Where the Wild Bloggers Are!

And that would be right here!

Here, as in HOME.

YES! I have a home now! Have had, for about a month.

I haven’t written in ages. I got tired of whining, and moaning, and complaining. Seemed to be pretty much all that was happening on my blog, and in my life.
I had to live with it, as did the hubs thing. I didn’t however, have to make y’all deal with it, so I kinda… stopped for a bit.

Last we heard of our intrepid blogger heroine, she was still traversing the terrors of the tenth circle of Dante’s hell, (you know – the one even HE found too horrific to write about?) and well, whining. And moping. And bitching. ‘Cause hell, ya know? Hot, and dark, and cramped? Well, the husband creature thing had promised that by my birthday – HOME!

Yeah. That didn’t happen.

Then, he promised ABSOLUTELY before Christmas/New Year! Uh. Huh.

Then before January ended. And February. /sigh.

By this time, I had decided. If I made it to April 30th. (A full mother frickin’ YEAR mind you.) I was gonna celebrate thusly:

Cheap, plastic woven lawn chair from that world class outfitter – Walmart.

Several 40s of PBR (only the best!) from the nearest 7 – 11.

Stained boxers, and a wife beater.

ME – ensconced in the chair, with a cooler holding the extra PBRs, in the wifebeater/boxers, camped out on the chair, in front of the window to the room, on the “verandah.”

At that point, if you can’t beat ’em, might as well join ’em, am I right? I mean, if you are going to do something, you should do it the very BEST you can. Right?

HOWEVER –

I was saved from this horrible fate. I found and brought to Pete’s attention to a NEW and SHINY locator. And?

She worked miracles.

Austin is getting more and more expensive to live in as people flock here for jobs.

The houses that we might possibly be able to afford last year? Twice that now. HOWEVER –

Susan was able to do it! – even with my slowing rising again credit, and Pete’s history.

We got a lovely apartment! Yes, it -is- on the third floor, which means my back is cranky if I have to carry anything up, but it has high, crown molded ceilings! Light, bright, airy – with a tub fit for a queen! ❤

The queen of tubs

THE TUB!!!!!

Great room

The great room – seen from the dining room end.

Bedroom

The corner of the bedroom – because there isn’t much interesting about a bedroom without anything in it, is there?

Kitchen

The kitchen – where my everything lived until my comfy stuff and computer desk made it here! (there is a little “desk” type part of the counter built in at the back there)

Office

The office! My ‘puter is NOT in the living room! It has its OWN room! **squeeeeee**!

We have been here a month now. The comfy chairs/loveseat are here, as is my computer desk. The bed? Not yet. Washer and dryer? LOL. no. In fact, besides the clothes we had in the room, stuff mentioned above, and my kitchen table/chairs – it is ALL still in storage. We have been here for 5 weeks now.

Most recently I scored a couple of movie poster frames at Walmart. Two of the three Karazhan posters now have frames. One more, and I will have the set on my wall! When I do – more pics!

Also, there is a painting that I am waiting with bated breath for the print to be released. An artist named James Vance has a painting based on ‘The Return Of Spring’ by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. “The Adoration of Elphie”. Finished Elphie

This painting for me, speaks so very clearly to the character Elphaba in Wicked. I read this book when it came out – well before the Broadway play was made of it. I adore the book, and this character. When I saw this painting, I knew I had to have it. And barring any kind of catastrophe, I shall! Just as soon as he gets the canvas prints done. >.< Y'all should click the link to Mr. Hances page, and check him out! He is truly fascinating to read on Facebook as well. Watching him start with a red or blue wash, and then having magic emerge from it – an absolute marvel to behold!

I really REALLY don’t want to pay another month on the storage shed – especially since we are already paying extra so that Pete has a garage for storage here. That would be due on Friday though – so no matter how emphatic the husband being is when he insists that it will be here before then, and we won’t have to re up for another month…

Let’s just say I am not going to hold my breath.

Is this the beginning of new life/new regular schedule?

Not gonna promise anything, but I am sure gonna try! (still on the IDP, damnit!)

New Year! Just a few (five) days late!

Finally, I have reclaimed my house from the tree that ate Austin! It is back in its box, and back in the junk room.

