TV, darkness and the neighborhood cujo’s

Project Runway is boring the sh*t out of me this season. I’ve followed this show from the very beginning and have been addicted to it until this season. I feel like I’ve seen every.single.version of….everything – evening dresses (it seems that’s all they want to do as designers), Avant –garde (I feel that word is HIGHLY overused) and Couture (again, HIGHLY overused). I’m just bored, bored, bored.

Also, I’m trying to just quit Grey’s Anatomy. How many sad, sad, shows can we stomach, really? The only thing that’s holding me this season is the plane crash. What really gets on my nerves with the show is something sad is happening and there’s some dupey song playing in the background. I cannot stand Merideth’s character anymore – I’m tired of her b*tching at Christina that she’s her person and I’ve thought Derrick was a pompass @ss for several seasons. So, time to cut the cord.

I’m finding myself more drawn to the dark side. I’m watching Breaking Bad with Charlie while she catches up (I’ve already blown through season 5) and I don’t mind watching them again.

We’re watching The Walking Dead and I’m reading the comic book volumes and am waaaaay ahead of the series. Like Grey’s I want to quit those. I’m finding that I’ve lost the element of surprise watching the series on TV since I already know what’s going to happen from reading the books. Has anyone read the comic book volumes? If you have, do you agree that they’re dark, dark, dark? I won’t go in to any spoilers (and, if you comment please no spoilers) but, goodness, I cannot imagine some of that stuff actually making it to TV.

I’m also catching Charlie up on Dexter. Again, I’ve blown through the last season and I don’t mind watching them again. I do have to say that it’s a toss-up between Season 1 and Season 4 that are my favorite so far.

Does anyone have any suggestions for other series that we might like in addition?

Aside from the shows above and having an occasional football game on we don’t have cable -just an antennae on both TV’s. We rarely have the TV on at night unless it’s to watch a Netflix. Most of the time if we’re at home in the evenings we’re making dinner, talking or something else. Which, last night we were in the middle of and heard someone yell “Go away, go away, go away!” along with a dog growling – like someone was being attacked. We both stopped and looked out the window. My blood ran a little cold. One of the scariest books I have ever read back when I was a teenager was The Pack by David Fisher. This was waaay before Stephen King’s Cujo. We have had a pack of wild dogs running around our neighborhood for quite some time. Every time they are spotted the city commissioner sends out an email saying where and when they were spotted. They’ve killed almost all the indoor/outdoor cats on the street and as far as I know they haven’t been trapped yet. I saw my neighbor move through their window (faces our bedroom window and it’s not lost on me that they probably hear us – I hope reflect that maybe it’s good for their sex life) and then go outside walking down the street looking for the person who was yelling. I shivered, there was no way I was going out there to get appendages – real or fake – bitten off. Eventually, we – ahm- went back to what we were doing but I couldn’t help but wonder if we were going to get an email the next day about the dogs or if it was just a Halloween hoax.

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long weekend

This is my first day back from a long 3-day weekend and the last time off I will have for awhile. Friday, Charlie’s parents came into town for the weekend. That night we went out to downtown Decatur for drinks and dinner. I wanted to take them to the Brickstore pub because of its endless beer list. There we ran into some friends of ours and we all sat around the bar upstairs drinking. Finally, we left to go to dinner but realized it was crowded in every restaurant in the downtown square. We ended up at Iberian pig  – and, although I find the food there very good I also feel its high priced and overrated. Charlie and I split two appetizers but still felt that we hardly had anything to eat despite $20 already spent on a small flatbread and two friggin’ meatballs.

The next day we took the bikes up to the Silver Comet trail and rode 20 miles. Both her parents really love to cycle and enjoyed riding the long distance. Back at the car after riding we had a small lunch that Charlie prepared and packed into the cooler. That night we [again] tried to go out to eat somewhere and were overwhelmed by the crowd and lack of service. Where we ended up at Big Tex where the atmosphere was much better and the food surprisingly was good.

Sunday, we decided to ride our bikes down to the fall festival in our neighborhood. Instead of riding my mountain bike that I did the previous day I grabbed my road bike that I had recently been doing modifications to – which, included new brakes, handlebars, stem and grips. In short, I basically turned it into a hybrid bike with road bike tires. We took off down the street and started down the steep hill.

“Hon, be careful – we just put those brakes on so take it easy.”

“I will, honey. Wow, this thing rides nice!”

We got to the festival, locked our bikes up and started to walk around. It was a small festival and we were able to get through it pretty quick.

“What’s next?” Charlie’s mom.

“We thought we’d go down to Little Five Points and walk around.”

“Hon, should we ride or go home and drop off the bikes?”

“Oh, well we could but there’s quite a few busy roads between here and there. We’d better take the car.”

We started home and as I was peddling up the hill I noticed my handlebars were slightly out of plumb with my front tire. I’ll have to check that when we get home.

Just then the front tire went the opposite way of the tire and I kissed the pavement.

