Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June can suck it! (The month, not anyone named June, whom I'm sure are lovely people.)

If this month were a girl, she could suck the chrome off a trailer hitch. With the rare exceptions of a few lovely evenings out with friends, I have not had fun at all. I feel like I'm playing Monopoly and getting Community Chest cards that say "Bank error NOT in your favor." Or, the game of Life and I'm stuck in the Poor House. Do they still have Poor Houses? What is a Poor House?

Anyway, I was sitting at the computer all happy as a clam because June is over and July starts tomorrow, when I decided to pay some bills online. "Hmmm, what's this?" I thought as I realized that, while I had just been paid and my direct deposit is the same amount all the time, there was noticeably less money in my account than there should be. Now, at the end of May, I made a stupid accounting error which made the beginning of June very painful, monetarily. I know I've been especially careful since then, monitoring my account constantly and making sure I don't spend money I don't have. So, you can imagine my surprise when, upon checking my transactions, I found two that occurred today (while I was working) amounting to $50 which I CANNOT AFFORD RIGHT NOW! Oh, yeah, I'm a little angry. I checked the website where one of the purchases was made and I have never seen this site before in my life. (no, it's not a porn site that I'm covering up) The other one couldn't be checked.

Fortunately, the customer service guy at my bank was kind and understanding and canceled my debit card right away. He said there's nothing I can do about the bad transactions until they are no longer "pending." So, I wait to see what kind of hell I have to go through to get those reversed. Also, I'll have to call all the places with whom I have automatic bill pay and change my account information. And, I'll have to actually go into a bank to get some cash.

Guess who forgot to fill her gas tank on the way to work this morning and can't do it now because she doesn't have a valid debit card? Go ahead, guess. I'll have to take the bus tomorrow, get cash and then fill the car up on Thursday.

July, I'm giving you until after the 4th to shape up.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Quick Bee Update

As per Natalie's suggestion, I looked into the bee rescue possibility. The LA bee guy charges $75 for an easy removal and up to $250 to remove them from a structure. Wah? The Frau won't pay for a real plumber, so she sure as hell isn't going to pay for bee removal. Unfortunately, I can't pay for it either. I'm sure the hive is inside the walls, which would mean cutting into the building. Yikes. Poor bees. I fear for their lives.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Of birds and bees

I park under a tree most days so it's not surprising that my car is almost always a target for bird poop. Also, I'm somewhat lazy and don't wash my car as often as most folks, so when I found myself agreeing to give someone a ride to Union Station on Wednesday, I panicked--My car!! She's covered in poop (and don't get me started on the debris inside). Fortunately, we have this guy who washes cars on P4 of the parking garage at work. You just drop your car off, tell he when you need it done, and that's it. When I came out Wednesday evening with my passengers, Jamie was fresh and clean (did you know she was green?) and the inside was vacuumed, too.

On Thursday, my friend Criss and I joined a small group of friends to wish betheboy a Happy Birthday at the whiskeylicious Seven Grand downtown (at, you guessed it, 7th and Grand). If you haven't been, you should go. Despite our tragically hip bartender, who worked as if he was auditioning for something, the atmosphere was decidedly not hipster. With all sorts of taxidermy wildlife on the walls, I figured they had to have something in the bathrooms, too. And they did--Crows in pearls. Even the taxidermy is classy.

About a month ago, I noticed a lot of bees around the front of the house. Shortly thereafter, I noticed they were flying to and from the gap between the building and my front stoop. Thinking nothing of it (bees gotta buzz), I went about my daily comings and goings with nary a care. Then one day, about two weeks ago, Latina Gladys Kravitz greeted me at the door when I came home and pointed out the bees. "Oh, Laurie, do you see the bees?" Yes, I see the bees. "Oh, it's very dangerous. We should call somebody." I told her that the bees were only dangerous if provoked and that if she left them alone, they'd leave her alone. After all, I walk past them every day--twice a day--and have not had an incident. Besides, I told her, the world needs bees and the populations are dwindling. I, for one, am glad to see such a thriving group of bees. She was not appeased.

Today, when I came home from the laundromat, basket full of clothes in hand, she jumped me about the bees again. "Oh, the bees are very bad. They get in my house. Jennifer and her friend had to kill them. They get in her house, too" (meaning the neighbor next door to her) Okay, please refer to the photo above. The bees are literally right next to my door. They swirl around my feet and legs when I come home. And yet I've not had one bee in my apartment since their arrival. Now, if you take a look at this photo from Google......you will notice that the two front doors are pretty far away from the bee hive (on the far right of the house). Why are the bees choosing to go into those apartments and not mine? (psst...I don't believe they are. I think she's lying to make it seem worse because she's a busy body and has to be involved in everything). She also claims that both she and Robbie, the new neighbor, are allergic to bee stings. I find that hard to believe as only about 5% of adults are and what are the chances. So, she called the Frau and told her where the bees are and do you know what Frau said to her? "What's the big deal? They're just bees. Laurie isn't calling me so they can't be that bad." Some days, I like the Frau.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Vintage Photo Friday--A whole other person

A while ago I was talking to The Roy about my sister, Kate (whom he calls Kathy because that's what she used to go by a million years ago). I was regaling him with stories of our (mostly her) reckless youth and he said something to the effect of, "It's weird to think Aunt Kathy had a whole other life before I knew her." Now, this is not to say that Kate is a secret agent or in the witness protection program, but The Roy has only really known her as a married lady and a mom. He never got to experience single, hell raiser Kate. This got me thinking about the people in my life, like my parents, and their other life. It's strange to think of my parents having other interests and activities other than raising five kids. I mean, I know they had lives, but who were they? What did they talk about with their friends?

