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Brother J Visits

July 9th, 2018 No comments

I took last week off from work because they are renovating the office which includes redoing the floors and installing new cubicles with much shorter walls (which I’m seriously dreading). I didn’t want to spend all week displaced so I decided to use some of my accumulated time off to hang out at home. Since I only work Tue-Thu and Wednesday was a holiday, I only needed to use two vacation days.

Monday (7/2) I went out to lunch with my friend C and cleaned the house Tuesday (7/3) to prepare for my Brother J to visit for a few days.

Wednesday (7/4) morning Joe and I drove to my parents house to pick up J. We stopped at Savers on the way back and then came home to start grilling some ribs we purchased at Costco over the weekend, as well as burgers. Wookie was thrilled to see J and was comfortable enough to let him rub her belly. It was really cute. She also would run over and lick his face at random times throughout the week. He’s become a lot more comfortable around her (he’s always been a bit fearful of dogs in general) which is nice because we might be able to have him dog-sit for us occasionally as long as we’re willing to do a bunch of driving since he’s not comfortable driving on expressways and taking side streets from his house to ours would take over two hours.

Anyway, here’s what we basically did the rest of the week:

Wednesday night – Watched Maximum Overdrive. I stayed up until midnight with Wookie until the fireworks stopped and she calmed down. Joe had to get to sleep since he had work the next day.

Thursday (7/5) – Joe at work. Called around to check on driveway progress, of which there was none even though this project was due to be completed on June 28th. Played Wii games (Mad World & Simpsons). Took J to Half Price Books and Chick-fil-A for lunch. Played Jeopardy & Song Quiz games on Alexa. Had baked spaghetti for dinner. Watched Dead Snow (so, so bad) and then Blockers (which was much better, but we had seen it before).

Friday (7/6) – Went to Taco bell for breakfast. Saw Antman and The Wasp at theater. Awesome movie! The trailer didn’t do it a lick of justice. Took Wookie for a walk at Armstrong park. Watched Pacific Rim: Uprising.

Saturday (7/7) – Joe made Waffles for breakfast. J and I played Wii (Donkey Kong and Raving Rabids, then Let’s Tap). We all went to McDonald’s for a late lunch, and then visited Brother B for an hour and a half before we dropped Brother J back at home.

Sunday (7/8) – Joe and I went on a morning bike ride at Armstrong park. After coming home and showering we ran to Kohl’s where I paid $3 for a pair of shorts since they gave me $15 in Kohl’s Cash. Then we did a little grocery shopping before coming home to relax.

Today (7/9) I’ve just been cleaning and calling around trying to find out when the hell our driveway apron is going to be filled with concrete. The village informed me that the concrete company had inspections scheduled but they were cancelled since they haven’t paid the village a re-inspection fee. I called the association and demanded to speak to the property manager (who never gets back to us when we call) and of course she wasn’t available. I was at least given her voicemail and left one for her that I am hoping she returns. I think at this point they need to fire these idiots and get someone else to finish the work. What a nightmare.

My boss texted me this morning to let me know the renovation at work is behind schedule so I’ll be sitting in a conference room tomorrow, and possibly Thursday, until our new cubicles are set up.

I like things neat and orderly and I have neither of those things at home or work so I’m feeling very stressed. On top of that my new glasses are too heavy and despite multiple trips back to the clinic to have the nose pads and temples adjusted, they are still hurting my face. I am going there today to have them put on the new silicone nose pads I ordered from Amazon as a last ditch effort. If that doesn’t work I’m going to have to pick out a different pair of frames which sucks because I really grew to like the ones my optician had chosen for me. They look much nicer on me than my old glasses. Too bad they aren’t comfortable, ugh!

Categories: Family, Fun & Games, Health, House & Home, Work Tags:

Shoes & A Visit From E

June 25th, 2018 1 comment

Saturday (6/23) we decided to walk around Geneva since it was their annual Swedish Days festival. It was a beautiful day outside and it was fun looking at all the stuff for sale. We picked up these cute little garden animals for $1.39 and put them by our tree in the front.

We also got Wookie a new toy for only $1.50.

As we were walking out of a shop we ran into my good friend, C, with her husband and two of her daughter’s friends. It’s funny how we tend to run into her at fairs, festivals, or just out shopping, more than anyone else we know.

Before leaving we tried a new place called Atlas Chicken Shack and shared an order of fries and a chicken sandwich smothered with ranch dressing. We really liked the dill in the ranch dressing; it gave it a unique flavor.

On our way home we stopped at Old Time Pottery and found a plant stand for outside the front door like Joe had been wanting. It’s already come in handy for setting things down when opening the door (since we STILL can’t use our driveway … more on that in a bit) so I’m not sure I’d even want to put a plant there. Plus, we’re not so good at keeping plants alive. We planted some wildflowers in the planters this year and they just started flowering, but that’s only because they don’t require any care and the rain has been keeping them hydrated.

