Monthly Archives: October 2011

I be a thrifty bitch

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I don’t have a particular topic tonight. I have so very, very much in my head – especially at 6am when the cats have woken me up and I can’t read in bed because my optimum iPad placement is impossible due to iDJ actually using his pillow as a pillow, instead of as a prop for my machinery (the nerve of the man) and having an iPad fall over and clunk into my forehead as I drift off is not only painful but isn’t conducive to sleep – but at 9:30pm, the weight of the day is heavy upon me and I can’t seem to think clearly.

Hence, me spitting out a massive run-on sentence that includes both dashes and parentheses.

I do wish that I could get up and write during those early morning brainstorms. There’s no way I’m trying it without coffee, or at the very least chocolate milk while the coffee brews. It feels traitorous, slackeresque, to get up and play in the dark when I know damn well I have to have 8 hours sleep or I will be useless. Then again, once the job listings have been checked and discarded, I am useless during the day.

During my extended unemployment I have tried not to goof off during the daylight hours. I’ve done a ton of things, some fun, some not, but all things that were needed around the house. I’ve done a ton of painting (fun) and when we got a pressure washer on the cheap, I couldn’t wait to blast the concrete patio, walls, and windows (massive fun, but really bad for my back). It’s wet here, there’s moss and mould growing on everything, and cleaning things to the point of new gives me great satisfaction. Fun and messy!

I’ve also fixed the sticky oven door, and scraped years of goop off the top of the stove (it came with the house, that shit was burned on). I installed new taps in the bathroom, too! They aren’t tight, so when you shut the tap off the whole thing moves, but that’s because it took me a whole damn day to put them on and I don’t have the right tools to tighten them up.

My best ‘save’ was when our microwave died. I found a fantastic redneck on YouTube that told me how to fix them, so I took it apart. There were a few things that could be wrong, but first and cheapest was to see if the internal fuse had blown. We went back to the shop we got it from five years ago and asked if they had fuses for that model. We were told that if the fuse had blown, there was something wrong and we should just get a new one. Saaaaay, that reeked of shite to us. “Oh, a fuse in my house blew, I need a new house now!” Feic off. To the Internet we went, and got a fuse from Scotland for about €12 delivered. I popped the old one out, wires and all, put in the new one – and it is still working. A couple of weeks later, the door fell off. I superglued it, it’s still grand. Saved a couple hundred Euros there!

When the dryer broke (also just five years old, are we seeing the planned obsolescence time frame yet?) we took it apart too, but getting a new motor was the same price as a new machine with a warranty, so we had to eat that one. At least we tried.

The fridge is a massive POS, we can’t get replacements for the busted freezer drawers anywhere. I can NOT deal with them, I completely lose my head, patience, and will to live when I need something from the freezer section; so that is iDJ’s job. He whines like a sick dog when his widdle finners get cold, too. Awww. He knows well that cold fingers are preferable to my searing hot rage.

Thanks, punkin’. 😀

I am a thrifty bitch by nature and nurture. When you have more time than money, you teach yourself whole new skills, and new ways of doing things. I make candles out of the crummy ends of ones we bought, I recycle and compost, I’d rather grow from seed than buy a plant. I save every-bloody-thing that might come in use, one day – and I keep a mental catalogue of the crap I have to hand. Just this week, I repainted our styrofoam headstones. These are Halloween decorations that are a few years old and constantly battered by the winds we have this time of year – we find them in the neighbours’ gardens all the time, with chunks missing and the white showing through. Well, hell, that’s not scary!

I’ve been different levels of broke most of my life, but I have a family history of cheap, too. My grandfather used to come to our house on Sundays. He’d be there for lunch and dinner, and drive himself back home. He would eat lunch, and then carefully fold up and pocket the single, non-brand paper napkin Mom had given him. He took it back out and used it again at dinner. Yikes! I really hope I never get that bad.

I wonder if he took it home with him…

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Bella has been Brushed!

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I’m having a shitty evening. Financial situation just got even worse. I suppose I could talk about it here, but its too depressing and it will just make me angry having to go over everything in detail. Let’s leave it alone for now, as there is nothing to be done.

Instead, have a gander at the lovely Bella. Bella is a rescue greyhound, and shares her home with a fellow KIBIS member. We hope to have her and my girl Neko become doggie-friends – as soon as we find neutral ground they can run and play in together safely.

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Socks has a sweet pea!

