Saturday, December 27, 2008

You are my sunshine...

I realized today that you can substitute 'butthole' for 'sunshine' in the song, and you've got a whole new tune! Especially when I tell you that 'butthole' has been my new term of endearment for the cats lately.

Yeah, it's been that exciting around here.

Christmas went fine. We both went to my parents on Xmas Eve, then had Wayne's fam over for Xmas Day. Wayne has his bigass tv taking up 3/4 of the living room, and I have my robot litter box on the way!!

A robot litter box? Yep, Nettie, I'm getting me a fancy poo machine. It looks like something from the Death Star. The cats go in and and do their thang, then it waits a few minutes, and BANG. Vaporizes the poo!

Kidding. Actually, it rotates completely around and sifts out the business and deposits it in a drawer for 'easy removal'. We used Wayne's Xmas bonus for this marvel, mainly because he's the Head of Poo Removal at our house. I'm in charge of Quality Control, which means I nag him into cleaning the boxes when the smell gets to me.

And I got a new phone today. Mainly because I dropped the old one and it came completely apart. In a bad way, not a snap-the-battery-back-on way. Like wires dangling. And then I snapped the dangly wires trying to put it back together. So off we go to the Sprint store. I tell the nice lady I don't care what the phone does as long as it's free. So I have a shiny red phone. Squeeee!

So then Wayne decides he needs a new phone, and uses his other bonus to get himself a shiny red phone (copier!) that has a pullout QWERTY keyboard and all that jazz. Whatev. I was mostly excited that they were playing the "Mama Mia!" DVD behind the checkout so I got entertained during all the boring hookup stuff. Gold star to Sprint for giving me what I really want--Meryl Streep in a bell-bottomed jump suit!

So, yeah, I'm way more excited about a fancy litter box than I am about my new phone.

"Please don't take my butthole away....."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fictional Characters You Would Have Sex With, If They Were Real

OOH, Nettie, I forgot to mention the latest water-cooler talk. Actually, there's no water cooler involved, just Statia and I in one of our marathon phone calls. Here's the rules--they can be in print or on screen, any time past or present (or future).

1. Harry Potter
Obviously, the grownup 'Half-Blood Prince' Harry, not little tiny 'Sorcerer's Stone' Harry. Remember, 17 is legal in the wizarding world!! Hehhehheh.

2. Oliver Wood
As I explained to Wayne when he pooh-poohed my choice; he's seventeen, a wizard, quidditch team captain and has an Irish accent!! Not a bad-looking bloke, either.

3. Sirius Black
Can you tell we've been watching the HP movies lately? After all that teenage sex, a man would be a nice change. A man who's a wizard, handsome, and rich. And the fact that he's been in prison for over a decade means he's probably got some pent up....emotion.

4. Mr. Darcy
Not Colin Firth (although that swimming scene in the movie might put him on another list), but actually Mr. Darcy. You know once you loosen that cravat, anything could happen.

5. Jamie, from the Outlander series. Again with the accent, only this time with a kilt. And muscles. And a good bit of fight in him, too. Hey, he's gotta have somebody to do while Claire's in another century for all those years.

6. Charlie Weasley. Long red hair, earring, leather jacket, dragon expert. What's not to love?


1. Wanderer, from Lord of the Rings. Although there has been some disagreement about the real name of Viggo Mortenson's character, it's my blog. So we'll say Wanderer.

2. Legolas. 'Cause if you're gonna have an elf, make sure it's a warrior elf. (Elven sex, or elvish sex? You decide.)

3. Edward, from the Twilight series. Seventeen, but with the wisdom (and experience) of centuries, handsome, rich, and a vampire who can't have sex with you because he could possibly kill you with the force of his...emotions. Swoon!

4. Fred or George Weasley. (Not Fred and George Weasley, as I originally assumed. Don't they do everything together? .)

Honorable mentions:

Male boss: Cheetara. "And I would totally misuse that sword, too."
Male coworker: Mystique and Storm. "Mystique could be anybody you wanted her to be." Excellent point.
Female coworker: Matthew McConaghey's character in "A Time to Kill". McConaghey himself is a little too dirty and crunchy granola, but his intense lawyer character was very sexy. Didn't hurt that he was constantly shirtless and sweaty, remodeling his house.
Excellent grasp of the fine point of the discussion, I think.

Feel free to comment.

Hiya, old buddy!

