Categories
Little Bits of Stupid Real Life

Water Works…

The Melt Down
The Melt Down
Taken March 15, 2009 with Canon PowerShot A550

So the other night, in the middle of one of The Evil Hypnotist’s dark, white nights, which, incidentally, turned into one of my own, I sat straight up in what passes for my bed, recalling that earlier that day I’d discovered a load of laundry from God knows how long ago, still sitting in the washing machine. I had intended to rewash it before the mold grew.

I had just remembered that I’d forgotten. That’s a stupid phrase. But that’s what happened.

So…

Up I got, and in I went to the little closet that houses the washer and dryer (and all of my clothes, on a rack, and on shelves, and in filing cabinets). There’s also one of those huge double washtub/sink kind of deals in there, which means there is only enough room for me to stand in front of the washing machine and turn around to come back out of the closet.

It never occurred to me that I might need an emergency plan in place in case of an emergency. You know, the kind of plan that includes how to get all the stuff out of there in a hurry. In case of an emergency.

What kind of emergency could there be in my laundry room?

Well.

Flooding comes to mind.

Now.

I have a little apartment-sized washer and dryer; the dryer is up on a stand and the washer sits in front of the laundry tub/sink thing with its hose attached to the cold water faucet. In order to start the washer, I have to lean waaaaaaay over it to reach the cold water tap and turn it on.

I don’t leave the tap turned on all the time, as I’m afraid the pressure might build up or something and blow the washer hose off the faucet, and then the water will just run all night/day down the drain and my so-far-kind-and-friendly landlord will raise my rent and/or start charging me for utilities.

It was 2 am. I had just gotten out of bed, wincing as I walked barefoot into the laundry room (closet) on freezing cold ceramic tiles, wearing a t-shirt and my underwear.

I leaned over and turned the tap on.

Except, the tap had never been turned off since the last laundry load (which was still sitting, molding, in the washer) had been done, and…

Yep.

The tap came off in my hand.

And water shot from whatever you call the pipe you attach the tap to, with amazing pressure straight at the wall, where it ricocheted (does water “ricochet”? I can’t find a better word at the moment) and doused the entire room/closet, and everything in it, me included.

I did the only thing I could think of to do, which was shriek for Kyla to come. What the hell; it’s not like she was asleep or anything….

Luckily, because the dog started to bark when I started yelling…

By the time Ky figured out where I was screaming from and opened the door, I had climbed over the washing machine and into the sink, where I sat in my t-shirt and underwear, in a high-pressure jet of freezing cold water, attempting to screw the tap back on.

And she said, “WTF?! What did you DO?!”

To which I calmly replied at the top of my voice, “Never mind! HELP ME!!”

“How? What do you want me to do?!”

“Uhhhhhh…. I don’t know… get a towel…?”

Loooong pause….

“Are you joking?! A towel?!”

So of course we both started to laugh…

And I could not get that tap to screw back on. I could jam it on the pipe – which caused all the water to spritz out the seam into my face – but I couldn’t turn it.

I didn’t know where the shut-off valve was, either, so Ky decided that she would pull all the stuff out of there and look for it. She had to fold my bed back into couch-form to accomplish that, though.

And first she had to convince the Lily-Dawg that it was safe to get off my bed, which took a lot of doing.

Meanwhile, a bzillion gallons of water flowed over the floor and through a tiny hole drilled in the wall, into the sauna.

Aha! I had always wondered why that hole was there. At least the rest of the place wouldn’t flood…

Granted, that same bzillion gallons of cold water was flowing over me before it hit the floor, and I was slowly turning into a half-naked ice-cube.

Ky finally got the bed together, the washer out, and some towels down… but couldn’t find the shut-off valve anywhere. I asked her to take my glasses off my face, as I couldn’t see through them in the condition they were in, and that’s when I noticed the valve hiding behind the wash tub, and managed to reach down between the tub and the wall to twist it closed.

By the time we got all the water off the floor, the walls, the dryer, and got my clothes spread out all over to dry, it was 4:30 am.

I lay in bed, shivering… neither of us slept at all.

