Archive for Cranky Rant

I begin to hate our condo

Remember the idiot golfer who threw pottery through our window?  The quest to sell the condo has hit an even bigger snag.

Yesterday morning our realtor (and also the condo association president) got in touch to let us know there was extensive water damage to the unit.  The downstairs ceiling had collapsed, and there was water in the master bedroom closet and bathroom (directly above the fallen ceiling).  The immediate conclusion was that there had been a frozen pipe in the interior wall, which thawed after the weather warmed up on Monday.  When the realtor and her handyman visited, though, it looked like it was leaking in through the roof-chimney joint (which is over the closet).

At this point we’re trying to get the insurance company involved so they can see the damage; that has to happen before repairs and cleanup can start.  Obviously this puts a bit of a damper on the potential for it to be sold soon.

I think the next incident will be either a furious elephant stampede through the front door, or perhaps a meteor strike.

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Silly sales patter

On my out of the grocery store today, I passed a salesman for the city newspaper. He was offering free papers (presumably to then draw you into a newspaper subscription pitch) to everyone going by. As I was leaving with baby and groceries in cart, he asked, “Hello, ma’am. Can I interest you in a free newspaper today?” I smiled slightly, replied, “No thank you,” and continued walking.

At that point I had pretty much expected the whole encounter to be over. However, a good three seconds later, by which time I was at least fifteen feet past him, I heard, “How about one for your younger sister… or younger brother there?”

It took another few seconds before I realized this was probably still directed towards me. While the flattery technique is very well known in sales, there are typically limits to it, and this was way over those limits.

  • You just offered a free newspaper to a six-month-old infant. He certainly can not read it, and I am not likely to want him to eat it. (I suppose this could have led into a conversation about the toxicity of the paper and inks in the paper, but is that really where a salesman wants to go?)
  • I’m thirty. The child is six months. It is not impossible that he is my sibling, but damn, that’s the biggest stretch I’ve ever seen. Try again when he’s fifteen and I wish I looked thirty.

On the whole, though, this was a very benign sales idiot; he just made me shake my head and laugh, rather than become infuriated and belligerent. This contrasts with a call from a “technician” who asked if our DSL was working; when we confirmed it was, he asked if we wanted it to be faster. That guy just made us mad. (And so, the next three times the same sales company phoned us about increasing our DSL speed, I asked lots of obscure technical questions that they didn’t understand and wasted their time.)

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And the winners of the gas game…

When you rent a car, you have two choices: buy a tank of gas up-front at current average market prices, or pay a premium (usually almost twice average market price) for the fuel they need to refill the car with once it is returned.  The “game” to play when doing this is buy the full tank of gas up-front, then see just how empty you can get the car before returning it.

I hereby declare us to be the winners of that game.  We managed to run out of gas 0.2 miles from the rental agency, and had to push it in to return it completely empty of fuel.

Gas Game

Mind you, this is a very stupid game; if we had run out just 0.1 miles sooner, we would have been stuck on I-190 in heavy traffic. That’s 0.003 gallons of gas.  0.3% of a gallon.  That’s ridiculous, and it was a not-so-gentle hint that we probably shouldn’t play stupid games with gasoline levels with two small children in the car and a plane to catch. (Even at the intersection where the car died, we shouldn’t have been stopped; there was a PA system that kept saying, “Drivers please return to your vehicle.” I ignored it, because we had to push, and I figured the worst that would happen is the state police would show up and help us push.)

(All the same — we won, we won!)

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This is one reason I miss the North

Snow on Thanksgiving!

It was fairly thick for a while, but it did not last long enough to really chill the ground and stick. It was still very pretty, though, and I while I hope it isn’t the only snow we see this year, there’s not a lot of chance to get it in South Carolina…

Lillian shows Reuven the snow

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Golfers… ugh.

Earlier this week, our realtor passed on news from another realtor that when she was showing our condo, they had noticed that the glass in the back patio door was smashed out.  This was surprising news to us, since it had certainly been intact when we moved.

We figured there was just something dumb that had happened, like a golfer took a shot directly at the door. It was going to be all annoying to get the insurance figured out, and get a door installed, yada yada yada. But our realtor called this morning with the full story…

Some days after we moved out, a major storm rolled through the midwest.  It was the cause of things such as massive power outages around Chicago neighborhoods.  Apparently, a golfer was on the 18th hole (behind our condo) when the storm broke.  He needed to seek shelter, so he threw a flowerpot through our back door and stayed in there for a while.

When I first heard the story, I was ready to drive up to Indiana and throw a flowerpot at him.  I’ve now calmed down enough to admit he must have been pretty scared by the storm to think smashing a window was a good idea, and to realize he was responsible enough to get in touch and make up for the damage he caused.  (Yes, he is paying for replacing everything.  Except maybe the flowerpot.  Didn’t ask about that.  I also don’t know what damage the glass and flying flowerpot might have done to our hardwood floors.)

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Thing I Never Want

A sign in my front yard which says, “Yard of the Month.”

Apparently this is an award given by our neighborhood (development?) association.

It makes me want to set fire to my lawn to ensure it is always the nastiest.