Ok, so I haven't visited with you in a while. Ok, a loooong while. Sorry, Nettie! Let's just take up where we left off, and forget about those nasty recriminations. Mmkay?

So today started off with a bang. Actually a prolonged gagging, horking, and a splash. Not me, Nettie, I'm fine! Fat cat decided to hoover up her special treat of 'salmon filet in sauce' (What a delightful name. I'm guessing 'salmon organs 'n offal' didn't have the same delicious ring.) ,while I was enjoying my own delightful breakfast of Frosted Flakes (the real thing, Nettie, not a knockoff--love those coupons).

I'm just debating a second bowl when I hear it. The whistling of an immanent tornado, the squeal of a braking car, the wail of a siren--none of these things can make me cringe more than gagging. I promptly put my hands over my ears, but guilt made me glance over to check that she's not dying. Damn you, guilt, add my morning to a list of things you've ruined!

That nanosecond was the exact moment the half-digested salmon came spewing forth.

Linda Blair has nothing on my cat.

Let me remind you that I have a finely tuned gag reflex. The Stradivarius of gag reflexes. It takes the merest whisper of discomfort to give me my own matching discomfort.

**Amusing sidenote--well, it's amusing now, some twelve years later. My college roommate and I lived on the 11th floor of the dorm. She and another friend, both aware of my touchy stomach, trapped me on the elevator and made gagging noises for ELEVEN floors. In a Cold War-era elevator, which equates to probably three hours of downward travel. I was so incapacitated with nausea that upon the doors opening, I staggered outside and collapsed on a convenient shrubbery. I never recovered. Well, about dinnertime I did. Slightly. **

Back to the present. I must have bellowed something unsympathetic after the first rush, because fatty turned her back to me and continued to heave on another, heretofore unsullied, patch of carpet. Cream carpet. By this point, 'earmuffs' still firmly attached, I am whimpering like a toddler, intermittantly hollering NONONONONO. Deluge finished, she skitters off. I cautiously lower my hands. In an effort to collect myself before the inevitable cleanup, I focus on my bowl of milk-sodden cereal flakes. Remember, my tummy is full of sodden flakes, consumed prior to the fracas.

I realize that the remains in the bowl bear a disconcerting resemblance to the remains on the carpet.

Deep breath. Hold. Hold. Think happy thoughts. More vomit to clean up is NOT A HAPPY THOUGHT. It's ok. Rubber gloves. Paper towels. Carpet cleaner. You can fly you can fly you can fly.

Do you ever think, "This is NOT why I went to college"? I don't know what bearing that has on my cleaning chore, but it popped into my mind. As if a college degree bars you from unpleasant cleanup. "Sorry, honey, you're going to have to clean up Junior's diaper blowout. See that diploma?" That would be an awesome marketing campaign, if they could actually make it true. On second thought, a LOT of the things they say about college doesn't necessarily happen. Like "you'll get a good job immediately after graduation" and "student loan payments are small".

As soon as I tackle the salmon filets in sauce, I'll get right on that marketing campaign.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

when in rome...

Nettie, as you know, Wayne and I have been trying to be more money-concious the past year or so. We have our money envelopes, our retirement funds, and we'll soon have insurance through his new job. Just when I got all the money figured out, along comes Murphy.

Although this time we seem to have gotten Murphy's successful cousin. Or maybe Mrs. Murphy. Wayne's college is sponsoring a trip to Rome in 2010 (which sounds so science-fictiony--oooh, flying cars and living on the moon!). They are actually going to Greece on a ten-day cruise next summer, but ain't no way we can get the money together that quickly. Which would be really cool because we would fly out the day before my 30th birthday, which means I could conceiveably be on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean for my big 3-0. Dammit.

Anyway--ROME! And Florence and Venice, oh my! Museums and cathedrals and guided tours amongst people who don't speak English! I know that might sound like hell on earth to some people, but it's my vision of a rewarding afterlife. The best part is that Wayne can get college credit for the tours, etc. (Tuition is included, as is airfare, hotels, and most meals.) That nine hours of credit would actually work out to be the last nine hours he needs, as he is scheduled to graduate in May of 2010. He could do the whole graduation thing, then we could fly off to Rome, where we would celebrate his degree and my birthday....My birthday in Rome, holy crap!

So now we have to figure out how to pay for all of this. I could work more... Nah. I don't want to kill myself slowly for the next 18 months to enjoy myself for 10 days. That would be way too much pressure on the trip. I would be walking along some plaza and be thinking 'For this I worked all those extra shifts?!?'. Nope.

