Thursday, December 14, 2006

Meowy Christmas

I laid out my tree lights and tested them last night. I removed all the pesky blinkers, for once. Tooter stepped out and did the Meow Mix commercial. She's crazy like that. I screwed around with my camera and the lights. Not trying to be artsy, just messing around.

I remember in childhood how it seemed like it was a big deal whether the lights were going to work from year to year. Going through, painstakingly, light by light to find out which light was burned out. Why wouldn't they work if one was gone? Is it a series vs. parallel issue? Why would they make lights like that?? Wow, I also remember that we used to put c-7 lights on the tree. They had these individual aluminum reflectors shaped like stars and such on each light. It all put out a lot of heat. I vaguely remember having one of these...i think. You'd put it near your tree, where it could shine the slowly spinning color wheel on it and whatever else is in the room. I think that the effect was more spectacular if you had a flocked tree, or one made entirely of tinsel. As usual, I need more. A hallway full isn't enough.

Current music: Pet Shop Boys: I Want A Dog

Monday, December 11, 2006

Bummin around this old town for way too long

I found out a super easy way to get a lot of attention from a lot of women. Buy wooden hangers. You can increase the attention by making silly comments like, "It's all I'm giving for Christmas." Maybe not. I didn't really care--I was just out to solve a problem. My whole life, I've hated to have shoulder nipples. I've never noticed that anyone that I'm talking to has them, but I can't leave my shirts alone if I know I've got them. So, in an effort to eliminate just one of my tics, No More Wire Hangers! Super happy fun in my new closet!

In other news, nearly all the problems in the house have been resolved. The faulty microwave took stamina and repeated upon repeated calls. The replacement of the washing machine took a second in-person unhappy customer visit at the store. Just some patience and persistence is all, but the a/v man is begging to find out that those virtues are all used up. The electrical problems between the living room, kitchen and utility room haven't exactly resolved yet and I'm beginning to be inclined to think that some component in the theatre setup is the real culprit. Who knows? I do know that I've been in this house a month now (yay!) and they're still jacking around. Time's up!

current music: Vince Guaraldi: Linus and Lucy

Friday, November 17, 2006

Ignorance Without the Bliss

I'm not saying that I have a lemon of a house, just a house full of them. So far, making the problem list I have a TV, freezer, washing machine, microwave, and a receiver. I also lost some shingles in the 60mph wind gusts that didn't stop all Sunday night. *Rank Up!* At least when I mentioned the roof, in passing, to Steve he volunteered the builder to repair the roof damage. I had no expectation of that. Stupidly, when you call these Best Buy/Circuit City places to make a claim on your serivce agreement you have to go through a video game-type process of qualifying for the prize.

1. Call the store that gave you the warranty.

2. Call the 800 number for the store's national database and get a claim number.

3. The local repairman to calls you for an appointment to look it.

4. Have the repairman call the store's 800 number to confirm that you'd be stupid to not claim the 30 day return policy.

5. Call the store's 800 number to find out that now you have to...

6. Call the manufacturer because their warranty comes first.

7. Have a manufacturer's repairman appoint to confirm the diagnosis of the store's repairman.

8. Wait for the second repairman to give the manufacturer his information.

9. Call the manufacturer to get a case number.

10. Call the store's 800 number to make sure that they get the claim number from the manufacturer.

11. Call the local store to make sure that they have gotten the case number from their 800 number.

12. Call the local store to set up a delivery date for the new appliance.

I added the unlisted step of calling the local store to ask them to go ahead and order my new appliance in hopes of shortening my wait. They don't stock the product (of course!) and they won't pre-order, even if you have family coming for Thanksgiving. My employees are mad at me because I want to spend all of my day on hold and not see patients. Plus, I'm a grumpy bear.

Here are some move-in weekend pics: Ashton obviously didn't know I had a camera in my hand.

