No, No, No. Your House Did Not “Got Bought!”

I’m not a fussbudget about your word choice.  I prefer that your words be nuanced and precise, but if they aren’t most of the time I let it go.  ‘Cuz I’m a kindhearted English major, you know?

I didn’t used to be like this, but I’ve mellowed over the years because, ironically, people have disappointed me so many times that I’ve become charmingly cynical, with incredibly low expectations about what people do or how they do it.

And it’s from this jaded point of view that I’m going to tell you, my gentle readers, about a local realtor who upon selling a house, puts a sign out in front of it that says:

GOT BOUGHT!

Apparently the time-honored SOLD will not work.  Nope, this realtor goes with what I can only assume is a play on the “Got Milk?” marketing campaign, combined with a good old-fashioned rhyme.

I get that this is a clever + seemingly harmless use of the English language.

And I also admit, openly and freely, that what I’m going to write in the next paragraph contradicts one of my favorite sayings: “do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?”

But in this particular case I’m going to declare that I. Want. To. Be. Right.  I want to see SOLD signs.  Now tell me, my gentle readers, is that asking too much?

Voting Day 2017 And Last Year’s Election Day Sadness Lingers

An old downtown building in the process of being improved: out with what no longer serves, in with what will make it safe.

  Later this morning I’ll make my way to our current voting precinct in its current polling place. 

It’s in an old Greek Church now.  The decor in this church is gold and overstated, think My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but the church members who welcome you to their church/polling place are as sweet as can be.

They stand in sharp contrast to the election board people who, it seems, would prefer to not be doing what they’re doing, as shown by the snarls on their faces.

Same grouches, every year.

  When we first moved here over 20 years ago we voted at the VFW Hall. 

Situated back a long creepy lane, to get to this polling place you followed the signs for the “Sunday Turkey Shoot” that lead to a grass parking lot.  Then you stood outside in the weather until the election board people allowed 2 voters at a time inside the building.

We’d moved here to this big city suburb from an upscale small town and were shocked that the polling place, reeking of cigarette smoke, still used paper ballots– and consistently ran short on pencils.

We learned to take a Benadryl before we went to vote and to take a pencil with us.

  Our next polling place was at a fancy golf course. 

It was easy to get to this place that had a real parking lot, lighted even.  At first it seemed ideal, however this is the polling place where Zen-Den, Esq., got mad and made a point.

He was not pleased about how the partisan people who lurk around the outside entrance into the polling place were positioning themselves;  they were too close to the building, thus breaking the law.

Inside the building he told the election board people this was wrong–and they shrugged. So Z-D called the sheriff’s office and filed a complaint. The pushy lurker people got in trouble, and the election board people have never forgotten about it.

Or Zen-Den. Or his wife. Who they consider to be has much of a troublemaker as he was.

Guilt by association, you know?

  All of which brings me to today’s foray into the American voting process.

I’ve paid no attention to any of the people who are running for office this election cycle.  In what will a first for me, an Independent voter, I’ll be voting a straight Democratic ticket.

If the GOP won’t do the right thing and depose our so-called president, a sexual predator, business fraud, Russian-backed, draft-dodging old man, then I’ll start the ball rolling by getting rid of the GOP.

Are you with me here, kids?  If last year’s presidential election confirmed one thing for me, it’s that you can do everything right and still fail;  BUT it’s important that you do that right thing anyhow.

Words to live by.

The Tale Of The Confused Dude Going Further In The Ford Pickup Truck

• • •

Here’s what made me laugh way too much the other day.

I was on a two-lane curvy township road, stopped in construction traffic in a single file lane with about 20 other vehicles, waiting, when…

This young dude in a huge new Ford F-150 pickup truck in front of me started revving his badass engine, bouncing his truck on its bloated large tires, impatient, as he waited for the opportunity to be allowed to drive on the one lane that the construction crew had us using.

But apparently Mr. Pickup Truck zoned out during the minutes he was forced to sit still so that when the flagger gave the go ahead to drive forward, Mr. Pickup Truck drove his vehicle on the wrong side of the road: the side of the road that the flagger was not pointing to.

• • •

Continuing on with this story I will attempt to tell it in a non-mocking mature way.

Meanwhile, while we [the other drivers and I] watched, the flagger dropped the STOP/SLOW sign he was holding and started yelling “NO!”as he ran down the middle of the road around the curve after Mr. Pickup Truck.

Mr. Pickup Truck, however, was oblivious to what he’d done wrong and vroom-vroom-vroomed around the curve in the road where we could see that he had to stop, abruptly, behind a backhoe– that was now blocked by Mr. Pickup Truck’s F-150.

The man on the backhoe did not appear to be happy about this development, and seemed to have a few words to say to Mr. Pickup Truck.  I was too far away to hear the actual conversation, but from body language I’m going to surmise that the backhoe operator used words not suitable for a PG-13 blog such as this one.