Just gonna squeeze a penny til it screams. (Not pinch, because that seems like harassment. Just a loving bear hug-like squeeze.) So here's the plan:

1) Statia and I were already planning a garage sale at the end of September, so those funds will go toward Rome.

2) I just received the check for consigning my wedding dress (a whopping $30!).

3) The savings bonds my Mema bought for me in 1979 and 1987. The '79 ones will be fully mature next July (like me, hopefully :), and all together will be ~$600. As we have to make payments in $500 increments to the tour company, that will be just dandy. Plus, my Mema would have loved to go to Rome.

4) Selling my used books at the bookstore instead of trading them for credit. My favorite local bookstore offers a 25% credit for trading in books, or 10% cash. I've always taken the credit, and now I have the highest credit of all her customers. Hm. Maybe it's time to winnow down the bookshelves and make some cash.

5) And I'm spent. Now for the edge-of-reason ideas like selling plasma or hocking my class ring. (It was really cool in 1995, but now notsomuch. Faux emerald and cubic zirconia, anyone?) Any ideas?

I've thought about selling our aluminum cans for cash, but the nearest pay-to-recycle place is all the way across the city, and our tiny amount of cans wouldn't justify the gas out there. Besides the above ideas, I've thought about selling some of my vintage clothes/accessories on Etsy. I even have a stamp collection from my childhood that I've been ripping apart to trade books on Paperbackswap. Hm, sell my stamp collection AND the books instead of mailing them out....

If anyone has anything to add, please let me know. I'll even consider medical testing at this point. I'm going to Rome!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Whoa, Nettie!

It's been weeks, girl! I would love to say that it's because my life is this crazy social whirl and I'm too busy to post...but my life is too quiet even for a blog. Except that I might have to kill Wayne.

Does it ever make you homicidal when your husband/roommate/significant other swears they cleaned 'the whole house' and they LIE?!? I realize that most people have more to complain about but it really pisses me off when someone says they did every last thing and um, you didn't? First off, it's real risky to be telling someone with OCD tendencies that you did 'everything'. We're gonna find *something*. Second of all, just say you 'cleaned house'. Don't leave crumbs all over the back of the sink and the mirrors dirty. (Because? Seriously? I can still see the toothpaste splashes all over the damn thing!)

I think my husband has selective sight. He doesn't SEE the floor around the toilet, therefore he doesn't have to clean it. Last week we actually. cleaned. the. bathroom. together. (I know!!) He still managed to 'mop the floor' without actually moving the wastebasket or getting around the toilet. I went off the gather more cleaning supplies and I came back to a wet floor, so I just assumed, ya know. An hour later, I saw the band-aid wrappers and dust bunnies behind the wastebasket and behind the toilet. Which are two areas that I personally feel need as much disenfecting as possible.

So now when dear hubby tells me he 'cleaned the whole house' I have to steel myself to notice the good and skip over the bad. 'Cause he's kind of like a little kid, really. You talk about his great use of color and his imagination, not that his crayon portrait of grandma really looks more like the Saggy Baggy elephant. And I have to lie to myself that it's not so bad, millions of women would love their S.O. to clean at all. Because if you can't lie to yourself, Nettie, who can you lie to?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Little House in the Ghetto

I don't know if I've told you before, Nettie, but we live in da ghetto. Not the Guh-het-to with drivebys and hookers, but we're one block over. We are the last bastion of flowerbeds and painted trim before you get to the boarded up windows and bulletholes. I was reading the front page of the paper (calm down, Nettie, it was AFTER I read the comics), and there's a nifty little map with a pretty red dot right on top of our house (is a veryveryvery fine house [although if the two cats are in the yard, I'm in deep shit with Wayne]).

Upon further inspection, it's a story about crime hotspots!!!! What the f....? Apparently our very fine house is smack in the middle of some very fine crime. There have been 19 murders in our neighborhood in the past nine years. Although-- that's only two a year. Hm. Still not good odds. The story went on to say that crime is going down in these hotspots due to increased police presence and neighborhood involvement. What's a poor Queen to do? Since I'm not a policewoman (gunbelts make me look hippy), that leaves neighborhood involvement.


