Monday, April 28, 2008

white coat syndrome

Yes, I have it. Always have and I probably always will.
No matter if I have to see a dentist, OBGYN or even an eye doctor, too. I even get it going to Lens Crafters picking out a pair of glasses. What is the big deal? I have no idea, but I still get nervous. Maybe because I'm lucky that I don't have to see too many doctors. I think about a time that may come and I'll be there more than usual – and that scares me.

I know these are all professionals (let's hope) that are experts at their jobs. I know they do this day in, day out. And I know they have seen it all – hopefully not all of me. Until then, I'm off for my REFRACTION. That is what it said on my reminder from the doctor. I actually had to look it up – why doesn't it just say "eye exam"?!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The saga of the screened in porch - UPDATE

I rushed home through traffic last evening to be home at 6:30. Our handyman was to show up at that time to make his final repair. By 6:55, I thought he was a no-show. Why did I even get my hopes up? As soon as I was falling back into a "why won't he call or show up" rant, I heard noises on the porch.

These noises could have been a couple of things – so I wasn't quick to investigate. Lately, weird noises have come from the cats, a bird freaking out because it is stuck in the porch because of the hole, or the cats freaking out at the bird that is stuck in the porch because of the hole. I wasn't looking forward to any of these.

The noise was our handyman fixing the porch. He was ticked. The late phone call by the new "bad cop" M worked. Maybe too well. I had to think quick, as the last thing I wanted was a pissy handyman, especially since we had not been given our bill and the job was not complete. There are certain people you don't want to piss off: your waiter BEFORE you get your food, your mechanic BEFORE you get your bill and completed work, your dentist at any time, as well as your OBGYN – for obvious reasons. I've added handyman to the list now.

I apologized for the late call from M, and said made him look like the dummy, not me. That will teach M not to be there when we have an appointment at 6:30. Yes, I threw him under the bus as fast as I could. As soon as I mentioned M forgot that it might be late to call if you have a baby, the handyman snapped out of his mood. 

An hour later, and me doing small-talk with him, the job was finally finished. There is no way I would have been able to do what he did in that hour. It is just not in me to stand the wrong way on a ladder on a deck, pound on the side of a house and get the screen in the right way. It is about as bad as me trying to sew or bake. Just not happening.

I never told our handyman any of my prepared speeches for all the rantings in the past 5 months. I just couldn't. I know I can be a real beast, but thought it was not necessary.

Am I really that nice and don't know it? This is the guy who didn't return my calls for 5 months after all. He surely had it coming. Maybe I am "all talk and no action"? I must be slipping. Or maybe – just maybe I was so glad to finally have the porch fixed sans $5 doors, pillowcases, holes, birds and bird poopy that I actually forgot to be pissy. Needless to say, I have a porch to clean and prepare for the season. Let's hope nothing else needs repair around the house, as it will be September until our handyman shows up.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The saga of the screened in porch

We built our house and treated ourselves to a screened in porch. Due to the nature of our lot, we had our builder create it with the original structure of the house. Our house plan had a perfect place for a side porch – and Patio Enclosures suck.

We paid a lot for the porch and expected it to be great. And I know we paid lot more than $5 for that door, too. We're 1 of 2 porches out of 200+ homes. We are known as the "house on the corner with the screened in porch". We hear comments from other homeowners that they wished they had thought of it, too. It makes me smile because I know how nice it really is. Or is it?

The builder gave us a hefty price on the addition but what did the builder do? They installed a $5 door. (see image) Nice. We didn't approve it on our walk-through, but it was an oral disagreement. Mistake #1. Mistake #2 was that we orally negotiated a new door with an employee at the builder. Of course, that person was eliminated before we received our new door. Wrong person. Must take note to quit making oral agreements.

The $5 door became a problem the first night in the house. It didn't have a locking mechanism other than a hook. As if a hook will keep a $5 door from rattling with 2 mph breeze. That first night I had to invent a way to keep it from rattling when even a bird farted. So I folded up a white pillowcase in between the cheap door and the frame (see image again). There – that fixed the rattle, but now we have a pillowcase in our door and everyone can see it. "The builder will replace it, so it is ok" I can keep hearing me say. That day never came.

We hired a handy man to replace the door because we eventually gave up. We now are the proud owners of a very nice door for our porch. The only thing is that it is not finished.

A year ago, we had the handyman over for an estimate and for him to look at our situation. He approved and said he'd buy the correct door for us, install it and we'd all be happy. Wrong.

