amanda_lodden: (Default)
Last week, I solved two household mysteries: Where Did the Other Saucepan Disappear To, and Why is the Stack of Frying Pans Too Tall To Fit Where It Belongs?

Today, I solved two *more* mysteries: What Does That Switch Do, and Why Didn't My Cell Phone Charge When I Plugged It In Last Night?
amanda_lodden: (Default)
The internet access was on the fritz at the house thanks to squirrels chewing through the wire insulation on the lines. Two AT&T techs and many hours later, and we have working net again.

In the meantime, we did Useful Things(tm). CJ had purchased an entertainment center to put his TV on, and it required disassembly to get up the stairs. For the past two weeks, it sat in the living room because no one wanted to be bothered, and we'd come up with something else for him to put his TV on. Today, it got disassembled, moved upstairs, and reassembled.

The hot tub had developed a bad case of Ick, which looked suspiciously like someone had tossed detergent into it. Fixing it had to be done all in one day, lest water freeze in the tub and crack it. We discovered it late enough in the day to not want to risk it, and then we haven't been home and inclined to do it. Today, it got drained, wiped out, the filter housing disassembled and cleaned out, new filters put in, refilled, and the top rinsed off.

Then I took the first bath I've been able to take in about a decade (in my own home; hotel rooms don't count), in my brand new bathtub in my brand new bathroom. Which would be done if Lowe's had gotten their head out of their ass, and instead is very nearly done and just waiting for someone in Lowe's delivery department to get the linen cabinet I bought a month ago delivered.

Also, some laundry got done, which isn't really a project but counts as progress towards the "Clean Up The Basement" project.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
The internet access was on the fritz at the house thanks to squirrels chewing through the wire insulation on the lines. Two AT&T techs and many hours later, and we have working net again.

In the meantime, we did Useful Things(tm). CJ had purchased an entertainment center to put his TV on, and it required disassembly to get up the stairs. For the past two weeks, it sat in the living room because no one wanted to be bothered, and we'd come up with something else for him to put his TV on. Today, it got disassembled, moved upstairs, and reassembled.

The hot tub had developed a bad case of Ick, which looked suspiciously like someone had tossed detergent into it. Fixing it had to be done all in one day, lest water freeze in the tub and crack it. We discovered it late enough in the day to not want to risk it, and then we haven't been home and inclined to do it. Today, it got drained, wiped out, the filter housing disassembled and cleaned out, new filters put in, refilled, and the top rinsed off.

Then I took the first bath I've been able to take in about a decade (in my own home; hotel rooms don't count), in my brand new bathtub in my brand new bathroom. Which would be done if Lowe's had gotten their head out of their ass, and instead is very nearly done and just waiting for someone in Lowe's delivery department to get the linen cabinet I bought a month ago delivered.

Also, some laundry got done, which isn't really a project but counts as progress towards the "Clean Up The Basement" project.
amanda_lodden: (Hammer Time)
This morning, I asked John and Jacob to move a bookshelf. With my back still aching and the amount of stuff yet to be cleaned up/cleaned out/sorted, I had given up on the idea of moving all the big furniture into the new bedroom, but I was hoping to get at least one and maybe even two of the bookcases moved, so that I could slowly move the books that were piled on the floor into proper homes and get them out of the way.

John, however, had not given up on the idea of moving the furniture ("I didn't want to stay partially-moved forever, and I wanted to do it while Jacob was here to help lift"), and now the dresser, chest of drawers, two bookcases, television and DVD player, vanity, and bed are safely in their new home in the new bedroom.

This gives me a full two weeks to finish up moving the littler stuff in the old bedroom (some of which goes in places other than the new bedroom), strip the wallpaper, and paint before I fly off to help CJ drive a truck across the country and move into the old bedroom. Even with back issues slowing me down, two weeks should be plenty of time.

John is my hero. Jacob is pretty awesome, too. And I told him that I owe him an Xbox game, because he's been helping move furniture around for weeks now without complaint.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
After three weeks of fighting with them and failing to receive phone calls that I was told to expect and calling for updates only to be told that I have to fax over some other piece of documentation that no one could be bothered to ask for before, Bank of America and I have finally straightened out the problem with the mortgage on my mother's house, and both the bank and the attorney's office have confirmed that the property is no longer in foreclosure.

It took far more time and effort than it should have, but it is sorted out.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
After three weeks of fighting with them and failing to receive phone calls that I was told to expect and calling for updates only to be told that I have to fax over some other piece of documentation that no one could be bothered to ask for before, Bank of America and I have finally straightened out the problem with the mortgage on my mother's house, and both the bank and the attorney's office have confirmed that the property is no longer in foreclosure.

