Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Legend of Kristy!!!

About a month ago, I was the butt end of a geo caching prank. My friend Kristy, who turned me onto caching, has always wanted to be a first to find (FTF). She saw someone planted a new cache and went out bright and early around 6 am to find it on a rainy morning. I guess someone else found it or she didn't find it but basically our other friend Vicki saw her at work later in the day and told her I found it. I really didn't but she used me as a pawn because Kristy new Vicki hadn't ever been caching. It was a prank gone a foul because the reality of it was Kristy was kinda sad to not have found it. Then she was told the truth and all was good and right in the world. Kind of.

I got a great idea for a birthday surprise that involved planting a cache but there was a whole slew of stuff that needed to be done to make it work. First off was the creation of a little trinket, which was a little .22 with beads epoxied into a beer bottle cap. That took an afternoon to make because the epoxy was being a little non-cooperative. A few weeks later, I took an old garlic salt container and painted it an ugly tan color and placed the trinket along with a cache log sheet and hid it. I sent Kristy a message that I heard about some cache and she had to find it because she had a GPS device and I didn't and I found these coordinates but they led me somewhere else. She couldn't do it so I had to get some back up in on this prank. That's where Vicki, Tim and Jo came in.

We plotted that after having dinner with them, they would go geo caching and see if I wanted to go with. They would look for the cache I tried to find and told Kristy about. I was out with Lulu and was going to meet them because they were going close to where I was at. So I met up with them and we wound up in a dog park. We went there and Kristy swore she found it right away. It was a sprinkler head. Tim pointed out two more and Kristy still wanted to dig it up to see if it was the cache. After walking around the back end of the park, she finally found it and the look on her face when she realized she was at the end of yet another Geo prank was priceless, however, this time it was a look of delight.

The story shifts a little because the cache was submitted to geocaching.com but was refused because there were too many caches in similar terrain nearby so we could either relocate it or check back in a few weeks. I basically told Kristy to hide it somewhere she likes and we'll replace it somewhere else. Of course she finished by saying before she hides it all of us had to put one thing in there for other people to find. Fair enough.

The rest of the evening we went looking for some other caches and found two more and it was a good fun night of caching. Good times, good times. Hopefully The Legend of Kristy!!! will get placed somewhere soon for others to find. It was quite a great prank to right the wrong FTF prank pulled on her earlier.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Car-less Whispers

Well, it's been something like 3 weeks since the Oldsmobile and I broke up. I haven't really noticed anything awkward or hard about not having a car. I think the only thing that is really difficult is grocery shopping. I need to have Jesse take me to the Walmart but other than that, it is what it is. The damned thing couldn't go on freeways so I still need to carpool to get to any place that requires a freeway trip. I usually walk to any place that is within walking distance anyway because I'm too lazy to get Charlie buckled into his car seat. So yeah, not much change.

In terms of other things, I've been learning to drive a stick. I'm not the biggest fan of it but I don't completely hate it either. It requires a lot of guesswork and adjustment on my behalf in terms of getting used to the whole first gear clutch/gas balance. I think if we had a newer car it would be easier but I could be wrong. Jesse's truck is just so big and clunky and I feel like I'm driving a big rig when I drive it. I'm better at shifting gears than I am getting out of first. I no longer stall when I go into first, but again, it will take a lot of adjustment on my part. I just hope I can get it figured out by 4th of July. I just don't see that happening, though. I also don't see Jesse just letting me use his truck to go places and leaving him without a car. I just see me being without a car, again, for a very long period of time.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

How To Draft A Patter & Sew A Simple Summer Skirt


Well, I've been asked by a million people (OK not that many but a lot) about my summer skirts I did last year and long story short, I finally got around to doing it. Anyway, long story short, here's the directions. You can also download a PDF here (yes, this will be the project for the August issue of The Gunslinging Housewife in case you picked up on that and wondered.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

