Sunday, April 10, 2011

You'd better pack your bags because mi casa es NOT su casa.

Spring is here and you know what that means?


No one likes having bugs in their house. In fact, I think it's pretty safe to say that everyone hates having bugs or spiders in their house. Of course there's no house that escapes the inevitability that at some point you're going to see a spider or boxelder or one of those crazy Asian beetles crawling around your domain.

The question is, what do you do when you find one of those pesky insects. There really are only a few ways to handle them, so which option of murder do you choose:

You can do the humane thing and try to escort said creature back out into the wildlife. Which is great for all you animal lovers out there, however I firmly believe they go back and tell all their bug friends about this cool hotel, aka your house, where "you can hang out as long as you want, ordering room service and watching the cable until someone find you. But the best part is all they do is put you right outside the front door- not even calling the cops or making you pay for your room service bill, they just put you outside so all you need to do is go back in! It's kinda like a game. Come on guys, let's go check in!"

You can grab a shoe or newspaper but then you have to deal with the gross part: body disposal.

You could grab a can of Raid, but I'm not one for spraying chemicals all over my house unless absolutely necessary so let's save this option for extreme cases.

If you're immune to all things gross and disgusting, you can do what the hardcore people do: grab a Kleenex and squeeze. How you don't barf as you feel the gush of the crushed insect in your fingers is beyond me. And yes, I judge you if this is your method of choice. It’s just gross.

Throughout the years I've experimented with the above methods but me and my queasy stomach has learned to find a more efficient way. I just can't handle the body disposal so I go for the "clean" way however the more I think about my method of exterminating, I've realizing that it's the most cruel- it's premeditated.

Premeditated murder is Murder One. And I watch enough TV to know that it gets the most severe punishment.

I go for one of two options: "I'm going to send you to a watery grave" option or "the slowly choke the life out of you" option.

Option 1 is preferred if there's just one little guy hanging around that shouldn't be and I need him to vacant the premises immediately. Grab some tissue, lightly grab the little pest and run as fast as I can to the toilet, throw him in and flush. As he swirls down to his new little home Sewerville I sometimes wave him off with a little salute "sayonara sucker."

Now I realize there's a big margin of error here. If I miss at my first grab attempt all hell breaks loose. My missed attempt sends him into a panicked flurry which of course makes me scream and freak out. This point I generally break out option 2 because I'm too frazzled for a second attempt at option one.

Option 2 is full-on Camando mode. I'm ready for anything. I arm myself with the vacumm cleaner, holding the hose across my chest, waiting with baited breath for the perfect moment to strike. I turn the vacumm on and instantly I'm victorious. No boxelder is a match for my Hoover. After sucking up the first guy, I find myself holding very still the only thing moving are my eyes as I search for anymore Charlies that need to meet my little friend Hoovie.

This post may seem little more morbid than usual but let's face it, we all have to do it. And I dunno about you but the Boxelders suddenly think they own my house. I don't think so boys, you're messing with the wrong lady.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I've Got Georgia on My Mind

We recently went to Georgia to visit my in-laws for the week. I know a lot of people would cringe at that statement but I happen to like my in-laws so I had a great time. I mean who wouldn't like having in-laws that when you say "hmm, I'm craving pecan pie," your father-in-law cracks pecans fresh outta their shells, and your mother-in-law bakes you a pecan pie! Need I say more?!

We did a lot of driving around while we were there. They knew a lot about the area so not only did they know where to take us, they knew little fun-facts to share along the way. It was kinda like getting our own personal tour. If Jeopardy featured a Georgia category, I would rock da house.

That got me thinking about how I would show people around my own town. Considering I don't really love the little semi po-dunk town I live in, I don't spend a lot of time here. But I think I've got three highlights I can offer about Big Lake, MN.

Stop #1. Big Lake. On your right you will see a big lake.
Stop #2. Uh...... Here is my grocery store??
Stop #3.'s the bar we visit when we're feeling wild and crazy, which is about twice a year lately.