This is the girl who refuses to answer the doorbell or meet my neighbors. Wayne borrows tools, takes turns mowing our neighbor's lawn, and knows how much everyone in the area paid for their house. I scurry into the garage when I see someone walking down the street. I don't really do social. I have this habit of just saying whatever's on my mind? And people don't like that? So how do I combat the encroaching ghetto without going all Jodie Foster on the gangsters?

I go all Laura Ingalls on their asses!!

I am the proud new owner of a clothesline. (Take that, and that, and that, you murderers!) I went to Lowe's and bought myself a purty new clothesline and started using it. Yes, there are dishtowels, socks, jeans, and Wayne's unfortunately checkered work pants dangling in the breeze.

And is it in my backyard? Hell, NO! It is attached just to the left of the garage door, from the wall to a tree on the property line. No posts, no digging, just a retractable housing box in tasteful ivory plastic.

When the first load of laundry was done, I put on my grandmother's pink apron, filled the pockets with clothespins, and hefted the laundry tub out into the front yard. After I hung the clothes, I grabbed my bright yellow broom and swept the front porch and driveway. Just you think about driving your ghetto wagon in my neighborhood, Mister! I'm bringing thrifty back!

I have tomatoes ripening on the windowsill, pumpkin vines growing up my house, and clothes on the line. Now all I need is Pa digging a well and we are so set.

Registered to vote

Well, actually, re-registered. I never *actually* exercised the right after that first time. Guess it didn't take. Nettie, you know that I'm normally not very political. I believe that by the time someone actually makes it to a high level of public office, they no longer have any opinions or ideals of their own, just a carefully amalgamated checklist of hot-button issues.

However. Being firmly childless by choice and pro-choice, I wanted to at least be informed about what I was choosing NOT to do. I went to and to see how the front runners are pandering. I was appalled to find out that John McCain wants to REPEAL ROE V. WADE and FILL THE CABINET WITH JUSTICES THAT WILL SUPPORT PRO-LIFE. Oh, my dear Whatever Above.

He wants to tell millions of American women that they cannot chose what to do with their bodies? He wants to look me in the eye and tell me that because my birth control failed, my health is not stable, my relationship is not stable, my life cannot handle raising a child, my family is already complete, I don't want children--too bad, you don't get to chose what is best for you, the biological contributor, the other people in your life, and that unborn possibility. Because he adopted a child from an Indian orphanage, I should have to carry an unwanted child to term and then give it up to someone else. Last time I checked, there are already hundreds of thousands of unwanted children in this country. Not counting the million of unwanted children around the world.

Also last time I checked, there were SIX BILLION people on the planet. We are NOT an endangered species. When there are SIX BILLION red pandas, SIX BILLION white rhinos, when there are SIX BILLION snow leopards, when every single person on this earth has enough to eat, a place to live, and someone to care for them....well, I *still* don't want to raise a child.

And NO ONE can make me. This country was founded on the notion of religious freedom (admittedly, by a bunch of people who wanted to be free to make other people worship their way, not t'other way round), including freedom FROM religion. We are free from having other people's judgements forced upon us.

Well, we are right now. But that freedom will be taken away if John McCain becomes President.

Whew, Nettie. That soapbox just attacked out of nowhere! I was online for a LOOOONG time yesterday, but I found this amazing website at It's stories from women who've had abortions and are not sorry. They didn't see it as murder, they saw it as the CHOICE it was meant to be. They wrote about their reasons, and how their life (and the lives of their families) were bettered by the decision not to have a baby. Beautiful, powerful stuff.

It got me all riled up about how someone can tell me that I can't. I am happily childfree, and will do everything I can to stay that way. My Webster's defines cancer as "A malignant neoplasm" and neoplasm as "An abnormal growth of tissue". To me, an unwanted pregnancy is exactly the same as a cancer, a tumor. It is a growth of cells that cannot survive on its own that has the possibility of killing me if it's not removed. (I'm not being melodramatic about the 'killing' part either--women still die of complications of pregnancy and childbirth.)

