Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I am the Walrus?*

The Hater had a cleaning service tackle the apartment today. He says they removed all of the goo from the windows and successfully vacuumed the cat hair and cat toys that were previously hidden by pieces of furniture.

They also threw away what was left in the refrigerator. You read that right. I thought The Hater had gone through and taken everything out of the fridge, but I was surprised to find lots of expired things (including about a half gallon of skim milk) when we walked through last week.

genderist: I thought you had gotten everything!
The Hater: I did!
genderist: Then what is this stuff still doing in here? Is that bread? Are we growing our own antibiotics now?
The Hater: Well, I got the coke, ketchup, frozen meat, and ice cream!
genderist: Salad dressing? Are those veggies? Do you smell this??
The Hater: If you shut the refrigerator, you will not smell it.
genderist: Why didn’t you get the other stuff?
The Hater: There wasn’t room in the cooler. The coke took up a lot of room!
genderist: Hmm… Do I sense some anger?
The Hater: “I’m calmer than you are, Dude. I’m calmer than you are.”*

Anyway, all of that is behind us and tomorrow we will turn in our keys and be officially done with the apartment (at least until we get our deposits back, and then we’ll be done with them for good). We are so ready to be past that point in our lives.

Tonight after my dinner meeting we’ll probably sit on the couch inside our house and reflect on how nice it is to not live in the apartment anymore. Come visit and I’ll do my best to make sure we do not have expired milk in the fridge. Please call ahead because I make no promises without sufficient notice to inventory what lab projects we are currently undertaking.

* The Hater’s philosophy is that the more references he can make to the film The Big Lebowski, the cooler he actually becomes. Donnie, if you don't get it, then you're probably out of your element.

Monday, July 23, 2007

wifi Hate

The Hater told me a story this weekend that we decided would make a great blog post. Unfortunately, we could not post it at the time because we are still without phone lines or internet access in our little community. The Hater has been trying very hard to get these things fixed, but it has not been an easy row to hoe.

One of our friends called last week to say that she heard on the radio that AT&T was having some kind of sale where you could get internet and phone coverage through them for $10 a month. We were waiting for the local cable company to get into gear, but thought we’d call AT&T to see if that deal was as good as it sounded. Actually, it was The Hater who made the call. This is actually his story. I hope that my version gives it justice. If you can imagine a similar version with more anger and exasperation you’ll be closer to how he would tell it.

So he calls AT&T and waits 20 minutes to talk to a real person. He explains what we’re looking for, and they talk for about 10 minutes before the rep says that they can’t help him in this region. She transfers him to the correct region.

He waits for 20 more minutes before he talked to a real person. They did help people in our region, but they wanted him to look up the deals online instead of telling him about them over the phone. “We can’t do that,” he said, “because we do not have internet access. That’s why I’m calling you.” This went on for about 15 more minutes before the rep told him that she did not know what was going on and helpfully suggested he call again another day to talk with someone else. She also suggested that we look up their online offers in the meantime.

The Hater was gagged, but like any other good consumer, he called the next day. He waited 20 minutes before he talked to a real person. He asked the real person if they could help someone in Uglyhoma, and they assured him they could. He explained what we wanted and they talked about what service would be best to fix for us – and then she realized that she could not help him in this region.

He waited 20 minutes to be connected with a person who could help people in this region. They jumped through the same hoops. He said he would go ahead and pay for them to come out and do what they needed to do to turn on the stuff. But, wait! They could not take his payment because of a computer glitch. He waited 10 minutes while the rep continued to not make it work.

He asked to talk with a manager. There was no real reason why they could not take his credit card, right? Wrong.

The snooty, curt manager picked up the line. The problem was that The Hater had an outstanding balance of $1.35 from when he was a bachelor, 4 years ago. The manager accused him of not paying his bills. “Why would I not pay a bill for $1.35? That makes no sense!” We could not look into access because of our outrageous outstanding balance. They hem-hawed for 10 more minutes to figure out how to fix this problem. At this point he’d been on the phone for almost 2 hours trying to find out if we could get even get service.

The Hater asked if they could send a new bill to our new address. Eureka; what a brilliant idea! The manager chirpily took the information about where to send the bill. The Hater asked, “Now is that all we need to do?” The manager said yes. The Hater replied, “Good. I will pay our bill and then get our internet through someone else. Have a nice day.” And he hung up.

We’ve been making ugly AT&T jokes since then. We have not yet received our bill, and figure that we were never notified of the balance because it wasn’t worth the postage. Although I’m very tempted to write a check for $1.36 and ask for the difference back, we will probably do it the right way so it’ll be behind us.

What’s even funnier (if only in retrospect) is that even if we had gotten AT&T service, we would not have qualified for the $10 service because it was an online-only offer. The Hater also said it was for dial-up service, which we did not want. But we wouldn’t have known that because we still don’t have internet.

