Thursday, December 30, 2010

Halle - freakin' - lujuah!

If I knew how to make this blog play the Hallelujah chorus right now, I would make it do that:


So far, that is. 

My prediction about Sears not sending two people came true, and the guy they sent told me it wasn't the dryer but the dryer vent.  I could feel my blood starting to boil.  And how.  Its been a month.  I think I've been enormously patient.  Tears sprang into my eyes.  I told the repair guy calmly that the following tirade was not at all personal, then I started ranting and sniffling and freaking out.  Turns out this may have fixed the dryer because he was ready to leave, but then to appease the crazy lady he climbed around back there and did God knows what, and now the dryer is working.  It is heating up, it is spinning, it isn't soaking the back of my house in steam, and I can finally wash those sheets. 

I'll be keeping a very close eye on it, and I will be calling the vent cleaning place and giving them a piece of my mind.  What an effing ordeal!  I will also be nominating Miguel, from Sears Home Service, for the national medal of honor.  Or the Nobel peace prize.  Or an Oscar.  Or People's sexiest man alive.  Or all of the above. 

There are many things about this whole process that have bothered me, but what is bothering me most today is that the girlie-girl had to cry and pitch a hissy fit to get her dryer fixed after a month and 5 service people.  I am a strong woman.  I am not a big cryer, never have been.  But I am wondering weather the dryer would have been fixed properly the first time if I had just squeezed out a few tears to begin with.  I wonder if it would have been fixed properly the first time if Rob had been home to spew some extra testosterone instead of the silly little housewife who has no choice but to believe every macho repair man that comes to this house and passes the buck. 

I am also of the belief that the appliance repair overlords want you to freak out and have a fit, so you will forget about fixing that ten year-old dryer and just buy the new shiny one.  And also, that some repair people are just plain lazy, and they don't want to have to move the machine and get behind it and finish the job they started, they just want to leave you in the lurch and let the next guy deal with it. 

I thank you for hanging in there with me for the last month, I wont bore you with dryer stories any more.  Until it breaks again.  Like, tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fingers Crossed?

Are your fingers all cramped up from crossing them in hopes that my dryer gets fixed tomorrow?  Well, too bad!  Keep them crossed!  I don't know what I'll do if the dyer-fixers can't fix it tomorrow.  Actually, I know exactly what I'll do, I'll got to the laundromat with my wet clothes AGAIN.  I'm running out of quarters, people!  Its been almost a month that I have been dryer-free, and I am done with this little experiment.  So done.  I've called Sears and confirmed that they are coming tomorrow,  and that they are sending two guys, and that at least one of them will be a senior repair man, preferably the same one who came last time so I can be done with getting a different dryer fairy tale from every one of them.  That metal ring I told you about?  How it was rusting?  Turns out, there is no metal ring, no rust.  The last guy took the dryer apart and actually showed me what was staining my clothes, and when I asked about the metal ring, he's all, "yeah, not metal.  I don't know why he told you that."  I just want the straight poop.  Tell me the truth, I can take it.  Fix my dryer, I can take that, too.

So now I'm mentally preparing myself for the following probabilities: The repair guys will start by going to the wrong address in spite of my clear instructions.  They will get here five minutes - make it ten - after the nine - noon window I have been given.  They wont be a they, they'll be a he because Sears will fail to send the two technicians that it will take to lift my dryer off of the washer and out of the laundry closet.  He will not be a senior technician, so I will have to make him leave without touching the dryer and telling me more stories about why its not working and what the other guys did wrong.  Then I will call Sears to complain and book another appointment, and they will tell me that it will be at least a week.

Eventually, they will get the dryer out only to discover that they can't fix it, and I will have to get a new dryer.


If you are sick of hearing about my stupid dryer, just imagine how I feel. 

