Tuesday, May 31, 2005

This is Greebo. He's mental. The photograph is one I took of a street musician we met in N'Awlins...he said to make him famous, so here's his big shot at the internet.

Stuff and Nonsense

For some reason my response to Rachel's comment on the movie (see post below) either a) was e-mailed to her directly for some reason, or b) got omitted from my post somehow. Anyway, if you really don't know, it is Apocalypse Now. I spent four hours watching this on Memorial Day in the Redux version, which I have yet to decide whether I like or not. Or sort of watching it, anyway. I have seen the original a ton of times, although I didn't see it for the first time until last year for some odd reason. Anyway, we have offically cooked out now! It is exciting...so much so that we did it again tonight. Not finding a grill that we could agree on (or one that would fit in the car), we have settled temporarily on an inexpensive charcoal number. Grilled chicken salads, here I come! I was so excited that I actually WORKED all day today. Like, twelve hours all day. That and my boss called this morning and (forgetting I am working a rush application for a client who has an impending trade show) HAD to have the drawings for his application right now. So I spent the entire day, literally, working on these drawings...but I can't complain. LT says I can't quit my job because I make too much money with too flexible a schedule. Hmmph.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Can't stay to chat...the best movie EVER is on! Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Makeup Evolution

Happy first anniversary to my sister, who does not read my blog, but here it is anyway!

One of the big fashion mags recently had an article on
QVC and how they are becoming a force in the cosmetic industry. DON'T PANIC! They are not coming out with some cheap mass-produced line of their own...they are carrying big name brands like Smashbox, Philosophy, Prescriptives and Bare Escentuals. Now, I generally purchase cosmetic-related stuff from Sephora (since there is NO Smashbox, NO Philosophy -- Saks dropped them after the "us or QVC" ultimatum, NO B.E. retailer in Oklahoma -- although I don't use a lot of B.E. stuff), but every once in a while QVC has a "Today's Special Value" relating to one of these brands, and when they do...BUY IT! I just ordered the new Prescriptives TSV for spring, since I use their "Magic Powder" daily and their "False Eyelashes Plush" mascara is the ONLY mascara that doesn't make me look like Tammy Faye. Both of these are included in the kit, and by the time I pay regular retail for them, the rest of the items (a cream-to-silk blush, a cream eyeshadow, a pink lip gloss, and their Line Prevention Serum) are just icing. Yes, that's right...basically FREE with the purchase of my staple basics. I think the kit is going for $49 and change, with a retail value of like $113. You can even do an "Auto-Delivery" option so that Prescriptives (who e-mailed me a week ago to let me know about the special today) will send out a new kit (at the same price, but with new colors) for fall and another for spring 2006. Ladies, jump on this one!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

I've got a fever, and the only prescription...is MORE COWBELL!

Losing It

Ahh...the joy of an evening well spent. Well, spent looking for LT's glasses for a good three hours. But the search was not entirely fruitless -- or the first this week. The other night we decided to watch "Emma," only to discover it was nowhere to be found. We tore this place apart...I even checked the trunk of my car thinking maybe I took it to class as an "optional" film. No luck. At about 2:00 a.m. we finally gave up and went to bed. BUT tonight in the search for the glasses, "Emma" surfaced. So did the remote control for the bedroom television that we lost three months ago. And finally LT's glasses which, as it turns out, were in the garage on top of a QT cup next to the gas can in the corner by my car. A perfectly logical place for them. He must have set them down when he was mowing the lawn and forgotten all about them. Three for three (and while only looking for one!)...not bad for a night's work.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Carrie who? Well, I don't know about you guys, but I'm ready to cook out this weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Another Good Reason to Wear UGGs...at least I can fit into them with the brace on! I just couldn't resist posting one of my x-rays on the blog (since they sent them with me)...diagnosis anyone?

Chocolate Vitamins

Well, the American Idol controversy apparently sparked the readers back into action...so thanks for that at least. Still no word on the full-time-job-with-insurance front, so I had to do the old fall back and go to the school clinic today to have my foot checked out. I ended up with no answer, an x-ray appointment, another appointment next week, and an ankle-brace-naproxen-sodium-ice-pack-and-keep-it-elevated regimen in the meantime. Actually I went to the clinic yesterday, too, with LT to get his "medication check up" and then to Sam's to fill prescriptions before we lost them. They had a sample box on the counter of the semi-new "Viactiv" vitamins (www.viactiv.com) for women that are chocolate-tasting chewables...so I gave one a try. It was sort of like a chocolate caramel. Not bad, I thought...for something that is good for you. So I bought a box/can thingy of them (the multi-vitamin variety) and, well, they tasted better in the store. Nevertheless, they are tolerable AND good for me, so I will press on with their consumption. It's better than trying to choke down those huge multi-vitamin pills that catch on the way down...and a great idea in theory.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The real talent in this picture is on the LEFT