AT&T, you have been served
a warm glass of Haterade
for your
poor customer service
and idiot support staff.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Today is The Hater's 31st birthday!

His Mom called at 6 this morning with well-wishes. We were still in bed with no intentions to get up yet. I'm not entirely sure at what age people start getting up early on purpose but we're certainly not there yet.

We're going to celebrate tonight by grilling salmon using some new cedar (?) boards. (Are they cedar? They're some kind of wood, but I don't remember which one.) We've never grilled with the boards before, so this might well turn into another episode of adventures in grilling. They've been soaking for a few hours, and we've read a little about it, so it should be fine. Yummy, even.

And I've not made one single over the hill joke yet. There should be some kind of award for that level of self-control.

Monday, July 16, 2007

big orange T

Mom made me a stitch of material to cover the ugly gray bulletin board on the back of my desk. It’s purpose is to both declare allegiance and break up my office of ugly gray. It’s appropriately Vol and only moderately obnoxious, with about a hundred Ts in orange, white, and black. It’s a great backdrop to my power T business card holder, albeit empty as my cards have not yet been made. I’m slowly making progress.

One of the problems with being a Vol in Uglyhoma is that they think that your power T stands for Texas. Nevermind that it was ours first. Nevermind that we are brilliant orange, not dirty dishwater orange. Nevermind that it’s just wrong.

Most people who come into my office gasp and ask if these are Texas colors. I point out that under half of my Ts it says “University of Tennessee”, to which they reply, “Oh, good... As long as it’s not Texas it’s okay.”

As if I would take it down if it was not okay.

Needless to say, there is a major SEC learning curve in Uglyhoma.

But there is hope! Today someone walked into my office and said immediately, “You’re a Tennessee fan? I didn’t know you were a Vol.”

We talked about football for twenty minutes. It was fantastic. There may be hope for Uglyhoma yet, although I am not holding my breath.

Friday, July 13, 2007

the longest weak

We have been trucking along in the longest week in the universe.

I forgot caffeine this morning, which only drew out the longest week a little longer. That mistake was quickly addressed at lunch. The afternoon draws on, and I'm ready for a nap.

My biggest plans this weekend revolve around looking the other way from the boxes that continue to linger in the bedroom. I will rest, and I'm excited for a vacation.

Tonight we're going to babysit for UProwess so they can go see the new Harry Potter movie. The Hater and I are getting our babysitting coupon cashed in, so we're excited to give them some time to themselves. Tomorrow night we're all going to dinner, too.

It should be fun. But resting is at the forefront on my itinerary.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Welcome Home, Trigger

The Dorks had a good time last weekend when they were here. They did lots of honey-dos and Nana’s cornbread dressing* was a hit. We had Thanksgiving for Sunday lunch and Cinco de Mayo for Supper. It was a good visit and we finished everything that was on our to-do lists.

We had lots of surprises while they were here. The biggest surprise is that they gave us Trigger, Dad’s red ’94 Toyota pick-up. We think that both Harrison and Aunt Mary (owner of Elvira) would approve of keeping family with family.

Trigger has been very excited to take me to work this week, and he hasn’t complained once of wearing an Uglyhoma tag. (I think it’s because he’s so excited to be wearing his “VOLS” tag in the front.) He keeps wondering when we’re going to get to a hill. He is also anxious to go to the Cowboy Hall of Fame to meet his namesake.**

I was driving to work this morning when I remembered that today was our wedding anniversary. I called The Hater to remind him. He said he would have remembered when he looked at his cell phone because he had programmed a reminder on it. At least we didn’t forget about it like we did last year, when we remembered the next day.

I think our plans are to go out for dinner tonight, but other than that we will be playing it low-key. That’s what we do best.

* Sans fluted mushrooms. I dice or crumble everything.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Team Discovery

Don't forget that the Tour de France starts tomorrow! Join The Paceline for your Team Discovery updates!
(picture courtesy of The Paceline: Descending Figueroa Mountain, Solvang Camp, 2006- by Greg Parks Photo Design)
It's almost time for our yearly summer vacation to the hills of France! Ride hard, Team Discovery!
And David Walsh can go suck on an egg for his last publication of hogwash. Leave the man alone. Put your jealousy in check and grow up.

honey do

The Dorks are on their way to OKC, even as I type! They're bringing a load of things that we could not fit into our car last week. These treasures include a push mower, a metal chest to hold tools and garage things, a shovel and a rake, the ukelele, Sun Drop, an ottoman, two fixed-up library chairs (circa PapaLou) and other various toys.

When we came back we had a car load of wedding presents that we didn't have room for in our apartment. Although we were home for Sister's wedding, we came back with a car load of our own wedding presents, too. Some things we had duplicates for -- so we shared with Sister and her husband, Mr. Fix-It. They also shared some of their duplicates with us. It was great timing!