History, Fish, and Eternal Love

Jesse and I went to Galena Creek Park on Monday and fished at Marilyn's Pond with Charlie. It was a cute little place nestled right on the south side of town. Anyway, upon further research of this place, we realized that you can actually rent out various places for events. Then spews an idea bubble: Our 5 Year Wedding Anniversary Vow Renewal!!! Somewhere around the course of our lovely day outdoors and enjoying nature and a few months of earlier talking about having some sort of get together since we never had a wedding ceremony with friends and family, we decided that this will probably wind up being the location of the reception. We're going to go with the historic landmark Fish Hatchery which pretty much is a quaint restored historical building (we both love history!) and it is not the usual run of the mill banquet hall, casino, backyard, etc. It stands out as different and has facilities from a kitchen and bathroom to large dining area capable of holding a reception for up to 130 guests. We talked about it briefly today and discussed the idea of liking it. Plus, it's pretty cheap. On that note, potential color schemes for the lovely Saturday event in 2012 will probably be a forest green and reddish orange or charcoal greyish silver and reddish orange. Obviously I won't be wearing a white dress. However it will be a black tie affair in the woods. Plus, why not have it at a fish hatchery? Fish are notorious for their symbolism in various cultures, religions, dreams and what have you from good luck, eternity, life, happiness, knowledge, transformation, and so on. It just makes sense.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Huminuminum...

This morning I get a call from my mom all early. She then calls back later and asks if I heard from my sister. Nope. I guess my sis called her all late last night and something was wrong. She heard from my sis that my ex was hospitalized for colon cancer. The details entailed something about 13" of colon being removed, another tumor found in the liver and being able to come home to see friends and then having to return to the hospital. I'm a little shocked to hear this but at the same time not really surprised with the unhealthy lifestyle choices he made. It's odd because I know I left the relationship completely void of emotions towards this man yet now I just feel bad for the guy. As one of his coworkers one put it, "He sits in his little room, on his little computer with his little records and confines himself in his little world." Who knows? Maybe some people just aren't meant to get out and be part of the big picture and are happier in their own little worlds...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Close Encounter of the White Trash Kind

I hopped on my bike to go to the store today so I could get some pasta sauce for dinner. When I was locking my bike up, this white trash lady was going on about some ruckus. I asked what happened and she said, "Some man came up and took my dog!" Take in mind she is standing outside of the Dollar Tree with two girls who look to be about 7 and 9 and another kid in a stroller. Why they are taking their dog to the dollar store is beyond me. I go in, grab a can of sauce and come back out.

I asked if the cops came because I saw a cop when I rolled in and she said the cop said he had other stuff to do and couldn't look for her dog. But she said she knows who did it. She then goes on to tell me the saga of her dog while I'm locking Charlie in his seat and unlocking my bike. The lady's story goes something like this, "This guy was staying with my friend a few months back and he had this bull mastiff type dog. She moved to Washington or something and he couldn't go with her because he got in trouble for molesting her 4 year old so he has to stay here. He left and the dog was there for a few months so we took it and he just drove by just now and took it back."

"Oh, so it wasn't your dog in the first place?" I ask.

"He abandoned it," she replies, completely ignoring my question and jumping straight into her defense.

The best part is the older girl, "I don't understand how anyone could take him. He's really mean and tries to bite people he doesn't know."

Again, this dog was tied up and left outside of the dollar store? What if he bit someone?

I love how this lady just starts to give me so much unsolicited information about all these other people and events when a simple, "Someone took my dog," would suffice. Ultimately, there are so many things in this equation that do not work in her favor. The dog belongs to someone else. The dog is probably still licensed to that person. She took the dog with her to the dollar store because for whatever reason she does not want the dog to be alone at her house. Now, I could be going out on a limb here but maybe she doesn't want it alone at her house because the guy knows where she lives and plans on going there to get it when she's gone? Let's not forget the fact of the matter she had the dog tied up outside on the bike rack while she went inside to do her shopping. I'm pretty sure even if the cops do find this dog and the guy who took it, they'll probably just look at her and say, "Who's the dog licensed to? OK, that's the dog's owner."

I swear I felt like I was in an episode of COPS or something it was that bad. I don't even know how to comprehend any of this other than saying, "Only in Reno..."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Nice Walk (Bye Bye Trash)

Charlie is at that age where communication both on his end and from my end is starting to be a little more clear so life is getting less frustrating. This morning we were going to take Lulu for a walk to go potty. For the longest time when we go on walks, it's Charlie holding my left hand and Lulu's leash in my right hand. Not today. Today was something like this:

Me: Wanna take Lulu for a walk to go potty?
Charlie: Yeah!
Me: OK, go get your shoes.

Charlie runs into his bedroom and comes back with a pair of flip flops.

