Tag Archives: challenges

Fire Department Fun on a Friday Night

This happened a few weeks ago, but I didn’t get around to posting this right away. Without further deferment:

I like to think that I am a responsible citizen. I don’t litter, I clean up after my dog, I try to turn down my music when I’m driving home with the windows down and it’s late. And when I’m not sure if a situation is okay, I call for help. I’ve called 911 when I realized traffic lights were out and people were just going for it – that was a dangerous situation. I’ve called the water department when the fire hydrant at the top of my street was just gushing water. I’ve called the cops when I saw a couple fighting and the guy shoved the girl. I’d rather waste their time then not do something and have a bad thing happen. See something, say something, right?

So yesterday, when I was out walking Ranger after work and we walked past a pile of coals, I paused. On the one hand, the coals were on the grass area between the sidewalk and the street, so no one’s home was in immediate danger. On the other hand, the coals were still red hot in the center and it was windy out. The grass all around the coals was charred. What would you do? I called Husband for backup and he said that it was probably fine but I could call the fire department if I really wanted to. So I asked him to send me their number. The thing is, there is no obvious number for the fire department. There is the safety office, the security desk, the fire code unit, and the fire marshals office. So many choices, but who should I call? I decided to start with the safety office and the guy I spoke to said that I could go into the neighboring houses and get a big bucket of ice water and just dump that on the coals, or I could call the fire department. Now, I know some of my neighbors, but not most of them, and definitely not the ones that were right next to the pile of burning coals. So I opted to call the fire marshal’s number next and explained the situation. He was very nice and said he would send some guys over. I asked if I should stick around and he said that would be very helpful because I could point out the exact location.

Being an upstanding citizen, I listened and stayed put. After I hung up, I looked down and realized that I did the same thing I always do when I get home. I changed out of my work clothes, took off my bra, and put on sweats and a t-shirt before taking the pup out for his walk. So now I was waiting for a truck full of firefighters with no bra on. Oh well…

The guys showed up on their truck, I waved them down, pointed out the coals, and with my arms arms strategically across my chest asked if I really needed to call them. They exchanged this look like, is this chick serious? And as the one firefighter terminated all danger by shuffling across the pile in his fire boots, he said it was okay but no, I probably didn’t need to call them. The whole thing was a bit anticlimactic to be honest.

I thought it was one of those situations where I might have saved my whole neighborhood from bursting into flame. Or I was overreacting to the danger potential and would end up wasting the firefighter’s time. But better safe than sorry, right? Maybe next time I will try to handle the situation myself. Or I’ll just take the time to put on a bra before interacting with a bunch of strangers. One or the other.


Never Challenge a Trash-Picking Bibliophile

Oh man, I am so hype right now! We just scored an awesome trash pick – a big, wide, sturdy bookshelf. Part of my excitement stems from the fact that we found such a treasure. And part of my excitement stems from the way that I obtained said shelf.

After enjoying a delicious dinner at our favorite bar (burger night!!), we walk outside with plans to go home. The sun has gone down, but there is still a little light in the sky. The humidity of the day still drapes over the city, but the air is cooling. Walking hand in hand, my husband and I stroll down the sidewalk discussing how early it is and whether or not we can fit in a movie before bed.

And just like that – it appears. At first glance, an ordinary piece of furniture that someone is getting rid of. Upon further inspection, it is a big, wide, sturdy bookshelf – the kind of trash picks that a bibliophile dreams about. Well, I had to have it. The obstacle being my husband’s reluctance to first acquire and then transport such a large piece of furniture. So, seemingly to deter my interest, my husband says that I can have the shelf if I can load it into the car by myself.

Challenge accepted.

I scooted the shelf back and forth, carefully and slowly as to minimize any damage. Once I approached the curb, I placed my hands underneath one of the shelves and scooted the shelf sideways towards the street. Closer and closer to my goal – I asked for my husband to back the car up a bit, and the nearer it came, the more realistic my goal became! I persevered, put down the car seats, opened the trunk, moved all the junk that was in the way, and finally worked the shelf into the car. Success! And only with a tiny help from my husband at the end to get it all the way in the car.


I now am the proud new owner of a big, wide, sturdy bookshelf. It just goes to show – never tell a bibliophile that they can keep the extra bookshelf if they can move it themselves. Challenge will be accepted and beat because BOOKS!!!


