Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Shopping With Kids

Have you ever done it? And I don't mean grocery shopping, I mean like clothes and shoes. Because I have the two most tolerant niece kids in the world. On our vacation to Hawaii, they trailed around behind us, going from shop to shop while their parents experienced the delights of American shopping and all those stores we don't have in New Zealand. Here's what I learned:

  1. When you are bored of shopping because the stores are all the same as in Los Angeles but you need to pass the time by trying on a few things, enlist the help of your six year old niece as a personal shopper to pick some items out. She will be ecstatic and complimentary and agreeable on everything - grown-ups need to take note. 
  2. When you get into the changing room, she will ask what all the hooks on the wall are for and be delighted that she now has a place to hang her Hello Kitty* handbag and will get comfortable on the stool, preparing to provide feedback. 
  3. Now, since I don't have kids**, I wasn't sure what her reaction would be to me getting undressed and I was prepared for comments. But, you know the nice thing about kids? They don't care what you look like, they don't know what is considered beautiful or why you're even worried about it. They just want to discuss candy and the like. 
  4. After trying each item on, you will be asked to turn around and careful consideration will be given to the outfit.  Most everything you put on will be "a good color for you" which you will realize is what she just overheard a saleswoman saying.
  5. It will soon become apparent that she has some Amish modesty tendencies because comments will be restricted to "a little short, don't you think" and "I can see the tops of your boobies". Now to be far, the last comment was valid but when everything is hitting at the knee or below, I have to wonder what would be acceptable.  Suspect an up to the neck and down to the floor dress would be most appropriate.
  6. That this is was much fun for me (without even buying anything) as it was for her.  As she flung a recent purchase of her own (a Spring, floral scarf) around her neck and head, A la Grace Kelly convertible-car-riding style and sauntered out of H&M, I was advised that she would be happy to help again if I ever needed it.
*I was informed that she feels it's a bit young for her and she's on the look-out for something a little more grown-up.  With sequins.
**Albert just turns a blind eye. Like literally...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Words I Don't Like And Will Never Use

  1. Hubby
  2. Moist - unless it's cake.
  3. LOL- I have never used this in any email or text and I never will.  I use "hah" which I think adequately addresses how I feel about things.  If you get a "hahaha" then you really tickled my fancy.  Or possibly I am laughing at you.
  4. Panties - what's wrong with undies or knickers?
  5. Banal*
  6. Chortle**
  7. Fanny pack***
  8. Australian
  9. Low-hanging fruit - I know this is a phrase, not a word and a commonly used business term but whenever anyone in management uses it, all I can thing of is a banana and 2 plums.  You get the picture...
  10. Turgid - I first saw this word when I was reading prohibited Mills and Boon books.  I'm not going to describe the situation or the other word used in conjunction with this but it rhymes with...actually no.  Read the books and figure it out.  This is a family show.  Albert is too young.
Any words you don't like?  We'll put them on the list and anyone that uses them will be punished.  Probably a severe beating is most appropriate.
*Banal - I used to like this word when I thought it was pronounced baynal. When I was corrected to baanaal, not so much.
**Does anyone really chortle these days? Except for Santa.
***Pretty sure I've explained the meaning of this before - America thinks it's no big deal but the rest of the world...gives us the giggles.

Friday, October 17, 2014

My Cat Is Not What He Seems

The color is rubbing off my cat. Every time he rubs his face and body up again the door jamb, he leaves black marks and I know he can't be dirty with the amount of time he spends cleaning himself*. I requested a black cat and I think I've been duped.

We had a long conversation last night about this fighting business as I noticed his ear was a little squished looking.  I asked him if he really thought he could lose another eye because there would be no going outside after that.  My advice, twist to the side so they get an ear or a leg.  We can work with that.

On a side note, I'm having a yard sale tomorrow so if anyone wants a bunch of crap that no longer works, is broken, out of style etc - come on by.  I'll give you the family discount.