I have applied to Rock the Vote to get a button on this blog so that you too, dear reader, can get yerself all registered up. If I haven't figured out the technicalities yet, just hi yourself on over to It's supersimple, as the internet gods always intended life to be. You can just fill out the form, print it, and mail it in. Apparently they send you some nifty membership card that gets you into the finest high school gymnasiums and VFW halls in your state on election day. Oh, and you get to decide who's running the entire nation. How cool is that?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Well, bless my heart

Got my sew on at 2 a.m. yesterday. I seriously just went to the sewing room (yes, I have an entire room full of crap to tinker with, jealous?) to make sure the iron was off before I went to bed. I had sorted through all my scrap fabric and resolutely placed all but the vintage stuff in the yard sale box. (I know, Nettie, but I've seen the error of my ways.) I noticed that some of the 'scraps' were actually yardage, and that's not really 'scraps' if you can make a whole something out of it, right? Then I remembered a coworker who volunteers at a children's shelter had requested anything we could give, as the shelter was over capacity and short on supplies.

As I am a HUGE fan of instant gratification and problem-solving, I started a new project at 12:30 a.m. (Disclaimer: I work evenings. I usually get home about 11 p.m., so 2 a.m. is when I try to go to not as insane as if I had to work at 8 a.m. Point is, the sewing machine sucked me back in when I was just trying to put safety first. Damn your evil mindgames, Brother XL-3010!!!)

I dragged all the fabric out and started matching sizes and colors. I even washed the fabric, cause who knows how long it's been in that cardboard box in the closet? Some of the scraps were from my mother's maternity clothes.

Yes, hoarding runs in the family.

So I've got fabric lengths washing, drying, and spread all over the room. Wayne is fast asleep, and blissfully unaware of the crazed actions being carried out just across the house (read that in a TV crime-docudrama announcer voice. Did I mention that I'm awake late at night and TV is CRAP then? Oh, you inferred. You're a smart cookie, Nettie.)

Out of all the chaos, I manage five blanket and pillow sets. Yeah, I matched fabrics and filled bobbins with all those weird-colored spools of thread that were filling up a drawer (honestly, sea foam? What godawful outfit did I use this for originally?) and sewed for two wee hours. I was actually SWEATING, I was so into this. Normally, the queen does not sweat, and will avoid any activity that is rumored to make oneself do so. But it's for the CHILLENS! Actually, I only finished three blankets and two pillows, but I have the others all sorted and pinned and ready to go.

It was so fun! I had three different floweredy fabrics that I matched all up, some scraps left from making curtains for Wayne's Simpsons themed-room, even an embroidered cowgirl wallhanging from my childhood that I repurposed. I swear my scrapbag was cosmically connected to the great Craft Goddess, because I just kept pulling out fabrics I could actually use. There was some red corduroy I have never seen before in my life, but it was perfect for the pillows. (Having spent lots of time around children, I know the importance of texture in a lovey/blankie/binky. At least one surface needs to be nubby/satiny/velvety for maximum comfort. It's just the way the world works.)

I even found a use for the red fabric with stripes of hearts, cats, and sheep. Total countrykitschcrap that I would never have in my house if it weren't for the immunity of the scrapbag (article 54, subsection G, paragraph 2: Any fabric that wouldn't normally be allowed in the house is allowed in the scrapbag. No matter the heinousness of the pattern, the unpleasantness of the texture, the stains, the rips, the tiny size, any and all fabrics are allowed because you might need it some day. )

And the reason I had yards of this stuff? Because my mother lovingly sewed it into a pinafore dress for my first grade Christmas pageant. Yes, over twenty years ago she got a great deal on YARDS and yards of this fabric, and made me a dress out of it to wear with white tights and saddle oxfords. I think she actually had more left over than she used in the dress.

Reason I remember it so well? I was picked to be one of the narrators, and the others were SECOND GRADERS. It was a high honor for a first grader to be chosen and I was the only one. Bwwwahahahahaha! Let's just say Queenie here has never had a problem with the talkin.

Back to point: I finally went to bed at some ungodly single digit hour, and woke up with a crick in my neck from hunching over the sewing machine. (Luckily, I know how to alter patterns so that I can make housedresses to fit my old lady hump I'll have from all the bad crafting posture.) So I prompty retired to the couch, where I did the handsewing, tacking, and pillow-stuffing while watching my fa-vor-ite show, A Haunting. Nothing like having the bejeesus scared out of you while surrounded by pins, needles, and scissors.

Now I have to get off the computer and finish the other three before Saturday when I have to turn them over to her.

I promise to have pictures as soon as I find that damn cord!

Friday, June 13, 2008

I didn't forget

I crafted yesterday! Two days ago I went through all my sewing/crafting/world domination supplies and sorted. Note that I didn't say that I got rid of any, I just took stock. Instead of buying any more supplies, I actually (brace yourself, Nettie) used the supplies on their intended project. I know! Wow. I'm about to go back to the fainting couch, but I had to let you know.