Shit Silver Lining


I’ve been trying to find the silver lining in things lately. I have a history of being negative, and sometimes I really let it build up. This is exactly what I did last week and I started to put a post together, but I got so pissed off that I didn’t finish. Here is me finishing it:

Sometimes you just end up having a shitty day. For me, it’s been a shitty week and it’s only Wednesday. Part of this was outside of my control, part of this was bad luck on my part, and part of this stems from my own inability to let things go. It’s a major flaw and causes me a lot of unnecessary pain. It’s something I really need to work on, but for now, it’s what inspired this rant.

Monday was stupid at work and I was hurting from my stupid knee, and I found out that the payments on one of my student loans skyrocketed. So I was in a bad mood. Tuesday wasn’t any better. I went to Wawa for lunch and some jackass was just sitting in his car in one of the front spots so I had to circle the building several times to find a parking space and ended up having to walk further because of it. (Why have I never tried to get a handicap tag for this knee thing?) Then Wawa didn’t have the soup I wanted! Stupid shit to get upset over, but that’s what I do sometimes. Then on my way back to the office, I take a turn a little too fast and almost get in an accident. So now I’m pissed at myself on top of everything.

Then I had to stay late at work and got stuck in traffic on my way home. I had to take DibKitty to the vet, so I walk Ranger as quickly as possible and pack up Dib and go. On our way to the vet I’m trying so hard to not laugh at Dib’s howls of protest. Then he howls REALLY loud. And then I smell it. Once we get to the vet (which was frustrating in itself because some asshole just stopped their car at the entrance to the parking lot to let someone out. At least put your hazard lights on so I know I can go around you!), I confirmed that Dib had in fact shit in the carrier. Awesome.

The technicians were very nice about it and offered to clean out his carrier, which I gratefully accepted. They walked out of the room and came back in and said Dib was actually due for a fecal sample and did I want to use his deposit from the carrier? I readily agreed. Shit happens, but sometimes it can be put to good use – there’s my silver lining!

That being said, while we were waiting to pay three dogs came in and kept trying to sniff at Dib in his carrier. He growled and growled, and then he pissed himself. Motherfucker. Dib got a bath last night and I’m still in a pissy mood. It was just my luck.

That’s what I wrote last week. And yes, I had a lot of stupid stuff happen all at once and it snowballed into a huge scribble over my head. But as I’m writing this now, I’m in such a better place. This is probably in part because last week was such a shitty week that when compared, although nothing extraordinary has happened, this week is so much better by default. So maybe the silver lining of last week’s shit was the ability to appreciate this week in all its ordinariness. Maybe that’s how everyone else does it, maybe I’m onto something here.

Experiencing Technical Difficulties


Some of you may know, but I have been out of commission for a few weeks post-knee surgery. The doctor told me that surgery couldn’t have gone better, so that’s great, but knee surgery still means recovery time. On Monday, I went back to work after being out for three weeks. I was excited and scared, worried that I wasn’t ready, stressed out that it was pouring and water makes canes slip, but I was going stir-crazy at home, so there was definitely some excitement.

I get to the office, and the first thing I notice is there is a HUGE FUCKING MILLION-LEGGED BUG!!! Not the welcome I was expecting. But the inner door was locked, so I called one of the guys and asked him to let me in and if he did bugs. Luckily, he did and that problem was soon handled. While I was waiting to be saved however, I tried to login to my computer and found my mouse was not working.

I don’t panic, after all, my husband used to work for Geek Squad and I have a certain degree of technical knowledge. So I turned my wireless mouse off and on again. Still not working. No big deal. I hobble to the kitchen to put away my lunch and get my teapot and mug and on the way there, run into BBE (best boss ever). I mention to her my problem and she says the batteries are probably out. I hobble over to MJ’s office to get batteries out of her locked cabinet, but I couldn’t find the key! After searching for a few minutes, I decide to ask BBE for help. Of course she found the key right away, but the result was successful retrieval of new batteries. I put the batteries in and try again. Still not working. Turn it off and on again. Still not working! We unplug the little fob from the usb port and try it in the second port. Still. Not. Working.

At this point, we’ve spent probably twenty minutes on this and so BBE goes and grabs a wired mouse and plugs it in. After restarting my computer by being savvy on the keyboard, it finally works. I login and start catching up on my emails when I realize my second monitor wasn’t working. What now?! Then, well… then I realized that the monitor wasn’t on…and guess where the mouse fob was plugged in? Yep, on the monitor. Once that was on, everything started working! Amazing, right? It was a classic ID-Ten-T US-Three-R error.

Have Any of You Ever Felt Personally Victimized by Regina George? I mean, Government-run businesses?

So. I got married, right? And I decided to change my name. And that’s when everything went downhill. If you’re unaware, changing one’s name is probably the hardest thing to do. And I’m pretty sure that these different places that I needed to go to change my name decided to fuck with me and make it the worst experience ever.