I had to work that afternoon – and dancing in the parking lot on no sleep is no fun. It was at work that I realized I still hadn’t rewashed the moldering laundry…

Random Song for the Day: “Fidelity” – Regina Spektor

Categories
Finances Photography

Ta-DA!!

Ta-DA!!
Ta-DA!!
Taken March 14, 2009 with Canon PowerShot A550

Now, don’t get all excited by the “Ta-DA”; I don’t have much in the way of “lawyer” news, yet. I have to admit, though, that I’m sick and tired of being pissed off, already.

And I feel guilty about dissing The Sire on my very public blog, even if he (sorta) does deserve it.

And he does deserve it. Sorta.

I wanted to not be pissed anymore, and now I’m not. I’m busy setting things straight, and that’s helped. It’s long past due.

I want to get back to my plans, and I can’t do that until this mess is fixed.

And, dammit, I want a new camera.

Don’t get me wrong – I still love Hilary Federwhore. She is the bomb. The Evil Hypnotist is a video-making addict, though, and I can never find Hilary when I really want/need her.

And if, by some miracle, I do find her, the batteries are generally dead. It’s time for Camera #2 (I’m going to leave the little HP I drowned with an extra large Tim’s® out of the count – it’s no doubt been recycled into… whatever drowned cameras get recycled into, by now), whatever its name will be .

Hil’s been good to me. That shot up at the top there is a good case in point. If you click it and then zoom the photo, the clarity is pretty damned good for what I paid for it. You can even see the aphids crawling on the fronds…

I don’t know anything about which camera has what features now that I don’t sell cameras anymore. Nor do I have time to stand in Louie’s store and play with them all.

But, guess what I found, Betches ‘n Shetbags?!

I found this place! I want you all to go and find your dream camera and report back to me. Go, go, go! Or, better yet, read the rest of the post, then go, and pick me up my fave. 😀

Okay, I’m kidding – but only a little…

I know what I want in a camera, as far as features go. And, much as I want to stay true to Canon, considering Hilary just won’t drown, no matter what I pour on her, or set her down in (even an extra large Tim’s®), scrolling and searching through the Canon website – the Canuckian version, anyway – is tedious and time-consuming.

And I don’t know if I want to starve trying to pay for an DSLR, or if I want to “settle” for another point-and-shoot, which I can at least afford, lawyer bills and all…

Best In Class (and yeah, it’s a free service) found MY new camera for me with a few clicks. And it is a Canon.

So, if my legal battle is won (errr… what I call “won” – ahem…*), I’m celebrating with a new camera. If I lose… well, I’m buying it anyway.

It’ll make me feel better.

Until I have to hawk it to pay the lawyer.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Big Yellow Taxi” – Joni Mitchell

Categories
Finances

And So It Begins…

Grate One
Grate One
Taken February 16, 2009 with Canon PowerShot A550

Well, this is a weird space I’m in… I feel like I’ve been through a cheese grater, hence the pic above, which is not a cheese grater, but it’s the closest I could come up with, without getting the camera out. Not to mention, finding a cheese grater.

The house that isn’t mine is about to go into foreclosure.

I’m working on “lawyering up”, but it’s a slow go. I’m trying to find one that deals specifically with real estate, but so far, none of those seems to be able to fit me in for months and I’m afraid to do anything without legal advice.

I don’t know yet if I can sell this house without The Sire’s cooperation or not (I’m thinking it’s “not”, though…), but that’s what I’m trying for, right now. I have two interested parties, and a lot of hope.

This would go much faster if my work schedule would cooperate. I’m back on nights again for the next few shifts, and that makes it difficult to be awake during “lawyer’s hours”. Most of my calls end with me waiting to hear back from people with answers to my questions, and there haven’t been many answers so far.

Ky’s depressed about the whole thing – won’t go to school, can’t sleep, barely eats. Not a lot of singing going on in the shower lately…

One way or another, this will all work out. I’ve got my fingers crossed that at I don’t end up bankrupt when it does.

My heart hurts.

Not-So-Random-and-a-Little-Bit-Heartbreaking Song-for-the-Day: “Our House” – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Categories
Finances Movie Mentions Real Life

“Money Isn’t Real, George…”

Birds on a Wire
Birds on a Wire
Taken March 15, 2009 with Canon PowerShot A550

In the movie, “Blow”, George’s dad tells him that money isn’t real. “It doesn’t matter, Georgie…”

My dad would have disagreed with that one. I sure as hell disagree with that one.

