Target dollar-bins redux

Posted by houndrat on Monday Jun 30, 2008 Under family life, random stuff, Uncategorized

At 1:30 pm on Saturday, I? am hauling? my? butt to Target at warp speed (which,? thanks? to the vast array and? disgustingly numerous? amounts of yummies I’ve been consuming lately, is no small task).? My son has a birthday party to? get to by? 3:00, and of course, we don’t have a present yet.? I don’t know how many preschooler parties you’ve attended lately, but here’s a tip—it’s generally considered a faux pas to come empty-handed.? Even by four year-olds.

Not that this last-ditch effort to grab a gift is any big news around here.? In fact, an hour and a half lead time is something of a blessing–we’re usually talking minutes.? But it’s okay.? I’ve recently come to terms with the simple truth that procrastination is a valid life-choice in our home.?

So, I? fly? into the Target parking lot, and lo and behold, I have to slam on my brakes, because some dude in a Lexus is just sitting there picking his butt, without a care in the world.? Hello–doesn’t he know that I’m on an emergency gift-getting expedition?? Apparently not, because he’s just chilling, lolly gagging even, and refusing to turn left.? Which would be fine, except for the fact that we have NO STOP SIGN.? And I need a birthday present–NOW!? ? And unless the moron in the Lexus? suddenly whips up a dinosaur or soccer ball and tosses it into my window, I need to get into that store.? Fast.?

The other driver facing us in the straight lane does have a brain, along with a stop sign,? and is trying to wave him on.? But? Lexus man? is oblivious.? ? It really? shouldn’t be shocking,? since there’s obviously some kind of crappy-driver pre-requisite one must meet before being allowed to purchase a Lexus in the first place. I mean, when’s the last time you’ve seen? anyone drive a Lexus in? a style that didn’t resemble that of a 100 yr-old blind woman?

So I beep my horn.? Of course, Lexus man doesn’t deign to notice.? We’re still sitting there.? And, last time I checked, ? we still have NO STOP. I mean, come on—even my 4 yr-old can decipher what the letters S-T-O-P mean, especially? when found on a red octagonal-shaped street sign.? Which is completely beside the point, since there WAS NO STOP SIGN.

At any rate, finally the driver in the opposite lane gives up and goes.? Of course, at exactly the same time it dawns on Lexus man that, hey, there’s no? stop sign here, and he goes, too.? Then I have to wait through the inevitable almost-crash and its aftermath before finally turning left and getting to park.

So now, thanks to the German automotive industry, I have zero time to spare.? I fly out of my car and run into the store, grabbing a cart along the way.? I have absolutely no intention of stopping anywhere other than the toy aisle, and I even tell my cart, for good measure.? My cart, it seems, has other ideas.? Or else the listening skills of my 4 yr-old, because it starts steering me right towards the dollar bins, which the diabolical Target-minds place in the very front of the store.? Bastards.? I struggle with my cart,? gasping for air,? desperately? yanking it away from? the? dollar section? with all my might, but it’s got superhuman strength.? It? drags me, kicking and screaming, right to those lovely, lovely bins, the 4th of July section no less, and I have to concede defeat.? Man, those toxins from China must have some kind of magnetic superpowers.

Okay, so maybe the kicking and screaming part was all in my brain.? But its the thought that counts.

Somehow, I manage to get my kid to the party, right on time.? But, because of my renegade cart, not only does a little boy have a new science kit, but my dog Skye has these.? It’s kind of strange, though—who would’ve thought they’d sell hound dog ear warmers in California in the middle of July?

Dog With Ear Warmers

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more on the messy husband

Posted by houndrat on Tuesday Jan 29, 2008 Under husbands, procrastination

So, when my husband and I argue about who’s messier, he always plays the “you never clean out the garage” card.? I will admit, I don’t do much cleaning in the garage.? In fact, I? rarely? venture into? the garage at all—it’s creepy.?

See, we live next to an uninhabited hilly area.? ? Residing in uninhabited hilly areas are oodles? of rats.? Rats, like the rest of us, ? would rather trade up from their dirty little rat homes and find nicer (yet still dirty) indoor? digs in which to warm their homely little disease-ridden rat bodies during the cold weather.? Oh, and apparently it’s an added bonus if that indoor location has lots of old clothes, cardboard boxes, rotting pinatas and various junk strewn throughout.? Did I mention we have a three-car garage in which to store all this crap?

