Appointed guardian of the mead of poetry (and chunky jam)

Dear Internet,
TheHusband and I were pretty busy this weekend with lots of Martha Stewarting it up around Throbbing Manor, which precluded me getting any more writing done other then some tweaking of a few things. I am fairly pleased with myself having completed almost two weeks straight of writing in my private journal, something which I haven’t done this long of a stretch in ages. I’m also getting in the habit of taking a daily picture so if I can’t get write, I can at least embed an image to kind of illustrate how my day is going. Because sometimes you want to showcase just how awesome the internet really is.
The biggest relief was when my brother popped over on Friday and Sunday and fixed the electrical in our boiler and stove. Over Labor Day weekend, with a house full of guests, the neighborhood transformer blew not once, but twice in the same day. The first blowout happened in the morning and power restored within a few hours after. The second blowout happened that same evening and was a number of short burst where the entire neighborhood flickered on one minute/off one minute for about ten minutes. Once that arc finished, we discovered the stove and the boiler, which were both on the same circuit, were fried.
We could write a novel about Throbbing Manor’s electrical problems, with the first chapter on how not to use three various types of electrical (knob and tube, modern, a hybrid) running through the house. Upon my brother’s recommendation1, this summer before my surgery, we buried the house electrical from the pole to the house so it is no longer aerial, upped our panel from 100 amps to 200amps, and repositioned the house surge protector2 from the sub-panel in the basement to the main panel in the garage. Every time Jeff comes over to do work on one small project, he uncovers a plethora of other issues that are bigger then the original project.
Throbbing Manor is almost 90 years old, and we live in a historic district where we’re one of the “newer” houses built, so coupled with the houses all trying to modernize their interiors, it’s not terribly surprising to get the occasional blown transformer. Except, this happens nearly every month and so much so, we signed up for the appliance plan via our electrical company that if ANYTHING should ever happen and an appliance breaks, they will fix it for free3. Since it was Labor Day weekend, I called on Tuesday and find out that our boiler is not under the repair for the plan.

me: “But it says ‘furnace and other heating elements,’ ” I insist to the customer service rep.
Consumers: “Except for boilers.”
me: “But when I called to set up the plan, and asked about boilers, the assured me it was part of the plan.”
Consumers: “I’m sorry you were told incorrect information, but that is not true. For an additional $7/month, we can add the boiler addendum.”4
me: “…”
me: “Just so I’m clear: Even though our boiler and stove are fried due to transformer blowing out not once but twice on the same day, and this is Consumer’s fault, I have to pay for the repairs on my uncovered equipment.”

Consumer’s was quick to get the stove repair to us within a day but he had to “order a part,” which was nearly two weeks ago. Boilers, due to their complexity, are expensive. Since we were going to have to pay for the boiler ourselves, we waited until my brother was free to look at electrical before calling the boiler people because they would have had to call an electrician to fix the fried bits anyway since Jeff discovered the arcing over the years coupled with shoddy repair jobs on the house electrical, mixed in with sketchy installation of circuits was causing various bits to melt in the shut off switch attached to the boiler, which he also repaired.
By fixing the circuit the stove and the boiler were on, viola! The stove now works! Which means, we no longer have to use a lighter to get the range going (gas stove/electrical ignition) and we could use the oven.
Edit 1/03/2013: This has been languishing in my drafts box since September. I think I was planning on finishing this post after I made a batch of pear cherry chutney but never did the update, hence for the abrupt ending.

1. My brother is a licensed electrician. Don’t try this at home.
2. Brother checked and verified the house surge protector is working so why it didn’t catch the arc the second time reamins a mystery.
3. Consumer’s offers the ASP which is insurance for your appliances. Most energy providers have this kind of service and it’s way better then the typical renter/house insurance since there is typically no deductible. ( I would still keep house/rental insurance for other things, but for appliances, this is the way to go!) You pay $X dollars a month, attached to your bill, and you call if there is an issue. They send out a repair person, and you don’t get charged for the visit or the repairs (however, the last bit can be variable but it’s typically free / low cost then if you did not have the plan).
4. I signed up for the boiler addendum. Dammit.