It took far more time and effort than it should have, but it is sorted out.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
When I left, only a half-dozen plants in my garden had bloomed.

Not so when I came home:










amanda_lodden: (Default)
When I left, only a half-dozen plants in my garden had bloomed.

Not so when I came home:










amanda_lodden: (Default)
I'm in Denver on an 11-hour layover.

It was SUPPOSED to be a 1-hour layover, just enough time to use the restroom and stretch my legs before boarding the next flight. That flight, however, was oversold, and Frontier was offering a $200 voucher if you were willing to wait for a 2:30 flight on United.

Now, as it happens, I had gotten screwed on this flight arrangement-- since John and I are not flying home the same day, I had to make separate reservations through Expedia, and by the time I finished the process for his flight, the price had jumped and it would have cost me an extra $150 to put myself on the same flight. Er, no. I ended up on an earlier flight with the exact same layover path, which would have had me getting into San Jose a full 9 hours ahead of John.

So, I asked Frontier if, instead of the 2:30 United flight, I could switch to the 6:00 Frontier flight that John is on out of Denver. They agreed, and were probably ecstatic to not have to work out the inter-carrier compensation with United. They also gave me an upgrade to first-class on the 6:00 flight, which I will probably give to John since his long legs don't fit well into airplane seats.

However, this does mean that I have a LOT of time to kill in Denver, preferably without having to pass through TSA again (which means I have a LOT of time to kill in the airport). I sprang for the day-pass for the President's Club in the airport (run by Continental/British Air), and let me assure you, it's not worth the price. I had gone for it because I was always told that the executive lounges are quieter than the rest of the airport. This is patently untrue. I can live with the folks on their cell phone, but for about two hours there were a half-dozen children in here, all bored, all wandering around and then calling for their mommy. There's a bar in the back which is nice but loud, and "free snacks" (one hour out of every three, as near as I can tell). Seven laptop cubbyholes, and two other tables that are tall enough to use a laptop at, which does not really suit the 20 people trying to use laptops. Overall, I think I would have been further ahead to camp out at the food court. Live and learn.

In the meantime, it seems like as good a time as any to post random updates.

Work is the obvious one. I'm still unemployed, and happily so, but the strain is beginning to show on John. We've settled on a compromise, and starting in May I'll go in one day a week to handle the little stuff that either requires executive decisions coupled with inherent knowledge of the systems or is too in-flux to properly document how to do it. And, as I had sort of planned from about two days after the hissy fit when I'd calmed down, I'll also quietly work from home on the job I was SUPPOSED to be doing before I got bogged down in distractions, which is fixing and standardizing the underlying systems. I'm not going to try going into the office for that part, since being in the office just invites those distractions again.

The pond is still a huge hole in the ground, but I have pieces to turn it into something pretty finally, so I have high hopes for that. With luck, I'll get it up and running before the live game.

We put in a new patio door and one new window, and I love it. The difference in the heat loss is significant-- I may have to accelerate the plan to replace more windows. As an added benefit, Inky can't push out the new screen on the patio door and run off. This has frustrated him no end. He also managed to get himself trapped between the patio door and the screen once, which was hysterically funny.

I haven't forgotten that I still have 22 of the 25 Things meme to go. I also haven't forgotten that I did not promise a particular timeframe. :-)

The guest bedroom hasn't changed much since the Great Rearranging Spree, which is to say that there's still piles and piles of crap to sort out and find homes for. But it's getting better, and Jacob is happy with having his own space instead of having to take pieces of mine.

I am slowly making progress on the stack of old projects that have been hanging over my head for the past two years. It's discouraging, though-- every time I finish one thing up, I discover that there's another one hiding underneath it.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I'm in Denver on an 11-hour layover.

It was SUPPOSED to be a 1-hour layover, just enough time to use the restroom and stretch my legs before boarding the next flight. That flight, however, was oversold, and Frontier was offering a $200 voucher if you were willing to wait for a 2:30 flight on United.

Now, as it happens, I had gotten screwed on this flight arrangement-- since John and I are not flying home the same day, I had to make separate reservations through Expedia, and by the time I finished the process for his flight, the price had jumped and it would have cost me an extra $150 to put myself on the same flight. Er, no. I ended up on an earlier flight with the exact same layover path, which would have had me getting into San Jose a full 9 hours ahead of John.

So, I asked Frontier if, instead of the 2:30 United flight, I could switch to the 6:00 Frontier flight that John is on out of Denver. They agreed, and were probably ecstatic to not have to work out the inter-carrier compensation with United. They also gave me an upgrade to first-class on the 6:00 flight, which I will probably give to John since his long legs don't fit well into airplane seats.

