Friday, September 23, 2011

A Vast Conspiracy


Pretty picture to distract you all from the rant...

I'm a good driver. I'm attentive - I don't text - I obey most traffic laws. I do assume that the speed limit signs are intended to be suggested starting points, but I don't speed, exactly. If the speed limit is 45, I'm going to do 45. Maybe 47. Ish.

So someone tell me - what the heck is up with people who drive 15 miles BELOW the speed limit? Seriously. Who are these people and where do they find all this extra time to drive so dang slowly? It drives me so incredibly batty, that I am afraid I'm going to do something rash, like you know, uh, COMPLAIN about it.


I went to the grocery store yesterday afternoon, and on the way, I got behind a car doing 30 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. Two lanes. Double yellow lines. I finally turned off that road and made it fine for a while until I turned onto the main road to the store and got behind a different car, doing 30 in a 45. I finally...FINALLY...made it to the store and got my shopping done and headed home.

Where I got behind a THIRD car. Yes. You guessed it. 30 mph in a 45. Two lanes. Double yellow lines.

This is not a random occurrence, people. This is a conspiracy. A CONSPIRACY. I'm fairly sure I'm being watched. Traffic lights are being controlled by evil aliens intent on causing my BRAIN TO IMPLODE.

These are the same aliens that cause my children to leave their dirty socks under the couch and on the couch and tucked between the couch cushions. The same aliens who cause my dogs to vomit on my freshly cleaned carpets.

The very same aliens, in fact, that can cause my weight to increase 7.5 pounds overnight, my nails to break before dress-up events, and my car to be low on fuel whenever I start a long day of errands.

They are infiltrating our very society, people. Be wary. Be diligent.

(they may be coming for you next...)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Watch yer Noggin

 I was sitting at the dining room table earlier today, when I heard a thud in the living room. Then Raikki started whimpering and whining. I figured he'd fallen and was stuck or something, so I walked in through the kitchen, but he was standing at the back door, looking out. I started to take him outside to do his business, when I noticed a little bird lying on the deck.

 At first, I thought it was dead - its little head was turned sideways, its mouth was hanging open, and its legs were splayed out under its body. I walked back into the house to grab some paper towels so I could pick him up, but when I got back, it had pulled its head up and was staring dazedly at the glass, all WTF?

By the time I grabbed my camera, it had hopped over to the edge of the deck. This is the one photo I managed to get before it flew away again.

Federal law should prohibit flight without helmets, people.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's Been a Long Time

I seem to have fallen off the blogging train. It's not that I don't love you all, I do. I just find myself a very uninteresting person lately.

Except for the car theft.

And the paraplegic dog.

I have a feeling those are going to be my benchmarks of life from now on.

"How was your week?" you may ask...

"Well. My car wasn't stolen, and all my dogs have use of all four limbs. I'd say it's been a damn fine week, overall."

But other than those dramatic happenings, life has been pretty repetitive. Schoolwork, tennis, dog therapy, laundry avoidance, vacuuming up the endless supply of German Shepherd fur, grocery shopping, supper making, lather, rinse, repeat.

The things that haven't made the list, lately, are big things.

Huge things.

Important things.

Like drawing, painting, photographing, and writing. Like playing the piano and the guitar. Like dreaming and imagining and creating. And I miss them.

I miss them fiercely.

And so I plan, and I scheme, and I try to eke out a little time for those things. I played the guitar the other day for about 15 minutes. Then I looked at the clock and realized I was running late for someone's tennis lesson or piano lesson or dentist visit or whatever and I put the guitar in its stand and haven't touched it, except with a dust rag, since.

I looked at my calendar yesterday, and realized that this coming weekend is the only weekend that isn't booked solid through the end of October. Where do people carve out the time to feed their creativity?

How do you do it? How will I do it?

Because, you see - I must. I have to. I will.

Who is with me? Who wants to feed their creative monster? It doesn't matter what you do to be creative - sing, dance, paint, photograph, cook, sew, knit, crochet - the world needs more of it.

Leave me a comment with an idea of how to keep creating in the midst of a busy life, and let's spark a little artistic revolution.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dude, Where's My Car?

Ferrari 250 Testarossa (replica), originally uploaded by diahn.

So. Yeah.

You know how Mondays are always a little crazy and hectic and irritating because you have to squeeze your suddenly weekend-expanded life back into the small space that seems to exist for everything on weekdays? My Mondays are particularly hectic, as they involve multiple tennis lessons, piano lessons and up until this week, puppy physical therapy. I spend most of Monday driving my car from one side of town to the other, always frantic to get some place on time.

Yesterday, Dr. SmartyPants had an early meeting, and was out the door at about 7 am, so I sat back down on the couch for a few minutes to drink the remainder of my coffee before waking the boys to get our day started. He walked out the door, and within a minute walked back in.

"Did you put your car in the garage?" he asked.

"No. It wouldn't fit with all the furniture refinishing going on - of course I didn't put it in the garage. Wait. Why?"

"It's not outside."

"Are you kidding?"


I walk to the front door and stare rather stupidly at the space that once boasted a new-to-me Ford. I blinked. I walked back into the house and went to the garage, thinking that perhaps I'd had a bout of sleep-furniture-and-car-moving.

Nope. No car there.

"Did you lock it when you got home from the store?"

"I don't know. I usually do. But I don't know. There's no glass on the driveway. Didn't you drive it to get supper?"

"No. I took my truck."

"Then I guess I didn't lock it. Dang."

"How could they have taken it without a key?"

And that's when it hit me. The spare keys were in the center console. I'd rushed off to the store the day before and couldn't find my regular keys. I grabbed the spare set and when I got to the store, I realized I had my regular keys hooked to my purse. I threw the spare set into the center console, thinking I'd get them out when I got home.

I've never even taken those keys out of the house before Sunday.

We stared at each other for a while. Then the Smarty called the county sheriff's office. We learned something interesting: When you report your car stolen, the police don't come out to your house. They just put your info into the stolen car database.

It made me feel a little neglected.

We called the bank and the insurance companies. We realized that there was a housekey on that set of spare keys, so we figured we would need to change locks. I started calculating the value of the tennis gear in the back. I texted the boys' tennis coach to see if we could borrow racquets.

I felt numb.

Someone stole my car. MY car. my CAR. In 43 years of living, this has never happened to me. I couldn't believe it. We were all stunned. My neighbors were stunned.

We live in a safe neighborhood. I lived in Virginia for two years and left my house here vacant, with my neighbors looking out for it, and never had an issue. It's a tight little cul-de-sac where we are constantly up in each others' business.  How could this happen here?

I found out later that other neighbors' cars had been rifled through, but apparently I was the only idiot who actually left the thieves a gift of keys.

The good news is that the police found the car, not more than three miles away from our house, in another neighborhood. I can only assume that someone walked out of their door to go to work and thought, "Did I sleep-purchase a new car?" Realizing that they hadn't, they called the police to report a found vehicle. We picked it up before lunch time.

The detective in charge of the case called later in the afternoon and told us they believed it was kids, out looking for exactly what they found in our driveway. They drove it around until they had to get home and just left it in another neighborhood. He said we should be thankful the car was not damaged, and that all the tennis gear was still in the back. And we are. We're very thankful.

All we lost was time. Dr. SmartyPants lost a day's work. We lost $150 in new door hardware. We lost $175 in towing charges. We'll lose whatever it costs to get a vehicle re-keyed. I lost a lot of sleep last night, waking at every. single. noise, wondering if my car was still in the garage. We lost a lot of peace and tranquility.

We lost all of that so that some jackass juvenile detention reject could drive a Ford Escape around the burbs.

I'm still pissed.