There's my tour. You're welcome. Man I need to get outta this town

Besides driving, the other thing we did a lot of is eating. Now, that's what I'm talkin' bout.

While down there, I tried some food I haven't ever tried before: grits, oysters, crab, clam stew.

Here's the breakdown:
Grits- served with an ice cream scoop worth of butter made them pretty delicious (think unflavored Malt-O-Meal). I attempted making them back home but that was a definite no-no. Grits are saved for Georgia consumption only.

Oysters- this was a fun experience. The cook at the Oyster Shackk came out to give me step by step instructions on how to shuck an oyster. I was quite the spectacle amongst the staff, having never eaten one before, but I shucked away. I dunno if I'll go out of my way to get them again but I'm glad I can say I did it- makes me feel like I now belong to the Elite Oyster Eating Club where I can look down on the non-oyster-eating-folk with pity in my eyes.

Crab- enter gracious MIL that doesn't eat crab but made it for me and my father-in-law anyway. It was good. But then again almost everything is good when I soak it in butter.

Clam stew- I ordered Black Bean Soup, so the Clam Stew was kind of a surprise. And considering that the entire time I ate it, I thought it was some sort of sirloin soup, it wasn't bad.

All in all, Georgia was a fun place to visit. I do have to say that one big thing I noticed is that Minnesotans sure have a different level of oral hygiene.

If you're a dentist or orthodontist, you do not want to live in southern Georgia. You will be b.r.o.k.e. Every place we went, it seemed like Toothless Tammy or One Tooth Tom was there to greet us with their version of a smile.

Being the one table in a restaurant in possession of all our teeth sure made me like a celebrity. Although it was probably just in my narcissistic head, I felt like I was a Miss America contestant, I just needed to put some Vaseline on my teeth to show them off a little more because my pearly whites were drawing me some much deserved and much imagined attention.

Next time I go, I'm going to bring a box of toothbrushes and floss to leave as a tip in addition to the money. I might even write instructions along with the toothbrush "brush the one tooth you have left two times daily."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Final boarding call?? Where was my first boarding call?

My other half is not what I would call a "calm" traveler so any chance we get, it's nice to lessen the anxiety with a few airport drinks to make travel day a little easier on both of us.

Well when it was time to fly from Minnesota to Georgia to visit the in-laws I wanted enough time to allow for relaxation (aka airport bar) time so we get to the airport early enough to "relax."

So we have several pre-flight drinks, hit up Burger King for a little pre-flight snack and then stop at the bathroom before making our way to the gate.

Milli-seconds before walking into the restroom we hear "final boarding call for Fort Myers, Florida" well since we're flying into Jacksonville, Florida I shrug my shoulders like it ain't no thang, we're going to a different part of Florida so I must have plenty of time.

As I'm walking out of the restroom, there's an airport-wide announcement "Adam and Amanda ******* this is your final boarding call. The gate is closing and the plane is leaving"


THAT'S US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now if you know me, you know that I've gotten chubbier and chubbier over the past couple of years so to say that I hauled a$$ is an understatement as there's a whole lotta a$$ to haul now-a-days.

But I did it.

I ran my chubby little butt as fast as I could to the gate "I'm here! I'm here! I may be three sheets to the wind, but I'm here!"

Needless to say the boarding gate attendant was NOT happy with me as I run in saying "I'm here!!!! husband is on his way" so she says "the plane is waiting on you. I need to know exactly where he is, they are waiting to leave."


A plane load of people is waiting on our drunken tardiness.


Now as a person with a conscious I'd like to say that I felt really guilty for making the whole plane wait for me/us but let's be honest here, I wasn't as guilty feeling as I should've felt. Not even when the guy sitting in seat 1A says "oh, you made it" in a lack luster voice clearly hinting that he wished we missed the plane. Too bad sucka, we made it.

Georgia, here we come!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gameface 101

The absence of new blog postings is a result of two things: my life is boring and when something does happen, I procrastinate writing about it until I forget it entirely.

Since Christmas Eve, not too much has happened however I do need to admit to the world that my Christmas hissy fit was entirely unwarranted which means I got my way.