I did buy beads. My name is Queen and I'm a craft-aholic. Also a clearance-aholic, because they were packages of beyootiful beads for only one dolla. I wouldn't lie to you, Nettie. So I brought those poor unwanted beads home and made a purty necklace, as I'm sure the crafting gods intended. I actually had all the supplies I needed for the necklace! I'm gonna have to do this sorting thingy more often. And I found some earring backings (findings?) so that I could finally turn these tiny vintage brooches into earrings. Since I'd already backslid with the beads, I didn't go buy actually wire pliers, but rooted around in Wayne's toolbox and found some rusty wire cutter. A word of advice--if you're going to use the improper tool, use it in a safe way. I found that the wire cutters worked wonderfully, except that they sent the shredded brooch backings pinging all over the living room from the force. Solution? Turn the damn brooches over so that the backings you are removing merely embed themselves in the coffee table instead of scattering craft shrapnel all over the room. That's the lesson for today, boys and girls!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Jeepers, Batman, I made a blog!

I've spent the last two days bloggity-blog-blog-blogging. That's what I call the random clicking from link to link, from blog to blog, until you've gone so far that you can't get back to the original article/blog/video/whatever the reason you got on the web in the first place. After two days of reading blogs--and I mean TWO days, I had to make myself get up and do other things like shower and eat--I thought, I can do this! This will be fun! And with the price of postage going up, I can still contact my friends with all the witty quotes and crazy stories they've come to love (or at least not marked 'Return to sender').
At first I was skeptical. Who wants to read about a twentymmfffmmf year old married woman with two cats and mad spelling skills? But, dear Nettie, I have found the home of all nerds, where geeks go to die (or at least post regularly), where any dork with an obsession can share it with the WORLD (said in maniacal cackle worthy of an evil villain with a super weapon)! Bwahhahahahah!

Ok, for today's thrilling adventure. Backstory: I drive a 1994 Ford F-150. It's big, it's brown, it's loud, and it's in really good shape, mechanically. Physically, it's got a few dents and dings. One of my old roommates backed into it, I hit a parking garage column the day I got it, you know. It's a fourteen years old, dammit! Show me ANY fourteen year old that doesn't have issues. Anyway, my husband HATES it. He drives a 1999 Honda Passport. Guess who was still paying on their car when we got married? I have never had a car payment (insert smug, superior smile here). I paid cash for both vehicles I've ever owned. Yes, I've owned TWO cars in the over ten years I've been driving.

Gah, see, I have this issue with sticking to a storyline--mine are more 'story webs' as I physically cannot leave a detail out, unless I forget. But I'm going to try to do better for the sake of my dear readers.

Back on track! I don't love the truck or anything. It's really reliable and safe and until the gas gods started demanding bigger sacrifices, it was cheap to drive. When we moved to a new city, I drove the Honda to work and DH drove the Ford. His job was way close, and mine was farther out, so the gas mileage was the deciding factor. Then we bought our house (yay) and it switched, so we switched cars. For some reason, he's been driving the Ford for the past month, but I wasn't looking a gift horse in the mouth. Last night he tells me, really earnestly, that he's got to have the Honda back, that the gas is killing him and he can't drive the Ford anymore. Mmmkay, why'd you start driving it in the first place, dingus?

In the past month, he's broken the shifty-thingy (it's an automatic, so is it the 'gearshift' if it's on the column and not on the floor?) so that it dangles at an alarming angle (dangles at an angle, dodah dodah dum....) and you have to start it in Neutral and use the emergency brake to park it. Great. (We have an awesome mechanic, but we have to really plan our visits because he's all the way across town and we both work evenings, but at different times.) So he's been dealing with the dangling thingy. And he mentions it will probably need some power steering fluid. Oh, look a the manly mechanical man, with his under-the-hood terminology! That's like windshield wiper fluid, it's not gonna tear anything up if we put off replenishing it, right?

So I get in the car to go to work, figure out that Neutral is between Reverse and Drive, the two gears I'm going to need most, and go merrily on my way. By the end of our street, something is wrong. Either the caribou migration is passing through and its sickliest members are following me, or there's an amorous walrus in my truck bed. At the stop sign, I check. Nope, neither. I try to turn left and pinpoint the problem.

Have any of you ever driven a 1953 Allis-Chalmers tractor? Much like that.