Shut up, y’all. I do have a junk ROOM – not just a drawer. Between stuff my husband drags home from jobs, (we might USE it someday!) various tools and carpentry stuff, craft materials, books that don’t have shelves, and other stuff that can’t be gotten rid of… (damned government, requiring SEVEN years of back paperwork!) a drawer just does NOT suffice, and we don’t have a garage or a storage shed for this stuff.

Don’t get me wrong – we have a drawer too, where ostensibly, Pete is supposed to keep things like screwdriver tips, the odd nuts and other little stuff that comes home in pockets, as well as hand held tools.  Of course, they don’t go there initially.  I can’t tell you how many times I have stepped on a screw gun tip with my bare feet.  Good times!  NOT.

ANYway.  Back on track.

The tree did come down, although it was a couple days later than I would have liked. I had the terrible timing and bad taste to come down sick with bronchitis, mixed with a nasty digestive tract thing (that we won’t be discussing at all – yuck!) on New Years Day – and it lasted into Monday, and Tuesday. Ugh.

So – wee hours of Wednesday morning, when I was feeling only half zombified, I was able to get it down, and OUT of my living room.

Another side note here. When getting ready to slide furniture to its non holiday placement, I found a can of primer paint, hidden in the shadows between the chair and loveseat, in front of the table. /sigh.

I wonder if it went there because my husband just HAD to, because I had stated in no uncertain terms that that kind of stuff would NOT be allowed in the living room with the new stuffs. Attempt at alpha male “I am dominant – I can do what I want?” behavior? The world will never know. Rather than launching it at the van however, I just placed it in his seat at the dining table. Or what would be a dining table, if it weren’t covered in various papers, laptop, plates, cans, and other detritus left by that too common species, Maleous Sloppicus.

SO – lovely comfortable and yummy furniture is now set as it should be, and without the tree that ate Austin, the room actually feels… not roomy, but roomier! The ottoman and chair are huger than they seemed in the store, but I don’t mind!  Heck – we can both use it if we are both in the living room at the same time.  One of the pluses of cozy living space!

Next step to be taken will be to frame the Karazhan Theatre posters I got from the Blizzcon store, and hang them. (I know, I am a nerd, but they really are rather gorgeous) That should bring at least this room, up to par!

Living room as it is now:

Comfy!

Complete with the picture Pete’s mom painted and gave us (needs a frame, and a different wall) and a Spook, who has decided that we bought the chair JUST for him, and now pretty much lives in it.  Once I have another geek shelf, (mah swag shelf for work is full up!) the Star Wars statue, and the LOTR pez dispenser limited collection set that I scored as an “open me!” present at Christmas will have new homes as well. (What can I say?  I am a geek.  Proud of it, too!)

Fun fact – the table in the corner?  It is actually a very clever design, and was picked up in Germany by my Sister in Law when she lived there, while she worked for the FBI.  The top can flip up, and it becomes a rather throne like chair.  Another fun fact?  That table top is a big as a decent sized two/three person dining table.  Much larger than a standard sized bistro table.  Kinda says something about the scale of the furniture, yes?

And, just for fun, Callie wants attention when SHE wants attention. Here is a shot of her, demanding attention while I am reading at the computer:

Diva needs attention!

Note the placement of the cat – right between me, and where my keyboard would be if I were actually USING it.  And, she has done this while I have been using it…  say in the middle of a raid?  She will even, on occasion, roll around, deliberately striking keys, to see what will happen.  usually, this is to run my character into the nearest mobs, pulling them all.  It has to be deliberate, because it happens quite often.  In my case, the excuse that “the cat did it!” may just work…  hmmmmm.

Sorry for the very short, not very fun post. Still feeling punky, and not all that creative.

Stuff and Bother.

Just little pieces of stuff and blather, to share with everyone this chilly Thursday morning.

We have hit winter here in Central Texas, which means quite a bit of rain.  We badly need this moisture.  It was super dry this summer, and half the counties in Central Texas had huge fires.

I love rain, when I don’t have to drive in it.  People in TX freak out with rain.  This isn’t helped by the fact that tire upkeep is rather slack, and a good portion of the cars on the road are running on tires that are showing cording, completely bald, or otherwise have NO TRACTION WHATSOEVER!

