Saturday, July 31, 2010

Let me hold your crown, babe.

So, have you ever heard a song that's just the perfect combination of melody and lyrics?

The melody makes you want to dance and sing along, and the lyrics make you feel like the writer took the words directly from your brain.

This is that song for me. (It's also #4 over there --> on my playlist.)

Friday, July 30, 2010

So, I got hit by a deer.

Look at those eyes. Pure evil, I tell you.

Yep. That about sums it all up. I got hit. By a deer.

No, I didn't hit one with my vehicle.

No, one did not run into my vehicle (a la Gilmore Girls).

A deer ran into me.

There's a pretty awesome (although too short) rails-to-trails greenway here, and I was walking the five mile part of the trail yesterday afternoon.

I had set the alarm on my phone to alert me when I needed to turn around and head back. I have a tendency to zone out when I walk and lose all concept of time and distance and suddenly I look around and realize I've walked to Indiana and I really have to pee.

Anyway, the alarm went off, and I was fumbling with the shiny, golden, vinyl wristlet (don't ask) that I'd stashed the phone in, and I glance up to see a doe standing about five feet from me, staring me down.

And in an ironic twist of fate, I felt like a deer in the headlights.

The alarm was still blaring from my shiny, golden, vinyl wristlet (No really. Don't ask.), and I thought for sure it would send the doe running. And oh, it did.

Straight at me.

Instead of hightailing it into the woods behind her, she ran toward me. I was able to step back enough that I didn't get hit full on, but there was enough impact as she passed that she knocked me on my butt.

Don't worry--the only injury sustained was to my dignity.

So, not only do I attract crazy humans, but I apparently attract crazy wildlife as well. Crazy wildlife out to kill me.

And this, dear internets, is why I'm better off just staying inside like a hermit and talking to my friends who live in my computer. You've never tried to run me down.

As far as I know.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Not this week, lady.

So, as a rule of thumb, I have to constantly restrain myself from punching stupid people in the face.

Sometimes, though, the urge is so strong that it's a good thing the stupid person I'm dealing with is on the other end of the phone line and not in the same room.

Consider the following facts:

Fact: Adoption papers can be used in lieu of a birth certificate in any legal situation.

Fact: Ben does not have a birth certificate. Only adoption papers.

Fact: He has obtained a social security card, a passport, and has been enrolled in five schools in three states and two countries using adoption papers in lieu of a birth certificate with no problem.

Fact: I came home from the store last night with super plus tampons, overnight pads, Nutella and Andy Capp Hot Fries (you do the math).

Now imagine that you're me, and you're lying on your bed nursing a menstrual migraine when the phone rings. It's the guidance counselor from Ben's new school. She informs you that you cannot register Ben for school without a birth certificate. You calmly and politely explain that there is no birth certificate. There never has been. His original birth certificate is sealed, and we never bothered getting a secondary birth certificate because I think it's kind of dumb to have a birth certificate that makes it appear that Will and I are his birth parents when Ben, and everyone else, is well aware that we are not (and again, it was unnecessary because adoption papers are the legal freakin' equivalent!).

The guidance counselor responds that she'll have to bring it to the school board, because a birth certificate is a must, and in the mean time she will not register him. (And school starts in 8 days).

You'd be furious, right? I mean on a regular day you might not be furious, maybe just annoyed. But remember--Tampons, Nutella and hot fries!

So, I'm furious.

I could call the county clerk in Utah and go through the hassle of obtaining a secondary birth certificate, but now it's about the principle. So, I will not. The school will accept his adoption papers, as they are legally obligated to do, even if I have to involve a lawyer.

Hell hath no fury like a woman in need of Nutella and hot fries.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Skank Country

So, my first few days at Fort Campbell gave me an inkling that life here would be different than at any Army post we've been assigned to previously. There's the constant presence of helicopters in the air. There was my shock and panic at seeing an entire center devoted to dealing with war widows/widowers (the shock wasn't so much that the center existed, but that there was a need for it to exist). There's the fact that this division is so hooah* that not one but two war movies have been made about units from here (Band of Brothers and Blackhawk Down).