The Monday following Christmas I called the furniture store and explained my dilemma of missing the sale of the chair I wanted. The salesperson tells me "yeah, sorry that sale ended the 24th" so I say "but I called on the the 24th to order it" (the fact that the sale ended that day was completely unbeknownst to me, but that's besides the point) she responds by saying "yeah we were closed that day, but we had a sign on the door." Imagine hearing a piece of bubble gum snap here.

A sign?

I CALLED to place the order, so the fact that they hung a sign was completely lost on me so I nicely explained my situation again to Bubble Gum Judy, this time using my I'm-going-to-be-super-duper-sweet-as-sugar-douse-you-with-kindness-in-hopes-you-give-me-what-I-want voice. She eventually tells me to call back the following day to speak to Heidi (the original salesperson I spoke to) at 11:00 because that's generally when she gets here and you'll want to catch her before she goes to lunch.

Okay, now we're getting somewhere.

The next day, I put my Gameface on and picked up the phone.

What's my Gameface you ask?

My Gameface is a three level approach to getting what I want from a customer service/salesperson. And being in the customer service industry yawn I know when someone has their own Gameface on and truly, if they're nice enough and have mastered their Gameface I do want to help them more than some jerk-off with a chip on his/her shoulder, so keep that in mind peeps.

Level 1: Connect on a personal level, earn their trust. Greet the person by name as if you're best friends (please note, excessive use of the first name is just creepy so watch out. I'd say a maximum of 3 times per conversation is the limit). Ask how their holidays were. Comment on the weather or the roads or anything to relax the person as if you're just a cool dude that wants to hang instead of having an ulterior motive.

Level 2: Ease your way into what you want from them in a slow, casual way (and there's a bonus if you can squeeze in some self dafamation which makes them feel like they could be a hero if they help you). This usually sounds like "...say Heidi, we spoke about a chair I wanted to order a couple of weeks ago and I know it's been a while since we talked about it, but I saw that there was a sale and I was a complete idiot because I missed it! It sounds like it ended on Friday, which is the day I tried calling. I swear I have the worst luck! Ugh. Is there anything I can do?" <- see how helpless I sound, you WANT to help me don't you.

Level 3: Proceed to level 3 only if you've tried repeating level two with more nicey-nice in your voice. Nicey-nice goes a loooong way but when nicey-nice doesn't work pull on the professional-but-firm-you-don't-want-to-mess-with-me pants. (Please note, the PBFYDWTMWM pants are not, I repeat NOT an excuse to be rude, condescending, demoralizing, patronizing, or a jerk because we lowly customer service folks have blogs that we may hate on you to people world-wide XXXXX XXX you know who you are and I hate you. But I digress....). This PBFYDWTMWM role is simply a little stronger way of insinuating "Hey, Heidi, you told me about your grandma's rice pudding, we're totally buds now but I'd really appreciate it if you could do me a solid and sell me the chair for the sale price. Yo."

And voila.

The chair is being delivered on Thursday.

Here ends the lesson.

Friday, December 24, 2010

I hope 30 isn't too old for a Christmas hissy fit. Because I'm having one.

I'm throwing a Christmas hissy fit today.

Nothing is going the way I wanted it to and instead of stomping my foot and throwing myself on the floor, wailing like a bratty kid I'm going to throw myself on my couch and wail on my blog like a bratty adult.

I generally avoid making To-Do Lists because they either overwhelm me or it's inevitable that as soon as my day is planned out on paper, it will NOT go as planned.

Today is one of those days.

Instead of doing Christmas gifts this year we're buying a new chair for our living room. I'm pretty excited to get this new chair, as it will be the very first piece of furniture I've ever purchased from an actual furniture store (which makes me feel like I'm finally passing Adulthood Initiation 101). I've been waiting for the Christmas furniture sales so when they finally advertised a 30% off sale, I was in 7th Heaven!

