26 April 2010

It's getting a bit weird around here.

Chloe is our cat. Chloe is 7 years old, gray, and has somewhat of an attitude problem. It’s not her fault really; she had a bad start in life. She was feral to begin with. At 3 months of age she was adopted from the Denver Dumb Friends League to a family with 3 kids and two large dogs. The husband of this family returned her to the shelter a month later claiming he was allergic. At 5 months, we found her. She was so little and docile. When the shelter put us in the Getting to Know You Room, the first thing she did was curl up in our lap and took a nap. She woke up for a bit to play with the strings on our sweatshirt but then went right back to sleep. We were smitten and we took her home that day. We didn’t know about her social issues then. Honestly, we didn’t find out about her ‘issues’ until two months later when a stranger came into the apartment to look at a piece of furniture we were selling and she just Freaked Out. The stranger was all of three steps into our living room and there was Chloe – having suddenly popped out from behind the sofa all puffy tail, arched back and hisses. We were shocked. This was our docile little kitten. The one that liked to run across the hardware floors, slide for a bit and jump all nails to the back of the sofa. The little kitten that sleep all night on our heads. The one that never bit unless she was playing, never meowed unless her bowl was empty, never once hissed.

Earliest picture I have of "the little shit"

After that first incident, she got progressively worse. Unless it was us, Chloe took the firm stance that no other creature – human or otherwise – had any business being in her house. Most people who come over are always warned not to touch her no matter how friendly she comes across. It’s a trap. A stranger who touches Chloe will get bit, scratched and batted at. As she ages, she’s been getting a bit better, but not by much. Because they stayed at our house for an extended period of time, both my dad and my sister can be in the same room with her without having to fear for their limbs. In fact, Maggie can even touch her without a problem. Most other people, and creatures, forget about it.

"Don't taunt me woman! I will cut off your face!"

Before you think we are housing a monster, she is still a docile little kitten when it’s just us.

Who couldn't love this face?

This is not a post about my cat; really, I just needed you to know a bit about Chloe before I tell you what strangeness went on this weekend. It all started on Saturday night…

Andy tops up Chloe’s food bowl in the morning. She’s the sole cat in the house and because of this, we can leave out a bunch of food without her scoffing the whole thing down in one go. She grazes throughout the day which is preferable since we can leave her alone for a couple days with a heap of food without worrying she’s going to be starving by the time we get back. On Sunday morning, Chloe was being more annoying than usual trying to get us out of bed. She typically does this because she wants to go outside to eat grass and yell at the birds. Once we got up we found that her being annoying was because she was completely out of food. Andy stated, “But I just filled up her bowl yesterday! What a fat cow, eating all her food!” I simply wrote it off as Andy not filling up the bowl all the way. Andy did mention that late on Saturday night when he finally woke up from falling asleep on the couch in front of the TV that the back patio door was open (this is not a big deal as we sometimes leave the back door open to let Chloe outside – Andy simply forgot to close it before he went back to the couch – don’t rob us robbers). He also mentioned that when he went outside to smoke that he saw another cat in the back yard. It was highly possible that this other cat has snuck in while Andy was snoring away and ate all of Chloe’s food. Sneaky other cat!

The rest of our day on Sunday was pretty uneventful. It was a nice day but we spent a good portion of it cleaning the house. I did 6 loads of laundry and spent over an hour organizing the kitchen cupboard. Afterwards we went to get something to eat and then headed to the Harp at 4 PM so Andy could watch the Liverpool game. We stayed longer than we thought we would and ended up at home finally at 8:30 PM. Chloe appeared to be pretty freaked out about her food situation as she had gone through quite a bit of her food while we had been out. I just went ahead and filled it back up again.

This morning the bastard alarm went off at 6 AM. I climb out of bed and with half an eye open, grabbed my clothes and headed to the bathroom to take a shower. Andy shuffled downstairs to make coffee. As I was about to turn on the water for the shower I hear an “AAAAAAAGGGGGH!” from downstairs. My first thought was that Chloe had puked – common cat issue but I yelled down just to be sure.

