Furbaby Friday

31 Aug

I miss Mrs. Monologues Furbaby Friday link-up. Even though it doesn’t exist I’m still going to post some dog pictures. And you’re going to like it, dammit.

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Somebody wishes he could go to school! Or maybe just doggie day camp.

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And someone else is jealous he doesn’t have a snazzy back pack. That same someone fails to remember the time I tried to put the back pack on him, only to have him fall over in complete and utter hopelessness the minute it was strapped on.

Happy Friday!

Hurricane preparedness fail

30 Aug

We sort of thought we were going to have a hurricane there for a minute, and of course we were woefully unprepared. I panic-read so many websites and pamphlets on making a hurricane kit, preparing for many days without electricity or water. However, I had to work so I could not spearhead the trip to the store to create such a kit. This put Husband in charge of going to the store to gather supplies in case we were hit.

Depending on your perspective, it did not go very well. He purchased:

1. Potato chips, tortilla chips, and cheetos

2. Reese’s Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms

3. Peanut butter Tastykakes and chocolate cake donettes.

4. Fruit cups

5. A flash light and a radio.

6. Tons of bottled water

To be fair, I have no idea how I would improve this situation. I’m not sure what you’re supposed to eat when you don’t have power. Perhaps this is a legitimate adult hurricane kit? There isn’t a single canned good I can imagine eating cold (baked beans? I’d rather wait for the oven to work again, thanks). And everything I thought of that didn’t require cooking, did require a fridge to keep. (Lunchables! yogurt! no?)

Though, if I did have to deal with a hurricane I guess I’d be worried least of all about the health of the food I needed to eat. I’m actually almost disappointed the hurricane didn’t hit and I didn’t get to tear into all of this. I couldn’t justify it when I had the ability to keep and cook all these stupid fresh vegetables and whatnot.

Mousecapades

28 Aug

When Marty began spending a lot of time in the kitchen, I just yelled at him and kept shooting him out. Over and over. Assuming that he was just scrounging for floor noms I might have dropped in dinner preparation. Until I saw him trying to jump on the counter, something he never does. That’s when I noticed the mouse poop.

After freaking and bleaching and running everything through the dishwasher and bleaching again, we called the exterminator. He came out and set a few of the biggest traps I’ve ever seen in my life. These are not meant for mice. They’re barely meant for rats. I’m pretty sure I’d catch a raccoon if I set one outside. The idea of hurting a mouse with one of these, which I felt was akin to attacking a kitten with a semi-truck, nearly moved me to tears.

I was able to ignore my feeling until one night when Husband called me to the kitchen. There he was, in the middle of the kitchen. Fluffy and tiny and field-mousey. Pretty much exactly like one of our hamsters. Husband attempted to catch him in a shoebox, which went exactly as well as you think it did. (He only broke one plate.) It was decided. I could no longer harm the fluffy baby.

I spent time debating with myself just setting off the traps and making the exterminator come up with something else. With visions of ER visits for broken fingers dancing through my mind, I convinced Husband we needed to go to the store and find something a little more friendly. The trap we found seemed ingenious. Mousey goes through a tunnel towards delicious bait, tunnel snaps shut behind him. I take Mousey to delightful green meadow where he can live out his days in sunshine and rainbows. My kitchen no longer needs to be sanitized on an hourly basis. It seemed pretty foolproof.

The morning after setting out the humane, crunchy granola, save-your-stupid-life trap, I awoke to an empty trap. And one single piece of mouse poop. Right on top of the trap. I tried adding more peanut butter and moving it around, but really? After that insult I was no longer as concerned about saving Mickey. In fact, I’m pretty sure he’s too smart to be taken alive.

So the exterminator came out and reset the too-big rat mouse traps. And somehow that fucker took the peanut butter off of the trap. Without setting it off. It’s possible the mouse in my kitchen has qualified for MENSA. I can’t even get peanut butter off a spoon without hurting myself. And somehow he’d removed every bit of it from the deadly grips of the trap. The exterminator came back out yesterday, and set out some glue traps. These seem even worse in theory to me – they just… hold them there? and they wait for me to… throw them out? That seems worse than mouse-trap instant death. And that’s if the little Einstein even bothers to fall for it.

