One of the things I love about moving (and there really aren’t that many at the moment) is the chance to get rid of stuff. It would be easy to just load this stuff into the car and give it to the local mission but we’ve never been known to take the easy way out.
So we had a yard sale.
Saturday in Kansas City
People started showing up at 7:15. It was nuts … we had a rush and by 8:30 I was ready to call it a day. Seriously. It was crazy. We sold most everything for a dollar. We had signs that said “everything is a dollar!” and when people pulled up and got out of their cars we’d say “Hi! Everything is a dollar!” and a tenth of a second later someone would say “How much is this?”
One lady asked me at least10 times how much different items were. Each time I cheerfully answered “It’s a dollar!” Each time she’d say “Okay.”
Around the sixth time she asked I added a pause and a head cock … “That there is aaaaaaaa …..dollar!” and I even added a finger gun and a wink.
So on the 11th “How much is this?” I answered “See if you can guess ..” and she said,
She bought 12 dollars worth of stuff.
One of the biggest draws was VHS tapes. No, really. We had, oh I don’t know, a thousand or so and we decided to put them out there and see if we could sell them. Well we did. Thankfully we have good taste and there were some really great movies out there – a lot of which we now have on DVD. When the sale would get slow, The Hub would take to sorting the movies. First he put them in alpha by title. Then he put them together by director. Finally he grouped them by genre. That worked the best.
“here are comedies …
“here are your action/adventure …
“and over there are kids and war movies”
It made perfect sense to us.
Along about 11:00 Jack came by. Jack is neighbor of ours. He’s 137 years old. He wears his pajamas to walk his dog. His pajamas and his slippers. He’s got a mess of hair – especially for a corpse – and it is always freaked out. Like it is trying to escape off his head. He walks his dog twice a day and twice a day that little mongrel craps in our yard (the dog I mean).
Picture the oldest person you know.
Now add in the slowest person you know.
add a voice that sounds like a rusty gate opening,
and toss in the smell of old bread and cough syrup
Now put a dog on a leash and run the whole scene in slow motion and you’ve got Jack.
So Jack comes by and starts looking at movies. He looks, mumbles, looks, says “ehhhuughh weeellll, uggghhhh,” and picks up From Dusk till Dawn. Jack's a nice guy and I'd hate to be responsible for him having a heart attack. Thankfully, The Hub comes to the rescue.
“Now, that’s pretty violent, Jack.”
“Iiiiit issssss?” he creaks out. I swear I could hear his jaw squeaking open and closed.
“Yep …” says The Husband and starts to look for something that would be more Jack appropriate – Cocoon, for example or “How to Plan Your Own Wake” Something like that.
“Wellll,” he says at a pace that would make a snail tap his foot in impatience, “well, ….I …..like …..the …..violence …”
This is where I drew closer. Hoping beyond hope that he had mistaken “violent” for “violins.”
And that’s when it happened.
“I ….. really …. like …..uughhhmmm….….. X ….. rated …..”
Wait, it gets worse.
“Do you have any …. any …of …. the …. porn?”
That’s right. Jack wanted porn.
He went on – over the next what seemed to be 45 minutes - to tell us that he liked the porn and his wife didn’t like him to watch too much of it but he’d been a bad boy in younger days. The best part of this was seeing how intent The Hub became on arranging the movies and hearing him respond out of desperation to end the conversation, “well, weren’t we all?”
Eventually, Jack shuffled off to get his $1 to pay for From Dusk to Dawn. I waited 5 minutes – which got him about 3 feet away – before I loudly said “He did NOT just say that!” and burst into hysterical laughter. The Hub and I squatted down on either side of a table and just laughed looking at each other. It was freezing cold, I was about to pee my pants and I couldn’t stop laughing. The Hub was no help as he kept urging me on by repeating parts of the conversation …
“He’s a bad boy ……. He likes the porn ….. Honey, he likes THE PORN!”
I would trade all the money we made for that moment.
You must read this story. You must. If you don't get all oogie inside, you can't be my friend.
Of all of it, I find this the most significant
The ball came to him almost right away. His 3-point shot sailed completely off course, and the coach wondered if he made the wrong move. McElwain then missed a layup. Yet his father, David, was unruffled.
"The thing about Jason is he isn't afraid of anything," he told the newspaper. "He doesn't care what people think about him. He is his own person."
How different would your life be ... would my life be if I was unruffled by failure, if I wasn't afraid, if I wasn't concerned about what others think?
What would you try to accomplish if you knew you could not fail?
I missed a day.
In the spirit of the Olympics, I've been trying to set my own record of posting at least once a day (excluding weekends) for as long as I can. I missed a day a couple weeks ago when I thought I had gerbils with hammers trying to build a habitrail inside my skull - it turned out to be a mild headache but it was iffy there for a while.
Other than that I've been doing really well. It turns out I have a lot to say. Hands in the air, who's shocked? Who? Anyone? Put em up there .... Anyone?