The first thing you need to do is change your name with the social security office. I checked online, found a place, went there, waited in line for over an hour, and was told that I needed to go to the social security office by my house. Awesome. So I looked online and was told to go to this one location. I called and spoke with someone and was told to go to the same location. So I went to that location and despite being reassured that they would be open on Black Friday, they were not. I went the Monday afterwards and after spending about two hours in line, was told that I needed to go to a different location. Awesome. At this point, I was beyond exasperated and so I decided to mail in my forms. This meant putting my ACTUAL passport in the mail. Very uncomfortable – but I got a call from the social security office a few days later and learned that I sent it to the wrong office! Awesome. Luckily, they forwarded my stuff to the right office and a few weeks later, I had my new social security card. That actually was awesome.

Next step, get my license and passport updated. Yesterday I went to the DMV. The first place I went to was supposed to be open at 8:30am. They weren’t. I stayed for 45 minutes and they still weren’t open. I’m guessing that they decided to close because of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. But that is on Monday, and the post office is open today, so why the fuck would the DMV be closed? But this was a revelation I reached later.

After this mess, I called The Crazy Lady and she gave me two other addresses of places that would be open on Saturday to update my license. So the first one I went to, found it, parked, walked over, and the sign on the door said they would only be open the first and last Saturdays of each month. HELPFUL FUCKING INFORMATION. At this point, I’m determined. I’m going to get this taken care of. So I go to the other address Crazy Lady sent. And they don’t open until ten, so I stop at a café across the street to get some breakfast. The empty stomach was only increasing the likelihood that I would stab someone. After chatting with the guys at this place (who may have brought something besides tea back from Colorado) they recommended a blended herbal tea that was amazing. It was soooooo delicious that it almost made the madness of my morning worth it. I enjoyed a pretty tasty breakfast sandwich too. After eating, I went across the street, brought my paperwork up to the desk and was told that I needed to bring my social security card with me. AWESOME! More determined than ever, I go home and get my social security card and drive back. I get there, wait a little while longer, and then am told that I can’t actually do all the stuff at that location because they’re an outside vendor, not the actual DMV and they can process my paperwork and get me a camera card, but ultimately I would still need to go to the DMV. So the guy I was working with told me three times that if it were him, he would go to the DMV to do it all at once. Never being one that had to be told to take a hint, I decided to heed his advice.

So my name has been officially changed, but my license doesn’t reflect that at the moment. Or my passport. Or my registration or my bank info, or so many other things. I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel like someone out there is messing with me. Am I being personally victimized? It seems quite probable…

How to Give Your Cat A Pill: A Short Narrative

I know I just did a post about the cats, but I need to share. It’s been established before that my cats are jerks. The conflict between ZimKitty and DibKitty has been going on for what seems like forever. I discussed some of the things that we’ve tried to get them to get along, one of those things being medication. Now, giving medication to a cat is no easy feat. In fact, it is nearly impossible. Let me elaborate.

The first medication that we started Zim on was back in June I think. (Yep, this has been going on for over a year). How I gave it to him was, I would lock him in the bathroom with me and basically sit on him. Not all my weight – but I had my legs tucked around him with my feet connected so he couldn’t scoot out from under me. Then I would squeeze the sides of his mouth to make them open with my left hand and stick the pill as far back in his throat as possible with my right hand. More often than not, this failed and he would spit the pill out. So I would sit on him again, and shove the pill down his throat again, and watch him spit it out again, until it was so dissolved from his saliva that I would have to get a new pill. I tried holding his scruff with one hand and shoving the pill down his throat with the other, but more often than not he would scratch my arms up with his back claws and I would get all bloody and he still wouldn’t have had his pill. The fun thing was that the first medication didn’t even work. If anything, Zim became more aggressive.

The vet suggested a different medication and I requested it in a liquid form because I thought that would be easier. Just squirt it in the back of his mouth, right? Well it wasn’t quite that simple. I tried just holding his scruff with one hand and squirting it with the other. That didn’t work. Then I remembered that when he was a kitten we wrapped him in a blanket in order to give him antibiotics. So I gathered the same blanket that I used before and swaddled him in it. I wrapped him up nice and tight. Then I tried to squirt the liquid in his mouth and he kept moving enough that it got everywhere but in his mouth. It got on the couch, the towel, my pants, my hands, my arms, my face (once when he coughed it up seconds after I sprayed it in his mouth), and on the cat’s fur…it was a mess. I tried putting it in some wet food, but he didn’t like that at all. I didn’t notice any change in his behavior, so I gave that up as well.

