Monday, September 28, 2009

This product may mean the end of the world.

I am starting this post by saying that no, I am not in fact making this up. I wouldn't know how to make this up. Nor would I want to. This actually happened. You may now either laugh your ass off or pity me. I am OK with either reaction. Or both.

On our way to Louie's, our favorite restaurant, the boy suggests that we get the dogs neuticles. So that they can better cope with not having balls. You have to click on the link now, I know. I will wait.


OK. THAT JUST HAPPENED. Let me share a little excerpt with you in case, for some strange reason, you did not click on the link out of morbid curiosity.

Here's How It Works...

Provide us your pets age, weight and breed. We can determine the size Neuticles® your pet will require based on that information. Select which model you would like and purchase using any major credit card.

Let's discuss a few things here. We will start with the obvious, which I will refrain from typing in all capital letters with 7 million exclamation points.

Who sat in their recliner, thinking, dogs really struggle with being neutered and losing their balls? You know what I should invent? Fake testicle implants so that they can acclimate to their life without balls.

Then they did it.

Then they patented it.

Then people bought it.


Oopsie. Rage leaked out a little there.

Then they developed different models of the neuticles. Original. Natural. Ultra Plus. And Ultra Plus with Epididymis.

Then...THEN..they sent in letters. That say things like this:

Some of my friends have commended me for being a caring owner who knew the importance of maintaining Bruno's natural look.


Sorry. Lost a little control.

It is funny when the boy talks about it because he is kidding. And this is ridiculous. And it just reminds me that when I think humanity cannot get worse, I am sorely underestimating them.

I am recruiting an army to find every person who buys neuticles for their pet and punch them in the face. Or neuticles, depending on the gender of the owner. Who is with me?

I am now going to make sure that my vet does NOT perform this surgery.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cabin Trip

This weekend was the rescheduled cabin trip. The original date we were supposed to go was 4/17 - the day I ended up in the hospital for 5 days. Friday was my last day of spinal rehab and it sort of felt like we had come full circle. The woman credited our cancellation fee for this trip and has been nothing but gracious, even asking how I was when the boy checked in. I was hopeful that this was a good sign of a wonderful weekend. And it was a wonderful weekend. With a few small exceptions.

First of all, the cabin was in her back yard. There is nothing better than a quiet romantic getaway IN SOME ONE'S BACK YARD. It bothered us less than I thought it would, but it was still very odd. This also caused a problem with the dogs, because she had pens of beagles and shit-zu's (I assumed she breeds them) and chickens. We couldn't really trust the dogs to run around and explore because I was afraid they would get into trouble, so we had to keep them on leashes the whole time. Again, it wasn't as big of a deal as I thought it would be, but was still a minor annoyance.

However, there are two things that mean I will never go back. We will start with the water. It smelled like sulfur. We actually had to use bottled water in the dogs bowl because it was making them sick. And the shower? Neither one of us felt like we ever got clean and the water pressure was so crappy that my hair may never be the same. I am not a picky guest...I really am not. But, unless you were born without a sense of smell, I am thinking you should put some kind of filter on the water that is being used by guests who are not used to the water in the region. It was foul. Even washing veggies in it for meals made me nervous.

The worst, though? The bed. Neither one of us slept the entire weekend because if you even looked at the bed, it started creaking so loud the entire world could hear it. It was the most ridiculous thing that has ever happened. Nobody and I mean NOBODY could have slept on this bed. We ended up opening up the futon at about 2 am Sunday morning, and with the bar digging into my back, it was heaven compared to this bed. That bed should be burned, reconstructed from it's own ashes, then burned again.

We had a good time, though. We got to relax and just spend time together. And the boys had a blast smelling all there was to be smelled and peeing on every tree in the forest. The woman fed deer on her property, so there were plenty of deer for them to look at as well. Shorty even developed a little ploy where he would call our attention to dear in the yard, then go eat all the food off of our plates. We fell for it twice before we figured out what he was up to. That dog is a lot of things, mostly evil things, but stupid is not one of them.