This compounds the problem of “I want to get off to the right in 1/4 mile!  Just gonna squeeze over there RIGHT NOW!  The people in the lane I want to be in will slow  down…”  Ummmmm  They can’t if they don’t have tread, and the roads are wet.  Makes for a fun (NOT) commute.

This has been the longest week EVER.  Because it is a bit rainy, they have turned the heat up to greenhouse levels at work, and I find myself in a heat coma about 3 hours in.  Not kidding.  I have a little fan on my desk, that blows directly in my face, but with the ambient temperature keeping me at a temperature that a lizard would love, I find myself all sluggish and stupid.

For goodness sake people!  If you are cold, put on a damned sweater!  I can only take so much OFF before they call the cops, and an email goes out telling people that while the company is appreciative of my contributions, I am no longer an employee, and must be treated as a guest should I show up.

The tree that ate the living room appeared to be pretty safe from the great four legged hunters, until tonight.

Tonight, Spook has been feeling….  rambunctious.  He has made it his personal mission to deconstruct the tree.  Threatening to take his legs off and beat him with them have fallen on unbelieving pointy ears.  When we try to restrain him physically, to remove him from the temptation, he slithers (don’t know how 25 lbs of fat cat can slither, but I witnessed it first hand, and can attest that he CAN) up under the tree where we can’t reach him, to continue to deconstruction from within.

Callie got curious with all of the hollering and threats, and decided to check out the action.  She is just asking for it.  If we piss him off enough, he will decide to play with his favorite squeak toy – her.  She can usually hold her own, and is much faster, but if he catches her, she doesn’t stand a chance.

Was going to play SWTOR when I got home tonight. I started last night, but was having horrible, choppy FPS issues.  Seriously.  Running at less than 5 frames a second, on a machine that is well over the recommended specs.  Don’t know how I managed to NOT die in the first area.  For that matter, don’t know how I managed to NOT throw the monitor across the room in frustration.  After getting the new Sith Inquisitor girlie through that first little area and into the training facility (without dying thank you very much!  Quite a feat considering the choppiness was so bad that I was over correcting, and fighting with my back to the mobs most of the time) I went online to search out what may be happening. I already knew it wasn’t an overfull server, because I had chosen my realm based on lowest population, and only saw 3 other players while in game.

Turns out that the fix was rather counter intuitive.  I had already done the basics. (update drivers, make sure the game can get through firewalls, graphics had defaulted to lowest, so couldn’t lower those…  etc) ONE message board had the following –

Turn graphics all the way UP, and try.  I did that, and the choppiness went down a bit.  Lowered to medium, and it was perfectly fine.  Who’da thunk it?

ANYWAY

I was going to play tonight, but they are down for maintenance.  Until 6am my time.  So – reading, knitting, and of course writing here have won my evening!  With lots of wine.  Lots.

Finally, if you thought I was kidding about the butt eating couch or the candy van, think again:

Butt Eating couch, with accessories

Before calling large item pickup, husband decided to put it on the curb to see if it would be scavenged.  The ugly TV tray and the horrendous lamp (yet another freebie) as well.  The lamp and the tray were snagged by someone, but the couch, not so much.

The candy van in the background adds just the right touch of creepy non class, doesn’t it?

Dragged Kicking and Screaming (with joy) into the 21st Century!

It has been one heck of a weekend!

Friday night, as mentioned before, was my company Holiday party, and it was a lot of fun!  There was food to be eaten, drinks to be drunk, friends to exclaim over, and people to watch! People watching at company functions like this is always fun.  It is interesting to see how very eclectic people are, and the various definitions of “Formal Dress”.  There was everything from the normal jeans (with a button up shirt as a nod to “formal”, to a sari, to a Tim Burtonesque tuxedo jacket, complete with brocade, and with the wind outside, flying tails.

Saturday was the up early/out the door day.  Impressed and awed the hubster with my mad shoppin’ skills.  He hasn’t seen me really in anything but the Walmart, and groceries.  I had researched, and in the very first store, almost as soon as we walked in, I found my living room.  Sat on the chair and loveseat, called over the sales guy, got the couch/loveseat combo deal on the loveseat, chair, and ottoman, paid, and we were loading the loveseat into the van within 1/2 hour or so.  Have to wait on the chair and ottoman – they weren’t in stock.  Soon my precioussssss.  Soon!