Leila has been at her friend's house across the street for hours.  All day, actually.  Its been HEAVENLY. I mean, I love her and all, but seriously?  All day, every day for two weeks?  Right.  They were supposed to come over here this afternoon, but they haven't yet, and I'm afraid to call over there and ruin the peace and quiet.  Its so... quiet!  No Mario Bros, no "hey mommy!  mommy!  hey mommy!" no "wanna color/ play charades / melt some crayons?"  I think I'll watch a little bit of Oprah.  If I sit still enough, maybe they wont know I'm here and they wont bother me?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Okay.  I made it.  Its over. 

I tell you: I love Christmas, but it is exhausting as hell.  I made a note for next Christmas to ask for a spa day that I can use December 26. 2011.  My back is pinchy, my feet hurt, my appetite is all out of whack, and the house is still a mess in spite of the fact that I seem to be cleaning it all the time.  The bills are coming due, the money has been flowing out like water, and not just on gifts, but the grocery bill and the eating-out amounts are higher than normal.  It all adds up, and its not really over yet.  Leila's birthday is in less than a week and I have to plan her party, get her presents, etc.  Then I may think its over, but that's when the Variety Show starts in earnest, and we still haven't worked out all the logistics.  If I can just get through the Variety Show, I will be home free.  We're going to Hawaii in February, and that is where I will take a long break in the sun, and I will get that spa day if it kills me. 

We had a lovely holiday, though, complete with my family's odd food presents (fried potatoes in a box, pickles, gummy bears) and it was smiles, smiles all around.  Not much to tell you about, really.  No travel drama, no weather drama, no family drama, no weird gifts that can't be returned, no food poisoning, no inappropriate holiday cards, no drunk relatives (not that drunk, anyway) no injuries, no nudity, nothing interesting to report except that we are all happy and blessed and full.  Boring.

Maybe as an extra Christmas gift, Santa will bring me a wonderfully competent dryer repair person who miraculously has all the parts he needs and I will be able to use my dryer to my heart's content.  I need to wash my sheets real bad.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Saga Continues

12.08 p.m. The dyer guy is here:

I start out by telling him the whole story about the first guy who cleaned the vents, and my new guy says, "Daniel Vega?" and I say "Yes!" and the new guy says "What a scumbag."

The dryer is pulled apart, and a scorched piece of felt that looks like a rotten banana peel came out of it, so the burning smell and the smoke detector going off is taken care of.  Apparently, steam does not set off smoke detector's, as I previously thought...

12:46  The dryer guy is gone:

Can't fix the dryer, needs a second technician to pull the thing down and examine the whole back side.  Still not venting in spite of two vent cleanings.  I am surprisingly not a dissatisfied customer.  I like   honesty, and I don't mind the laundromat so much.  Its next to a donut shop, how bad can it be?

Next Thursday, put it on your calendar.  That's the day my dryer will be fixed.  Maybe...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

it Should be a Crime

Last night I stayed up until almost 2 in the morning finishing the last of the Stieg Larsson books (you know, the dragon tatoo books.)  I went to brush my teeth before I went to bed (okay that's a lie.  I blew off brushing my teeth, but I did pee) and saw my swollen scrunched up eyes in the mirror and though, What's my dad doing here?

Here's the funny thing:  I usually read chick lit, the good kind, like the kind Oprah used to pick for her book club before she conned the country in to reading the classics.  Stories about marginalized women, who have some life changing experience or climactic event, but then go on to be marginalized in some other way for the rest of their sorry lives.  Some of them, most of them, were seriously depressing.  I started reading this Stieg Larsson series a few months ago, and now I've read all three, and I also read another crime novel by a woman named Karin Slaughter (that can't possibly be her real name) and I am about to say something I never thought I'd say:  I like crime novels.  There.  I said it.  It is a genre I never thought I'd buy into, but once I sink my teeth into a good crime novel I can't put it down, as evidenced by my puffy, tired face this morning.  Luckily, my book club will keep my reputation in tact by making me read higher brow things, like chick lit.

