Saturday, July 30, 2005

Can't we just caulk it?

The *countertop guy* is coming tomorrow to measure the kitchen. In preparation, H gave me the very important assignment of obtaining the specifications for the slide-in rage we have on order. I did not realize this, but *slide in* means there is some countertop behind the stove. At the time H was raving about how we should really go with a slide in style, I was probably thinking I could really go with a VO and Coke...but anyway, due to the way the range is to fit, the countertop must be very precise. Big caulk joints due to poor fit do not pass H's quality control inspections. Remember that.

I should have known getting the specifications in-hand would take more than a simple phone call or email.

Friday I phoned the appliance store:

Finally A Human On The Other End: Thank you for calling our store, the largest and best selection of appliances, electronics in the Chicagoland Area...home of the new Sony 12 foot Hi-Definition Plasma TV. This is Elisha, how may I help you today?
WTC: We have a slide-in range on order with you and I would like to get the specifications so the countertop guy can measure correctly and avoid the humongous caulk lines that drive my husband to drink.
FAHOTOE: The specifications will come with the range.
WTC: The range won't be delivered for 2 weeks. I need the specs by Monday.
FAHOTOE: Well...hmmmmmm. We aren't supposed to open boxes here to get the manuals out because, you know, it might mess someone up.
WTC: You don't have ANY manuals? What are people supposed to do if they don't happen to have the appliance at the site yet?
FAHOTOE: Well, most customers have the appliances delivered before the countertop is measured.
WTC: They do? Everyone? I am the ONLY one who is measuring before I get my appliances?
FAHOTOE: Yeah, I guess...I don't have a manual I can send to you. And they don't like us to open the boxes so I really can't copy one for you.
WTC: Would you be able to give me the number of the manufacturer?

I then took a deep breath and phoned the manufacturer:

MAJOR AUTOMATED PHONE SYSTEM. I was pinged and ponged from here to there all the while listening to how they are the LARGEST manufacturer of home appliances with companies worldwide, headquartered in Rome, and serving every country on this planet as well as having expanded to the next galaxy.

Finally A Human On The Other End: Hello, thank you for calling the largest manufacturer of home appliances with companies worldwide, headquartered in Rome, and serving every country on this planet as well as having expanded to the next galaxy, this is Robin, how may I help you today?
WTC: Robin, I would like to get the specs for your slide in range so I can have my countertop measured. If I don't get these specs, my husband will have a countertop quality control issue.
FAHOTOE: Our specs are online or, they come with the appliance in the box.
WTC: I don't have the box yet and the specs for this unit are not online. Look, I just need them now, ok? Surely you have them there at the MANUFACTURING FACILITY, don't you?
FAHOTOE: Hmmmmmmm...(I pictured her looking around her cubicle to see if they were there, next to her picture of Jeff Gordon Jr.)

After 15 minutes, FAHOTOE finally located the specs in her in-house computer wonderland. While I waited, I listened to the recorded message saying the company had just opened another facility on the moon.

FAHOTOE: Well, here they are! Ya just have to know how to fool the computer. What is your fax number? I'll fax them to you...gee, I hope you will be able to read the numbers...they are kind of small.
WTC: Well then, just email them to me if they might be hard to read.
FAHOTOE: Oh, we don't have that capability yet, ma'am...but we should be getting it in the next year or so.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Just call me Pat

H is from Ireland. I met him during my last semester of college when I spent a semester there, supposedly studying and learning about all things green. H's family is all still "over there". He has 2 sisters and a brother. His brother is married with kids. I believe I mentioned them earlier this year during my post about our vacation. Brother's wife is considerably younger and is one of those people who is into natural foods, home birthing, and breastfeeding her kids until they are well into secondary school. She is a very nice woman, don't get me wrong. I just have absolutely nothing in common with her and, even tho H swears otherwise, neither does he.

Besides being au naturale, Bro's Wife is from a family that all have very traditional Irish names such as Liam and Fiona. Nice names, I think. Actually, I'm convinced these names will be the next yuppie-suburbanite names here, soon to replace Madison, Kaylee, and Hayden. In keeping with tradition, I guess, Brother/Wife have seemingly gone to extremes with their child-naming. In fact, I have a very difficult time trying to pronounce or spell the names of their 3 older boys. Cairan (something like Key-rion), Niall (this is the easiest one!), and Daragh (pronounced Da-Rah, not Da-Rag) When H & I stayed at their house, I did my best not to have to even say their names for fear of mis-pronouncing and sounding like the Yank.

