Here is a picture of my boy-dog, Shiva. No reason. Just seemed like it was time. Isn’t he lovely? Such a Meathead, that Shiva of mine! Such a handsome boy. Now if he’d quit opening doors, breaking windows, chewing up socks, barking, and flailing all the time he’d be even handsomer!
I feel like I’ve been fairly busy lately, but whenever I want to blog I can’t think of much to say.
I got hired for another web gig; I’ll be building a site for Grand Orleans Hotel in Burlington, IA. I’ve already sent ’em my first invoice and am waiting on content – pictures and logo files and such – before I dig in. I was all ready to web my arse off last weekend but they hadn’t sent me enough to work with yet.
Friday I cleaned house like a machine. It was no more or less fun or rewarding than any domestic chore can be. The downside of cleaning house like a machine for me is that my house is vast and there is always something more to do, so no matter how much I do, I always feel like I should or could have done more.
A pet peeve of mine is to bust ass cleaning all day only to sit down after dinner and realize that the living room is dirty. Grr.
Last weekend Brett and I bit the bullet and cleaned the attic. It was basically full of shit – the dogs took to going up there a long time ago, and we didn’t notice it right away. Then the cat started using it. It was so disgusting neither of us could bear to attack it, but with the summer months upon us and the plastic divider half fallen down, we could begin to smell it. So up we went, armed with brooms and garbage cans and a mop bucket full of bleach. It was a nasty job, but we did it in the evening when it wasn’t too horribly hot up there and we just grit our teeth and busted through it.
Now it’s all cleaned and disinfected, and there’s a board over the stairs so no pets can get back up there. It’s really great to get a nasty job of one’s To Do list.
Saturday and much of Sunday I lounged on the couch and watched TV and knitted and took naps. It was wonderfully lazy. Brett didn’t do much either aside from mow the lawn.
Monday was errand day. I went to town and paid bills, did seven loads of laundry, bought household stuff from Walmart, bought groceries. It took me nine trips to unload the Jeep when I got home, and Shiva and Bindu had to be underfoot every single time I turned around. After I got everything in the house, I had to put it all away. Before I could put the food away, I had to throw old food out, but before I could do that I had to take out the garbage. I ruthlessly tossed anything older than strictly necessary out of both of the refrigerators and trundled the garbage out to the pile in the shed.
No matter how much I police, I’m always finding empty condiments and mouldy containers in my fridge! And then there’s always that half tomato in the bottom of the crisper, and the two bread bags with one heel each in them, and the ripped bag of lunch meat that Brett won’t eat and can’t seem to throw away either… and there’s always nasty shit rotting in the beer fridge. I don’t really know how it all gets in there, but I chucked it all into a big garbage bag yesterday.
The other fun problems of country living are humidity and mice. Humidity means that the granola inside an improperly closed tupperware container becomes like chewy, sweaty cardboard and has to be tossed. Humidity means that the salt turns into a brick and has to be sliced out of the container.
Mice mean that when I reached for the instant mashed potatoes the other evening (I use them for soup thickener), there was mouse turds in it. There were also mouse holes in two boxes of pasta.
In short, mice and humidity cause me to throw out a lot of food – it’s a waste of money. Generally I keep most things in glass jars or plastic containers, but some stuff is fine for a long time and I don’t bother. (Like the mashed potatoes. I’ve always kept a box of those, and never had any problems. Especially not in the summer!) So a good fridge and cupboard purge was just the ticket.
After the groceries were away, I had to put away the Walmart stuff, and then the laundry. Then I made dinner. Then Brett called from the shop where he and Joe were geeking on Joe’s bike. He said, “Did you already make dinner?”
I said, “Yep.”
Silence. Then: “Oh, well, then I’ll be home in a few.”
“Do you want me to bring you boys foodies, then? So you can nerd out on bikes some more?”
He thought that was the coolest thing ever, and asked me to bring his welder since I was coming, so I packed up sandwiches and stew and drove back to town to deliver them food.
They added a fender and fender struts to Joe’s bike and I sat in the Jeep and finished knitting a pair of wool slippers for Brett and then went home to do the picnic dishes.
I’d post newer pics of the transformation of Joe’s scooter but the flash died on my digital camera. This pissed me off to no end. I mean, I can still take pictures in broad daylight, but that’s about it. And since it was just a cheapo little $150 digi cam, I doubt it’s even fixable.
Since I’d bought a new shower curtain yesterday, when I got home I couldn’t stand the clean shiny curtain over my nasty dirty shower, so I cleaned it while Brett’s slippers felted in the washing machine. I didn’t really want to clean the bathroom last night, but the new shower curtain is clear and it just looked bad. Snort! I’m sure when I take a shower after work tonight that it will have been well worth it.
