Archive for the ‘The House of Puppy Dogs and Rainbows’ Category

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A question of quality

March 7, 2010

My car, sweet Ladybug, christened so by my at-the-time three year old sister (who is now NINE WHAT), is over ten years old now. I bought her already two years and fifty thousand miles used, and she and I have been through quite a bit. She’s now over two hundred 10 miles (she hit 200,000 during Birthdiverrsary http://www.flickr.com/photos/maceelaine/3883353096/), and still chugging along. But there are definite signs of her age: the cup holders (front and back) are mangled and unusable, the center armrest isn’t quite right, and because I live in San Francisco, her back bumper is pock marked. Of course, these are cosmetic things. I also just dumped a bunch of money on a good, thorough tune up, and she needs new belts, which aren’t cheap either. And registration. And insurance. And smog testing.Thank goodness for tax returns, I have to say.

Before throwing down all the cash to get my Ladybug back to her best, I really thought about getting a new(er) car. It’s so tempting – there’s all these new, smaller cars zipping around town. Because I am a complete dork, and again, live in San Francisco, I’m most attracted to things that have good gas mileage and are easy to park. I had a serious flirtation with a one year old Yaris. But when I sat down and thought about it, it made more economic sense to get my current car into better working order. It kind of breaks my heart, but I also know I can’t afford a monthly payment right now.

I’m having similar issues with my current apartment. Sure, everyone loves the House of Puppy Dogs and Rainbows. And there are still things about it I love – the neighborhood, the neighbors, the view, the deck. But the down sides are starting to weigh on me – the darkness, the cold, the damp. There are a lot of things I can identify that would make living here more pleasant (heck, I have a list written somewhere of projects), but these things take money and time. If this isn’t a place I see myself staying in long term, I’m unsure if I should spend the money it’s going to take.

What’s your price point? Is it worth spending money on something that may be short term?

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New Mice Adventures

September 8, 2009

As you faithful readers will know, I’ve had some troubles with mice before. I’m happy to report that since Jack moved in, there have been blessed few run-ins with the tiny creatures. And then this last week!

Last weekend, Trevor and I were running late (this is pretty much normal operations at my house, both of us enjoying sleeping, and arguing over who has to shower first), and as I came out of the bathroom, I heard Trevor making strange exclamations and grunting sounds. It turns out a mouse had run into the house with Jack, and they were…. playing? According to Trevor, the mouse kept purposely running under the cat, which is very unlike any other mouse I’ve seen. Still in a towel, I wasn’t really in a place to help, but I grabbed the broom and handed it over. Finally getting it in a good position, Trevor did his best Wayne Gretzky impersonation and slapshot the mouse out the open door. The mouse then ambled (ambled!) over to the edge of the deck and disappeared.

This weekend, I was doing a little cleaning (with my three brooms and a roomba, I should really be doing this more often), and I noticed a couple of bumps under the rug in the entry way. Jack has recently discovered the extreme fun of batting bottle caps around, and I’d found several of them under there before, so I lifted and shook out the rug. Two bottle caps came flying out, as well as a dead mouse. I have no idea how long it was under there, though it couldn’t have been long as it didn’t look like it was very decayed. It was, however, pretty flat, which was pretty gross.  It’s bad enough to be dead, but to also be trod upon? Sorry, tiny grey mouse.

Here’s the odd thing: there have been no traces of mouse activity in my kitchen. I’ve been very lazy about my food containment, leaving food out on the counter on a near daily basis, and I haven’t seen a single bite mark or telltale poop. So what have these mice been doing in my apartment? What do you think?

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Upon further, further thought…

December 17, 2008

So I recently sent this email to a special* confidant of mine on December 5th.

So there IS a lot to be stressed out about: I’m 31, and starting to feel like I want to settle down and make a home, and I have a partner who seems to be up in the air about it. Our company just went through a huge merger, and none of us know if our jobs are secure. My left knee has been acting achy lately, and my calves refuse to unclench. Christmas is fast approaching, and I have bought one gift, and I’m not sure what I’m going to be able to afford for those that I love. Then again, like usual, I have NO IDEA what to get ANYONE.

That being said, when I really thing about it, I’m doing pretty well. I’m only a grand in debt, and by the end of the week half of that will be paid off, I’m certainly not living paycheck to paycheck, and though things have been expensive lately, it’s not indicative of what’s to come. I have my job NOW, and I enjoy it, and even if I lose it, I work in an industry that isn’t hit as hard by recession as many others. Sure, my legs are tight, but I’m generally in good health. I have a fantastic family and friends, and a great boyfriend who loves me very much. And, of course, Jack. I can’t even remember what my life was like before him. He crawls under the covers with me in the mornings and curls up in my belly and makes me so happy I want to cry. The good kind of crying.

So maybe I can write off this noodleness as seasonal woes, both holiday and weather related, coupled with bad hormonal timing and a need for some stability.

All in all, I’m okay. And I’m glad that you’re my friend.

Since then:

  • We had  a Very Important Meeting at work, and by the end of June, 2/3 of the people in my department will be gone. Luckily, my group was spared (for now), but things are a bit strained here at work. People are upset, and rightly so.
  • A week after sending this email, I contracted some sort of stomach bug and proceeded to vomit away a weekend.
  • My cat, after spending a wonderful week sleeping at night and being wonderful, is back to up-all-night-and-wanting-to-play.
  • General malaise.