Saturday was also my birthday, which we celebrated by drinking champagne in the hot tub and watching some college football. It was perfect and relaxing and despite not sleeping, I feel totally renewed. Although I can still smell that nasty water on my skin, even though I scrubbed myself raw in the shower when I got home.

My camera was possessed by some sort of camera ghost (probably me doing something stupid while I was drunk) so I lost a lot of the pictures, but here are a few that came out well.

This picture is fairly out of focus because I was way zoomed in and did not have a tripod or anything to keep my hand steady, but this was about half the deer that showed up to eat.

This is how close they were - literally, my camera was barely even zoomed in, they were probably about 100 feet away.

The boys stalking the deer, after we figured out the short dog's little ploy. Don't they look weird with collars? I hate the noise, so I never put their collars on, but I figured so far from home, it was stupid not to make them wear them.

All the trees behind our cabin were like this - I assume either from last falls wind storms or just to keep the branches away from the cabin. I was obsessed and took about 100 pictures of them...but camera ghost (again, drunk me) deleted them. I literally only had 30 pictures when I got home. So mad!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Day

Woke up with less than a few hours sleep.

Went to work and locked myself in a conference room all day training my replacement.

Found out green beans I made for work were not cooking because my crock pot is broken.

Work people saved them in the microwave and they still turned out OK.

Found out I was accepted to culinary school. (I already sort of knew this, but the official word was pretty awesome news.)

Got rear ended on my way home from work.

Found out there was no damage.

Procured beer.

I can't decide if I put this day in the win or lose category. Or maybe I just broke even.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Less Beets, More Beer

As part of the whole organic thing, Big Jed and I decided to start a garden. She has quite a bit of land, so in return for my company several times a month (she lives about an hour away) and paying for my half of things, she offered to take care of the day to day stuff. Well, unfortunately, the mild summer we had caused the tomatoes to not turn red, which made me think some fried green tomatoes were in order. I have never had them, but I like fried and I like tomatoes. Turns out - I don't like fried tomatoes. Like, at all. You know who else has never had them and suddenly does not like them? The boy. But, it's OK, because there aren't that many...

About half of the garden was herbs, and this one was BY FAR my favorite. It is called Lemon Verbena and it is very good in couscous and with chicken. I cannot even tell you how good it tastes/smells. I recommend going out and buying some right this second! You can read the rest of this post later. I'll wait.

Last but not least, the prettiest part of the garden, the sunflowers Big Jed planted around the edge of the garden.

It has been an interesting experience, the garden. As most of you know, I am not a big fan of nature. I enjoy watching it, from inside the comfort of my home, and I enjoy spending afternoons/mornings/or any other brief period of time in it. But, I hate bugs. HATE BUGS. And spiders. And my back, you know, sucks ass.

So, the first few times I went up to help Big Jed with the garden, helping consisted of me sitting in a lawn chair getting drunk while she weeded. However, it was too much for one person, so I recruited the boy to assist in the weeding, while I sat in a lawn chair and got drunk. I am the best helper ever. As the summer went on and my back got better, I started to help. Can we talk for a minute about how many species of bugs live in a garden? Not to mention the quantity of them. And the constantly being buzzed by flies and bees. It was my own personal hell.

But, it also felt kind of good eating food I helped to grow. I learned a lot too; about growing seasons and organic solutions to bugs and fertilizer. This year, we plan on starting the planning earlier and growing all of the seedlings ourselves. And planting less beets. Big Jed, did you read that? LESS BEETS.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kanye is a Douche

And I wasn't going to talk about it because, well, who cares. He has always been a douche and always will be. Then I saw this site: which contains this:

"Yo Voldemort. I'm happy for you and Ima let you finish, but Snape killing Dumbledore was one of the greatest Avada Kedavra's of all time."

Pop culture reference + Harry Potter = All kinds of awesome.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


So...I have a job. I mean, not my current job. A new job. That works with my culinary school schedule. It is a bullshit entry level call center job. Tech support. I am ridiculously over qualified. But, you know what is awesome? It is new. It means this is really happening. It means I have to give notice. It means that I am actually going to fucking do this. It means that I am fortunate enough to live my dream, to love what I do and do what I love.