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Ooo, lookit me, blogging on the night of Oirish Tirsday instead of waiting until tomorrow! Socks had stuff to do, and I’m suffering a hangover and wanted an early night, so we only talked on the phone for 2.5 hours. Yes, that’s a short call!

iDJ is still broadcasting his live radio show upstairs, and the floor is shaking, the walls are thumping, and he is singing. Oh dear. Sounds like Testament is on now, so he’s really rocking out!

I had to go up and share the fun, it was indeed Testament, Trial By Fire. Yay! I’m a metalhead, and really like it when he gets in a bit of old school thrash during his show. The next song was Megadeth, Wake Up Dead – oh yah, baby!

Our neighbours must hate us on Thursdays.

Anyhoo, Socks had her first obstetric appointment today! Everything is fine and good and normal, hooray! She is six weeks along, and the due date is June 14. There’s another ultrasound in a week to confirm this, but we’re pretty sure that’s accurate, since every moment has been planned and documented by Mom.

Wow, I got to call her mom! This is so strange and new to me, and I’m not even centre stage here. But I can only write about my reactions, right?

Socks had an ultrasound today, and got to see her baby for the first time. She said her first reaction was “Oh my god, its real!” Baby is TINY, the size of a ‘sweet pea.’ I had to ask for clarification on how big that is – bigger than an orange seed, apparently. BabySox is currently developing a jaw, cheeks, kidneys, and has the barest beginnings of ears, eyes and a nose. Pretty cool, eh?

Socks was so happy to see the living proof, too. So very happy that she got all three doctors in the room excited and happy along with her. Even the student (that she gave permission to attend) told her congratulations. Aw! She really made me giggle when she told me that this tiny dot is the cutest baby ever, with the most beautiful heartbeat! There’s a good mom in the making. It is fascinating to see Socks change the way she thinks and feels so fast. She admits that if you told her a week ago she would think of such a small, unformed thing as beautiful or cute, she’d have laughed you out of the room.

She’s sleeping a lot, and just starting to feel a little whoopsie at times. Oh, the fun is just beginning! I bet she names the toilet, because she’s gonna get so intimate with it they should be on a first-name basis. She’s also craving savoury food and not sweets, and meat more than she normally would. She’s already a fantastically healthy eater, and it will be fun to track cravings. Doritos are apparently off the menu already, and Swedish meatballs are on. For now…

Love you, Sweet Pea! Thanks for bringing me along 🙂

Wine sucks

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I have to write something! I’m sitting here, just goofing around fingerpainting instead of putting words on paper. Um. Pixels on pixels? Just what the hell is it called when you write digitally, anyway? We need new clichés.

I actually do use paper on occasion. Mostly to make a quick note to remind me of something funny, or a good turn of phrase I want to keep, something I want to Google later, or a date of importance. I have a crap memory. I blame it on all those drugs I did in the 60’s. Drugs, at least, would explain why I cannot keep to a single topic in a paragraph. Bad writing? Probably. Do I give a shit? Obviously not. This blog is me upending my cerebellum and splashing around in the puddle.

How many topics did I fit in there? I could have kept going.

Right, notes. I have four from last night, two from conversations with iDJ and two from the KIBIS meeting. One of the ones from my beloved relates to wine, and I have a photo to share, so without further ado, let’s talk about wine!

It sucks.

Okay! The ‘meeting’ was great craic of course. I’m glad we are making an effort to have a get-together regularly. Lawsy me, I do need a social life. We mostly talk about our pets, because we are all animal people and all have at least two fur-persons in our respective homes. Our representative from Italy (hereafter Mrs MMC) currently has way, way more than two, in two countries and at least three houses. Wow! Loads of stories, and despite English not being her first language, she can really tell a funny tale. But I can’t share them, because I wasn’t taking notes. Well, except for those two times I mentioned…

Mrs MMC and I share our homes with menfolk, along with the other animals. We have picked menfolk who are particularly good at letting animals manipulate them. If one of their cats miaows at her hubby he panics, trying to figure out what kitty wants: Do you want me to make you a sausage? Some take out? A curry?

My other note was about when they are at his parents’ house. Now, they feed a lot of local strays, and there are a lot of strays. Mrs MMC catches and has them vet checked and sterilised at her own expense, by the way. Thank you! Anyhow, there are always a rake of kitties outside on the back patio. When the parents aren’t home, Mr & Mrs MMC leave the door wide open and let the furry masses troop in and out as they please.

Right, maybe you had to be there.

