Monday, April 30, 2007
I got a burst of ambition today and decided to do some sorting out, throwing out, and cleaning up. I can't believe all of the crap we have accumulated over the past twenty years of living here. The problem is that it's not only my and my husband stuff, it's our three kids' stuff that takes up most of the room. Even though they are all moved out on their own (well, one did more back in..."temporarily"), they left much of their stuff here and don't want us to throw it away. We have become a free storage facility for boxes and boxes of stuff, as well as quite a number of old games and toys, clothing, books, exercise equipment and even a full-sized drum set. We are supposed to save it indefinitely because they do not want it taking up space in their own places, yet they can't bear to part with any of it. I am not a pack rat, however I am outnumbered around here by four-to-one.
Some things I will just have to take upon myself to get rid of and if I don't say anything, they will never know. There was half a closet full of Jeff's clothes that he left behind before he moved out. We kept asking him to go through it and bag up what he doesn't want...if he doesn't want any of it, then bag it ALL up. Well, it stayed there and stayed there and so today I finally bagged it up and took it to the charity drop box up in town.
While surveying the basement, which was once open and spacious when we first moved in, is now a chaotic mess of all kinds of stuff and I really don't know where to begin. I will have to devise a plan of action and think about it. What I would really like to do is to get a big dumpster and just chuck it all, regardless of the wailings that would come upon me afterwards.
The next thing to get sorted out are the childhood games. I have every game I have ever bought the kids in a big closet in the basement. While my holiday decorations sit half in and half out of this closet, all of these games are taking up space where the boxes of MY stuff could fit nicely and out of the way. I have asked the kids to come get whatever games they want to keep because I will be giving away to charity what I myself do not care to save, like Mall Madness, or Hungry Hungry Dinosaur. Maybe my little niece and nephew would like those. I will have to ask my sister-in-law if she would like some of these games. I would love to give some of these toys away, but I know they would have huge cows if I did. Their toys are precious to my kids for some reason. They are all in pretty decent condition and they somehow believe that when they have kids of their own that they will be interested in the ancient toys and games of their parents. Maybe they will be, then again with the way kids of today want things with whistles and bells...and pixels...I hope they aren't too disappointed when the stuff from the olden days is ignored. Maybe I will be wrong, but I don't think so. If it doesn't sing and dance and poopy for real, kids aren't interested.
Now I must go think of a strategy for tackling the chaos downstairs.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
While he was inside shopping for the boring stuff, I went to the garden center of Menard's and found two very beautiful plants, a yellow Gerbera Daisy, and a pot of red New Guinea Impatients. They both look so pretty outside. Tomorrow I will clean the deck, scrub the patio chairs and get my other pots ready to receive pansies, snapdragons, geraniums, marigolds and whatever else I might find to plant out there. I love flowers. I would have a huge garden of flowers if I could maintain it. We are going to plant a couple of tomato plants, pepper plants, and some green onions, all in pots on the deck. There are too many rabbits around here and we don't feel like trying to rabbit proof a big garden.
Our son, Jeff called this evening to tell me that his fiancee, Whitney ran all 14 miles of the marathon she participated in in Nashville, Tennessee. It was for Teams in Training to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma society. Way to go, Whitney! Yaaaaayyy!! This was her first marathon and we are very proud of her going all the way. :-D
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I sent the company an email questioning their one day workweek they told me nothing about, and received a vague response which leads me to believe that I could make more money babysitting.
I am assigned to the XXXXXX project.
This is my first project with XXXXXX, so I am still new and getting used to your scoring schedules and procedures. I have been a bit concerned about the lack of work. I understand that this job is a flexible one, but just wondering if every project was this low on hours with weeks of no work to do?
This is not a complaint, I am just wondering if this is how every project is so I can plan for supplemental income of some sort in addition to XXXXXX.
It varies from project to project. Unfortunately we can’t really predict which projects it will happen on.>:- (
Human Resource Assistant
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
My doctor should be very pleased when I go in for my check up next month. :-D
Monday, April 23, 2007
I thought a couple weeks ago that the poor plants were doomed with the snow and cold weather we had, but nature is amazingly resilient!
My little dove couple came back again. I know spring is really here when I hear them "cooing" to each other. They like my deck for some reason and are always out there and don't even seem afraid of me anymore. I think they are really sweet. They look like they are kissing here in this photo. They have a nest built in our maple tree and maybe will have some little baby doves? That is if the mean ol' starlings leave them alone.