“Hon, what happened? Are you alright?”

“Yeah, my handlebars came loose.”

“Your head almost hit the curb. Let me see if you’re hurt.”

“I just skinned up my knee is all.”

Just then, Charlie’s parents came riding up and heard the whole story.

“I guess it was a good thing we didn’t RIDE to Little Five Points.”

At home, after Charlie cleaned up my knee and put ointment on it I threw put the bike in the back of the truck to drop off and have Cody look at it while we were there. After dropping my and Charlie’s bikes off (we think REI f*cked it up after paying an exorbitant amount of money for a new sprocket and chain) we walked around poking into shops. Later, we decided to pop into one of my favorite little bars down there and have a few drinks.

Monday, her parents left to go back home and Charlie and I ran around doing errands in the morning and the afternoon we took the dogs to Piedmont BPark, our favorite joint and out for tacos (well, they didn’t get any tacos much to their disappointment). We wore them out all the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

snippets

This is a short post of snippets:

Snippet 1:

I’ve been pissed all day because when talking to my sister this morning she said when she spoke to our father on the phone that he said he didn’t want us to bring the dogs down to the farm for Thanksgiving. That he didn’t want those dogs near his.

I have always wondered if the man has a undiagnosed condition of Alzheimer’s – that would make entirely too much sense and would somewhat excuse his @ss-holi-ness behavior.

Fine. I didn’t want our dogs near his none vaccinated, trained dogs anyway. And, this way we have an excuse to leave early.

Poor Charlie is going to witness my ill behaved family.

Snippet 2: I will never wear a cardigan old lady sweater – NEVER. I will wear cowboys shirts with snap buttons until the day I die. In fact, bury me in cowboy boots.

Snippet 3: I want to go home but I have a workout with the trainer today. Which is good because I didn’t run yesterday when I should have because I forgot socks and I loathe running without them. It’s because I need to plan ahead and lay out everything the night before instead of fumbling in the dark with the dogs beds in front of my sock drawer makes it impossible to find socks.

Snippet 4: I want the weekend to get here so I feel like I have some TIME to do something.

Sigh. I’m off to work out now. I will leave you pics of those dogs:

 

dear nutball and the day off

Here’s what I decided to do:

Dear Nutball client,

I’m going to have a lot going on in the next couple of months for the holidays and won’t have the time to keep up the weekly maintenance service. I will, however, be available after Nov 1 for specific jobs – ie – like cutting, trimming, and planting. We can work out pricing per job/per hour as they come up.

That way I don’t have to be tied in to spending an evening a week there and if she does have a bunch of things piled up then I can charge her hourly or per job. Plus, I really doubt the lady is going to want to pay $30/hour to have me pull stupid weeds. She’s going to either have to find someone else to do it or relent to chemical spraying.

I worked this past weekend and was off on Monday. It was luxurious! Charlie and I watched this video on making dog biscuits and decided to run out, get the ingredients and make them.

Back at the house we made the cookies and while they baked I wanted to start putting my bicycle back together. I had ordered all new parts for it and they were all in. It was soon discovered that my handlebars would not fit the stem I bought. This was frustrating as I had already sent back the previous stem because it didn’t fit into my fork. We decided that when the cookies were done that we would take the bars, stem and adapter down to Lil’ 5 points and have Cody look at it. When we walked in he looked at it and said he probably had an adapter that would fit and ten minutes later we walked out with it. After that we decided to have a beer at the Yacht club and then go to the farmers market and get a couple of pieces of salmon to grill for dinner.

That night, Charlie grilled and lit a fire in our pit and we sat out around it after dinner sipping apple cider and maker’s mark – very yummy and could possibly be quite dangerous. If you do that I recommend sprinkling some cinnamon on top as a garnish. Whiskey will also work if you don’t have any makers.

the crazy client

Monday evenings Charlie helps me do landscaping at my one and only client’s house – that I can’t seem to let go – especially, since I’ve deduced that she’s a loony. But, this past Monday was torrential rain all day long and I had to wait until later on in the week to go over there on my own.

I’ve had this client for a couple of years now. She started out with a yard [with grass] with an array of planter boxes in the middle that she planted haphazardly with various vegetables and herbs. She also has a concrete pig, an old bathtub filled with rosemary and various other ornaments that as a conglomerate look tacky on a good day. I would go over and cut the grass, edge around the boxes and plant the occasional tomato vine.  This was a good arrangement. She would usually pay me per visit and I’d end up with a little pocket money for only a ½ hour’s work (which, usually I would go directly to the neighborhood pizza place and have beer and pizza afterwards).

Then, she went crazy.