I am so scared.

I am going to be making $10.50/ hr. HOLY MOTHER OF SHIT THAT IS NOTHING. I have no idea what I make hourly now, but I know that I started at my current company, June 10, 2002 at $10.26/ hr. My salary has more than doubled.

The hours? I work until 1 am. I should get used to that, though. Chef's don't exactly work 9 - 5.

I don't care. Not even a little. I am living my dream. I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. This has been, so...well, easy. And so right. I don't even know how to be excited. Or happy. Or anything other than the blank, horrified stare that has permanently found a place in my expression. I am walking away from everything for this. I am changing everything about my life for this. I couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oh, Happy Day!

Kindle? Check

Season 2 of my favorite show? Check (IT CAME TODAY!!)

Beer? Check

Returning from my business trip to Pittsburgh to dinner on the table? Check

You know what? This day isn't so bad after all. More on the trip to come.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy Early Birthday To Me!

Monday Big Jed came over for lunch and to hang out (code: use my wireless Internet and drink during the day.) After we get back from lunch, I notice a box wrapped in brown paper.

Erratic: "What's that?"

The Boy: "Your birthday present."

Big Jed: "Wow, you are brave. Do you know what she will do knowing that present is in the house? She is scandalous."

TB: "That is why I wrapped it in brown paper. She told me she could steam open presents and reseal them, so I figured she couldn't do that with brown paper and packing tape."

BJ: (ha ha. I said BJ) "You are sorely underestimating her. She will lie, cheat, and steal to find out a surprise. Never again" (she is shaking her head in shame)

E: "It's true. I really hate surprises and will do just about anything to figure them out."

TB: "You can open it."

BJ: "No, man! Don't give in! Aw, you're being too easy on her..."

As they are discussing how the boy needs to torture me more, I am ripping into the box. There is so much tape on it, I resolve to the fact that one needs an engineering degree to open it. Oh! Or scissors. So, I finally get it open and it is a bunch of crap from the boy's desk. Some memory, random plastic feet for what I can only guess is a desk, some foam, etc. Erratic not happy. He then proceeds to tell me that the present is in the house, has been under my nose all along and that, no, I cannot in fact open it.

Which, of course leads to 10 minutes of whining and begging and pleading and bargaining and more whining. He finally caves, presumably to shut me up, despite Big Jed's rallying 100% against me.

And guess what I got? JUST GUESS!

A Kindle.

I have wanted one since the day they were released. I sit and ogle them online, envy all of my friends that have one, look at all the books I could be reading whenever I want, dream about the day when I don't have to travel with 5 - 10 books depending on the duration of my was truly the perfect gift. I am sooooo happy. :) I spent all day and all night Monday setting it up, downloading books, and then ultimately reading my very first e-book, The Magicians, which is such a good book. As one critic put it, it is Harry Potter with sex, drugs, and a whole lot of drinking.

Later Monday night I pry myself away and check all my online stuff to make sure I wasn't missing anything, and I see a post on twitter specifically stating that the boy needed a new girlfriend because he has lost me to the Kindle. And in bold letters - DO NOT BUY YOUR GIRL A KINDLE. Hee Hee.

Thanks baby. Love you! :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mortgage Gate 2009

Let's go back in time, shall we? It is early August - say the 6th - and I go online to pay the mortgage. This page pops up explaining if I have a Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae loan to call this number, if my loan is behind to call this number, if my mortgage is none of the above to call this number. Then I can click on a link to be redirected to my mortgage companies home page.

I try to log on. It rejects my log on until I lock my account. I use the same password for everything so I am thoroughly confused. I realize that is not secure, but I look at it this way - if you want to log on to my mortgage company and make a payment, be my guest.

I call the number I always call when I have mortgage issues and it rings busy. Huh. I go back to the home page to get that number for the "none of the above" and call it. It has been disconnected.

Now, at this point, I have two choices; I can lose my shit and tele-stalk the mortgage company until someone answers and promptly yell at them or I can try again tomorrow. I opt for the latter because these days, I would be scared what that poor person on the other end of the phone would have to hear.