If I could describe starlings as compared to human beings, I would categorize them as the neighborhood bullies and thugs. They are very aggressive, make an awful mess and scare all the songbirds away. We can't put our gas barbecue grill outside on our deck because the starlings make a nest out of it and what a nightmarish sight that is to behold when you open the grill lid and see that stuff inside! I tried everything to keep them out, but whatever I put up to keep them out of the nooks and crannies to prevent them from going in there, they manage to find their way in. So, we surrendered and the gas grill is inside the garage and when we want to barbecue we have to drag it out onto the driveway out front and cook there.
There used to be a bitd that tweeted out the first part of the tune of Old MacDonald Had a Farm. It came around for about two years, and I haven't heard it this year. It must have died. It had to have been some kind of magpie or species that mimicked human tunes and noises because no one ever heard of a bird that had a song even resembling Old MacDonald. Oh well. I do have it on a video tape somewhere.
I love birds, listening to the birds sing is quite relaxing. I can sit on my deck and take it all in...the pink tulips, the birds singing and looking at all the lacy tree branches where buds are starting to open up everywhere.
Friday, April 20, 2007
I was going along at a good pace and then BOING...that crappy pop-up message that says "NO MORE WORK AVAILABLE. CONTACT YOUR SUPERVISOR FOR FURTHER INFORMATION." I got a whole whopping 2.5 hours today. But maybe it was for the best because around the same time I started with the back door trots and stomach cramps. I couldn't figure out what it was from, still don't know what it's from but I feel like crap.
Then what happens? I get the migraine lights in my eyes...the lights before the pain. The lights last for about 15 minutes and then the headache starts slowly and builds. I eventually fell asleep and slept for a couple of hours and had the strangest dream. I dreamt that my Bearded Dragon who is no where near being an amphibian suddenly needed an aquarium full of water or she was going to dry out. I was frantically looking for this tank, and was worried she would die. Then all of a sudden my mother and sister show up at my door with my daughter as a surprise! In these dreams my house never looks like the one I live in in reality. It's always big with lots of dark nooks and special rooms going all over like a maze. I must have dreamed about my mother and sister because I was supposed to go over there this evening for dinner, but the way I was feeling, no way. And they surely don't want or need my germs.
Hubby came home not feeling too well either and headed straight for the bathroom, then he laid down on the couch and slept, and I slept...on this nice sunny, warm pleasant day...we are inside sick and sleepy.
Hopefully tomorrow we will be over it.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Seriously, though...I did actually have work today. SHOCK AND SURPRISE! I was supposed to start at 8:OO a.m. when the website message said that the new work was supposed to be ready and waiting. But was it? Of course not. hahaha...that is just too funny to think about that fantasy ever happening!
At 8:15 I still didn't have work in the queue. So, I once again used phone minutes to call Iowa. A person answered and sounded a bit as if she were having a good time. Then when I asked her if there was going to be work to be done today, she said "oh yeah...we just haven't got it all in there yet....keep checking!" WTF? Finally, around 8:45 the work appeared and I got started and put in nine hours. I wanted to keep going but my husband stopped me. Once I get into their site with work, I don't want to let it go. I want to get it while I can!
Anyone want to make any bets how much work will be available tomorrow? It's a long shot.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Well, we arrived at the place about 15 minutes early and sat in the car till it was almost time. When heading to the front door, we were greeted by a very young and skinny black guy and I immediately thought "ERKLE!" Erkle was going to try to sell us a hot tub. Oh what fun we are in for!
Of course, the $1,900 hot tub was a lead-in crappy-assy, very shallow tub. The shallowest hot tub I have ever seen. It was standing on its side, probably to detract from how shallow it really was. If it was sitting flat the way it is supposed to sit, it would have been no deeper than my knees! There were only two jets in the thing, and nothing else. Erkle explained that everything we wanted could be added, more jets, more features which all add up to more money. But the time we made it deeper, and added in the cost of the jets we wanted and other features, the damn thing totaled to nearly $4,000. And it was still cheap quality.
The kid was very enthusiastic, and very, very "programmed" to drudge through this incredibly long sales spiel. All the other hot tub places we have shopped at gave us information, brochure and explanation in less than a half an hour and we were on our way. Also, those sales people took our name and phone number and get back to us from time to time to check on our decision making progress. They remain cordial and helpful and seem to really be interested in selling us their product.