WTC: Ummm...look young one, I don't think you should be climbing on the counter.
WTC: Geez, it looks like the middle guy is going to have curly hair.
WTC: How about we take your brother this time and it will be your turn next.
WTC: So, how did you handle the breastfeeding when the first one started school? (LOL)

Anyway, it has become somewhat of a running joke with H & I because we have a very hard time sending birthday cards, asking questions about one of the kids, and spelling their names on any type of personalized gifts. A couple of weeks ago, we got the phone call with news of boy number 4's arrival. H talked with his brother and happily announced they had named him Evan Patrick. We cheered and had cocktails in celebration of not only the healthy arrival, but the ease of pronunciation. Evan. It just rolled so easily off the tongue. Baby Evan was going to be showered with personalized gifts from the USA!

Yesterday I got an email from Brother.

Good morning,
Just a little note to say all is well here and Baby Eimhin is doing great .I will get some pics over as soon as we develop them.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Happy what???

It is now official. ProjectHouseFromHell has completely consumed our lives. I thought H & I might eeek it out with some shred of remaining humanity; however, it was just not meant to be. Yesterday was our 18th wedding anniversary. Our morning conversation went something like this:

WTC: (Walking up to H as he read the morning paper) Happy Anniversary! (Hands him a Victoria's Secret shopping bag. Note: We usually don't buy presents for the anniversary thing but I got him the new Harry Potter book so that once he has a life again, he will be able to read and enjoy it. I put it in the Vic. S bag as a joke.)

H: Huh?

WTC: Happy Anniversary!

H: Is it the...??

WTC: Happy Anniversary!

H: ...27th already???!!

WTC: Happy Anniversary!

H: Shit, I forgot all about it.

WTC: Happy Anniversary!

H: I can't believe I forgot...but you know, every day is like our anniversary, WTC.

Nice try, H. 25 more days.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

At least she couldn't steer him...

Two evenings a week I go to my special job at the barn. Despite the heat, humidity, dust, and of course time away from ProjectHouseFromHell (haha ha), I very much look forward to the few hours with beautiful zillion-dollar horses. I usually groom Oz and then take him to the arena for a workout. Most of the time, I pretend I am the great horse trainer and Oz usually plays his part very well by walking, trotting, and cantering on-cue. Once in awhile he'll throw in a toss of the head and a buck just to liven things up and test my skills as the master trainer. (The other day, a bunch of geese took off right by the arena door and scared the crap out of poor Oz...he sped up to about 90 miles an hour until he finally realized the geese were not going to launch an all out attack on was really funny.) After I lunge Oz, I usually ride with another woman, Chrissy. Chrissy and I have become friends mainly because we hold the two lowest positions in the barn food chain. She takes lessons there as I do and, like me, has a gross income of less than a million dollars. We usually take turns riding the 2 different schoolhorses...because one of them is really peppy but tends to spook at nearly everything so you have to hang on or you get dumped...and the other one does not spook but in fact needs a bomb to go off for him to get into a trot. Between the 2 of them, we get fairly good practice in all things fast and slow. When Chrissy and I ride, we often talk about how cool it will be when we *graduate* to better horses. Most of the horses at the barn belong to boarders; however, a few of them belong to the barn and (like Oz) are in training to be sold for lots and lots of money.
Last night I arrived at the barn and saw Chrissy's car in the parking lot. I went inside the barn and saw that Chrissy was having her riding lesson. I further saw that Chrissy was having her riding lesson on Icon, one of the bazillion-dollar horses in training! She saw me as she passed-by the arena door. She gave me a satisfied smirk and trotted past me in perfect form. It was one of those moments where you are really happy for someone but at the same time insane with jealousy and anger and hate. As I worked with Oz, I could see that Chrissy was waiting for me. She was, in fact, pacing up and down the aisle with the anticipation of our discussion about her riding experience. As I walked out of the arena with Oz, I congratulated her on her new mount and said, "How the hell did you get to ride HIM??" She said she nearly fell over when, before her lesson, Instructor said, "Would you like to ride Icon?" She and I then discussed how exciting it was for her to ride such an animal and who cares if she couldn't get him to turn and who cares if he is so tall she has to turn the mounting block sideways AND get a leg up to get on him. Despite my jealousy, I am really happy for her. It's nice to see her making such huge progress. Ok, let's get real. I really hate her and I will to demand to ride Oz for my next lesson. Just kidding...I think. :)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Shhhhhh...don't tell anyone!

