September 28, 2005


Oh, the homesickness. In waves, like nausea. I've been absolutely miserable.

We've been just over two months and it's like a bell went off in my brain that, instead of saying, "ding!" is screaming, "I WANT TO GO HOOOOOOMMMEEEE!!" Then there are tears and sobbing and a weird panic attack that I actually felt coming on 1/2 hour before it hit.

I had finished eating dinner on Monday night and thought--odd, I feel as though I'm going to have an anxiety attack. Shortly after, I was preparing to go to bed and wham! Tears and gulping for air and uncontrollable shaking. After 15 or 20 minutes I was able to pull it together, only to be hit by another round of tears and shaking moments later (although I could breathe this time). I finally relaxed enough to watch some TV, read, and sleep (thanks to Simply Sleep).

Tuesday sucked. I've been having a difficult time adjusting at work. The people are relatively friendly, but each Bob's Hogs is going to be different, and this one certainly is. It makes me wonder if we were all just slackers down in San Diego. The random rules and restrictions at this particular store are playing havoc with my role as Queen of Everything. The staff at this store is proving less malleable to my way (the correct way) of doing everything. I was blessed to have a very successful program in San Diego that required a lot of time-consuming work, but relatively little outreach. Here, I find I have to do twice the amount of outreach and am reaping less than half of the benefits. Things are beginning to move, but I am impatient. I know realize how lucky I was previously. And I am feeling rather sick at the thought that I voluntarily gave that up.

Yesterday evening concluded with another round of tears, this time on the phone with my Mom. My family is extremely important to me, and I miss them more than I thought possible. How am I going to survive missing my younger sibling's high school years? How can I continue going to the movies without my best friend - my sister, Katie?

I'm feeling considerably better today, but it's more of a struggle than I anticipated

Posted by Ensie at 06:48 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 27, 2005

Because It's Getting Cold

Frinklin and I finally went out and bought a "weather station" for our house. It tells you the temperature inside and outside. No trips into the actual cold are required. Sweet.

Posted by Ensie at 05:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 22, 2005

The visit of Violet

Violet came to visit us this past weekend. We ate food, went to the Space Needle to eat more food, then to Pike Place Market for additional food, and finally, capped off the evening

That's all we did. We ate, the entire weekend. That's probably why she's now doing Weight Watchers, not because she needs it usually, but because there was a weight gain of 15 pounds over just three days.

We began our cullinary adventures with dinner at the Primo Grill in here in North Tacoma. You may remember Primo from my birthday. They do have the best lambchops known to man. And parmesan polenta. And fig sauce. I have shivers at the very thought. After dinner we capped off the evening with the police telling us to stay indoors and not open the door for anyone while they searched our neighborhood with dogs and spotlights for someone. I had just finished assuring Violet that we lived in the best part of Tacoma. I should have pointed out the window and finished by saying, "See! The police always get their man."

Saturday morning we traveled to Seattle for the giant Space Needle brunch. Highly worth the $40/person pricetag. Yum. Then over to Pike Place Market where we sampled 47 types of flavored honey and jam. Frinklin succumbed to the rasberry habenero jelly. Violet bought fish at the famous Pike Place Fish Market. Bags of fish whizzed over her head and she haggled over the price of sallmon.

That evening we returned to Tacoma and made reservations at The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant we had been wanting to try. Our reservation was for 8:30, we were seated at 9:15. The cheese fondue was good, not great, but the Chocolate Smores dessert fondue--absolutely fabulous. They flambé the chocolate dip and provide you with various items to dip. We had chunks of cheesecake, pound cake, pineapple, banana, strawberry, marshmallow, and graham crackers.

Violet's plane left at 10:30 the next morning, so we headed to our local diner, Knapps, for their famous cream waffle. It melts, oh so slowly, in your mouth. Add a large helping of hash browns and bacon; your arteries clog before you leave the table.

Violet, I was so happy to have you here. I know The Jeffrey scared the crap out of you, especially since you don't like big dogs, but you were awesome. Remember, "Ignore! Ignore!"

Posted by Ensie at 07:54 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Percy, Twice the size

So, the kitten is big. Here he is when we first got him at the end of July, and now he looks like this:

Percy Teenager.gif

All attempts to take his picture while holding him to illustrate his actual size ended up one giant orange blur. I awake each morning to the sounds of our other cats being mauled by the Orange Beast.

Posted by Ensie at 07:26 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 20, 2005

I Spoke Too Soon

Yesterday I was on a roll. I swept the floors, I cleaned the kitty litter, I did a load of laundry; I even managed to whip the couch cover off the sofa before The Jeffrey's dog puke soaked through (a warning against feeding more than one Greenie at a time). Frinklin was on his way to the grocery store and I had grand spaghetti plans for dinner.