The first cooked and shared meal in the house. Yes, I'll have to make a picture for the first prepared dinner in the house and the first baking that happens. Maybe even more.

The house didn't stay a mess long with my Mother Supreme around.

Papa Murphy's pizza is always a hit!

current music: Aimee Mann: Choice in the Matter

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Late night booty calls

Last week I had to interrupt my angst over the impending move with a dental continuing education course in Chicago. (My pimps 'n ho's better know this as Stillwater.) It's a common misconception that "The Windy City" is called so because it's windy. It was nicknamed such because of its long-winded politicians. Lubbock is windier. Even so, it was damn cold and windy!

Driving around in my Cosmos, I made use of the HUD:

I don't know that I'll ever rent a car again without a GPS. I balked when the agent at Hertz wanted to sell me the use of one. In fact, I turned it down completely. I was even miffed when I got to my car and there was one inside. I got in, turned the thing on, and didn't go anywhere without it for the whole trip! I should have thanked the agent when I returned the car, but whatever. Fat chance.

After I checked in and inspected my Heavenly Bed at the Westin, I set out for the idyllic (in my mind) Wrigley Field. I guess the temperature was somewhere around freezing. Does it look that way in the pics? It felt so cold, I swear my hands nearly broke off. It's weird going to a famous place that you're used to seeing on TV. It almost always looks smaller, doesn't it? Here's Waveland Avenue, where Andre Dawson used to deposit his homers:

This is not a pretty stadium from the outside. It *might* make Texas Stadium look good. Maybe not.

I don't know if they were removing sod or installing it. I didn't care to ask because I was ready to get anywhere that wasn't outside, and also for fear that some native Chicagoan would bite my head off for the hell of it.

For lunch, I searched out The Billy Goat Tavern. It's under Michigan Avenue. Strange. You walk along the street and notice no real incline, and all of a sudden there are stairs down to another street. I tried to figure it out with all the walking I did, and couldn't. This joint was made nationally famous on Saturday Night Live by John Belushi. Here is a real video of the cooks, since I couldn't find one of Belushi. If you can catch an old Belushi SNL, you should. They're hilarious.

The Cheeseburger (Double) was simplistically good. They weren't made over an open flame. All it had on it was pickles, mustard and chopped onions. Don't order Dr. Pepper in Chicago. Root beer is the closest thing they've got.

I went from there to South Bend, Indiana. Even though Notre Dame is pretty much on the same ignoble level as A&M and OU, being the lover of the game that I am I couldn't be so close by and not check it out for its historical value alone. If I had been able to get there earlier, I would've been able to visit the College Football Hall of Fame. Here's the Golden Dome way down the street. It was snowing big flakes, a real nice experience.

I got a picture of Touchdown Jesus. Hopefully this means we'll have football in Heaven.

That night I had dinner at Lou Malnati's for a real Chicago-style pizza. It was good, but I'm not a great fan of tomato sauce. There's a lot of that in a deep dish pizza. Ricky-style pizza would invert the tomato paste and mozzerella cheese. Yum! Let's start a restaraunt. I know it'd be a hit. Walking back to the parking garage, I got a picture of the El clacking by.

Friday, I was in Rosemont for a very good class by Gordon Christensen. I went downtown to The Magnificent Mile and shopped (below) for a couple of hours and then attempted to eat at Gene & Georgetti restaurant, since I was dressed casually elegant. Check out the menu. Apparently Frank Sinatra liked this place, and Lucille Ball had been there. I felt out of my element, totally, but since I was alone I decided to just walk around the place and check it out. I saw some hoity toity famosos that didn't have their stage makeup on, and I couldn't tell you who they were. I would've liked to see what a $36.50 steak tasted like, but I decided not to wait on a table. I'd be surprised if I hadn't had one more expensive than that before, but i can't remember where or when. That tells me that I didn't miss out on anything by passing it up and going instead to Parthenon. I had a Greek salad with lotsa big veggies (onions + feta = yummers) and a half order of dolmades. For dinner I ordered something very ethnic, Lamb Amnopita. It was very tangy and stung my ulcerated cheeks, and lamb's just not that wonderful of a meat choice. Otherwise, I bet it was good. It was like a Greek lamb hot pocket.

