Fortune Cookie Friday

Hey everyone it’s that time again!  I know you were all waiting for it so here it is!

Last night we said screw the budget and went to the Pho Grill near our house for dinner (it really isn’t screwing the budget, it’s very reasonable).  This eatery is akin to a Mongolian BBQ style restaurant.  You fill a bowl with your choice of ingredients, hand it to the guy at the grill and wait, trying not to drool as he cooks your dinner.  I’ve never been a big fan of this kind of place but something about this little store-front establishment just hits the right spot.

There was a new hostess/waitress last night and I don’t remember her name but she was very friendly.  In addition to being conscientious about clearing used dishes, she stopped by our table several times to check on us and chat.

Anyway, back to our theme.  Because we made her laugh she gave us each two fortune cookies and it’s a good thing, because one of mine was empty!  Since we waited till we got home to open them I was able to overreact quite melodramatically to JD’s amusement.  The other cookie’s fortune said this:

Genius 2

Wise words.  Think about it.  If you give up you’ll never know what you could have accomplished, right?

Then there was this in one of JD’s cookies:

Give what you have

The phrasing is awkward but he agreed with it.  If you insert “else” after someone it sounds a little better.  JD said it was like us.  He gives me what he has, which he doesn’t consider much and it always flummoxes him that I find it valuable.  Even at his most frustrating I love that man.

His other fortune was also appropriate:



I like the message here and while I don’t think JD will take it to heart, every little reminder I can get in front of him is welcome.

May the sun shine on you and yours this weekend.  Oh, and

O   !!!!



Fiasco Finale

I have Doobster‘s comment yesterday to thank for inspiring the beginning of this follow-up post – THANKS DOOBSTER!

When we left our heroine she was struggling not to scream bloody murder…

… the hose came in contact with the foot rail and of course since it was only “crammed in” it of course made a leap of freedom – and began fountaining all over my carpet.

Cue the melodramatic theme music.

I made a grab for the hose, like I could magically keep it from flooding more of my bedroom while Junior hollered out to JD to turn off the water.  Seconds later the deluge ended and we started soaking up what we could with our supply of ShamWow!s.  (Yeah, I know that spelling looks weird but you have to see the website to fully understand that it is probably accurate.  The ! is part of the trademark name so to insert the “s” between the word and the exclamation point, while grammatically correct, degrades their trademark.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)  Digression aside, ShamWow!s work pretty well at soaking up water once they’re wet themselves.  The first round wasn’t very effective but by the time I’d wrung them out and reapplied we were having more success.

Somewhere in the middle of all that I’d plugged the hole in the waterbed and screwed on the cap so we weren’t in danger of re-flooding from that source.  Now came figuring out a fix.  Jack (you remember him right dear reader?) figured we could just slide the platform toward the foot of the bed.  “We” being the guys of course because as we all know I’d already tried scooting the mattress up without any luck.  No surprise they didn’t fare any better.  Besides the fact that water weighs a ton, the oh-so-clever Jack had forgotten he’d screwed the platform down just moments before.  Bright boy, that Jack.

So where did that leave us?  If you guessed that we had to remove the semi-full mattress and take apart the bed frame then you would be exactly correct!  Sorry, there is no prize.

The men hauled the mattress out and slid it aside into the vanity area off the master bedroom.  Then came the grunting, groaning and screeching screwdriver as Jack unscrewed screws and re-positioned the platform while JD and Junior assisted with the headboard and side rails.  Soon the last screw had been reapplied and they were ready to re-install the mattress.  Success!

Um, not so much.

With the waterbed mattress in place it was immediately clear there was a problem.  The mattress didn’t billow out to fill in the corners of the frame as it should have.  Instead there was a humongous mound in the middle of the bed.

Apparently some waterbeds shouldn’t be moved when they’re full:

In the case of waveless or semi-waveless bladders, a tethering system is recommended beneath the bladder to keep fibers from bunching in one place.

Something tells me our waterbed doesn’t have “a tethering system”.  Sigh.  It was amusing to watch grown men trying to mash the gargantuan lump flat, so there’s that.

Finally, they gave up and we decided the wisest course was to drain the mattress and try to flatten it out once it was empty again.  Of course that raised the issue of no adaptor and how we were going to do that without recreating the Great Flood (sans animal pairs).  JD dismissed Jack and Junior saying we would take it from there, and they sped off before we could call them back.  We then let our fingers do the walking and called everywhere we could think of to find an adaptor so we could use our hose to drain the mattress.  No one had anything that would work.  Oh sure, there were plenty of waterbed drain/fill kits – online!  Dammit Jim!