“Hey, everything OK down there?”

“There’s….There’s ANOTHER CAT in the house!”

“Are you sure?”

“I think I can count up to two cats!”

I run downstairs and I’ll be damned, there is another cat, skinny and black, sitting under our coffee table in the most devil may care way. Because of where we were all day Sunday, we can only assume that this cat snuck in sometime while we were cleaning and hung out in the house ALL DAY without us even noticing. Andy opened the back door and I went over to the cat who sprinted out of our house like its tail was on fire.

And what is Chloe doing during all of this? She’s sitting at her now empty food bowl meowing that she’s hungry. The same cat that will puff out her tail and hiss at the front door if so much as an ant crawls past it on the other side had NO PROBLEMS with this cat being in the house twice and for a WHOLE DAY.

Because it’s us, Andy and I instantly came up with this elaborate double life that Chloe is leading. The house parties she has when we’re gone – the sneaking in of cat boyfriends – the lot. I’ve said for years that she must have a pretty lucrative modeling job going on as I see her photo on lot of cat products. I think she probably has a more exciting life than we do.

Evidence of modeling jobs:

19 April 2010

The Fly, the Geek, and the Sloth

So for the dumb ass move of the weekend:

On Sunday morning when I was doing my hair I was kind of zoning out and managed to lose hold of the flat iron I was using to straighten my hair. I managed to quickly grab it, but not before the flat iron clamped on to my ear lobe. While it was only on my ear for a second, it was extremely hot and now my ear looks like the ear that fell off Jeff Goldblum in 'The Fly'. And it kind of hurts. I think it's pretty amazing how we take our different body parts for granted. I mean, you never really realize how much you use or touch a body part until the briefest moment of contact makes you howl in pain. You may be thinking, "An ear lobe? That's nothing, you never touch your ear lobe" because that's exactly what I thought. Until I realized today that when I'm at work working, I have a habit of pulling on my ears. Yeah, totally didn't know I did that.

So for the geek out moment of the weekend:

Sunday afternoon Andy and I finally got around to seeing 'Clash of the Titans'. I am a huge fan of the 1981 version. My mom claims I dragged her to see it in the theater 9 times because I was too young to go by myself. It was also on HBO the summer we got cable so I distinctly recall watching it every day, twice a day, that summer. Man, I was a treat to babysit. I have no problems telling you exactly why, at 7 years old, I loved that movie. One word: Pegasus. I'm not going to be embarrassed about that because I was a 7 year old girl. As a 7 year old girl I already had my unicorn obsession well under way. A winged horse was simply the next step. Of course, as I grew up and my obsession with anything mystically horse-related went away, I still loved the movie for it's other great moments. The Krakken, Medusa, the giant bird that carried Andromeda's cage, talking shields, invisible rendering helmets, gah. While the special effects are LAME and the acting questionable, it's still a fantastic movie.

How can you not love a flying horse?

I have been saying for 10 years that 'Clash of the Titans' would make an excellent remake just because we have the technology to make it that much better. I wasn't disappointed. Medusa was still scary as hell. The Krakken - SCARY AS HELL (Rwwwwrar!). And Pegasus? Yeah, I may have clapped and squealed when Pegasus flew into view. I'm a bit embarrassed. My 7 year old girly self couldn't contain her excitement. I want to see it again though Andy says he refuses to take me 9 times in the theater. Oh, just wait until it's on cable honey.

So for the completely unrelated to the weekend bit:

I am not a jewelry person what so ever, but I stumbled upon this today and completely fell in love with it. Not that it would look good on me, but it's so cute the urge to buy it is great. My 7 year old self might still be hanging around. Thankfully it's out of stock or I'd be $38 poorer right now.

Remember, my birthday is in 70 days!