On Saturday, I checked out of the hotel and drove down for a hot dog at The Weiner's Circle. Chicago is known for its hot dogs? I knew enough to not ask for ketchup on mine. That's taboo. Anyway, if you look very closely, you can see a weiner in there. It's under three slices of tomato, two pickle spears, grilled onions, mustard and some peppers that aren't jalapenos. There's also this "cheddar" cheese (whiz) of a wangy gel on it. It wasn't gross, but it was gaudy and weird, and ultimately, mushy. Boy, those were some good, salty, fries!

They also offer a heapin' helpin' of abuse, which I avoided artfully. The cashier did tell this other guy, who I hope was a native Chicagoan, that "I didn't shove SHIT in front of you!"

It was weird to see such tall buildings everywhere. The whole city consists of 3-5 story buildings shoved up against each other. We're used to seeing open spaces, and things pretty much blended into them. It's neat to visit a place that you can see how as time marched on, they just made it fit. Homes and buildings right up to the train tracks and freeways. I found it charming...unlike the residents.

Here are some views from the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, the Sears Tower. Can you see Comiskey Park and Soldier Field?

Way over yon, the black building, is the Hancock Center. It doesn't look it from here, but it's a very tall building in its own right.

Here's a pic looking up from the base. I think it's black anodized aluminum? Pretty.

I have a picture of Donald Trump's new building/hotel here on the river at Michigan Avenue that will be the second tallest in the city. (I forgot to upload it.) I wonder how much it'll cost to stay there. Michigan Avenue is magnificent. Huge store upon huge store, most with large show windows on the street, or skyscrapers with shops on the first several floors. Stores for everything! I guess it's second only to 5th Avenue in New York for retailers. Here I met the nicest people in Chicago. They were all trying to make sure I didn't want to buy anything, but they were very helpful and nice.

I'd like to go back with friends or family. I uncharacteristically made questionable food choices at the restaurants I visited. I want a re-visit! Fun was had anyway.

current music: Who Da Funk: Shiny Disco Balls

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Something is out of reach...he's feeling taunted

I finally got my computer back, but not for good. I'll have more pictures to post as soon as I have time. I'm off to Chicago on Thursday for a continuing education class. Maybe Sunday? The place is nearly ready to move into. I haven't allowed a closing date to be set yet, but I'm aiming to move on Friday, November 10!

Here's a picture of Ashton and Sarenna standing on my mailbox.

The toilet lids won't slam! I wonder how long that is supposed to last.

A rough picture of the place at night. I didn't have my tripod, so I couldn't take a nicer picture.

My first meal in the house. I guess it doesn't count, since it's not mine yet. Yum. Taco Casa. I'm hungry for it right now.

current music: 10,000 Maniacs: A Campfire Song

Monday, October 23, 2006

Gone, but I don't know where

I've been without my computer, so my public's been without an update for too long. The hoose is pretty much finished! I have a meeting on Tuesday to review the contract and go over finishing touches with the builder. I guess my official move in date is going to be November 11. I imagine that I'll have various things moved in before then, but that's when I'll get it all done (for me).

In the meantime, the charge of the elephant:

current music: Aimee Mann: Lost in Space

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Move in date: End October/Beginning of Nov!

How 'bout them Texas Cheerleaders? Sarenna's "Hook 'em Horns!" isn't quite spontaneous yet, but I've seen grown women do the same thing.

Are they teaching cheer in April's dance class? I think Ashton already has it down.

Here's a closeup of the finished backsplash. Let's make the usual disclaimer that these photos do their subject zero justice.

The finished fireplace:

My shower. They delivered the glass on Wednesday, and I'm excited about the choice that we made! Maybe it'll be installed next week.

