Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Drive By Posting

Oh thank goodness March is over.

I've worked late every Monday this month.

Well, and tonight. But I got out "early" at 6:30 p.m.

I've had scant time on the 'puter too to fart around too. Thus the lack of posts and blog surfing.

We've been busy getting Dr. Mad Scientist's resume ready.

There's a chance the Program might break their end of the contract now that Governor Chris "Krispe Kreme" Christie and his team of trained chimps have had their way with the budget in particular the education part of the budget. Allegedly Dr. Mad Scientist and his Program Peeps get priority in hiring for Math and Science teachers in Newark, but...no gurantees.

Why would Krispe Kreme care? His kids go to private school.

Needless to say, if Dr. Mad Scientist doesn't get a job in Newark and the Program breaks THEIR side of the contract then the plan is to find him a job teaching somewhere around here for a year, save up some money and then get the hell out of here.

You screw us New Jersey, we ain't sticking around.

It's still too early to count our dead chickens, so we'll see.

In the meantime life around here has been all about boxes.

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And more boxes.

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But things have still been crafty.

I had a hankering for a spring/summer skirt.

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Why yes, that is the same fabric I used to make my Lantern Moon round double point needle case. I love it!

I think I'm getting more girly in my old age with all the pink. I even bought purple shoes to match this skirt.

Finally, and this one is for Karen whose kiddo did his very first book report (he's two grades ahead of Chunky and Chunky is very jealous that he didn't have to do one til now! Chunky's been doing book reports since first grade).

Remember back in the day when you just wrote a report about a book?

Not anymore! You have to do a little project with the book.

This quarter the kids had to read a biography and then dress up like the person they did the biography on. Tomorrow they'll do presentations to the class dressed up like their person in their book.

Chunky chose a book about Abraham Lincoln.

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He claims that Honest Abe never smiled for pictures--so he didn't smile.
I cannot confirm whether or not our 16th President was a Nittany Lion fan though.

All I have to say is every other parent in his class can bow to my kick-ass Abraham Lincoln costume making skills!

I sewed the stovepipe hat (which admittedly is a bit too tall) out of felt without a pattern--just a calculator and the formula to find the diameter of a circle.

The bowtie was fashioned out of some leftover felt from the hat.

But the cherry on top is the beard.

It's a piece of black merino roving I had in my fiber stash.

Ha ha! What other parent would have that lying around? Ok, maybe a lot of my readers would, but none of my readers are the Soprano Moms at Chunky's school running basil rackets.

I merely tied a pair of black yarn loops around each end of the "beard" and all he has to do is loop it around his ears and he's ready for business.

Hail to the Chunky!

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Explosion from the Past

I got home today, and Dr. Mad Scientist told me I had a message on the machine:

Bezzie, you sent your resume a while back. I hope you're employed. Have a job if you're in need--full benefits too, adminstrative, 9 to 5 hours. My number is...

Dude.

Really?

I sent you my resume THREE YEARS AGO.

Everytime I drive anywhere near Denville I get the shivers remembering that "interview."

But hey, maybe this is good news--the economy is bouncing back. People are so desperate to find workers they're consulting three year old resumes.

But in reality, it's probably just a weirdo running a flim flam office...

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

And For My 900th Post...

Or there about--I know there are some ranty-bitchy "draft" posts that haven't seen the light of day and still count in the total...

I apologize for the silence lately.

If you've been playing along reading my Facebook entries this won't be news to you.

A couple of days after we were a day late in being able to view a really nice place three blocks from Chunky's school that was cat-friendly, I discovered another place.

It was about five blocks from us in the opposite direction from the heart-break house.

Three bedrooms, monthly rent recently reduced...but I wasn't sure if it was cat-friendly.

I figured what the hell--I'd schedule an appointment for us to view it.

Saturday afternoon rolled around and we walked up there.

It was a three family house, the first floor apartment is what we viewed.

Built in 1964. Dark blue carpets and pink bathtub....rock on!

Decent sized living room that opens into a smallish dining room. The kitchen is divided by a half-wall from the dining room and has enough room to qualify it as an "eat-in" kitchen.