Joe also spotted that they had a metal baking pan with a plastic lid which I have been searching for to replace ours since the non-stick coating on the inside was coming off. It was on sale too so it was only $7.

Sunday (6/24) we ran to Kohls so I could return a pair of grey Addidas running shoes I had purchased a few weeks back. I’m bummed because I really liked the style but once I started walking around in them (in the house, to keep them clean until I was sure I’d be keeping them), I found they were uncomfortable. I replaced them with a grey pair of New Balance shoes that cost slightly less ($56 after 20% off coupon) so I’m keeping my fingers crossed they will fit better. I wanted a sneaker that wasn’t white yet light in color to go with certain outfits that don’t quite look right with my black shoes.

We also stopped by Costco and I ended up getting a black pair of Reeboks since they were only $20. I’m not positive I’m going to like them but I figured they were worth trying for the price (and their generous return policy).

Joe’s son decided to pay us a visit Sunday afternoon which was nice. He’s been so busy with school and two jobs that we rarely see him. We went out to lunch and then to the mall since he likes the FYE there. He ended up getting 6 Funko POP! vinyl characters (he collects certain ones) and a CD. I’m so glad he’s making his own money now, LOL! But seriously, he was very sweet offering to buy us the Stefon POP character that we got all excited spotting.

I took a picture of it for my Instagram but I don’t want to actually own it. If anything, I want to have less useless possessions, not more.

Back at the house we played The Logo Game and watched some YouTube videos before E took off around 8 pm.

Today I went to Savers to look for clothes because I’ve recently donated all the stuff I don’t wear and replaced it with stuff I love, like leggings and cozy shirts. I scored three items, one of which I think I might be able to wear with leggings to work since it’s long enough to cover my butt. I wish it was easier to find tunics because I don’t feel comfortable wearing shorter shirts with tight-fitting pants.

Despite being told on Saturday by someone who works for the company who is replacing our driveways and patios that they would be filling the driveway aprons with concrete today, they didn’t do it. All they filled was the remaining patios and rip up some driveways on the remaining building. We are both extremely aggravated by this since the last time they did ANY work on our building was a week and a half ago. They have been trying to do too many drives/patios at once and were nowhere to be found for a few days last week. There’s just no reason this should’t be done by now. I called to complain last Thursday but they don’t care.

Meanwhile all these people are unable to use their driveways/garages for WEEKS and it’s getting old. And because they ripped up even more while the two buildings they were in process of working on are still not done there are even less available parking spots on the street. It’s supposed to storm tomorrow so chances are nothing will be done then either. So best case scenario at this point is they will fill the aprons on Wednesday and since you have to wait four full days before driving on them we won’t be able to use our driveway until Monday which is past the last day they claimed this would all be done (June 29th). That last building won’t have to wait as long since once they are done with our two building they only have one left to work on, although at this rate I feel like they purposely drag things out that should have taken a week or less. I’m just beyond annoyed at this point.

New Driveway & Patio

June 15th, 2018 No comments

They finally got around to our block to replace our asphalt driveway with concrete and replace the patios with new concrete this week. This whole project started in the neighborhood last year but they couldn’t finish in time.

Joe and I were both anxious about not being able to use our garage/driveway for 2-3 weeks so we were pretty pleased when they poured the new driveway and patio yesterday. It takes only a day to dry enough to walk on, but four days to drive on. The problem? They haven’t ripped out the apron portion of the drives yet so that will likely happen next week which means it will be at least two weeks of not being able to use the driveway. I hate having my poor new car out in the elements!

Also, we propped up one of our security cameras in the window upstairs to watch the guys fill the new driveway. They ran out of concrete 3/4 of the way through and it took over two hours before they finished ours so we have a line in our drive that the neighbors’ drives don’t, plus the line isn’t even straight. I’m so angry and disappointed with how it came out compared to the surrounding drives and there’s nothing I can do about it since the association is the one who commissioned the work.

When we took Wookie for a walk last night we looked closer at other driveways that were already complete and some looked great whereas some were crooked like ours, so apparently these guys are not very consistent with their work. Plus it looks like our new patio sinks a bit in the middle. I hope water doesn’t collect there when it rains. No one takes any pride in their work anymore…

Categories: House & Home, Neighborhood Tags:

I Photographed A Wedding!

June 4th, 2018 No comments

This past weekend was spent getting sh*t done so it wasn’t as fun compared to previous weekends.

Saturday (6/2) morning we took my car in for its first oil change and went out for breakfast while we waited. I nearly always regret grabbing breakfast anywhere but a fast food place because it’s very expensive for what you get. Our bill after tip was $35… for BREAKFAST. All I had was pancakes and hashbrowns and Joe had a platter of some sort. Blah.