However, this does mean that I have a LOT of time to kill in Denver, preferably without having to pass through TSA again (which means I have a LOT of time to kill in the airport). I sprang for the day-pass for the President's Club in the airport (run by Continental/British Air), and let me assure you, it's not worth the price. I had gone for it because I was always told that the executive lounges are quieter than the rest of the airport. This is patently untrue. I can live with the folks on their cell phone, but for about two hours there were a half-dozen children in here, all bored, all wandering around and then calling for their mommy. There's a bar in the back which is nice but loud, and "free snacks" (one hour out of every three, as near as I can tell). Seven laptop cubbyholes, and two other tables that are tall enough to use a laptop at, which does not really suit the 20 people trying to use laptops. Overall, I think I would have been further ahead to camp out at the food court. Live and learn.

In the meantime, it seems like as good a time as any to post random updates.

Work is the obvious one. I'm still unemployed, and happily so, but the strain is beginning to show on John. We've settled on a compromise, and starting in May I'll go in one day a week to handle the little stuff that either requires executive decisions coupled with inherent knowledge of the systems or is too in-flux to properly document how to do it. And, as I had sort of planned from about two days after the hissy fit when I'd calmed down, I'll also quietly work from home on the job I was SUPPOSED to be doing before I got bogged down in distractions, which is fixing and standardizing the underlying systems. I'm not going to try going into the office for that part, since being in the office just invites those distractions again.

The pond is still a huge hole in the ground, but I have pieces to turn it into something pretty finally, so I have high hopes for that. With luck, I'll get it up and running before the live game.

We put in a new patio door and one new window, and I love it. The difference in the heat loss is significant-- I may have to accelerate the plan to replace more windows. As an added benefit, Inky can't push out the new screen on the patio door and run off. This has frustrated him no end. He also managed to get himself trapped between the patio door and the screen once, which was hysterically funny.

I haven't forgotten that I still have 22 of the 25 Things meme to go. I also haven't forgotten that I did not promise a particular timeframe. :-)

The guest bedroom hasn't changed much since the Great Rearranging Spree, which is to say that there's still piles and piles of crap to sort out and find homes for. But it's getting better, and Jacob is happy with having his own space instead of having to take pieces of mine.

I am slowly making progress on the stack of old projects that have been hanging over my head for the past two years. It's discouraging, though-- every time I finish one thing up, I discover that there's another one hiding underneath it.

Exhausted

Apr. 5th, 2009 02:59 pm
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I've been saying that I wanted to re-arrange the guest bedroom (which these days is also Jacob's bedroom on weekends) for a couple of months now, and today John pushed me into doing it-- with the help of two teenaged lackeys (aren't you glad you came over for the weekend now, Darryl? Isn't it FUN visiting Jacob?) to do most of the heavy lifting.

Of course, the teenaged lackeys aren't capable of actually organizing the bits and pieces, and all of the things that got moved had to be cleaned out/off first (four bookcases, two two-drawer filing cabinets, a futon that isn't mine and therefore didn't get cleaned off before moving, and a myriad of boxes from all over the floor), so I didn't get to just sit and eat bon-bons while giving orders like John made the job sound like it would be.

Things are looking better. There's still quite a bit more to be moved (the entire contents of the closet, for example) but Darryl had to go home (and I wouldn't blame him if he "had to" go home earlier than he originally planned on) and Jacob got dragged off to visit his grandmother. But Marina has assured me that I can abuse Jacob some more later, as he'll be back tonight. *cackle* I spent the first hour of him being gone clearing off/out two cabinets and a counter, so they're all ready to go when he gets back.

Mostly though, this just means that all the things that I was ignoring from that room have been moved to the forefront of my attention. Yay. :-P

Exhausted

Apr. 5th, 2009 02:59 pm
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I've been saying that I wanted to re-arrange the guest bedroom (which these days is also Jacob's bedroom on weekends) for a couple of months now, and today John pushed me into doing it-- with the help of two teenaged lackeys (aren't you glad you came over for the weekend now, Darryl? Isn't it FUN visiting Jacob?) to do most of the heavy lifting.

Of course, the teenaged lackeys aren't capable of actually organizing the bits and pieces, and all of the things that got moved had to be cleaned out/off first (four bookcases, two two-drawer filing cabinets, a futon that isn't mine and therefore didn't get cleaned off before moving, and a myriad of boxes from all over the floor), so I didn't get to just sit and eat bon-bons while giving orders like John made the job sound like it would be.

Things are looking better. There's still quite a bit more to be moved (the entire contents of the closet, for example) but Darryl had to go home (and I wouldn't blame him if he "had to" go home earlier than he originally planned on) and Jacob got dragged off to visit his grandmother. But Marina has assured me that I can abuse Jacob some more later, as he'll be back tonight. *cackle* I spent the first hour of him being gone clearing off/out two cabinets and a counter, so they're all ready to go when he gets back.