I thought it appropriate to wait until Christmas Eve to order our "Christmas" chair so I wake up early eager with excitement. I plop myself down with credit card in hand to call in the order only to find the store is closed for the holiday. Since my office is closed for the holiday, I won't complain that they're closed too. But what I will complain about is they changed their sale from 30% off furniture to 60% on MATTRESSES.



But I don't wanna mattress.

I wanna chair! {arms folded, lips pouted, foot stomping}

After some serious pouting time, I try to get myself together and move on to the next thing on my List. Get haircut. So I call only to find out there's already an hour and a half wait.

So there goes that.



I don't like getting my haircut anyway, so there! {lip pouted, head turned to the side feigning indifference}

Next thing on my list is to find Adam an ugly Christmas sweater that he'd been looking for. So I battle my way to stores on Christmas Eve fighting frantic husbands looking for last minute gifts for their wives and kids with hopes of finding the ugliest Christmas sweater EVER.

First stop: Goodwill, nope.

Second stop: Salvation Army, where I contemplate calling my mom to tell her I love her because I'm not sure I'm going to make it out of there alive because people are looking a shall I put this delicately...."unsavory" but no sweater.

Third stop, my beloved Target where I walk in, sigh in relief and loosen the death-grip I have on purse but alas, still no sweater.

Fourth stop, K-Mart where I thought for sure they'd have ugly sweaters but no, no sweaters just broken dreams.

So after four stores, I walk away empty handed. The only thing that's full is my eyes as I feel the sting of childish tears of disappointment of not finding what I wanted.

It's funny because this morning actually started off on a positive note. I had sent a message into the universe that "Yes, Mandy will be winning the Minnesota Millionaire drawing.......hum da da duuuh.......Come to me money......." So after deliberating over which gas station I want to get credit for selling me said winning lottery ticket, I confidently stride in to buy it.

Only to be told that they're sold out.

I attempt to force my facial muscles into a smile as I grip the counter, fighting the urge to throw myself on the wet floor, kicking and screaming- or worse yet, reaching across the counter and grabbing the poor unsuspecting employee and screaming my frustration in his face as if it's his fault that all of my problems today are really the end result of my own procrastination.

Merry Pity Party. Oops, I mean Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thank you Myers-Briggs for so fully explaining why I am the way I am

A Myers-Briggs test I took in 2004 came across my desk today. How funny it is to see just who I am as a person condensed into 4 little letters and how accurate they truly represent me.

After completing the test, a specialist was taking us through the results of each of our profiles. When she started to describe me she said, and I quote, "Mandy.... oh look, a butterfly."

I'm am ENFP which breaks to to:

Now if you're like me, that doesn't mean much but my little packet breaks it down into several different ways to interpret these.

The first page I came across is entitled Team Frustrations, which says what your team really wishes they could say to you. What does mine say you ask?

"Stop changing your mind and the team's direction!"

Seriously. Can this describe me any better? Oh wait, yes it can. It later highlights some of my many wonderful attributes:

*Often acts quickly, sometimes without thinking

*Work in burst of energy powered by enthusiasm with slack periods between (hence no new blog since November)

*May get their facts a bit wrong

*May have trouble making decisions, feeling they never have enough information

*May start too many projects and have difficulty in finishing them

I realize that every person has their own set of letters and it means something different for everyone but I truly felt like mine described me perfectly until I get to the section where it lists famous people with the same letters as you.

Some of the examples of people listed are Frank Lloyd Wright, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein.

Who's on my list?

I'll tell you who's on my list.

Will Rogers
Dr. Suess
Meg Ryan
Robin Williams
Sandra Bullock
Ariel (the mermaid)
Cathy (the comic strip)
Dr. Ross (from ER).

WHAT?!? Some people have Albert frickin' Einstein on their list and I have 3 cartoon characters, 4 actors and a tv CHARACTER?!

And one of my cartoon characters is a middle aged crazy lady that either has steam coming out of her head, is sweating, or little parenthesis next to her eyes illustrating how much she's stressing over something inconsequential.