Later that afternoon Joe accompanied me to photograph the outdoor wedding of my friend’s son. I truly didn’t want to do it when she asked but she kinda wore me down until I eventually agreed. Apparently her son and his fiance were fond of my photos but those are nature ones, not people. I don’t consider myself a people photographer and due to my introversion I find it hard to deal with strangers. I was super anxious about it especially after taking some test shots of Joe on Friday to re-familiarize myself with my digital SLR which I haven’t really been using lately. Most of the photos were not coming out well and I was convinced I was going to f*ck everything up. Thankfully the wedding was quick and even though I totally sucked at directing people, my more extroverted friend took the lead to help set up shots. When we got home I was supremely relieved to find that 95% of my shots came out great. I was so worried my friend was going to pay me for out of focus blown-out photos since it was pretty sunny outside. I opted to stick to a single lens for the entire shoot (my 28-135mm zoom) and leave it on programmed auto so that the camera would by and large choose the proper settings in the moment. Thank god it all worked out.

Speaking of pay, my friend gave me a card which I opened once we got home and inside was the agreed upon fee in cash, but also a Target gift card in the same amount. So in a way I was paid double. My friend explained that the gift card was a personal thank you for taking on the task which I thought was very generous, if unnecessary. Now I just need to motivate myself to work on her photos this week.

Sunday (6/3) we headed back to Visionworks so I could return my new glasses which were giving me headaches. I’m bummed they didn’t work out because my current pair are several years old and I do need new ones with an updated prescription. It’s so hard to find frames that don’t overwhelm my face which is why I opted for frames meant for children. Unfortunately they were a bit too tight and hurt my head to wear despite feeling comfortable when I initially tried them in the store on more than one occasion. I also didn’t like how they cut the lenses as they weren’t smooth around the edges. Plus I purchased an anti-reflective coating but I was noticing more reflections while wearing them than my old pair. When I mentioned that on the day I picked up the lenses they tried to tell me it was because of my prescription verses the size of the frames but I’m not quite sure I buy that. Plus they didn’t assist me whatsoever in picking the right type of frames for me which I think sucks. In fact, I shopped around at all the regular glasses places and no one could even show me petite frames and instead told me I would just have to find them by looking around. Great customer service! I’m just glad Visionworks has a 30-day unconditional money back guarantee because those glasses set me back $473!

Unfortunately, now I’m back to square one. If I could find a pair identical to my current ones but with a slightly short arm so they don’t keep slipping down my face I would be overjoyed. This is why I rarely buy new glasses – it’s such a pain in the ass and I hate the entire process. I wish I could just go back to wearing contacts most of the time but my eyes just aren’t having it anymore.

We also did some more organizing of the garage yesterday and threw out a ton of empty boxes. As if we’re going to pack stuff in their original boxes if/when we move. Not likely. We still kept some, especially for current electronic gadgets in case we try to sell them, but still freed up a lot of space. Now if only Joe can motivate himself to reorganize his tool area. That part of the garage is the messiest but I can’t help much since it’s his space.

Categories: Car, Friends, Health, House & Home Tags:

That Time I Called 911

May 23rd, 2018 No comments

Picture this: It’s 5:45 am and you’re home alone standing in your bathroom naked except for a pair of underwear when your little dog starts growling and barking at the front door. Suddenly the doorbell rings and someone starts enthusiastically pounding on the door. You wait, hoping they go away, but they keep ringing the doorbell and pounding with an increased sense of urgency. You slowly make your way downstairs to see if you can peak through the side window without them noticing and see a big burly guy wearing a white t-shirt and tan jacket. You run upstairs to check if there’s any vehicles parked nearby to explain his presence but there’s nothing out of the ordinary. Meanwhile the ringing/pounding continues. What do you do?

Well, if you’re me, you dial 911 scared out of your mind. Which is what I did this morning. They took my address, name, number, and a description of the guy and then after checking their computer informed me that it was probably the fire department since they had a call for a carbon monoxide leak in a townhome at the end of my attached building. 911 was cautious about everything, however, and instructed me not to open the door until it was 100% confirmed. They also still sent a patrol car (it drove by just as everything was confirmed and I was opening the door). At that time two uniformed firefighters were coming out of my neighbor’s unit with the guy that, if I had nine lives, reduced mine to only eight today. I apologized for not answering sooner and for calling 911 but they were very understanding, as was the 911 agent who assured me I did the right thing by calling. They came inside to check the CO levels in my house and then promptly left.

In hindsight, I feel pretty silly but I was legitimately terrified while it was going on. I recall saying “please hurry, I’m really scared” to the 911 operator. In my defense, the guy at the door was not in uniform, nor did he announce who he was. I also subscribe to the fuck politeness theory and never answer the door unless I’m expecting someone, so I think it might be time to invest in a smart doorbell.

After calming down a bit, I posted what happened to Facebook and was reassured by many of my female friends that they would have done the same thing.

I really hate how hard it is to see out the front when people come to the door. We only have the side window next to the door which I have a shear drape over, so it’s pretty obvious if I look out there and still not answer, so I usually don’t even see the person. There’s awnings over the door area so looking out the side window upstairs reveals nothing, and the front windows are useless because the door is set back so far you can’t see it. It might be time to invest in a smart doorbell!

Categories: House & Home, Neighborhood Tags: