Archive for November, 2007

Nov 29 2007

Inflation

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Last night, the air mattress lay dejectedly on the hard, hardwood floor. Attempts to revive it with its allegedly rechargeable pump were futile, since the recharger itself was in need of resuscitation. When switched on, it made a low, mournful noise like a cow who has received particularly bad news. It was clear that the mattress and accessory were beyond earthly powers. It was 9:34 p.m., and the nearest Target, which closes at 10 p.m., was 11 miles away. I floored the car all the way, parked in front of the doors, and ran inside the nearly silent store.

“Mattresses?” I gasped at the first red-clad employee I saw (coincidentally, her name was Destiny, which gave me a Hotel Hell flashback. Even Hotel Hell would be better than sleeping on the floor. Well, maybe not.).

“Upstairs and at the other end of the store, in the back. Camping supplies.”

Of course.

I raced up the escalator with the speed of Letterman (would they close the store now I was actually in it? If so, I’d have the pick of the air mattresses) and found the camping supplies for girls who are camping in their houses. There were no fewer than three variations of the mattress which had literally and figuratively let me down, but I scorned them in favor of a BeautyRest Perfect Balance Pillow Top ExtraordinAIRE (get it?), which turned out to be quite comfortable, though Prolly Wolly* purple.

I foolishly allowed myself a moment (OK, the entire drive back) of smugness at having solved the mattress problem. Little did I know…

*Silly family in-joke. You don’t want to know.

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Nov 28 2007

New & Improved?

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While mad dogs and Englishmen are romping around my blog, I’ve been wondering if I’ve been hiding under a rock lately, or am possibly from another, less advanced planet.

First, there was the magically scanning ATM, right there in the grocery store where I’ve been spending so much time and money.

Then, the cable guys came – on a Sunday! – and installed the cable, along with something called On Demand. Apparently, you can turn it on anytime and watch network TV shows or movies, even fast forwarding through the boring parts. Who knew? Needless to say, I was unable to figure out how to stop fast forwarding the movie once I started it, so I turned it off and went to bed (well, air mattress – but that’s another story), but it’s nice to know it’s there. I might even read the instruction booklet once I’m finished with this week’s People.

The new home phone has talking caller ID, with a disembodied computer voice announcing who’s calling. I can’t make it stop, despite turning off the option on both handsets.

Last night, I attempted to cook in my new kitchen for the first time. The kitchen is very cute, with its breakfast nook and morning sunshine, but there are approximately three square inches of counter space that are not hiding coyly under the oversized cupboards. Let’s just say it was a challenge and led to at least one bottle of wine. Actually, the whole move has led to quite a few bottles of wine, so if you’ve noticed an increase in wine stock prices, you’ll know why. I’ve always been a believer in improving the local economy.

Once preparations were complete and the swearing had faded from the evening air, I went to turn on the quite splendid gas stove. I’m used to just turning a knob, but this one has a touch screen. I looked over the options for a while, and finally decided on “bake”, then the arrow key to get the temperature I wanted. When it was hot, it beeped loudly. It took me a little while to figure out how to turn it off, too.

Fortunately, there’s no dishwasher.

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Nov 27 2007

Disturbia

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I don’t check my blog stats very often. I don’t care if one person or one hundred people read it every day. I know that friends and family read it to find out what I’m up to, since I’m terrible at email and phoning, and that’s good enough for me.

But today, I had a look and of the 100 last visits, 99 were from various locations in the UK. Weirder than that, they were either “unknown”, meaning it’s someone’s bookmark, or a search on various search engines for “Suzy Says”.

What is up with that?

I quickly reviewed my last entries and they’re all about moving or Thanksgiving, no UK content that I’m aware of. I’m finding it all a little creepy, to tell you the truth. No warnings from Paul Revere or anyone else that the British were coming, or what they could possibly want from me.

Weird.

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Nov 26 2007

T-Day

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Anderson Valley on a misty November morning

It turns out that traffic was the least of my T-Day travel worries.

Note to self: taking kittens on a road trip is not a good idea. Audrey pooed with horror on the way up, so I pulled over and tossed the towel from her carrier at a gas station in Oakland, where a guy asked me for money for brown sugar, on account of his mother was coming all the way from Louisiana for Thanksgiving and he was making a ham. I gave him a dollar to leave me alone while I wrestled with the gas pump, and surprisingly, noticed him asking someone else for brown sugar money while I was filling up the car. Either hams need a lot of brown sugar, or “brown sugar” means something else, like crack or Ripple.

Same deal on the way back, except she also barfed, making my roadside clean-up somewhere on 128 oh so fun. June, on the other hand, was perfect. Did I mention Audrey’s non stop meowing “Are we there yet?” for four hours?