We were left with one option, haul the stupid mattress out of the frame, through the house and onto the front porch where we could open up the drain and let it rip.  Figuratively speaking.  So JD got busy; I can’t say I was much help.  When it comes to upper body strength I’m a lot like cooked linguine.

Now that the mattress was happily spilling its guts onto the ground via our deck we addressed the reassembly of the bed using our standard box springs and king size latex mattress.  It had been our original plan so we weren’t too disappointed.  That is until we discovered the one question none of us had thought to ask.  Geez.

Turns out no matter how hard you try you cannot fit an Eastern king size bed into the frame for a California king size bed.  Fuck.  FUCK!  FUCK!

Sorry, sorry.  No.  No, I’m not.  There is no other word to describe how I felt at that point.

JD flopped down on our old mattress where it lay in our living room and I found a seat and fought back tears of frustration.  We remained like that a while, then JD went out to the shed to retrieve his own cordless drill so he could start taking apart the bed frame.  At least we could use the platform part and get our mattress up off the floor.  We’ll store the headboard and side rails until we either fix the waterbed mattress or replace it.

And the cherry on the sundae?  Wouldn’t you know the battery on JD’s cordless drill was dead?


The Great Waterbed Fiasco

Oh sure, it’s funny now, but Saturday afternoon I was in tears and not from laughter.

A few weeks back my friend — how about we call her Patty — told me she was going to have to give up her bedroom set.  Now you have to understand that Patty has had this bedroom set since before her daughter was born – probably more than 30 years!  But she has COPD and other health maladies which have contributed to make breathing difficult.  Lying down, breathing is nearly impossible so she started sleeping in a recliner in her living room leaving her waterbed to gather discarded clothes, dust bunnies from hell and cat hair.  She needs it gone so she can move in a standard bed and sleep there using a bean bag chair to keep her elevated.  I thought this was an ingenious idea and I hope it works.

Well JD and I discussed it and decided that if nothing else, her waterbed frame would be strong enough to support our latex mattress since its frame bought the farm a few months back.  Latex mattresses are hella-heavy y’all, but pretty comfy most of the time.  We offered to buy her 30+ year old bedroom set and she sold it to us for $50!  Plus her friend and his son were going to deliver it; the faster to get it out of their way don’t you know?

Saturday we made the drive over to her place to pay her and pick up a couple of things that wouldn’t fit in her truck with the camper shell on.  Then we led the way back to our place, Patty’s friend playing leap frog with us in traffic.  That man definitely has control issues.  Too bad that control doesn’t extend to attention to detail!

Sorry, sorry {in with the good air … out with the bad, repeat}

We arrived at our house and the men started unloading furniture, a LOT of furniture.  All the parts to the waterbed – six drawers that made up the base, foot rail and side boards plus a huge mirrored and lighted headboard; a dresser with a matching mirrored, lighted …hmm, hutch isn’t quite right, but suffice it to say it was big and heavy; and finally the armoire.  Plus there was the waterbed mattress – which we’d decided to try out when we heard it was still somewhat new.  To get a good idea of how my living room looked you have to remember I live in a manufactured home.  Sure, it’s a double wide but it already had a full complement of furniture in it.  Yeah, it was a tad crowded.  As in the Grand Canyon is a tad deep.

Patty’s friend – I guess I can’t keep calling him that can I?  Let’s call him Jack, as in JackAss.  So Jack sets about assembling the waterbed frame with JD and Jack’s son providing the brute force to lift things and hold them in place while Jack directs them and clicks the trigger on his cordless drill.  To be fair, he started the assembly while JD and Junior were still unloading the trucks so he did a fair amount of hauling things into place himself before they were able to assist.

I didn’t watch the time so I have no idea how long it took, but there were a LOT of parts to this bed frame and they had to go together just so.  Once it was together and all the screws were tightened a la the cordless drill we were ready to position the waterbed mattress, which the guys did.  JD hauled our hose out of the shed, dragged it in the back door, through the kitchen and dining room and snaked it into the bedroom where Jack crammed (technical term) it into the appropriate opening.  We didn’t have an adaptor so someone was going to have to watch to be sure it didn’t become disengaged.  That wasn’t enough of a red flag apparently because a few minutes later Jack and Junior started packing up and getting ready to leave.  I watched the mattress filling for a while, fascinated as it began to bulge at the bottom and started sliding down between the platform and the bottom rail.  While I have never put together a waterbed in my life, even to my unschooled eye that gap had looked wonky.  But hell’s bells, Jack had just taken apart the blasted thing, he should know how to assemble it shouldn’t he?