Mostly though, this just means that all the things that I was ignoring from that room have been moved to the forefront of my attention. Yay. :-P
amanda_lodden: (Default)
"Week" is stretching it a bit, since I remember very little of the early week. I remember saying "F*ck this, I'm going home" at least once and maybe twice.

Things starting getting better by mid-week. One of the days was fairly productive, and I'm going to call that "Wednesday" even though I'm not 100% sure that's correct. On Thursday, Carol (who is a real accountant, rather than someone who got handed the bookkeeping job because no one else wanted it) came over to the office to help me figure out the Quickbooks problem, which had blossomed into a situation where my gross income went DOWN by $60 but my net profit went UP by $1000 when I went through and deleted a bunch of credits that existed only to adjust the accrual balance (and, again, I can't stress enough that we're cash-basis). She agreed that it was weird and told me that it would be perfectly fine for me to go back to the system I used to use, which got rid of all these damned problems but that our paid-accountant[*] didn't like. I'll move heaven and earth when it's an issue of making something correct, but it turns out that there's nothing incorrect about the way I was doing it, it just doesn't match the accountant's preferences. So, either he'll deal with doing it my way, or I'll get a new accountant.

A sinus headache interrupted Thursday. I took a nap, which helped the headache but left me wide-awake until pretty late, which was okay with me because I got quite a bit done in the evening so at least it wasn't a completely wasted day. John had gone to bed, but a call on his cell phone woke him-- a customer calling to report that they were out of service. He started downstairs to his laptop, and fell down the stairs. Fortunately, he didn't fall head-first, and he fell on the top section before the stairs turn, so he went down four steps instead of a dozen. His back and hips are still a little sore, and he landed on the cell phone. It still worked, but it developed a pretty severe crack in the casing. After he tracked down the problem, he came upstairs to tell me that he was going back to bed. On his way out of the office, he shut the door rather suddenly and said "This night just isn't going to end, is it?" Then he steadied himself, went out into the hallway, and chased the bat in the hallway out of one of the windows while I cowered in the office. That brings the bat count up to four in the last twelve months. I'm not sure exactly what changed, but it needs to change back.

Friday I ran a bunch of errands, starting with taking my laptop to Best Buy to have it fixed. It runs fine, but the case has cracked open near the hinge and makes it difficult to open it if it's closed all the way. With a house full of cats and the electronics being exposed via the crack, I foresaw that becoming a bigger and bigger problem as time went on. I couldn't remember if the extended warranty that I sprang for was for two years or three, though, so I was a little nervous about what the cost would end up being. It turned out that the warranty was for three years, so the cost will be nil. Then I went to the office to have lunch with John, and we went over to All-Star Wireless to get his cell phone fixed. We ended up getting new phones for each of us, since his is pretty old (and would require a replacement rather than a fix anyway) and I hate mine.

Saturday I got into a mood and cleaned out some of Mom's stuff from the basement, clearing out a corner so that some of the furniture could be re-arranged into a more sensible layout that got in the way less. I also worked on sewing some of the curtains I promised to Brian & Julianna (*sigh* more than a month ago), and finished up that set on Sunday. We went over to their house for dinner and dropped off the curtains, so I've got that much less guilt over how long it's been taking now. I rounded the week out by finishing up organizing my mp3s, which will make it easier to actually make the four CDs I've promised to people.

[*] I asked Carol, but she doesn't want the job, or I'd just pay her.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
"Week" is stretching it a bit, since I remember very little of the early week. I remember saying "F*ck this, I'm going home" at least once and maybe twice.

Things starting getting better by mid-week. One of the days was fairly productive, and I'm going to call that "Wednesday" even though I'm not 100% sure that's correct. On Thursday, Carol (who is a real accountant, rather than someone who got handed the bookkeeping job because no one else wanted it) came over to the office to help me figure out the Quickbooks problem, which had blossomed into a situation where my gross income went DOWN by $60 but my net profit went UP by $1000 when I went through and deleted a bunch of credits that existed only to adjust the accrual balance (and, again, I can't stress enough that we're cash-basis). She agreed that it was weird and told me that it would be perfectly fine for me to go back to the system I used to use, which got rid of all these damned problems but that our paid-accountant[*] didn't like. I'll move heaven and earth when it's an issue of making something correct, but it turns out that there's nothing incorrect about the way I was doing it, it just doesn't match the accountant's preferences. So, either he'll deal with doing it my way, or I'll get a new accountant.