Since I spent so much time knitting lately, I accidentally did some knitting surfing this morning. I want a set of Boye Needle Master needles pretty awfully! I charged some yarn online this morning too – shh! Who woulda thunk I’d grow up to be a cheesy knitter?!
I’m sure other things have been going on more interesting than my housekeeping litany, but I can’t think of what they are, really. My life is a small place in my old age, really, populated with a small group of close friends and filled up with the endless toil of keeping house.
I’m reading the Sword of Shannara trilogy on my palmtop. It’s okay. I don’t hate it, but it’s not really rocking my boat too hard. It’s long, at least – that makes it fun! It’s nice to have a relationship with a book that lasts more than three days!
Oh, and last but not least, Brett and I will soon be uncle and aunt: Brett’s sister is pregnant, due in mid-December! I guess I’d better work a bit, then surf for cute layette knitting patterns. Snort!
Brett found he was having brake problems and had his truck taken apart when I got home last night. He told me he’d need a ride to work with me this morning.
When we got ready to leave this morning, Brett walked up the hill toward his truck. So, sleepy and trying to be helpful, I put the Jeep in reverse and backed up the driveway.
Brett has the crane and dump trucks parked pretty much in the middle of the driveway, so I had to veer off into the woods a bit to clear them. I hit a tree and knocked off my passenger side rear view mirror. The truck is old and the plastic is brittle and it just popped off, the damn thing. I felt like a dumb ass, and I figured I’d get mercilessly laughed at for my bad driving and juvenile mistake. How embarassing. Hitting a non-moving obstacle in my own damn driveway.
I manouvered the Jeep away from the tree and continued backing up, then got out to look at it. Brett approached and then – it was really weird – he proceeded to pretty much lose his fucking mind, wanting to know (in loud tones) why I’d do something so stupid.
I told him it was a mistake, an accident, and that I was sorry.
“That’s a hundred dollars right there to fix! What the hell were you fucking thinking! You’d usually never do anything that goddamned stupid!! Why didn’t you wait near the fucking house!!” He went on and on, hollering at me. He was totally fucking pissed off over a mirror when he breaks shit much worse than that for fun when he goes 4-wheeling!
He put the hanging mirror in through the wing window and got in the passenger’s seat, yelling at me all the while like I was some recalcitrant and expensive teenaged daughter, and I began to drive off the property. “Go the back way, so you don’t fucking hit something again!” he yelled.
So I pointed the Jeep at the back driveway and began my morning communte while Brett kept going off on me.
About twenty feet later I started going off right back at him. “Dude! What the hell is your problem! It was a mistake, an accident! Jesus, you break shit all the time yourself! I didn’t fucking mean it! It’s just a mirror!” Fifteen seconds after I started to dish his own shit back at him, he grabbed the shifter – while I was fucking driving! – and put the Jeep in neutral and yelled, “Stop, stop the fucking car right now!”
When I did, he got out of the Jeep and stomped off in a missive tizzy. He was smoking pissed off, and he’s told me before that when he gets that mad he walks away and shouldn’t be followed or he’ll end up hitting someone.
Well, screw that. It’s not my fault he lost his temper over nothing! I got out and asked if I was supposed to leave or to wait for him. He couldn’t be bothered to reply and just kept walking away from me, so I drove out the back driveway and into the front and walked up the hill to where he was tightening the lugs on his wheel with a four-way.
“WHAT!” he yelled when he saw me.
“I came around to get you. You need a ride to work.” I said.
He dropped his truck to the ground with a hard bounce and yanked the lift out from underneath it, then stomped past me to the house. Stella and I followed him, then stayed outside for a bit. When he didn’t come out, I went in. He stomped out past me. I followed back him out. By now I was finally beginning to get pissed off at him.
He proceeded to gather the compressor hose together and yelled, “You can go!” and then dragged the compressor up the hill.
I stood and watched his back, murmuring, “What the hell is your problem, dude?”
So I drove to work by myself, and he drove his truck (with no brakes) because apparently he was either angry that I’d made an idiotic driving mistake or that I’d flipped his own tantrum right back at him. I mean, we’ve been getting along great the past few days, and nothing in his routine has changed that I know about, so I have no idea what it was that really set him off. Oh, those enigmatic red heads and their hot July tempers!
I’m curious to see how he handles this tonight. Will he still be in a snit? Will he come home late after hitting a bar and pass out on the couch without talking to me? Will he start in on me again for a trivial side mirror? Or will he be sweet and sunny and pretend it didn’t happen?
Hell, will I get home late after a stop at the bar? Only the Shadow knows!