I don’t want to live with a mouse in my house indefinitely (especially since he’s not paying rent or buying groceries), but I’ve yet to be able to reason with him and convince him that walking into the human trap is in his best interest. Is there some super awesome solution I’m missing?

Is the answer really Husband waiting in the kitchen with a shoebox all night?

In all fainess, why South Florida hasn’t been all bad

27 Aug

1. Because this is what I get to do every weekend:

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I’ve never been too much of a beach person, I enjoy them fine but I bore easily and can’t do it for too long. But being only a few miles from this, and having access to it (almost) every weekend, is doing a lot to change my mind. It’s hard to argue with ocean and palm trees.

2. Because this will always be the place where I fed a giraffe.

Yes. I fed a freaking giraffe. A few, actually. And they’re adorable and it’s insane to be so close to them. And I may or may not have contemplated quitting my job to work the giraffe feeding station at the zoo. I think what it would lack in the money department it would make up for in the sheer elation of being friends with giraffes department.

3. Mostly, it’s been a lot of fun to be close to family, to be around for birthday parties and Sunday dinners and whatnot. It was sort of exhausting in the beginning, but the novelty of us being around has worn off. So, we’ve ended up with a good balance of family fun and relaxing alone. Plus, I have a whole new group of people to make cupcakes for. And I do love making cupcakes.

4. Because I’ve made some friends.

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Okay, I haven’t really made many friends yet. But apparently Florida is where I feed animals. There’s tons of ducks in the various ponds we have around our apartment complex, and I may or may not feed them bread.

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Okay. I feed them a lot. So much that when they see me they run right up wagging their duckie tails. And when I don’t have bread it makes me very sad. There are different duckling litters (that’s the wrong word, I know) in different stages of growing adorable. There’s also turtles in the ponds. So, its not all spiders and alligators. (I’ve yet to see an alligator. If that does happen you probably will never hear from me again because I’m hiding under my bed, trembling in fear.)

5. Because Isaac didn’t turn into a hurricane and hit me, so I still haven’t had to deal with that nonsense. Whew. Til next time, fickle tropical weather.

Why I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever fit in in South Florida

24 Aug

1. Because this?

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Does not a skyline make. Looking at this gives me no warm fuzzies. Every time I look out the window and see this, exactly how much I miss Chicago punches me right in the stomach.

2. Because this?

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Is what the bugs look like, oh, dear lord. I’m sorry for shoving a gigantic spider in your face, but this is what I encountered – nay, nearly walked through oh my god – on my way to work one morning. The bugs here are ludicrous, and they’re everywhere. This spider is also probably one of the least offensive bugs I’ve encountered. Yeah. Think about that.

3. Because this?

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Is what a lot of the cars look like. I just… I can’t fathom why anyone would do this to a car. I’m not that into my car. I only want to spend money to keep my car going, not paint it sparkle dinosaur green and pump up the tires until they barely fit. People here are obsessed with their cars. They like their cars more than I think I have ever liked anything in my entire life. I don’t want to share this for fear you’ll judge me for being in the same general vicinity, but I’ve also seen a car painted with Scooby Doo, and a car painted with Sponge Bob. Who would do that? Also, you’ll be happy to know that the car right next to it? Under the cover? Looks exactly like this one. Twinsies.

4. Because this?

Is what a lot of the people look like. And it makes me cry. Because I am one of those people with the giant hat and the SPF 50 if I am even thinking about looking at the sun. I am terrified of skin cancer and this is walking skin cancer. And it’s everywhere. Everywhere. So much so that I even had a dream where overly tan people were trying to convince me to join their scary melanoma club.

5. Because Hurricane Isaac is coming to get me. And I know, it’s not a hurricane yet. But it will be. And I don’t care if the people around here are telling me, “Oh, it’s just a category one.” JUST A CATEGORY ONE. JUST 80 MPH WINDS. OH OKAY. LET’S ALL TO GO THE BEACH. Fingers crossed I don’t get blown away. Even though it’s more likely I’ll have a significant psychotic break from the stress of the build up to all this hurricane nonsense.

PSA: Your Voicemail Message and You

8 Aug

I have to make quite a few outgoing calls to people at work. I hear a lot of voice mail messages, and I feel it’s my duty to inform some of you: you are doing it wrong. The worst offenses?

