Category Archives: rant

Shedding Sheldon

The first line of the blog post read, “I was flying in to Cape Corral Fla. on southwest” and I was forced to swallow the bile that immediately rose.  Admittedly, the rest of the story was entertaining, but I had too much difficulty getting past that first line to enjoy it.  You see, I’m a grammar Nazi.  A spelling Nazi.  A detail in the written word Nazi.  Had the line read, “I was flying in to Fort Myers, FL on Southwest”, I could have enjoyed it more.  I happen to know that Southwest likes their name capitalized, that Cape Coral doesn’t have an airport, and I know how that particular city spells its name.  I’m my own worst enemy.

I have a group of friends online that are the same.  We skip through the interwebs and get together in little groups to point our collective cyber fingers at the grammatical miscreants and laugh at them privately.

But, I realize I need to change my ways.  I have friends who tell me they’re afraid to comment on anything I post because they fear I’ll point out their errors; if not to them, then to my other grammatically high-brow friends.  It’s gotten to the point that I actually annoy myself.  I won’t go into a store with a misspelled word on their marquee or in their windows.  Cutsie spellings just piss me off, and I won’t ever buy ice cream at Kustard Korner, even though I crave their root beer floats more than breath.

Yes, Sheldon. I, too, am a loser.

I realize that I have become Sheldon Cooper; I’m annoying, and not in a cute way.  I feel superior and refuse to take into consideration the fact that I can’t shoot a hoop, work a mathematical equation or rebuild an engine.  My grammatical skills have made me a snob.

So, from here on out, I’m going to try to amend my ways.  Tpyos are just something taht happen.  Kyootsie spellings will be overlooked and I’ll learn to think of them as kewl.  txt spk wl b 4gvn  No, I’m sorry.  I just can’t go there.  Pour grammar n speling will be… Oh, hell.  Who am I kidding?  Certainly not me, and probably not ewe.

Did I mention that the book I’m currently reading is set in 1977 and they drink bottled water and play Pac Man at the arcade?  Do you have any idea about just how much this pisses me off?

It’s baby steps, Bob.  Baby steps.

*Image of Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper courtesy of Google

Giving Each Other The Bird

You know you might need to find something else to do with your time when you start to snap about the little things.  I mean, the really, really stupid little things.

This is Feldman, our travel flamingo.

Feldman on Key West

He goes on vacations with us and is generally used as a marker on beaches so we can easily find our chairs after taking a stroll down water’s edge.  He’s always held a spot of honor in our home, and since our move to Florida, he’s on display outside at all times.

Now that we’re fairly well settled into our retirement down here, we’re finding ourselves with more time on our hands to play with silly projects.  That’s where Feldman’s updated look began.

For some completely warped reason, I decided he needed dreadlocks.

Kevin stepped in to help and drilled holes in dear, little Feldman’s head while I was still sleeping one morning. I was mildly annoyed, because I’d pictured the holes to be more like slits, and I knew there was no way I’d be able to weave the dreads through these tiny openings. Kevin, in his never-ending need to fix things for everyone, then created a tool for me to use in the task.  OK, it wasn’t how I wanted it to proceed, but I could grumbling and mutteringly see where it would work, although differently from my plan.

I laboriously drew the black strands through the holes. Black yarn was wrapped around each dread to keep them looking dreadful.  The bottom of each strand was sealed with a dot of red nail polish, to give it the look of a bead.  My creative juices were flowing like our now thinner, Florida blood!  I was rejoicing in my stupidity!  The top was knotted and sealed with clear nail polish so it wouldn’t fray.  However, that left the top of his head looking kind of unkempt, so I decided he needed a hat.

I mentioned to Kevin that I was going to search online for a Rastafarian hat for Feldman, and before I even had the opportunity, my “fixer” reported that he’d done an internet search and couldn’t come up with anything.  However, he found Rasta shoelaces that I might be able to work with.  I went to Amazon, found something similar and ordered them, all the while grumbling to myself about the fact that he stole my internet search.  In record time, they were in my mailbox.  I then spent a very enjoyable morning fashioning one lace into a really cool hat.  When I tried it on Feldman, I realized it needed to be glued on to his head.

And this is where my pissed-offitude really took wing.