Back to wine. Here’s iDJ’s temporary workstation last evening:

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Yes, my Halloween decor is over the top. Feic off. I love Halloween.

Please note he has the essentials: Plastic Halloween wine glass, Mac laptop, and a box-o-wine, all ready to hand. Blargh! Even if I could stand wine, I cannot imagine boxed wine decanted into plastic tastes good. Yes, dear, I know we’re broke (that is for when he reads this and gives out to me for making fun of cheapo wine in a cardboard bottle).

Ugh! Just now: I needed to check the internal temperature on my pork roast. I’m not allowed to bend over cuz of the bad back, so I got on my knees in front of the oven (I’m tall, this put me eye level with the meat thermometer). iDJ starts in right away about how he never sees me on my knees anymore. Like, as in prayer (we are atheist). I told him I was praying to the pork, then wished I never, ever, said that.

Back to wine. See, I hate it so much I can’t even be arsed to keep writing about it for 10 minutes! M’man was giving me stick about not liking wine, and pulled out his old standard, “One of these days. I’ll keep working on you.” This got him a glare of rage and a rant about how, at my age, I fucking well know what I like, and no amount of different colours or flavors of wine was ever going to convince me that wine is palatable.

He kept at me, and I finally shut him up by threatening him with the words that have been uttered many a time since blogs were invented – just not said by me.

“Don’t make me blog about this!”

Miss Mildred Fierce has been Brushed!

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Hi! I have a KIBIS “meeting” shortly, so no time for a long post today. However! I have, for your perusal, Miss Mildred Fierce!

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This gorgeous gal is someone I’ve never met, but she always has a kind word for everyone – unless you are a greedy government pig, then: Watch Out! She’s super smart and has more style and class than a room full of Siamese cats.

NSFW

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It seems tonight is a cat night.

I have photographic evidence of my boys, in flagrante delicto. Bad Cats, no one wants to see that!

So I’m gonna show it to you 🙂

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Poor Lokii, he just wants a nap. But noooOOOooo.

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Can gay cats use the ‘not tonight, I have a headache’ excuse? I feel bad for him, this isn’t his idea. But from the look on his little face, he doesn’t have a clue what is going on. Poor gormless kitty.

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Hey! Yes, YOU! You are sooo busted.

Kitty ears warp space and time

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iDJ never spent a lot of time with cats until I descended upon him from Americay with a Bengal. I also brought a big dog, and a big snake. But this is about cats.

I, on the other hand, have been around cats my whole life. My mom had a Siamese before she had kids. We picked up other cats over the years from family, friends, and the streets, but there was always a Meezer. I do a damn fine impression of a pissed-off cat, and I can read their body language as if they were talking. As Socks would say, I speak Cat.

One day, shortly after we were all settled in, iDJ turned to me and asked, “What’s that noise?”

“I didn’t hear anything. What did it sound like?”

“I don’t know. Kind of a flapping noise, maybe?”

As the sound wasn’t repeated, we forgot about it until a few days later.

“There it is again! What is that?”

“I got no clue, hon, I didn’t hear a thing.”

A few more days pass, and we are settled on the couch watching TV. Spot (the cat) gets up from my lap, stretches, and shakes himself.

iDJ jumps, startled. “That’s it! That’s the noise! Spotty made that noise!”

I stare at him blankly, then it hits me and I fall over laughing: cat ears. Cat ears make a very distinctive flappity-flappity noise when a cat shakes his head. I’d gotten so used to it, I didn’t even hear it anymore.

Of course, now that I do hear it again (sometimes) I always try to mimic the sound, so’s my man knows I heard it. That, and I really like doing sound effects. I sound like a 5-year-old boy playing with toy airplanes when I swoop anything through the air, because I cannot do any swooping without making a ‘swoosh’ noise.

A few days ago, iDJ walks into the room and tells me this: “Cats’ ears cause a rift in the space-time continuum whenever they shake their heads,” and he walks out.

Perhaps he had beer on board; in fact I’m sure of it, but I’m blaming this entirely on the fact that we are working our way though the Star Trek: the Next Generation box set.

Bird has been Brushed!

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Hi! I have another friend to introduce you to! This is Bird:

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She’s going through a patch so rough, she’s got cactus spines stuck in her jeans. I hoped I could cheer her up a bit, and apparently it worked!

On the technical side, I learned a lot with this one. I really like the new way I did hair, and using color to outline the lips and face instead of just black really worked.

Thank you for modelling for me!