A sinus headache interrupted Thursday. I took a nap, which helped the headache but left me wide-awake until pretty late, which was okay with me because I got quite a bit done in the evening so at least it wasn't a completely wasted day. John had gone to bed, but a call on his cell phone woke him-- a customer calling to report that they were out of service. He started downstairs to his laptop, and fell down the stairs. Fortunately, he didn't fall head-first, and he fell on the top section before the stairs turn, so he went down four steps instead of a dozen. His back and hips are still a little sore, and he landed on the cell phone. It still worked, but it developed a pretty severe crack in the casing. After he tracked down the problem, he came upstairs to tell me that he was going back to bed. On his way out of the office, he shut the door rather suddenly and said "This night just isn't going to end, is it?" Then he steadied himself, went out into the hallway, and chased the bat in the hallway out of one of the windows while I cowered in the office. That brings the bat count up to four in the last twelve months. I'm not sure exactly what changed, but it needs to change back.

Friday I ran a bunch of errands, starting with taking my laptop to Best Buy to have it fixed. It runs fine, but the case has cracked open near the hinge and makes it difficult to open it if it's closed all the way. With a house full of cats and the electronics being exposed via the crack, I foresaw that becoming a bigger and bigger problem as time went on. I couldn't remember if the extended warranty that I sprang for was for two years or three, though, so I was a little nervous about what the cost would end up being. It turned out that the warranty was for three years, so the cost will be nil. Then I went to the office to have lunch with John, and we went over to All-Star Wireless to get his cell phone fixed. We ended up getting new phones for each of us, since his is pretty old (and would require a replacement rather than a fix anyway) and I hate mine.

Saturday I got into a mood and cleaned out some of Mom's stuff from the basement, clearing out a corner so that some of the furniture could be re-arranged into a more sensible layout that got in the way less. I also worked on sewing some of the curtains I promised to Brian & Julianna (*sigh* more than a month ago), and finished up that set on Sunday. We went over to their house for dinner and dropped off the curtains, so I've got that much less guilt over how long it's been taking now. I rounded the week out by finishing up organizing my mp3s, which will make it easier to actually make the four CDs I've promised to people.

[*] I asked Carol, but she doesn't want the job, or I'd just pay her.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
We have bats in our barn. This is no big deal; we've had them since we moved in. They eat insects and make it possible to actually sit outside, so we're comfortable with having bats in the barn.

However, every few years, one gets inside the house, and we're not comfortable with having bats in our basement. Thursday was one of those times. Around 7 or 8pm, John asked me to come corral the cats because there were two bats flying around downstairs.

It's probably worth noting that I have a serious issue with Things That Fly At Me. I'm not even comfortable when someone lets their pet bird out of the cage when I'm around. When one of our roommates had a pet cockatiel, the bird came out of their bedroom exactly once--it flew towards me, and was banned from the main house forever after.

So my contribution to the bat eviction was to throw the cats upstairs, shut the basement door, and then sit on the stairs in front of it because the basement door doesn't latch well enough to keep out a few determined balls of fur looking to score a new toy. However, I did say that I saw a bat go back into the pantry instead of out the door. John was certain that two bats had flown out the door as he had it open, and that the problem was thus taken care of. I made him search the pantry again anyway, and we had a tiff over whether or not there was still a bat in the house. The search turned up nothing, and I allowed myself to be convinced that my hiding on the staircase meant that I had not seen the final bat leave, and we were truly bat-free.

A little after midnight, as I was sitting on the couch finishing up what I was doing and shutting down my laptop, the third bat flew upstairs and into the family room.

A few months ago during the live game, I made it a point to find someone and tell them I would need them to scream at a pre-determined point, because I am terrible at screaming. I have always maintained that I simply do not know how to scream, since I don't scare easily and the closest I ever come is a gasp of surprise when I'm startled. But when the bat flew towards me, I learned Basic Screaming really quick, and I got a lot of practice at it.

Even so, I managed to hold myself together long enough to open the patio door so that the bat had a way out. Since the exit to the room towards the rest of the house is in the opposite direction from the patio door, this means the bat (flying around frantically) and I (running around frantically) crossed paths a few more times. The second scream had Chris out of bed and asking what was going on. Two cats were tossed into his bedroom with Marina.

The bat only went near the door once, and instead of flying out of it, he perched on the curtains next to it for a minute, then flew back into the middle of the room. That was pretty much the last straw for me, and all I really remember was standing in the hallway watching it and screaming every time it came near the hallway entrance. John finally emerged from upstairs, and I grabbed a third cat and went up to hide in our bedroom. (The fourth cat was already up there, sleeping on our bed).

During the time that Chris and John were coming up with a plan to evict the bat, the bat found someplace to hide. After a half hour of searching, John came upstairs. I made him go down and look for the bat three more times, but eventually the compromise was that we would deal with the bat in the morning, and in the meantime we'd close off every possible entrance to our bedroom. I still slept poorly, convinced that every brush (even of my own hair) was a bat wing.