We only had Python Glue.  I don’t like Python Glue.  Kevin likes Python Glue.  I wanted Gorilla Glue, but the last time we were in a store and I tried to buy some, Kevin insisted on buying Python Glue, because he uses glue, too.  The nasty Python Glue wouldn’t work the way I needed it to work.  It needed to be held on for hours.  I wasn’t holding a hat on a stupid, plastic flamingo for hours.  (Sorry, Feldman!)  I told him that I’d be waiting for pay day to go buy the glue I wanted, all the while internally seething that I could have had my project already done if only he’d have butted out of my need for Gorilla Glue the last time and let me buy what I wanted.  But, noooooo…

The next morning when I woke up, Feldman was up high on a cabinet with rubber bands securely holding my Rasta creation to the top of his head… with Python Glue!  Kevin wasn’t around, so I was able to get a real, good snit going.  WTF?!  This was supposed to be my project! Did he really think he was helping me?  I couldn’t even look at my darling Feldman.  I had a unique way that I wanted to attach the hat so it would slouch down his back, and I was sure he didn’t do it the way I wanted it done.  I spent the rest of the day avoiding looking at Feldman on top of the cabinet, and avoiding Kevin as much as possible.  I knew he thought he was helping me, but I felt he’d destroyed… yes, destroyed!.. my project.

Oh, but it got worse.  The next morning, Feldman was waiting for me by my computer.  The rubber bands were gone.  Swallowing a huge lump in my throat, I picked him up to see how he looked.  My masterpiece of a hat was glued firmly, dead center, on top of his head.  He looked like a Chinese coolie flamingo. The tip that I’d sewn over to form a slouch pocket down the back was pointing to his left.  I was livid.  I didn’t want to make a scene (quite yet, but I was certainly masterminding one), so I just left poor Feldman laying on the table by my laptop, while I worked on letting myself get into a real snit, and mentally prepared for the hissy I was going to throw.  I picked him up a few times throughout the day and lamented all the hours I’d put into the beauteousness of him.  My upper lip trembled with repressed rage. My nostrils quivered with anger. He was ruined in the final hour.  RUINED!  A coolie hat!

I could barely talk to Kevin.  I kept my distance.  I growled to myself over and over and over about Python Glue and Gorilla Glue and holes instead of slits and leave my shit alone and maybe I could have found a pre-made hat if he hadn’t interfered and rubber bands and coolie hats!  I even thought of throwing my beloved Feldman away.  I was working up an enormous head of steam and I was just about to blow when I finally took a deep breath and picked Feldman up.  Sniffling and with unshed tears filling my eyes, I started folding parts of the hat this way and that.  I imagined what I could do with it if I bought some Gorilla Glue to use in certain, small spots.  I realized he might not be a total loss, and as much as I wanted to severely punish Kevin and make the rest of his life a living hell, it probably wasn’t worth ruining my marriage over.  After an extended cool-down period, I grudgingly made myself hug Kev, thank him for his efforts and tell him I was going to go buy some Gorilla Glue.  A couple of days later, I was even able to laugh and tell him how angry I’d been and how I’d planned on never speaking to him again because of his interference with my dreadlocked, pink, plastic flamingo project.

I’ll just save all my evil revenge plans for his next infraction of my unstated rules.

Feldman, mon.

Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum in Fort Myers, Florida: How Do You Sucketh? Let Me Count the Ways

I guess I shouldn’t complain about what I considered to be terrible service from Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum.  I’ve learned that it helps if you try to look at the positives you get out of an experience, so, with that in mind…

On May 14, 2012, we contracted with Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum for what should have been a very small job.  We wanted to have paving stones put in over the asphalt deck that already surrounded a very small, existing pool, plus a cage (or, screened enclosure) put up around it.  We didn’t get it in writing on our contract, but we both remember the owner of the company telling us it should be done in three weeks; two weeks to secure the building permit, and one week to do the job.  With gobs of gunk and leaves and decaying shingle shit falling into our little pool, it needed cleaning several times a day, and we were really thrilled to think it would be done so quickly.

Lesson #1:  Always get your project completion date in writing.  Thank you, Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum!  This new knowledge is invaluable!

As you can see, the project area is incredibly small.

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On May 22, we gave them a down payment for half of the project.

Lesson #2:  Companies we have since contracted with for other projects have told us that you should never do that.  You only pay a certain percentage after the job has been completed to a certain stage.  Thank you again, Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum!  You taught me just how gullible an asshole I was!  I’ll never fall for stupid stuff like that again!  Whew!  Boy, you saved me from all kinds of future anguish!

Well, four weeks later, we still hadn’t heard back from them.  We were desperately trying to learn patience from this, something I’m told the bible wants us to practice.  I guess Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum was just doing Jesus’ work,  bless their hearts.  But, we finally couldn’t stand it anymore.  We called them.  We didn’t get a return phone call.  We called them again.  No return phone call.  A pattern began.  A call, no return, a call, no return, lather, rinse, repeat.  We got angry.  Then we got angrier.

