Wifey-Poo likes to write about her dreams on her blog, but I don’t remember my dreams, so I have to think up something else to write about. Lisa is in Washington today (at her Mom’s) and for some reason I always seem to get more done when she’s out of town. So I figured I would write about what I’ve done today so far.
Okay here’s a good one. Stephen is out of town, so he asks Trevor to go over to his house and feed Eric The Red (Stephen’s huge, shaggy-pelted orange cat). Trevor has to go out of town at the last minute, so he asks me to go over and feed Eric for him. Fine, I say. Gimme Stephen’s key. Trevor can’t give me the key, because he has to feed the cat soon before he leaves town. Fine, I say. Leave the key out for me, and I’ll get it from your house. So now I have to remind Lisa to leave me her copy of the key to Trevor’s house, and I have to hope Trevor remembers to leave the key for me. (So is this more boring or less boring than me telling you about my dream? I know, it’s a tough call!) This is one of those times I remember why people get married. Otherwise, you’d forget half of the things you’re supposed to remember. It’s a little like having an additional part-time brain.
So Saturday morning (today) comes, and first thing on my list is to feed Eric. This involves many steps. I drive to Trevor’s house, take in his newspapers for him, and get the key, (which fortunately is taped to directions to Stephen’s house, a map, and details on how to feed the cat). On my way to Stephen’s house, I stop by McD’s and get an SMwE (Sausage McMuffin with Egg) and a milk. (It’s around 10AM). As I leave McD’s I notice that it must be in a Korean neighborhood, partly because of the people eating there, but also because there is a box of Murky News Korean Edition in a stand,inside the restaurant.
I get to Eric’s ^H^H^H^H^H Stephen’s house. (One day nobody will be left alive who understands what that means, so sad, the passing of an era.) There are workmen digging up Stephen’s lawn. I suppose this is acceptable to him, or even convenient, since he’s out of town. I briefly wonder if he’s getting ready to sell his house. Anyway, after turning the lock one way and then the other for a minute or two, I manage to make the key work. It’s not really a deficiency in the key, or a deficiency of my intuition when it comes to house locks. Anyway, I go inside with my book. Since part of the instructions are to pet Eric, I figured he might want to curl up on my lap for a while, hence the book.
I fill the various bowls with the various substances, and Eric is very eager to be scritched and scratched in all the usual cat places. He sheds like a, …, … Um, he sheds like a. (Kip Adata song, Wet Dream: She drank like a…, she drank like a…, she drank a LOT.) Eric sheds his fur like a long-haired cat in the summer time! I looked for a brush, but couldn’t find one. So I petted him some more. I realize I have an old ratty comb in my back pocket that has reached near the end of its useful lifespan (they always lose teeth, and I replace them on a regular basis). I’m sure everyone I know would be grossed out, but I go ahead and use it on Eric to try and keep the fur from coming off in my hands. I figure he’s not going to get lice from me, and I’m throwing it out when I’m done, so it’s okay. Anyway, I continue scratching and combing and removing excess hair from the comb for a while more. Maybe 20 minutes in all. I read a few pages in my book, but Eric doesn’t seem to be a cuddling cat, more like a lay-on-the-floor cat. Which is good, because he looks like a large blobby orange puddle. A very cute large blobby orange puddle, but a puddle none the less. So after leaving Eric, I drop the key back at Trevor’s house, and head to the next chore on my list.
The next chore that’s in the neighborhood is to buy some new jeans at the Mall. I am down to two pairs that fit, and one of them has a hole in the knee, and a hole in the pocket. The hole in the knee didn’t bother me a bit. Not until it gets big enough for my knee to poke through, then it would be annoying. But the hole in the pocket is a real annoyance. I was mentioning it to my buddy Dave as we walked back from lunch yesterday, and he said, “Usually you don’t get holes in the knees unless you kneel down on hard surfaces.” I smiled and said, “My keys keep falling through my pocket, and I have to kneel down and pick them up.” It seemed pretty hilarious at the time, but maybe you had to be there. Anyway, I choose a random parking lot at the Vallco mall in San Jose, and end up near Penny’s. After finding the jeans department, I walk right up and find my old favorites Levi’s 550’s. (You say “fat, old people jeans”, I say “Relaxed Fit ™”). I never remember my size, except for the fact that the waist size seems to go up every time I buy new jeans. I pick two candidate sizes, and head for a dressing room. After opening the door on someone by accident (no locks) I wait for a changing room to be available. I get a room, and the first pair I try on fits great. I head back out, put the extra one back, and pick up another in the size that fits. They’re on sale for $27 each which seems like a good deal (to my memory). I was expecting the process to take much longer, but I was in and out in a few minutes.