We have a list of things that The Dorks are going to help do while they're here...
  • peep hole in the front door
  • ~56 cabinet knobs
  • hang some of the larger pictures
  • address the problem of the crazy gutter that is creating a problem at the front of the house (with PVC, Dad, not by digging a tunnel under the sidewalk)
  • other projects that I reserve the right to dream up between now and when they leave

It's a long weekend list, but we're excited that they're going to come help us plow through it.

I've planned a secret surprise for them! We're going to practice Thanksgiving on Sunday. I'm going to make Nana's cornbread dressing with turkey and the fixins for lunch. This could be a real adventure since neither The Hater nor I are totally comfortable with the gas oven yet.

Yesterday afternoon the satellite people came to install the satellite, right when the bottom fell out of a rain cloud. It rained buckets for almost thirty minutes. Then, when the rain started to let up, we lost electricity. (Right before I put dinner in the oven!) They left, promising to come by this afternoon to finish the job.

The Hater has been jonesing for ESPN, so I'm hoping that they're able to complete the installation tonight. We still won't have the internet at home - and probably won't get it until the cable people are able to bring lines out to the subdivision. So we'll have to rough it a little longer... it's like camping, except with air conditioning and without mosquitoes.

So our plans for the weekend should be hectic, but fun. Come visit if you're handy with a drill... we have plenty of jobs to go around!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Happy Independance! No offense, Great Britain, but it's a great day to be an American.

"Stars and Strings" stolen directly from Marrianne's website!

We've come a long way since the Second Continental Congress put their foot down. I can't help but to wonder what the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence would say about the state of the Union 231 years later.

I wonder if they would go back and clarify "all men are created equal".

I wonder what they would say about other countries who want to assert themselves and declare their own political independence.

I wonder if they would look over the list of injustices committed by George III-- and compare those transgressions against the actions of our current and past political leaders.

I wonder if they would be surprised to find that the phrase "sacred honor" does not have the same connotations as when they invoked it. (Likewise would they be amused by the oxymoron "honest politician"?)

Today is not a day for pointing fingers or standing on soapboxes. It's not about agendas or politics. It's not even about fireworks or BBQ, although many people will go out of their way to partake in all of these activities.

Today is about celebrating autonomy- which is one of the things that Americans do very well. I hope everyone has a fantastic day of celebration. Be safe and party hard.

Support our troops!

(It's not their fault that our President is an idiot.)

No matter how you celebrate today, take a moment to remember and appreciate the men and women both here and overseas who have sacrificed some of their autonomy so that you can celebrate yours.

Monday, July 02, 2007

full circle

We have returned to a soppy wet and still green Uglyhoma. Our trip back took about 13 hours. We had a misadventure in Memphis trying to find a barbeque place that The Hater had read about...

We had three different sets of directions, none of which jived. We wandered up and down Second and Third streets to no avail, and then somehow accidentally ended up on I-55 headed into Arkansas. At that point The Hater said we were done wandering and ended up at Taco Bell.

It wasn't the same as BBQ.

Then we ended up on another small detour in Arkansas before we crossed over into OK. It wasn't a bad drive, but we were more than ready to be back.

Zoloft was excited to see us. We took a nap together this afternoon.

I've had to come back to work to do some things tonight before I head back home, to where we still do not have cable or internet. I'm taking advantage of a desk and computer to give my LBG fans something to read tomorrow morning.

(Point taken, Danny. I am sorry to have deprived you of your 6:15-6:30am entertainment. We are working on internet access, but you'll just have to be patient a little longer. Suck it up!)

Sister's wedding was beautiful!! She was gorgeous, and one of our young cousins was really excited to meet Cinderella. It rained on and off, sending us running back to the house only once during the pictures. We ended up with about 160+ friends and family members celebrating with us... and they ran through sparklers at the end! Sister was happy and everybody seemed to have a great time.

So what if I, stressed out Matron of Honor, forgot his wedding band in the house and they had to use mine instead. It fit just fine on the first joint of his pinky. The audience thought we were just kidding, and few were the wiser. He had his ring for the receiving line-- so he must have had it for the wedding, right? Sister didn't flip out, so it doesn't really matter.

We had a great visit with Vol Mom and Bill. Vol Mom put together flowers for Sister that were absolutely beautiful. We were glad for the Rehearsal Dinner and all the work for the flowers for Sister. She loved all of it. (And we hope you're feeling better!!)

The Hater's job was putting together the music Sister wanted for the wedding and the reception, and then he was in charge of the sound at the wedding. He did a great job under the hot tent. He was really a good, helpful trooper while at home. Along with the sound, he helped Mom make about 7 dozen devilled eggs and sliced a trunk load of mellons.

It was a great trip home, but we wish we had another week to recover and have a vacation now. We're plum tard... and still have boxes to unpack.