Then, I noticed it--a tiny little wet spot in the corner of the kitchen. Crap, I thought. The dog's water spilled and had soaked into the wall. I carefully felt the wall--wet where the baseboard should be (but isn't, as we have no baseboards in our kitchen for some reason).

I had a terrible thought. Did we check behind the dishwasher to make sure it wasn't leaking? How many times have we run the dishwasher? Just once? Twice? I ran for a screwdriver and quickly pulled the upper brackets off the dishwasher, exposing a pool of water that had formed over the last few days.

Not just dampness, but a POOL of water. Shit.

A panicked call to my Dad resulted in the following advice, "Soak up the water, set up fans, and pray for no mold."

After turning off the electricity to the dishwasher's outlet I called Frinklin home from the store and we disconnected the hoses, allowing us to pull the dishwasher all the way out from the wall. And then we surveyed the damage.
The floor is covered with linoleum, which protected it pretty well, however, the wall was soaked at the base. Fortunately, it was only wet at the bottom inch, not any further up. Because the drywall had been put in pretty badly originally, there are gaps at the base, and I could feel moisture under the wall. It appeared that the space under the cabinets was also wet. I mopped up everything I could and then set numerous fans in place to start the drying out process. I double-checked the other side of the wall, which has no moisture and the floor feels firm.

Just a few hours after the fans were in place, the wall felt dry to the touch. I couldn't see or feel any moisture where there initially was, however, I can see that under the sink cabinet it is still damp. The fans will remain in place for several days until we can't see/feel/sense/etc. any water. The dishwasher will hang out in the center of the kitchen for the time being. Inconvenient, yes, but we have no garage and the threat of rain is ever-present. Once the area appears dry and a couple of weeks have passed a plumber will be brought in to reinstall the dishwasher.

My coworkers today have been supportive, telling me their own stories of flooding their houses in creative ways and how they dried out without issue. I only hope that the fact that our house is old (and therefore drafty) and the weather has been relatively dry as of late will allow us to escape without having to tear out part of the wall.

My father-in-law feels terrible about the initial issues we had with the dishwasher, so I don't even know how to tell him about the soaked wall. Maybe we'll just keep that a secret for the time being. I don't blame him; I blame the idiot who originally put in the half-assed plumbing throughout the kitchen.

Maybe I'll play the lottery tomorrow and see if I can just move into a new house.

Posted by Ensie at 06:41 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 15, 2005

Who Has This Much Time on Their Hands?

Found via so anyway...

Check them out.

Incredible. Take your time and read all of them. My favorite is the "Unfair Natural Disaster" listing from the Daily Show of all the possible things that have happened or could happen during Bush's Presidency. "Rodents of Unusual Size," "Yam Shortage," and Voldemort" are among my favorites.

Posted by Ensie at 09:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 13, 2005

The New Dishwasher - Part Two - Much Rejoicing!

When I left you last in Part One of the The New Dishwasher, the new machine had been inflicted with the same problem as the previous dishwasher--it refused to drain once the wash cycle was over.

Frinklin's dad told us to call Frigidaire as something was obviously wrong with the dishwasher. Um, no.

Once the tears dried, I started investigating the install instructions and jumped online to see if there was anything available that might clue us into the problem. I googled things like "dishwasher drain problem" and "Frigidaire can suck it". Eventually, the In-Sink-Erator website provided instructions for connecting the waste water line to the garbage disposal. I hit pay dirt.

Did you know that there is a small cap inside the garbage disposal’s connection port for the wastewater? There is. It's called the "knockout plug" because, well, you usually knock it out when the dishwasher is connected. Further investigation revealed that Frinklin and his father did not do anything with the wastewater hose aside from attaching it to the new dishwasher. Since the seller of our house had recently installed a new garbage disposal, most likely in a major hurry and when no one was actually occupying the house and using the dishwasher, this plug problem made the most sense.

My theory was confirmed when I accidentally bumped the dishwasher into action and water came shooting our of the air vent on the sink. The water, unable to escape through normal routes was attempting to climb out our countertop. All that had to be done was to disconnect the wastewater hose, knock out the knock out plug with a screwdriver and hammer, fish out the knock out plug, and, finally, reconnect everything.

7pm: Frinklin arrives home.

7:30pm: Work commences.

8pm: Frinklin and I realize that working under a sink with all connections facing the rear of the cabinet is rather difficult.

8:15pm: Much bad language and other frustrated noises are heard until the waste waster connection FINALLY comes loose.

8:45pm: The correct angle is eventually found in order to remove the knock out plug, which then lodges itself within firmly within the garbage disposal, refusing to move.

8:55pm: I run to the computer to make sure that we can't just leave the stupid plug in the disposal. GE disposals say you can. In-Sink-Erator says you can't. We have an In-Sink-Erator disposal.