I am about to embark on a legal battle of epic proportions.

Well… Epic for me. The Sire has gone AWOL.

That still doesn’t change the house situation, though.

This should not be affecting me. I have a very legalish sheaf of very legalish-sized paper that says I don’t own that house. If he were to sell it, I could not demand a cent from the sale.

But (Ain’t there just always a “but”?!).

Six years ago, the house was supposed to be refinanced and my name removed from both deed and mortgage. It was not.

Every now and again over the years, I have “reminded” The Sire of his legal obligations. He has always promised to “get right on that”. And then did not.

There are a couple of “should haves” that I “should have” taken care of between now and then…

I should have legally forced him to refinance the place the first time he kakked on doing so.

Better yet, I should have told him to kiss my ass when he asked to keep the house, and forced a sale. I gave him my half of that house. How stupid is that?!

Life got in the way, though, and I have a tendency to take the easy way out.

But now… my name is still on that mortgage.

The mortgage rep. tells me I am legally responsible for half of the mortgage left owing, never mind my legalish sheaf of paper. Yet (and this is insane), in the same breath, the same mortgage rep. tells me I don’t have a legal right to know what’s left owing on the mortgage, because my legalish sheaf of paper gives me no rights to the house.

That particular bright bunny argument, I hope to win with the next phone call. I had that argument with them a while back and won it with a few choice words.

In truth, however, if The Sire really has walked away, the bank will come after me for the whole amount owing. They are not going to piss around going after him, if he pulls a disappearing act, when they already know where *I* am.

I will find him, though…

But this is where it really gets dicey…

I’m really worried about what all of this is doing/going to do to our daughter, which is the biggest of the reasons why I haven’t done what I should have done a long time ago.

But (Again with the “but”! Apparently, I have a but fetish.) I can’t live like this any longer. I have plans, dammit, and those plans do not include bankruptcy over a house that I no longer own, don’t want, and won’t shoulder.

“Money isn’t real.” Let’s find out, finally, shall we?

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Yours Truly Confused” – Ray Davies

Categories
R.I.P.

Goodbye, Maude, and Safe Journey…

Image: Bea Arthur
R.I.P. Bea Arthur
1922-2009

This upsets me to no end. It also upsets me to realize that she was gone for a week before I read the news…

Categories
Finances Fur-Babies Little Bits of Stupid Real Life

A Sad, Sad Story with an Almost Happy Ending…

On Guard
On Guard
Taken August 9, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

I’ll be using a lot less of my little stepper machine in future, I think…

Since I bought the Prissy-Van, “Walking-About” has declined to “walking across the street”. Ky and I (who has yet again been re-named – she is “The Evil Hypnotist”, and you’re about to find out why) both worried this would happen.

And that our bums would suffer for it.

Which they have. Mine started to get flabby, so I bought one of those little stepper things that look like bike pedals. I will attest that they work wonders on flabby bums.

Ky’s bum got big. Er. BiggER. Not big (She’s bigger than me, now. She may read this. I may suffer.). Thankfully, the little stepper-thing works wonders on big. er. bums, too.

Finding time to go on Walk-About disappeared about the same time the snow flew for the first time last fall. We were going to get snowshoes, just like the last five winters, but, just like the last five winters, winter came and went, but we are still snowshoeless. The stepper made us feel a lot less guilty.

But…

We will be walking again. And again… and again… and again… because…

We now own that dog you see up there at the top.

Again.

The Lily-Dawg was ours for her first couple of years, until we moved into a squinchy little apartment that was not dog-conducive. Ky could see Lily whenever she wanted to, though, so she didn’t really get the chance to miss “owning” a dog.

Two days ago, when she went over to visit Lily, there was no Lily there. The cat was gone, too. They both just up and ran off. Together, apparently.

Yesterday afternoon, after I worked the first of several night-shifts and just got to sleep, the phone woke me up. It was Ky’s dad, calling to tell us that he had discovered Lily’s whereabouts.

She was at the pound. Of course.

It would cost $160 to bail her out.