From there, to the madhouse that is Walmart on the weekend before Christmas.  And it was indeed a madhouse. Rude, loud, aisle blocking people.  Shoving, poking, people.  Mothers yelling at screaming babies.  And electronics?  Ugh.  I did however, find a nifty little Nikon digital camera, to do what I want it to do, for a better price than I was expecting! Of course, Electronics was at the furthest point possible in the store from the door nearest our ride, so a reverse trip through the crowds had to be made.

Did I mention that I really wish I never had to leave the cave?

Anywho!

Home again, home again, jiggity jig!

Pete was wonderful.  All the standing at the party, and then the press of wandering miles of people strewn Walmart had left my already prone to spasmy back spasmed.  He wouldn’t let me help him remove the butt eating couch, nor would he let me sweep and mop the floor, or help bring IN the loveseat.  It is a good thing I married a moose.  He muscled all of that about himself.  RAWR!

He tried to play big man and tell me to wait until Sunday (he sleeps a semi normal schedule, and was going to bed soon) to put up and decorate the tree, but I wore him down.  I promised that I would fluff branches while sitting, only getting up to actually place said branch.  It took me seven hours, but I got it done! Up, lighted (he was in bed by then, so couldn’t say anything about me climbing onto a dining room chair to light the top of the tree) and decorated!

Sunday was all about NOT being in crowds.  I bounced happily back and forth, from the lovely comfort of the loveseat, to my desk, where I have been living almost exclusively these past 3 years.

As promised, pictures!  Looks like I am going to need to learn how to clean up, brighten, and unfuzz me some pictures!  They look fine on the camera, but not so much full sized here.  A challenge!  Still, a promise is a promise, and hey, at least they don’t have thumbs in them!

I wasn’t joking about the tree and the size of the living room.  You see pretty much ALL of the living room here.  There is only about 3 feet or so more off to the right of this shot, and I am standing on the stairs.

Tree

The tree that ate my livingroom!

Spook decided that he liked the new sittings, and proceeded to claim it for the night.

Spook so comfortable!

Course, he doesn’t know it yet, but while he might think he is the alpha kitty of the house, if I want to sit, I will.  I am the alpha MAMA!

Callie wasn’t showing much interest yet.  Probably doesn’t quite smell like “home” to her, combined with the fact that the monstrous one was hogging it.  She chose the more familiar blankets that are currently living on a trunk beside the loveseat.  (The ottoman that is coming has storage, and the blankets will go in that.)

The Diva

 

With the Kindle that my dad sent for my birthday, the digital camera that I got for Christmas, and the upgrade to a smartphone that came with signing my new cell contract, I have indeed been dragged into the 21st century.

I gotta say, I am lovin’ it!

Of Parties and Shopping and Booze! Oh My!

Well. I found out tonight how much my holiday bonus was going to be, and it really wasn’t much of a surprise. It has been figured form roughly the same formula since the first year I worked for this company, down to the pro rate for a partial year that first year. Should be enough to get the NOT broken furniture, and depending on what kind of deals we find, may be enough for my digital camera as well!

I have decided that the tree that ate the living room will be put up again this year, and that I shall be looking into after Christmas sales for deeply discounted trees for next year. This will ease some of the anxiety of spending, and stroke my thrifty (read penny pinching) side as well!

This weekend looks to be a busy one, that will send my people dealin’ meter right into the top end of the red zone. First, I have a three day weekend! Yay! My company is giving us the night off on Friday (with pay) to attend the company Holiday party.

Let me tell you. The holiday parties that this company gives are the best I have been to for work. Most places, it has either been:

  1. Meet up at some bar after work, order your own food/drinks, and do gift exchange/get bonus check.
  2. Gift exchange/potluck on the lunch hour. Usually, this one involved a “bonus” of some denomination of Walmart gift card. (NOT that I complained! I can so completely rock the Walmart deals! When I can make myself go. Like in the middle of the night.)

I am not kidding here. They have always been nice, but not really anything really special.