• • •

Not wanting to seem unkind here, but this was darned funny on both a slapstick level and on an existential level.

First of all, I got to see this young guy do something really dumb in which no one was hurt.  Plus, it was humorous for me to drive, in the proper lane, by Mr. Pickup Truck who looked astonished that he was trapped on the wrong side of the road, unable to move in any direction until the flagger took pity on him.

But this didn’t happen immediately because the flagger was a person who believed that stupid actions had consequences. Thus he allowed the rest of us alert drivers to go on our way before [presumably] letting Mr. Pickup Truck drive in reverse around the curve back to where Mr. Pickup Truck needed to be so that he could drive in the lane that was open.

At the same time, on a more meta level, I got giggling because Ford’s ad campaign is: “Go Further.”  Little did they know that their slogan needed to be tweaked;  that is, apparently Ford needs to clarify to their truck buyers that the drivers should go further in the correct lane. 🙄

The Rest Of The Story: Answering My Gentle Reader’s Questions

• • •

ARE YOU EVER GOING TO WRITE THE DEFINITIVE PRIMER ON BLOG COMMENTING ETIQUETTE, LIKE YOU SAID YOU MIGHT LAST SUMMER?

I don’t know.  I suppose it depends on how much I want to call out other bloggers on their less-than-stellar behaviors.  I fear that my natural honesty and snark could easily sound passive-aggressive— and that would never do.  So I hesitate.

WHY WERE YOU SO EASY ON THE PAINTERS WHO PAINTED THE FAMILY ROOM THE WRONG COLOR?

I forgave the painters, two guys who are partners, because they’re good men who we’ve had paint other rooms, and their work is perfect.  Yes, perfect.  Our interior designer told one partner what color to use to in each room, but he got the colors mixed up because he was on his way to “the old country” [in Europe] where his father was seriously ill, subsequently passed away.  Mistakes happen, you know?  And they re-painted the family room the right color, so all’s well that ends well.

WHAT’S BECOME OF YOUR NEIGHBOR, CRAZY BIRD LADY?

Crazy Bird Lady has calmed down over the years.  No more banging metal pots to scare birds away.  I saw a man from the HOA in her backyard pulling down all the shiny streamers, talking with her as he did so.  She no longer shouts obscenities at the birds & the neighbors who feed them, and all her weird flower pots are gone.  Now I only hear her when she’s talking to her dog– loudly talking, but saying normal things to her puppy.

WHAT WAS MIRABELLE’S REVENGE?

Mirabelle waited. She knew her mother hated it. Feared it, even.

She heard the shriek, her name being called. Mirabelle tried not to smile but she knew this revenge was perfect.

Mommy was vain. Without her make-up, flushed down the toilet by Mirabelle, she’d have to go to work barefaced.

• • •
Any more questions?
• • •

15 Hours Without Electricity Because– Well, We Don’t Know Why

Think of this as a rambling “Dear Diary” post…

THE LONG WHINY PART

{ feel free to skip if muttering and complaining bother you }

Around 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning I was awakened from my slumber by the loud *click-clack-thunk-bunk* sounds of our machines, powered by electricity, turning themselves off.

What kind of forking shirt is this, I asked myself, emulating Eleanor Shellstrop from The Good Place as I used her creative vocabulary to express myself.

As one does.

Inside our house it was dark except for where the moon beamed in some light on the back of the house.  The front of the house, along with all of our neighbors’ houses, was dark.

Of course, having not recently fallen off the suburban homeowner turnip truck, I didn’t do a thing, except to look out a few windows, confirm that the whole neighborhood was without power, and then go back to sleep.

Next morning there was still no electricity anywhere on our street, so being the trooper that I am I got dressed and drove elsewhere to find us hot coffee.

[And what a sad bedraggled bunch of folks were we, the coffee fetchers, at the local Kroger Star$ kiosk.  Barely alert, yet focused on our mission to get the sustaining elixir of life for ourselves and our loved ones.]

THE DETAILED WHAT WE DID UNTIL WE GOT ELECTRICITY AGAIN PART 

{ probably want to skim over for context regarding the photos to come }

By 9:00 a.m. we still had no electricity, no idea why we didn’t have electricity, and our cell phones were almost without juice, so we did the only thing we could think of and went out to breakfast, at what turned out to be the world’s worst Bob Evans.

Humph.

Then, needing to charge our phones, we drove to the other side of somewhere to go to a garden nursery;  we like this garden nursery, but buying mums, which we did, was the secondary reason for our visit.  We required a long car ride to help our phones get going again.

Modern life, ain’t it grand?

Then, having called home to find that our answering machine wasn’t picking up, meaning no electricity, we decided to stop at a little new-to-us township park to wander around its flat paths and see what was there.

