The Triing Lizard

Thursday, September 21, 2006

My life is being invaded!!!!!!!! What the heck did I do to deserve all this stuff all at once? Ever since Jeff and I got back from our trip to the mountains in Virginia the house has been CRAWLING with ants. Ants like I have never seen before. Lines of ants marching around my kitchen like they owned the place. Ants swarming around my cats' food dishes. Ants in the cupboards all over my baking stuff. Ants on the coffee maker. Ants covering the white carpet making it look like a black flowing river. Jeff and I have launched an all out ant WAR. We've determined how the first set was getting and and sprayed profusely. We thought they might have been getting in near this old unused pipe going into the house so we removed the pipe and mortared over the hole. We sprayed in the kitchen, sprayed in the cabinets. Went through 2 bottles of spray in less than 2 weeks. So I called in the professionals, it's going to cost over $500 to get rid of them, they have to bait and then come back several times after that.

AND someone has hacked into my ebay account. I now get phone calls every couple of days where people start to ask me when I'm going to pay for some electronic device that I have supposedly purchased. Apparently I have purchased a camera, a laptop, and a cell phone in the last three days and I am requesting that the selling member send them via Global Express to Singapore!!! The best part is that I received positive feedback on my camera purchase!!! Isn't that lovely? And all the members who call me have all of my personal information. So not only do the hackers have all my info but the more they bid the more people get to see all of my personal information. So I go to the ebay site thinking I'm pretty computer savvy and I go to try to find their phone number. Nope, no phone number, only an online form to fill out where they may respond in 24-48 hours (note the hedge of "MAY" - should read "WILL PROBABLY NOT"). So I submitted the form two days ago and no response. So tonight I go back to the site determined to find the phone number. No phone number. I was just about ready to start composing letters to the BBB and their CEO when I decide to google for their phone number. I find numerous articles and blogs talking about how ebay has no phone number posted on their site but here is the secret phone number. So I think - ooh, I'm good, I've got their secret phone number! So I call the number and it says press 2 for customer service and I think, oh good, I'm almost to a live person who can help me, when I get a message that says, please go to and click live help and the system has the nerve to HANG UP ON ME!!!!! So chat is the only option that they have to contact them. This is not my preferred method of communication. So I wait my turn in a queue of 45 people, about an 8 minute wait, and "chat" with a rep who then says I have to link to another chat. I ask her what the heck that means and she explains that I have to "chat" with another representative. I was being chat transferred!!!!!!!!! I click on the new chat link and it says average wait 15 minutes!!!!! I have to wait again and I still can't even speak to a live human. I am still writing their CEO. This sucks. You don't even get to hear that hold music when you're phone transferred. I guess I'm just old fashioned. Anyway, now that I've gotten the exterminator to get rid of the ants I'm now determined to offload this Singaporian hacker who is posing as me.

So I chat with the new chat rep and he says he's going to email me with instructions on how to change my password and all that good stuff. I wait for 20 minutes and NOTHING. But now the chat is disconnected and I closed the other chat so I no longer have the link to the chat that I really need. Oh my goodness is this frustrating. Back at square 1. I'm going to go through the whole process again. 39 minutes to wait for the next chat rep. I'm writing to the CEO. This is RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

This is just not my day, it keeps getting worse!!!!!!!!!! I get home and my phone rings, oh God, not another politician trying to get me to vote for them in the primary. Oh wait, the primary was last week so that couldn't be it. They're starting to call already for the November election! Oh no, not already!!!! So I answer, reluctantly, and it's someone who is asking me if I'm still interested in purchasing her husband's laptop. My first reaction is WHAT????? I think you have the wrong person. And then she read back my full name, address, and ebay username and says that it looks like someone from my account bid on laptop. Yikes. That is just plain SCARY!!!!!!!!!! She said that she got an email from ME asking if she could send the laptop to Singapore via Global Express. And that she tried to email me. But I didn't get the email so they must have changed my email address too! Great. This is lovely. So I try to log into my ebay account and find that someone has changed my password. Apparently I am no longer me anymore, this just feels so wrong.

And then I go to feed the cats and I see that my recent efforts to rid my house of ants have not altogether been successful, there are ants crawling all over the cat food again! Ugh. So I have to go and do ant battle yet again, getting out the flashlight and spraying all over the back porch in the usual places where they try to get in. We've gone through two bottles of ant spray in the past week, I think it's time to call the exterminator.

I'm going to bed!!!! I want this day to be over!!!! NOW!!!

On the flip side, I seem to be having the less than ideal day today:
12:00 AM Tossing and turning, no sleep after reading about Jami Goldman's entrapment in a Chevy Blazer for 11 days in below zero temps...wondering if I would have reacted differently, would have remembered that the car had spun around so I would have known how to retrace my steps? Would I have stopped driving earlier? The story really haunts me, mainly because I could see it happening to me, to anyone really. It was just bad luck, the road happened to close for the winter hours after she started driving up it. So scary.

2:45 AM Still tossing and turning, thinking about the little boy on his snowmobile telling his father that they needed to go back and take a closer look at the red Blazer the next day, that there was something wrong, that little kid saved their lives, amazing how kids just know stuff

3:45 AM Wondering if this night will ever end, wondering if the kid would have been scarred for life if he had looked into the Blazer and seen two dead people

5 AM Cats end up in our room early in the morning (ran in after Jeff went to the bathroom), they start scratching at the box spring, I knew I was going to have to put them in the basement if I wanted to get at least an hour of sleep.
I grab one under one arm, spot the other one on the landing at the top of the stairs, sit down on the landing, grab her under the other arm, go to stand up and end up thumping down the stairs on my butt, boom, boom, boom. One cat goes flying, the other one I manage to hold onto. Jeff gets up to make sure I'm okay and we get the other cat down in the basement.

