It Is Still Raining Here

“April is the cruelest month.”  ~ T. S. Eliot, “The Wasteland”

I’m sick of the rain.  We’ve had wet weather here almost every day since mid-March.  In fact, in April we had 3x our normal rainfall, making this past April the second wettest on record.

[Oh joy.]

  • At this point, I can’t stand looking at the rain:  boring raindrops descending from gray skies that never go away.
  • I can’t stand hearing the sound of the rain pounding on the roof all night: *plop, plop… plop… splat* over and over again.
  • I can’t stand driving the car in the rain: *swish, swish* {sound of windshield wipers} *splash. splash. splash* {driving through a puddle}
  • I can’t stand walking in the rain: wet feet, muddy shoes/ cold ankles, soggy pants bottoms.

I’ve been a trooper about this lousy weather.  Really, I have.  I’ve looked on the bright side and been understanding about the fickle nature of spring.

[Spring: the passive-aggressive season.]

  • Yes, yes– I know that we had a drought last summer/autumn and that this rainfall is wonderful for the trees and grass.
  • Yes, yes– I get it that the early farm crops are thriving and this pleases some farmers.
  • Yes, yes– I’m delighted that because of the plethora of worms available, the birds are so healthy and happy this spring.  Bully for them.

But the reality is that after a very long winter I’ve endured almost two extra months of cabin fever, unable to go for long walks– or to putter in the garden– or to enjoy cook-outs on the deck.  I’ve been cooperative.  I’ve put up with this weather nonsense without much complaint.

And what have I got for all my goodness?  More fricking rain.  Predicted through the weekend.  Maybe into next week.

[And my life remains on hold.]

Oh. No. Not. This.

I was shopping for some clothes for me.  I found a few things to try on so I stepped into a dressing room.  At first my focus was on the clothes, but gradually it shifted and I realized that playing loudly from a speaker right above my head was a cutesy, wordy song that I’d never heard before.

So I stopped what I was doing and had a listen.  Big mistake.  Now I have an ear worm… and this is what I’m hearing.

[You’ve been warned.  Click on the link at your own peril.]

I Have A Crush

I was at the supermarket checking out at one of the four U-Scan areas.  I swiped a six-pack of beer across the scanner and it registered the price.  The scanner screen then stopped, waiting for the employee watching over the U-Scans to bypass the need for me to show ID.

But the employee, a kid around 20, didn’t hit the bypass button.

He shouted over to me to show him some proof that I was old enough to buy beer.  At first, I thought that he was talking to someone else behind me who was checking out.

But he wasn’t.

Then I figured that he was joking around with me.  After all, I’m closer to Medicare than the magical age of 21.

But he wasn’t goofing with me.  He was serious.

In fact, by then he’d walked over to me and was standing right in front of me, demanding ID.  So I yanked my wallet from my purse– which caused my lipstick to go flying onto the bagging area of the U-Scan– and started to show my driver’s license to the guy.

But something about the amazed look on my face + the close-up of my wrinkled skin/graying blonde hair must have startled this guy because his demand for my ID suddenly turned into a quiet little question: “Ma’am, are you old enough to buy alcohol?” 

To which I answered a simple little:  “yes.”

And with that, the employee guy picked up my lipstick and handed it to me.  Then he walked back to his U-Scan post where he hit the button that allowed me to buy beer.

I finished scanning my items without incident and put them in my bags.  Then I left the supermarket with a big smile on my face– and a crush on this kid who takes his job very seriously.

God bless him and his bad eyesight.

[WordPress automatically generates suggested tags for each post.  The three it suggested for this post are:  Beer – Medicare – God.  A glimpse into my future, perhaps?!]

Zen And The Art Of Blog Maintenance

~ Like a busy little bee I’ve been tweaking the spectacled bean these last few weeks. After three months of blogging I’ve made some decisions about what I’m going to write about and how I’m going to do it.  And why, of course.

~ I’ve deleted some posts and categories.  I decided that I will write what I want to write about, when I want to write about it– and not at the command of others. Seems obvious, I know, but perhaps I’m just a slow learner when it comes to putting a blog together.

~ I’ve added some tags and reworded some of my category names.  Now they more accurately reflect what I want to share with the world.  Not really very important to you, gentle readers, but this makes a big difference to me.  Keeps me focused.

~ I created a FB fan page for this blog.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. Maybe nothing.  But I figured that since one of my rules in life is to “maximize my options,” I’d better do that by creating a free, easy-to-set-up FB page.  [Link in the sidebar to the right.  No obligation to be a fan, btw.]  [Please note: FB fan page deleted 08.11.  No point to it.]

~ When I started this blog I thought that I’d try to have some sort of posting schedule.  I know that it’s easier for my readers when I’m consistent.  But here’s the thing: I didn’t always have something to say on the days of the week that I scheduled myself to post on.  So I’m going to allow myself to be random.  I figure that having something to say every once in a while is more important than saying nothing on a timely schedule.

~ I want to have more photos in this blog.  I’m in the process of organizing our digital photos;  eventually I hope to use many of them in this blog. Plus, I need to start taking more photos.  But right now I feel so overwhelmed by the afore-mentioned mess of photos, that I’m reluctant to take more photos– which will just add to the mess.

~ I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with this blog.  And if I’m honest, I have to say: nothing.  It seems like I should have loftier, more commercial goals for this sweet little bloggy.  Maybe someday I will.  But at the moment the spectacled bean is a hobby that keeps my brain alive, my heart engaged, and allows me to stay in touch with those who care about me and Zen-Den.  And that’s enough for me.