Originally uploaded by WalkTrotCanter.

H & I went to see Jewel last night. I happened to have my camera with me so I tried to get some pics, just for kicks. As flashes from camera phones and digital cameras lit up all around us, guess who got yelled at by the usher "Ma'am, NO PICTURES ARE ALLOWED!!" Whateveah.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

That's it, we're not ever checking out!

Originally uploaded by WalkTrotCanter.

This little bag of goodies was by our door yesterday when I returned to the Motel 6. I begged H to let us sign on for another month's lease but he said no...despite how much the apartment management likes us, we must move in August. Just for that, I get the Cheetos!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I was star-struck alright

Recently, some friends and I were discussing famous people we had seen or had contact-with in our lives. Living near Chicago, it is not uncommon to see a famous face once in awhile. It was fun to hear everyone’s experiences with the jet set crowd. I was in close competition, having had dinner with Jim Craig (goalie for the Miracle On Ice Olympic hockey team) and having been in charge of meeting and greeting golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez all in THE SAME EVENING. The Jim Craig thing was a complete fluke…he was eating alone and we invited him to sit at our table at a hotel in Orlando. It was very cool…I am a huge hockey fan. Chi Chi Rodriguez was our guest at the company event we were having in Florida. I met him at the airport and even got to sit in the pilot seat of his private jet. He is a very nice guy and was very amused with the fact that I flunked golf in high school. Anyway, aside from all of that (which I do think was probably one of the coolest nights of my life), in my group of peers, I won the award for the most embarrassing moment with a celebrity.

Last year, my boss asked if several of us were interested in attending a luncheon benefit for Multiple Sclerosis. The guest speaker was going to be Teri Garr, the actress who was in The Black Stallion, Tootsie, and a many other films as well as TV. She also happens to have MS. Being involved in working with people who have disabilities, I agreed to attend. Besides, it meant a 2-hour lunch!

Back up: The lunch was on a Monday. H & I had spent the weekend at our cottage, boozing it up and eating bad junk food. In shopping for this weekend jaunt to our darker side, I had purchased, on sale, some fat-free potato chips. They contained Olestra, which I knew nothing about, except for the fact it made the chips fat free. In light of the rest of the crap we were going to eat, fat free chips seemed to be a bit of redemption from all things junky, greasy, and alcoholic. H & I ate, drank, and were merry for the entire weekend. (Note: These are the weekends I miss in this summer of ProjectHouseFromHell) One thing I ate plenty of was the fat free chips that contained Olestra.

Back to the luncheon: At the luncheon, we were seated at a table in the middle of a large banquet room. It was all very social and nice. I generously donated to the cause, ate my salad, and pocketed the nice promotional goodies on my placemat. After the lunch there was a presentation on MS and, of course, Teri Garr. I was feeling a little queasy; however, I figured it was some hangover residue from my weekend. Terri Garr was introduced to rousing and eager applause. As she proceeded thru her speech, my stomach began its intestinal dance. It gurgled and blubbed and I suddenly knew exactly what was coming. Swiftly down the pipes, mind you. I also suddenly knew the “wrath of Olestra”. Yipes. I tried to concentrate on Teri Garr and ignore the sweats and chills I was feeling. I surveyed the room and, being seated in the middle, decided that bolting for the jon was a no-go. I stuck it out. At the end of Teri’s speech and during the standing ovation, I excused myself and literally sprinted to the ladies room. I was safely seated and belted in when I had THE WORST diarrhea I have ever, EVER experienced. I hate to be gross, but think convulsions. I thought I was going to pass out. After losing the majority of my internal organs, I closed my eyes and tried to relax and get myself together. It was then that I heard, from the stall RIGHT NEXT TO ME, “Do you think I sounded ok?” Another woman answered and a kid’s voice said, “Yeah mom, you did great.” OMG, someone was IN the bathroom with me. Someone was peeing right next to me. That someone, I realized after a moment, was Teri Garr. Who on earth takes a huge shit right next to the star of The Black Stallion? Who on earth nearly passes out from diarrhea right next to the woman who was nominated for an academy award for Tootsie? Yep, the girl who partied with the Olestra-laced potato chips. My friends think this is hilarious. The vision of me sitting on the pot debating whether I should stay in the stall until Teri Garr and her daughter and everyone were out of the bathroom or whether I should casually exit the stall and, while making a big point of washing my hands, say, “Oh, hi! Aren’t you Teri Garr?” But then if I did that, wouldn’t it be weird to shake hands with her, even after so obviously washing them? I took the I-am-too-embarrassed-to-move route and stayed in the stall until they left. But I rented The Black Stallion that very same week. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

WTC's workspace...