Idiot that I am, I tried to yank the mess up toward the headboard.  Yeah, I hear you laughing; I did say “idiot” didn’t I?  Pick yourself up off the floor, there’s more.  The bulging vinyl (or whatever they’re made of) kept growing and while I was tugging at the top to no avail, the hose came into contact with the foot rail and since it was only “crammed in” of course it made a leap for freedom – and began fountaining all over my carpet.

This was only the beginning of the end dear readers.  Part two of my tragic saga to follow.

What Kind of Idea Are You?

This week’s writing challenge at The Blacklight Candelabra intrigued me, and truth be told, intimidated me a bit.  For a few moments I was thrown back into the “I’m not a real writer” mindset.  A real writer would understand this challenge a lot better than I did.  Plus I never read Satanic Verses so I have no idea of the context.  Based on the instructions though, that may not be as important as I think it is.  In spite of my concerns, I copied the challenge into a Word document, highlighted a couple of (I thought) pertinent phrases and opened it a few times during the day to re-read it.  Then I read one of the responses already posted and added that to my already buzzing brain.  Here goes nothing.

I think ideas are fluid – they change or evolve as they develop.  Or perhaps what I mean to say is they should be fluid.  So compromise would seem to be one means of an idea changing or growing, right?.  What happens if there is no compromise?  No bending or growing?  Rushdie said it plainly enough:  “smashed to bits.”  Sometimes that’s the way I feel when discussing ideas with JD.  He sees things one way:  HIS.

And wouldn’t you know he’s an expert on just about Every. Damn. Thing?  From scrambling eggs to alternative healing to the cost of oil to the political crisis-of-the-day.  He knows everything there is to know about everything worth knowing – in his opinion.  Dare to disagree with one of his ideas and prepare to be disparaged for your foolishness.  His baby sister lives dangerously by voting Democrat and having the audacity to proclaim that with an Obama sticker on her foreign car.  Oh the horror!  I gave up trying to reason with him long ago.  You can only bash your head against the wall so many times.

JD will start one of his orations on some topic or other and the moment I realize this is one of those discussions, I tune out, which in itself is risky.  I manage to retain enough connection to the conversation to nod and murmur “mm hmm” on occasion.  (Can you call it a conversation when only one party is doing the talking?)  The risks come later when he says he told me something and I have no recollection of it.  He certainly could have told me the sky was purple with green polka dots and it probably would have sounded like the adults in Peanuts.

Then he complains that I never pay attention to him; that I don’t think what he says is important enough for me to listen.  Sigh.

We agree on that, to a point.  When he goes on and on and on about the same tired subjects, why would I want to pay attention?  I know his opinions on certain topics as well as he does and I don’t see those changing any time soon.  What’s the point of debating with someone who believes they’re right and everyone else isn’t?  Life is too short.

If I didn’t love the man I’m sure I would have killed him by now.  But I have to admit, every now and again he says something that resonates with me.  We often ask ourselves why we love each other and 18 years later we both still have the same answer:  I Don’t Know.

Out with the old…

This post is in response to the weekly challenge Creation and Destruction and builds on my last post about how a lot of folks might be resolving to do some stuff because it’s a new year.  I pointed out that while I’m not the resolution type, I do want to make one change in 2015.  My goal is to move more.  So what exactly does that mean and how will I know if I succeed?

Clearly a snapshot of the old me is in order.  No, not an actual photograph, I’m anonymous remember?  Not to mention camera shy.  But in order to evaluate progress you need to know where you started, correct?  Well I’m starting from a sloth-like state.

On a typical work day I’d curse the alarm clock at 4:30, which I had to move across the room so I wouldn’t hit Snooze over and over.  Once the morning routine was complete I’d drive the 2.5 miles to the train station where I’d stand in line for between 10 and 15 minutes until the train arrived.  I opt for a car near the elevator so when we arrive in Seattle I can take it up to street level rather than drag myself up the stairs among all the other lemmings.  With my bad knees I’m slow and I hate holding others up; that and I’m just plain lazy.

I then grab one of the many buses which run up Fourth Avenue and arrive at the office early enough to enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee and breakfast from our café.  I’m usually working during that ritual but it’s more casual than focused unless there’s an urgent “to do” waiting in my inbox.  Sloth-like me sits probably 80% of the day.  Enough that when I do have to get up, everything complains:  hips, knees, ankles, feet, neck and shoulders.

After work, I used to grab a bus back to the train station where I’d stand waiting for the train, or if it was already in the station, find a seat.  Once at home, we either grab a bite out or throw together something and eat while catching up on whichever show we’re following.  Either way, more sitting.

Weekends aren’t any better sadly.  Even when we go visit JD’s mother and sister we’re sitting in the truck for almost an hour.  When we arrive at their house we’re sitting again.  Mom is in her mid-80s and she doesn’t get around well any more so “visits” are in her tiny living room usually.  And of course we have to eat!  Then there’s the almost hour drive back, once more planted on our asses.  Often the most exercise I get on the weekends is doing laundry and walking out to get the mail we’ve neglected all week.

