Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Something New, #339

I learned that there is really no way to get a molly bolt out of the wall without taking out most of the sheetrock.

I also learned that several thin layers, with ample drying time between them, of spackle, will fill a hole in the sheetrock the size of a saucer.

Something New #338

We had a freak snowstorm and got 5 inches in about 12 hours. There was no point in going out, so I stayed in my pajamas for 39 hours straight.

It rocked.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Something New, #337

There's a fancy-schmancy grocery store near my office that is more like a food court than grocery store. I go in there about twice a month to pick up lunch.

I was wandering the cases, trying to figure out what I wanted, when I saw that one of the offerings was sushi.

Now I've had sushi before, but since The Ex worked in the food and beverage industry for 25+ years, and I live in a land-locked area, have never actually ordered it for myself. Someone else ordered for me, or it was an offering at a party or something.

So I figured I probably would not get food poisoning from California Rolls, so that's what I ended up with.

Still probably will not go for the raw offerings in this part of the country, though.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Something New, #336

I had a telephone conversation with a senator.

Definitely something I've never done before.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Something New, #335

I read an article in the paper about how to use everyday objects to fix things.

It used my aforementioned cure for drying out cell phones in a bag of rice, using the sticky end of a Post-it for cleaning between the keys of a keyboard and using cookie sheets to help the reception of a router.

My router is an eBay purchase, so probably not the most efficient and it takes a while for the laptop to find the signal. I put an old cake pan under it, and I'll be damned if it didn't pick up the signal right away.

Must be the same technology as putting aluminum foil on the end of rabbit ears.

Something New, #334

I learned that if you miss the contact lens storage case, and your contact sits on the bathroom shelf all night, you can resuscitate it by soaking it in saline again.

Handy, since this was my last pair.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Something New, #333

Office Alone

Both attorneys and the other paralegal were out of the office, so I was alone for 2 days.

The difficult thing about where I work is that there are only 4 people in the office to begin with, so I don't get a whole lot of human interaction. I think the only person I saw all day was the UPS man.

Thank Goddess for Hulu.

Something New, #332

I learned that when two eight-year-olds think it's a good idea to wash the dog without telling an adult, and the tub overflows, it drains through the bathroom floor to the garage below and onto my car.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Something New, #331

The girls had spring break, and were home alone most of the week, so we drove to my parents' in Oklahoma. When we drive down there, I usually take a half day off, because I hate driving in the dark, but because my counterpart at work was on vacation, we didn't leave until after I got of work. I got off late anyway, so we really had a late start.

This is one of those Something News that I will avoid at all costs in the future. I have terrible night vision, and the back highways we have to take have no shoulder. Plus, I got pulled over in Talala, OK (yes, that's the name of the town) for doing 58 in a 45 zone.

Just what I needed.

Although, because I had the kids and dog with me, I think the cop who pulled me over felt sorry for me, and "only" fined me $89 instead of the usual $212.

When we finally made it to Tulsa, The Big One wanted to go to a midnight release party of the Twilight DVD, so we went to the local Border's. I got in line to get the ticket to purchase the DVD for her, and she said, "I just wanted to get the free stuff from the party. Let's get the DVD at Target tomorrow because it's cheaper."

I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad, but she did save me $13 on the price of the DVD.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Something New, #330

I listen to NPR pretty much all day during the workweek.

Talk of the Nation airs in the afternoon, and the host, Neal Conan, fields "tweets" from Twitter. Seriously, how self-important have we become that we think someone else cares about "What are you doing?", but after reading about Christopher Walken's Twitter page on another blog, checked it out and joined.

Just what I need. Something else to waste more time with on the computer.

Something New #329

I got a reply from the city, regarding the intersection where I got rear-ended.

I assumed it would be a standard "We're taking it into consideration, blah, blah, blah..." but instead it explained that there is actually construction that will begin at the end of the year that will hopefully fix the situation.

Maybe there were enough complaints to warrant a change.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Something New, #328

More Adventures in the Ladies

I learned that handicapped accessible bathrooms really aren't.

There was an elderly woman in the handicapped stall with a wheelchair. She was standing, and trying to maneuver herself back into her chair. It was stuck in the door frame, so I helped her move it around so she could sit and backed her out. I rolled her over to the sink, she washed & dried and we headed out the door where we really got stuck.

This restroom has two doors at its entrance with a small vestibule between them. I got her through the interior door, but then couldn't open the exterior with her in her wheelchair to get us out. There was no room to open the exterior door with the wheelchair in the vestibule, and there wasn't enough room for me to hold open both doors to wheel her out. I almost had to do an Austin Powers three-point turn to get her out, but her husband heard the racket, and helped us.

Seriously, I may have to write another letter.

Something New, #327

OK, another Something New, that technically isn't Something New, but Something New I observed.

When I was washing my hands in the ladies, there was another woman next to me, doing the same in the next sink. At the same time, we both turned away from each other to get paper towels out of the dispenser, then we both turned back to each other and said the same thing: "Were these always automatic?"

Apparently, the landlord changed out the dispensers within the hour or so that we'd both been in there. But we both had the same initial question, "Were these always here?" Both of us thought at first they were the same, and we just had not taken notice of them.

What this exercise is teaching me is to keep my eyes open and not to take things for granted or do things just out of habit.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spongebob Braintwinkle

The Little One was comparing characters from Spongebob Squarepants to those in her family:
"Sissy's Sandy, because she's smart, I'm Spongebob because I'm silly, and you're Mr. Krabs because you're cheap."

Pretty astute for 8.

Something New, #326

A friend of mine is a freelance reporter for our local paper, and she interviewed me for a story she's doing about Facebook.

I've been in the paper, even interviewed, but this is the first time someone actually wanted my opinion.

The story is about "Facebook Parties," where people gather at someone's house, take photos for profile shots and help those who are not on Facebook get started. She knew I'm on Facebook and a fan, so she wanted to know my opinion.

My answer? "It seems ironic to get together in person for a Facebook party, when the whole point of Facebook is you don't actually have to see the people in the flesh." She laughed and agreed.

The story comes out in a couple of weeks, so I hope I make the cut.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Something New, #325

I wonder at what point did my life become a sitcom without a laugh track.

This was my morning:
The girls had no school today, because it's the first day of Spring Break, so I thought "Yay! I don't have to get them up for school, I can sleep in until 6:30, only have to get myself together, and will be on time to work for once!"

My morning started at 5 AM when I woke up with The Little One's elbow in my eye socket. Which caused me to hit the snooze 3 times, so I didn't get out of bed until almost 7. I got myself showered, make-up'ed, blow dried in a timely matter, and made a sandwich for lunch. The my CFM called to ask if I had an extra hairbrush she could use. She was dropping off The Little One II for the day, and her bathroom is gutted at the moment, and she couldn't find her brush anywhere. I looked around, couldn't find anything, so offered her an elastic for a ponytail instead. While I was running the elastic out to her in her minivan, The Neurotic Dog counter-surfed and took my sandwich. I caught her in the act and wailed on her with the newspaper. I've never done that, because being a shelter dog, I don't want to trigger anything she may have happen in her past, but she KNEW she was wrong! Just gave me that sad, sad, "But I was STARVING!" look. Don't think she'll try that for a while.

So while I was beating the dog, The Little Ones I & II were screaming and squealing and woke up The Big One, who is as grumpy as I am when she's sleep deprived. Plus, she's 13 and grumpy anyway. I got everyone calmed down with a bag of donuts that CFM sent, made another sandwich and got out the door. Halfway down our hill, my stomach growled, and I realized I didn't eat breakfast, so I had to stop for McDonalds, which caused me to feel guilty for spending the money and calories.

So I was still about 5 minutes late to work, tired, cranky and hungry.

Plus I got a new computer yesterday, which is great, because the old one ran on hamster power, but it's Vista, so I'm not in the greatest state of mind to re-learn where all the buttons and settings are.

Can I just go back to bed? Please?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Something New, #324

I learned how flush toilets work on airplanes and trains.

After hearing a story about how a man in France got his arm stuck in a toilet, after reaching in to retrieve his cell phone, I wondered out how it physically happened.

Turns out, those toilets have a super suction and that's what trapped his arm. I thought all the waste went into a fluid, then was frozen and dumped. Didn't know about the suction part.

Good cautionary tale though.

The article does give readers the tip of how to dry out a cell by putting it in a bowl of uncooked rice to absorb the moisture. This really does work, as I did the same when I accidentally washed my cell and tried it. It took about a day, but then it came back on. Right after I washed my phone, one of the nurses where I worked dropped her cell in the toilet (fortunately, not on a moving train) and it worked for her too.

Maybe some entrepreneur could come up with a business of retrieving those 850,000+ cell phones that are dropped into toilets each year. Not any crazier than the guy who came up with the idea of scuba diving for golf balls in water hazards.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Something New, #323

I learned that it's possible for two very determined eight year olds to wash a car.

While it's inside the garage. With the good towels.

Something New, #322

I confirmed my position as an official old lady and wrote a letter to City Hall.

I did the research on the intersection where I was rear ended and learned that from 2005-2007 there were 59 reported accidents and of those, 64% were rear-end accidents. (I even got to practice my new knowledge of figuring percentages that I had learned, but forgotten.) I pointed out that there were probably even more accidents reported and made the argument that a flashing warning light would probably be more cost effective than sending out a cop after every call, and save drivers' time and aggravation.

I figure the official in charge will read it, and assume I'm an old lady or a student who has to practice writing letters for a school assignment.

My mother has a friend who was big on letter writing. Not just to her friends, but she would write if she had exceptional customer service or a complaint. She sent out more complementary letters than complaints, because she worked in customer service all her life, and knew how stinky it could be. I find myself doing the same, and recently wrote letters to the hotel in DC where we stayed and the DC police force. If anything, I feel like I'm working on writing skills.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Something New, #321

A couple of months ago, I noticed that a Paul Mitchell school had opened up near my house. I checked it out online and made an appointment for a haircut.

I've always had bad hair, and it grows so slowly, and since I've been growing it out, really only trust Cool Guy Joe to cut it. But it was only $10 for a haircut, and the students are supervised, so I took a chance.

I think I got lucky, because I got a shampoo, great haircut and blowout for $10. My hair had never been so flippy or shiny. The only downside was that after almost every step, an instructor had to sign off, so it took about an hour and a half.

I'm going back for highlights next month (another Something New, because I can't manage the grays on my own anymore) and because the school opened in an area that was almost a blight, am spreading the word.

Something New, #320

I woke up in the early, early AM and realized I couldn't move the left side of my body.

At first I panicked, because I thought I'd had a stroke, but then as I woke up, I realized that The Neurotic Dog was laying on top of me.

She ususally sleeps at the foot of the bed, but I guess she got cold or thought I was cold and was overdoing it on the snuggling. Then I realized that The Little One was wedged up against me on the right side.

This may also go a long way in explaining my sleep problems.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Something New, #319

A while back, I posted that I started unplugging appliances after seeing a bit on Oprah about energy vampires.

I don't unplug them every day, but do OK in keeping up with it. I am happy to report that my average bill pay for the electric bill reset this billing cycle, and it went DOWN $14 a month.

Not a huge drop, but it did make a difference.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Something New, #318

It's official. My kid is way smarter than me.

She got her score back from her ACT test. The one I didn't want her to take, because I thought it would be too hard for her, and she'd get discouraged, but she wanted to take.

She's in the seventh grade and got the same score I did when I took it as a high school senior.

And to further add to either lower my self-esteem, or make me proud of her and her friends, her brilliant, gorgeous friend A. got 4 points higher than the both of us.

I can't wait to see how she does when she takes the test for real. I sincerely hope she doesn't burn herself out before then.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Something New, #317

The radio station I listen to in the morning is conducting their annual Radio-a-Thon to raise money for Children's Mercy Hospital. It really is a good cause, and I have a continuing donation taken out of my checking account every month.

They offered a new option to donate this year. You can send a text message to a certain number and a $5.00 donation will be added to your phone bill. Since I already donate, I used The Big One's cell to make my text donation.

The Ex pays her cell bill, by the way.

I may be making several donations.

Children's Mercy and I will both come out ahead.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Little One lost a tooth and apparently couldn't find her Tooth Fairy pillow, so she used a baggie instead. I guess it takes a lot of baggie for a little tooth.

At least I'm raising them to be resourceful.
I know the photo's dark, but that's the tooth in the lower left corner of the bag.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Something New, #316

In researching accidents at the intersection where I was rear-ended, I learned that in the years 2005-2007, there have been 59 reported accidents. I'm guessing there are at least as many unreported accidents.

Next step: analyze the data and present my idea to city hall.

Something New, #315

I got rear-ended the other day.

Nothing serious, no injury or damage, but it occured at a stop near my house where I've seen many accidents and near-misses.

The intersection in question is an off-ramp from one of the highways onto the frontage road. The ramp T-bones into the frontage road, so you can only turn right or left. There are stop signs on both sides of the exit ramp, but unless you live there and take that ramp daily, as I do, most drivers assume it's a clear exit, and just pull out into traffic. I see probably four accidents a year there.

So I started researching how to get a warning light installed at that exit ramp. NOT a stoplight, because Overland Park, Kansas is already lousy with them. Just something that gives the JoCo-ers who are talking on their cell phones, careening down the exit in their Lexus SUVs (which is what rear-ended me) a little something to catch their attention.

This could turn into a project within a project. Stay tuned.