American Idle

America has voted and Bo has been robbed. I should say, for the record, that I don't "watch" the show, but I have seen one episode (at a party where I was not in charge of the remote) and I did watch tonight because I am a fan of Bo. And I have never called in a vote for any American Idol contestant. What I didn't know until today is that when "America" votes, it's not "one person, one vote" it's however many times you can call and vote within the allotted time frame. Now this strikes me as disturbing. I don't know how long that time frame is, but my understanding is that it is at least two hours. I found this out today when a friend of mine told me that his girlfriend voted fifty-five times (and that was not even this week) in one session. WHAT? This is not about who America loves, or who deserves to be on that stage -- it's about the Americans who have nothing better to do than to sit for two, three, four hours and hit "redial" on their phones. Now I watched Oklahoma's darling sing a mediocre song tonight, then embarrass us all by grabbing BOTH sets of keys when the show gave her AND Bo each a new car, then tell her mother to "stay away"...what a nice girl. Her final performance started off fairly strong, but in the end she went repeatedly off key, voice cracking. I could attribute this to emotions running high with the announcement of her victory, but I have heard her sing before and it really was not that much different. As a resident of Oklahoma (albeit unwilling) I will be the first to say I didn't cheer her on. If America wanted a fantastic singer, Vonzell would have been the girl. If America wanted a fantastic rocker and showman, Bo was the pick. But Carrie? Well, America just wanted some midwest mediocrity. Or at least those Americans who had all that free time to sit around punching the "redial" key. Kudos to Bo who SHOULD have won, and who encited the crowd to cheer for Carrie when the winner was announced. We all know who the best man is...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

When it Rains...

A big thank you to Linda Marie for getting my fabulous new bag here in TWO DAYS...I now have nothing to fret over bag-wise. I do have lots of other things to fret over! For instance, I may have a client who needs a massive project completed in under two weeks, meaning I get to drop everything else I have been doing and get this thing completed in record time. Not to mention that I will begin teaching one of my summer classes DURING that two week period, so I have to prepare for that as well. I am still waiting to hear about a real job for the fall that could mean insurance and retirement plan, meanwhile I have been offered an adjunct position somewhere else that I really want. And business at the office has FINALLY picked up (for the first time since 9.11) so I am about to be snowballed. When it rains it pours. But the upshot is that I will have an income to last at least the summer AND, one way or the other, I will have a teaching job this fall. Things are looking up!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The Problem with eBay

I have long been an eBay aficionado, but if you are going to buy something other than a cheap book or movie I must say caveat emptor. eBay is a huge forum for counterfeit merchandise, despite their "prohibitions" against such items. Looking for a nice diamond? Well, maybe you can find one on eBay and even get a good price...but come on...if you're shelling out ten large on a diamond, don't you want to see it in person first? The real problem lies in handbags (at least this is one area where I have discovered a real problem!). If you can buy a $1,200 Prada bag on eBay for $150, guess what? You're paying $150 for a piece of garbage NOT made by Prada and probably supporting terrorism in the process. Now, there was a recent article on this "Faking It: Buying Online"
http://fashion.about.com/cs/tipsadvice/a/fakingit_2.htm, but even this article suggests that there is a "fine print" disclosure that you are buying a fake. NOT SO. I have seen numerous eBay items that say "100% Authenticity Guaranteed" or "money back authenticity guarantee" but don't be fooled. Usually in order to get your money back, you need to have the bag inspected by an authorized dealer and have them write a statement that the bag is not authentic. Problems with this: 1) Often there is no authorized dealer in your area, and 2) if there is, they won't write statements for your fake bag. I purchased an item from an eBay dealer once that was an "authenticity guaranteed" bag from Gucci, and when I received it I found a number of defects on the bag that Gucci would never, ever let out of their door with their name on it. And it turns out the bag was shipped from China, NOT from New York where the seller was "located." If you are looking at a bag that is a pre-order, substantially lower priced than the item directly from a retailer, or ships from somewhere overseas that is NOT where the items is supposed to be made (for instance, Hogan bags are made in Italy), you are probably getting ripped off and you might as well go to the mall kiosk that sells knockoff LV bags 2 for $40. Also, if the seller says "Don't ask me questions about authenticity...I will not answer them...I have sold many items and they are all authentic" then the red flags should spring into view! Here is someone who doesn't want any written record stating that a particular item is authentic...and sure he may have sold lots of "authentic" items, but then "authentic" can have a lot of meanings. An authentic handbag can be a handbag that is REALLY a handbag, not necessarily a handbag that really is from the maker whose name is on the bag. BEWARE! And know that eBay has a link to report such members, after which they will be investigated and possibly suspended or terminated for fraudulent practices. This is also a HUGE violation of trademark laws (not to mention false advertising). So how can you be safe? The only real way is to buy from an authorized retailer at full price. But what if (as was recently my case) the item is "last season" and no longer available from the retailer? The bottom line is KNOW YOUR PRODUCT and your seller! Find out what to look for, authorized dealers or retailers, distinguishing marks and characteristics, and real price ranges for used merchandise. If your Italian leather handbag is shipping from Turkey, China, or similar, you are probably going to end up with a "mirror image" knockoff of the bag you are paying top dollar for (and they copy these right down to the tag and serial numbers, with false "paperwork"). Check feedback -- even positive feedback. The particular seller who sent me the nasty e-mail after I asked about a mark on his bag (and from whom I did NOT make a purchase) had a 96% feedback rating, which is "acceptable but not great"...turns out TWO of the recent "positive" feedbacks included statements such as "item not authentic but I like it anyway" and "not sure item is authentic." See, the thing about feedback is if you leave a negative for the seller, he will retailiate and try to make himself look better by leaving a negative for you...the unsuspecting purchaser of his fake merchandise. Also if the seller of your high dollar questionable item is "new" (low feedback) or recently changed eBay I.D., you might want to find another seller. If it looks too good to be true, or if it looks like it might not be legit, PASS. And report it. Save someone else from lining the pockets of thieves.