Anyway, back on topic.? See, when my husband tidies up the garage, he does a pretty good job.? I’ll be the first to admit it.? But—and this is a big one, of J-Lo proportions—should you really get cleaning points when, in tackling one mess, you sort of maneuver half of that mess into a new, more conspicuous spot, and leave it there for weeks on end?? This is the essence of my husband’s cleaning tactics, and one of? the reasons we argue so much about it.? ? I? guess I just really don’t believe that relocating the? disaster site does a ton of good in the long run.? He does.

You be the judge.? Pictured below is? our driveway following one of? hubby’s abbreviated? garage organizing stints.? Of special interest is the fact that he cleaned the garage over a week ago, and the stuff is still moldering away, undoubtedly ticking off any remaining neighbors that were still talking to us up to this point.

The best part of taking these photos, though, is what I noticed in the corner by the garage door.? See those chairs?? Our friends borrowed them for their son’s birthday party—on December 19th.? They returned them—on December 20th.? Basically, those chairs have been sitting there, completely unnoticed by hubby or myself, for over a month now.?

? We make quite a pair, don’t we?

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I’m no mechanic, but…

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday Jan 23, 2008 Under procrastination

…even I can tell the difference between these brake pads.?

This time, we got us a nice shiny new set of calipers to go along with the rotors and brake pads.? The price difference two weeks makes?? ? About $100.? ? Now, don’t get me wrong—I like a nice pair of calipers just as much as the next person, but for that price, I can think of a few other things that might excite me a little more. (Like 1.5 tanks of gas—okay, that’s not much more exciting.? I give up).

In other words?? Procrastination doesn’t pay.

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New Year’s resolutions, revisited

Posted by houndrat on Friday Jan 18, 2008 Under New Year's resolutions

Okay, so maybe I was a bit hasty with the self-congratulatory kudos in the procrastination department.? ? Granted, it was a huge step for us to deposit (read toss) our? Christmas tree? on? the curb on time.? Unfortunately, that’s the only Christmas item that’s made a timely exit from our home or surrounding area.

For example, take a gander at our fireplace mantel (photo taken yesterday).? Perhaps I can start a new decorating theme of year-round Christmas (because that would be so appropriate in San Diego, where it’s? typically scorchin’ balls, even? in December).?

I especially like how the rotting Poinsettia and decaying dirty diaper add to the overall ambiance of our family room.

Next, take a stroll up the walkway to our house, and what will you find?? Why, it’s our handy-dandy Christmas tree stand, still in the exact same spot where it landed after we flung our tree out into? the street.? We are literally? forced to step? over it multiple times on a daily basis, yet on our walkway it continues to reside.? Personally, I think it makes an interesting conversation piece.?

And finally, the piece de resistance.? Yes, our holiday reindeer and our fifteen foot? inflatable polar bear (because it just wouldn’t be Christmas without one of those), not to mention our lights, are all still? partying it up? together on our front lawn.? You know the neighbors dig that stuff.

So I say, bah humbug to eliminating procrastination.? It’s kind of nice to still have Christmas? in our home—even if it is a? slightly less fragrant one.

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Procrastinators, Anonymous

Posted by houndrat on Friday Jan 11, 2008 Under procrastination

Hi.? I am a procrastinator.? I admit it.? In fact, I admit it freely.? What’s more, I like to talk about procrastinating.? A? lot.? Why, you ask?? Because talking about the things you procrastinate about is the ultimate procastination.? It’s like procrastination nirvana.

? What kinds of things do we procrastinate about at our house?? I don’t think there’s enough space on the internet to list? them all.? Honestly. But I’ll try to throw out a few.

Some procrastinations are small.? For example, I procrastinate about buying various items at the store.? Toothpaste (yes, friends, that not-so-fresh-breath is sometimes me),? toilet paper (according to my husband, you can cut up used socks and use them instead—a fraternity house secret), and food (hey, we all needed to go on a diet anyway), just for starters.?

Sometimes, the procrastinations are bigger.? Like the fact? that we have yet to get? our daughter? a social security number or a birth certificate.? The midwife told us those in power like this to be done within 3 weeks of the birth.? Alas, our daughter is over 3 months now, and still without a country to call her own.?