There you have it – the old me.

So, what does the new me look like?  The new me will be different, but may not look different at first glance.  This change is not about appearance.

One of the things which I want to change is my attitude.  I hope the new me will, if not bounce out of bed, at least no longer curse the alarm clock.  I’d like to wake up happy to face a new day more often than not.

The new me will also be more active – habitually more active because she wants to be, not because she has to be.  I’ve already taken steps in that direction, literally.  Several weeks ago I started walking down to the train station after work rather than hopping on a bus.  I’ve only missed walking once when I had to stay late and needed to get there quickly.

Today was my first foray into water aerobics at the Y.  I’ve wanted to try this class since I joined the Y but it falls during the work day, not before or after.  For awhile I tried to swim on my own before work but I’m not very disciplined.  Strike that, the old me was not very disciplined.  I couldn’t make that into a habit.  To be fair, I had to leave for work two trains earlier than my regular departure to be able to swim and get to the office on time.  That quickly got old.

I believe the water aerobics will be more successful because I’ve added some accountability to the mix.  Since it’s held during my work day I have to work a little flex time in the morning and I’m already here early enough to do that.  In addition, I use my lunch hour to cover the rest of the time.  So I bet you’re wondering how that makes me accountable.  Well, I had to advise my attorneys and the backup secretaries in my department of my new schedule and explained what I’m doing.  I certainly don’t want them to see me as a quitter, so I’m counting on that to help keep me going.  My current goal is to participate in at least one of the two classes each week.  I’d like to build up to being able to do both eventually but I’m not making promises my body can’t keep right now.

Besides flailing and jumping about in the water, I’m walking for thirty minutes (give or take) with a group of secretaries on the days I’m not in the pool.  They’ve been walking together for some time and I just joined in recently.  We all take the elevator to the lowest level of the building’s garage.  Starting there we wind our way up the ramp to the top garage level, turn around and retrace our steps.  Most of them do it twice at least but I’m only able to do one time up and down so far.  I’m sure that’s going to change the better I feel.

Does this meet the challenge’s criteria?  Who knows, but it was what came to mind after reading the prompt.  I’m working toward the destruction of the old me:  lazy, crabby, feeling poorly – and hoping to create a new me:  active, happier, healthier.

Now for those of you who follow me, don’t be worried.  There will be no posts about how everyone should do what I’m doing because it’s wicked cool and it will make you feel so much better!  Far be it from me to tell anyone what they should do; we’re all grown-ups right?  Do what you want.  That’s what I’m doing.

And to be crystal clear, I might lose the laziness (well, some of it anyway) but I promise I will hold onto the sarcasm and my slightly twisted sense of humor.  Have you heard the one about why God is definitely not a woman? Hmm?  Anyone?

Wrecking your resolutions

Many of you in the real world may have resolved to do some things in 2015.  Some popular resolutions include:

  • Lose weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Save money / Get out of debt
  • Yada
  • Yada
  • Yada

Did you know that 45% of Americans usually make New Year’s Resolutions?  That’s from a post last year according to Statistic Brain.  The same source says that 38% of Americans “absolutely never” make them.  I’m in that second group.

I used to make resolutions.  Losing weight was one of my regulars.  Saving money ranked right up there too.  I’m older and wiser now though.

Statistic Brain’s statistics also revealed that only 8% of people who make resolutions are successful in achieving them.  I’m definitely not in that group.  Hell, I’m the first to admit I’m a quitter.

We’ve all told ourselves that “this year will be different” haven’t we?  …  Just me?  Well okay then.  But I do want this year to be different.  No, I haven’t written a list of resolutions.  That will never again be me.  However, I am setting a goal for myself.  So, how is a goal different from a resolution you ask.  Well you didn’t ask, but I’m going to tell you anyway.

I don’t know.  But if you Google goals vs. resolutions you’ll get a whole bunch of hits, many by folks with fancy degrees or letters after their names.  They MUST know the difference, right?  Not so much.  One source says they’re different.  Someone else says they’re not.

I don’t care.  What I care about is that later this year I’m turning 59 and just once I’d like to be able to say I stuck with it.  Whatever IT is.  But even the word resolution turns me off and goal isn’t much better.  For some reason though, in my brain “goal” feels more doable.  Does it make sense?  Hell no.  But again, I don’t care.  So I’m setting myself one single goal for 2015.

To move more.

Yep, that’s it.  I need to get my secretary spread up out of the chair and move it.  What about you?  Setting any goals this year?