On that note, I would like to say that the best book I read all year was not a crime novel, but Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.  I also very much enjoyed Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (a little depressing and odd, but ultimately satisfying and strangely beautiful) and I will throw in The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker, not only because its was a thoroughly entertaining book, but also because the author is a client of mine and she's really super cool.

Yes, its true: I read books.  I also read Oprah magazine, Newsweek (sort of, depending on the week) and I read recipes and TMZ and blogs.  I am a many-layered person, and reading stuff allows me to procrastinate all the other stuff I have to do. 

This is making me want to do some 2010 best and worst of lists like everyone else in the world is doing.  I will take some time to think on this and get back to you.  But right now I have to melt chocolate so I can coat my peanut butter pretzel balls in it and roll them in crushed peanuts.  This is what the holidays do to me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Where have I been, you ask?  I've been Christmassing my little butt off, that's where.  I think I'm actually done now, though.  I have a nagging suspicion that there is something that I am forgetting, but whatever it is can't be that important, right?  I have wrapped and hidden everything, school is done with for now, I have no travel plans, Leila and I will make cookies on Thursday (because the one thing I need more than anything else is more sugar) and I think that's it!  This morning we got out of bed and went straight to Trader Joes and bought everything that looked delicious.  I should be sated for about three days.

So let me tell you about my dryer.  You know, that useless empty box above my washing machine.  I had the vents cleaned, again, by a reputable company with a vacuum-in-a-van, and not a lot came out, but what did come out was compacted and wet, so clearly it needed to come out.  I was so happy that it was finally done, that I did a load of laundry right away and put it in the dryer.  Yay!  Except, no.  In seven minutes the entire back of my house was steamed up and the smoke detector was going off.  This is not normal, and it will also rust the little metal ring that is ruining all my clothes.  I called Sears.  They're sending a senior technician this time (thanks for the rookies, Sears) and he'll be here... in a week.  So right before Leila's class party, I went to the laundry mat and dried two loads of clothes.  Now my neighbors are out of town and have given me permission to dry stuff at their house, so we all have clean undies and towels and stuff.  Its been so long since I could do a simple load of laundry from start to finish in my own home, I'm kind of getting used to this.  I've taken putting off doing laundry to new heights.  You know those underpants in the back of the drawer that you keep for an emergency?  Now is their time to shine!

I'm kind of in denial of the fact that my washer is making a funny noise.  And not ha ha funny...  Maybe 2011 will be the year we get all new appliances?  Santa?  Are you listening?

Its weird how I love Christmas, but the month before the actual holiday I am irritable and moody and impatient.  Leila wrote this thing in school about how she wants me to get a diary because "sometimes she's annoyed so I want her to write down her feelings."  I'm trying to be a little less "annoyed."  So on Sunday we had a pajama day and I let her watch TV for seven hours.  Who's the mother of the year?  Right here, baby! 

She's out with my dad right now, and I'm going to lay on my sofa and read my book and eat peppermint salt water taffy, because its Christmas, and I'm tired and irritable, and that's what I want to do.  So there.

(merry christmas!)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Update on the Madness

Banjo (my roomba vacuuming robot) was having issues this morning.  He got stuck under the armoire a few times, and then he skimmed along the edge of the fireplace and spread ashes all over the place and didn't pick them up.  I left to do some errands, and when I came back, he was stuck under the armoire again, but this time he had a bunch of cables tangled in his brushes.  So I cleaned him all out and turned him on again because the floor still wasn't clean, and I guided him with my feet to the dirty parts that he kept missing by mere inches.  So I'm dancing around the floor trying to turn my roomba around, coaxing him out loud like he's a dog, and I'm thinking, This is just a wonderful use of my time, especially when you consider I could sweep up the little pile of dust with a broom and be done with it, which, it turns out, I have to do anyway because Banjo's battery ran out.  But I do love him so, and I hate sweeping dust bunnies into a dust pan just enough.