On the bright side, traffic was minimal, and I didn’t even experience the traditional Santa Rosa Slowdown. My little sister’s little house in the big woods was full of friends, family and food. One of our friends had brought along her father, known as Tubby to one and all, despite not being particularly tubby. Things I learned about Tubby over Thanksgiving dinner:

  • Time in padded cell: 9 days – just “woke up there” one day;
  • Time in jail cell: 288 days – instead of paying a $9,000 fine;
  • Best weekend: seeing Willie Nelson in 1974, with the best coke, white lightning and hookers he’d ever had, and he is quite experienced in all;
  • Favorite job: safety worker at NASCAR, putting out fires and pulling drivers from wrecks (9 years); and
  • Lifetime ambition: to go to the Northwest Territories and kill one of everything they got.

After the huge dinner and 9 thousand glasses of wine, repaired with Tubby and other guests to a neighbor’s house, which is vacant due to her current sojourn in prison. Possibly she is Tubby’s soulmate. Slept, if you can call it that, on the floor since there was no room at my sister’s house. Tubby’s snoring preferable to Tubby’s talking.

The next day, I called the movers and was told that my stuff wouldn’t get here until December 3 at the earliest. Why, you ask, when it was picked up Nov. 15? Because the geographically challenged idiots at the moving company sent the driver to Cincinnati, then Kentucky, and now he’s on his way to…Boston. I burst into tears. Decided to borrow an air mattress and blankets and just camp out in the house I’ve been paying rent on since Nov. 10. I guess all moves have their problems. I just wish they weren’t mine.

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Nov 22 2007

Over the River and Through the Woods

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Or the modern version: “Into the car and into the traffic”. I caught this while stuck on 580 yesterday and wondered if the guy was getting a jump on Thanksgiving, or was just thankful in general.

I’d better go and brave the T-Day traffic myself if I want to get any turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! May you be enjoying the day with those you love most.

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Nov 21 2007

Old Fashioned & New Fangled

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Glenn’s Hot Dogs: Since 1947

Today I went over to the new house to imagine where the furniture will go if/when it gets here. The moving company cheerfully informed me that it will now be between the 28th and the 30th, so that means I’ll have been paying rent for almost three weeks for an empty house by the time it gets here. Oh so Suzy. Let’s hope it shows up before December, and that it all shows up, preferably unbroken, even though I’ll have to have a giant yard sale or trashathon to get rid of the many things that won’t fit the new house.

I did take photos and have posted them on Facebook, because it’s oh so easy and I’m oh so lazy. I promise I will post them here too, after suitable sizing, etc., but not until after Thanksgiving, because I’m going up to my brother and sister’s tomorrow, traffic permitting. I spent last Thanksgiving in a hotel, and I figured if I did it again this year it was getting to be a bad habit, and God knows I already have enough of those.

After admiring the house, I went to the grocery store to deposit my paycheck and get some wine for Thanksgiving (rule number one of being a good guest is to arrive with wine, especially when it’s the holidays and the house is packed with friends and relations). There were no envelopes at the ATM, but a sign assured me I could just put the check in naked, and I decided to believe it.

The check slid into the bowels of the machine, and after a short wait, even to Me, the screen informed me of the number and amount of the check and added that it had been approved. Wow. It then asked me whether I wanted a receipt with the check scanned on it, or just the regular receipt. I was very impressed by this. Of course, I barely know how to use an iPod, so others may not find this as amazing as I did, but I still think it’s cool.

With the proceeds of my check, I invested in six bottles of six dollar wine (Clos Du Bois and Ravenswood, on sale) and lunch at Glenn’s Hot Dogs. Being Northern California, there were many non-traditional options, such as turkey burgers, veggie burgers, and, in my case, smoked chicken apple sausage with fancy mustard. I sat at the counter in the bright sun and was thankful to be home again.

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Nov 18 2007

Doin’ the Limbo

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Fog coming in over the mountains

It’s a sunny Sunday in San Ramon. You may wonder where it is, and although I’m here, writing outside the Guest Laundry at the hotel, I don’t really know, either. It’s technically in the Bay Area, yet many highways (6?) from SFO. It’s sort of like when I went to see the Islanders somewhere on the Island and still don’t know where it is.

It doesn’t really matter, though, since I’m in Limbo and this may well be where Limbo is located. It wouldn’t surprise me.

I’m awaiting my laundry and my furniture, pretty much in that order. Faithful readers will not be surprised to read that I have had a certain amount of trouble with the Guest Laundry facilities, including stubbing my sandal-clad foot, hitting head on overhead washing machine, and being on the third set of quarters for the dryer, which is apparently even lazier than I am on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

At least I can sit outside while I’m waiting. It’s probably safer here.

The laundry should win the race, despite having a much later start. The many thousand pounds of my personal possessions were packed onto a truck on Wednesday. The Illustrated Man who headed up the operation assured me that they would be decanted at the warehouse, then escorted onto a giant moving truck for the main journey the following day. Supposedly, the driver could tell me that day how long it would take for my things and stuff to arrive at my bijou Oakland residence.