Then on Friday we were at the vet for the animals’ annual checkups. That’s how I spent my Friday night – hauling three cats and a dog to the vet, so much fun! Anyway, after Zim had sliced my hand up pretty well with his back claws the vet asked about his aggression. (This was a different doctor than the one we have seen in the past). We told the whole story about the progression of his aggression problems. The vet suggested a stronger medication. She said that there was a small chance that he would have a negative reaction to the medication, but that it was unlikely, and at this point we’re kind of desperate for some harmony in our home so it’s worth the risk. So I asked if she had suggestions on how to give the pill to the cat since it has been so challenging in the past. And she mentions pill pockets. And OH MY GOD they work SO WELL!

The pill pocket is a treat that looks like a tiny volcano. You put the pill in the center and the pinch it at the top and it is completely surrounded by a treat that the cat just devours! I almost cried it was so easy. I don’t know why no one told me about this before, but I feel the need to tell the world. Maybe this time, Zim will react well to the drug, stop being a homicidal jerk, and my home will be at peace once again. Even if it doesn’t work, the world needs to know. Pill pockets – what an amazing creation. Tell everyone. THIS is how you give a cat a pill. So amazingly easy, I’m already feeling more peaceful.

To the People with Their Cell Phones

Last night FH and I went to see the new Fast and the Furious movie. It wasn’t great, and in a way I’m glad because if it was a great movie I would have been even more upset with the entire theater for ruining my movie going experience.

First of all, we went to the Movie Tavern. This is a ‘movie going experience catered to adults’. It says so all over the place. So imagine my surprise and disappointment when we arrive in the theater to see that the place is packed with elementary-age kids. Their parents accompanied them, so technically this was allowed. But it’s not a kids’ movie, not at all. These kids had no business being in that theater in the first place. When I go see a kids’ movie in theaters I have to accept that there will be children there. But the Fast and the Furious movies do NOT fall into that category. So I was a little pissed off. Oh, and there was a baby there too. Like, probably had just-learned-how-to-hold-her-head-up baby. Funnily enough, the baby was better behaved than all the kids, and most of the adults in the theater. So thanks to the parents out there who decided to take their kids to an adult movie, you helped to ruin my movie-going experience.

Now, for those of you that do not know, the Movie Tavern is an awesome place. Or I guess I should say was. I cannot remember the last time we went there and had decent service. Yes, I know that it is a challenging environment to work in, but that doesn’t excuse ignoring the little button that is supposed to alter you that we need something. It doesn’t excuse not bringing out our food for 45 minutes while everyone around us that ordered after us got their food first. It doesn’t excuse not bringing us silverware or proper napkins. It’s not cool. This was also a contributing factor to making last night more frustrating than enjoyable.

Finally, the people with the cell phones: WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM??? Is it that important to check Facebook while you are watching a movie multiple times?? It is that important to be texting with your friends? There is NO EXCUSE for this kind of behavior. There is even a fucking message at the beginning of the movie asking you to not ruin the experience for everyone else by using your phone during the movie. But of course, most people had their faces bent over their phones during this message and missed it. But really? I mean, really… what makes you think this is an okay thing to do? Do you not understand where you are? Do you not realize how disruptive a cell phone is? You are being extremely rude. Go home, you do not deserve to be out in public if you cannot behave.

It was so bad that not only did FH turn to the guy next to him and ask him to put away his phone, to which he got a snide comment back, but after the movie I went over to a woman that was sitting in front of me and told her that when she uses her phone in the theater she is being rude to everyone sitting behind her. She gave a half apology, but then made a rude comment behind my back that FH heard. We ignored it and left. No point getting into an argument, I said my piece. Maybe she will realize that she contributed to ruining the movie for us and who knows how many other people.

On our way out we stopped in the bathroom and I saw the lady that I spoke with and the other two people with her. The one girl (guessing the daughter?) glared at me the whole time. And I stared right back at her. If she wants to say something, let her. But have the fucking guts to speak up. I know that I was in the right. I was shaking with anger at the end of the movie, but I just said my piece. I didn’t raise my voice, I just told her that she was being rude that her phone is something that everyone behind her could see and it wasn’t okay to use during a movie. I think that I was well within my rights. I didn’t escalate it even though I really did want to punch the blonde that was shooting daggers at me for speaking up. I kept my cool.