Don't forget to vote for Chloe. Chloe will promise to give you one less hiss if you do.

Vote For Chloe

Not that she's ever done anything for you.

15 April 2010

Some random pictures from the iPhone (because I waited so long)

So I'm 4 days late with this, which makes it a bit pointless. Unless I start a new blog feature called "The Weekend in Pictures...on THURSDAY".

Starting off with Saturday morning, I stop at Finest Nails and Spa to get my gangly toe nails trimmed and painted.

Off to the Harp to see our dear friend, Patrick, play drums with his band, Alder Eagle.

Mari and Gu bring in two little dogs that they are babysitting - puppy sitting? - for Mari's sister.

It also happens to be Tarik's birthday. There were a lot less shots than one would think. However, there were plenty off super rich brownies all around.

Andrea is happiest when she has a tambourine in her hand. Here's the proof.

Andy and I looking absolutely fabulous. That was pretty much the running joke of the weekend since after I got my haircut (fabulous), I had to get obnoxious sunglasses to be fabulous with.

"Here - hold this."

"So Oliver, what do you think of your mom playing tambourine?"

"I see."

On Sunday my sister, Maggie, took us all out to breakfast at Mutt's to celebrate her first big paycheck.

There were Peeps all around. Basically our folks had sent belated Easter candy - everyone got Peeps. Unfortunately no one in our group actually likes Peeps so the Peeps became art.

Seriously, we are so fabulous it almost makes me gag on a spoon.

Andy before he got "Sarah-ed". Sarah saw this and laughed, "Look, it's a Sears portrait - I even have my hand on his!"   I would agree save the big ole glass of beer.  Less they've changed things up at Sears since I've been there last.

Over to the Blue Beat where we have chips and I try Hot Sauce Art.

Dreary, cloudy day at the beach...just like I like it.

12 April 2010

In a hole with nothing to show for it.

I was planning on giving you the weekend in pictures today but because I have other pressing things to relate to you, it will have to wait until tomorrow or Wednesday, or whenever the hell I get around to it. Of course, the longer I wait, the longer the “Weekend in Pictures” becomes “A bunch of random iPhone pictures from an unspecified point in time that no one really cares about anymore.”

So Sunday morning around 6:30 AM, I was peacefully dozing in bed. It was that type of sleep that Sundays are made for - you’re not tired enough to fully fall back to sleep but your just lazy enough to not get out of bed quite yet. Andy was just getting out of bed because he’s English, and a Liverpool Football supporter, which means that once every weekend he will get up at some God forsaken ass-crack in the morning time to watch the Liverpool match live. Sometimes the night before a match I will lovingly say to Andy, “wake me up, I’ll watch the game with you” but when the morning comes I always groan and tell him I’m too tired and please bring breakfast when he heads on home. Most of the time (if it’s after 6 AM), the minute I hear the door shut behind him, I get up anyways as I will have realized that I’m hungry or have to go to the bathroom or wouldn’t a cigarette be good right about now or since he’s gone I should watch ‘Private Practice’ or “What was that noise? Was that the cat? I better check.” This Sunday was one of those Sundays and at 6:45 AM I was shuffling downstairs to put on the kettle and booting up my computer lest something fantastically interesting happened to one of my 166 Facebook friends overnight.

A cup of tea and a quick Facebook assessment later, I was already thinking to myself that I should go back to bed but I was up, dammit, and might as well check my email accounts (yes, that is plural – don’t ask).

When I got around to logging into Hotmail, I noticed that I had a whole bunch of iTunes receipts sitting in there. I thought that was odd since the last thing I bought from iTunes was the new Gorillaz album ‘Plastic Beach’ (not entirely a bad album though I still prefer their earlier stuff) over two weeks ago. I opened up one of these receipts to see that it was for $42 worth of iPad applications. I don’t own an iPad and I have no intentions of owning an iPad as feminine product sounding name besides, I have a tendency to drop things that are relatively expensive and therefore keep all my high end electronics safely on a stable flat surface. The receipt for these iPad applications was disturbing, as well as the 8 other receipts for similar purchases that I kept opening. I say ‘disturbing’ when really I mean I was ‘freaking the fuck out’.

