The Hellhole

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

When next she is over, I have GOT to remember to ask Miss Betty why there are four (4) mops in our garage.  (The one that's handle-up is a broom.)  Believe me, our house is in no way large enough to require FOUR mops.

I asked Alan why we had four mops and he said, "Because Miss Betty.  One does not question Miss Betty."

But I must - not in a challenging back-sass way - Miss Betty don't play that - but because I must know:  why do we have FOUR MOPS?????

Friday, August 07, 2015


You're doing it wrong.

The first weekend of August, little Miss Brooke stayed with us overnight so her parents could go to a concert.  She wanted to play video games and we stayed up until 1:00AM doing so, and the next morning, after bacon and waffles, she wanted to swim.  The amount of fun generated was astronomical.  After a few minutes of observation, Alan opined, "We've had this pool for three years.  All you do is float around, and sometimes float around drinking wine.  You've been doing it wrong."  Case in point, there was a leaf at the bottom of the pool, which instinctively I wanted to remove and toss aside.  Instead, Brooke devised a whole game of tossing, diving, jumping and triumphantly waving about the leaf.

Then I got into the pool with her, and we played Sharkey.  I have a stuffed floating shark that usually just hangs around while I float about, but Brooke had other ideas.  Sharkey became the epicenter of a game that lasted nearly two hours.

The rules of Sharkey are many and complicated, and subject to change on a seven-year-old's whim.  New rules may be instituted based upon unforeseen contingencies which pop up from time to time during sessions of Sharkey.

Still, I tried my best.

The absolute very most wonderful thing about Sharkey was if you got caught out - like if you were in Time Out or had committed some transgression - you had to go to a certain area of the pool that Brooke had roped off with pool noodles, that she deemed "The Seafood Section" and wait 10 seconds.

Honestly, do you see the hilarity of this child's mind???  You misbehave and you are exiled to The Seafood Section!!!

'Don't make me stop this car' pales in comparison to 'don't make me put you in the seafood section'!

Here we see that of the game participants, Sharkey has transgressed.

He has been imprisoned upon the Barbie float by a green pool noodle, and is en route to The Seafood Section (see pink pool noodle and duckie, background).

This is not Brooke, because you can't see her, hiding under one of the floats to frighten me when I returned from inside the house.

She was very pleased when I snapped 'angrily' at Alan, "WHERE is Brooke?!?  Honestly, I leave you in charge for TEN MINUTES and you've lost an ENTIRE CHILD?!?"

Yeah, but pool - I've been doing it wrong.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

It's been a busy few days but in a fun, social way.  Last Wednesday I went to my friend Krissy's painting party where we were doing lawn art/decorations (and eating lots of snacks!).  I painted this pretty butterfly - at least I hope it's pretty - if you think otherwise, don't tell me.

The lady who runs the parties gave me a picture for reference but it wasn't a paint-by-numbers thing.  It was just me, trying.  She did the silver bow for me at the top.

In this photo it is hanging in my garage but we had it hanging out by the pool Sunday (more on this later).

The lawn-art-painting-lady also had pieces she'd done herself for sale and I bought one that said "POOL" where the P and L were letters but one O was the sun and another was a beach ball.  We had both of those hanging on the back of the house facing the pool when Nancy's family came over Sunday!

But in the meantime, on Saturday night we had dinner with friends Anne and Rick here.  The four of us had a favorite Italian restaurant which, much to our regret, closed a bit over a year ago.  We gripe about it, dine elsewhere and lament the loss of Chianti, but Saturday at Provino's, we had a great dinner (and a lovely time with lovely friends) and hope it can become a regular thing for us.  While it won't be the same, it still has potential.

Then on Sunday, as mentioned,  I was hosting a small pool party.  In the days leading up to the gathering, I had said to Alan probably a half-dozen times, and to myself at least 2.5 times that, that I wasn't going to overdo it.  Because I always overdo it when folk come over, I always do.  But Sunday, I totally didn't over do it! 


Um, yeah.  THREE people were coming over, and besides this, Alan was going to grill burgers and brats, and we had sides and chips.

Yeah, I overdo it.  It's my thing.  It's what I do.