The driver, however, had other plans. Not only did he not appear the next morning, he didn’t appear at all the next day. When I finally tracked down the guy at the moving office and he finally tracked down the driver, he informed me that my things wouldn’t even be put on the big truck until Tuesday. Tuesday! Almost a week after the promised date! He told me this while I was on one of the many highways between San Ramon and Oakland, and I was too surprised to say much of anything, not that there’s anything I can really say or do under the circumstances. Except wait. And hope this isn’t a bad omen.

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Nov 11 2007

Weapon of Minor Destruction

Published by under Calamity Suzy

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Now, that looks dangerous.

Your average, drugstore-bought round brush doesn’t, does it? But in the hands of Calamity Suzy, I assure you it is.

In a foolish attempt to recreate the hairstyle my stylist* gave me a few days before (much like that sported lately by the lovely Reese), I managed to get the brush hopelessly entangled in my hair. Within seconds. Faster than the gunfight at the OK Corral. It was like, turn on hair dryer, wrap hair around brush – SNAG!

Uh oh.

I tried to untangle it, looking in the mirror from every conceivable angle, pulling hopelessly at various tufts until the inevitable became apparent.

I had to cut the brush out.

This is not what a girl wants to hear after dropping some serious change on a fabulous haircut and highlights. All I can say is thank God I’m moving or my stylist would kill me. Or run me out of town on a rail** for destroying his artwork.

So, yeah: SNIP! And SOB!

Fortunately, like Meg in LIttle Women, I am only bald underneath. Unfortunately for the brush, my hair was so wildly entangled in it that I threw it out in horror and embarrassment. Enough for about a million DNA tests on any given CSI, so I better keep my nose clean.

And my hair unbrushed.

*Oh, Sandy and Didi…I think I’ll miss you most of all!

**Probably still more enjoyable than your average airport experience. Or mine.

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Nov 10 2007

34 Again

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I’m 34 today. 34 in the queue for technical assistance chat, which may well end up being a technical assistance rant, at least on my part. I’ve spent all day battling the evil PC, which we all know stands for Piece of Crap, and as anyone who has ever had one, looked at one, or thought of one will not be surprised to hear, I have accomplished nothing. Except the fraying of my already frazzled nerves and the losing of what remains of my tiny mind.

You may think the loss of my once resplendent mind is the reason for the chat thing and the queue thing, but it’s actually cheapness and indignation: if I were to actually speak to one of the tech support monarchs, those regal creatures bedecked with pocket protectors and with no need of sexual protection ever, it would cost me $10. And the wait would be 30 minutes.

Of course, the wait may still be 30 minutes, but I can bitch to you while I wait, like letting the gas escape slowly from a Champagne cork instead of wrenching it out, causing an explosion (and a sad waste of Champagne).

You may also be wondering why I’m even touching or thinking about the Egyptian curse of machinery when I have a perfectly good iBook. It’s because the folks who run the website which I use for work decided not to risk their manicures by putting in the Mac language (or whatever you geeks call it). So I have to use a PC for some of my work, thankfully not all of it.

Hoping to get the piece of work done before the moving madness crunch hits on Monday, I fired up the Evilosity and have been suffering ever since. Freeze-ups, error messages, you name it. Everything but productivity. Driven to desperation, I downloaded a software upgrade that was supposed to fix everything. All it fixed was my little wagon, since I got an error message on attempting to install it after paying $60 for the upgrade and am now in chat queue hell with no-one to chat to about my misfortune except you, my adoring audience.

I’m now 23. Is that too old to cry in public?

Update: All the tech support in India couldn’t fix it. I feel it is a personal triumph not to have hurled Self or PC in front of speeding train. I am referring the matter to our part-time tech person after the move. I hope she’s more patient than I am!

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Nov 08 2007

Cruel and Unusual Packingment

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Hi, how are you? You look great! Have you been working out, ’cause you look great. Really great. You know what’s the best exercise ever? No, not shopping – it’s packing! That’s right! So cardio, with the box filling and hauling, and so stretchy, with all the bending and lifting! It’s an all-in-one workout, I’m telling you. Why don’t you come on over and pack with me? You’ll love it! More fun than a Thighmaster and Stairmaster combined. Wait, come back! Come back…

I don’t blame you for running away. I’d run away myself I could extricate myself from the sea of boxes and chaos. It looks like the inside of my head around here. For some reason, no matter how many boxes you fill with things and stuff, there is an endless supply of non-packed things and stuff lying around mocking you. You’d think that boxing things up would create order, but not around here.

Maybe I’m doing it wrong.

There’s a strong possibility of this, because another discovery I have made about packing is that it’s perilously close to housework. You can tell because it’s boring, endless, and ruinous to a girl’s manicure, all things any right-thinking person avoids like the evening news or nude photos of George Bush (either one). My sentence is up in less than a week: the movers arrive next Wednesday, whether I’m ready or not. Can she do it? Stay tuned!

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Nov 06 2007

Movin’ On Up

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Where I am…

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…Where I’m going.

Next week!

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