5:10 AM Back to bed. Sleepless.

6 AM Alarm goes off. I fall asleep. Alarm goes off again, snooze. I fall asleep again. Alarm goes off again, snooze. Repeat.

6:30 AM Up, feed cats, go to eat my cereal and realize that the milk has gone bad.

6:45 AM Then I hear this familiar rhythmic gagging sound. Cody proceeds to throws up right next to me. And then he starts to eat it. EEEEWWWW. Cleaned that up.

7:00 AM We're out of ground coffee so I grind more. I pour the coffee into my travel mug. I grab my three bags (lunch bag, purse, and gym bag) and keys and head out the door.

7:20 AM While I'm driving I reach down to grab my coffee mug from its cup holder and nothing is there. I had forgotten my coffee!!!!!!!!!!

7:40 AM Stopped at the Flying Avocado for some good coffee

7:45 AM Arrived at work in one piece with coffee!!!!!!!!! I'm determined to turn this into a good day somehow!!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I think I just lived my ideal day!!! I took a quiz a while back that was supposed to help you to understand what type of career would best suit you. One of the quiz questions was "Write about your ideal day." I'm thinking back on my answer and I know it included: 1. coffee, 2. friends and family, 3. Saturday programming on NPR - Car Talk, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, 4. good food, 5. sleep, and 6. being outside, preferably in the mountains

I think that pretty much sums up my day. First of all I slept in until 9:45!!!!! This is VERY VERY late for me. I didn't think I was capable of sleeping in that late anymore. But I managed it because I had the foresight to put the cats down in the basement the night before. Aaaahhh, that was so nice. And then Jeff and I read the paper, listened to NPR, drank coffee, and ate breakfast. Then Jeff went to work and I went mountain biking at Loch Raven. I'm driving over there and it starts raining and when I arrive there was only one other car - yay! I'll be the only one on the trails! This is excellent because that means I don't have to worry about being in people's way or pulling over to let people by. So I start off on the trail, conditions were wet, the trail was pretty technical (at least by my standards), lots of rocks, roots, stream crossings, mud, etc. But I didn't care! I just took my time, pushed myself when I felt like it, and got off and walked when I felt like it. I saw what looked to be a baby snake, beautiful black with yellow markings. I was so glad I hadn't run it over. And I saw lots of birds and a total of 9 deer, some of them were within 10 yards of where I was standing. Beautiful and graceful animals, I watched them as they bounded up steep cliffs effortlessly. And I listened to the birds singing and all the other woods sounds. After my ride, I drove home, washed off my bike, ate some lunch, lifted weights, and then promptly fell asleep on the floor!

Let the ideal day continue! A few friends are stopping by in a couple hours so I'm off to the liquor store to stock up on their favorite drinks!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Home improvement and cats don't mix! For some reason, I told the painting estimator guy NOT to paint the trim on my house (I think I felt like I should at least do SOME of it). So now I have this beautiful stucco paint surrounding really really ugly doors, windows, pillars, wrought iron fence, and the list goes on. In any case, I am now inspired to get some of this stuff done (finally). So this weekend I started on the back porch.

Ugly window (note the fresh beautiful white paint surrounding it):

Closeup of ugly window:

This window required several HOURS of scraping, sanding, washing, and applying joint compound. That was yesterday.

Today I sanded again and washed AGAIN. And then applied two coats of primer.

My Helpers!

Dorrie wanted to be a part of the action, anything mom does she wants to do too.

Codie preferred to stay inside and lick the laundry basket. Yummy!

So Dorrie decides that it would be a good idea to jump up on the windowsill right into the wet paint!!! Instead of letting her jump back into the house side, I frantically pull her through the window and she jumps down to the ground. In the process of me pulling her through the wet paint her entire underside, paws, and tail become COVERED in paint.

So what do I do now? Ugh. I call Jeff and he tells me to put the cone on her so she wouldn't lick the paint. I do that and then I try to get the paint off with a wet washcloth. Nope, no luck. Next I take her into the bathroom, put her in the bathtub and start washing her with some shampoo, she is completely soaked and she starts attacking me with the cone on. It was pathetic, she couldn't attack really but somehow it scared me sufficiently to give up on getting the paint off (even with soap it just wasn't coming off). So I wrapped her up in a towel (kitty cat burrito) and let her dry off in the bathroom for a little while. She is trying frantically to lick where the paint is without too much luck. So she starts to hobble around knocking her cone on everything in sight and just feeling sorry for herself. I let Codie in and he instantly starts licking her. Uh oh. She can't lick but the superlicker will lick forever! He LOVES to lick her. So I put Codie outside and put Dorrie in the basement (there's something about paint on her underside and the oriental rug in the living room, I just couldn't let that happen, not yet at least).

After that debacle I finished another coat of primer while Dorrie wandered around outside. When I was convinced the paint was really dry I let her back inside and gave her free reign again, worried like crazy that if she licks too much she'll be puking on the oriental rug instead. Ugh. So far so good though, she is exhausted from her adventure and is currently passed out on the chair next to me.

Isn't it pretty now? A lot of white, I know, tomorrow I need to go and pick a trim color. I'm thinking blue of some sort.

More "before" pictures of the back porch - this is the ugly back door. Do you paint your door the same color as the trim stuff or does it stay white?

My pillars are really just "shabby shiek"! :)

Ugly pillar with nice newly painted downspout, quite a contrast. I have quite a bit of scraping and sanding in my future.