And yet, things are looking up for me. I’ve gotten Christmas shopping done, I found some pants that fit that didn’t cost arm and a leg**,  and I have a vacation planned in snowy Colorado shortly after Christmas. And as always, I have excellent friends, am in a stable relationship, and I love my family. So I’m just going to take some deep breaths, smile, and wait for the warmth to return.

* Special as in “near to my heart” not as in “handicapable.”
** Had I spent a leg, my pants would probably be cheaper.

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Two Mice, Two Days

August 22, 2008

Dead Mouse in Beer Bottle, originally uploaded by maceelaine.

I’ve already told the swimming mouse story, but I’ll tell it again, now that I have all the details.

Last Sunday, Trevor volunteered for a DIY film-making seminar which required him to be downtown at eight am. Being the sweet girlfriend that I am, I volunteered to drive him there, but I slept as he got ready, trying to grab more precious sleep moments*. In his half-awake haze, he dumped the entire contents of the french press in the garbage (I fail at training him not to put food in the trash. I’m trying, I swear). He also ate the rest of our Schezuan eggplant and tossed the empty container in, which still contained some sauce (fail two). I drove him to 111 Minna and came home.**

After a while, I heard the telltale shuffling. I was torn between hoping it was a ghost mouse and hoping it was a real, live dick mouse. I pulled open the trash, hoping to catch it in the bag, when I realized it was treading water. Or rather, treading coffee and eggplant sauce. It crawled up on the eggplant container and huddled there. It was so tiny, and so wet. Jack was circling around my legs so I picked him up and pointed. “See that? If you see one anywhere else, you attack!” He showed no interest, until the mouse moved, and then I could feel every muscle in his body tense up.

I pulled the bag out of the holder, tied it up, and threw it in the outside bin. Sorry tiny wet mouse, hope you find drier happier lands.

The very next evening, I was pulling some recycling out of the bin to take to outside, and a beer bottle caught my eye. I thought some paper or something had fallen in, but NO. It was another tiny wet mouse, but this time it was dead. I’m pretty sure I made some horrible noises and left it on the counter. Not knowing what else to do, I washed my hands five times, got my laptop, and played Boggle for an hour.

Eventually I got up the courage to take some pictures and take it outside, even though i really didn’t want to touch it. I realized, much later, laying in bed, that I had put it in the recycling. I looked for it later, but as it was no longer conveniently on top, I just let it go. Which, evidently could get me in trouble. Please don’t rat me out. (GET IT?)

So now the house is nice and mouse-free (I think), except for Jack’s toy mice, which he adores and carries around a good amount of the time. I can’t wait to see what happens when he finds a live one.

*Jack gets a little excited when we’re asleep. He either wants to give us love on our faces, or run back and forth as fast as he can. I miss sleeping. Seriously.
** I had three things I wanted to do that day, of which I did none, as the weather was dark and rainy, and everything was outside. I instead watched cartoons and napped with the cat.

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Operation Less Depressing Bedroom: Complete!

July 1, 2008

Bedroom Wall, originally uploaded by maceelaine.

I have a lot of art, it’s true, but nothing looked right in the bedroom. I struggled for a long time trying to find how to brighten the room a little (I get almost no outside light), and make it more… you know, ME.

Yes, wall decals are very trendy. But they’re also an easy way to make an entire room look happier. I am very satisfied. And the part that took the longest was Trevor and I moving around the little poofs, trying to figure out where they looked best without looking too ‘placed.’ Because even when I try to put things up randomly, they look equidistant and arranged. Gah.

There’s also a nightstand now! I want to put a plant on it, but first I have to find a plant.

The wall decal was bought on etsy, here. Nice people, good video for application, and speedy delivery.

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Lessons Learned

June 28, 2008

So when it’s one in the morning, and you’ve just gotten back from a rather late night dinner with your beloved, and you’ve been drinking, and you find a slug just in side your front door, WATCH WHERE YOU SWING YOUR HEAD when you throw it out the door. Because the door frame HURTS. IMMENSELY.

I am using this as my excuse as to why I am still in bed at twelve thirty on a Saturday. I’m going to go back to watching Venture Brothers, thank you very much.

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I have foliage!

June 6, 2008

Completed!, originally uploaded by maceelaine.

My mother is wonderful. She came up with the whole idea: take these beverage holders from Target, in wonderful Madras Plaid that I adore, and drill holes and plant flowers. She even helped me pick out the flowers, which is good, as I am a bit of a moron about such things. And when I’m not being a moron about such things, I am staring blankly, overwhelmed by a multitude of bright things. Then she helped me plant them!

The empty pot is still empty, as I haven’t figured out what to put there yet. I was hoping for Gerber Daisies, but those have evidently participated in an exodus from the bay area. Suggestions for what to plant are appreciated.

Now, when I’m in my kitchen, I get to look out the window to cheery plants. And let’s not forget about the herbs, which I planted myself!

Herbs!

Now I just have to keep them alive. Yeep!