This may not seem like a big deal, unless you knew that we had a home birth.? Apparently, if we don’t do this at some point, she will not be considered a citizen of the United States.? What I am wondering is, is it possible to be a citizen of nowhere?? How does that work, exactly?? I mean, I ‘ve heard of dual citizenship, but never no citizenship.

? But I digress (or, you might say, I procrastinate about procrastinating).? We also procrastinate about doing laundry (it saves the environment), replacing brake pads (we’re single-handedly keeping the rotor-making companies in business), and picking up dog poop (it’s free fertilizer, if you leave it long enough).? We didn’t have a crib mattress until our baby was two months old (hey, I needed an organic one, and you actually have to drive further than a mile to get those), and as for cleaning out the refrigerator?? Well, making your own penicillin does have some benefits, I guess.

Why do we procrastinate?? I honestly don’t know.? I mean, it’s not as if I really believe the toilet paper fairy is going to come make a delivery at our home (unless she just made a drop off in our trees—but I’m pretty sure that’s the kid who lives down the street, the little bastard).? And it’s not as if we think our friends are going randomly drop by and say, “Oh, I was just passing through, and thought I would? bring you? a crate of Charmin–it’s so squeezably soft, you know.”? (but friends, if you’re reading this, it’s not a bad idea—especially if you think you might need to use the john).

But the beauty of procrastination is, you can do it anytime, anywhere, anyplace.? In fact, I was able to procrastinate on about a billion projects, just by writing this blog.

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Every year, my husband and I make New Year’s resolutions to get organized and stop procrastinating.? ? Every year,? my husband and I? know we’ve failed miserably by February.? ? How?? By the fact? that? the friggin’ Christmas tree is? still creating a massive fire hazard in our living room come Valentine’s Day.? Seriously.?

Being (mostly) environmentally friendly people, we actually tried the live tree thing our first year in a new house.? Our son had just been born, and we got all teary-eyed thinking how great it would be for him to have his own Christmas tree in the backyard, commemorating the wonder of his birth.

Bad idea.? Aapparently, you have to actually plant the darn? things before July.? Go figure.?

And not having a Christmas tree is just not an option in our home, with our son.? Why not try a fake one, you ask?? Are you kidding?? The only reason the tree ever exits our house at all? is because after awhile, the dead pine needles start molting.? If we had a fake one, I can only imagine it would become a year-long fixture.? Tempting as that is, we just don’t have the space for it.? We’ve got a myriad of other random assorted crap to strew over the floor, you know.

In case I haven’t made my point yet—it? is a bad, bad thing to be a procrastinator and unorganized.?

However, when both you AND your husband are equally cursed with both of these traits, you are basically as screwed as if a tornado had taken up permanent residence inside your home.

Think I’m joking?? Well, the policeman sure didn’t, even though I tried to explain to him that we really MEANT to renew our registration, but we 1) didn’t open the notice? until too late and 2) then couldn’t find it again once we opened it, in the sea of assorted papers that is our counter.

? Seriously, ladies, heed my advice.? If you are single and unorganized, then start looking for datable men who work at places like the Container Store, or better yet, cast members from Clean Sweep.? A procrastinator?? Go find yourself? a CPA hottie.? Because,? honestly folks,? this is not something you want to double up on in? your gene pool.

This year, however, we have made serious progress.? The Christmas tree actually made it to the curb in time for the trash man to take it.? ? This is the first time since my husband and I have owned a home that he hasn’t had to sneak around in the middle of the night in the slightly illegal endeavor (whatever that means) of dumping the tree in an empty dumpster at the nearby junior college (hey, the benefits of college have far exceeded my expectations now) because we missed the tree pick-up dates by a mile.?

The fact that we are actually? truly excited by this milestone shows how pathetic we really are.

Of course, in the process of exiting our home, the tree shed needles like a flock of Samoyeds shed hair, all across our living room.? Hmmm, might have something to do with the fact that neither of us remembered to put water in the little holder thingy?

At any rate, my husband, upon re-entering our house, gives the mess a cursory glance and says, “I’ll clean it up”.? That was on Tuesday.? It’s now Friday.? Is the mess still there?? You bet.? In fact, I imagine those pine needles will still be rotting away there come December, waiting to? greet the next Christmas tree.? ?

Aw, the circle of life.?

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