For my non-agrarian friends, it's like trying to physically push the wheels into alignment with my bare hands. And something to do with the engine reallyreallyreally hates me for doing it, and is voicing its displeasure. I have to throw myself onto the steering wheel to make any turn. There are twelve turns from my house to work. I counted. I had the time, while trying to wrestle a ton of Detroit steel.

Because tact has never been my strong point, I immediately call my husband and demand that he get his ass of the couch and go buy some power steering fluid. I pointed out that just because he didn't like my truck didn't mean that he could murder it. Which is what it sounded like, all the way to work. Then I have to park on a hill. Great.

I got out of work, manhandle the groaning truck through our labyrinthine parking lot (in full view of a group of my Mexican coworkers, who are all carheads, have nicer cars than me, and think it is hi-fucking-larious that this blonde American girl drives this giant, loud truck) and make it home. My DH is not there, but there IS a bottle of power steering fluid actually sitting on the counter. I was happier than if it were a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Not that I've ever actually called and demanded that he go buy me champagne, but now I know it will work.

I get up first thing this morning (my 'first thing' is never before 10, just a note to those who like to call at 8 and ask 'whatcha doin?' because the answer is usually 'contemplating your murder' if you call that early). Overcoming my inherent laziness, I marched straight to the garage for my maintenance manual. (Lest this give you the idea that I actually do this kind of thing often--the only reason I know that I HAVE a maintenance manual is because I got tired of stabbing my fingers on the fishhooks my brother left behind when he sold me the truck, and I cleaned out the glove box. Lo and behold, there was the maintenace manual! With an alphabetical index and everything!)

I look up 'power steering fluid' and there it is! Page 354! That must mean it's something hard, if it's that close to the end. That's how crafting instruction manuals are laid out, so it follows, right? Undaunted, I find the picture (love pictures of mechanical thingies, even better if they are multi-colored and have numbers corresponding to step-by-step instructions and clarifying arrows).

It's a really straightforward drawing. I try to orient myself. There's the box with the three arms growing out of it. There's the belt and all its pulleys. There's the power steering reservoir, right on top! And the book says that its cap is yellow! Hallelujah, I can do this. I'll show my husband how it was so EASY, and why didn't he just do it in the first place? I am the Maintenance Master!

Then I open the hood. Which involved opening the garage door and backing the truck halfway out into the driveway, because our garage is compact car length, not Ford F-150 Long bed body style length. (I am still in my pajamas, by the way. Lime green cheerleading shorts and a turquoise tank top. Luckily my across-neighbors are uber-religious and go to church every Sunday morning. Oh, well, they've known me for six months, they probably pray for my soul anyway.) I pop the hood and jump up on the lip of the engine compartment. I have to sit side-saddle, like some ladylike Victorian equestrian. I look for a yellow cap. There's the metal box with the arms...there's the yellow loop! Wait. Yellow LOOP? I need a yellow CAP. There is a cap to every damn kind of fluid except power steering. Windshield wiper, brake, power steering. After the incident with the chainsaw gas in the tank of my Grand Am, I am really leery of pouring things into my car. I don't even like to pump my own gas, and I KNOW where that goes.

Well, shit. Have you ever noticed how the more detailed an instruction manual is, the less likely it is to match your equipment? I mean, every little knob and doohickey of my engine is laid out exactly in porportion and to scale, and NO YELLOW CAP. It's the only thing that's NOT on the damn diagram. So now I have that oilydustycarick all over my hands, a full bottle of power steering fluid, and a severe drop in self-esteem. How can I not figure this out?!? The internet will save me! It always knows the answer! I'll come inside and google 'Ford F150 power steering fluid diagram'.

Hmmm. Have you also noticed that the more specfic you are with google, the less accurate the answer is? GAHHHHHH. Ok, I tried to resist the internet, but I can't. Then I get to the bloggity part, and accidentally hit the big X in the red box, instead of the back arrow. I am logged out completely, and I don't know the address of the last page I was onnnnnnn.........AAARGHH. Shit.

But there's this 'create your own blog' button. What's the worst that could happen? I'm already on the computer for sickening amounts of time checking other people's blogs, why not my own? Because I REALLy need another never-ending project...(why doesn't Microsoft come up with a 'sarcasm' button that changes the text so that everyone knows you're being all ironical, like when you're yelling in ALL CAPS? That's an innovation I could actually use.)