By Friday morning the bat had calmed down and was sleeping attached to the living room ceiling. It took less than 5 minutes for it to be convinced to head towards the open front door. However, I was still freaked out. Since I had taken Friday off to work on projects at home, I made John stay home as well, in case we'd missed another bat. Then I went outside and worked on the gardens. My intent was to weed for an hour or two, then swim and work on some coding. But I felt more comfortable outside than inside (it felt like there was less nature outside than inside the house). So three hours later, I finished weeding and mulching both garden beds by the back patio, and my sweat had washed some of my sunscreen into my eyes. It wasn't horribly painful, but it did mean that staring at a monitor was right out.

Today I am achy all over, because three hours of kneeling on concrete and pulling out weeds is too much. But there has been no further bat activity in the house, so hopefully things can go back to what passes for normal around here.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
We have bats in our barn. This is no big deal; we've had them since we moved in. They eat insects and make it possible to actually sit outside, so we're comfortable with having bats in the barn.

However, every few years, one gets inside the house, and we're not comfortable with having bats in our basement. Thursday was one of those times. Around 7 or 8pm, John asked me to come corral the cats because there were two bats flying around downstairs.

It's probably worth noting that I have a serious issue with Things That Fly At Me. I'm not even comfortable when someone lets their pet bird out of the cage when I'm around. When one of our roommates had a pet cockatiel, the bird came out of their bedroom exactly once--it flew towards me, and was banned from the main house forever after.

So my contribution to the bat eviction was to throw the cats upstairs, shut the basement door, and then sit on the stairs in front of it because the basement door doesn't latch well enough to keep out a few determined balls of fur looking to score a new toy. However, I did say that I saw a bat go back into the pantry instead of out the door. John was certain that two bats had flown out the door as he had it open, and that the problem was thus taken care of. I made him search the pantry again anyway, and we had a tiff over whether or not there was still a bat in the house. The search turned up nothing, and I allowed myself to be convinced that my hiding on the staircase meant that I had not seen the final bat leave, and we were truly bat-free.

A little after midnight, as I was sitting on the couch finishing up what I was doing and shutting down my laptop, the third bat flew upstairs and into the family room.

A few months ago during the live game, I made it a point to find someone and tell them I would need them to scream at a pre-determined point, because I am terrible at screaming. I have always maintained that I simply do not know how to scream, since I don't scare easily and the closest I ever come is a gasp of surprise when I'm startled. But when the bat flew towards me, I learned Basic Screaming really quick, and I got a lot of practice at it.

Even so, I managed to hold myself together long enough to open the patio door so that the bat had a way out. Since the exit to the room towards the rest of the house is in the opposite direction from the patio door, this means the bat (flying around frantically) and I (running around frantically) crossed paths a few more times. The second scream had Chris out of bed and asking what was going on. Two cats were tossed into his bedroom with Marina.

The bat only went near the door once, and instead of flying out of it, he perched on the curtains next to it for a minute, then flew back into the middle of the room. That was pretty much the last straw for me, and all I really remember was standing in the hallway watching it and screaming every time it came near the hallway entrance. John finally emerged from upstairs, and I grabbed a third cat and went up to hide in our bedroom. (The fourth cat was already up there, sleeping on our bed).

During the time that Chris and John were coming up with a plan to evict the bat, the bat found someplace to hide. After a half hour of searching, John came upstairs. I made him go down and look for the bat three more times, but eventually the compromise was that we would deal with the bat in the morning, and in the meantime we'd close off every possible entrance to our bedroom. I still slept poorly, convinced that every brush (even of my own hair) was a bat wing.

By Friday morning the bat had calmed down and was sleeping attached to the living room ceiling. It took less than 5 minutes for it to be convinced to head towards the open front door. However, I was still freaked out. Since I had taken Friday off to work on projects at home, I made John stay home as well, in case we'd missed another bat. Then I went outside and worked on the gardens. My intent was to weed for an hour or two, then swim and work on some coding. But I felt more comfortable outside than inside (it felt like there was less nature outside than inside the house). So three hours later, I finished weeding and mulching both garden beds by the back patio, and my sweat had washed some of my sunscreen into my eyes. It wasn't horribly painful, but it did mean that staring at a monitor was right out.

Today I am achy all over, because three hours of kneeling on concrete and pulling out weeds is too much. But there has been no further bat activity in the house, so hopefully things can go back to what passes for normal around here.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
Oh. My. God.