Here's the fixture in the shower that Laura says she pushed for heavily. It's sweeeet.

The stove is back!

The drawer dishwasher. I won't be using it at all. None of my dishes or flatware are going to be dishwasher safe. Be sure and bring your rubber gloves to do your own wash after you've dined with me.

Icemaker with reverse osmosed water!

Ovens. Turkey in the top one and three chocolate pies in the bottom one.

This sink isn't hooked up, but it's otherwise finished. Oh, and yeah. They need to replace the polished chrome fixture on the left with one that's brushed nickel. It'll happen.

The utility room sink. It'll be ultra convenient for, say, Ron to be washing his dishes and silverware in this sink if Allen's busy doing the same at the kitchen one. We don't need to have long lines forming.

The living room wood floor was placed first. I was alarmed that it was so dark, but that's because I really got used to having the gray concrete floor. Curses! I still think polished concrete would be awesome. Maybe in the next house.

All together now! Tile, hardwood, cabinetry, and paint! Well orchestrated, Tina!.

current music: Scissor Sisters: I Don't Feel Like Dancin'

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Always Just Breaking Apart

It's time to start packing!

I thought this capability to embed was neat-O. I think this was the last time Robert Smith had a haircut.

I'll have pictures to post tonight, tomorrow, and/or the next day!

current music: The Cure: Pictures of You

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


From the advertisment/boxes would you be more apt to purchase the jacuzzi tub (left) or the down pillows (right)? The pillows cost more than the tub. I can't afford to be that comfortable. Plus, I'd look stupid if good rest afforded me by these pillow caused a look on my face like this.

I don't think that rest causes looks like that. But...what do I know?

current music: Donna Summer: Hot Stuff

Monday, September 18, 2006

Fresh off my beating of Tina in FFootball...

Which, by the way, was soooooo sweet. Like watching Woody Hayes cold cock an opposing player, giving a good wax job to your best friend never gets old. In a related matter, Rusty is silencing another hubrisitic owner (I'm blogging this from his house as we speak. Can you hear the squeals of anguish with each overthrown Roethlisberger pass???) That being said, Tina's done such a smash up job picking out the fineries of my house! I couldn't be more excited as each new fixture gets installed. Here's the beginnning of the backsplash behind the stove. She designed it herself:

These pictures don't do the work justice. It should be ready to be grouted tomorrow. These tiles are going into the middle. They're copper of some sort, being either copper colored or a slight slight slight greenish tinge.

Here is the backsplash behind the sink. I relented and got a stainless steel sink, when I had originally wanted a ceramic-style one. It'll be cool. It's sturdier than the ones I've had in past apartments, which had influenced my decision making process in a negative way. The tile is the same as what's on the floor.

The ultra super neatrocious fan in the living room. This picture also doesn't convey properly its subject's magnifecence. Look at its aerodynamicity. Rusty, it's been engineered to reach category 5 storm windspeed!

These are the light fixtures in the entry way and dining room. Madonna-esque? Nice.

Here's the breakfast area fixture:

Far off you can see the ceiling fan for the kitchen. It'll be convenient for cooling off all hot pizza placed on the island. Hot food is overrated anyway, like hot water to wash your hands. I'm only thinking of my guests and their potential scalded palates. It's not good to slough, Shannon. Anway, the fan's obviously going to match the stainless steel appliances. Mom & Dad, you won't be able to see any fingerprints on all that stainless steel. None!

They installed the front porch light as well. It dangles in a stately manner.

Tina looking at the shower design she made. The pieces of granite are the same as the vanity.

And the tub area. I've traded out Tina's design services for future tub time. It's a real deal for me. She doesn't realize in the negotiations I had my fingers crossed. She'll be doing her tub time in the Jack & Jill bath. It's still got pretty glass blocks above it, like mine, albeit less.

current music: Brian: Weeping & Gnashing of Teeth