Steve Jobs: "Look what I made!"

A quick check to my bank account confirmed what I was desperately afraid of. My checking account was not only wiped out of funds, but so was my savings account (due to having set up overdraft insurance) and a bunch of hefty overdraft charges tacked on to boot. As it was only iTunes purchases to blame, one can’t say that my identity was stolen completely, but more that my iTunes account was – but it was enough to do damage. All in all, Mr. Fuckhead (well, what would you call him?) bought $400 in apps and put my account in a -$177.42 deficit. Asshole.

I’ve never had my identity or some part of it anyhow, stolen before. I was honestly under the belief that because my credit was so bad and my banking account so pathetically lacking in funds at any given time that I was immune. Well, I’m not that thick, I didn’t think I was immune but I certainly thought the likelihood of me getting hit was really low.

I ended up calling up Andy in a panic. I simply didn’t know what to do. Andy kept a level head about it (though it may be he wasn’t quite awake yet and that’s the only type of head he could muster) and let me know the plan of action….which was to call my bank first, which is what I did. I want to give Wells Fargo props right now for not only handling the situation with ease and grace but also for not making me feel like a criminal (“Are you sure those aren’t your charges?”). Within 15 minutes my card was cancelled and an investigation was put in motion. I should have a “loan” of the funds in 2 -4 business days. Thank you Wells Fargo.

Apple was another story. I would figure Apple would be very keen on getting down to the matter. For one, they can track exactly which computer in the world downloaded those apps. They also have the power to stop the applications from downloading (Mr. Fuckhead failed to completely download 16 of the gazillon applications he bought). Did Apple do that? No, of course not. Did Apple even care that this had happened? Nope, not even slightly. The Apple representative that I spoke to was oh so very helpful with her, “You can’t report that here. You have to fill out an email on the Apple website and someone will get back to you in 24 hours.” When someone from Apple got back to me (via email) they gave me the oh so very helpful tips to change my iTunes password and disable the credit card within iTunes – LIKE I HADN’T ALREADY DONE THAT THE MINUTE I SAW THE BOGUS CHARGES – and that they were sure my bank would sort it out. Thanks Apple. By the way, your iPad is really fucking lame and has a really stupid name.

And that’s that. Thankfully I do have a credit card to use until this gets all sorted. I will have to admit that through all of this I kind of giggled on the inside anytime the bank said, “Your identity has been compromised” like I was James Bond or something. I fully expected my compromised Debit card to blow up after I received the message.


UPDATE 04/15/2010: From Monday to Wednesday, my checking account slowly crept to -499.00 due to Wells Fargo applying 9 separate overdraft charges to my account. There was also some misunderstanding about the form I had to send back to them. As of right now, Wells Fargo has my filled out fraud form and has taken off the overdraft charges. They have not yet reimbursed me (or given me a "loan") for the fraud items. Well, at least it's something...

09 April 2010

Vote for Lucid

If  you would be so kind, please click on the following link and then click 'Vote' and then choose 'Lucid - Be The Last Time' and then click Submit.  Far be it from me to tell you what to do, but my buddy, Nik, plays violin for Lucid and he said that he'd give me a billion trillion dollars and a puppy if I got people to vote for his band.

No, he didn't really, but it would be nice if he did.  I could use a billion trillion dollars, especially with a puppy.  Puppies are really expensive.


That's Mr. Nik 2nd to the right.

07 April 2010

Much Todo About Nothing

So I’m going to start right off by saying, I really don’t have much to tell you about today. Doesn’t that intrigue you? I bet that line would make an award winning start to a bestselling novel:

"What you are about to read is very dull. Thanks for the $12.99 you just paid for this paperback."