It turns out that writing a bunch of things and getting them out of my head did NOT free up mental space for me to focus on productive things. Instead, it freed up space for even more stuff to assault me. I'm not sure if I should write those down, too, or if that will just open the door for yet another wave afterward. (Doesn't matter right now, I have running around to do first. I did get all the 1st of the month bills out yesterday, so I don't have to spend much time at the office, but I forgot to pick up the pop cans and the list of stuff to buy so I still have to go in for a couple of minutes. I hate doing the Hurricane Amanda routine, it always means that I could have saved myself a lot of time if I'd just thought ahead.)

However, one of the things that did pop up in last night's sleeplessness was the next item in the "people who live in my house" rant:

Tenth, consider the abilities of the other people in the house relative to your own. If you drive a large car, do not leave the empty garbage cans at the end of the driveway for the person who drives the smallest car to have to haul in one at a time. Do not place items on the top-most shelf if you're pretty certain the person who will want them next is the person who is 5'4". Show some consideration.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
Oh. My. God.

It turns out that writing a bunch of things and getting them out of my head did NOT free up mental space for me to focus on productive things. Instead, it freed up space for even more stuff to assault me. I'm not sure if I should write those down, too, or if that will just open the door for yet another wave afterward. (Doesn't matter right now, I have running around to do first. I did get all the 1st of the month bills out yesterday, so I don't have to spend much time at the office, but I forgot to pick up the pop cans and the list of stuff to buy so I still have to go in for a couple of minutes. I hate doing the Hurricane Amanda routine, it always means that I could have saved myself a lot of time if I'd just thought ahead.)

However, one of the things that did pop up in last night's sleeplessness was the next item in the "people who live in my house" rant:

Tenth, consider the abilities of the other people in the house relative to your own. If you drive a large car, do not leave the empty garbage cans at the end of the driveway for the person who drives the smallest car to have to haul in one at a time. Do not place items on the top-most shelf if you're pretty certain the person who will want them next is the person who is 5'4". Show some consideration.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
An open letter to the people who live in my house:

[Not really "open" since it was posted in a non-publicized journal, but you get the idea.]

(First draft)

I freely admit that this is a rant. I also freely admit that most of the items in the rant should have been said earlier. Some of them were, some of them weren't-- but I'm saying them now, and I expect to be listened to.

Oh, and don't assume that this applies only to those OTHER people in the house, even if you're the person who pays the mortgage. Especially if you're the person who pays the mortgage.

First, I am not the maid. Clean up after yourself. It would be nice if you'd actually contribute to the routine cleaning of the house too, but the absolute minimum level of effort that I will accept is for you to clean up what you mess up.

Second, if there is a routine task that you do, either officially or just usually, and you know that you will not be able to complete it at the appointed time, let the rest of us know so that someone else can do it. A very specific example is if you normally take the trash out on Sunday night, and you know that you will not be home until Tuesday, pick up a freaking phone and call so that the garbage doesn't sit around for three *censored* weeks until we run out of garbage cans to put it into.

Third, clean up after yourself. I can't stress this one enough.

Fourth, if there's a sign or a label on something, it's there for a reason. Read it. Namely, the sign above the container for pop cans does NOT say "cans | bottles". It says "national brands | store brands" and gives examples of what both would be. I do not care if the bottles and the cans are mixed together, because the places that they ultimately go to at the store are approximately 5 feet apart. However, it's extremely irritating to return the pop cans to Farmer Jack and find that underneath a dozen Coke bottles is a Kroger brand bottle.

Fifth, if you can figure out where to get it from, you can figure out where to put it back to. You are welcome to use whatever you need to use in the house, but put it back when you're done. And make "done" reasonably quick-- if you borrow a laundry basket, fold your clothes sometime in the same week, not months later.

On a related note, if you use something and make it dirty, do not leave it where it is and go get a clean one-- ideally, you should clean the dirty one, but if that's not feasible, at a minimum you should take the dirty one to the appropriate place (i.e. laundry to the clothes chute or laundry sorter in the basement, dishes to the kitchen, etc). For example, if you use my pool towels after your shower, there should be exactly one towel in your bathroom, not six.

Sixth, if you're planning on having a party, ask if there a date conflict *before* sending out the invitations. It's not that I care so much about the party, but it is an issue of showing basic respect. Oh, and don't claim that the invitation was "tentative"-- if you know enough information to send out a tentative invitation, you know enough information to ask us about the party in the first place. And about those tentative invitations-- do not, under any circumstances, phrase them in a way that makes us look like dictatorial assholes from whom you must beg for permission. If you do, I will become one.

Seventh, clean up after your guests. You invited them, you're responsible for them.