Gas range (and younger looking than the old POS we have here).

Dishwasher! (Dr. Mad Scientist, my born-again dishwasher was happy to see this!) I personally probably won't use it. After the one in San Antonio started smoking the first time I fired it up, I'm wary of them. I've survived nearly 32 years without one.

Aforementioned pink tubbed bathroom with a linen closet in the bathroom. What? No more naked treks the length of the apartment when I forget to grab a clean towel?

Two smallish bedrooms with decent sized closets that would be great for the boys.

A master bedroom with a closet the size comparable to what we have now.

Down below under the house are two garages.

They aren't used for cars but for storage instead--lots of storage! And washer dryer hookups!!! My god, the decadence! Doing one's laundry without leaving one's home?

If you don't count summers home from college, I haven't done that in 14 years. I haven't spent quarters on anything but minutes for the spin cycle or 8 minutes on "high" in the dryer.

My god, I could BLEACH my whites if we had this place! I haven't used bleach in 14 years!!! (Bleaching in a laundromat is a PITA).

Behind the house is a little backyard. Fenced in, and one of the tenants has a little caged in garden--think greenhouse minus the plastic. Perfect for the boys to play in with little supervision.

Where we're at now, I can't let Chunky play in the front yard--it's just too close to the busy street.

The funniest part is the location. It's right across the street from a banquet hall and bar. Ha ha! So much more upscale than the Boobie Bar!

So after we viewed it, we took the realtor's card and told her we might be in touch.

As we were leaving--Dr. Mad Scientist nudged me and whispered if we should ask about cats.

I didn't want to get my hopes up. I wanted to enjoy the fun of imagining ourselves living there--if only for a little bit.

As we walked home we discussed it. We realized there were a couple things we forgot to ask about--the parking, the fridge, and cable TV (because I just reupped my contract and I can transfer addresses, but to cancel would cost me).

So I emailed the realtor and told her we were very interested but asked about the parking situation, whether or not the fridge was included (it's a weird east coast rental thing--about 50% of the places don't come with fridges), and if it was wired for cable--and then I threw in a question about pet-friendliness.

Getting that email back was horrible--I didn't want to open it because I was sure she was going to tell us that the owner wouldn't allow cats.

Ends up he was a bit hesitant--but when I offered to pay double the $250 pet deposit he gave the realtor before we said we had two cats--$250 each furbag--he relented.

So today--despite the fact that there's no on-site parking (which will be a PITA when and if it snows in the next few years and the town commands us to remove our cars from the street with the almighty Robocall), I plunked down a deposit and signed the lease!

New Apartment!

Hee hee, apparently new landlord was happy to hear Dr. Mad Scientist was a Dr. Never mind he's a PhD and will be a high school teacher...ha ha! It's good to know that six years we spent in Lansing carries a little weight!

Tomorrow I give Zorba our 30 days notice. Our last day here will be April 23. We'll take possession of the new place on April 15th. This will give us an overlap of a week, but I think that will take some of the stress off of moving.

I've never had to move AND work a full time job at the same time!

So--if you don't hear from me for a while, you'll know why.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Searching for Inspiration

I'm sort of between projects right now.

I pinned the binding down for the CSU wallhanging.

I've got a pair of socks in the car for before-school and at-lunch knitting.

But other than that I'm kind of at a loss as to what to make next.

Luckily I have a chubby little muse to help me out.

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Yes, he gave himself a black eye at daycare. He got a little overzealous with an Elmo rattle and smacked himself. At first I was suspicious...but then I remember how the boy likes to shake things.

Such as closet doors to perhaps annoy people living below us.

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I don't know who on earth would encourage him to do that!

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Ha ha!

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Entering the 4th Quarter

Nearly a year after I started it, the quilting is done on the Colorado State wall-hanging.

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Now comes the binding! Hopefully that won't take me a year!

Oh and while we were sitting outside of the second rental to tour on Saturday, the real estate agent called to say that it was rented out on Friday. Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

The roof held up OK in the weekend nor'easter we had. The giant squirrel hole patch is starting to show a smidge bit of wear like it won't hold up through too many more rainstorms. Fingers crossed!

