Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ch ch changes...

I have received this notice to cease and desist blogging about snow, and my frickin driveway, so NO MORE! I know you guys want to hear a new set of complaints, and more whining week after week but I'm sorry! I just can't do it anymore. You'll be fine, I'll find other ways to keep you entertained.

For instance, I've been doing a lot of driving lately and the potholes are absolutely everywhere. It's all you can do to miss them and invariably when there's a completely horrific stretch of them, there's also an oncoming vehicle that forces you to go over them instead of around them. I mean how is it possible that you could drive along for 10 minutes without another car in sight, but somehow one appears just as you reach pot-hole-polusa!

It's just like when you're trapped behind someone who apparently doesn't have anywhere to be at any specific time, and is just out sightseeing, and enjoying the fresh air, while you are late for an important appointment. As you go through the center of small towns and wind around on curvy roads, not another car in sight, besides the forty backed up behind you that is, but as soon as a straightaway arrives, and some passing lines, cars and trucks the whole way, it baffles me.

I love the guy that pulls up next to me at a light, and drives like a bat out of hell to get in front of me when the light turns, only to hold me and everyone else up two blocks later when he wants to make a left turn.

I'm also very fond of the people who, even though they drive a Chevy Speck, just can't seem to handle the turning radius of a left turn and have to swing wide right to manage it. Things like this should be on the driving test. That idiotic little move should be an automatic failure, that and the inability to merge. Some people just don't get it! If you are going 50 or 55 on the entrance ramp, it is much easier to fit seamlessly into traffic, then if you are going 15 or 10, or 6, or 2, or stop completely to wait until there are no cars as far as the eye can see! Why people, Why?

In Massachusetts I've noticed that stop signs are merely suggestions. People here roll right through them like they're all yields. It's crazy! I suppose if they got stopped, they'd say "I slowed down." Which reminds me of a joke.

It seems this guy from Massachusetts goes to California, and rents a car. While he there, he gets pulled over for rolling through a stop sign. When this is explained to him by the officer, he whines, "But officer, I slowed down."

The officer pulls him out of the car, throws him down and begins brutally wailing on him with his knight-stick. The man cries out, begging him to stop, but the beating continues, the man pleads for him to stop, and the officer says, "But I slowed down."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Oh Good! More Snow!

When I was a kid I loved snow! I did always have circulation issues, so my hands would get cold fast and hurt a lot, but I didn't care, I wanted to be out there building snow men, sledding, making snow angels, having snow ball fights, building forts, even shoveling was kind of fun for me. Well...people change. I do think snow is pretty, but seeing it in a photo, or painting is fine. I don't really need to experience it anymore.

The thrill is gone.

After a week of being stuck and unable to make any money, I had to quit working at half a day today and rush home before it was too late to make it up my driveway. I also lost Friday, and half the day Saturday. This just isn't fun for me anymore.

I am stuck with this house for a while since I purchased it at the top of the market, unless of course I fail to pay the mortgage because I can't earn an income sitting on my ass in the living room, but that will cost me my business as well, and I'm afraid that will cost me my lust for life and send me spiraling into deep despair. See what a snow storm brings now? Doom and gloom, it almost literally makes me sick. I am definitely in a funk.

10 Things that could pull me out of it:

  1. A suitcase full of money, so I can take the winter off and travel somewhere tropical.
  2. A gorgeous woman who knows just what to say or do to lift my spirits, and who is sharing the financial burden of home ownership.
  3. If Spring arrives later this week.
  4. If next time I plow, I chip out a rock, and a geyser of oil erupts from the hole.
  5. If HGTV hears I am the perfect cross between Bob Vila and Martha Stewart and they offer me my own show, where I remodel the kitchen and then cook a gourmet meal in it.
  6. If they decide to hold the next winter Olympics on my driveway, and pay me handsomely to secure it.

  7. If snow suddenly becomes the most valuable substance on earth and people will pay any price if I let them take it away.

  8. A time machine that I could use to go back to the time when I loved snow, or just back to before I decided to leave California, either one!

  9. A machine that can turn snow into diamonds.

  10. Oprah Winfrey decides to make my small business success one of her causes, and funds my relocation, helps me network among the rich and famous. It becomes trendy to have an original piece of my furniture in your home.

Alright, maybe that last one is a longshot, but the rest of them could...well maybe not 4 or 7. What are you trying to do? Depress me? Hey, a girl can dream can't she?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Small Wonders

What have I done with my new found freedom you wonder? I spent a day working on the kitchen project on Tuesday, getting everything ready for sheet-rock. Yesterday I stayed home to work on a project I fell behind on while snowed in. I'm building some solid raised panel shutters for delivery on Saturday.