This company? They rent out the ballroom and conference rooms of a large hotel. Formal dress attire is politely requested, and strongly encouraged. Catered, with “casino”, pay bar (after drink coupons have been used) awards ceremony, and then generally, a raffle. With things like big screen TVs, gaming computers, and the like. Rooms with various video games including things like Rock Band. (We ARE a game studio. Of **COURSE** there will be video games!) Discounted guest rooms in said nice hotel so that one does not have to drive home after the party with a little planning ahead.

All in all, a very nice way to step out of the “not business casual” dress and attitude we have most of the year. I am being dead serious here, people. the dress code at work is so simple as to be almost non existent. Clothes must be clean, and not something one would see on a bus stop corner for the cheapie 20$ quickie. Even the head honcho of the office comes to work in bowling shirts and jeans. Most everyone else? Shorts or jeans, and flip flops. T shirts most everywhere. Pretty much everything goes, with of course a caveat that it can’t be completely offensive, or criminal.

So – Friday night dress up with hundreds of other people, noise, confusion… sounds perfect for a person who wishes they never had to leave the Hermit Cave, right? I know I will have fun, so long as I can control how long, and how much. My husband will get the “casino” tokens. I love to watch others play games of chance, but as stated before in the Random hates me… thread, they aren’t really my “thang”. In return for the casino tokens, **I** get the drink coupons, and if we aren’t able to secure a room in the inn, I will be the sole inheritor of the pay for drinks as well! He can be the DD. It is MY party, and the candy van was HIS choice for transportation. Sounds fair, right?

Saturday, I plan on getting out of bed early so that we can look for the non carnivorous furniture (and hopefully camera!) If all goes well, it will come home with us in the back of the candy van. This will of course, have completely exhausted my ability to deal with people in any kind of rational, human way.

Oh. Em. Gee.

This is the **last** weekend before Christmas, and I have planned a shopping excursion. Shoot me now, ok? **shudders**. This is actually a nightmare of mine. However, if I don’t go and GET the furniture this weekend then, somehow, some way, the **coughtheonewhospendsisnotmecough** funds will run away like water, and I will be stuck with the butt eating couch for another year.

I shall just have to make sure that there is a copious amount of wine waiting at home. And maybe some scotch. This will give me a head start to dealing with the post trauma stress with which I will no doubt be plagued.

ANYWAY

First things first. Threaten husbands life and various limbs with a 2×4 until he gets his construction stuff OUT of my living room. I have already warned him about bringing it in once we DO get nice furniture. It will become projectile weapons, aimed at the Candy Van. I may throw like a girl, but from a distance of <5 feet, I won’t miss.

Once that is done, I will hopefully be arranging lovely new furniture in home Saturday evening, (fueled by wine) and then hauling out the tree that ate Austin. Get that up, and decorated. Then, if camera did indeed become part of the holiday purchases, I promise pictures! Hooray! Depending on how traumatizing the shopping was, these may or not be blurry, with thumbs in the shot, or other half (totally) inebriated picture taking clichés .

Y’all that are sniggering to yourselves about now, shut up! After dealing with people for a good portion of a long weekend, I am allowed to ease the burden with wine. Or hard liquor. However the chips fall.

End result? Hoping for lovely and comfortable living room (sans mud bucket, clamp lamp, toolbox, and various bits and pieces) ready for **real** accessories, like framed paintings or pictures, at a later date.

And of course, the room conquering tree!

Oh Christmas Tree…

Holidays. I love decorating for them. I used to decorate for EVERY holiday. Christmas was the best. All of the sparkling, twinkling lights, the soft glow on the ornaments. Snuggling and cuddling with your best man, a bottle of wine, and kitties in the glow….   The way the cats would find a way to bring the tree down at least once a week during the season…

Well, maybe not so much the tree climbing.  As fun as it is coming home and finding the tree laid out, I could probably do with just memories on that one.

After I separated from my first husband, in 2001, I couldn’t find the heart to decorate. I had the stuff, I just didn’t have the energy to pull it out,.  In  2002, I was “sharing” one of my best boys, Izaak, with his mom. We both worked for the same company, me on days, and later graveyard, (24/7 office), and her on swing shift. Taking care of a 2 year old, I forced myself to decorate that year, for him. The rest of the time? Not so much. What presents would I put under the tree? With whom would I snuggle in the soft glow of the lights?

After I met Pete, it kinda continued. Not because I didn’t want to decorate, but because he is a master procrastinator.