Forget the South...Tim Burton is going to do it again! As huge fans of "Nightmare Before Christmas" LT and I will be counting the days to Halloween! (Well, why should this year be any different?)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Oh Happy Day!

This has been, for the most part, a crappy day although I feel a great sense of accomplishment now that I have run ALL of my errands for the entire week in a three hour span of time. While I was out I decided that since my bag that I love and want for fall would not be available (in my color)for another three months that I would order a different color instead. But alas, good things really DO come to those who wait...five minutes after I called Saks San Francisco (and my salesperson was gone to lunch, as fortune would have it), I received an e-mail from a girl who does handbag consignment. Yes, Rachel...consignment. She just received the bag I have been waiting for from last fall's collection in perfect, like new condition (it even has a RED interior...perfect since the item that inspired me was the bag with brown boots and a red coat) and is willing to let it go for a substantial amount less than I would have paid for it new at Saks, Hogan, or Bergdorf's. SO, by midweek next I should have the bag in my hot little hands, some cash still in my pocket, and an end to my obsession. For now. In the immortal words of the Gnoll, "H't D'gg'ty."

Thursday, May 19, 2005


First of all, Happy Birthday to my old pal Danny (ahem, sorry... "Dan") who probably does not even KNOW I have a blog, but there it is...

I am not having great success with accessories. First, about a week ago I was putting on a pair of earrings and the stone fell out of one. Damn. And they were less than six months old -- I think I mentioned this before. So I contacted the company and they said send them back and they will either replace them or refund my money. Fair enough, I guess. Then last night I am getting ready and I put on my new FAVORITE turquoise necklace and the damn clasp breaks! And not the part that you can fix with a pair of jewelry pliers, but pulled out of the...well, hard to explain...part that holds the clasp on. Anyway, it came from the same place that I had purchased the earrings, although it was a different "brand" sort of thing, but I had it for less than a month and already it is defective. I just don't understand it. It seems like no matter what I order, something ALWAYS goes wrong. So I am sending the earrings AND the necklace back, and a bracelet that I recently purchased (before something happens to it), and whatever else is still within the 30-day return period. This is why I buy expensive handbags. Because if you pay for quality you get quality. If you buy "costume" (non-precious) jewelry, you get crap. Same with bags. Nevertheless, I am not going to shell out a huge sum on a necklace that will probably be out of vogue in a year, but I am sad about the (at least temporary) loss of my necklace and the prospect of having to find a new one.

Also, I must amend my previous post wherein I stated that the decoration at the top of my mother-in-law's driveway was a flower from the Dollar General store. Turns out it is an angel and not a flower at all. I learned this as we arrived to pick her up for LT's belated "family" birthday party (including my teenage son, the relevance of which will shortly appear). I will not go into a lot of detail, but suffice it to say that it was at his brother's apartment which was not bad, there was no restaurant involved -- a definite plus, there was no playing of the Rodney Carrington CD (LT put his foot down this time), but...yes, there's always something...his mother hired a STRIPPER. That's right folks...a nice "lady officer" who came in saying that LT was a suspect in a recent robbery and then left sans clothing. And since I happened to be sitting next to him when this girl arrived, I got a front row seat for the show that I really am not sure I needed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Sad Sack