The next chore on my list was the result of a party on wednesday attended by an old friend, JJ. (JJ’s first google hit is a contribution to the “No Recall Go Monorail” campaign in Seattle. Go figure.) She mentioned that she’s into a game called Dance Dance Revolution (DDR). I tried it for a while, but I had a cheesy floor pad that kept moving around and getting bunched up. We dug up my old game from the garage and played it for a while, but the DDR players at the party told me I needed a better game controller. Since I’m always looking for ways to trick myself into getting exercise, I decided to give the game another try. My DDR games is the for PS2, and that’s relegated to the garage these days. Only the Xbox is appealing enough to keep out in the front room. (We have a small house). So I go looking for a higher quality dance pad, and a version of the game that I can use with an Xbox. I don’t find the brand that recommended to me, but I find one that seems pretty good (they have one on display), so I buy a new controller and an Xbox version of the game. (Haven’t tried them out yet, that’s for later today, after I finish recovering from my other chores).
After Fry’s I head to Costco. I have a semi-professional beer catering service, which is therwise known as “Poker Night”. This requires regular trips to Costco to stock up on booze. I bought all the requisite cases of bottled beer, and a huge binge-sized bottle of vodka that we use for martinis. I’m supposed to get EasyMac for Lisa, but I can’t find it today. Costco is kind of hit-or-miss, some days they have something, some days they don’t. I picked up a few other items on the shopping list while I was there, and loaded itall into my car.
Costco is close to the comic book store. Since I missed my usual trip to Lee’s this week, I had comics waiting for me in my subscription folder behind the counter. I also brought in an Alex Ross calendar that I bought two weeks ago, because it had a big fold/wrinkle/defect down the largest picture in the calendar. If you know anything about Alex Ross, then you understand this is simply unacceptable. (Hee hee, here’s a good one.) So I got my calendar replaced, bought my new comics for the week, and went back to my car.
I’m really thirsty by now, and I try to avoid soda. There’s another McD’s and a Krispy Kreme in the mall with Costo and Lee’s, so I drop into Krispy Kreme to get a drink. Since my egg-mcmuffin-thing is wearing off, and it’s around 2pm or so, I pick up a donut along withmy bottle of water.
Since I didn’t find all the booze I need for Poker Night, I head to BevMo for some more fixin’s. Drive, drive, drive. The shops along El Camino are not easy to get to from the freeway. At BevMo I get a few designer sodas, some martini mixers, and another bottle opener. The usual martini mixer for us is Hpnotiq (yummy), but I see some pre-made mixers for apple martinis and lemon drops, so I figure I’ll try those out too. I notice they seem to have generic made sodas filled into old, used coke, pepsi and other brand name bottles. It’s kind of weird. I find a blue flavor of Jolt cola in a bottle, so I get one of those to try. Along with some Bawls. (By this point Ialready have a case of Red Bull in the trunk from Costco).
Only one more place to stop before heading home. I stop by Long’s Drugs to get some premixed salt packets (for rinsing my sinuses), and some wart remover (got one on my hand). I tend to pick at things, so I have to get rid of warts as soon as they pop up, otherwise the end up bleeding and getting bigger.
After Long’s, I head home to unpack and put things away. That takes a while too. I spend some time carefully removing all the tiny plastic bits holding the various tags on my new jeans. Then I start a load of laundry to wash my new jeans, and the other stuff in my clothes hamper. It’s around 3pm by now, and I still have more chores. I spend 20 minutes cooling off with a drink and reading the first issue of the new Top Ten series. Then it’s back to work.