BTW Nancy brought that tabouli which was lovely!

I've tried to think of a nice, neat conclusion for a few minutes but all I've been able to think of is, "I love my friends and I'm so glad I have them!"

And here's a puppy.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Today is the anniversary of our first date, and we celebrate First-Dateversary along with wedding anniversaries, because we're dorks like that.  Most years we try to do dinner and a movie, since that's what we did on the first date, but there don't happen to be any movies out right now that both of us want to see.  We liked the Despicable Me movies so we want to see the minions one, but that's not out for another week or two.

We are both off today, so we started the celebration with lunch at our favorite neighborhood pub.  Then we stopped by Rhodes Bakery, where we got our wedding cakes and the cake for Alan's birthday party last year, to load up on cheese stars (yummm!) and some dessert items for later:  turtle brownies, cream cheese brownies, petit fours, white chocolate dipped pretzels - only a dozen of each though, so not so bad.  I'm totally lying about that; we got a sampling that included the aforementioned.  We then headed farther north to the Avenues at Webb Gin, an outdoor shopping mall which is really not that far from us but because of the many traffic lights and quite a lot of traffic, isn't particularly convenient so we don't go there all that often.

There is a big Barnes and Noble there, though, and we wanted to wander around the bookstore.  While I love the convenience and ease of Amazon, and those plus the instant gratification of the iPad's Kindle app, there's something special about just roaming around the bookstore.  The former two are mostly good only if you already know what you want; and although sometimes Amazon gives me good suggestions based on my purchasing history, sometimes they suggest something that makes me want to die of embarrassment and/or go a-shriving as I wonder what the hell I ever did that was so bad as to deserve that recommendation.  Alan bought one book - he likes Yotsuba but although I bought nine, five of them are tomes he wants to read as well (four Pratchetts, one Fforde) and he may want to read a sixth, a graphic novel I purchased called The King in Yellow, for which I have high hopes.

When we left there, we stopped at a frozen yogurt store (yes, despite all the delicious sweets in my trunk we bought more dessert elsewhere - it's First-Dateversary, rules don't apply!) and had a small treat.  Peachwave is self-serve - you pick your flavor and then add your toppings, so it doesn't have to be a huge, overwhelming amount. I had banana and Alan got cookies-n-cream.

Then we went a bit further down to Yankee Candle and bought a few new scents.  We love fresh, clean scents and YC is just the best.  There's one, lemon lavender, that I can smell when I pull into our garage when he's got it burning in his study at the other end of the house.  And hey, it's not like we have two big cartons of Yankee Candles sitting unopened in our front room.  Those of you who've been to my house recently, shut up!

Our last stop was American Eagle Outfitters.  I bought a long-sleeved tee there several months ago on a whim, and I love that shirt.  It is so soft and comfy!  I was hoping to find similar, but I didn't.  I did buy some lounge pants, though, which were on sale for 25% off.  I have two pairs of summer lounge pants but one pair was getting pretty worn-out and gross.  Well, actually, I have three pairs of summer lounge pants but since last summer I haven't been able to find my SpongeBob ones so I've just been wearing these two pink-patterened ones I got as a 2-pack at Sam's Club for $10 five or six years ago.  I've spilled nail polish and nail glue and unidentified substances on one pair several times, threads were coming unraveled, they were looking pretty skanky.  For reasons I cannot explain, I seem to have more accidents in this one (flowered) pair than I do the other (striped) pair.  So anyway I bought some A.E.O. lounge pants and resolved to throw the pink flowered pair away once we got home, which I did.  Then I changed into the new lounge pants and my sweet baby dog, Commander Vimes, came up to sniff me all over.

"You stink of hipster!" he said, which I felt was in no way fair comment, especially since I had paired the new lounge pants with my Green Lantern t-shirt.  Yeah, this is the same Green Lantern t-shirt that turned my shoulders, boobs and favorite bra green, but it doesn't do that any more after many launderings.

Okay, okay, so maybe I might have bought a few small tubs of buttercream icing from Rhode's Bakery as well.

Don't judge me.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Who's number one on the Chihuahua Reddit?

This sweet baby girl!  (Not this picture, though - Alan posted a different one.)

That's only one of Esme's recent achievements.  Alan has discovered that she can count to four!  At 10:00 AM, he gets his mid-morning snack and so do the doggies; he will have an apple or pretzel chips and hummus, something like that, while they get a Sargento cheddar/colby/jack cheese stick to share.

Alan cuts their cheese stick into twelve cubes, so four pieces per dog, and when he gives it out, he mixes up the order so that with each round of noms, everyone gets a chance to be first and no one is always last.  Everyone knows when it's time to have their cheese cubes, and lines up around his desk chair.  Esme stands on her hind legs with her front paws propped up on Alan's leg.  He says that whenever she gets her fourth cube, regardless of what order they're being issued and whether or not there are still cubes on his desk, she hops down and scoots away to conduct other important puppy business.  The boys hang out a while, hoping he might have extra cheese somewhere in reserve, or feel like giving out other nibbles, but not Esme. She knows four, and when she's given her fourth cheese, she's off!

Monday, June 15, 2015

My car has a data screen that displays various bits of information, among them the artist and song title of whatever is currently playing.  There is a character limit, which was a source of great amusement to me during this afternoon's commute.

In other news, I have discovered Commander Vimes's kryptonite.  All the doggies take pills each day:  Mister Fusspot takes Ocu-Glo for his eyes, Vimes takes apoquel to calm his itches and everyone gets Benadryl, especially during pollen season.  For some time, Kraft American singles worked fine for disguising medicine but the boys have grown bored with it.  Esme is still all about the cheese.  I switched to those meaty pill pockets, which worked for a while but now there's about a fifty-fifty chance of those being scorned, as well.  With Mister Fusspot, about all we can do is offer the treat (whether cheese- or meat-coated) multiple times until he finally eats it or we give up in frustration.

Quite by accident when trying out some new treats for variety's sake, I discovered that Commander Vimes has a deep and abiding love for peanut butter.  I know most dogs like it, but he'd rather have peanut butter than meat.  I think he'd eat a cotton ball if I slapped enough Jif onto it.  Now whenever he scorns his pill pocket, I tell him something like, "I've got your number, buddy," or "Nice try but I've evolved past your trickery!" and glob some peanut butter around the outside of his medicine.

I've also been filling his Kong with peanut butter periodically and he loves that.  The first time I gave Kongs to Mister Fusspot and Esme, they looked at me with an expression that was equal parts mildly irritated and vaguely insulted, like, "You expect us to work for our treats?!?  Have you the brain-worms?!?" but Vimes loves his Kong.  He's such a fun, happy little guy.  

Saturday, June 13, 2015

While we were staying in downtown Atlanta, we often caught sight of the new streetcar, which is a total waste as far as I'm concerned because the cars are often broken down, always slow and look just like a stupid random train car instead of a cool streetcar like they have in San Francisco or New Orleans.  They're just this bluish purple bullet-shaped things with "streetcar" painted on them - 'cause that's helpful.

However, it was a great source of amusement because whenever he spotted one, Alan started chanting, "Monorail! Monorail!: from The Simpsons - it's so sad that Phil Hartman was killed.  What an effing waste.  Genuine bonafide six-car monorail!  So we'd be in the elevator and Alan would do this little juke-dance as he sang, "Monorail! Monorail!"  He put a picture of the streetcar on his FaceBook and added an Apu quote:  "Is there a chance the track would bend? "- and it was mere seconds before one of his friends replied, "Not on your life my Hindu friend!"

We got to watch American Pharaoh win the Triple Crown while eating snacks and h'ors douevres in the RC lounge - that was really bitchin' cool!  I think I was 9 or 10 the last time that happened, so - AWESOME!!!

Great time, all weekend.  This week as far as work goes has been pretty awful, but I shall last through.  In the meantime, my bud Phil told me about this hysterically funny movie - it's a satire of reality shows, as the camera crew follow vampires around.  I exaggerate, but not by much, when I write This Is Spinal Vamp - it's actually called What We Do In The Shadows, and it's warped, twisted and majorly funny.  I highly recommend you checking it out.