Wanted: Your (used, well loved, weeded, no longer needed) books

Librarians! Booksellers! Bibliophiles! I am in the process of doing a fairly large project that will be heavily dependent on used books. I am currently scouring local charity shops, used bookstores and library book sales for my needs, but thought I’d put the call out to the internets. I’m looking for a particular types of books, so if you have anything you think might be of interest to me via the list below, contact me via email, Facebook, Twitter or comment here and let me know what you have.
I will pay for shipping of the materials.
I am looking for:

  • Classic authors (think Austen, Brontes, Melville, Dickens, Joyce, Tolstoy, etc) whose works are in the public domain. If you\’re unsure, email me for clarification or see if their work is available on Project Gutenberg. I’m not picky about the author or the title, just as long as it is in the public domain.
  • Books by Ian Fleming, mainly James Bond series.
  • Not terribly picky about edition, publishing house or locality. Will accept non-US based English and also foreign editions.
  • Preferably hardcover but will accept paperbacks depending on size/condition.
  • Would prefer and love large print versions, but not necessary.
  • If the cover is ripped/torn/damaged, but the majority of the interior text is clean, I still want it.


Meijering at night.

Growing up, my mother installed a strange power relationship with food into our heads. I’ve never quite figured out where her ideas came from but essentially her idea was that less food in the house the better. Let me explain further: She would sometimes “forget” to go grocery shopping and or she would buy a few packages of hamburger, American cheese slices, saltines, and popcorn. For a family of four with eating habits for a family of six.
We’re large people and a bit on the tall side (I hover near 6′, Mumsy at 5’10” and brother at 7′. My now-ex step-father is about 6’1″.) While my mother is now borderline morbidly obese, my brother and I are just plain chubbeh. We could stand to lose a few pounds, but, we’re both fairly active (then and now) and are not sit at home stuffing our faces type people. We do, however, have large appetites.
It wasn’t that we were poor, Mumsy made a really good living as a home health care nurse (let’s just say, she neared six figures by the late ’90s in Michigan) and she certainly could afford to feed us, but, without fail, every week she would go grocery shopping and bring home the exact same items:
Continue reading “Meijering at night.”