Not the same with Erkle of Chicago Spas! Erkle would not tell us the price of anything until he was ready. He showed us a PowerPoint presentation of bullcrap we already knew. It was very condescending and insulting, as if we are idiots and blind buyers. My husband informed Erkle that we have been doing our homework and have researched many different brands of hot tubs and have been reading up on all the features and materials they are made of so we have a good idea of what is out there. We just wanted to see what they offered for the $1,900 in the newspaper ad, and see what else they might have at the advertised sale prices.
Erkle continued to ramble. My phone rang at one point and it was my sister, so I took the opportunity to excuse myself to call her back in another room. I told her that we were in a hot tub place being tortured with the longest sales pitch since our driver's licenses were held hostage by a Hyundi dealer years ago when we were car shopping. (NEVER give a car salesman your driver's license if you aren't going to buy that day.) I told my sis that I was really ticked to be tied up this long listening to a bunch of sales baloney when we weren't even going to buy anything, not a chance. Not with this husband of mine! Like I said, he has been looking for a long time, and will be looking for awhile before his mind is made up. I couldn't care less what kind of hot tub it is, as long as it's hot, swirling and relaxing. Actually, I would be glad if he just fixed the metal plug in the bathtub in our main bathroom and I would be just as happy with a hot bath.
Saying goodbye to my sister, I reluctantly headed back to the showroom. Erkle was talking to hubby about materials the hot tubs are made from. He had to backtrack to repeat everything I missed even though I basically told him I didn't give a shit to hear it. (I said that nicely though.)
He then proceeded to talk about how acrylic was crappy and their material was super awesome. He had a square of it and giggled and said this is the part of the sales presentation he likes best. He got out a metal hammer and pounded the hell out of the square piece of material, showing how incredibly strong it was. I was not impressed. Who in their right mind is ever going to take a hammer and pound the shit out of their expensive hot tub?
Erkle then showed us different models of hot tubs, he encouraged us to take off our shoes and climb in. My husband asked him how much...and he wouldn't tell. He asked again, and Erkle kept saying "not yet...I have to finish here...we will get to it"...I was growing unbelievably impatient! I wanted to tell this little dweeb to just shut the hell up and give us the price list!
My husband continued to go along with the game, much to my increasing annoyance and irritation. We went back over to Erkle's desk and he brought out a price list. It had very high prices listed for each of the hot tubs in the place, including the cheapy scam one. He started crossing out prices, asking how much we would expect to pay for each hot tub someplace else...one by one by one. I wanted to say "GET TO THE FREAKIN POINT YOU LITTLE MORON!" But I didn't say anything...just sat there seething inside. Erkle continued his little game of jiggle the figures, and finally came up with "today's" very best, very lowest sale prices which were the lowest being nearly $4,000 and the highest at $6,200.
"Today's" sale price? WTF? What was wrong with my husband? Why is he letting this guy go on like this? About twenty years ago he wouldn't have tolerated this kind of baloney. But he kept playing along. I was so steamed, and could hardly contain myself! Then when my husband finally said that we would have to go think it over, Erkle started getting a shitty attitude. He then pulled out a sheet with some kind of chart on it and had two thirds of it covered up with a piece of cardboard. He read the first question "IF TEN PEOPLE COME IN TO LOOK AT HOT TUBS AND TEN LEAVE SAYING THEY WILL COME BACK LATER, HOW MANY ACTUALLY COME BACK?" I wanted to say "Screw you...and your silly games!" But hubby played along...the answer he said was ZERO. I wanted to say "Awww tooo stinkin bad, Erkle! Have a nice time trying to selling anything with your methods." But then he continued on, and the second example was IF TEN PEOPLE COME IN AND PUT A DEPOSIT DOWN ON A HOT TUB, HOW MANY WILL ACTUALLY FOLLOW THROUGH AND BUY THE HOT TUB?" That answer was 50%. And the last question had something to do with people who have money and are ready to buy a hot tub and come shopping for a hot tub, how many buy...all of them, or something to that effect.
The little shyster, time thief, con-artist in training who stole half our afternoon then tells us that if we walk out the door without buying "today" that the prices go up by $3,000! This would push the prices of these plasticky spas to more than the price of a Jacuzzi brand! My husband laughed and said that if we left and he called back in a few days, that Erkle would sell him the hot tub for the sale price. Erkle said "no, you walk, the deal is forfeited". I said that's why they don't get anyone to come back then!