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Catch Up

Whew! It's been a whirlwind week.

Woke up the night after the poop cloud descended upon our house (the Poop Pumpers left at midnight!) to find the contents of Zorba's basement in the driveway.

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Came home yesterday to find a giant dumpster in my parking spot.

Nurse Lady moved Zorba's car so I had a spot to park, but I have to move my car tomorrow morning so the trash dumpers can get rid of the shit in the basement and the driveway.

Apparently she's having a hard time convincing him to get rid of anything. Zorba's son is supposed to be coming tomorrow to help him severe the ties with his poop-covered material trappings.

As long as I'm bitching about this house let me show you the state of our outside stairs.

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Yeaaaah. Awesome. There's about three steps like this. They've "fixed" this step twice already.

But! We went to view an apartment in the neighborhood about three blocks down Thursday night.

It was OK. $50 more a month than what we're paying now.

Pros: Washer/dryer on site; dishwasher; 2 parking spaces.

Cons: So small we'd have to sleep in the "family room" because it's the only room our bed would fit into. No, we don't have a ginormous bed. It's a queen sized bed.

I think we'll pass on it. It wasn't cat friendly either--the realtor said she could probably talk the landlord into accepting cats.

I'm not trading in squirrels and shit for an apartment half the size. Even if you do throw in a dishwasher and washer/dryer. I've gone this long without those appliances, what's another three years?

I might consider it more if we didn't have Moochie. But with two boys in the winter and on rainy days--that place would get even smaller really fast.

We're viewing another place about 10 blocks in a different direction tomorrow.

It's actually kind of nice to be able to take our time finding a place. Last time we were so sick of living in a hotel we jumped on this place.

But it's not all been poop and grumbling all week!

It's been birthdays and cheesecake!

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Yesterday was the big 3-2 for Dr. Mad Scientist.

I made a him a crockpot pot roast, from scratch dinner rolls, and a cherry cheesecake.

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Mmm! Dare I say? It was the best cheesecake I've ever made.

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As you can tell from the tiny fingers trying to sneak bites.

I got the recipe from this book that one of the attorneys I don't directly work with, but is in my Big Boss's circle of associates he mentors for Christmas.

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I've never been to this restaurant in NYC...but if the cheesecake they make is as good as the one I made, I might have to make it a point to visit them!

Don't worry, I've been knitting and have some sewing in the pipeline too. Although poop and cheesecake? Who else could blog about those two topics in one post?!

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Monday, March 08, 2010

As I Sit Here Broken Hearted

...tried to shit, but only farted.

I read that on the wall of an outhouse somewhere in Alaska.

It smells like excrement in my apartment.

I guess the good thing is that the landlord* was nice enough to get his shit together and finally get someone out here today to pump the feces out of the basement.

Which is good. But, like I mentioned, it smells like shit in here now.

And of course it's not quite warm enough to open the windows to air the place out.

I appreciate that they waited til tonight when we came home to commence shit-sucking. That was nice of them to hold off until we could enjoy the full on stank of human fecal matter.

I want to give a shout out to Poops and Jersey Knitter for putting me in touch with some local realtor leads. I love that poop is the straw that crippled the camel, and it's Poops that's helping me out. Ha ha!

And to answer some questions--yes, a lot of apartment rentals out here are handled by realtors. I thought it was weird too myself when we landed in NJ. Not sure why, but I'm sure there's a reason.

The search is coming along.

The only thing that's really holding me back are these:

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The cats.

I love them to death. But pet-friendly coupled with the requirement that I stay in this elementary school section of town (our town has 8 elementary schools and is approximately 5.3 square miles big. God bless over densely populated New Jersey!) makes this search extremely hard. It boils down to kid v. cat. What do I give up on? When do I give up? It's still too early to decide. Hopefully I won't have to.

Hopefully it will all turn out and we'll find a nice cat-friendly, non-squirrelly, shit-free apartment in this neighborhood.

