Sunday, November 24, 2002

Reality Series in the Making

Those of you who know and love me, I want you to think for a moment about my personal qualities. Recall, if you will, the Blender Incident, the Flowerbox Stumble, the Toothpick Impalement. If you’ve known me since high school, you may even recall the Flying Leap Ankle Imbroglio and an injury involving a ball point pen which almost required stitches. Now, keeping all this in your mind, I want you to ask yourself, “Who among my friends should never, under any circumstances, attempt to clean her own gutters without a safety harness, climbing equipment, and possibly a team of paramedics standing by in the driveway, idly munching on Hydrox and taking bets on which piece of extraction equipment will come into play first when it all comes crashing down?”

Was it me? Was I the person you thought of?? Well, let me tell you, everyone, I am truly disappointed in your lack of confidence in me. Just because I am one of the clumsiest, most injury-prone individuals on God’s green earth doesn’t mean I can’t handle a simple household task like cleaning out my gutters with nothing but an extension ladder (2 feet too short) and my father standing on the ground going, “You know, I don’t think this is a good idea. No, seriously, come on down, this just isn’t safe.”
Oh, he of little faith! I wedged my tennis shoes up against the edge of the porch roof and proceeded to scoop the goop out from a mostly horizontal position, gripping the edges of the shingles with one hand and scraping with the other. Lacking the courage to actually stand up, I scooted up to the peak of the roof on my butt, and back down the other side of the porch to do the other front gutters, with dad wincing below and me freezing my cheeks off. (Both. Thanks for asking.) Then it was up and over the back of the house, whose gutters are about 20’ off the ground and whose roof is at about a 60 degree slope with nothing to hang onto. I’m no wimp, so I scooted on down there and started scraping.....and after about 5 minutes and one serious overbalance (which thank god dad didn’t notice, but for a fractional second I thought I was going over the edge) I chickened and retreated. I claim a partial victory! And my neighbor with the 25’ ladder will administer the coup de gras later this week.

In other news, y’all go check out my friend Francie’s new web site! shows off the jewelry and other cool stuff that Francie’s been making for years, and if you like it, buy somethin’! The holidays are coming up, after all. I went to the Stutz Studios’ Holiday Show to visit her booth and provide moral support, and also had the pleasure there of meeting Rob Harrell, who draws a daily online comic called Big Top, which is worth checking out if you’re a comics buff! So there’s my pitches for the day, take em or leave em!

Monday, November 18, 2002


Yeah, yeah. I've been busy, with all working and all. Last year, around this time, the boiler started leaking, entailing two visits from the heating and cooling guys and a chunk of money, plus some water damage. Last week, literally two days before my houseguest was to show up, my plumbing backed up and flooded the downstairs bathroom, soaking the hall carpet to the point of total squishiness. Frantic mopping, dehumidifying, moving the cat boxes so the cats could get to them without getting their paws wet... Thought I had problem fixed, Claire arrived, and then it backed up again. One emergency call to Roto-Rooter later and things are fixed, but it turns out my plumbing has a Tragic Flaw which will probably lead to this problem arising again in future. Unless I buy the MIRACLE ENZYME CLEANER from Roto-Rooter for $75. Think I'll do a little comparison shopping first....

Thursday, November 07, 2002

*Insert Bad Leaf-Raking Pun Here*

It's that time of year again! A veritable explosion of fall colors has done exploded all over my yard. I've been out today plowing the mulching mower through an ankle-deep carpet of leaves, trying to take advantage of the one or two warm days we're having this week before it's back to rain and chill on Sunday. I particularly like mowing underneath the silver maple, as its leaves are a gorgeous bright yellow and the chopped up bits blowing up on either side look like a fountain of gold dust! Well, gold dust made out of chopped leaves. At any rate, I got around the big part of the yard 4 times before the exertion and dust triggered a rather startling asthma attack. I had to make a dash for the inhaler, and I'm only just feeling semi-normal again. Think I may wait til tomarrow to do the rest of the yard, that gives it more time to dry out and gives me time to be smart and actually medicate myself BEFORE risking death. Sigh.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Well, it's been downhill since Halloween, I'm afraid. My fish died, and I have been frantically combing my house for the Vassar transcripts that I was sure I had but can't find. Now I'm going to have to beg VC to next-day-air them to IUPUI. Am I the most disorganized individual in the world? It's possible.

On a somewhat related note, my friend Claire is coming to visit next week. My decision to excavate the downstairs den was originally based on not being able to find transcripts (that's where they would have been, in the piles of unsorted papers left over from my move 16 months ago.) But now there's the added incentive that someone new is coming to visit! Someone who hasn't seen what a total rathole my place can be! If I can get things shaped up between now and then, Claire could actually sleep in the den if she chooses. (Less comfortable pullout couch instead of living room futon, but warmer and more privacy.) The possibilites are heady. So even though I've given up hope on the transcripts, I'm continuing my blitz through the junk in that room. So far I've filled two trash bags with old papers, receipts and records from my life in Chicago--that was 1996-1998, folks! Be afraid! Be very afraid!--and it's not over yet....