almost famous

news and reviews:
I’ve been wanting for a long time to make my website pda enabled (well, since i found out that was pda and Netscape channlized) and i finally figured out how. if you want TLC on your pda, just go here and follow the instructions. Bop me an email if you have any questions.
This weekend was a very slow and lazy weekend — the kind where paul and i did not have guests so we could relax but on the flip side i was so wired from — something (dunno what) that i couldn’t sit still for longer than five minutes at a time. i bounced around from cleaning to organizing to walking the dogs because no one could stay put in the same spot. on the flip side, paul was so bored that he took a three hour nap yesterday afternoon to relieve the boredom.
my mind was whirling at a speed i couldn’t comprehend. i would walk around doing stuff thinking of better and shorter ways to organize and clean. i couldn’t walk in the bathroom without putting towels away and putting towels away meant doing laundry and doing laundry meant i had to clean up the bedroom. so the simple act of putting something away was prolonged by insistence on doing 15 different things at once.
one of my obsessive/compulsive is cleaning and paul calls me the goff martha stewart because i love to clean. I’ve always admired working with my hands and putting things in order so that it is just so. I’m not so anal that there are not mess’s laying around but there is an order to the chaos of our lives and that order is me.
so i cleaned and organized and sorted and did things that i haven’t been able to do in the preceding weeks (paul cooks — we’ll just leave it at that) and finally crashed early later on in the after noon.
it all started when i was sitting on irc and someone brought up the infamous sexchart of which I am listed (just do a find for simunye — you’ll find me). Which made me REALLY FUCKING ANGRY! I sat there snapping to people on irc about something that happened to me only four years ago and yet feels like a lifetime ago.
Some of it came out in the open in the news two years ago when I sang to the major papers (and never following up on my chances for writing for wired — second time in my life I’ve blown a major opportunity like this) about my relationship with se7en which seems like a nightmare and a life time many times removed from now.
the anger subsided later on in the night when paul and i had hit the local barnes and noble and i got a tall raspberry mocha frap (i am a trend setter — starfucks is now selling a ‘raspberry mocha chip’ frap in their stores. i don’t drink that swill — just mocha frap with raspberry syrup for me thanks).
but i couldn’t place my finger on what was making me so angry — so much has changed in the last four years since i moved to san francisco (almost four years to the day) and since when i left for Virginia. i sat there in the car just staring into space trying to think why i was so pissed, and not one goddamn reason was coming up. maybe because it was with my relationship with christian where i had laid all my eggs in one basket and they got scrambled or the thinking that my relief of finding someone like me wasn’t even close to being true. maybe it was the lies, the cheating and how i had fucked him in the summer of 97 when he was cheating on me with someone who he cheated on with me in Vegas. I still remember the look on his face when he told me he was breaking up with me — or the look on my face when i was jumping around for joy in my brain. I remember sitting in the bathroom at 4am in the morning writing in my journal about how much i hated laying next to him when i had no where else to go. I hated feeling weak and insecure and unloved.
with the help of Dr. B (indirectly I’ll add), I’ve been making a timeline in my head of where everything fell apart — and it was always with the men (which, one shrink had pointed out so wisely to me many years ago). With each passing relationship, where i had thrown myself into thinking i was in love with them, and getting trampled on only to have hurt the ones who have really loved me (danny, justin, and now paul). I think about this a lot – that the new spanking apartment in Herndon is still the crappy old apartment in El Cerrito, CA because in my head while the things around me have changed significantly, what is in my head has not. I still feel trapped and scared and unwilling to deal with what is truly bothering me than dealing with the present. and the past. and the future.
haven’t you ever just wanted to say “enough is enough” – but I’ve been screaming enough is enough for a long time now and I’m not getting any response back. i feel like the little boy who cried wolf — that simply (and honestly) no one believes me. it makes me smile saying that because in my youth — and to me my youth was in my early 20s, i always thought that the man i was with ‘right now’ was the one who was ‘forever’ — instead of just saying ‘he is mr right now’. but i was young and foolish and what did i know from any better on anything at that time other than i just wanted, simply and honestly, to be loved.
i wish someone had explained to me long time ago how to be more rational instead of being pigheaded and stubborn. i look at paul and i know deep in my heart we are meant to be together but from somewhere within I’m not allowing it to happen. to be relaxed and to watch him and love him. it was so easy a few years ago when he was 3000 miles away and like everyone before him, i have him and i don’t know what to do with him.
everyone wants me to talk, because i never say anything about me anymore anywhere i just agree and ask questions and forget what i asked. i want to learn about the people around me but forget when they tell me things because somewhere, unconsciously, perhaps i don’t care. or perhaps i care too much? it doesn’t hurt anymore thinking about it — i suppose the Effexor is good for one thing is stabilizing my emotions but for the last two years, i haven’t had that many emotions to deal with. i worry about the people who loved me I’ve left behind and about not being a good enough employee, girlfriend, daughter, sister daughter or lover.
i remember the ages of my youth falling with a twinkle in my eye and I’m watching paul going through what i went through less than a decade ago. i remember thinking i was never ever going to put myself in the position to be in a relationship with someone unless i was truly passionate about them and i remember what it was like being passionate and feeling i was in love with paul and knowing even know that i am but feel dead inside for no real discerning reason. sometimes i would think i would give up some things in my life only to feel alive like i did when i was younger and more naive because the i had not learned or handed myself to the ways i was now.
even then when i hated myself for being so impassioned i would look at this new self even more and shudder thinking what it was like to become her and how did she end up like this? i wish there was a way to chip the ice off of my heart so i can feel the love i feel for paul instead of looking at him sometimes waiting for him to leave like everyone else did before or lie or cheat or say something to make me wish i was noting more than a mattress with a hole in it. i wish i could feel the rage and the passion and the ups and the down of life instead of feeling like I’m drifting off into no mans land, on an ice cube in the Arctic.
i think you get my point.

things i never knew i needed

Sam and i were talking the other day about home- based shit, when i started bitching about how the sheets from Ikea suck major ass, but because they were the exact shade red i wanted, i wasn’t going to give them up. You see, when she and I had gone Ikea shopping a few weeks back, i had purchased a brand new duvet, comforter and sheets in dark blue plaid with the sheets being red. The sheets, designed for queen sized bed which by the way I do have, have. not. stayed. on. one. single. night.
i dunno how hard it is to make sheets that fit, but i was unwilling to change them for something that didn’t match and was dealing with waking up laying on the bare mattress every morning. Sam, the smart girl that she is, pointed out that they have this thing at Bed,Bath and Beyond that keeps sheets in place. BUT wait, there is more! Not only did i get the sheet snugs, but i also ordered the comforter clips AND the bedskirt pins.
My life is now truly complete.
I had no idea that i was missing these great inventions until Sam pointed them out and i rushed right to the online stores to buy them. So imagine to my even great surprise when I get home today to find out that all my goodies had arrived.
And this is how i spent my Friday night — screwing in bedskirt screws and wrestling with the bed snugs to make sure those cheap ass Ikea sheets stay put.
Being domesticated kills me.