But I missed yesterday. Yesterday was a crazy day - not eating 105 chicken wings or spilling gas all over myself crazy, but crazy nonetheless. I had a breakfast meeting, multiple business calls, a lunch meeting, and a project to finish for a client (and, to be truthful, I had to start it too). In between all of that I had to get the house ready for the Realtor to come over.
I don't know if you've ever gotten a house ready to sell. It is nuts. There are so many things to do and not many of them are big things - but they are a bunch of 10 minute projects that turn into multi-day projects.
Take down the artwork in the dining room for example (The Hub is an artist and we have many of his incredible pieces hanging around the house). The way the artwork is installed, we have to first remove the - rather large - piece from the apparatus from which it hangs. Next it has to be carried to the basement and carefully rolled with the other pieces for safe keeping. Now the apparatus need to be removed and put away. We have plaster walls - and they don't let go without a fight. Holes now need to be patched. The patching is in the basement. The holes are patched but now need to dry. Here is the multi-day part. At some other time, we'll have to come back sand, re-patch, sand, wash and then paint.
18 days later, we get to cross "remove artwork" from the list. That's one item. One. On a list of well let's just say on a list of quite a few more than one.
When the Realtor showed up last night, I was nearly in a froth. There were so many things we haven't gotten to yet. So many things we did get to that are not so much finished. What would he say? Would he tell us to work for another 2 - 3 years and then call him back? Would he suggest we list the house to be sold as a "fixer-upper" or worse "as-is"?
He toured the house.
"Be honest with us," we said
"You won't hurt our feelings," we said
"Tell us if you see anything, anything at all that we should change or fix,"
"I will." he said. "Don't worry, I will."
We sat at the dining room table and waited. I could hear him upstairs walking around. And walking around. And walking around. He came back downstairs and met up with us in the dining room.
"Um," he said, "If you may want to ..." Oh lord, I'm thinking, here we go ... here goes the list. He's trying to soften the blow. What will he say? You might want to put a new roof on the house. You might want to add a third floor. You might want to burn this heap to the ground and build a new one in its place and try to sell that.
"You might want to scrape the window in the attic, it has a little bit of paint on the glass."
That was it. We got the paperwork together and settled on a listing price. The sign goes in the yard today. The house goes on the market Monday.
For those of you who have emailed me about Gregg Valentino "the man whose arms exploded" wanting to know the story. Here it is ...
Gregg is a short man
He wanted to be big to make up for his shortness
He took steroids (what? no! really? wow, who would have guessed)
He got big shorenuff!
He used dirty needles to give himself steroids.
He got an infection in his big as nut arms.
The infection caused his arms to "blow up." Sort of ... they didn't really blow up they just sort of oozed. Really, if you missed it don't worry, you didn't miss much.
That's about it. There was other stuff about arrests and things but, like most of you and the ancient Romans at the Colosseum, I was just watching and waiting for his arms to actually explode. They never did.
Such is life - actually, this is nothing like my life but you know what I mean.
I read an article the other day that said you can force flowering branches to bloom early indoors. I thought it sounded like a good idea as I love the look of forsythia in bloom and we have a bunch growing on the side of the house. Also I thought it would look nice to have a big bunch of blooming branches on the table when people come to look at (and hopefully buy) the house.
I followed the directions exactly. I cut some long pencil-thick branches from the bushes and immediately plunged them into some water. I then brought them inside and “crushed the ends of the branches with a hammer” which seemed a bit aggressive but okay. Next was to wrap the branches in newspaper, bind them with a rubber band and then fill the tub with water and submerge them into it. It was at this point that The Hub mentioned that this was all very sneaky. “You’re tricking them into thinking it’s spring … that’s so mean!” It did seem a little deceptive.
After they stayed underwater for 12 hours (well, 11 ½, I needed to take a bath and didn’t want the company) I was supposed to put them in a “cool room with indirect sunlight” where if I did it everything correctly, they will eventually bloom. The best room for that was the upstairs office. So I walked them up there and sat them on the desk. I turned and started down the stairs and then just like the sponge incident I suddenly began to feel guilty. Maybe I shouldn’t have done this after all. What right did I have to take them out of their natural environment, beat them, drown them and bind them just to get what I wanted from them? It didn’t help that The Hub was downstairs talking in his best Edward G. Robinson voice, “You’re going to bloom, see? Yeah, real nice and pretty, see?” And when I got upset at the dogs the other day he called out “maybe you should give them the forsythia treatment!”
He fancies himself a comedian.
So, out of guilt, I’ve sort of ignored them for a while.
Then, yesterday I took The Husband to the pain management clinic to get another epidural for a freaked out disk he has. While we were waiting, I read through an article from the November 21, 2005 Newsweek about torture. I couldn’t read the whole thing – for many reasons, 1) it wasn’t that interesting, 2) The Hub was messing with the TV on the robotic TV arm and moved the TV really close to my face. It was so close that I said “Who am I? Nancy Kerrigan’s mother?” and then we were off on a Nancy Kerrigan tangent and those are pretty rare, you have to capitalize on those when you get them. and 3) I kept thinking about my forsythia.