First, I need to say that I am not one of those women who put up a tree the day after Thanksgiving, and leave it up for months, like my friend Sarah. ( BTW – Miss Sarah has her own blog, where she posts lots of pictures of her crafting, cooking and playing – as well as writing!)

ANYWAY, Miss Sarah told me she puts hers up, and leaves it up until her birthday in February! Good heavens. Thank goodness there is diversity in this world! Makes for fun and interesting times!  And thank even MORE goodness I am not expected to do this!  It would drive me even  battier than I already am!

I generally  will put the tree up and decorate about mid December, and that stuff comes DOWN on New Years day. No ifs, ands, or buts. I love the decorations, the soft lights, the shiny sparklies, the snuggles… (OOOOH! SHINY!!) After a few weeks though, the clutter starts to hit my claustrophobia nerve, and it has to go

I have been with Pete now since around August 2003. First year, we were not living together, and I was still in the “dun wanna bother” phase.

2004, we were in Massachusetts, but he was in his “mid life crisis” phase, and not sure if we were “right” Still didn’t want to bother . (Sigh.  Whole other story.  Maybe later.)

2005, we were engaged, and he was living with me. Promised that he would get a tree from his parents land. (They have 12 acres or so in the foothills of the Appalachians, and grow trees specifically for cutting at Christmas.) This was put off until roughly 2 days before Christmas, when I couldn’t see sacrificing a tree for one week of ornaments, and then death by wood chipper. 2006. 2007 and 2008, we were married, and the same. Promise of tree from folks land that just never happened…

2009 came, and we had moved to Austin. I was working for dream company, and his sister (who lives here in TX – San Antonio, to be semi exact) passed on a rather spectacular (if very large) fake tree that they had replaced. Seriously. You don’t want a real tree in TX unless you are fond of brown, shedding pines in your living area. This begins roughly 2 days from putting up the tree, regardless of how careful you are about filling the water resevoir in the stand.

OMG people! I had a TREE in 2009! Out of the box, set up and everything! Of course, I didn’t have lights or ornaments, so I had… a fake tree.  Period.  Big and green.  Its conquest and takeover of my living room was complete. /sigh

Last year, for the first time since 2002 and Izaak, I decorated. Pete’s mom had fallen a couple of times during late summer/early fall, breaking both arms and her pelvis. He had gone back to Massachusetts for most of  October and November to help out, and came back with a big box of ceramic ornaments. His mom has been teaching ceramics for more than 30 years. Has a studio, with molds, kilns, paints… the whole nine yards. Add some Walmart specials, and lights, and we were in business!

We did learn a very important lesson, and because of it, our tree will always looks half decorated, at least as long as these kitties are in our lives. Other cats I have had in my life have been successful in bringing the tree down – so much so that I had to have guy lines attached to the wall to keep it upright.  Thank goodness these couldn’t do that with the monster.

HOWEVER.  I have to leave the bottom 2 feet or so free of all but soft ornaments, or I will have an obstacle course of exploded land mine ornaments thoughtfully provided by Spook, with a generous helping of shredding from Callie.

  • From Spook: “Hey ma!  Its the holidays!  Chill out all ready.  Sorry about the dagger like shard of ceramic in your toe.  Shoulda watched where you were going!”
  • And Callie:  “It’s a tree! There might be a squirrel or bird up there!  I have to get it, since you won’t let me out to get the ones in the yard!  Might as well mangle this stuffed ornament and that ribbon while at it!  The squirrel might be hiding in it!”

This year, we plan on decorating again.  I am hoping that we can actually put a couple presents under it. (besides the nice new, non carnivorous living room furniture. Which will technically surround it, because I refuse to wait until “the day” to use it, if I have it.) If not, I might just wrap some empty boxes… because I am a dork. I know it, accept it, and embrace the awesome dorkiness that is me!

If we can, I would like to look for a slightly (MUCH) smaller tree. (even though I will probably need guy lines again). Seriously. The one we have now? Lovely, realistic looking, full, thick – and fills almost half of my not so large living room when up. (base diameter is about 5 feet.) Regardless – I am hoping that a tree, with attendant twinkles, sparkles, snuggles,  and claustrophobia will be part of life beginning next weekend. If the digital camera I want from Santa happens, there might even be pictures!