*Also I let him kiss me and rub his face on mine so really hoping for the diagnosis to be some kind of color leaching rather than dirty grossness.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Annoying Situation #587

When I'm not having Awkward Moments, I'm having Annoying Situations. For years I have accommodated the cat when choosing where to live - paying higher rent and cat deposits, making sure there was some way I could buy an expensive cat door, create an elaborate ramp, rig a bucket (long story - see previous post) and always live on the ground floor. All so Albert can be an indoor/outdoor cat.
Just one of the many conveniences I've created for Albert...
But this time was different, I got such a good deal on the apartment that I couldn't afford to turn it down and Albert was just going to have to be an indoor cat. After all, he's almost 10, slowing down a bit and to be honest, sleeps most of the time so figured it was time to put myself first. Wrong. After two nights of howling to go out (even though he didn't know what was out there and is a big scaredy cat) and not for toiletry purposes since I have thoughtfully provided him with a litter box in the bathroom which is right in the middle of everything and highly inconvenient, not to mention that even after multiple lessons on how to wipe ones' feet, there is still kitty litter everywhere*, I have come up with a solution.
Around the litter box is the only available floor space left in the bathroom.  About 100 steps shy of ideal...
Once again, I find myself pandering to the cat - I bought him a step ladder. 

So, what you can't see is the stool inside so he can hop up, he then squeezes himself through the bars (before I bought the stool, we had a practice session where I shoved him through multiple gaps to see if he needed to go on a diet) and jumps down avoiding the step-ladder altogether.  Since he can't jump up and squeeze back through the bars in one fluid motion - although did not consider the alternative of oiling him up - and the ledge isn't wide enough to give him time to position the entry correctly, he has to come up the step ladder.  The step ladder needs to be padlocked to the iron bars because apparently anything not locked down will get stolen.  Unfortunately, the lock I bought doesn't actually open so will be making another trip back today to return it and get a new one.  Sigh...at least when he got back from having his fight (see below), he was ecstatic and rejuvenated so I guess I made him happy.
  1. No more howling at night unless of course something else comes up.  Lets call this, temporary howling relief
  2.  No more litter box.  Unless of course he decides to use the floor instead of going out.
  3. No more restless, pacing the floor, sad eyes, longingly looking outside cat.  Until he gets bored of outside.
  1. Despite me coming up with a solution and making a special trip to Target to get it set up for last night, he sat there and just looked at me.  Until 3am when he went outside, had a fight** with another cat and came in with wet patches all over him.  I live in LA, so it was not raining. It was not blood.  Suspect that the other cat, held him down and licked him - this is either a new cat fighting style that I'm not familiar with, some random cat was passing by and thought he looked dirty or a female feline took a fancy to a one-eyed pirate cat.
*Off topic but I just ordered a new, super light vacuum cleaner that I am so excited about. Am somewhat concerned about the level of excitement since it's on a par with cake and I'm not sure what this says about me.
**Fight was loud enough to wake both me and my neighbors upstairs - was not UFC style, definitely street fighting and a lot of cussing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Awkward Moment #342

I know you're all wondering how the move is going - thanks for asking. I'm getting there. Cat won't come out from under the bed and nothing is the bathroom is put away. I'm beginning to see now why I don't need about 20 different body lotions*.

Yesterday the cable guy came, which is good because after a day without TV, I was beginning to get anxious. I'm still catching up on everything I recorded while I was in Hawaii so there's a whole weekend on the couch right there.

I was given a window of 9-11am for the technician's arrival. Two hour window and he missed it. Which I understand, delays happen but would have been nice if he'd called. Then I would have known in advance that I wasn't going to be watching Judge Judy and mentally prepared for it.

Eventually he arrives and does a lot of complicated things outside with cables and ladders that seem to result in lots of little bits of cables for me to pick up. Finally he finishes and asks to use my bathroom. Which is fine. Except for the fact that I mentioned above, nothing is put away in there and you can't actually close the door because the new cabinet I made sticks out a bit. Measuring is a form of math and I think we've established that it's my second best skill. I forgot about the skirting board**. Anyway, I had also forgotten that it sticks out since there's no need for me to shut the bathroom door - Albert has his litter box in there and we have no secrets or privacy issues. Actually I have some but he doesn't respect them so I've given up. However, as soon as the cable guy started peeing with the DOOR OPEN, I remembered the issue. He could have shuffled things down a little but I guess he didn't want to touch my stuff or maybe he felt we already had a bond and he was comfortable around me. I hightailed it to the kitchen to turn on the tap and make imaginery phone conversation so as to dispel the awkwardness when he came out, It did not. And turns out he's my assigned go-to guy if I have issues. Obviously I will never be going to him - if anything stops working, I'll just read a book.