Life's a bitch and then you post about it on your blog! -Fussy

See, for every 4 bitches I have in life there are 4 positives...

1. Our billion dollar bionic dog got a clean bill of optical health from the vet on Friday. YEA! Her eyes completely open now and look much like brown M&M's. It is very difficult to be mad at her. Even when she digs an ant trap out from under the fridge to chew.

  1. I am going to see Jewel in concert this weekend. I was not really a Jewel fan until H & I saw her in concert a couple of years ago. I like her because she seems rather normal and down-to-earth. I'll bet you she blogs.
  2. My mom is doing well and will graduate from Cardiac Rehab this week. I am proud of her. I admire her stamina in putting up with Ray being *sick of the sick*.
  3. Riding is going very well lately now that I am over the hump of trying to learn to canter without clinging for my life. I am sure the horse appreciates my progress as well.

Guess things aren't so horrid after all. THIRTY FOUR MORE DAYS!

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Maybe Tuesday will be Ruby!

This is one reason I was cranky last night...Look at how we are living!
Image hosted by

Monday, July 18, 2005

I'll tell you why I don't like Mondays

I hate my life. Can I just sat that without feeling guilty? Life is sucking so horribly right now I just don't think I can stand another moment. Ok, I'll have a drink if you insist. I am so sick of the *godam* house and all of the crap that goes along with it. BTW, this is my whiney (as opposed to winey) post so if you can't handle it, do bail out immediately. Fair warning. I will vent in the form of a list. (Yes, Danny, I know you love my lists.)

1) I am tired of being alone all of the time. H works on the house and, unless I go to *the site*, I am with the poodles. Poodles are great, don't get me wrong. I just like to have a conversation once in a while that doesn't involve throwing a squeaky toy. If I go to *the site*, I stand there like a humongous lump and watch H work. Somehow, that makes me feel very useless. Maybe I will be more useful when we are arranging furniture or something. I can be somewhat creative at times.

2) I am hating the house already and I have not even lived there yet! Everyone keeps saying, "Oh, this will be so worth it once you move will love it." OK, rot in hell people. Honestly...a house is not that huge to me. I suppose if I had lived in a cardboard box or something I could see it...but well over a year of this living in limbo is taking its toll and frankly, I really hate that house. And it's Eucalyptus Country Ledgestone and its Brazilian Cherry and its stupid poplar! Dumb wood.

3) H gets such a kick out of doing all of this. I feel so guilty not being all enthused about it. I have tried, just doesn't seem to kick in. I want to go home to a home...not to a project.

4) Please H...if you read this, please PLEASE just ask me out on a date sometime in the coming year. Make all of the plans and tell me we are going to have lunch in a little cafe in Chicago. Promise me we will window shop and have a chilled glass of Pino Grigio at one of those restaurants that has tables outside so we can watch people and make up little stories about them. Then we might get to know each other again. Remember a few years ago when all you did was work and it really made things awful? I am kinda thinking we are heading down that road again. That is kind of a bumpy road.

I am only done with number 4 and I already feel like a winey bitch. But man, it feels better to get it out without hurting anyone. Except the poor readers...of which there are very few so my apologies to the few.

Mondays suck.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

...and what is it you do?

I get a kick out of watching people. I once thought I would be able to make money watching people; which is why I majored in Sociology in college. Much to my dismay, watching people does not pay very well. I now, for the most part, put my $50,000 college education from a private Catholic college to use making fun of people on my blog. If nothing else, my observations are educated.