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Installing rude software

How, you might ask, could software be rude? We’re talking about something required to remotely access work email from my home computer, so it’s not cursing at me or anything. But it is insisting that I uninstall other software before it installs — pretty rude, in the world of software. Before PC-cillin anti-virus trial would install, it made me uninstall AVG (the free and quite good anti-virus software I use) and Spybot Search & Destroy (an anti-malware program, also free of charge). AVG it might have been able to claim it was incompatible with (only one virus software can check email at a time or something), but Spybot as well — that’s just jealousy and nastiness, preventing me from using free software that does the same job as their expensive product.

The only reason I’m trying this crap is because I can’t check my work email on my home computer without using an “approved” anti-virus software. Luckily I only have to put up with it a short while, assuming the work laptop gets rebuilt in a reasonable time frame…

They also require Internet Explorer to access their secure site. I really don’t like IT sometimes.


EDIT, another hour later: great, the ONLY option that I haven’t tried yet is Norton, and they don’t have a free trial. ANGRY!

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Housewives and alcohol…

I absolutely loathe housewifery. I am not good at it, I do not like it, I am bored by it, I am frustrated by it, I feel unfulfilled and unproductive while doing it… I could go on, but you get the idea. This was my day:

  • be frustrated by trying to remotely access my work email;
  • pick up Lillian to go to Library Story Time;
    • sit in on Story Time since Lillian is afraid of being left alone with the nice children, reader, and books;
    • check out a bunch of books that Lillian picked out
  • dash home to meet Brett and get ready to go to the Farmers’ Market;
    • rake the lawn while Brett changes Reuven’s very wet diaper;
    • go to the Farmers’ Market;
    • buy peaches, cheese, eggs, ground turkey, and a basil plant;
  • get home, start chatting on the phone to Allisson;
  • start making egg salad for sandwiches for dinner;
    • realize we do not have mayonnaise, mustard, or bread, all critical ingredients for egg salad sandwiches;
      • start making “walnut and cream pasta” instead;
        • realize we do not have any milk except chocolate milk, which would make for a fairly nasty pasta sauce;
          • send Brett back to Farmers’ Market for milk and butter, while peeling hard-boiled eggs (for what is now tomorrow night’s dinner);
  • run to the front door when Lillian answers it;
    • thank our neighbor who said her husband wanted the pine needles we had raked up so he would be over in the morning to take them off our lawn;
    • tell Lillian to please not answer the door without a grown-up around;
  • cook pasta, smash walnut halves into walnut pieces, find parmesan in fridge, find bread crumbs in cabinet;
  • ask Lillian to please not bother pouring extra salt on that;
  • let Lillian run the onion chopper thing;
  • still talking to Allisson on the phone;
  • deal with Lillian tantrum when she realizes Daddy has gone to the store (well, Farmers’ Market) without giving her a hug and so tries to go out the front door after him and gets told to stay in the house;
  • when Brett returns with milk and butter, figure out what to do with the lump of dough that milk plus butter plus breadcrumbs makes (seriously — the cookbook picture shows a creamy sauce, I have a squashy thing that looks like a soggy loaf of bread studded with walnuts, how is this supposed to coat pasta?);
  • serve dinner;
    • eat dinner;
    • convince Lillian to continue eating dinner;
    • nurse Reuven;
    • convince Lillian to continue eating dinner;
  • when Brett returns with mayonnaise and mustard, finish egg salad;
  • collapse and blog.

Somewhere in there Lillian ended up in bed and Reuven ended up asleep. Now I know why Martha (a full-time stay-at-home mom I know) daily enjoyed a glass of wine or two after dinner. This lifestyle is enough to make anyone drink.

Oh yeah, and religious nutjobs who think my attitude is unfeminine and inappropriate according to what the Bible instructs: bite me.

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I’m melting, I’m melting… aaaaaaah…

Yeah, I knew that the South would be hot. That doesn’t mean I’m disqualified from complaining about it.

Well… we’re here.

New House

I am not one of those people that does well in heat. Well, that’s not strictly true; I sweat a lot, so I’d be well off if it was dry and breezy. I do not do well in humid environments with no wind.

So it was nice to find we had moved into a state with triple digit (in Farenheit) heat warnings expected for the next week. Reeeeeeeeeeeeeel nice.

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Next time, we all go, 10-hour drive or no!

Brett is down in South Carolina for a few days to close on our new house, and I am utterly exhausted. Dealing with two children is difficult, although the day is made easier since Lillian is still going to preschool daily (to keep her socialized and mellow, and to keep me from going insane). Today’s worse than average, though; I didn’t get much sleep last night (Reu was fussy too regularly, then there was a thunderstorm so Lil needed to come in and sleep in my room, then I had to wake up to take her down to school…), and it turned out the closing attorney’s secretary had screwed up a Power of Attorney document that we needed since I wasn’t going to be physically present. She had to send a new copy, which I then had to take to get notarized (to the bank), then scan, then ship the physical original by overnight mail — and, cleverly, I decided to stop at the post office while I was in town at the bank, and didn’t realize until I was walking out that I probably should have taken the paper home first if I wanted a scan of it.


It turned out that just knowing the document was on its way was sufficient. But I still wasn’t able to get any sleep; by the time all that had been sorted out, it was only two hours until I needed to pick up Lillian and I was too frustrated with Life, the Universe, and Everything that I just organized paperwork instead. Once she was home, of course, there’s no way I could get to sleep… but luckily, the forecast is for a clear night, and I expect very little trouble from either child. Cross your fingers.

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