*It's not so much Zorba's fault that this place is a dump. Zorba is a 77 year old incontinent man who is housebound, dealing with dementia and kidney failure and living on an extremely fixed income. However, he's got three sons that have Power of Attorney for his finances. They just don't care about this house.

I mean would you let your mother/father live like this? I don't care how much money I didn't have myself to help out my parents, there are other options.

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Friday, March 05, 2010

Three Years Ago

It was a little over three years ago we nestled down into our New Jersey apartment.

In the past three years we've dealt with:

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Squirrels living (and still living) in the ceiling and trying to get in through rain holes in the ceiling.

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Mouse infestations.

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Leaks in the ceiling.

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Clogged bathtubs.

Clogged toilets. No pictures of that, but a nice visual picture for you.

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Having to replace a melted oven knob (that the previous tenant melted) on an oven that is circa 1984. I also had to replace the ignitor on this oven too. Between that and the knob, that's about $100.

I think that's the whole of my laundry list of complaints.

This evening, Zorba the landlord's nurse came up frantically knocking on our door.

They had no hot water downstairs so she went down to the basement to investigate.

She ran up to get us because she was afraid that perhaps the water heater was leaking gas and this place could blow.

I went down to the basement with her.

Holy lord.

First off we couldn't even GET to the hot water heaters.

Why?

Because of the foot of standing SHIT WATER and TOILET PAPER CLUMPS in the basement.

So I couldn't tell what was up with her water heater. I did not smell gas though, so we're safe.

I am so disgusted though by what I saw down there.

We gotta get out of here.

The plan was to wait until September til Dr. Mad Scientist starts drawing a paycheck, but I'm not sure that's going to happen.

I'm thinking about just hiring a realtor to do the legwork for us.

I'm going to be VERY picky about where we serve the last three years of our New Jersey sentence.

I do NOT want to change Chunky's school. The kid has already had enough educational upheaval in his life.

I do NOT want vermin living in the ceiling.

I do NOT want fecal matter in the basement.

I do NOT want vermin in the ceiling (I can honestly deal with mice, mice happen. Even the best landlords have mice.)

I do NOT want to have to pay for appliance repair on appliances I do not OWN.

Cosmically enough, Douchebag Realtor who helped us find this place three years ago friended me on Facebook today. I'm not sure if I'd go with him again, but there's a foot of feces a mere 50 feet below me just festering.

Douchebag v. Pile of Shit.

Pile of Shit v. Douchebag.

I might have to go Douchebag.

Do any North Jersey peeps have any recommendations on a good realtor?

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Dinkle Donkle Dinkle Donkle, Someone's Calling You!

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Dear readers, I'm sorry I haven't answered the call of blogging of late.

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Best toy ever: Dr. Mad Scientist's old cell phone.

I've been busy being stressed by my lovely job.

I have to clients that are the bane of my existence at that job. Client A and Client B. Usually, they flare up at different times of the year.

Notso this year. March is shaping up to be a doozy of a month with both of these clients having major briefs/response filings due this month, within days of each other.

I haven't been this worn out and stressed in a while. I've got a sexy canker sore in the corner of my mouth as a result and a wonderful cold that another attorney working on the brief for Client B was kind enough to share with me.

Oh how I wish I was pinned down by cuter things rather than stacks of filing and mounds of revisions and timesheets!

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But enough bitching and moaning (and kiddie pictures)!!!

I've been doing some knitting. Christmas knitting actually. Yes, I know. Way too early. But the inspiration from a few things just clicked this past weekend and I had to cast on. I could show you, but that person reads this blog.

Instead I'll distract you with cookies.

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Not the best picture, they're kind of washed out--but they are delicious! Those are Nutella rugelach. Mmmmm! I went with the cream cheese dough and I also sprinkled mini chocolate chips on top of the Nutella before I rolled them.

Finally, before I go, I'll show you the crazy notion I have in my head.

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I'm thinking about embracing my inner five year old girl and sewing myself a dress. If it turns out nicely I might save wearing it for wedding season.

I really like the style of the yellow dress.

Now, will The Beast be able to help me make it?

Stay tuned!

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