Lesson #3:  Yes, patience, my child.  Anger gets you nowhere.  Repeated phone calls get you nowhere.  You must also learn tolerance for those less fortunate than yourselves.  Some people are special and struggle through life with an inability to follow through on direction.  We must smile, and remember that it is really much more important to allow them the needed time to watch YouTube videos than do their jobs.  We must remember that they’ve been given this job at Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum because no one else would hire someone who behaves like such a c**t for such an important position as administrative assistant.

Oh!  I forgot to introduce a primary character in our saga! Let’s just go ahead and call her The C**t.   I mean, that’s how we referred to her for four months.  The C**t fielded all phone calls to the company owner.  (In fact, he never did return a single one of our calls.  The C**t even hinted at the fact that he was probably avoiding us.) Then, The C**t began not returning our phone calls, either.  When we did get her on the phone, she was rude, condescending, snippy and insulting in attitude.

Lesson #4:  It’s good to always be reminded that you’re an idiot.  I must always forget I have any intelligence or worth as a human being and remain humble, thanks to The C**t who works for Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum.

I believe it was to shut us up that we were given a start date for the pavers to be laid.  We waited at home.  No one showed up.  We called (yeah, we went through that whole farked-up sequence again) and called and called. Finally, we were told someone would be out the next day.  We waited at home.  No one showed up.  We called.  Oh, fuck it.  Let’s just call this The Pattern.

Did you know that it was possible for every staff member (except the one poor dear who had to answer the phone) to be in a meeting every hour of every working day?  Neither did we!  My, what busy people they were!  We finally decided to expand on The Pattern.  We said that we knew the “meetings” were bullshit, and we were calling every half hour until we got satisfaction.

Lesson #5:  Sometimes, it does pay to be an asshole!  Thanks for letting us win one, Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum!

On July 10, 2012, a crew finally came out to install our pavers.  It took them two days, and they looked very nice.  We were thinking that we were closing in on completion of this project.

Lesson #6: AHAHAHAHA!  I really was a gullible asshole!

Now we were faced with the problem that the surface surrounding the pool was two inches higher than the bottom of our sliding glass door.  The contract stated they would be raising this door before completion.  What we didn’t know, was that the little trough between the pavers and the door would fill with water whenever it rained (and south Florida has lots of rain in the summer!) and flow into our house.  With every rain.  All the time. Night and day. We had to bail and mop and bail and mop and bail…  Oh, let’s just call this Pattern #2!

The C**t and Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum didn’t seem to care much about this. We had to live with Pattern #2 for two months.  Two whole fucking months.

Lesson #7:  It’s OK to swear like a sailor when you’re as fucking pissed off as we were.

We finally got a crew out to put up our cage, after much procrastinating on their part because there was an area that needed a poured footer that they hadn’t considered when they bid the job.  Well, fine.  Send out a concrete guy and pour the damn footer!  More of Pattern #1 ensued until dude came out and did this:

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They had made it seem like it was some huge job, too.  It took him all of an hour.

Now, we resumed Pattern #1 of calling to get the door raised and the cage done while continuing with Pattern #2 of indoor water removal.  A cage crew finally came out.  We were told they would be done in one day.  At the end of day #1, they realized there was “something about the configuration” of our patio that wouldn’t let them install it right.  Day #2 saw a crew come and tear down the cage that was already put up.  They left it in our yard.

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In fact, it stayed in our yard for days and days and days and… Oh, just relax.  I’m not going to name another pattern.  In fact, I’m not going to go into detail about how they had to destroy the top of the tiled, perimeter flower bed you see above to pour cement into the holes in the concrete blocks it was made from, since no one bothered to inspect the job site properly.  In fact, I won’t go into detail about how we had to fight them to get someone out to fix the “finished” cage up to code standards.

We finally went out and moved all the pieces ourselves, since they were killing our grass and we needed to mow.

Lesson #8:  It was a good thing for us to get out there and get some exercise!  I mean, we’re not spring chickens anymore.  We’re not even considered to be middle-aged!  We’re early elderly, and if we hadn’t gone outside and moved all that crap in the hot, Florida sun, we may never have known how out of shape we were!  It’s good for nearly-senior citizens to see how close to a heart attack they really are!  Thank you, Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum!

