to many stores, searched far and wide. I found one on Sunday that I really liked. Not loved, but really liked and the two pieces were only $850 total, with delivery. Great, after sitting in a million chairs and wandering the same aisles of couches for an hour, FOUND one that works. Saleslady comes back, goes to place the order and finds-they don't have any in stock. Of course they don't. That's how my luck goes. It takes 6-8 weeks for them to order it. Sigh. I can't wait two months for furniture I don't LOVE. I think I can find one in stock elsewhere. Or can I? Cause I've looked at SO many stores.
When I was in this house on four different occasions before it became mine, there were two hummingbirds fluttering around right outside the big kitchen window. The seller of the house left the feeder and I have put in some yummy hummingbird feeder and the bratty wanna-be birds have not shown their little blurry faces at all!! I'm very irritated with them.I won at bingo on Saturday night!!! I paid $12 to play for 3.5 hrs and won $150. As my genius son explained it, you can't count the $12 as an expense though because I was hanging out and chit-chatting the whole time with my friend and the $12 was really an entertainment expense. True! It's cheaper than the movies AND I walked away with $135.00 in my pocket. We have a bingo rule that we give 10% to our friends, so Nancy got $15.00. It's a good rule, then we are all winners and don't have to be bitter at our friends when they win. It only applies over $100.00 though, cause winning $80 is not really enough to give up any.
I bought a topsy turvey to grow tomatoes but forgot to pick up the dirt. Oops.
I am really excited about the Cherry Dr. Pepper I am going to have for lunch! Tori said it's not really that great, but I'm hoping I really love it because it is like combining two of my favorite drinks.
I have a big report I'm working on...it's a hard one and a little intimidating. I think it's going well, but I feel like it's taking much longer than I thought it would.
We're going to paint the kids room a gray color called Misty Travels, with a bit of a color called Rabelais' Song, which is a deep gray. Who names these things???? It's absurd.
I have this habit of looking in other peoples garages as I drive by...I don't go *near* them or anything creepy, I just make it a point to drive by slower than normal if someones garage is open. I don't know when this started-at least six months ago, maybe more like a year. I just like to see how messy/cluttered/clean/empty people keep their garage. The people across the street hardly have anything at all, whereas the family on the corner can't even fit a car in their 2-car garage-it's so packed with tons of stuff. Mine is a bit cluttered, but I just moved so I have an excuse. 1/5 of my clutter is empty boxes to be recycled (via craigslist I guess) and they should be gone within the week.
My girl cat tends to wander around the couch-less room and cry real sad-like. I think she wants a lazy-boy recliner too.
The "celebrities" are absurd humans who are not really famous so much as just loud and ridiculous. Two of them are characters from the scripted reality show, "the Hills," which I find to be one of the worst shows ever. EVER. I won't mention their names because they make me want to vomit. In the first ten minutes, the male fake reality guy declared that being with the people on this show devalues his fame. His fame...of being on a fake reality show. Then ten minutes later, the fake reality girl fake cries because her dry hair shampoo was "vandalized" when someone tore her name tag off the bottle. Then the next ten minutes, the fake girl and boy had a fake outburst where the fake boy yelled fake things and the fake girl wiped away fake tears and told us all about how the others were so horrible and mean for being so offensive and vandalizing her hair product. I can not stand these people.
These are my least favorite people in the entire show...maybe the world. And that's saying a lot cause Daniel Baldwin AND Janice Dickinson are on the same show, and they have nothing positive to be said about them.
The rest of the people...no one I know. Some comedian ladies who I have seen briefly on VH1 and I guess they are funny. I like that they work so well together, they are at least tolerable to listen to.
Sanjaya is on the show, but I have no idea what his deal is. He barely talks and he seems like he might be fairly normal.
Oh--Lou Diamond Phillips is on it!! I watched an entire hour and I think he was shown once.
The producers of this show felt like it would be such a success that it's actually scheduled to be on FOUR days a week. Oy...this seems about 3.5 days too long. Poor NBC. This is what they have come up with for entertaining us in the off-season? For those of you watching the Bachelorette tonight-good choice, my friends, good choice.
Just to review: "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" - two thumbs down, fo sho.