I had to run some errands, do some shopping, and I was going out to dinner last night and was low on cash, so I raided my piggy bank and watched in amazement as the coin-star machine counted it all up and spit out a voucher for $146.00. Woohoo!

Later I met up with 4 of the women I golf with, we hadn't seen each other for several months, so we had plenty to catch up on. I parked illegally, I almost have to, my truck with the plow on it is about 30 feet long. You try it! We had a great time laughing and causing a ruckus. I had the blackened Mahi Mahi over a black bean and sweet corn ragout and split it with one of the others, who'd ordered the butternut squash ravioli. Mmmmm. The waitress wondered if we all worked together, and when we told her we golfed together she thought that was hilarious. "You guys just can't wait, huh?" she asked, and was met with an enthusiastic, "NO" from everyone. When we left, my truck was right where I had left it, no ticket. YeeHa!

When I got home my Mom called me and told me to look at the moon. "I know, it's a full moon tonight, it's beautiful" I said. "No, go look at it now, it's almost fully eclipsed!" she replied. Sure enough, I had a great view of it, and tried to take couple pictures but didn't set up a tripod, so they aren't very clear. There are branches between where I stood and the moon too, but no ambient light to speak of, so they could be worse. Cool!

Today, I was having my morning coffee when I heard a thud. I know this sound, it's a bird hitting the window on the front of my house. I have lots of glass, and I hear this sound way too often. I looked out and saw a little nut-hatch laying on the deck in a face plant. I went out and picked it up. It was alive, but sometimes they break their necks and it takes a while for them to die. He was pretty stunned. I brought him into the house to keep him warm, and just held him for a while. He seemed to be getting a little livelier, so I put him down on the back step in the sun, he clung to my fingers as I tried to place him there, and then I just watched him. At first he had one eye closed and wouldn't open it, I hoped he hadn't been blinded in one eye, but couldn't tell. Then he started looking around slowly, his neck wasn't broken, but could he fly? It took about 10 minutes, but he became alert and started moving around on his feet, he opened his eye. His movements became quicker and then it happened. He flew to the pine tree by the feeder. I was very relieved. Yipee!

And the last wonder, Heartinsanfrancisco has given me an award! Best Blogging Buddies Award.

SWEET! I love this adorable little award, and I will display it with great pride because of the respect and admiration I have for the blogger who gave it to me, and no, I did not send her any money!

I would like to present this award to a couple of new bloggers in my community who I felt a quick and easy connection with. Slip from Accidental Farmer who visits me regularly, is a kindred spirit, and usually has something witty and interesting to say. Roro from Creampuff Revolution who is not only hysterically funny and bright, but also friendly and helpful! And last but not least, VE from VE's Fantastical Nonsense who is groundbreakingly nonsensical and fantastic! I admire all of you for your unique style and brand of humor. Blog-on!

Monday, February 18, 2008

The 7th Day...

...and on the 7th day, she shoveled her ass off! Today the temperature was around 50 degrees, tomorrow, things will be frozen again. This was my only window of opportunity. I started shoveling at 9am and finished at 3pm. I took two breaks to change into dry clothes, eat a snack, and hydrate. I got out the hose and ran water down the driveway for hours, this melted through the ice to pavement, in some spots. Of course I was standing in water most of the day which totally wanked! I shoveled up about 2inches of heavy frozen slush, to reveal solid ice underneath, but with water and salt and sand, I was able to get down, and yes...back up the driveway!

Metal Snow Shovel: $24.00

Ruined Colorado Work Boots: $ 140.00

Calories Burned: (no one has ever counted that high)

Freedom: Priceless

During my confinement I rowed 82,000 meters, watched 14 movies, read 1 1/2 books, took apart, cleaned and reassembled the blower on my wood stove and watched way too much tv. I kept up with everyone's blogs, wrote 4 posts, played lots of computer games. I had to call and reschedule a few appointments, stress about money, stress about work, stress about the effects of stress, stress about rescheduling and telling people what a perfect retard I am, and how I'm stuck as a result.

Yesterday, around noon, I was down for a long row. I blast my ipod while I'm rowing and do it downstairs, so I'm in my own little world. I rowed for an hour and 15 minutes. When I was done, the dogs were going nuts, so I looked out the window, and there was someone standing there. I opened the door, it was my Dad. He said, "Call your mother, she thinks you've done yourself in."