Fact of the matter is I have to continue to write even when I don’t have much to say or else I will stop writing entirely and that does not a good blog make. I pre-apologize (your favorite phrase, Andy) for what I will assume is a dull post. I can’t say for sure, I haven’t written it yet. Perhaps my best bet is to give you a life at the moment update.

First off, Happy Birthday Mom! Not that she reads this blog as I’ve been afraid to give her the link due to my penchant for cursing. And it isn’t that she hasn’t found it on her own- she’s a smart woman and a year wiser today to boot –but she hasn’t mentioned it to me if she has. Happy Birthday regardless.

Secondly, yesterday Andy let his boss know about his intent to move to Oz sometime in the near future. Andy inquired about a transfer through his current place of employment as it’s the easiest option for migrating. His boss’s response? Perhaps Andy should consider migrating to India as that is where the largest IT centers is in his company. Andy, being polite, said he would discuss it with me. When Andy first told me all of this I had to resist my urge to laugh, but then it got me thinking – would India really be so bad? The first thing I did was look up what the current temperature was in Hyderabad, India – where his company is located. It said 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Then I looked up yearly averages. In December, the coldest month, it averages 82 degrees. Since Andy and I both tend to moan, whinge, complain, and all around bitch when the mercury goes above 75 degrees here, we quickly ascertained that India was not for us. It’s a shame really; I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have my own cook, maid, and driver.

Brr...looks cold.

Thirdly, Billy the tomato plant developed blight a couple weeks ago. That’s the last time I heed advice from Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter comment boards. I’ve stopped watering him so much so he’s coming around, including with the spotting of two dime sized tomatoes.

Lastly, it’s the monthly pub quiz at the Harp tonight. I’m ashamed that I haven’t updated my pub quiz blog in two months. Not that anyone was reading it, but it’s the principle. I’m hoping for a good quiz tonight though, I think we’ll be going into tie breaker rounds as my quiz is so ridiculously easy this month a Miss Teen USA contestant would do well. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I wrote it up – I must be watching too much television, my general IQ has gone down.

So yes, that’s all I have for now – exciting stuff. Now please go here and read for 5 minutes so you can suddenly think of me as the Most Interesting Blogger To Ever Walk The Earth.

01 April 2010

Revenge of the AmeriBrit

So yesterday Andy became an American citizen. I would like to clarify that Andy did not qualify to become an American citizen because he got married to me - an American. You have to wait at least 3 years to gain citizenship through marriage. Nope, Andy did it the ‘ole fashioned way – many many MANY years on a green card through his employer and then lots of money to the US government to get processed.

Yesterday was his oath ceremony which I had to miss because of work and a lack of vacation days. I’m really disappointed that I wasn’t able to be there. I love me a good ‘ole fashioned oath ceremony with a televised message from the President and little plastic flags that you get to wave about. I’m trying to make up my lack of presence by holding an Americano BBQ party for him this Saturday. I’m trying to convince everyone to dress as American (or really, over the top tacky American) as they can but I haven’t really gotten a sense of enthusiasm over that (which is what you can expect if half of your guests are foreigners). Regardless of our guest’s apparel, I’m planning on making what I consider some typical American BBQ food – throughout the ages.

I’ve got your hamburgers, hot dogs, and potato chips of course but I’m also pulling out the 60’s classics – deviled eggs, pigs in a blanket, cream cheese wrapped pickles – all with little American flag toothpicks. I’m debating putting in the effort to make an Ambrosia salad – you know, the creamy Jell-O monstrosity with bits of fruit suspended in it – but I don’t know yet. If I do attempt it, expect photos.

So yes, Andy is an American now, or like we came up with quite awhile ago – an AmeriBrit. Of course this means that Andy is having a grand ‘ole time winding me up with his claim that he’s a minority now and that I’m oppressing him and he’s going to write to Obama to complain.