Monday, September 23, 2013

I Salute Neighborhood Associations

I never thought much about neighborhood associations until we bought a house.

Neighborhood associations keep neighborhoods safe. They advocate for their neighborhood. They organize events and activities. They reinforce rules and regulations.

Lately, I've learned, they also maintain order and keep an eye on unruly neighbors. The ones who won't conform to any standards and really like to do their own thing. You know those neighbors.

I wonder if our neighborhood association has talked to the owner of the house below, the one surrounded by a jungle. If not, they need to. Yesterday, I walked by and it was raining only on that house. Today, I walked by and a herd of cheetahs trampled me.

The place has its own ecosystem.

I bet the influx of mosquitos started there. I wore bug repellent for the first time in decades this summer. Those suckers ate me up, and now I know exactly where they were breeding!

The house looks abandoned. I thought it was condemned, ready for demolition, until we drove by one night and saw lights on in the upstairs rooms. Shocker.

Let's hope that this winter is very harsh and very cold.

*  I almost didn't post a picture of the house because I didn't want to offend the owners (who don't even know this blog exists). Then, I realized that you can't access Wi-Fi in the middle of a jungle. So, I posted it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Car Woes

This morning, I drove to work and saw an orange light on the dashboard. An orange exclamation point to be exact. Not a smiley face. Not a thumbs up. An orange exclamation point.

I closed my eyes (for a split second), held my breath, and waited for the car to blow. Instead of slowing down, I sped up. If the car was going to explode or if a tire was going to roll away, I wanted to be as close to work as possible.

I forgot about the exclamation point until I got into my car after work and noticed it glaring at me from behind the steering wheel. I had secretly hoped that eight of hours of sitting in a parking lot would have cured it.

No such luck.

I thumbed through the owner's manuel and read that one or more of my tires had significantly low air pressure. The word significantly stressed me. Did significantly mean I could still drive it home? Did it mean I would wreck and cause a traffic jam at rush hour? Mainly, did significantly mean I would not live to see tomorrow? I mentally head-butted Honda for choosing such a strong vocabulary word.

I called Ben, who told me to check the air pressure in the tires... as if I do it all of the time.

I walked around the gas station and found a rotting air pressure hose lying on the ground that cost $1 (in quarters) to use. I couldn't find a meter or gauge to read the pressure. I rolled the hose between my hands and wondered what would happen if I pumped too much air into the tire. I assumed it would blow, hurling shards of rubber at my head.

At that moment, I regretted taking photography and yearbook instead of shop class in high school.

I gave up (after a solid two minutes of trying) and cautiously drove several miles to Tire Discount, my new favorite store. An employee showed me how to check my tires (for future exclamation points) and filled them with air. He did all of this for free, something this driver in distress appreciated.

It now looks as if I'm good to go tomorrow, the next day, and the rest of the week... at least until another exclamation point shows up.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

New Owners

Ben truly, madly, deeply loves "the girls." He can't get enough of them and talks about them all of the time. Think literally, not dirty... I'm talking about Patches and Zipper, of course!

I love cats. I really love cats, but Ben takes it to a whole new level. He'd sacrifice me to save himself in a haunted house (true story). He'd run and leave me when attacked by crickets (true story again), but that is not true when it comes to our girls. He would die, lay in the road, walk to the ends of the earth, and starve for them.

I hear him call for Patches and Zipper.

"Where are my little lions?"
"Princesses, where are you?"
"Daddy has treats for his big girls!"

Oh, yeah. He's head over paws for the girls. I can't imagine how he'll act when we have human babies one day.

I tease Ben that, originally, he kinda wanted one cat and barely consented to two. His response?

"Babe, don't say such things. The girls might hear you." Earmuffs, ladies!

So, needless, to say... Ben no longer runs this house. I no longer run this house (not by choice). The girls now run this house.