Five months later, he finally installed the door. Of course, he took off that cheap $5 door and realized he had ordered the wrong size replacement. So at this time, we don't even have a $5 door. And it was nice outside. But with a hole instead of a door, the porch was unusable. This caused numerous swear words from M.

It is now five months later, and we still don't have the project complete. The screen above the new door is missing. We now have a 40" x 14" hole. It is the perfect size for birds to fly in and make a mess in our porch. They can find the way in, but can't find the way out. It has caused stress to M and the cats (as M is the official bird-shoo-er in the house).

I have pestered and nagged our handyman's wife for the past month because he's never home. I know he's busy, but we have a bird tunnel now. Surely me telling her that will get him over. I told her we have not paid for the door or the labor, too. I knew that would get her to have him finish the job. Bu that didn't work, either. hmmmm

Dad said that the screen replacement would be pretty easy... so just try it ourselves. Ha. Eleven years of college between M and I and we couldn't figure it out. And we were almost there, too. Damnit.

So M called the handyman at 8:45 p.m. last night. We know he has an infant in the house – but we didn't care after his ignoring us. He said he'd be over today. 

All we want is reliable help at an honest amount. Why is that so hard to find? We are willing to pay for your service and expertise, but at least show up to finish the job. If he doesn't show up today, I still have that nasty pillowcase to strangle him.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I'm a Wii™dow

Wii are the proud owners of a Nintendo Wii.
And when I say "wii" I mean M. The search for the all-and-mighty Wii has now been fulfilled.

This past week, M and I were at Target to make a return. I took advantage of having my coupons and my husband along – so we ventured throughout the store in search of things for him.

30 minutes into our roaming up and down the toiletries, house needs and pet food aisles, M had had enough. It was killing him he was with me looking at litter box deodorant and not in the toy department. By "toy" I mean electronics.

As we hit the back of the store - me in the real toy department and M in electronics, he waved at me in the center aisle. He had the excitement of a kid at Christmas and he could barely hold it in. M said something that I interpreted as - "I have to pee".  I ignored him and continued on my quest for cool toys for the upcoming gifts for our nieces and nephew.

M found me again, with a Target bag now in his hand. As I looked down at it, I realized he didn't have to pee... I left him unattended in the electronics area and they had a Wii in stock. What he was saying is "They have a Wii". The bag contained the conquered game system, two games and an additional controller. He said the extra controller was for me. Uh- huh. Some type of nunchuk was also included. Like I need a nunchuk.

Our drive home must have seemed like eternity as M rushed to get the Wii hooked up and broken in. He reorganized a section of the family room to make sure it fits the perfect way. If that is what it took for him to help organize with excitement, I'd have had a Wii years ago.

I went into the other room, to allow him to get acquainted with his newest best friend. I could hear banging at first (re-organization), a bunch of strange beeps (personalization of his Mii) and then really weird noises of beeps and someone moving around (M bowling). An "ugh", "d'oh" and then a "yes" afterwards meant he was able to knock over some of the bowling pins, I had figured.

At this time, it was time for me to meet the new mistress in the house. She is white and stands about 8" tall and she sits underneath our family room TV. She has an extra controller, but I have yet to use it, however; I was allowed to touch it once. She will allow you to personalize your players to look like you (Mii) and name your player, too. She tells the time, the weather and will allow you to play with other addicts online. Of course, I have yet to do any of these. I'm sure there will be an appropriate time when I get introduced.

Until then, I'm enjoying that M is really happy with his new mistress, er, friend, uh, toy. :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cell phones

I have one. Most people do. But I don't live my life around it. I know I am not that important.

I don't think most cell phone users have any idea how they live around their phones.

How did we survive without them?
We changed that flat tire on the road.
We bought the correct items at the grocery store by ourselves.
We rented the correct movie on our own.
We picked up take-out all by ourselves.
We were late, but we arrived there any way.
We were distracted by passengers or the radio only.
We wore watches to tell time.
We went to restaurants and enjoyed the live conversation.
We got lost, but asked directions.
We waited to tell something unimportant.
We had long distance at home.
We read old magazines while waiting for a haircut or an oil change.
We were jerks while driving – because we were just jerks.
We were in traffic accidents and accepted help from others.
We used pay phones and calling cards.
We were overhead paged at work.
We didn't take pictures of silly things.
We had no idea what LOL and OMG meant.
And we survived without them.

I still wear a watch and I know what OMG means. I know how to change a flat tire but admit I don't know if I would now. Yes, I'm aware cellular phones are a huge advancement. But I don't think people today think how unacceptable their phone behavior is. If you remember the year 1990 or before, you know this. If you were born after 1990, you have no clue.