I did read the part where Senator John McCain said he didn’t think torture got good results. Which, I guess is one reason not to do it. And although I know there are other really awful things going on in the world, I couldn’t stop thinking about my little branches upstairs in the cold office. So finally today, I went to check on them ….
We have blooms! Can you even believe it? It was all worth it!
Don’t tell Senator McCain.
If this offer is accepted (and it should be) and if our house sells (and it should) we’ll be moving in a month or so. To get the house ready, we’ve been working on a list about 300 meters long. Big things (fix fence in backyard) and little things (put away gumdrops) are on the list. Mostly little things – things that we don’t see everyday. Things that really aren’t a big deal but that we want to get done before we show the house.
Today The Husband was working in the front yard getting it all nice and – well, I can’t really say pretty since everything is brown and dead but he’s getting it all nice and um, clean. The Yellow Dog sat at the door and gazed longingly at him the entire time. Ears up. Tail wagging. She wanted so badly to be outside with him.
I can’t say I blame her. He’s a good Dog Dad. He always talks to her in that high-pitched doggie voice and always makes eye contact when he pets her. When we get home he feels to couch to see where she was (illegally) sleeping and then says “oooh yeah, that was a good spot huh?” He has at least one picture of her hanging in his office and when she barks at the back door he gets right up to go let her in. Even though she was my dog first and sleeps on the floor beside my side of the bed, she goes to him in the morning when she wants to go out. I can hear him quietly say “Just a minute PickPick, hang on … let me get my …oooohhh that’s a big stretch!” Which is much different from my GET THAT COLD WET NOSE OFF OF ME! reaction in the morning.
As I watched her there at the door, I started thinking about the move. When we get to our new place, there will be no fenced-in yard. These mutts will have to learn to stick around. Since we are out in the country, I’d like to be able to just open the door and let them out knowing they will come back when they are ready or more likely hungry. I grew up on a farm – that’s how our dogs were so I’m hoping these doggers will be the same.
So I’m thinking, you know, we are always such Door Polices with these dogs. I bet if I let her out while The Hub was out working she’d just goof around and play with him. I bet she would run around the yard and then just lay down next to where he is working. I bet she’d stick so close that he would eventually have to put her back inside just so he could work.
So I opened the door. She looked up at me a bit confused. I stepped outside and said “I’m going to let her out and see if she’ll stick around, I’m sure she will”
The Hub says “Okay,”
I turn to The Yellow Dog “Okay!” I say happily.
I’ve never seen a dog run so fast. Out the door down the steps across the street up the neighbors steps through the neighbors yard and just like that, she’s gone.
I turn to The Hub “well, that didn’t work so much.” And he takes off running. I dart back inside to grab the box of treats and head out the door with my keys in hand. I jumped in the car and took off – by the time I caught up to her she was one block over at a dead run with her nose to the ground.
We’re going to need to get a fence.
Before it gets too far away from us, I want to comment on Lindsey Jacobellis, the olympic snowboarder who "hot dogged it" at the end of her event and fell allowing another competitor to overtake her.
That's the story. I don't know if you saw it or not but it was, oh I don't know EVERY WHERE on the news and such the past couple of days. It seemed everyone was giving her H-E-double-snowboards for showing off.
One report said "In that gasp of a moment, Lindsey Jacobellis went from golden to ruins."
Another called it an "olympic sized blunder."
And yet another called it "the flop heard round the world."
What? I'm sorry but I'm just a little confused here and before I go any farther I'm just going to say right now that I only saw clips here and then and most of those were while I was eating ice cream which, clearly, can be distracting. And not that anyone asked me but here is my take on the whole thing.
I mean for crying out loud, she's 19 (or whatever, I don't actually know how old she is, she looks about a year older than my 7 year old) and she is snowboarding, kids! ... isn't that supposed to be a fun sport? I mean we aren't talking about chess here - where, I'm sure hot dogging of any type is frowned upon - we are talking about the sport that, in the words of this years olympic commentators, is "totally rad and totally rippin'" Can we not have just a little flare please?
Besides, she came in second. That's a silver medal folks - do you have one of those? Me either. Fumble? Flop? Funny, I thought we were the "we're all winners here" generation.
And again, she's 19 (ish). She's in the olympics. She's winning a race. I'd get excited too. When I get excited I do a little screamy thing, stick out my tongue as far as it will go and put my hands up showing the two fingered peace sign with each hand. It is sort of like a cross between Nixon and Ronnie James Dio. Let's just be glad she didn't try that.
(by the way, Mom, I added the link to Dio expressly for you)
I just hate how the media blows things out of porportion sometimes or creates a scandel out of nearly anything <insert Cheney reference here>. Steakbellie posted last week about too much backstory in the olympics and it is true. And if there isn't enough backstory then by gum by golly we'll make something out of nearly nothing.
I did see a story about this somewhere that said something to the effect of "this is why Gen Yers have no place in the olympics." Now there's a good strategy, stop future generations from competing. I can't wait to see the 80 year old baby boomers in future olympics. It will give new meaning to the Skeleton.