I looked at my cell phone when I got upstairs, 10 missed calls! She'd been calling the whole time I was rowing, and sent him out to find my body, after about a half an hour, because it takes about that long to drive to my house from theirs, and he said it took him 20 minutes to get up the to the house from the road where he had parked.

After I talked to my mother, and she was calm, I went outside with my Dad and we discussed the options with the driveway. "Ya know...This is really a summer house." he blurted out.

"Thanks dad, That's helpful!" I answered. I can always count on him for gems like this. We talked about the possibility of heating the driveway in the future, that was also helpful, if I win the lottery! He brought me a square-ended garden shovel I could hack away at the frozen slush with, which was entertaining for about an hour after he'd gone. Then it started to rain and sleet, and I was frozen and getting nowhere so I gave up and went back inside.

Now, it's all behind me, and I have learned two valuable lessons:

  1. Plow pretty quickly after it snows, during, if there's a lot!
  2. Move back to California, you don't belong here.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


On Tuesday, we got some snow, a few inches followed by lots and lots of rain. I decided to wait to plow. The thinking was, if I removed the snow I would have sheer ice on my challenging driveway. I figured it would be easier to clear the rain with the snow. The next morning everything was frozen, solid! Duh! What did I think was going to happen overnight! I couldn't break the crust of the snow. I tried the plow, nope, just rode on top, so did the truck. There was no way I was pointing that thing down the hill. I looked at the weather, it said the next day the temperature would be up above freezing, 38. It'll be softer tomorrow, I reasoned, I'll clear it then. Well, the temperature rose alright, to a whopping 33 degrees for about 2 hours mid-day. The snow was even harder.

Today is Saturday and I am still stuck. 5 days have passed, I can't get to my jobs, can't get the supplies I need, can't get to the tools I need. I have deadlines closing in on me both financial , and jobs, and I can't meet any of them. I'm here at my house wondering if and when I will ever be able to clear the driveway. In the meantime, I'm nurturing along my ulcer, and looking for ways to occupy my mind and keep it off my sticky situation.

I made the trek down to my mailbox yesterday in my snowshoes. I really had to jab the poles in hard to drive them into the snow. Other than that, I've been holed up here, no human contact, no trips to the grocery store, no human contact, no relaxation, no human contact...

The walls are closing in on me. My dogs are sick of me, and soon we'll be competing for the last bits of food in the cupboard. I may be out there tomorrow in my snow gear on my hands and knees, with an ice pick, hacking away at the thick icy coating until my fingers bleed. I can feel my sanity slowly slipping away, goodbye coherency, bye bye..hehheheheeeeheheee.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Happy V-Day Everyone!

What V-Day Means to Me
(the real story)
by Vlad the Visionary

Life-like scaled down model of Vlad the Visionary

Vlad was ahead of his time. Not many people know this, but I he invented velcro back in the middle ages. Convinced that this was the work of Satan, Vlad was exiled from the village of Vhathefuk by King Victor. Vlad, overcome by heavyheartedness, holed up in a violet vestibule abandoned by it's velveteen rabbit years before. His sadness was quickly replaced with hunger, and Vlad turned to violence to meet his needs. When villagers passed, traveling in or out of the village, Vlad would viciously attack them, and relieve them of whatever food or money they might have. Vlad validated the villager's fear of him by becoming the very villain they'd dreaded he might be when they evacuated him originally.

Vlad became vindictive and venomous, using various methods to violate his victims until his vault was filled with Vienna sausages, Velveeta, and vodka. The vodka was necessary to get those nasty little sausages down. Eventually, the people become too afraid to venture outside the walls of the village. Even Domino's would not venture past and risk Vlad's vehemmence.

The villagers, now trapped themselves, began to vie for survival. On the verge on starvation, they stole from one another, and violence filled the void that fear and hunger had created. The village reached extreme volatility at amazing velocity and the people went to their leader to vent.

When King Victor viewed his choices, make peace with Vlad, versus die a violent and untimely death, his verdict was clear. He then, of his own volition, ventured toward the vestibule, and in a voice like velvet, offered his sincere apology to Vlad. Vlad, vindicated, accepted the truce and vowed never to mention velcro again. The day this accord was struck, become known throughout the realm as V-Day.