I told my girlfriend recently that coffee has more caffeine than espresso. She did not believe me. I said, “A latte has a shot or two of espresso and the rest of it is milk. A cup of coffee has more caffeine.” She gave me a look. “Swear to God,” I said, and changed the subject.
Today I did a little surfing. Apparently the idea that coffee has more caffeine than espresso is looked upon by some as a net legend or something, while others confirm that espresso does indeed have less caffeine than coffee.
So I guess the measurements are wonky, depending too much on beans, grind, and preparation to really say how much caffeine a shot of espresso contains.
All I know is this: if I get a small or medium cup of joe and drink it, I’m more wired than if I get a tall or venti latte.
Generally, the serving size of a cup of coffee is 8-16 fluid ounces, while a typical espresso serving is only one or two shots (about 3 ounces). So even if the espresso itself has a slightly higher caffeine level, there’s still so much less of it in the cup that it’s remains milder than a cup of coffee.
Want to waste an hour or five? Visit the ever-so-interesting Wikipedia.
Joe bought hisself a bona fide Brit chopper! Oh, the endless discussions I’ve been overhearing this past day about tank shape! fenders! oil bags! exhaust pipes!
Such happy, happy red heads out in my yard making big noises. Vroom! Blat-blat-blat vroom!
Yeah, so, Joe bought a bike after work last night, and brought it out here to play with.
He and Brett pushed it into Brett’s tool storage building thingy, and then the two of them absolutely geeked out on chopperdom until way past their bedtimes. Every time I wandered up there to see them, they were chattering about this or that possible change and how to accomplish it. So cute.
The stock dash was off before Joe even unloaded the bike. No more than an hour after I took the pics linked to above, they’d pulled off the rear fender and were experimenting with a stock Norton fender for line and length! They were in chopper heaven. They drank a couple pitchers of iced water and a few cans of Bud, and mostly squatted and looked at the bike and chattered. If they were any less butch, I suspect they’d’ve been giggling like girls!
I love it when my men have fun. (Especially when it’s in an outbuilding and not in the living room.) Brett’s been an automaton for a long while now; all he does is work or rest. He’s done very little socializing, hasn’t been shopping much, hasn’t been on a vacation for a couple of years… everyone needs to geek out on something they love with a like-minded friend every now and again.
Now our couch is covered in Brit parts catalogues and Brit bike magazines! Hah!
So. My vacation.
I don’t know how to write about it. There was the surface stuff, i.e., We went out for sushi. And the non-personal stuff, i.e., I only slept 7.5 hours during the first three days. But so much of it was internal, interior. One doesn’t just go see her satguru and come back the same, you know?
One also doesn’t just say in public that her personal Jesus is alive and in the middle of a world tour, with a three-day break to visit the world parliament of religions thank you very much. It just isn’t done. Budda, Christ, they’re fine – safely dead thousands of years. But to admit someone a thousand years dead was cool is very different from someone “in this day and age!” wandering around being clearly better than the rest of us.
So I haven’t posted on my blog yet about my vacation, which was specifically and entirely for and about seeing Mother for as many minutes as I could.
The most important thing in my life, and I don’t even write an entry about it?
If you’ve ever seen a site run by Movabletype (uh, like the one you’re reading now), you’re probably familiar with the famous folks who built it? Anyhow, I was reading a post in Mena’s blog in which she talks about blogging “through the responsible lens of emotional and personal distance,” and realized all bloggers, no matter how trivial their audience, have to deal with these issues of self-censorship: How much do I say? and Who won’t get what I do say? and Am I willing to weather the storm the non-getters may cause me?
In other words, if you really want to know about the personal (read: spiritual) part of my vacation, you may, just this once, visit my very secret blog here. It’s been up a long time but I stopped linking to it because such a small percentage of my bandwidth would ever get it… and/or I’m afraid the people who might get it might wig me out if they decided to share. My post isn’t done yet, but it will be.
If the other girls on the trip had blogs I’d point you their way too, for a three-dimensional view, but oddly they’re all blog-free… even the geekiest one among them. I think it’s weird, considering that anyone can sign up for a free TypePad or Xanga blog in about 8.6 seconds.
Or maybe not everyone is ready for this new(ish) communication: once upon a time, a communication was less confusing. Either it was for a terribly small group (the person you were talking to, or the small group you were talking to) or a terribly large one (the great American novel) and it was directional: a letter goes to the address it’s mailed to. There wasn’t this stress of not knowing who your audience was.
Blogging’s a roulette: who’ll see this entry? And when? Can I count on it that s/he won’t see it until it’s become a cold potato?
Maybe being blog-free is the best approach to blogging. But I’ve had mine for so long!