But the biggest clue that I was no longer in Kansas anymore (Errrr...I mean Georgia. Or Maryland. Or Germany) is that the level of skankocity around here is off the scale. The ole skank-o-meter is in the red zone. It's skankalicious. The skanktitude is astounding. I bet if they were Mormon they would bear their skanktimonies. In November they prepare a feast to celebrate Skanksgiving. I'm pretty sure the official song for Fort Campbell is Skanky Doodle Dandy.

O.K., I'll stop now.

What I'm trying to say is that, well...there are a lot of skanky women around here.
Yeah, yeah. I'm getting all judge-y, I know.

But if I can see that you went with the Brazillian wax this week just by walking past you in the cereal aisle at the commissary, you might be a skank.

If I'm behind you in line at the PX and overhear you lamenting to your friend that you're three months pregnant but your husband has been deployed for six months, you might be a skank.

If you have a tattoo of a vagina with wings on the back of your neck, you might be a skank.

If you put your child on a leash and tie it to a tree so you can enjoy your beer and cigarette in peace, you might be a skank.

If it's 10:00 at night, and you have your toddler with you in a cigarette smoke filled gas station while you drink and play electronic poker, you might be a skank. Add to it the fact that there is a woman walking around topless shaking her boobs in clear view of your toddler and you might be an even bigger skank. (Don't ask how I know this. Just trust me when I say not to walk into what appears to be a gas station convenience store on the Kentucky side of the border at night).


I'm not sure what imbalance in the universe has drawn so many skanks to this corner of the world (although I have a theory, which I'll share when I figure out a way to not sound like a stuck up, condescending butthole when I tell it), but it should make for some interesting stories over the next few years.

* Definitions of Hooah for you non-military types: 1) Heard, understood, acknowledged. 2) I don't know what you said but I want you to think I was paying attention. 3) Yes. 4) I disagree but I'll do it anyway. 5) I want you to think I care. 6) I want to show you I can act motivated. 7) Hardcore, tough.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Before and After

So, some of you have written and asked me why I would put so much effort (not to mention money) into upgrading a house I don't even own.

Let me show you.

This was Amelia's room before. This was the catalyst. I hadn't seen the house in person yet--my friend had gone to look at it for me and took pictures. I told the owners that we would only take the house if we could paint over the murals. This is only a small part. Nearly every wall in the room had cartoon characters or crooked blue stripes on them. So, this is where the insanity began.

Here's Amelia's room after.

This was the living room before. It's impossible to tell from this picture, but that paint is peachy orange. And yes, that's red and gold cording hot glued around the ceiling.

And the living room after.

So, this was where the painting was supposed to end. The house was empty a few days before we could leave Georgia, so my awesome friend agreed to go over and get these two rooms painted for us before we got there. I know. You totally wish you had a friend that awesome. Anyway, once she was in the house and able to see it empty--you know, without the previous tenant's copious amounts of crap everywhere--she started seeing things that had been missed when she (and I!) had walked through it previously. So, we expanded the paint project to include two more rooms:

This is the room that would be Liam and Ben's. Not only did it have hideous border, but if you click on the picture, you'll see that it was randomly painted with two slightly different shades of paint.

The boys' room after.

I don't have a lot of pictures of the master bedroom before, but this is one of the windows. Let's just say it's a very accurate representation of the whole room.

The master bedroom after. That's right. This is where the magic happens.
(I'll give you a minute to locate your brain bleach now.)

O.K., so again, this is where the painting was supposed to stop. But you see, by this point I got there and saw the house in person. I had seen it in person back in May, but it was completely full to bursting with the previous renter's stuff. And she was a little...crazy...and we could tell she was uncomfortable with us being there so we went through it quickly and got out of there ASAP. So, we missed a lot of this stuff.

Anyway, the four rooms my friend had done looked so good that it made the rest of the house look really rough. It would have looked rough anyway, but it was kind of like when I got my tummy tuck. My abs looked pretty good afterward, but suddenly my thighs looked worse than ever.

So, I basically said, "Oh screw it. I don't care if I hate painting. I'm painting this whole freakin' house." And thus ensued 10 days of painting and cleaning torture.

The dining room before. The picture doesn't do it justice. That wall was a dark, chocolate brown, and had been slapped up with no taping or anything. It was on the ceiling. On the molding. On the wall that was supposed to be white. And that light. I've seen very few things uglier than that.

The dining room after.

The chalkboard wall before. Check out that awesome border.
And more gold cording hot glued to the wall.

Chalkboard wall after.