So today I bring you my mother, Joan, bowler extraordinaire.
That's mom in the middle, already a mother of five.That's my Joanie on the end with the big hair. She's so lovely. She also remained friendly with the woman who is second from the left, a very nice lady who would always tell me I was pretty.
Mom's in the middle again. These pictures were not preserved very well, hence the yellowing.
Mom is second from the right. I'm not sure why they're wearing the silly hats but I remember her going on this trip. She flew in one of those small commuter planes and there was a lot of turbulence, which frightened her. Also, she brought us presents and it wasn't a birthday or Christmas, so I thought bowling trips were the best thing ever.

Lest you think they sucked in '69, they didn't. The photo of the 1969 champions was too large to scan. Joanie had a personalized bowling ball and a pretty powder blue bowling bag, which Kate now owns. I'm pretty sure she had her own shoes, too. My siblings used to bowl every Saturday in junior leagues but I was always too young and never got a chance to do it. I'm still a fairly decent bowler (not great, but not embarrassing) so it must be genetic.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Whine, Whine, Wine?

Hey kids! I know it's been a while. I just wanted to let you know I'm still here. Due to some faulty accounting on my part, I had zero dollars in my checking account (okay, $3) for the better part of the past two weeks, so my social life has been non-existent, my cupboard is filled with the finest foods Big Lots has to offer, and my car was running on good intentions, so trips were limited to work only. On the plus side, today is payday!!

The day of reckoning has come (and gone). Analog television is officially no more. As you know, my amazing nephew has hooked up the HD box for me so that I'm not stuck in the dark ages. However, the antenna I currently own is not good enough to pick up most signals. It's hit or miss most days, with me having to twist every which way to get a signal. A channel change requires more antenna calisthenics to the point that it's just not worth even watching television. The Roy has MacGuyvered an antenna for me from a rubber band, a tube sock, and chewing gum (or maybe some coat hangers) but he's having difficulty mailing it. (no pressure, Roy) In the meantime, I spent the weekend watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Seasons 1-3. I start season four tonight, and fortunately I have Angel, Season One, so the crossover episodes won't seem disjointed.

Do you like wine? I like wine. Do you like pretty girls? I like wine. The lovely, talented, and good-to-her-mother Slackmistress (aka Nina Bargiel) is throwing her hat in the ring for that way cool Murphy-Goode Winery job that's been the hit of the internet. If you haven't heard of it, check it out here. Now, here's where you and your love of wine, women, and fun internet stuff omes into play. Click the link below or on the side bar (pretty please) and watch Nina's audition/application video. Send it to your friends and ask them to watch it. And don't forget to vote by entering your email address and confirming that yes, this is your favorite video--because Nina is awesome and quite sociable, online and in person, and she absolutely deserves this job.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

How my messy, cluttered apartment saved me

I went to an photography exhibit opening today at the William Grant Still Arts Center and promptly fell in love with this adorable creature.She is so tiny and still has that baby kitten barely audible meow. She needs a home as the gallery already has several cats that they care for, but don't claim as their own. For now, Joyce at the gallery is taking care of her. Someone in the neighborhood rounded up the strays and paid to have them neutered, but one must have slipped through and now lil' teeny weeny is the last kitten standing. I spent a long time in the office playing with a string or just watching her attack my hand and thinking, "Oh the fun we could have, you and I. I will knit you mice and fill them with catnip. I will drag yarn across the floor for you. I will have to clear out the alcove and do a really thorough cleaning of the apartment before you come home, though."

And that was it. My laziness and clutter stopped me from bringing home a kitten I have no business even thinking about. You see, I have allergies and asthma. And while it's true that I used to have a lovely orange tiger cat named James (he was the sweetest) back in Pennsyltucky, my tolerance for them has diminished. The last time I cuddled a cat my very concerned sister had to rush me to the Acute Care Center at 10 o'clock at night because I couldn't breathe. Now, my allergies and asthma have both abated as of late and I haven't had an inhaler in two years, but do I really want to take that chance? Kind of. Look how cute she is!

And just because he was great, here's a picture of one of the other cats they care for. His name is, appropriately enough, Garfield.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I can't make this shit up

Here is a sampling from my hometown newspaper's Twitter tweets:Honestly, it makes me a little nostalgic. Also, wouldn't it make a great sitcom in the tradition of "Green Acres"?