I was at The Barn on Friday afternoon for my usual riding lesson. To show you how lamoid my life really is, my riding lesson is the highlight of my week. I have no idea why facing the challenge of staying on the back of a 1500 lb. animal after a 40+ hour work week thrills me no end; however, I look forward to it nearly as much as I anticipate the after-ride cocktail that awaits me at home. The Barn is in interesting place. It was built about 10 years ago, designed after the fancy Dressage barns in Germany. It is owned by a guy from Chicago who has too much money. He likes to ride horses so he built a place where he and his family could ride on weekends while staying at their home on Lake Michigan. He imported a bunch of sporthorses from Germany and built this top-notch facility and no one in his family likes to ride. They never even come to the barn. I was born into the wrong family. Anyway, it is very expensive to board a horse there; thus it tends to draw a rather elite group of people. Quite frankly, because of my financial status or lack thereof, I really have no business setting foot in the place.

SO, I arrived for my lesson on Friday and there was a new boarder there who I happen to know from my being involved, until just recently, with a riding therapy program that gives riding lessons to kids with disabilities. She attended one of our board meetings as a guest a few months back. She also happens to be one of those people who likes to incorporate her complete professional resume into conversations with you so you are sure to know just how very important she is.

ProfessionalWoman: WTC! How nice to see you...didn't we meet when I was the guest at your riding therapy program board meeting?

WTC: Well, hello, I believe we did meet then...nice to see you again.

PW: How IS your group doing...I hope I was of some assistance to you when I gave my 10 recommendations for how to run a growing board of directors, based on my experience as a board president and grant-writer for a major drug company.

WTC: I didn't know you rode horses.

PW: I am sorry I wasn't in touch with your group after the meeting where I, in addition to my recommendations, I offered my assistance in getting you in contact with several colleagues I know from major rehabilitation centers in Chicago. I believe I also offered to assist you with publicity since I take yoga with several key contacts in the Chicago news media.

WTC: Yes, well, I am no longe...

PW: (Interrupting) I have been sooooooooo busy since I accepted a position as a Director of Appropriations for the county. My goal, aside from saving the world on a local level, is to secure a million-dollar grant from each of the country's top ten corporations.

WTC: You have a beautiful horse!

PW: I recently decided to explore the riding options in the area after my previous trainer had to leave to get ready for the World Cup Finals and, of course, the Olympics.

The funny thing is that she was talking so much about herself she was kind of stunned when, at one point toward the end of the conversation I was finally able to mention how I am no longer working with the riding therapy program. Suddenly, she had to get going...guess I am of no assistance to her as she strives to climb The Barn's social ladder. Especially when she further found out not only do I not board a horse there, I don't even OWN a horse and I (gasp!) ride a schoolhorse for my lessons. I can only hope to run into her next week when I am mucking out stalls.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Crocs definately rock

This blogging thing is getting serious, I tell you! I have to say, I love the fact that it can be great entertainment when one is holed up in The Motel 6. (More-so w/cocktail in hand but by now you know me well enough to figure that is standard and somewhat a part of my wardrobe as a resident of Apartment B, Motel 6.)


I have found, as most people probably do, that some blogs that are entertaining link to other blogs that are entertaining, etc. etc. so I end up reading more and more of them on a fairly regular basis. It could, in fact, take me a considerable amount of time to read all of my favs. I normally don't HAVE that amount of time!

One of the blogs I enjoy is this one. A few weeks ago I was reading her post about shoes called crocs. My name is WalkTrotCanter and I am a shoe whore. I have been a Dansko wearer for several years preceeded by Ariats, preceeded by Birkenstocks, preceeded by Dr. Scholls...with several cheap one-night stands along the way when I tried to scale back and shop at Payless. Naturally, after reading her rave about these crocs, I decided I needed to try a pair. At the moment, due to ProjectHouseFromHell, my shoe budget is rather limited so most of the time I try to slip any new purchases in under the radar of H. I have even resorted to keeping the newest pair of shoes in the car so I can wear an old pair when I leave for work and then change on the way. I will be so busted when we move.

Lucky for me, I found a store here in town that just happened to have a stock of crocs! I bought a lovely pair of purple crocs...kinda tough to hide those. H commented that they were interesting but seemed to be too big. Crocs are supposed-to fit loose; however, the more I wore them the more too-big they seemed. Hmmmmmm...what to do. I had worn them quite a bit so I didn't think I could take them back...but I wanted them to fit!?!?! (I sometimes whine to myself much like Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, especially when it comes to shoes I must have.) I must confess: Last night I bought ANOTHER pair of purple crocs in a size smaller and I hid the old ones in a shoebox in the closet. The salesguy said to me, "Didn't you just buy these in purple?" I blurted something about buying these for a friend.