1. Not saying your name on your outgoing message. I’m sure you assume everyone calling you knows you are you, but some people don’t. What if someone is calling you for a professional reason? If they’re not sure they’ve reached the right message you might never know. I know I can’t leave a message if I can’t confirm that I’ve gotten the right number.

2. In that same vein, holding the phone to the radio while it plays a song does not an outgoing voicemail message make. What it makes is a garbled mess, and I am unsure if it is your voicemail or you answering the phone in a crowded bar.

3. Vivaldi Four Seasons ringback tone. First off, the last time a ringback tone was acceptable was 2004. I know they were cool, mine was Poison’s Talk Dirty to Me. But that time is over. Secondly, picking the one classical song you can recognize does not make you classy, it makes you unoriginal. Also, the extremely large number of people who pick this leads me to believe maybe it’s free. So possibly you’re also cheap.

4. “Hello? …  …  … Gotcha, leave a message!” Is not funny. It has never been funny. What it does is piss me off, which makes me hang up, which means you don’t get whatever information I was calling you with. Also I send all my hate-y vibes for the day into the universe specifically for you. And they’re pretty poisonous. So beware.

5. Please try to keep world frustrations from creeping into your outgoing message. It’s super awkward to hear about your loser baby daddy, or how much you hate your job. I know whatever you’re dealing with probably sucks, and I’m sorry, but it’s hard to focus on why I’m calling you when I have to hear a four minute message about how much of a bitch your mom is.

Voicemail messages are not an arena of creativity and self-exploration. They are not your therapist. If you can’t manage something like “Hi, this is Joe, leave me a message,” maybe just say your name so it can be inserted into the automated message. No confusion, and I don’t wish for a piano to fall on your head, Looney Tunes-style.

Hey, Big Spender

6 Aug

I did not wear any makeup to work today.

And it wasn’t because of the black cloud, though I’d be lying if I said it probably didn’t contribute to my being mostly okay with the no makeup. It’s because I’m dangerously close to being out of foundation, and I am saving it for occasions where people will actually see me.

Husband and I are not spending money unnecessarily for the month of August. We need to buy food, gas, rent. Nothing else. I did not check the status of my makeup drawer before making this pledge, which is why foundation is now a hot commodity. I’m also almost out of shampoo, but I’m pretty sure that can be an approved purchase – no one wants to watch me go through that.

I knew this whole thing was going to be a challenge for me. In general, I don’t make all that many large purchases.  I do spend money often, though. Basically, I leak money walking down the street. I can’t tell you exactly where it goes, but I have a hunch it’s mostly into my stomach. I love treats, doughnuts, coffee, muffins, fast food, fries, dinners out, late night milkshake runs. I’m the type of person who goes grocery shopping and then needs to have dinner out because the food is overwhelming, what with its need to be made and all.

I don’t need to tell you how easily this breaks the bank, especially when there are two of us doing this – Husband is the same way. Our other bad financial habit is we are also both prone to talking the other into larger purchases on top of the leaking money. We know it’s something we shouldn’t buy, so we look to the other for the support to make the bad decision. And the support usually comes in the way of a trade off – I agree he gets a big purchase, he comes back with something else I should buy for me.

Yeah, I can see why we need that Blu-Ray player right now. Saddle up.

Babe, how long has it been since you bought a purse? Too long, right? Mall? Mall?

We’re horrible. So, spending detox it is. We got that Blu-Ray player, so we have movies to watch at home. We’re making coffee and taking it with us to work. Making dinner every night. We can walk the dogs, we can go to the gym, we can go to the pool or the beach. And to be fully honest with you, we’ve already got a cheat built in. We’re allowed to go to dinner for our anniversary, which is coming up this weekend. So I don’t even have to be completely successful with this. And I’m still finding it so, so hard. I was practically foaming at the mouth for Starbucks on Saturday, and that was only day four. Hours of my day are consumed with ways to trick Husband into breaking the pact first, so I can buy a doughnut. I spend more energy contemplating the moral dilemma of buying something behind his back than I spent writing any of my papers for my ethics class. There’s no way to sugar coat it – I’m pathetic, really very bad at this.

I know in the long run, this is something we need to do. The way we are now is not the way to accomplish long-term financial goals. It’s irresponsible and juvenile and we’re going to be better off because of this and other overhauls we need to do. However, I cannot stop the venti iced coffees from dancing around in my head.

How do you keep your resolve when things get tough, money-wise?

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