We finally left, and we won't be going back there even if we have to pay more someplace else. I smell a con at Chicago Spas. Erkle better go find another job because with the way they do things, they won't be in business very long.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Wednesday went along fairly well, I trained in a couple of hours and managed to work a full day. Thursday was also a pretty good day and I really thought this was going well. Then around 4:15 in the afternoon a message popped up on the screen that said "No more work available. Please contact your supervisor for further instructions." WTF now!" I muttered to myself, feeling my blood pressure shooting up. I then called the number, using MORE of my cell phone minutes to call the home office, and the woman on the phone basically said this is pretty normal. She told me in a cheery, happy voice that we scorers were so productive that we finished the first batch way before they anticipated and that they had to catch up to us and scan several more thousand of incoming papers for us to work on (which I suspect is bullshit...they just are trying to keep everyone at part time, is what I think.)
The woman said to keep checking the website to see if there is work. I logged on Friday morning and surprise...work in the queue! Yay! I was moving along, and then after only an hour and fifteen minutes the damn message pops up again..."No more work available." I called the Home Office again to get some questions answered. "How often does this happen?" I asked. The woman said that this is why it is "flexible", work comes in spurts. Well, that isn't what I was told when I was hired for the job. I was made to believe I can work up to 40 hours a week. Then it hit me...the weasel phrase "UP TO 40 hours a week". I tried later after my daughter left to drive back east in the evening to see if there was something else in the queue. Nope. Nada.
I then went to fill out my timesheet online. It doesn't work! Surprise, surprise! I called back about that and was told to use a lame ass "exception" timesheet for now while they are working to figure out the problem. At first they were trying to ask me if my computer was set up properly and I said that I spent 16 freakin hours with their tech support practically redoing my whole damn computer to get it to be compatible with their sites and programs. I told her that I would not be able to get into their site now would I if it wasn't set up correctly. Turns out I am not the only one with the problems getting into the timesheet site. They have a list. I must use the cheesy crappy timesheet that takes forever to fill out until the problem is resolved.
I got up early this morning, got my breakfast and then signed in...and WORK was waiting in the queue...(a little "yay" here) and I started working. I managed to get in FOUR hours! (Whoop de freakin do!) Then I had to sign off for lunch. I was happy things were working again, then signed back on after lunch and NO F**&^%% WORK AVAILABLE! AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!
What next with this place, and how long can I put up with it?
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I am making allowances today since our daughter, Mary is in town and we are so happy to see her, but once she leaves people here are going to have to pretend I am not here when they are off when I am not, or if I am working some night hours. It's like this with my writing, too. I am in the middle of a thought and someone comes in and has to ask me where the freakin mayonnaise is...it's IN THE FRIDGE...BEND OVER, MOVE STUFF AND LOOK...which is what I would have to do!
This is going to be an adjustment for all of us. If I was alone for all the hours I work, it would be great, though...no driving, no boss breathing down my neck, and a kitchen full of food and drink...whatever I want...not just a little sack of whatever I bring.
I really do hope this works out.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
My middle son, Jeff called me during the day yesterday and asked if he and his fiancee, Whitney could come over in the evening to visit since they hadn't been over in awhile. I thought it was a bit odd since they had the whole weekend to come over and then decided to come over on a work night. Also, my hubby and I were looking forward to having an evening alone since our oldest son, Jason who "temporarily" moved back in with us had to work late. I dropped several hints about this, but he insisted they really wanted to come by and had a movie to watch with us. Therefore, I didn't want to say no since we don't get to see them a whole lot anymore, and he was so adament about it.
Well, they actually arrived on time, which I didn't think about but I should have thought that was strange too since Jeff rarely arrives at the time he says he is going to. When they got here, they came inside, and they were talking a lot and seemed really happy. Then Jeff, who is a trucker, asked if he could go look in the basement for something for his truck that he left here when he moved out last year, and I said sure (thinking nothing of it since we are everyone's storage facility). Whitney had me distracted looking at stuff she brought with and Jeff appeared again looking like the cat who swallowed the canary. I asked him if he found what he was looking for, and he said no, but that was ok. I told him he wasn't down there long enough to have looked very hard.