I have concluded, thru this latest blog-related hazard, it is a good thing I haven't started reading blogs by people who are in to fast sportscars or big diamonds.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Show me your horsepower!

Our new house will have a rather large yard so last year when we knew we were entering the depths of building hell we bought a riding lawnmower. We got a great deal on not only just a riding mower but a *TORO WHEELHORSE*. Compared to our cheapy walk-behind mower, the TORO WHEELHORSE is a Cadillac. The Cream de la cream! Our old house had a very small yard. Two swipes with the walk-behind mower and we were all set. There was hardly a need for a riding mower with such a small space. Since we just couldn't pass up the great deal on the TORO, we asked my parentals if we could store it at their house. My dad was thrilled. You could see the excitement in his eyes as we unloaded the big red beauty. Ray is also a push-behind mower owner so he could not believe his good fortune to have use of the *TORO WHEELHORSE* RIDING MOWER for an entire lawn-mowing season. He was on hand to help unload and park the great machine in a special parking space in the garage. His giddiness can only be explained by the following phone call I received just after the TORO arrived at his house:

Mom: Hey, I just wanted to thank you for the use of the riding mower! Your father is thrilled!
WTC: Yes, well, it was nice of you to let us keep it there.
Mom: I mean, your father is ecstatic. He has always wanted one of those. He is riding as we speak. He has been driving it all around the neighborhood today to visit the neighbors. I think he may even mow the lawn with it a bit later.
Scary stuff.

Unfortunately for Ray, his use of the TORO WHEELHORSE has come to a close as our new lawn is beginning to take shape. Oops, let me correct myself...we planted grass seed, the little grasslings started to grow, and now the big and powerful weeds have started to squish out the grasslings. Which means it is time to mow down those nasty weeds. With the TORO WHEELHORSE. I'll give you 1 guess as to who volunteered to mow the weeds last weekend. I'll also give you 1 guess as to who conducted a *How to Properly and Respectfully Drive the TORO WHEELHORSE* seminar on Sunday when it was time for Ray to turn the tractor over WTC.

Ray: bleah bleah bleah safety.
WTC hears: Ladies and gentlemen, Start-Your-Engines...
Ray: Neat rows, bleah bleah.
WTC hears: Now just make sure you crank up volume of your MP3 player to drown out mower noise.
Ray: Carefully turn around, First or maybe Second gear only, bleah bleah bleah
WTC: Gear down only for the corners, otherwise, open 'er up!

Poor Ray could only stand by for me to do a couple of loops and he wanted back on. He hopped into the seat and off he went, swiftly shifting into 4th gear.

...and I wonder where I get my need for horsepower??

Ray's the king of beer...not of horses.

I went with the parentals to see the Budweiser Clydesdales on Saturday.  It was a grand opening of something-or-other so the big 8-horse hitch was there in all of its glittery glory.  Ray, as you can see, is a little afraid of the big guys so getting a sweet pic was unsuccessful.  The free beer and brats were not so scary so Ray ended up enjoying the field trip.Image hosted by

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

It's Super...DUPER!

Remember my Super WalMart manicure? It was super and it was from Super WalMart, just to clarify. It was a compliment to my dress for the wedding and I received several compliments on my nails when I returned to work. Since my nails usually do not look very nice due to my working with horses several times a week, people were kind of surprised when I arrived to work suddenly sporting pastel pink/shimmery polish. (They were even more surprised when I told them I got my manicure at Super Wal Mart b/c I so hate that store.) After a day or so, I started feeling very pretty and feminine because of the bright polish. When I went to show someone something by pointing it out, my nails sparkled. They also made a cool clicking sound on my keyboard. It made my typing sound very fast and efficient. The polish even made it thru several evenings of barn work. By the end of the week, I was wondering if I should get a manicure, say, every other week! I could be one of those woman with perpetually beautiful nails! And at a bargain price! And, I could get my hair cut, do some banking, buy my groceries, new glasses, new tires, and get my oil changed all in one place in addition to the manicure! (There is nothing like Super Wal was the biggest thing to hit this town a few years ago. Before Target, I mean.)