Charlie: SHOES!

Charlie sits down and I put his shoes on.

We go out with Lulu down the stairs.

Charlie: Up please?

I pick Charlie up and walk down the stairs. We then go on walk down the street and Charlie stays at my side without holding my hand just running between me, Lulu, Lulu's leash blocking him from the street and the shrubs blocking him from neighbor's apartments. He stays in his "box of safety" the whole time and behaves rather well. I ask him if he wants to see trash cans and keys in mailboxes to lure him to the right path and to keep him on his mission and not to stray his attention away from the fact he is doing a nice safe job walking on the sidewalk. He points at trucks and exclaims he sees a truck. He asks if we can see the pool so I let him walk to the pool. Then I tell him we're going to see Owie (Not really, I lied) to get him back to walking without crying as we leave the pool. As we get to Owie's side there's a trash can and I ask him if he wants to see the trash and he forgets about the fact we're not actually going to see Owie but that it was nothing more than a distraction from the pool. Finally, I show him the trash can by our apartment.

Me: Let's go see mommy's trash can!

Charlie: YEAH!

We cross the street together and he goes to the trash. After he points out the obvious (I see trash! Trash, yeah, trash!) I tell him it's time to go to the stairs and to say bye bye to the trash can.

Charlie walks back up the driveway with me and Lulu and turns around and stops. He looks at the trashcan and just as I fear I will need to run after him and drag him upstairs, he raises his hand and waves saying, "Bye bye trash!" and returns to walking up the driveway, occasionally turning back to wave and say bye bye to the trash can. He then went up the stairs with Lulu and me and I opened the door and we all went inside thus ending a nice walk.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Maps

There are so many amazing skills in the world that people don't really know or get and map reading is one of them. I realize that GPS is awesome but realistically, maps are cooler. Like way cooler. I'm going to make a gun comparison here for a minute but maps are like iron sights. They're old skool, original gangstas, and you know that they will never run out of batteries. GPS devices are super cool, make you more accurate, but are like cheating. Anyway, today was a bit of an interesting day.

After Charlie woke up from his post-lunch nap, I took him on a walk to go geo caching. There's a few caches in my area that I have yet to discover. I found the location of one but the next two were full of muggles and nearly impossible to search around. Dang muggles. I also remembered the joy of walking places. My ankle still hurts a little, more so after I twisted it hopping the baby gate this evening, but I find I actually sort of miss walking around places. I need to get more used to this new neighborhood. I would really like to invest in maybe a second hand jogging type stroller. Maybe. In reality the only reason I ever use strollers is to haul crap around because I don't have enough arms or room in a back pack.

Back to geo caching, though. Charlie and I found a really cool cache by one of my absolute favorite places, which I will not say where. But inside the cache was a cheesy plastic skull ring. Finding this made it more fun because I felt like I stumbled upon someone's buried treasure. Neat-o! I traded a Reno casino chip I found at one of the caches Kristy and I went to earlier in the week.


On our way to the next cache, as I said earlier, there were too many people around hanging out (muggles. Can I say how much I appreciate a hobby that uses Harry Potter slang for people who are not in the know?!?!) After two more muggle infested cache sites, I wound up taking Charlie to the park to play.

He wasn't really into the park all that much today for some reason. He was more into digging in the sand and throwing it than he was on going on the slides or playground equipment. I don't know if it had anything to do with the fact there were so many people out or what, but whatever. Tomorrow I might want to take him fishing or something because there were so many people out fishing. It could be fun for like 5 minutes.

Anyway, today was a fun day. Oh and I forgot to mention the fact it started out with watching The Car. I was expecting a Christine type movie to suck, but it was actually pretty entertaining and inspired me to never go to Utah because I will get run down by a psychotic ghost car. I'm just sayin'... Thank God the guys at Star Targets have invented an exploding target should I ever encounter a psycho car out in Utah, I'll just ring them up and they can help me destroy the car in a canyon. Oh, did I just spoil the movie for you? Because that's how they killed the car. Can you really kill a car? Sure, I killed mine. Ha ha bad car joke. Ba-da tsss!

Oh, when I got home, I got a sneak peak at what our hospital bill for Charlie's surgery may be... close to $20,000. Last thing I want to see. We haven't met our $500 deductible yet. I think if we get them another $250 I can maybe talk our insurance company into billing us 20%. Less than $20,000 but still way more than we can afford. I seriously do not want to file bankruptcy if we can at all avoid it. So we'll see what we can do with this doozie.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cleaning Guns

Today I was looking at my .357 and noticed I missed a spot while cleaning it, so I did a quick touch up. To be safe, I double checked some of the other guns I last cleaned and they were all fine. Of course by this point, I have a pile of guns out on the table so just for fun, I bring all of our pistols out. I play around by organizing them in different manners: by finish, by materials, by safeties, by decockers, you get the point. I realized we have a really nice assortment of handguns and started to wonder about what made us get each one. Obviously many of them were of similar calibers but they had features that made them different and worth a purchase. So I decided to record a video about things to take into consideration while gun shopping. The reality of it was I wanted to have a brief 2 - 5 minute video for youtube and what I wound up with was a nerdy 20 minute analytical discussion video breaking down points of revolvers (do you go single/double, size of gun) to semi-auto (do you want a safety, decocker, size, caliber, etc.) and even broke down different types of finishes and compositions (stainless, blued, parkarized, polymer). And it would have gone on longer had the memory card on my camera not run out of space. Yes, very nerdy gun stuff. I started to post it on youtube upon which I realized it is way too extensive to lump into one mash so I need to go back and do this again and in the words of DJ Lance Rock, break it down! I know I promised I would do it, but it is just too long so in time grasshoppers. Till then, give me some time to break it down into the appropriate segments so it's not some huge mess of over information. It really is a lot of important stuff but some more important than others. My key point throughout is that you are going to be spending a few hundred dollars and for those of you who can't just fork it out quickly or easily, you better think long and hard what you want because it's a lot easier to buy a gun than it is to sell one.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Never Make This Mistake People!!!

Today I got an email which sounded kinda like spam at first, but then I realized it wasn't. I will share:

Good morning beautiful Jena,

I'm glad you liked my reference to "blood boiling," I have little doubt that your dancing would be a beautiful sight to see. I still can't believe that you're not really in your thirties and are just putting me on.

I was also touched by the story about your house being in a book and how it affected you, It shows that you are a woman that understands hard work and can appreciate the resulting rewards of following your passions. Tell me more, I would love to know as much about you as you want to reveal. I'm not sure if I understand the difference between architectural designer and a regular architect or designer. It's one of the advantages of writing to each other before meeting, no fear of embarrassing questions or answers.

Now that I have two email addresses for you, is there one that you prefer?

I hope you have a wonderful and hope to hear from you soon,

Fred

So this is where it becomes interesting. "Fred" is someone I emailed a few months back regarding a job listing he had posted. We spoke on the phone but nothing ever came of it because in my mind, he wanted to have someone do work for him and he didn't want to pay them what they were worth so our conversation ended at our first phone call.

Well a little bit about "Fred" that I do know is he is old. He's technically old enough to retire but had some sort of lawsuit he was paying off or finished paying off from an accident that happened on his old career and was looking into starting a new business venture and needed a graphic designer. There's where I applied and he got my email address added into his book automatically. So in a senior moment, he emails Jena, but with my email address because he sees the "Jen" part but must not remember that I was the graphic designer and not an architectural designer!!!! Hahahaha!!!

I was thinking long and hard about this one. Do I respond? Do I ignore it? I read it again and it sounds like they're gonna hook up. Or could. Or worse, I could get some creepy email photos of an old man naked!!!! NOT COOL!!! So, I decided to write back a small paragraph to him to let him know that he has the wrong person because really, it could get awkward if he thinks I'm Jena.

Fred,
This is not Jena and this email address does not belong to her. Please make a note of that so you do not accidentally email any future correspondences for her to me. In fact, you can delete my email address from your address book. The only reason it's in there is because I contacted you about a year ago regarding a job you has posted on Craigslist. At first I thought this was a spam, but realize it's supposed to go to someone specific and that you might keep accidentally emailing me thinking I'm Jena and she may never get any of your emails, so please make sure you find out what her correct address is. Glad to inform you of this error before it could become embarrassing or awkward for you.

jt

That wasn't too bad was it? Now the beautiful Jena will get her emails.

Strangely enough, he just wrote back as I write this apologizing for the error. I chuckle slightly. I guess it's nice to have odd things like this to amuse me sometimes. Some days, I just feel like such a creep...

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

There comes a time in every relationship where you need to sit down and carefully look at what is going on. Is there hope? Is there a future? Are you just wasting away? Sadly, after putting in a new heater core and realizing that didn't fix the major problems with the Oldsmobile, and talking with the mechanics, I've come to the grave conclusion the Oldsmobile is done for. Not for good, but for me. We had a good run but our relationship isn't healthy. I put all this work into it and get nothing out of it and I feel worn and tired. My heart is broken being with a car that loves me as much as I love him. So it is with a heavy heart I said today, I broke up with my car. Here's what I had to say to him:

Oldsmobile, I think it's time we go our separate ways. It's not you, it's me... Oh, who am I kidding!? Of course it's you! I did all this nice shit for you and what do you do!? You crap out on me! You do this all the time! Like when we went to LA and you died in Sacramento before that snow storm? Or like when you over heated out at Derby Dam on not one but several occasions. And now you're smoking behind my back!? Are you kidding me!? I totally feel like you don't care about me at all and I'm done. I'm done spending all this money on you just for you to get all hot and bothered and not want to go anywhere or work. You're a lazy bum. I hope whoever you wind up with next realizes how much of an asshole you are and I hope if they give you all their money you at least treat them nice. More than I can say you did for me. But who am I trying to kid? I got you knowing you were a piece of crap thinking I could change you and shame on me. Hopefully next time I won't wind up with a loser. But you know what Oldsmobile? I'd rather be without a car than with a piece of crap! So screw you Oldsmobile! I'm done with you!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Oldsmobile, You're The Biggest Problem In The World...

I bought my Oldsmobile November 8, 2008. This was after I had spent 18 months without a car in Reno, 9 months of which I was pregnant, 6 of which I was with a newborn child, and 1 where I was in good health and had no reason to have any issues walking anywhere I had to go. One month after having the Oldsmobile, we drove him to LA for the holidays and he had a minor setback with a water pump that left us 120 miles from home at an odd hour of night with a snowstorm on the way. When we got back, he ran like a doll for about 11 months till his heater core crapped out and Jesse bought a new one to put in place and do a quick home fix for the $40 or whatever it cost for the heater core.

He bought the part, rummaged through my car and came back telling me he couldn't do it because he didn't have access to it. Really? You mean to tell me you didn't look into your abilities to do this before you ordered the part and started to unhook things? I now use the heater core as a metaphor whenever Jesse takes on a project being a little too overly ambitious and realizes post starting a project he can't do it because he just doesn't have the abilities to do so.

Well, I'll put a little gap in here back in time. I love my Oldsmobile, Oldsie as I sometimes call him for short. He never did get a real name, but Oldsie is just fine for him, thank you. I have a little song I sing when I drive around in him, "Ollllllllddddsss-mo-biiiiiilllleeee, you're the greatest car iiiiiiiiiiiinnnn theeeeee wooooorrrlllllllddddd... Olllllllddddssssss-mo-biiiiiiiilllllllleeee, nothing like an Ollllllllldddddsssss-mo-biiiiiiilllleeee..." or something like that. It changes sometimes. I painted him to look pretty. I mean, his paint is pretty crappy looking, but not all craptastic as it looked when I got him with rust spots and molding falling off or missing. I bondo'd that crap and now he looks even... and he doesn't have a cracked and peeling crusty vinyl top anymore either. He's two-toned and awesome.

So why does he break my heart? That's simple. Between today and last week, I dropped $350 on fixing him. $350 I can't afford to spend but spent because I need to in hopes that will help him run and function like a good little 30-something year old car. He no longer leaks coolant, but now arises a new problem. Because he has had such issues with coolant leaks, there is now a strong possibility he may have internal engine problems. Nothing huge like a rod or something, but very possibly something that could be another expensive problem, or worse, something that would result in the need for a new engine or a new car. I just feel like my heart is sinking. I can't afford to drop any more money on this car. If he has major problems, I know people certainly won't want to spend money to buy this car and I sure the hell don't have any money to buy a new car. I am just at a loss with this car right now. I'm hoping whatever is going on is just residual crap burning off, but I fear the worst because my instincts, for someone who doesn't know crap about cars, usually tend to be right on the money when it comes to things going wrong with the Oldsmobile. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that he can be a good li'l tank of a car and behave.