This goes on for several days - me trying all the numbers, none of them working.

Mrs. Williams and I used the same person for our last refi, so she has the same mortgage company and gets a letter in the mail with a phone number, address to mail the payment, etc. We call that number.

"We are sorry, due to unforeseen circumstances, we are unable to process your request." No options. Just a recording and it hangs up.

What. The. Fuck.

At this point, I am just like screw it. I mean, if they don't want my money, they can suck it. (Please note: my patience for these kinds of things is fairly nonexistent.) It is about the 20th now and I figure someone will call because I have not made my payment and I will yell at them.

No call. I try a few more times. Everything is disconnected.

I FINALLY get my letter in the mail. It is dated August 23rd and I got it September 1st. It is a different company than Mrs. Williams. Now, by this time we have learned that the previous mortgage company filed Chapter 11 and the government seized all the loans and were selling them to various other mortgage companies. Mine appeared to have been bought by a subsidiary of Bank of America.

I think oh! Bank of America! That is a big company. Surely I can call them to pay my mortgage.

I try their website. They do not recognize my new or old account number.

I call the number in my letter. Due to unforeseen circumstances, they cannot take my mother fucking call.

I call the Bank of America mortgage customer service number. They have no record of me anywhere ever.

I called every single number ever associated with any company I have ever had my mortgage through in the history of the 7 year ownership. NOBODY HAD ANY IDEA WHO I WAS NOR WOULD THEY TAKE MY FUCKING MONEY. At this point I was willing to give it away, just so I could say I paid my mortgage.

Obviously, I needed to take a deep breath and a step back. And drink. A lot.

So, yesterday, I turned my living room into the mortgage fortress and, son of a bitch, someone was taking my mortgage payment. I finally get through to my former mortgage company. Sort of. The message said:

"You have reached Mortgage Company, your call is important to us. Please wait on the line for the next available operator. Thank you."

Except it sounded like this:

"You have (someone eats the phone) Company, your (a dog is licking the mouthpiece of the phone) us. Please wait (they throw the phone on the runway of some random airport and bolt.)"

Huh. But it doesn't hang up on me! So, I decide to sit on hold, while the phone periodically broadcasts from a cave in a third world country while being mauled by lions. FINALLY! Someone picks up.

"Hello" (yes, he just said hello)

"Oh my God you guys have been impossible to get a hold of and I have no idea how to pay my mortgage and this is completely ridiculous and oh my God I cannot believe that someone answered the phone please tell me you can help."

"Yeah, we have been getting this a lot. What's your account number?"

"My new one or my old one or my old old one or the one I made up because this has seriously been that ridiculous, I totally tried putting made up account numbers in the Bank of America website."

"Um...your old one. When you were with Mortgage Company. Did you get a letter in the mail?"

"Yes, but all the numbers were disconnected and I wasn't just going to mail my check and cross my fingers because that seems stupid and I have a friend who was with you guys and got a different letter and it all sort of seemed like a scam."

He then proceeds to explain to me all about the government crap and how everything is a total cluster fuck and I should just mail my mortgage check to the address I got in the mail and stop being so paranoid. He also suggested that I not pay September yet, because my mortgage was one of the ones that has not been "worked out" and it may not end up at this subsidiary of Bank of America.

I totally picture some dude in a room surrounded by payment envelopes eating an apple with a very confused look on his face. I assume this check will clear in, oh, 2040.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wishful Thinking

Dear 18 year old Erratic,

You want to go to Culinary School. You won't figure this out for 10 years. It will not be easy then. You will have a mortgage and a car payment and dogs that tear their ACL. Do it now. You can do a lot of stupid shit and slack off after college all you want. Take Krackle with you, otherwise there will be some questionable Rice-A-Roni incidents in your future.

Do not move in with that stupid boy with the spiky hair. He is not that cool. And when Discover card stops you on campus, please remember that you have to pay that back. The futon is not worth it. I cannot emphasize this enough.

Oh, and buy stock in Google.

Old Erratic