Over the weekend, I was doing a bit of manual labor at the new house when I noticed I had actually chipped a nail. It was kind of bothering me so I got out the polish remover when I got home so I could remove my lovely manicure until my next trip to the *salon*. When I wet a cotton ball and applied the remover, nothing happened. Nothing at all. Now I knew why the manicure was so lovely and durable. The polish must have been some kind of paint product normally used on armoured vehicles. It didn't even smear, much less soften. When H got home and I mentioned my perma-nail color, he suggested I try removing it with lighter fluid. Now, I have very VERY sensitive skin so even the IDEA of putting lighter fluid directly and on purpose onto my skin made me begin to break out. Like a skilled surgeon, H carefully applied some lighter fluid to a cotton ball. As he went to wipe off the polish, he said, "See? It is taking it right o...hhhhmmmm. This doesn't seem to be working." My nails sparkled back at us mockingly. "H!", I screamed, "How am I going to get this crap off?" Polish remover, lighter fluid, gasoline...we pretty much went thru the mechicanic's toolbox without success. My poor hands, once sporting a lovely manicure, now looked like they had spent a considerable amount of time soaking in caustic liqids. Which they indeed had. My skin was looking pretty raw while the sparkley pink polish, aside from the one small chip, still looked good as new. As I doused my irritated hands in lotion, H declared how amazed he was at the durability of the nail polish...he commented on how much money I could save on manicures if the polish lasted THAT long.

Just as I was heading off to WalMart to have a chat with the manicure folks, a buddy of H's had a suggestion. The guy is a painter so he said laquer thinner may work. Ouch...please no more caustic chemicals! He and H both agreed that WalMartManicureGuy would probably not use anything much more gentle since the polish seemed pretty resistant to everything. Aside from some nuclear destruction process, there didn't seem to be anything that might break thru the sparkley barrier so why not give it a try. I finally let H's friend dab laquer thinner onto my nails. We all broke into a rousing cheer when, after a bit of work, my nail was free of pink polish! We carefully liberated the rest of my nails from the confines of the lovely polish. I resumed my lotion regime so my hands are nearly back to their old selves. I haven't even attempted to remove the polish from my toes...they are still looking good so we'll just keep it that way. :)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I guess I'm just a little grout-chy

As I may have mentioned in previous posts, it has been a long road as far as choosing colors and patterns and tiles and wood flooring and all things requiring firm decisions that one must live with for the next several decades. Amazingly, as paint was applied and tile was put-down in the past few weeks, the colors are all blending nicely. Whew. Who knew I could be an interior decorator? Do all interior decorators make major design decisions during their evening cocktail hour? Naturally, there had to be one rather major glitch in the land of tile and paint.

A few months ago at the tile store:

WTC: I want something dark for the kitchen. I don't really like ceramic tile and I would prefer not to have a prominent grout line if we must go with tile.

Saleslady: How about this light-colored square tile that accentuates with a white grout line?

WTC: I want something dark for the kitchen. I don't really like ceramic tile and I would prefer not to have a prominent grout line if we must go with tile.

Saleslady: Hmmmmmm...maybe you would like something darker. In ceramic. With a contrasting grout line!

WTC: I want something dark for the kitchen. I don't really like ceramic tile and I would prefer not to have a prominent grout line if we must go with tile.

Get my drift? It was as if no one had ever NOT wanted a grout line and EVERYONE wants ceramic tile. My reasoning, of course, is my laziness. I hate dirty floors and I figure dark = less cleaning. Especially in the kitchen. No grout line = no dirty grout line. I am a genius.

Last week:

WTC: WTF, this tile looks fantastic but what is up with the grout line? It is white! The tiles are dark! I thought I said I didn't want the grout to show up. (I didn't actually say "WTF", but it was in my voice)

Saleslady: We used our standard industrial grade grout. It holds up very well.

WTC: WTF, I said I didn't want the grout line to show. It shows.

Saleslady: Give it until you move in. You might get used to it and decide not to darken it.

WTC: How about either you come over regularly to clean the grout or you tell me how to darken it the day after we move in.

48 1/2 more days.

H gets high

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Fireworks? Sparklers??

Project HouseFromHell made great strides this weekend! Well, as great as strides get when H is doing the majority of the work himself. The siding is almost finished, the tile in the kitchen and bathrooms is done, and the upstairs is completely clean (guess who got assigned to that job?). Who needs fireworks when we have this much fun in our lives already??