Call me crazy, but we're only in mid-May and I am dying to see the new fall coats and handbags. Okay, this is partially due to the fact that the bag I REALLY, REALLY want is going to finally be available in brown this fall and I have about zero patience. So it is quite frustrating trying to wait out the "summer season" nonsense and get back to some serious outerwear clothing and accessories. Speaking of accessory frustration, what happened to Coach? Three seasons in a row you were blowing us away with fabulous bags and have-to-have-it designs and now...nothing. For two "catalogs" now (approximately two seasons at >2 mos/season) you have not had jack. NOTHING at all that makes me run screaming to your store (the ONLY designer handbag store we HAVE here) and plunk down massive amounts of cash! Maybe this is a good thing, but I am frustrated with the summer straw bag and "scribble signature" crap. And what is the point of a canvas bag that will suck up dirt like a sponge and be worthless after six months? I've already been through that with my (glorious) white suede fringed bag that is now more of a grey (and Coach does not have a facility for cleaning suede, although they have offered to pay for me to try to have it drycleaned). I want something in leather and I want it to be beautiful, classic, timeless, and of exquisite quality. And I want it NOW!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I am a Snob, Part 2 of 2

Alright. So we finally leave the restaurant and go back to mother-in-law's house...which by now is about 90 degrees inside and reeks of her five or six dogs (who she gorges with people-food to "show her love" and who are therefore over twice their recommended weight and about to have a heat stroke). I note a new (maybe?) porch swing on the front lawn. In front of the newly expanded driveway (that now takes up 2/3 of her entire front lawn) and next to the huge metal carport that sits like a huge-hulking-unsightly-and-ill-planned obstruction on half of the geometrically obscure driveway. So I retrieve a magazine from the car and plant myself in the swing. The remainder of the crew file dutifully into the backyard for Rodney Carrington hell. I spot a black cat (yes, she also has an entire menagerie of cats in addition to the dogs) under a truck in the drive, and after eyeing me briefly it comes over to molest me. Now I like cats, so this is alright. Except I forget hers have claws, so my chest is shredded and the cats are trying to sharpen their claws on my pants, snagging them, as I wait out the backyard horrors. Well, I can't read the magazine with this cat climbing all over me, and it's 16 years old, so who knows if perhaps I am its last hope of pleasure, and I submit to petting it and being a jungle gym. Meanwhile I am looking around and enjoying the breeze. Now, I know mother-in-law (who is not well off by any means) spent a small fortune to have this eyesore of a driveway and carport installed. And they had to do it twice, having screwed it up the first time (since she doesn't hire a contractor...she hires "somebody's friend the ex-con and narcotic user" or similar). But at last it is done and there and...as I look up...I notice it has been adorned with a nice little (TACKY!) wooden "flower on a stick." Oh god. I can make out the semi-flower shape, although I can only see it from the back, where it is screamingly displaying the "Dollar General $3" sticker in BIG bold black letters. HELP ME! While I am observing this in my quiet reverie, a car pulls up next door. Well, tries to. It is a sad little Camaro, the kind your mullet-wearing-highschool-loser guy would drive in the 80s...and it is gasping and wheezing (and endeavoring to pollute the environment and poison me by spewing exhause fumes and reeking of gasoline) in an effort to keep running long enough to be parked. This takes quite a bit of maneuvering (partially due to the plethora of OTHER loser cars parked at the house already), and the girlfriend has to get out and "wave" loser guy in to the parking place which is, as it turns out, on the front lawn. Right next to the sofa. I'M NOT KIDDING! Boyfriend exits the car and commences screaming at little blond haired child to get out. No doubt she was lawfully buckled in a car seat, right? Don't think so. Of course, in true form she has no shoes and is unkempt. I see her eventually maneuver her way out of the car (which is now residing quietly on the front lawn with the hood up so boyfriend can figure out why it is spraying oil everywhere and refusing to consistently run). She runs around the yard barefoot, then gets on a bike. Visions of parasitic infestations are now flowing freely in my head. (Ruffian, if ever someone was "wormy" this may be your girl!) I hope fervently that no illegal activities will take place next door while I am in the front yard that might necessitate shooting me to remove "witnesses." Time passes. Eventually people begin to emerge from inside my mother-in-law's house...first the brother-in-law to go pick up his kids from a church thing (I think the youth group burns crosses on Wednesday nights...no, really, this is one of those old "Southern-type" towns), then sister-in-law comes out and says she fell asleep on the back porch. Then my son emerges and proceeds to tell me that, even as a 16-year-old boy, he is disgusted by the guy on the CD. Eventually mother-in-law herself peeks out to put out more cat food, at which point the cat dislodges itself from my chest (my cute little white top is now COVERED in black fur) and goes to see what's for dinner. I begin flipping through the pages of my magazine until I think sufficient time has passed, then I venture into the backyard to see if we can PLEASE GO HOME NOW. I am just in time to hear a lovely and well-thought-out bit about how the comedian (turns out they listened to two, equally bad) is having trouble doing his workouts to Jane Fonda with a "hard on." Charming. Mother-in-law is rolling with laughter (Was LT secretly raised by wolves? Wolves wouldn't think this garbage is funny!). I give LT an imploring look and tell him we really need to get boy child home because it's a school night, after which things slowly come to and end (with me firmly back in the front yard away from the CD's). LT relates to me just HOW very bad they were, not just because the guy is gross and crass (after listening to him I am even tempted to stop cursing....nah!), but also because he's just reworking really OLD jokes that were NEVER, EVER funny. But at last the nightmare is over until... NOOOOOOOOO...she invites us back down for LT's birthday this week. Surely she won't put us through the CD horror on his birthday, right? So now it is over. Temporary exile, anyway. And I am firmly in touch with just how much of a snob I am...and I embrace my snob-ness and go happily back to my non-Dollar-Store-shopping-world.

*This message has been approved by LT for mother-related content.

Monday, May 16, 2005

HAPPY 35th BIRTHDAY LT! You're in a whole new age bracket now!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

I am a Snob, Part 1 of 2

Every married girl (or guy) is supposed to hate their in-laws, right? Well, I don't hate mine...BUT...I have to purge myself of this week's events because...well...it's just TOO horrible to be borne alone! Okay. Tuesday night the phone rings at about eleven-something and I answer it and it is LT's mother. (I should mention, before proceeding with this story, that LT's mother is not FROM America...and landed in a small town sort of by accident and not by her own choosing.) She commences telling me that her air conditioning is out and the repairman needs a coil and can't get one immediately and so it will be several days before she has A/C again. So I am sitting there waiting for her to tell me that she wants to come stay with us until she has air again (thinking "oh shit where will we put her...we have no guest room" etc....but NO!) so can we come down (Wednesday) around 5:00? What? Turns out LT made plans for a late Mother's Day sort of thing and did not tell me about it (figuring he would just go alone). Well, in the end we ALL went, and LT's brother (and his wife and two kids) also joined us and we went to eat at the ONE restaurant in [this small town]. (I should interject, at this point, that since brother-in-law has recently purchased a huge, gas-hogging SUV-type vehicle that allegedly "seats seven" we -- that is, all EIGHT OF US -- are coerced into riding together in the one vehicle, listening to Elvis along the way, with brother-in-law trying to force us all into a reverent silence to the great "E" and sister-in-law going on about how she absolutely CANNOT believe that LT has NOT SEEN the new library (despite the fact that we CLEARLY do not live in this hick town and avoid it if AT ALL reasonably possible.) But back to the restaurant...I have gotten used to the non-existence of any other "restaurants" (and I use the term loosely), as well as the fact that it is run by a has-been former Go-Go dancer (they still HAVE those???) who only believes that corn and green beans should be served on Sundays (the rest of the week it's brown beans, hominy, or some other horrific canned quasi-food item that is frightening to the broccoli-eating world). So we are eating when (horror of horrors) my mother-in-law says to LT "I have something I want you to listen to" then turns to OTHER daughter-in-law and says "did you bring those CD's?" WARNING, WARNING! Danger! Red Flags! OHGODPLEASENOTTHATCOMEDIANAGAIN! She proceeds to go on about how LT simply MUST listen to the new CD's and that this guy is SO funny...I said "what guy is this" and YES...it's the same comedian she made us endure the last time we visited. Perhaps "endure" is not a strong enough word. I am telling you, it was torture... painful, unconstitutional, violating-my-civil-rights kind of torture. His name is Rodney Carrington and he is so not funny that it's STILL not funny. AND he says "weiner" instead of "penis." Come on! You have one...learn the word! I try to semi-politely yet in a firm way interject that the guy is REPULSIVE and should not be breathing the air on our planet and that we really DON'T want to listen to him EVER, EVER again, but she'll have none of it. I pull LT aside and beg him to reason with her, but it's Mother's Day (sort of...belated...in a way) so he feels the guilty son duties of humoring Mum. (to be continued...)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Oh happy day! I have finally decided on a bag. Now I just have to WAIT for someone to get one in the dark brown color!

What is it with these holidays?

Enough, people! I was responding to comments to my "pepper" blog (which, I should add, got WAY out of hand and off track!) and went to www.Origins.com to get the official price for the Mint "Clear Head" Shampoo and WHAM! The home page greets me with "Father's Day is June 19th!" We just HAD Mother's Day. Give it a rest already! These stores and commercials and family members just slam you with one holiday after another...not even time to breathe in between. Well, both my and LT's fathers are deceased, so I guess we get to sit this one out. But enough with the damn holidays!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Black Pepper

I am not a fan of pepper. I don't like chili peppers, black pepper, hot pepper...I just don't really like pepper period. However, I have totally fallen in love with a new perfume containing...you guessed it! PEPPER. Black pepper in fragrance stuff appears to be all the rage now. The June 2005 issue of Lucky has a full page feature on it on 116. Although it does not include my perfume (Moschino "Couture"), it does look promising. Who knew? Not good on food...GOOD in fragrances! Just don't make me wear any of that flowery stuff.

BIKE UPDATE: got a call from son's father last night. Of course I was in Cleveland and had left my cell phone at home, so I missed it, but bottom line is that he DID get my message and is contacting the shop to get the serial number and information so we can proceed with the case.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


I turned in all of my teaching grades yesterday and now I am FREE for a whole month! By free I mean that I am down to ONE job...no teaching...no taking of classes. For me that is amazingly light as schedules go. As often is the case, I have learned another lesson the hard way (that's the best way...you remember them always). I made the terrible mistake of making the due date for final papers the last day of final exams. Now that's okay for the students, but it meant I could not pick UP their papers until the day before grades had to be posted (and even then it's a 2:00 deadline). So I had to fly through the papers (of two classes, at 4-7 pages each) to have my grades ready to upload. But I know for next semester to have the students turn them in the Friday BEFORE finals, which will give me a week to prepare and enter grades. Now if I could just figure out a good way to keep track of roll.

Oh, and I got MY grades for Contemporary American Lit and History and Theories in the Book...both "A"s....YEAH BABY!

Monday, May 09, 2005

What is left of my son's Christmas bike

More on the Bike Theft...

Well, I decided to drive by the kid's house (the one who had the bike in his custody...well, AND the other one, too) on my way home from errands today just to see if progress was being made toward putting the wheels on the bike so it could be returned this evening. Both the boy and his mother were in the drive, so I pulled on in and introduced myself. Imagine my surprise when I saw my son's three month old Haro bike in about 150 pieces on her driveway and garage floor. The only thing still intact about the bike was that the seat was still attached to the frame. Everything, and I mean EVERY THING, had been "chopped." Now I have heard of this as it pertains to cars, but apparently this happens with bikes as well. They had even tried to file off the serial number...it has clearly been damaged, but was still legible. So the kid offered to put the bike back together, but clearly the "taking apart" of the bike constitutes "working on" it as it relates to warranties and this kid is not an authorized Haro dealer or representative, so now the warranty is shot to hell. I asked them if they were willing to give a statement to the police, and the mother said "me or him?" Both. Okay, so they say they will. Good, out comes the cell phone (at which point "chop" boy says "hey, that's one of those new RAZR phones" -- and I note to myself to keep the phone on my physical person at ALL TIMES) and I called the police non-emergency number -- which the mother looked up for me. Two cars arrive, and we commence with the report, the statements of both, and then the person who tipped us off as to where the bike was showed up and I was able to procure her for a statement as well. The police found four other bikes -- or, rather, the "corpses" thereof -- in this boy's garage and discovered that at least two of them had been painted over. One was identified (by me and, later, my son) as the missing bike of another neighborhood kid several months back and I have since reported its whereabouts to his mother so she can "refresh" the recollection of the officer who took her earlier report and maybe get what's left of her son's bike back (the little boy, who is about nine, had to pay for half of his new bike after his was stoken from their garage). The police called the serial numbers in (when they could find them) and the bikes are being checked against others reported stolen in the neighborhood. I think since the boy who HAD the bikes cooperated, he might not be charged as an accessory (he gave up his friend and his own role MOST cooperatively), but I am pressing charges against the other boy. He even had the balls to brag about jumping the fence and taking the bike. This is the second report I have filed against this boy (the first was A&B), and it looks like his days as a bicycle thief (or a non-incarcerated person in general) may be limited. And the mother of the "chop shop" boy now knows that she has a garage full of "hot" items, and her son has been duly chastised and appraised of his role in KCSP and the trouble he could get in. They have offered to do something toward the repair/restoration of the bike, but the shops I have talked to are saying it will probably cost less to just buy a new one altogether. Since I had a camera the police are able to use my photographs, so the "remains" were released to my custody and are now sitting, in a sad and dejected heap, in a box in the back seat of my car. The police and the insurance company now await the purchase information which I have to somehow get from my son's father in Ohio (who has no phone) so they can do the final identification of the bike via serial number (police) and find out the replacement cost (insurance). And the other bikes have now been brought inside. I feel like buying or "renting" a Schutzhund-trained dog to rip this kid's leg off if he comes over our fence again.

Grand Theft Bicycle

Saturday was my sister's boyfriend's graduation and also the first day of my son's grounding. Because he got detention at school (for saying "frickin'" to a teacher -- twice), and because he continues to get into trouble at school, we took his skateboards, bike, and DVD player away until his behavior improves. This was Friday, and he was to lose said items as of 12:01 a.m. Saturday. So I went out Saturday morning to remove the bike and apparently someone had beaten me to it. It was gone! Of course, knowing my own quasi-deviant child, I demanded to know what he had done with it and he flipped out. He thought I had already taken it. So we're trying to get to the graduation with him wigging out and I'm driving around the neighborhood looking for stray bikes (this is an $800 trick bike). Nothing. Today he went back to school, and around 11:00 I got a call from him saying that a girl at school had come up to him and said "I know where your bike is." She told him that a boy in our neighborhood (who has been trying to cause trouble for well over a month now) stole it and took it to another boy's house (also in our neighborhood, also a troublemaker and involved in earlier incidents with said first boy). Well, these two used to be friends with my son, and I always get contact information, so I whipped out the cell phone and looked up the boy's phone number and called his mother. I told her what I had heard (without naming names) and said that it was my understanding that the bike had been hidden at her house. Well, she knew. She said the first boy said he found the bike at the retaining pond. I told her that he knew damn well it was my son's bike, and described the bike to her and she said "yes, I can tell you that it is at our house." Of course, the boys by this time had taken the wheels off (why?) and so she was going to call her son and have him put the bike back together and return it this evening. Good. Except that she was not home. So what if she calls her son and he knows she is (and we are) onto him and he takes the bike somewhere else? Then I am really screwed. And out a $500 insurance deductible. And how is this kid getting into our yard (6' privacy fence...locked gate) and stealing bikes? I notice he didn't take MINE or my husband's. So I guess I have to give her until this evening, then if the bike is not back I will have to file a police report. That's felony larceny on the part of boy one, and KCSP on the part of boy two. Both carry felony penalties (I know, I used to work for the Public Defender's Office). I don't understand these kids. Or their parents. His mom acknowledged knowing that the bike was quite expensive, yet she bought into the "finding it at the retaining pond" story. Why? Wouldn't that create suspicion in itself? Or the fact that my son used to ride that same bike over to visit her son? Seems like it would strike her as at least somewhat familiar and bring up questions. So, fingers crossed that the bike returns (with all its original parts) tonight. Anyone know how to keep an unsupervised juvenile delinquent out of your backyard?

Sunday, May 08, 2005

YOU pick the IT bag for fall

Interesting Things That I've Learned Today

Today has been a day of learning, indeed. The first thing I learned was, if you have a keyboard on a tray that slides out from under your desk, you should NOT set your drink on that keyboard tray. This I learned the hard way when I moved the keyboard JUST enough to knock my glass over, spilling Dr. Pepper (which I am almost out of -- even worse!) all over the tray, the carpet, and down the sleeve of my cashmere sweater. How nice. Thank heavens for my Bissel carpet cleaner. The second thing I learned is that apparently cashmere repels water. This is VERY good news, seeing as how the sleeve of my cashmere sweater was full of soda. So, I ran to the sink and stuck the inside of my sleeve under the faucet (thinking that I would at least rinse the soda OUT of the sleeve before having to send the damn thing to be dry cleaned). Oddly enough, the arm just started to balloon with water, and then I dumped the sleeve back into the sink and everything was gone...turned the sleeve inside out, gave it a good shake, and Voila! no more liquid of any kind! The third thing I have learned today is that UGG has just created two (at least) new colors in their classic short boots including...FINALLY...a grey! Yes kids, you heard it here first! Oh, and they've raised their prices $10 on the classic shorts. But for the most part, happy days.

Friday, May 06, 2005

A little less structure...the Gucci shoulder bag. Studs and grommets and horsebits, OH MY!

Thursday, May 05, 2005


Well, I no longer have a mouse in my garage. Or, I should say, I no longer have a LIVE mouse in my garage. For some time we have known there was a little guy loose in there. I had a bag of dog food that developed holes in it -- despite my clever attempt to keep bugs out by putting the bag inside a plastic bin -- when the mouse just climbed right over the edge and chowed down. So the Orkin guy gave me some traps with poison in them. He says "they're pet safe, because they work on [something to do with vitamin K or some such] which your pets get from their food." Great. But the mouse is EATING my pet's food. (FYI I got a new container -- plastic this time with a lid -- for the dog food and did not feed them from the mouse diner!) Or pet food in general. So the poison is clearly not going to work on him until we get rid of this huge (and heavy) bag of food. So I did...I threw away the bag, the plastic container, the carpet strip from the garage that we had used to wipe dirty shoes on...the works. And it's not that I mind mice. Mice are cute, but they leave a MESS! There was a trail of mouse excrement EVERYWHERE! So mousy had to go. I was hoping that maybe he was IN the pet food, container, etc. when I threw it away and could therefore just travel on to the dump in high style and with enough food to probably last him the rest of the year. But then yesterday I noticed that there was an odd smell in the garage. It was still there when I came home from work today, and I looked at one of the traps and thought I saw a tail. Figuring I was hallucinating, I looked closer, and there was a little mousy corpse just outside the trap. All cute and little and grey-brown. With the tail. Now, he was supposed to die IN the trap (or that was my understanding), but he didn't...he went outside the trap, so now I have to exhume his little body from the garage and dispose of him. Anyway...so hopefully no more mouse mess, but now I feel guilty because he's dead.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Things that Piss Me Off

1. Putting on a pair of earrings while getting ready to go to class, dropping one on the floor in the process, and retrieving it only to discover that the stone has popped out. And I thought it was due to the impact of hitting the floor, but not sure, because I found the errant stone in my shirt. Oh, and they were like two months old and not exactly inexpensive. 2. Going to a bar after the final exam to meet up with all my classmates and "recover" (Rachel, in a non-alcoholic way for me) and arriving to find a band -- worse even, a JAZZ band -- blaring for an hour so we can't hear ourselves think, let alone talk! 3) My husband, who refuses to let me watch television when he is in the bedroom because he is "trying to go to sleep." This would be understandable, except that he then puts in a movie so that HE can fall asleep. So I ask him if he wants to watch a movie, and he says NO, he's going to bed, and now he's in the bedroom doing what?...you guessed it!...watching a fucking movie. Am I just totally missing something in this logic? Oh, and before you say "well go in and watch the movie with him" let me just say that it's a Mystery Science Theater movie (the very bad B movies with the guy and the little robots who sit and make fun of them and then do skits, read letters, etc.) and he watches them OVER AND OVER and I am sick of them and would like to watch something actually worth watching. And he sleeps through THOSE all the time, but can't sleep if I have anything on.

I know you guys are not happy unless you have a fashion decision before you...and I am all about accommodating my readers...so how do we like this bag either on its own or as compared to the Chloe bag? (No, I have STILL not made a decision yet)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Bring out the Violins...

Yes, I am deeply saddened by the fact that, as a result of working on my final article/paper for History and Theories of the Book (which took a good solid four days to write, at least -- and not including the research), I have a TINY little paycheck coming to me from the office. Actually it was supposed to come to me on the first, but that's how engrossed I have been with this paper -- I didn't even go GET it! I am now trying to work in a bunch of stuff that could be considered either "last-minute" or "finally gotten around to" to compensate for the hours I missed and try to resurrect some hope of financial gain. The good/bad news is that I don't think my full-summer class at the junior college is going to make, so I may have a whole month and a half off from teaching. And no university classes either! What ever will I do with myself with all of that free time? I might (and let's hope LT's not reading this) even be able to get around to doing some (gasp!) housework! And getting caught up at the office. Perhaps I can even exceed my ten-hour-a-week billing and actually make some extra cash (to compensate for the loss of the class, of course). Either way, it will be a HUGE difference from the past semester (even IF the class makes). I think I will celebrate by going to see H2G2 this weekend. Between, of course, my sister's boyfriend's graduation and after party and Mother's Day. See? It's always something...

Monday, May 02, 2005


Well, it is 5:00 a.m. Monday and I've been up ALL night, but the damn Dickinson paper is FINALLY done...in all it's 28 page glory (including two single-page inserts and the Works Cited). I have not worked this hard on a paper since law school! I cannot believe I picked a topic and actually generated 24 pages of "article quality" (I hope) text, nor that my Works Cited FILLED two entire pages on its own. But it's done. AT LAST. And it has been one of those weekends. I skipped out on my cousin's baby shower Saturday to work on the paper. Then the professor had a dinner Saturday night at his house to celebrate his "first graduate class" (teaching), so I had to attend that. (And he has the nerve to ask us if we've seen H2G2 yet! Uh...no, actually...I have this paper due...) Then Sunday was the review for the final exam in another class (nothing compared to this paper!). The paper is officially due before 5:00 p.m. today (Monday), after which there is a party to celebrate the end of the semester at ANOTHER professor's house. Then Wednesday is the actual final exam in my second class. And then I'm DONE for the sememster. Well, except for grading the final papers for MY students and trying to work up a syllabus for my class that starts next Monday, and trying to catch up on everything from the office that I have missed while chained to the Dickinson paper (for somewhere between four and five days SOLID). Happy days. Don't you just love the feeling you get after you have accomplished a MONUMENTAL task that seemed quite impossible? As some famous author once said, "I hate writing, but I love having written." Cheers!