Eighth, we have mice and ants. We've had them since we moved in, so this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. We continue to have mice and ants because (and I realize, I'm harping on this point) we don't clean up after ourselves well enough. Specifically, the following items may NOT be left in a bedroom overnight:
1. Dirty dishes.
2. Empty candy wrappers, pizza boxes, soup cans, or other open food containers.
3. Full food containers/wrappers/boxes, unless they are in a pest-proof container (which can be found in Meijer, Target, most dollar stores, and a plastic box in the pantry in the basement-- look on the shelf behind the door, about halfway down. It's labeled; see "Fourth").
4. Empty pop cans. Take them downstairs (and rinse them out, ideally). For consistency's sake, it would be nice if we all put unrinsed pop cans to the left of the sink or on the counter across from it, and rinsed-but-not-dry pop cans to the right of the sink.

Ninth, clean up your areas before they affect other people. If you want your bedroom or bathroom to look like a tornado hit it, fine. I don't care. When your bathroom stinks to the point that I can smell it in the next room, I care. There's plenty of toilet bowl cleaner; use it. And mop occasionally. Cleaning the shower once in a while before it gets moldy would be good, too.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
An open letter to the people who live in my house:

[Not really "open" since it was posted in a non-publicized journal, but you get the idea.]

(First draft)

I freely admit that this is a rant. I also freely admit that most of the items in the rant should have been said earlier. Some of them were, some of them weren't-- but I'm saying them now, and I expect to be listened to.

Oh, and don't assume that this applies only to those OTHER people in the house, even if you're the person who pays the mortgage. Especially if you're the person who pays the mortgage.

First, I am not the maid. Clean up after yourself. It would be nice if you'd actually contribute to the routine cleaning of the house too, but the absolute minimum level of effort that I will accept is for you to clean up what you mess up.

Second, if there is a routine task that you do, either officially or just usually, and you know that you will not be able to complete it at the appointed time, let the rest of us know so that someone else can do it. A very specific example is if you normally take the trash out on Sunday night, and you know that you will not be home until Tuesday, pick up a freaking phone and call so that the garbage doesn't sit around for three *censored* weeks until we run out of garbage cans to put it into.

Third, clean up after yourself. I can't stress this one enough.

Fourth, if there's a sign or a label on something, it's there for a reason. Read it. Namely, the sign above the container for pop cans does NOT say "cans | bottles". It says "national brands | store brands" and gives examples of what both would be. I do not care if the bottles and the cans are mixed together, because the places that they ultimately go to at the store are approximately 5 feet apart. However, it's extremely irritating to return the pop cans to Farmer Jack and find that underneath a dozen Coke bottles is a Kroger brand bottle.

Fifth, if you can figure out where to get it from, you can figure out where to put it back to. You are welcome to use whatever you need to use in the house, but put it back when you're done. And make "done" reasonably quick-- if you borrow a laundry basket, fold your clothes sometime in the same week, not months later.

On a related note, if you use something and make it dirty, do not leave it where it is and go get a clean one-- ideally, you should clean the dirty one, but if that's not feasible, at a minimum you should take the dirty one to the appropriate place (i.e. laundry to the clothes chute or laundry sorter in the basement, dishes to the kitchen, etc). For example, if you use my pool towels after your shower, there should be exactly one towel in your bathroom, not six.

Sixth, if you're planning on having a party, ask if there a date conflict *before* sending out the invitations. It's not that I care so much about the party, but it is an issue of showing basic respect. Oh, and don't claim that the invitation was "tentative"-- if you know enough information to send out a tentative invitation, you know enough information to ask us about the party in the first place. And about those tentative invitations-- do not, under any circumstances, phrase them in a way that makes us look like dictatorial assholes from whom you must beg for permission. If you do, I will become one.

Seventh, clean up after your guests. You invited them, you're responsible for them.

Eighth, we have mice and ants. We've had them since we moved in, so this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. We continue to have mice and ants because (and I realize, I'm harping on this point) we don't clean up after ourselves well enough. Specifically, the following items may NOT be left in a bedroom overnight:
1. Dirty dishes.
2. Empty candy wrappers, pizza boxes, soup cans, or other open food containers.
3. Full food containers/wrappers/boxes, unless they are in a pest-proof container (which can be found in Meijer, Target, most dollar stores, and a plastic box in the pantry in the basement-- look on the shelf behind the door, about halfway down. It's labeled; see "Fourth").
4. Empty pop cans. Take them downstairs (and rinse them out, ideally). For consistency's sake, it would be nice if we all put unrinsed pop cans to the left of the sink or on the counter across from it, and rinsed-but-not-dry pop cans to the right of the sink.

Ninth, clean up your areas before they affect other people. If you want your bedroom or bathroom to look like a tornado hit it, fine. I don't care. When your bathroom stinks to the point that I can smell it in the next room, I care. There's plenty of toilet bowl cleaner; use it. And mop occasionally. Cleaning the shower once in a while before it gets moldy would be good, too.

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