Plus a fine because she hadn’t got her yearly registration.

Plus a fine because she’d wandered off possibly-rabid to spread infection throughout the neighbourhood. No, Sir and Madame, telling people that “the dog is friendly” does not protect her from rabies.

I knew damned well, too, that they wouldn’t let me take that dog out of there without proof of ownership, fines paid or not, and my name is not Terry Becker, is it? No, it is not. I would have to take him with me to pick Lily up.

Except…

He couldn’t come with me when we wanted to go, and Ky was in full “THEY’RE GOING TO DESTROY MY DOG!!!” mode.

So she and I went by ourselves, hoping that her freaky ability to talk anybody into (or out of) almost anything might spring the dog. And between Ky’s freaky ability and my $160, the dog was sprung. See…? “Evil Hypnotist”.

Although the Dog-Jailers didn’t want to give up the dog to anyone other than the registered owner, my child suggested that since he hadn’t registered Lily this year, he possibly hadn’t done so ever. Could they go back to the 2001 records to find the registered owner of the imprisoned? Please…? Pretty, pretty please…? Yep, they could. Turns out…

*I* own the dog. Which means *I* own eight years of fines. So said the lady at the pound with a wicked grin, just before telling me that they don’t generally pile fines on top of each other like that. And just after that, she told me that they would waive the non-registration fine altogether and just give me a warning. And if I could find a vet willing to spay a ten-year-old dog within 30 days, she would be happy to give me back $90. Again… “Evil Hypnotist”.

I called around… I can kiss my $90 goodbye.

Ky is painfully aware that we may not be able to keep her dog. We have no room. We have travel plans. I have my Big Dream Fund to continue funding. DOG was not part of my agenda.

We’re going to give it a month and then see where we’re at. If money/space/dog-hair concerns get to be too much, Ky will attempt to find a new owner for her Beloved Lily-Dawg. One that doesn’t let her out the door for the neighbours to call the dog-catcher on to come out and “pick up a stray off my lawn”.

So it seems that my lucrative days of Ends-Meeting-and-Even-Over-Lapping will temporarily come to a halt until I find out how much this animal is going to cost me in food, shots, fees, vet visits, and allergy meds. The meds are for the allergic kid. I thought cat hair was bad. Holy shit.

Anybody out there want a dog? Please…? Pretty, pretty please…?

Random Song-for-the-Day: “World of Two” – Cake

[signoff]

Categories
Kyla Becker Music Radio Les Terry Becker Video...

The Girl Can (Still) Sing…

I always thought she could sing. This one, though…. It’s the latest new tune in development by Kyla Becker and her father, known here as The Sire of Turkey.

It was recorded on-the-fly in the kitchen of a near-abandoned house (not mine)… please note the cat interruption (also not mine), followed by the dog interruption.

The l’il ditty is called “I Don’t Have You,” and it’s my new favourite song. What do you think?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cz3LRuIMCi8&hl=en&fs=1]

Categories
Blog-Family Michigan Real Life U.S.A. Vicarious Tourism Zenishness...

Say “Apple”.

Axe Murderers Don't Wear Plaid - Click to see normal size and more of this gallery.
Axe Murderers Don’t Wear Plaid
Taken March 21, 2009 with Canon PowerShot A550

I know this post is so late that it’s near unforgivable. Here I am at last, though, having killed Photoshop and reanimated it so that I can use it again.

Our Detroit trip shrunk a little… thankfully. My sad attempt at “pre-planning” failed miserably enough that we ran out of time to get all the way to Detroit and back in the few days left of my RTO, so I was ecstatic when Cardiogirl emailed me with, “How about meeting half-way, Betch?!”

She and Mr. C. had decided that an overnight with their three girls as far as Grayling would be a nice little surprise for the family. Imagine being 8, loaded into the car to go to McDonald’s for supper, and ending up miles away in a strange hotel, face-to-face with a couple of whacked-out Canuckians. Surprise!

Ky and I decided we’d go a day early and stay over in Gaylord, simply to experience a certain Chinese restaurant we’d heard nice things about. That stay was worth it, just for the meal, which the hotel paid for. They also gave us our breakfast, a fabulous pool and mittsful of free DVDs to watch. I think we may have fallen asleep in the middle of Movie #4…

On to Grayling….