She decided to turn her entire front yard into a rock pit. Meaning, she put down quarry rock in place of where the grass was and around all the planters. She wanted me to give her a bid for doing the job and I priced it so high that she wouldn’t even consider it.  There was no way in h*ll I was going to shovel and lay all that rock. So, she had the rock delivered and her husband laid it. (I’m amazed that they’re still married)

After that, she had me dig and create these beds that ran in a U around the rock where all the compost that was created in a pile of sh*t in her side yard was put into it. In one of the beds she had me plant tomato vines in a row right next to eat other which, ended up creating thousands of tomatoes – so many that they littered the rocks and rotted. The other beds were asparagus that every time they sprouted up she had me cut down and lay over the bed for compost so new shoots could grow. Supposedly, these things won’t even be edible for another three years she told me. (I mentally hoped that I would no long be doing work for her in three years.)

At first it all seemed like a cool idea. Then, chaos ensued – weeds grew up everywhere – in between the rocks, in the beds – everywhere. Since she didn’t believe in RoundUp I had to spend the bulk of my time there weeding. She did finally produce some organic wash to spray the weeds with but even when spraying the h*ll out of everything it still did little to kill them. (Charlie kept threatening to mix the organic spray with roundup and I said that knowing my luck it would turn orange and we’d be busted) So, her rock garden looks even worse than the grass did – at least with grass you can CUT it and she won’t even let her dogs go pee in her precious rocks because she’s afraid that their pee will contaminate the soil under the rock – BUT, all kinds of weeds can grow up in it…..makes sense, right? Right.

Every month I think I’m going to quit her because all I do is go over there and weed for an hour on my hands and knees in the rocks. It’s really become a frustration because even going over there for an hour a week and pulling myself there’s not much of a dent in all the weeds. When Charlie helps me do this we do seem to get a lot more done doing it together and make a dent in it.

Last week the crazy lady wanted a trench dug in one of the U beds and Charlie did it and was sore for days afterwards. While she did that the client wanted me to plant three rows of seedlings. One side was lettuces, in the middle onions, and the other side kale. (Note: she said three rows. I take things literally)

This week when I showed up I noticed the kale row was coming up – it looked good and it was nice to finally see new growth in the garden that’s normally just a weed pit. She came walking out (she’s a very overweight woman and has constant health issues) and I commented on the growth and she plopped down in the chair on the porch and said, “Yeah….well, that’s an issue.”

“Oh?”

“Yes, the kale and lettuce was supposed to be sprinkled in the bed – not made a row. See when you (here comes the lecture of farming despite growing up on a farm and knowing all this sh*t) plant stuff like kale and lettuce in a row then it invariably becomes crowded and has to be thinned out. So, that’s why we don’t do that. You know farmers used to only plant in rows because they needed to get in to cultivate and plow but it’s not practical in some garden applications.”

I thought about all those tomato plants that were planted in a row, too close last year – all under her direction. Suddenly, I felt like a child that was being chastised.

“Do you want me to transplant some of them?”

“No, just take these seeds and sprinkle them around and rake it.”

So, sprinkling these additional seeds around the ROWS aren’t going to make it even more crowded? I thought.

I did so. I mean, I just went out there and mixed the seeds and tossed them in the friggin’ bed. “What-the-f*ck-ever crazy organic lady that probably has vines squeezing her brain so tight because she refuses to use roundup”, I thought as I threw them in. Then, I went back to pulling weeds.

Sigh.

The whole time I’m asking myself why I do this. I could be making dinner for Charlie right now. Charlie and I could be riding bicycles. We could be walking the dogs together.

Here’s the thing – I like the extra money I get a month to do it. But, I don’t think it’s enough to merit all the trouble. So, I’m asking you bloggers – what do you think? I’m going to come right out and tell you what I make off of this client and you tell me if you think she’s getting a outright deal for me doing all this work and it’s not worth it on my part or would you stick with it?

One month (4 – one hour visits sometimes with Charlie for $125.00 – that equals 4 hours a month for that)

So, what do you think? Quit her? Ask her for more money? Or don’t do anything?

 

 

 

monday off

Yesterday morning after hitting the snooze 5 times and still not being able to move the decision was made – I was taking the day off. Charlie let me sleep until 8 before bringing in a cup of coffee. I knew the dogs were probably chomping at the bit to go for a walk so I got up to go with them. Just as we were getting ready to head out it started pouring rain – another reason why I didn’t want to go to work. It was raining in large proportions yesterday – I even got a message on my phone from Swackett that there was a flood warning for the neighborhood we lived. I wasn’t surprised.

Walk finally done we went out and grabbed breakfast at one of my favorite diners. I only eat there on the occasion that I am off during the week because on the weekends the line goes out the door and down the sidewalk and I refuse to wait to be seated. Charlie and I slid into the booth beside each other and I put my arm around her. We ate and talked and savored the smoked chicken in the skillet I ordered. After that, we hit a few thrift stores, then a fabulous liquor store (needed to stock up on whiskey) and finally the grocery.

That afternoon Charlie and I spent catching up and I must say that it was a luxury having the whole afternoon to do that. Later, we went and had pizza and wings at one of my favorite little joints down in 4th ward. The whole day was amazing and this morning when I hit the snooze I couldn’t wait until next Monday when I can have another day like that with her again.