The moral of the story is: What you resist will persist.. or Velcro might suck, but not as much as Valentine's Day... or Writing a story with a lot V's in it, is vexing.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thursday 13: Random Thoughts

I thought I'd put up a few things I think about when I can't sleep at night, or while I'm stuck driving behind an old man in a hat, with his hands at 10 and 2 o'clock, and no particular place to go.

1. I would rather run across a floor full of thumbtacks barefoot, to get to the mute button, than listen to that guy that screams at me about Oxi Clean and Orange Glo for 2 seconds.

2. I often wonder what life would be like if I wasn't so curious.

3. When someone tells me to calm down, I have the overwhelming desire to stab them in the neck.

4. If I listed this on Craig's list, as a riding lawn mower, would that be wrong?

5. Do people think that pushing the elevator call button a crap-load of times will scare the elevator into thinking there's an angry mob waiting, so it'll work faster?

6. With ALL that money, can't Donald Trump do something better with his hair?

7. When I go up or down a flight of stairs, I can't remember why I did it, and have to return to the floor I came from to figure it out, then start again. If I lived in a ranch, would my memory improve, and my pants size go up?

8. Is it considered a plus or a minus to have a cup-holder as standard equipment?

9. If men were the ones who got pregnant, RU486 (the morning after pill) would be at the register right next to the tic-tacs.

10. When a complete stranger tells me to "smile" It makes me want to sink a crowbar into his skull, set him fire and push him off a bridge into a wood-chipper.

11. What if the dog that I rescued from an abusive pet-owner, was an abusive pet-owner himself in his last life, and was reincarnated as an abused dog to pay his penance, which I interrupted, so now he'll have to come back and do the whole abused dog thing all over again in his next life?

12. Toilets that flush automatically, sometimes while you're still on them, should all be torn out and shipped to a country where they currently just have a hole in the ground to squat over, because they are moderately better than that!

13. If blogging is wrong, I don't wanna be right!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Putting the "ow" in plow!

I have a STEEP driveway. It's the price I pay for my beautiful view, and quiet, and privacy. In life there are trade-offs, and when I bought my home, I thought I knew what I was doing. Last year I spent my first winter here. I hired a plow-guy. It didn't snow a lot last year but he still did a pretty crummy job on my driveway, and the last storm, which was the biggest, the ass-hat didn't show up at all. I was just a little put out, when I got home and had to park in the street and trudge up, not only because I live on a very narrow country road with no "on street" parking, but also because trudging is very low on my list of things I enjoy doing.

In the spring I decided to buy a big ol' truck, which I need for my business anyway, and a plow so I can do it myself, and not be dependent on some creepy half-wit to do it. So, I have been plowing my own driveway this winter, and there has been plenty of snow, and lots of opportunities for me to hone my plowing prowess as it were.

This last storm we had a couple weeks ago which dumped about 9 inches of hard-pack snow, the kind that's great for snowmen and snowball fights delivered a whole new experience to me. I keep a close eye on the weather to try to be sure that my truck and I will be at the top of the driveway in the event of a storm, because going down first is MUCH easier than the other way around. The storm came, I waited it out, and when it seemed like it was over, I went out to make with plowing. I plowed down the left side first, lifted the blade, went back up, repeated on the right side, no problem. Got back up, plowed the top, went back down to clean up better, went back up, nope, not this time. I lost my traction and couldn't get up. I backed down the road a ways to get a better run at it. I gunned it and got most of the way up the incline before I lost traction again, and started sliding backwards down the driveway. I struggled to get the truck into reverse, and pumped the brakes but just kept picking up speed. Wheeeeeeee! I'm gonna die! My butt was clenched so hard I thought my eyes would pop out of my head. I dropped the blade even though there was no snow left to pile up behind it and slow my decent. I knew that the snow bank on the other side of the road would not impede my progress towards the nearest tree, and there was nothing I could do about it. Then, right at the bottom of the driveway, somehow something dug in, and I stopped broadside in the road, my bumper about an inch from the snowbank on the other side. I just sat there collecting myself for a minute, trying to relax my grip on the steering wheel.

I decided to walk up. I wiped out almost immediately and realized I could not keep my footing on the driveway, so I walked up the side in the deep snow. When I got to the house, I put my snowshoes on, got a bin with sand and salt in it, put it on a sled and made my way back down the driveway sanding and salting until I reached the bottom. I threw everything in the back of the truck and braced myself for another attempt.

I made it! *phew* I called my client, and said, I won't be leaving the house today, so I'll see you tomorrow. It was then that I understood why my plow-guy disappeared without a trace, but he still could've called.