Short answer: kids and chairs.

Then, it being the middle of the afternoon on a day that wasn’t working out like I’d hoped, we went to the bar of a local restaurant that is known for chicken.  There we had delicious chicken sandwiches, watched some football, and drank beer.

Because… Saturday… in the fall… and bored.

THE 8 PRETTY PHOTOGRAPHS PART

{ make sure to look at these ‘cuz it was a clear day meant for snapping pics }

Pond at garden nursery.

• • •

Geese on pond at garden nursery.

• • •

Ducks avoiding geese on pond at garden nursery.

• • •

Island in middle of pond at township park.

• • •

Human beings gathered around play area beside pond at township park.

• • •

Old stately home, available to rent for private events, beside pond at township park.

• • •

Chairs waiting for guests beside old stately home, available to rent for private events, beside pond at township park.

• • •

Farm with corn in the field across from pond at township park.

• • • • •

I Believe Sheldon Was Right, The ATMs Are Starting To Rise Up

“I don’t trust banks. I believe that when the robots rise up, ATMs will lead the charge.”
~ Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory

• • •

HEY! DID YOU KNOW… that an ATM can take your card away from you? A legitimate card that you’ve had for a while? A card that attaches to an account that has your money in it?

Well, it can. And one did.

Here’s what happened: I drove to our local bank branch, got into the stay-in-your-car ATM lane, got to the machine, put my bright red ATM card into the machine– and WHAM BAM THANK YOU MA’AM the machine ate my card.

Just. Like. That.

The message on the ATM screen said that my card had been confiscated for security reasons and that I needed to contact my financial institution for further assistance.

Considering that I was at my financial institution I found this message ludicrous.

Annoying.

Off-putting, even.

• • •

• • •

SO I SWORE AT… the ATM, as one does, then I drove around to the front of the bank, found a parking spot, got out of my car, wandered into the bank branch, waited in line– and finally got to a teller.

This teller, a pleasant woman, told me that the bank doesn’t want its customers to use our old bright red ATM cards, so the bank is confiscating them when you try to use one. Thereafter, I was quickly issued a new light blue ATM card that the bank wants me to use.

Uh huh.

And it worked when I used it so… *yay* I guess.

• • •

• • •

BUT HERE’S THE THING… what if I’d been on vacation when this happened?  Or at the airport stuck waiting for a flight? Or I needed the cash immediately for some reason*?

What would have happened then?

The reality is that I would have been in dire straits through no doing of my own– all because the bank, who has my money, doesn’t like the ATM card it issued to me.

So instead of just sending me a new card, the bank decided that it’d be better to risk my safety and experience my ire, than waste the money on an envelope and postage to send me a new light blue ATM card.

That gets me to my money.

All of which has me thinking that Sheldon might be onto something, ‘ya know?

• • •

* Actual real-life examples of when I needed cash now:

  1. in the hospital emergency waiting room late at night by myself, hungry, in need of cash to use in the vending machine
  2. in a foreign country too tired to use public transit back to hotel, in need of cash to use to take a taxi
  3. at a local art show, having found a beautiful piece of art, in need of cash to buy it from the person who made it

Images courtesy of Library of Congress: |1| |2|

A Remodeling Update: My Kingdom For Some Tile

Decorative tile, laying on the floor, that’ll be the accent in the shower and by the sinks.

Well, kids, not everything runs smoothly during a remodel.  You see, there’s been a kerfuffle here about the wall tile that goes in the shower stall.  Not the little decorative stuff*, but the large tiles that cover the walls.

The problem, quite simply, has been that the tile company sent the correct decorative and floor tiles over to the house– but filled our wall tile order incorrectly.  They sent packages of tile with the same name + code number, but these packages of tile weren’t from the same “dye lots” so they weren’t the exact same color.

Which they are supposed to be.

Example of the tile in question.

Thus began what turned out to be 3 weeks of discussions among unhappy me, lawyerly Zen-Den, our patient project manager, the perturbed remodeling company design staff, the conscientious tile installer– and the confused [sneaky?] tile company.

Much was said, politely— but with a great deal of emphasis on MAKE THIS RIGHT.

No pithy conclusion to this post.  I’m just happy to report that the correct wall tile finally arrived on Tuesday and that each package has the same batch number.

Even more exciting than getting the tile is knowing that the tile guy is now in the process of installing the tile on the walls in the shower– and that the walls coordinate beautifully with the shower floor.

As planned.

Tile on the floor of the shower stall, installed and looking lovely.

* I wrote this post yesterday mid-afternoon. As the tile guy left late yesterday afternoon he told me that the tile company had shorted us on the decorative tile that is to go on the wall behind the sinks.  This is not as big of a problem as the wall tile kerfuffle, but it’s a problem that will have to be solved nonetheless.  *le sigh*