I think I'm half done with Christmas shopping.  It could be more than half, but I don't want to jinx things by being too optimistic.  The tree is up, and the lights are on the house!  Remember last year I introduced you to my favorite ornaments and told you about The Bird?  Well this year, I got three more birds for the tree, just to stick it to Rob.  I just don't take his dislike of birds in Christmas trees seriously, and it turns out that I was right not to.  Apparently, he doesn't mind bird ornaments in trees, He just hates my one, big, bird that I put right in the middle.  But in the middle it will stay.  I love that damn bird. 

The Variety Show is an even bigger pain in the ass than I ever imagined it could be.  And then, Leila (the whole reason I decided to take on this shindig) says to me, "Well, we didn't have to a Variety Show at all."  That was information I could have used a few weeks ago.   So far, 120 kids  have signed up.  That is not a typo.  I don't even like kids that much.  I like my kid, but your kid smells bad and makes weird noises.  And you know what else?  I realized that the kids that actually have a "talent" like playing an instrument or doing tai kwon do, usually have an opportunity to show their talent on a stage when they have recitals and stuff.  So basically, the Variety Show is pretty much for kids who want to dance around to their favorite song.  I do that in my kitchen every day, but I wouldn't call it a talent.  Then there are the parents who are mad at me because I will not accept late applications (apparently, I am a horrible person for not supporting working parents, parents who had kids with colds, parents who can't be on time with forms, etc.) and the other parents who try to sneak late applications in thinking I'm an idiot and wont notice.  THERE ARE 120 CHILDREN IN THIS SHOW, PEOPLE!  LEAVE ME ALONE!

Its the most, wonderful time, of the year!

I'm a little charged up today, I guess.  I have to do things differently next year.  1) tell Variety Show to go fuck itself.  2) Don't make candies that no one will eat but me, and I will eat them, don't you worry. 3) Do my Christmas shopping in October so I have one less thing in December.  4) drink more wine.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

OMG, I'm so not LOLing

Shit, y'all.  Seriously. 

It is definitely December.  Its about as December as it can get.  I am so tired, and so busy, and so annoyed.  Just the regular December stuff: the boxes, the lights, the decor, the baking, the rain, the cards, the shopping, the wrapping, the santa, and the freakin' good will toward men, except for Rob since his performance as Christmas elf is less than satisfactory. 

And you wanna know what else?  The Variety Show.  Remember the Variety Show from last year?  I think I said that the people who run it are masochists, and may have added that you couldn't pay me any amount of money to take on a show like that.  Well, guess what...

I'm still in denial about it.  I don't want to face the fact that I caved, and am now in charge of the chaotic, never-ending, Myley Cyrus laden, elementary school free for all.  But that's what happened.  It pains me to type the words.  I'm trying to stay positive.  Its for the kids!  The kids are adorable!  I haven't gotten any kids wanting to do Myley Cyrus yet! (but I have two Taylor Swifts) People love the show! The kids!  THE KIDS!!!

Heaven help me.  What was I thinking?  I need a nap, and about four more of those peppermint salt water tafees from Trader Joes.  I think I'll be okay if I can get those things...

Friday, December 3, 2010


I just spent an hour or so in a laundromat, and it was kind of lovely.  Its quiet in there, and warm, and while I waited for my sheets to dry, I was forced to sit quietly and play solitaire on my iPhone.  Leila was with me and was reading a book.  I'm wondering if, when my dryer is fixed, I might just go there anyway to get some peace and quiet. 

Here's the thing, though: I did three loads of laundry at home, all the loads but the white load.  The one with the underpants in it.  I know that before I had a washer and dryer of my own, I washed my delicate lady things at the laundromat and couldn't have cared less who watched me fold them (and I do fold them.  Only now they are much less delicate.)  My neighbor also kindly invited me to dry my stuff in her dryer, but it seems I've gotten a little shy about my undergarments.  I don't really want to schlep them into the laundromat, but I think it might be worse to bring them to the home of someone who knows me.

I'm going to have to bite the bullet one way or another, so probably the laundromat. 

I so could not have been a pioneer woman.  Although the other day I did make bread from scratch.  I don't really know what I was thinking.