BONUS!!  We were now able to add a new term to the family vernacular.  We all now refer to things as “all Bauer-ed up”, or if someone doesn’t show up, they “go Bauer on you”, or “pull a Bauer”.  Through the magic of the internet, let’s try to make this terminology go viral, OK?  😀

So, we resumed Pattern #1 until they finally sent someone out to put up our cage.  That part was finally, finally done.  Now, we just had to get someone out to raise our door so we could stop with Pattern #2, because until you’ve bailed and mopped water with the frequency that we did, you haven’t truly experienced burning, hot hatred and rage with an extreme need for vindication and revenge.  Getting this project done began to consume us.  It was the focus of every conversation.  We lost more than a little sleep over it.  We were fucking Bauering pissed off. We’d also contracted with another company to install hurricane protection on this door, and they couldn’t do it until it was raised.  We lived through one hurricane scare without the protection we’d already agreed to pay for.  So, OK.  I admit I might have turned them in to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation with a complaint of fraud at around this point, too.

Our slider was finally removed.  A footer was poured.  We now had a huge hole in the side of our house.

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We couldn’t lock our house.  We lived in fear of rain.  The little room the slider led into had a cabinet with all of our dry food in it.  I began imagining lizards in my Cheerios.  I could barely sleep at night, for fear of critters joining me in bed and zombies lurching into my house.  (Hey, it’s southern Florida.  We have zombies.)  We had this huge hole in our house for four days.  FOUR FUCKING BAUERING DAYS.  A crew came out to fix it, and we were told the footer was poured wrong and it had to be fixed to do it properly.

WRONG!  This is when The C**t was informed that I’d already bookmarked the pages to the local “call for action” news teams, and if they didn’t fix it that very day, they’d be on the 6:00 news.

Funny how that motivates people.

So, it took four months to complete a job (and much of it very shabbily) that was promised to be done in three weeks.  A very small job, as you can see:

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Final Lesson #8:  You have to be Bauering nuts to sign a contract with Bauer Construction Group, Inc. aka Premier Aluminum.

The NotJoker

We were so looking forward to just sitting at the tiny, three stool bar at the restaurant attached to our hotel.  We needed to slum it, in the fashion we were most accustomed to.  From our balcony, we could see that there was only one person sitting at the bar, and I joked that I was sure I could chase him away in no time.  We meandered downstairs and grabbed the two empty stools at the bar, looking forward to some plain old beer and camaraderie with the bar staff.

Wrong.

The guy who was sitting at the other stool was the epitome of every annoying bar patron that we’d ever run across, and then some.  He was truly in a league of his own.  I’ve been know to tell the crude and the rude to just shut the fuck up and leave us alone in other establishments, but this guy wouldn’t quite cross the line between pathetic to disgusting.  He remained lonely and sad, and after five minutes, we certainly could see why.

The moment our butts hit the stools, he turned to us and said, “Did I ever tell you the one about…”  No, you couldn’t have, since we’ve never met you before.  He then proceeded to tell us some tired, old internet joke that we’d each heard at least thirty times.  We politely laughed, which was the wrong thing to do.  You can’t encourage this type.  He continued to tell us one joke after another, all of which we’d heard countless times before.  We both even began to mention that we’d heard that one, and even that one, but he continued to tell them all the way to the end, regardless.  This went on through four jokes.  Five jokes.  Seven jokes.  Finally, I did it.

I faked a phone call.

I pulled my cell from my pocket and started carrying on an animated conversation into which I dragged Kevin.  He quickly picked up the idea, and repeatedly told me things to tell the person on the other end.  In the meantime, NotJoker kept poking him in the back, needing to tell him another one.  I passed the phone to Kev so he could be more involved and possibly give this dude the idea to leave us alone.  After both of us kept telling the non-existent caller that we would certainly discuss this between ourselves as soon as we hung up, we finally decided we were safe enough to end the pretend call.

Wrong again.

The moment the phone was back in my pocket, NotJoker got up and stood between us so he could say, “And then there’s the one about…”  Surprise!  Another not funny joke from 1947!

I swear that if it wasn’t for the adorable little girl that looked like Gwyneth Paltrow who appeared at the counter to pick up an order for her family, he would have never given up.  With a new target to hold hostage, we were finally able to shake him.  Otherwise, we still might be sitting there, listening to his stale jokes and not wanting to hurt the feelings of an ugly, lonely little man.  We could still be sitting there with him, under the palm trees and blue skies, with dolphins jumping and manatees swimming nearby, and listening to his pathetic form of stand-up comedy,

The snow in Ohio really didn’t seem like such a bad trade-off, after all.

Read This or I’ll Slap You

I’m hormonal as hell.  Menopause sucks scissors.

I’m hot flashing and night sweating and crying and bitching and yelling and blaming and wanting to kill something.