Our porch light has been broken for a while now. Two of the four sockets in the fixture have partly disintegrated. Being outside for 10 years will do that, I don’t really expect more than that from a 10-year old mass-produced townhouse. Anyway, my buddy Mike moved back into town recently. He remodeled his house, and ended up with an extra light fixture that looked almost exactly like the one on my porch. I find this highly serendipitous, because there are a
zillion light fixtures at Home Depot, and none of them even remotely resemble the one I’m talking about. So I give him a center channel loudspeaker that I’m not using, and he gives me his light fixture. I get two things out of this trade, a new light fixture, and more space in my garage. So it’s a good deal for me. So today I get around to replacing the light fixture on our porch. First I bring out the four-foot ladder, which lets me reach the light, but I’m working with my hands held over my head, which is a tiresome and clumsy way to work. So halfway through the job, I get the seven foot ladder from the garage and use it instead. (Getting the seven foot ladder in and out of its own little corner of the garage and into the house is a whole ‘nother adventure, but I’ll spare you the gory details for now.) Replacing the light involves turning off the proper circuit breaker, which I find after only a short bit of trial and error. Removing the old fixture is a fairly straightforward process. Both fixtures are the type with a glass multi-sided cover that affixes over the bulbs using a center post and a screw-cap that holds on the glass cover. The electrical connections are made using those annoying twist-on plastic thingies. When I take the twist caps off, it’s clear that the installer knew how to use them, since they are firmly holding their two wires in place. The wires on the new light are the same kind as on the old light. But when I try to get the twist caps back on, they don’t want to stay for me. This isn’t a surprise since I’ve tried and failed to use these many times before. I try twisting the wires together the opposite way, and it works a little better. Also, it’s a little challenging to hold the light fixture in one hand, and connect 3 loose items together with the other hand. (2 wires and one cap). Eventually I stack some boxes on the top of the ladder, so I can rest the light on the boxes at the right height and work with both hands to make the electrical connections. After a half hour or silent cursing I turn the breaker back on and I’m ready to put the light bulbs in. I find that I can reuse three of them, but one needs replacing. Upstairs to get new lightbulb. We have a whole shelf dedicated to holding the fifty-seven different kinds of light bulbs in our small house. On the way back from getting the light bulb, I put the jeans in the dryer and start a load of shirts. After verifying that everything works, I scrub all the finger prints off my shiny new light fixture using some kleenex, and I put the glass cover on. I am very happy that’s done with. Fixing the porch light has been on my list of chores for months now.
Not done yet. There’s been a nasty smell coming from our porch for about a week. It smells like either “garbage” or “dead animal” depending on your past experience with nasty smells. I’ve looked and looked, but I can’t see where the smell is coming from. The majority of the underneath part of our porch is completely enclosed by the porch, with a trapdoor in the top for getting down there. I poked my head down and used my eyes and nose to inspect it. Nothing down there. My strongest suspicion is that there’s a dead mouse under the stairs. Because of the arrangement of shrubs, railings and concrete it’s not possible to poke my head down there check it out. So I get the garden hose from the storage area under the house, move it to the front porch. While I have the hose out, I use it to clean the dirt off the front porch and the patio. Then I attack the stairs. Underneath and behind our porch stairs is mostly concrete. Using the trigger sprayer on the hose, and poking it back between the stairs, I manage to clean out years of accumulated dirt, grime and grunge. I don’t notice any dead animals floating out, but I didn’t poke into the middle of floating mass of gunk that floated out. I swoosh the muck down the sidewalk and onto the grass where the grass conveniently swallows it up. If we’re lucky the smell will be gone, but even if it’s not our porch is much cleaner now. I try toclean it every five years whether it needs it or not. 😉
After all that activity it’s about 5:30 and I’m looking for something I can do sitting down. Hmmm…. how about writing a blog entry? I must prove to the world that I can post as much crap as the next person. Now I have to finish the laundry and then I think nowI’ll try hooking up the new dance pad.