*I'll just keep them though. Just in case. LA is a very dry place, I might have a case of extreme lack of moisture in my skin.
**I actually have a thing against skirting boards. As far as I can tell they cause you to make mistakes in measuring and require a lot of cleaning. Contractors - give me a valid reason for skirting boards, please?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I Am An Owl

Which is interesting since I thought I was RED and an INFJ. I did not see the Owl coming. Last week I participated in Management Training at my Company - the food was excellent. In a lot of management training, they want you to understand your personality or behavioral type as it relates back to how you communicate with people and how you like to be communicated with. Having undergone a number of these, I don't put a lot of weight in it but it can be interesting. Especially when you thought you were a human but turns out you are actually an owl.

To get to that revelation, we were shown four pictures of birds (my vote would have been for cats or dogs but (a) I was not asked and (b) at least we didn't get fish): Eagle, Owl, Dove and Parrot. We were asked to pick the bird that we most closely identified with - so while I heard the instructions, I'm a visual person and I picked the bird that I liked the look of best. On that particular day. The Owl had deep thoughtful eyes*, beautiful markings**, a serenity (that I wish I had) and a nice leafy background. He looked comfortable and the picture appealed to me. We were then separated to four corners of the room to meet our fellow bird types. All of us owls had to come up with why we identified with the Owl. I'll be honest, the only one that was thinking "Harry Potter" was me and after hearing some of the others - quietly vicious, solitary, wise - I decide to keep that thought to myself. But that's mostly why I picked it - I'm a Hedwig fan and I fear I may have skewed the results. Safe to say that I may have already failed management training 101...

When I was defined as RED (or in bird terms - an Eagle), the tagline for someone with that type of personality was "Be Bright, Be Brief, Be Gone". Which makes a lot of sense as long as "bright" doesn't mean perky. In which case just Be Gone altogether. Being brief makes a lot of sense - give me the info and get out. I also had a fair amount of Blue which as far as I can tell is the same as an Owl. Analytical*** and observant (that's because I'm an owl and can swivel my head 180 degrees). Reading between the lines of the report, I have discovered yet again that I am intolerant of idiots, my aloofness is actually shyness (idiots), being blunt is a Kiwi trait, my ideal working environment is at home in bed and "Others often misunderstand her great ability as a creative thinker". Hard to read between the lines on that last one so I just quoted it so you won't make that mistake again.

Anyway, I have just redefined myself with a new personality/behavioral type test that I developed. It only has two results: Awesome and Not Very Awesome. Based on the test I took, which was self-evaluation and involved zero questions, it turns out I am "Awesome". Take the test in your own time.

*Suspect he was thinking about what next to kill and eat but it looked more like a plan for World peace.
**I'm a sucker for a good looking bird
***Can you be analytical without Math being involved? If not then this test is way off base.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Moving...What Went Well

1. Nothing.

Is it standard practice for movers to show up an hour early and then when I agree to start (even though I haven't had my cup of tea which is actually a crime), they work for ten minutes before one asks to use the bathroom and has a 20 minute dump session in there? Could he not have taken care of that before they showed up? By my calculations, he had an hour in which to sort that shit (literally) out and still arrive at the time we agreed on...

Also, thanks for my enormous, shiny new BBQ that could feed multiple families. However, my neighbor would like you to put that back. Mine is the crappy one in the corner...

Sorry about the confusion at the storage unit - when you said you would call me when you got there, I thought you meant you would call me when you got there. Not that you would wait outside the facility and I would wait at the storage unit and then that I would eventually call you. Good job sounding surprised and nice move to extend your time so you could be paid more. Unfortunately, I was your client. And that makes me very annoyed. So, sorry about the lack of a tip. Other than the advice I gave to you.

Interesting tactic in asking for a Yelp review for a discount. Pretty sure that's not how Yelp is supposed to work. Also, you seemed surprised when I asked for one in return. What? I thought I was a very good customer. Everything was packed up when you arrived, you only had to move furniture, I did everything else. I moved to the end of my street, was on the ground floor and right next to an alleyway for you to park your truck. Could not have been easier for you.

Today, I need to continue to unpack. But first I have to go to the storage unit to get all the things you took there that clearly had a pink dot on them. Pink dot means new place. Orange dot means storage. We went over the system several times. I want to give you a Red dot.  Which means badWe didn't even come close to gold stars...