Check in was for 3 pm, and we were early, so we decided to drive around town. I happened to park directly in front of Ky’s idea of Heaven:

Heaven:  A Whole Store Dedicated to Jerky - Click to see normal size and more of this gallery.
Heaven: A Whole Store Dedicated to Jerky
Taken March 21, 2009 with Canon PowerShot A550

We got back to the hotel at around 1:30, where they let us check in early, and we wandered the most kid-friendly place I’ve been in. Ky started to get nervous over meeting CG’s three girls.

Ky loves kids, but as she says, “You never know if they’re going to be annoying, and what if they are?”

My nerves were shot, too. What if, even after all the blog-comments, and emails, and phone-calls, it turns out that I meet my best Shetbag face-to-face and… we have nothing to say?

What if her husband, whom I really know nothing about turns out to be an arse?

What if her kids are all run-amoks and she just lets ’em go until I want to stomp on them?

What if everybody at work is right, and these people turn out to be mass-murderers who troll the internet as a hobby, looking for stupid Canadian people (like us, for example) to entice into the States, and then they chloroform us and we wake up in the dark somewhere, drugged out, packed in ice, and missing important organs? I mean, they are from Detroit…

In CardioGirl’s post about the trip, she mentions her own misgivings, but she was a little more succinct. “What if she’s lame?” I guess maybe that’s what my own concerns boiled down to, but Canadians do tend to wax eloquent, eh?

Anyway…

After pestering the poor Front-Desk Man over and over, he promised he would have CG call us upon their arrival, so we went back to our room and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And then the phone rang and I climbed up onto the ceiling and clung there, afraid to go meet them. Ky managed to peel me off, dress me up a little, and we went to the pool area, to find CardioGirl, et al, waving and grinning and yes, I even got a hug from the non-hugging Betch, can you believe that?!

And her first words after “Hi!” were: “Say ‘Apple’.” Apparently, the Canuckian accent is funny as hell. And when “Eh?” slips your lips, an American will laugh really hard. Every time.

We spent a most wonderful less-than-24-hours, half-naked in a hot-tub drinking beer (yes, that would be my favourite part), watching Ky have way too much fun with the most well-behaved, articulate, cute, non-fighting little girls I have ever met; shared two meals, and generally got pruney soaking in chlorine.

And that pic up top is the only usable photo I managed in our entire visit.

We are going again.

Soon.

And this time, we’ll make it to Detroit.

(And this time, I’ll buy the beer, Mr. C.)

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Heart of Glass” – Blondie

Categories
Blog-Family Real Life

I Think I’m Awake, Now…

Image: Hiding...
Hiding…
© Kyla Becker
Taken March 14, 2009 with Canon PowerShot A550

Okay, so maybe it hasn’t been “hiding”, so much, as that I’ve been “doing”. Maybe, it’s been more like hibernating. I’ve been working and sleeping and getting up long enough to go to work and not much of anything else since the New Year rolled in.

Spring is finally here (maybe). It’s time to wake up.

I am on holiday for the next week. If I hadn’t already booked it a couple of months back, I would have done so anyway. I’m burnt out. And slept out.

I booked the week off to go visit CardioGirl, ‘member that?

Yeah.

Well.

I’ve been throwing money at some of the dreamy little plans I’ve hinted at over the last couple of years… so much so, that I forgot (forgot!) that I might possibly need some cash to get to Detroit.

And back.

And eat while there.

Not to mention sleep somewhere other than in the Prissy-Van, ‘cuz, you know, who can afford to get up every two hours and feed a parking meter?

All of this is supposed to happen sometime this week (This. Week.).

I’m a-skeered to call the betch, for fear she’ll just tell me to shove it.

Forgot.

Sheesh.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Carbon Monoxide” – Regina Spektor

Categories
Bellevue Park Greenhouse Kyla Becker Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Vicarious Tourism Video... Zenishness...

T-Minus 7 Days Til Spring… Right.

SO... Tired.... of Snow...
SO… Tired…. of Snow…

Saturday. In the basement. In the dark. Oh, hell, NO.

We had to get out, and we did. It took a while, though…

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Hot N Cold” – Katy Perry