This was the bonus room before. Or half of it, anyway. It's a huge room. Anyway, it had more of the dark chocolate brown slapped on (again, with no taping or edging). They even painted over picture hangers.

The bonus room after.

I also painted a half bathroom, two hallways, the stairwell and the kitchen, but this is too long already. Oh, and I scraped wallpaper border off the master bathroom walls. That job sucked. Luckily, the same awesome friend who helped with the painting knew some tricks that made it suck slightly less. Plus, she helped me do it.

Anyway, there you have it. This is what kept me away for nearly three weeks. It was a ton of work, but the rent is cheap, and the house has good space and is in an awesome area, and now that the work is done, it was totally worth the time and effort.

Just don't ask me to help you paint because the answer will be no.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Like Georgia, with less twang.

Kick-A chalkboard wall that made my kids think I'm cool.
What wasn't so cool was that I put on four coats of magnetic primer and yet it's not magnetic. At all.

Oh internets. I've missed you.

I made a rule for myself: No blogging/blog reading until the new house was completely done.

Yeah, totally stupid rule.

(I notice that none of you took a break from blogging. Even those of you who never write, wrote. It took me hours and hours to catch up today).

Anyway, I finished yesterday. Every room painted (every room) (but I didn't paint all of them myself. My friend painted four of them, which is good because I may have died if I'd had to paint all of them myself). Four light fixtures changed. Three light fixtures painted. All the drawer and cupboard hardware changed. Carpets cleaned. Flower bed weeded and re-mulched. Filthy, dirty kitchen cleaned and sanitized. Door installed and painted. Sexy new refrigerator bought. Curtains sewed. 8900 pounds of stuff unpacked. No really. 8900 pounds.

It's all done. Finally.

And I was going to write last night, but Will broke the internet.*

So, first of all, I totally live in the Central Time Zone now. I don't know why, but this completely disconcerts me.

Second of all, rural Tennessee/Kentucky isn't much different than rural Georgia. The accents are a little different. There are a lot of Amish communities in the area. There are way more good radio stations. Otherwise, it's pretty much the same.

Third of all, did I mention yet that this house kicked my butt? It did. But now that it's done I like it. I would say I love it, but I'm still bitter about how it acted like a little bitch when I was cleaning and painting and changing hardware on drawers where someone drilled the screw holes about a millimeter too far apart. And we won't talk about the popcorn ceilings that disintegrated whenever the paint brush got near it.

Want to see some pictures? Well, O.K., since you asked.

This is just the downstairs. I'll do the upstairs later because at the moment the kids' rooms are a mess and Will has our family room looking like a glorified computer lab. Plus they're all watching Peter Pan and would whine if I turned the light on.

The kitchen. It's tiny.
See that door? It didn't exist before we moved in.
The laundry room was totally open to the kitchen. Who builds a house like that?
I know--the same guy who decided carpet in dining rooms is a good idea.

Sexy new refrigerator that will be coming with us when we move.
I want to marry it.

The dining room. That light fixture was a tacky "early 90s uber-shiny brass" with even tackier lampshades on it that someone bedazzled. I burned the shades and painted the light a hammered bronze color.

The living room, looking from the dining room.

The living room, looking down from the stairs.

The back yard. The kids freaking love this.

O.K., so I promise I won't just disappear like that again. Unless I die or something, because clearly that would put a stop to my immoral, inane ramblings (Ooh, by the way? I totally got hate mail over the past few weeks. How can people get angry at me when I'm not even writing anything??? On the flip side, my little hiatus caused some people to go back and read my archives and I got some of the nicest non-hate mail ever. It all balances out, I guess).

Anyway, since it's not raining like it has every single evening since we got here, I'm going to take the opportunity to go explore my neighborhood. Which, by the way, all the streets in the subdivision are named after Kentucky Derby winning horses. So, I guess that's something else different from Georgia, where by law every street has to have the word peach in it.

* If you or any of your smarty-pants spouses knows anything about computer networks and security, speak up (Why yes, that IS what my husband does for a living, but here I am with broken internet anyway). Here's the deal: We got a new router. Every internet device in the house connects to it just freakin' fine except my laptop. My laptop only connects when we turn off all the security. No security = bad things like people stealing my passwords and using our internet to download lesbian porn and breaking into our bank account to steal the whole $24 that's left in it. So, if you can help, let me know.