.....Hey wait.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The powertools are packed away for now

The bookcase is done! You might need superhuman strength to pull the drawer out, the drawer bottom is at an angle, and I have a toddler's ice rink in my garage (more on that later) but it's done!

And I gotta admit, even though my staining job is much to be desired, I LOVE it! And consequently, anyone that ever comes to my house needs to go on and on about how awesome it is or we won't be friends anymore.

I was a tad bit frustrated on my last post when I considered turning the bookcase into a tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis' Great Balls of Fire but when I couldn't find the lighter fluid, I persevered. When you're working with a deadline there's just so much added pressure that I will never do that to myself again. And this time I mean it.

I also tackled two other projects I wanted to have done before Thanksgiving: I reupholstered my headboard and turned the body-pillow that's been under my bed for 6 years into a back support fuzzy wonderland.

Having made the headboard a couple of years ago, I thought that reupholstering it would be a snap but low and behold nothing is a snap in my life because did you know this? I didn't know this, but when you buy fabric by the yard, the width of the fabric varies? I even looked on the tag to see if it said anything about width but apparently you need to be apart of the "in club" at JoAnn Fabrics to know that some fabric is like 60 inches long and some is 40 inches. I did not get the memo on that.

Unbeknownst to me, I used the 60 inch fabric when I originally made the headboard and when attempting to reupholster it, I got the 40 inch stuff. No dice.

I'm hoping my jimmy-rigging of securing the bottom with iron-on glue works because I'm ready to call it quits on all my home improvement adventures. Luckily you can't see the bottom and for the most part, it turned out pretty great!

The bookcase fiasco wasn't quite as easy of a fix of adding iron-on glue but at the end of the day, I'm still happy with it.

Our first major set back was we had a drawer built and we had a drawer box (frame) built. Enter first dilemma: drawer does not fit into drawer box.

So after a string of inappropriate language, we set out to take apart drawer to make it smaller. Then once we've cut everything down to fit, we're reassembling the drawer and SNAP! the wood actually snaps in two. Dilemma number two.

We have to glue boards overnight to redo the broken piece. Which really wasn't such a bad thing because it's an excuse to call it a night before we do anymore damage.

The next night we're both cranky and cold (yeah an unheated garage in Minnesota is not the best place to build things in the winter). I'm at my usual post: using the sander while Adam is using my archnemesis, the nail gun, to get the drawer put back together when another string of profanities comes from his side of the garage. I survey the damage: one side of the drawer bottom is completely square while the other side is about an inch too high, making the inside of the drawer have a 15 degree angle. Dilemma number three.

At this point, my desire for perfection has completely evaporated, so screw it I'm cold and I'm hungry, I can live with a drawer that has a 15 degree angle. Dilemma solved.

A few days later, it's sanded and stained. The last step is to clear-coat it. Oh lordy, I'm so excited for clear-coating: it's the very last thing before we're done! We can come home from work and do nothing but watch our shows! Thank you clear-coat step!

Adam's at the store getting the Thanksgiving fixings while I'm busy applying the clear-coat. The next thing I know, the full can of clear-coat slips out of my hands and in slow motion I watch it fall. Here is where I wish I could tell you that I had ninja-like reflexes or had a Matrix moment where I caught the falling can but any sensei would band me from the dojo because I did not catch the can as it fell, instead I froze in place as the slow motion "nnnnnnooooooooo" comes out of my mouth and the can bounces off the floor and spills everywhere.

Clear-coat is the glossy, smooth finish you add on the wood to protect it and make it feel nice and smooth. I now have a 3 foot circle of nice and smooth, glossy finish on my garage floor where children can come over to ice-skate. In my garage.

I had a deadline of Thanksgiving to have this done and technically it was done by then but because the stain and clear-coat was having a tough time drying in our cold garage, it had to stay down there for Thanksgiving. Because I’m so modest I made everyone come down to the garage to see it. I couldn't help but feel a swell of pride as my family members stood on the stairs shivering giving me the necessary compliments of how great it looks for them to be able to return to the warm house because let's face it, teeth chattering or not it is pretty awesome.