9:15pm: Frinklin turns off the water to the house and disconnects the plumbing from the disposal and the disposal from the sink.

9:20pm: I REACH INSIDE THE DISPOSAL (gross, gross, gross and in direct violation of all safety instruction) and dig out the knock out plug.

9:40pm: Nine attempts to reattach the disposal to the sink are unsuccessful. The tenth try works.

9:45pm: Water is back on.

9:48pm: Dishwasher runs a rinse cycle.

10:06pm: Dishwasher happily drains (completely leak free!) into the disposal.

SUCCESS!! There is much rejoicing.

Posted by Ensie at 06:48 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

September 12, 2005

The New Dishwasher - Part One - Sobbing Is Frequently Heard

We have a new dishwasher! It's fancy. And it only took 14 hours to install! Easy peasy!

It all started with the ugly broken dishwasher (and nasty broken garbage disposal) that came with the house we bought. When the house was inspected, we stated that repair or replacement of the garbage disposal and dishwasher were necessary. The seller replaced the disposal and the dishwasher appeared to have been repaired when we closed on the house.

Upon moving into the house, we discovered that the old dishwasher was not repaired; it would happily fill and wash, then refuse to drain. Being the dishwasher novices that we are, we made some half-hearted attempts to fiddle with the standing water in the bottom of the tub, but eventually decided to purchase a new dishwasher. My father-in-law insisted that he could install the dishwasher in a couple of hours. We stupidly believed him, ignoring the repeated warnings of the sixteen year old Best Buy employee against self-install.

Please note, my father-in-law is a great guy. He's funny, he's kind, and he always means well. However, despite his collection of fabulous tools, he's not very handy. I grew up in a house with a terribly frighteningly handy Dad, so this is rather foreign to me. I assume that when a father figure says he can fix something, he can. I would be wrong.

I spent my weekend at work, receiving updates from Frinklin every few hours as to the status of the dishwasher installation:

10am: The old dishwasher is now out on the deck.

12pm: We are traveling to Home Depot to pick up a hacksaw to cut the hard pipe used for the old dishwasher, and to pick up more hose that should have been used.

1:30pm: We're returning to Home Depot to pick up more thread tape.

3pm: We're back at Home Depot, looking for the correct connection for the pipe and faucet.

4:30pm: We're at Home Depot one more time, still searching for the correct part.

At 5pm I arrive home to see my father-in-law walking out the door, instructing Frinklin to put "lots of towels" under the sink to absorb water spurting from a leaking connection. "It'll be fine, I'll be back tomorrow," he yells as he gets into his car.

I freak out and half an hour later send Frinkin on yet another trip to Home Depot to purchase the tool enabling us to turn off the water to the house for the night, reducing the spurting leak to a slow drip.

Fitful sleep ensues and no showers are available in the morning. I return to work and continue receiving Frinklin's updates.

10am: The leak has slowed.

12pm: The air vent is leaking. I need to go to Home Depot and purchase caulk.

3pm: Um, my Dad left and I'm going to reconnect all the pipes to make sure there are no more leaks.

Sunday evening I return home to find a happy Frinklin apparently sucessfully using the dishwasher and monitoring a very slow leak under the sink. Tupperware is used to contain this tiny leak and we high-five, hoping that the thread tape will seal over the next few days and stop the leak. We deem this an acceptable price to pay for having a working dishwasher.

7:30pm: New dishwasher will not drain. Much sobbing and rending of garments occurs.

End of part one. Part two will continue tomorrow.

Posted by Ensie at 10:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 11, 2005

I am the host of Iron Chef America

Alton Brown
Which Food Network chef are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

This works out well for me, as I love watching Alton Brown. Actually, I love watching any cooking show, except that yelling alcoholic. I hate that guy. If I was Mario Batali that would be the best, except I'd have to wear those scary orange clogs all the time.

Via so anyway...

Posted by Ensie at 05:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 08, 2005

Look! A whole blog all about me!

OK, not really.

But I can pretend.

And just in case, I was here first.

Posted by Ensie at 10:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

It Would Almost Be Funny...

...If it wasn't so terribly sad. Hundreds of thousands--potentially millions--of people's lives in Michael Brown's hands:

Before joining FEMA, his only previous stint in emergency management, according to his bio posted on FEMA's website, was "serving as an assistant city manager with emergency services oversight." The White House press release from 2001 stated that Brown worked for the city of Edmond, Okla., from 1975 to 1978 "overseeing the emergency services division." In fact, according to Claudia Deakins, head of public relations for the city of Edmond, Brown was an "assistant to the city manager" from 1977 to 1980, not a manager himself, and had no authority over other employees. "The assistant is more like an intern," she told TIME. "Department heads did not report to him."

I'm starting to wonder just how much the Bush administration can fuck things up.

Posted by Ensie at 10:11 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 07, 2005

Charmin is stupid

Dear Charmin,

Why is there scented toilet paper? My husband accidentally picked it up and purchased it as he was afflicted with a cold that prevented his being able to smell the hideousness that is your scented toilet paper.

It's disgusting. And it's permeated my entire house. First it was just the bathroom, but now it's the kitchen and the bedroom. Not only is scented toilet paper wrong in theory, but in practicality it's also a bad idea.

It seems obvious to me that a man came up with this idea, just as a man likely came up with the scented tampon idea, and the scented pad. No woman is going to voluntarily put something down there that smells that bad. It's a sensitive area, and does not enjoy being coated in stinky chemicals.



PS--I feel bad throwing away 8 rolls of toilet paper, even ones that are coated in what may be the worst imitation of a floral scent ever. Maybe I'll shop them around my neighborhood...

Posted by Ensie at 10:14 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 06, 2005

Anyone Want a Dog?

I've always dreamed of having hardwood floors, and now that I have a reasonable faximile, I have dog hair. Everywhere. It's on the furniture. It's on the floor. It's in the air. I can't get rid of it. I always thought that carpet was bad for allergies and the like, but at least it held some of the hair in one place.

I sweep twice a day. I use tape. I have a sticky roller.

I have enough hair to build three new dogs. And that's just from today!

Posted by Ensie at 06:27 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 02, 2005

Kanye West freaks out

Or, alternate title: Poor Mike Myers

I watched the NBC Concert for Hurricane Relief tonight. At one point, Mike Myers and Kanye West were on together, urging people to give for the hurrican victims. Mike Myers started with a teleprompter spiel about giving money and the need for funds before tossing it to Kanye.

Let the fireworks begin!

Kanye immediately began a rant about black looters being targeted by the media and the fact that we don't have enough military to asisst the victims of the hurricane. A visibly uncomfortable Mike Myers struggled to remain looking straight into the camera. Kanye continued to say that he was contacting his business manager to see how much he can afford to donate, and that the government is sending soldiers in with orders to shoot!

Mike then began his telepromter reading, doing a final plea for help, but was cut off by Kanye yelling, "George Bush doesn't care about black people!" The camera immediately cut away to a backstage Chris Tucker who, unprepared, asked people to please, "give, give, give all you can."

Kanye was not surprisingly missing from the final group sing along.

Posted by Ensie at 07:08 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 01, 2005

This has been my argument all week

What IS the Bush administration doing? (emphasis mine)

I've been ranting at Frinklin all week about the underwhelming response from the President and his underlings. I'm seeing pictures of a city that looks every bit as terrible as a war zone with death, disease, and tragedy in every corner. Where is the military? Shouldn't we be prepared for disasters stateside? Didn't we just create a whole new department of bureaucracy to deal with this EXACT thing (be the disaster an attack or a natural disaster)?!

I applaud the desperate actions of the minimal National Guard, the law enforcement agencies, and the aid workers, but it is quite obvious that they are completely overwhelmed with the tasks at hand. It makes me terribly worried should be ever be purposefully attacked on US soil while fighting any war overseas. Have we depleted our forces that badly?

My prayers are with all the people of the hurricane effected areas. I have friends there that, thankfully, are safe. Bob’s Hogs is matching donations of employees and will be setting up an automatic paycheck deduction ability to donate to the Red Cross. We’ll be throwing in whatever we can afford (and probably more) as soon as that is available. Please take a moment to give whatever you can—everything helps.

Update: Eden backs my shit up.

Posted by Ensie at 08:54 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Mortgage Payment Stupidity

I called the bank that is handling our mortgage today. Our first payment is due today, on the 1st of September. As of yesterday's mail, we had not received any payment coupons, statement, or letter of explaination.

The "customer service" representative (seriously, they should just be honest and title them "Fuckwads") sighed when I explained my sistuation. I was extremely patient, considering that I waited on hold for over ten minutes. I told her that my understanding was that the payment was due today, and did my paperwork/coupon/statement possibly get lost in the mail? I'm trying not to piss these people off--they own my house.

"No. It was sent on the 26th of August."

I asked if that was normal and would my statements always arrive after the due date?

" No. This is a new mortgage. To set up in our system takes 45 days.".

"So my payment won't be considered late if it is received late due to your late billing?"

" "No."

"You're sure?"


I said thanks and politely hung up the phone. When I arrived home today the statements were waiting for me and I have since written the check to go out tomorrow. Is it too much to ask that the bank sets up some sort of communication with their customers to explain their idiotic system? I'm new at this. Help me out a little.

Posted by Ensie at 06:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack