Tuesday, October 29, 2013


OK, just in case you think I'm about to talk about ghosts,  I gotta stop you right there.  Sorry, this is about something much creepier and much more disturbing than disembodied souls.

My house is currently crawling (quite literally in spots) with lady bugs.


What the heck is going on?

See, when I think about lady bugs, I imagine cute, happy little bugs like this:

That happy little critter might come into your house, fly around a bit and then ask politely to go outside again.  Of course you'd oblige and let the poor thing out. 

No, what I came home to today was some kind of disgusting, creeping, living wallpaper pattern made of bugs. There were dead ones littering the floor around the doorway. My curtains were infested with them, and they were all over the wall and ceiling around my front windows.  I imagine that one of these vermin found a way to get in and invited all of her friends over for a house party.

Artist's Representation, of course.

Ladybugs are one of the less terrifying bugs, but there were so many of them!  Normally,  I'd run screaming from the house, throwing a hastily contrived Molotov cocktail through the window as I went.  However, I actually surprised myself this time.  I was hungry, tired, and honestly, I didn't know what to do about the sheer amount of bugs in my house.  They also seemed to be sitting very still, only on the window side of the room, with the exception of one or two brave souls that would fly around and bump their heads on the ceiling for a while until they went back and settled on the curtains again.  So I did a very Un-Kelly thing and just sat down to eat my dinner instead of freaking out.  I mean, I kept my eyes on them, just to make sure one of them didn't do a cannonball into my root beer or anything, but they were being cool and I was being cool.

After I finished my dinner, I remembered there was a book I wanted to get into, so I got it out and started reading, actually forgetting for a while that my living room was currently playing party central to a swarm of insects.  In fact, I got so wrapped up in the book that I didn't notice when the light began to fade outside, which confused the bugs and sent them all sailing through the air over to the lamp across the room. I guess I must have seen something out of the corner of my eye, because when I looked up, they were just -shudder- flying everywhere.  
In the immortal words of Will Smith in the blockbuster movie Independence Day: Aw, hell naw.

I had to do something!  I knew I couldn't just let them run loose in the house, because I didn't want one of them getting into the bedroom and hiding out until the lights go off, possibly giving it an opportunity to crawl into my ear and have babies.  Nope!  I also didn't want to just spray bug poison all over the living room and furniture, because Butler isn't very smart and he licks the floor for no reason and I was afraid he'd die.  So I did the only thing I could think of.  I got the long barreled, Dyson handheld vacuum cleaner, also known in our house as the Bug Sucker.

When you absolutly, positively have to suck up every last
 mother f***** in the room, accept no substitutes.

We didn't actually intend to use this thing as a bug sucker when we bought it, but the long reach and superior suction of this fine machine, allows us to get rid of terrifying bugs that we can't otherwise get near without screaming like little girls (I'm looking at you too, Steve.) 

I apologized to Butler in advance, because he hates any kind of vacuum, and I went into the dining room closet and pulled it off of the charger.  

I'm not going to lie: for a moment, standing there holding the Dyson, I felt a little bad ass.  I caressed the trigger, running my other hand lightly over the barrel, and giving those unwelcome little buggers the evil eye.  At that moment, I was Sarah Conner, dangit, and I was about to do some terminating!

That feeling didn't last very long though, because as soon as I walked back into the living room, they saw me and started to fly.  In return, I started running and screaming.  It was very undignified.  Butler couldn't figure out what to do.  He was torn between being terrified of the vacuum, wanting to stay there with me, and knowing that if he left the living room, he'd be forced to walk on the slippery kitchen floor, which he hates almost as much as the vacuum.  So he did the only thing he could.  He hid in his kennel and watched as I ran back and forth through the room, screaming, and trying to suck flying bugs out of the air.  

It was then that I realized that I wasn't Sarah Conner, and this wasn't The Terminator.  No, this was Ghostbusters.  I was Peter Venkman, and I was trying to shoot a flying, green blob out of the ceiling of a fancy, New York ballroom with very little luck.

I looked into the trap, Ray.

I managed to suck up a lot of them, still screaming, still running around and scaring the hell out of the dog.  I had to go outside and dump the canister into the grass, knowing that I was only giving the live ones a chance to get back into the house to torture me, but I thought I'd gotten most of them.  Unfortunately, once I got back inside, I saw that more had crawled out of the curtains to take their place.  Now I have no idea what to do, and about a billion insects are making a home in the living room.

Anyone mind if Butler and I come and spend the night?


Sunday, October 27, 2013


Yesterday was one of those days where I seemed to just be half a beat out of step with everything I tried to do!  Nothing that happened was terrible, or even remotely serious, just frustratingly annoying because I couldn't seem to get my act together at all.

It was one of those days where I had a lot of little projects planned.  You know, just a series of hurdles that I had to jump over to get ready for something else, and I just...I don't know, managed to screw up one tiny thing or another on each project.

A lot of time was spent baking for our church's fall festival.  Things started out, OK, but  I managed to under cook the first thing I baked (thankfully fixed), I had to actually leave the house and buy special boxes for the second thing (which I wasn't anticipating, and putting the darn boxes together took longer than baking and assembling the cakes and I cut up my fingers on the edges of them AND which still managed not to contain them correctly.) Those cakes turned out lumpy and weird, and I tore the heck out of them when I was trimming them.  I ran out of icing, but didn't want to go back out and buy more, so I thinly stretched what I had and it looked weird.  I thought the third and fourth cakes I made were going to be perfect, and the cake parts were fine, but I was making buttercream icing for them that I was going to tint red. Apparently, tinting a whole mixer of icing red is a darn near impossible feat if you still want to be able to eat it.  I never got it red, only pink, even after adding a ton of red coloring, and when I tasted it, I remembered that red food coloring is horribly bitter if you put too much in. More like bittercream icing, am I right? Ha!  I don't like pink, so I thought I'd just add some blue and make lavender icing, but it just turned out a weird puce color.  It was also overmixed and stiff, so I could barely pipe it on the cake.  The last cake I made, I just figured that I'd forgo the icing and bake some beautiful silver sugar sprinkles on top of it.  When I pulled it from the oven, it looked perfect.  I sat it aside and covered it with foil.  I guess I should have let it cool all the way off first, because when I went back to look at the cake, the silver (actually blue I found out) coloring in the sprinkles had melted into the cake and tuned it green in spots, and I swear it looked like moldy bread.  There was no way I could take that to church, so it just stayed home.  Oy.

I also made some chili for a chili cook off and things were fine at first.  I added some harina masa to thicken it up, but it sucked up a lot of the flavor.  So I grabbed what I thought was chili powder and poured it in.  I stirred it in, and realized it smelled weird, but I didn't think anything of it.  After a while I went back in and realized I needed more chili powder, and I grabbed the same container, only to realize it wasn't chili powder, it was cloves.  Yick.  Luckily I hadn't put in too much, but you could smell it.  So, chili fail.

I also managed to have trouble communicating with everyone. With every email and phone call I made, I managed to offend, irritate, and say the absolute wrong thing to everyone.  So, if you were one of the people I called or emailed, I'm sorry. I was just having a weird day.

None of the stuff I did was bad in and of itself, but by the end of the day, the cumulative effect just made me feel so dumb and inept, I figured anyone could be mean to me at that point, and I couldn't feel worse about myself.  I was just glad when the day was over. 

I did manage to get into bed without hurting myself, so in the end, the day wasn't a complete loss! Silver lining!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


1) You know, I had a whole rant that talked about how cynical and unsympathetic I've become since working at the church, but I deleted it.  It made me sound petty and small, and I hate that I sometimes feel that way.  People come to this church all the time asking for money and things, and a great number of those people are scamming us.  It bothers me that I haven't learned to discern between those with an actual need and those who just want someone else to pay their way in the world.  I don't want to lose my charitable heart, but every time I realize we give help to people who are just too lazy or stubborn to go out and help themselves, that part of me dies a little more.  I think I get so angry about it because I know that there is always a chance that one day I could be in the same situation as them, and I'd like to believe that I'd be less likely to scam a church for money, but who knows?  I might be just as likely to lie to a good-hearted pastor as some of the people who've come here, and that scares me.  I don't want karmic retribution to put me in that place to teach me first hand why these people do what they do, I just want to understand so I'm not fooled by it. Sometimes the world and the people in it can be awful.

2) Steve and I went camping a couple of weeks ago, but I don't think I'm going to do it anymore.  It wasn't all bad!  The cooking out and being outside was nice, and sitting around a fire and roasting marshmallows was actually fun.  I don't even think sleeping in the tent would have been so bad, had we had an air mattress or something, but it was the whole feeling dirty that sticky and smoky that I didn't like.  Oh, and also having to walk to a completely different place to go to the bathroom (although, I'm very grateful we had actual indoor plumbing nearby) was not fun.  I suppose that makes me sound like a pansy, and if so, I guess I'm a pansy!  I generally don't mind being dirty, if I can get clean again in a reasonable amount of time, but there is something about the kind of gross you feel after sleeping in a tent that just icks me out almost more than I can stand.  We had friends who were camping and asked us to join them the week after we went, but only Steve stayed to sleep that night.  I went home and took a shower!  Then this past week we went back to the campground to have dinner with those same friends (they are RV campers who can deal with prolonged camping) and that was lots of fun, mainly because we didn't have to sleep there.  Even though we were only there for a couple of hours, my hair STILL smells like wood smoke.  I can't get it out. Every time my hair gets wet, it smells like my head is on fire! Anyone know a remedy for smoky hair? I'd make a terrible outdoorsman, I think.  I'm too much of a weenie.

3) I'm so glad the weather is getting cooler!  I have so many scarves and boots and I like being able to wear them without breaking a sweat.  Of course, I think I actually started wearing them a bit prematurely, but who cares?  I looked cute!

4) Last week I was invited to a baby's first birthday party, and I went!  (Take that, people who think I hate children!)  The party was for a little girl from my church, and I really like her family.  Her parents are younger than me, but we share a lot of the same geekyness, so when they told me it was a super hero themed party being held at the local comic book store, I was all for that.  The Facebook invitation said it was a dress up as a super hero kind of party, and that everyone was welcome to join in on that.  Believe it or not, I don't actually own a super hero costume, so I figured that I would just wear one of my appropriate t-shirts or something.

A couple of days before the party I got a message asking if I'd be willing to wear the mom's full-on Wonder Woman costume.  Bless her heart for thinking I could fit into her clothes (I couldn't) so I had to say no. Of course, I don't even like wearing a bathing suit in public, and wearing that costume to the comic store would have been the equivalent of me wearing a bathing suit to a grocery store.  However, I felt bad because I thought that maybe they wanted the adults who came to dress up to add to the party.  You know, in the same way some people want clowns (shudder) they might want super heroes.  So I devised a much more modest, yet still clearly identifiable, Wonder Woman outfit.  I had star spangled pants, a red shirt with the logo, red shoes, a headband with a star, big poofy hair and bright red lipstick.  I was so adorable!

When I showed up to the party, I was the only adult wearing anything resembling a costume. Seriously, the only one.  Granted, my version of the outfit wasn't as flashy or skimpy as it would have been if I was wearing the real costume, but I still stood out a little bit!  Oh well, I really didn't mind.  The birthday girl's older sisters knew who I was supposed to be and they seemed to like it, so it was worth it!  I had fun being Wonder Woman for the evening, and if I ever think I look good enough in the actual costume, I'll even wear that! So call me for all of your super hero needs!  I do parties! :)

After the party, I stopped to get get something to eat. I ended up having to go inside, and when the guy behind the counter realized what I was wearing, he was laughing so much he almost couldn't help me.  Oh, well!

Thursday, October 03, 2013


Yesterday I stopped at Fresh Market after work so that I could pick up a few things.  I mainly needed some spinach, but I also got a couple of apples, some sandwich stuff, and some coffee.  Up until right before I got into the check-out lane, there was nothing really unhealthy in my basket. 

Since my weight loss has gone from slow and steady to flat out nonexistent*,  I usually look at the nutritional info of food I buy and I try not to get anything that isn't completely reasonable.  I say "usually" because I'm human and sometimes sister needs some potato chips or something OK?!  I'm not made of STONE!

So, I grabbed a bag of chips as well as a bag of the big, in-house made croutons to see what they tasted like. They only had big bags of them, so it was my only option.  I also got Steve some, well, I don't know what it was, but it was one of those mixed up snack things I knew he'd like from the bulk bin area. 

I get in line, totally not paying attention to anyone or anything around me - like I do - when the woman at the register right ahead of me says my name.  I looked up and it was my nutritionist!  You remember, the one who gets so excited when you're losing weight and doing well, and who looks like a punched kitten when you don't?  I say hello, and we do that whole awkward small talk thing that people who only kinda know each other do when they see each other out in the wild. You know what I'm talking about.  Right as she's getting her stuff to leave, she glances at the basket in my hand.  She doesn't say anything, of course, but I see her looking.

I swear to you, time slowed down.  It was like one of those slow-motion parts of a movie right before a bomb goes off, or bullets fly, or something equally terrible happens. 

I also glanced down at my basket and realized that all of the decent, healthy food I'd originally come in to buy was completely obscured by potato chips, a huge bag of croutons, and a vat of snack mix.  For all I know, she didn't really pay attention to what I was holding, but she IS a nutritionist and food is her jam, so I'm pretty sure she did.  When I looked back up, she was walking away, and I came within an ace of running after her and screaming "WAIT! THERE'S SPINACH IN HERE! APPLES! HEALTHY STUFF, I SWEAR!!!!!!"  Alas, she was gone, and I was left holding what looked like a 4:20 Munchy Run. Oy. I expect to hear about this at our next meeting.

So the moral of this story is: Now I have to go clear across town if I want potato chips, and Steve can buy his own damn snack mix.

*Seriously, I need to be in another wedding, or get invited to the Oscars, or something where I'm in danger of having my picture made.  Apparently, the only working motivation I have is the fear of being fat in front of large groups of people. It's quite frustrating.