The “If You Know Me Well, You Know…” Meme

•  If you know me well, you know that I start each day with black coffee.

•  If you know me well, you know that I like to grow flowers, but have a rickety back that sometimes doesn’t allow me to do much of anything but look at what is growing– which means, in practical terms, that I like to grow weeds, too.

•  If you know me well, you know that I am a jeans and t-shirt sort of girl.  With flat shoes/sandals.  I rock casual.

•  If you know me well, you know that I am not overly enamored with the human race.  Never have been.  Even in 6th grade when I was forced to sing that stupid “Up, Up, With People” song, I didn’t buy into it.  I always thought that the second line, “you meet ’em wherever you go,” was more gypsy curse than inspirational.  Still do.

•  If you know me well, you know that when wrapping a gift I always put tissue paper inside the gift bag or box– and that I prefer [fun] curly ribbon to [boring] straight ribbon.

•  If you know me well, you know that I am allergic to April and August.  And most dogs and cats.  And dust mites.  And some wines.  And antibacterial soap.  And many scented candles.

•  If you know me well, you know that I have never been to a karaoke bar– which I consider to be a blessing.

•  If you know me well, you know that I read books, websites, magazines about interior design.  I learn what I can from these sources, and then I apply what I like to this  house.  Sometimes it even looks good.

•  If you know me well, you know that I’m a lapsed Presbyterian.

•  If you know me well, you know that I enjoy going to the zoo.  I’m a fan of the okapi, the spectacled bear, and the pigmy marmoset.  I also like giraffes and otters.  And penguins, of course.  I’m rather open-minded about which animals I like at the zoo.

[H/T to Michelle at Bleeding Espresso.  You posted this last year.  I get to it this year.  Better late than never, eh?]  

In Which The Beans Pay Taxes– Sort Of

[This series of events is weirdly inspirational considering we’re talking about the IRS here.]

2009

The Beans make money.

2010

AprilThe Beans file a tax return with the IRS and pay taxes on the money they made in 2009.

August – The Beans receive a letter from the IRS stating that one small section of The Beans’ 2009 tax return is being audited.

The Beans phone their CPA, Sir Add-alot, who did the tax return in question.  Sir Add-alot and the Lawyer Bean figure out that the IRS is indeed correct and that a mistake has been made on the “tax return in question.”

The Beans pay more taxes.  And a penalty.

The Lawyer Bean, who spends most of his working life figuring out how to solve problems, is pleased that the situation is rectified.   The Blogger Bean shrugs and says, “oh well.”   Sir Add-alot frets.

November – Sir Add-alot continues to fret and tells the Lawyer Bean of such.

2011

FebruaryThe Beans receive a phone call from Sir Add-alot.

While preparing The Beans’ 2010 tax return, Sir Add-alot has a brain storm and double checks something on what is now known within The Bean household as the “tax return formerly in question.”  At which point he realizes that he did not make a mistake on the “tax return formerly in question.”  Nor did the Lawyer Bean make a mistake.

[It’s a given that the Blogger Bean didn’t make a mistake.  She cedes all responsibility for taxes to those who actually enjoy working with numbers.]

The Beans learn from Sir Add-alot that the financial institution where they have some investments– a place of numbers— had made a mistake while adding up a bunch of numbers.

[Uh huh.]

By the time the Blogger Bean hears of this turn of events, Sir Add-alot has already made some calls– filled in some new forms– talked with the right people.  And he has sent the revised “tax return in question/then not in question because we paid more taxes and a penalty/then known as the tax return formerly in question/but now once again referred to as the tax return in question (but in a good way)” to the IRS.

[You with me here?]

AprilThe Beans await the return of their money— that they did not owe to the IRS, but paid while under the impression that they did owe it to the IRS– but now know better– and want their money back from the IRS– who has said that the money will be returned to The Beans once the “tax return in question (but in a good way)” is processed by the IRS.

The End.

[I hope.]

The Perfect Color

We’re in the process of redecorating our home.  Instead of the original color scheme of drab taupe/pinkish-beige walls, we’re changing the color scheme to relaxing golden/sandy/khaki colors.

As you can imagine, this project has made me just a bit crazy.  I’m obsessed with choosing the perfect new color for each room.  So we paint large splotches of a potential color on all four walls in the room we’re working on, and then I look at the color in different light for a few days until I decide what I want.

But on Saturday morning I was indecisive.  So very early Saturday morning, before it was light out, I got Zen-Den to paint one more splotch of the potential color on a wall.  I figured that I’d get dressed, the sun would come out, and then I’d give this color one more look-see.

To decide for sure.

Well, as usual, Zen-Den got dressed much more quickly than I did.  And, as usual, he was standing around in the foyer waiting for me to get ready.  He had no idea that I’d stopped for one last glance at our color-to-be, so he shouted upstairs and asked me what I was doing.

To which I answered without one ounce of irony: “I’m watching paint dry.”

Because I was.  Darn it.

Instantly, from below in the foyer I heard Zen-Den burst out laughing.  He realized that I hadn’t a clue what I’d just said– and he could barely contain himself waiting for me to realize what I’d just said.

Eventually I realized what I’d said and started laughing at myself… which made Zen-Den laugh even more about what I’d just said.

And continue to laugh… all the way to the paint store.  Where I’m happy to report that the one of us who wasn’t laughing like a nut purchased the perfect color of paint for our bedroom walls.

So there.  HA!