What gets me most are the people in their 40's who know better. But they don't. Why not?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hand-me-downs & the icky van

My parents bought new patio furniture. Being the smart and opportunistic child, I "called" the old stuff as soon as I heard the news. As for old, dumpy, used stuff - it just doesn't exist at my parents' house. Anything they offer, LaZBoys, fridge, tvs and patio furniture - equals good stuff. And yes, I have been the recipient of all these things.

You have to know, though, that there are rules to the free stuff. It usually comes with a date that you have to have it out of their house. Easy rule usually - except I don't own a pick-up truck, large suv or van. damn. This means you have to figure out how to get the freebies out of the house by said date. Not always an easy task.

We borrowed M's brother's van - which by the way, also happens to be a hand-me-down. I love my brother-in-law and his wife and kids dearly. And what is theirs is ours. In this case, their van for the day. The only thing is that their van is icky. Yes, I'm a spoiled girl saying this - it is really, really, really icky inside. It has not seen the likes of a dustbuster, vacuum cleaner, Windex, or even a napkin – although I saw a used one on its floor. Seriously, the last time the van was cleaned was when they visited my in-laws and my father-in-law offered to have it detailed. I'm sure him seeing a piece of pepperoni on the seat had something to do with it. Again –nothing against my brother-in-law, but he is the worst car cleaner ever. He is, however, very generous with his van.

So ickyness aside, we ventured in the van. M is used to driving a sports car – so he had difficulty driving it. He actually lost his "street cred" that he usually has while driving. We took the van to pick up our new grill on the way home. We visited Lowes the night before, but we weren't too impressed with their assortment. Plus their free assembly means you get it when they're ready.

We decided to buy locally from a small business downtown. A nice place with better brands. His prices were slightly higher, but he took 15% off – which made the deal the same as the cheapola ones at Lowes. Plus, we bought a better product with better service – and we bought locally. I wish most people would try to buy local and support their cities this way.

We picked up our patio furniture with plenty of space inside the van. The napkin did not get in the way – but I knew where it was at all times. We unloaded the patio furniture and then we loaded up another hand-me-down and took it to Goodwill. We even tried to buy mulch because we had the van for the entire day. We decided against the mulch because it really is too soon here.

We dropped off the van with a full tank of gas as our "tank-you". It was bothering me, but I left the napkin in the back, because it might have been a hand-me-down, too. :P

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Pedegg

While home sick before Easter, I saw this awful ad.
I think I'd shoot myself if I had to watch daytime TV and daytime ads full time. I noticed that most shows are in one of these categories: soap operas, something to do with babies or baby animals, home improvement, self improvement or have a judge as the main character.

The daytime ads are for lawsuits, medicine, retirement plans or cleaning supplies (household and/or personal). The Pedegg ad fit perfect into the ad rotation in between "A Baby Story" and "Judge Judy". Being sick, this ad didn't make me feel any better.

I realize personal hygiene is necessary, but do they really need to show how handy this product is? Ok, we get it. People have gross feet. The before and after shots are lovely. The filings disposal image made my nausea kick in. And they had to show the white filings being dumped into a dark garbage can, too.

A friend of mine said it looks like a cheese grater. "Parmesan cheese, anyone?"

Not only does the company produce the regular Pedegg, but they also offer a Platinum version. Rushing out to get mine right now.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Potty peeves

Ok - I have some issues with public bathrooms - especially those at work.

#1: why oh why can't women flush a toilet when they're done? How can you miss the fact that you did not flush? It is easy: you pee, wipe then flush. In that order please. Two year olds get it - why can't you?

#2: is it so obvious that the 3 major rules about going to the bathroom must be followed by the last: wash your hands. Ever notice that the cafeteria workers and benefits / healthcare people are guilty of not washing their hands? I have. Not cool.

#3: why do you have to sit in a stall right next to me when it is empty? Are you the same person who sits near me at the movies? At the airport? At the grocery store? While I'm picking out a greeting card? Are you people person that much?

#4: if you can afford fancy paper towel dispensers and motion sensor faucets, why not buy decent toilet paper? Or paper towels that actually dry your hands? And the faucets should have hot and cold water - not just cold. The cafeteria workers who actually do wash their hands are doing so in cold water.

#5: those toilet bowl paper thingies are a bad design. They're made out of a paper that is like that at the doctor... and they stick to you like at the doctor. Bad design.

My two year old nephew could show the ladies how it is done. I'd hate to see their bathrooms at home.