I’m fat and bloated and hot and cold and horny and you better not touch me and then I’m happy and sorry and apologizing and crying and eating all the chocolate and drinking all the beer and wine and crying more.

I want your attention and you better give it to me but you better leave me the hell alone if you know what’s good for you after you give me more chocolate and wine and tell me that I don’t look fat and that’s an order.

I love you all.

Bite Me

Bite me.  Now, there’s a phrase for you.  A lot of people say it.  It’s usually said as a way to tell someone to “go to hell” or some such commentary.  I’m very fond of saying it, myself.  I’ve often wondered why I use it, because it seems I am obviously asking for harm to befall me.  Last night’s menopausically challenged sleep cycle left me with a few hours to contemplate my navel, the meaning of life and the phrase “bite me”.

I imagined myself to be the recipient of this offer, rather than the giver.  I pictured someone I potentially didn’t like telling me to do this.  I tried to imagine going up to said person and chomping down on their arm.  I couldn’t do it.  The thought of putting my mouth on any part of a person I hated wasn’t going to happen.  I then realized the phrase could be used as a challenge.

Next, I imagined the most innocuous biter I could think of: the mosquito.  I pictured a mosquito landing on my arm and dipping into the lusciousness of me and what would then happen to it.  Of course, I smashed the little bastard to death and flicked his flattened ass to the gutter.

But that wasn’t enough.  I let my imagination go to another level.  I pictured someone I didn’t like, say, my boss.  I imagined her doing any number of the things that she does to annoy me, and me giving her my standard response to “bite me”.  I then saw her lunge forward and sink her teeth into my arm.  That’s when I imagined punching the living hell out of the side of her head.  I’m pretty sure one punch would be all it would take to make her let go, too.  So, there we have the challenge, again.  Go ahead.  Bite me and give me a reason to finally knock you senseless, you ignorant bitch.

I then took the imaginary biting to the next level.  Let’s say I offered this challenge to a Doberman.  Of course, if I was dumb enough to offer myself to this dog to begin with, I would have a weapon nearby.  Since this is my imagination, I can have any weapon I want.  While there was some joy in picturing a .357 Magnum in my hand at the appropriate moment, I felt I would get more satisfaction out of a steel shovel.  So, the dog has angered me to the point where I offer the challenge.  “Bite me,” I encourage.  It goes for my leg and begins a vicious assault.  I grab my shovel and begin to beat it into oblivion.  When it has let go, I continue to beat it, just because it really pissed me off and I can.

So, what I have deduced is that when one tells someone to bite them, it’s like a double dog dare.  The phrase has taken on new meaning for me.  I’m going to enjoy using it even more.

So, come on.  Bite me.

(Disclaimer:  The above mentioned Doberman is an imaginary dog.  An imaginary and vicious dog.  Possibly rabid.  Definitely an ugly dog before I ever had anything to do with it.  It probably has cooties, too.  Please don’t call the ASPCA on me.  I really love dogs.  I have a dog.  Really.)

A Conundrum: Tampons and Senior Citizen Discounts

I made a quick (OK, maybe not so quick) stop at Kohl’s today.  I needed more fat girls’ clothes and a few decorative odds and ends.

I went to the check out, where the adorably cute little cashier asked me, “Are you eligible for today’s senior citizen special?”  I stopped cold and dead in my tracks.  No one has ever asked me that before.  In fact, before I gained this blasted weight, no one could ever believe I was as old as I am.  I asked her how old one had to be to qualify (hey…it’s a discount, right?), and she admitted she didn’t know.  I was fairly certain that fifty-three wouldn’t qualify and let it slide at that.

I fretted this fact on the twenty minute drive home.  It was like the first time someone addressed you as “ma’am”.  The first time you were the only one in your party to not get carded or when the neighborhood kids start calling you Mrs. T.  No, that was my mother, not me.

I pulled into the local drug store to pick up bottled water, toilet bowl cleaner and tampons.  Yes, tampons.  The Goddess of Menopause still taunts me with her teasing ways.  “Hey!  You’re over it!  No period in four months!  You know it’s gone!” Then she hits me with a two week bleed.  Then, it’s “I promise, no more monthlies!” And I get slammed again.  Granted, the slams these days are much less than the bleeds of younger years, yet they’re here and annoying as hell.

So, I bought my first box of tampons in the past year, and while I was standing in the check out line paying for what I fervently hoped would be my last purchase of tampons in my life, I thought of being offered my very first senior citizen special on the very same day.

Too young for the discount and not quite old enough to be rid of the plague.  Just shoot me