Then Whitney, Jeff and I went into the kitchen and I had my back to the doorway and the both of them were laughing like I had a private part hanging out or a booger hanging from my nose. They just laughed harder and harder the more I kept talking, so I figured I better go look in a mirror. I turned around and there was this person standing at the top of the stairs in a horsehead mask exactly like the one in the picture and a black cloak. I was stupified...confused! WTF? Who is this in my house? I first thought it was Jeff's friend Matt. But Matt is taller than this person in this crazy costume. It was weird. The "horse" went over and looked at my husband and he turned and looked at the "horse" and didn't flinch! He looked back at the television and kept watching like nothing unusual was happening! Then the "horse" started making noise...the person inside was trying to make horse noises and sounded more like a gorilla! Then I tried to take the mask off and couldn't get it off and the person was play-slapping back at me...and then the noise the person was making sounded familiar...female...and then I saw the hands MARRRRYYYY! Our daughter, Mary was under that mask! She had driven all through the night Sunday night to get to Jeff and Whitney's and then waited all day at their apartment till they got off work and they brought her over, Jeff (instead of looking for a truck part) sneaked her in through the garage door/then basement door and she came up through the foyer from the basement.
I was so happy I cried. It was the best surprise!!! My kids are too awesome sometimes. I love them so much!
The horse masquerade doesn't end there. They all waited around till Jason got home from work. She went and laid on his bed in the dark with the horse mask and cloak on and when he came in he saw Jeff and Whitney so sat on the love seat to socialize. He usually goes right to his room. I told him then that he had a package on his bed that came in the mail. He had ordered something ONE day ago and wondered how it got here so fast. He turned on the light and thought I had put a plastic horse head in his bed...and didn't get the "joke" not realizing there was a living body laying there. Then she sat up and he backed up a ways and said "who is this person?" and said later that he was totally "weirded out"...and then he pulled off the mask and there was his sister!
Then today, Mary wanted to fool her Grandma and Grandpa (my Mom and Dad), and she initially wanted to go over there herself, and wear the horse get-up. I told her NOOO! You can't go doing that to older people, especially when one of them just had angioplasty for a blocked artery in his heart! He is doing good, so we don't want any surprises to ruin things! So, I drove her over there and she donned the costume while in the van and then she climbed out and walked up the sidewalk. My dad was like "what the heck, it isn't trick or treat yet!" but my Mom who is not easily fooled knew who she was and ran to get her camera.
The dog totally became unglued and started barking and growling at this "monster" coming into the house and finally had to take it off because she was really pissed and she WILL bite! Later, when we were getting ready to leave, Mary once again put the horsehead on and the dog flew off the couch like Cujo and bit at the nose of the mask and then went after Mary's legs!
The funniest part of this whole long story is my husband's reaction...he just looked at the horse mask which was only inches from his face, like so what, big deal...and kept on watching television like it's just another normal occurrence to have a person in a horse costume walk into his house.
What a great week this is so far...and it's only Tuesday! She is staying till Friday and now that I know she drove all through the night from the east coast to get here, and that she will be driving all the way back in one straight shot, I will now worry whereas ignorance was bliss when I didn't know she was coming. But it's all worth it. I have been missing her so much.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
* Why is it that when my hubby is typing something on the computer he does not want to be interrupted and tells me to go away, but it is okay for him to come in and interrupt me whenever I am in the middle of reading or writing something?
* I do not understand what is so hard about putting a new roll of toilet paper on the holder instead of sitting it on the edge of the sink where it can get wet and stuck together. Is it really that hard to put it on the holder?
I found this at About.com:
One of our favorite short clips is from the TV series, "Mad About You." Jamie walks in with the toilet roll holder, and a roll of toilet paper. Without saying a word to Paul, she places the roll on the holder and walks off.
Accept that men do not know how to do this. No matter how many times you show them how to replace a roll of toilet paper, husbands will not do it.
There must be a genetic flaw that prevents men from being able to accomplish this task. Here is a little video that shows HOW TO REPLACE A ROLL OF TOILET PAPER* Why does the television have to be so loud we can hear it outdoors with all the windows and doors closed? (I am not exaggerating.)
*He talks to me when I am on the telephone, however, if he is on the phone and I try to talk to him, he gets quite irrate about it.
* What is it with the channel-flipping? I have noticed this with lots of men...they love to channel flip. It makes me crazy! I get interested in something and flip, start listening to something else...flip! I end up going off to another room to surf the net or to read.
Ok...I am done bitching now.