But I really do want to know… why do people think this is okay? How is it fair that I have my movie going experience ruined because people can’t put their fucking cell phones down for two hours? If you don’t have the attention span to sit and watch a movie without another tiny screen in front of you, then don’t go to the movies. It’s pretty simple. There are some highly anticipated movies coming out this summer that FH wants to go see in theaters and I have to say, I’m not so sure I want to go. It can’t be good for me, all this anger boiling up. And who’s to say that any movie going experience will be any better than last night’s? I should have just stayed home and read a book.

Well… That was Traumatizing

There is nothing worse than being home alone and discovering there has been a huge, gross spider invasion. That is what happened to me. The worst part? The spider was not in a trappable area. My technique in the past for dealing with unwanted creepy crawlies would be to cover said icky-ness with a cup or mug. Something so that the unwanted gross bug could not escape. I felt more secure with this – the bug couldn’t get to me if it was covered up. But of course this was not possible with the spider crawling all over my coffee maker.

I took a deep breath and realized I needed to handle the situation like an adult. So I texted FH and beg him to come home and kill the spider. He didn’t answer. Then I texted Dad and begged him to drive to my house and kill the spider. He did answer, but did not agree to come save me. So I did the next best thing. I pushed my chair as far away from my desk as I could and I cried out that it was so gross.

Every time the spider moved I was convinced that it was preparing to attack me. It moved really quickly too, so I was actively keeping my eyes on it (the only thing worse than seeing a spider is not knowing where it went after initially spotting it). While I watched the spider’s progress I continued to yell at my animals that it was so gross and that one of them needed to kill it.

Then panic set in as the spider moved down off my coffee maker onto my desk and under the Marshall University Marco the Bison keychain. Then I lost him. My heart was racing and in my panic I picked up Gir-Kitty. I moved around my desk and found the spider crawling on the side. So I did the obvious thing. I tried to throw my cat at the spider. After all, he’s caught mice before and has the special ability to catch moths and flies. A spider should easily be conquered and killed by the kitty, but he was not cooperating. What a useless jerk.

The spider started to move up the side of the desk. I continued to cry out how gross the spider was and how big and icky. But I knew I had to take advantage of the spider being where it was. I picked up a box that was on the floor and while repeating “Ewwwwww! Ew, Ew, Ewww!!!!” I smushed the box against the spider and held it there. I hoped and prayed that the box had demolished the spider but I was still afraid to move the box on the off chance that it was an immortal spider and would retaliate against me. I took a deep breath and removed the box. The spider was dead. Hurrah!! I did it!!

Later on when FH came home I told him I needed a favor. I had done all the hard work killing the spider. It was up to him to wipe the spider guts off the side of my desk. He rolled his eyes at me, but indulged my craziness and removed all evidence of a dead spider off the side of my desk. Whew. I have to say, I’m proud that I killed the spider, but I sure as hell don’t want to have to do anything like that ever again.

How to Give Your Man a Heart Attack

FH and I don’t always have the same sleep schedule. There are days that I go to sleep before him and there are days that he goes to sleep before me. Most of the time we end up going to sleep at the same time. Tonight was one of those nights where FH was tired and ready for bed before I was and so he was going to go to sleep and I would stay awake. Simple enough.

Well, I thought it made sense to get changed and ready for bed when he was still awake so that I wouldn’t disturb him when I eventually go up to bed. I sat on the bed and untied my shoes, I removed my earrings and hung them on the earring tree, and I took off my watch and put it on my dresser. Then I hopped back over to the bed, snatched my pajamas off my pillow, and got changed.

Maneuvering around the bedroom on crutches is a bit of a challenge, but I’ve been getting better. I crutched my way over to FH, got my back scratched, and gave a goodnight kiss. Then I shut off the lights and crutched over to the stairs. Now, the technique for going up or down the stairs on crutches is to put both crutches underneath one arm and use the banister for support. I took one step down before moving the right crutch over to the left arm. And I dropped it.

Do you know how loud it is when a crutch falls down the stairs? It’s pretty loud; especially because it hits every stair on the way down while making a thud, thud, thud noise. This happens and then I hear “OH SHIT” from the bedroom followed by him jumping out of bed. I yell back that I’m okay and that it was my crutch that fell down the stairs, not me. This information, I believe, was met with a combination of relief that I wasn’t injured and anger that I had scared the shit out of him.

So, what’s the moral of the story? FH does not take kindly to hearing me fall down the stairs (although it was technically my crutches). According to him, I gave him a heart attack. I guess it is nice to know he cares. Maybe in the future though, I’ll make sure the crutches are both secure under my arm before moving at all. After all, you know what they say about the boy who cried wolf. And hopefully I won’t fall down the stairs, but with my track record, you really never know. Best not to push my luck.