Overheard in Bed

LizzieLou | lolly palooza | Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

“I hope I get up on time tomorrow. I hope I hear the alarm. I hope the clock works.”

“Ok. But will you do something for me…?”

“Don’t wake you? don’t snore? don’t shake the bed? don’t kick you? don’t elbow you? don’t talk? don’t breathe? don’t sleep laugh? don’t take the covers? fix the blankie? find your other pillow? get the heating pad? get some water? bring you the advil? bring you gas pills? benadryl? robo? tissues? turn the fan on? turn the fan off? turn the fan up? turn the fan down? fix the shade? fix the curtains? turn off the light? find the remote? find the other remote? press play? change the cd? chapter ahead? put in a movie? turn on the captions? adjust the antenna? find out why Gomez is shouting? make the Brown Ones stop slap fighting? get Ashley down? close the door? do something about that smell???”

“Yeah.”

What Lies Beneath

LizzieLou | lolly palooza,nablopomo | Thursday, November 29th, 2007

In order to help me out with the blogging thing, I have received two books (“No One Cares What You Had for Lunch” and “Learning to Love You More“) meant to put a spark to my lazy creativity. They both recommend sharing stories and/or photos about scars. Well, the best scar around doesn’t belong to me, but Lolly didn’t want me to take a picture of her arm. Little did she realize that I just so happen to have one at my disposal anyway.

arm.jpg

The thing about showing the scar was to tell a story. I think that showing yer bones can tell an even better story.

Some years ago, before I met her, Lolly was driving her little sporty car on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta. Then she was smooshed by a very large Ford Truck. This resulted in a very kissable little dent on her forehead and the shattered dominant forearm (oozing hamburger now pieced back together with metal plates and screws) you see above. Luckily, and against the predictions of the doctors and surgeons who told her she’d never type again, she does have a workable arm with all the moving parts generally intact. She can’t hoist a bowling ball, but she’s not the bowling type o’gal anyway. On our first date (that wasn’t a date until afterwards) while I wasn’t making much eye contact, I had the opportunity to gaze at the giant scar on her arm. Was it some really badly botched attempt at wrist cutting? No… finally I had to ask and heard about the smooshing, the metal plates and the subsequent encounters with public safety officials and their metal detecting equipment. She can set the detectors to beeping, particularly in Miami and at my previous place of employment.

After the accident, she had to show up at traffic court in spite of the fact that she had no memory of what happened. One of the men gave her an appreciative smile as she walked in her little dress with her pretty smile and her giant bandaged arm and said, “You’re looking much nicer today!” And was then that she realized, having previously received the shreds of the clothing she had been wearing at the time [“My dress! My favorite dress! Yay! …. Cut in half and covered in blood?? NOOOOooooooo . . . . ” – Lolly], that she indeed had been naked on Ponce. Not that the clothes were blown off in the accident or anything, but due to the dramatic scissoring ministrations of the EMTs. In my mind, when I picture it and the intersection in front of the Krispy Kreme in which it happened, the “Hot Donuts Now!” sign is flashing.

Critter Encounters

LizzieLou | lolly palooza,nablopomo | Friday, November 23rd, 2007

Some time ago Lolly decided that she would eventually like an alpaca ranch (with full urban amenities of course.) Brochures began to arrive in the mail, web pages were bookmarked, television commercials were re-watched and watched again. Lolly sure loved her some alpacas. Sadly, the poor girl had never gotten to see one in person. I was pleased to report that there were some not too far away at the zoo. So today, filled with Thanksgiving Goodness, we ventured forth to visit the alpacas…

“Hello and Welcome. I think you should feed us.”

alpaca1.jpg

“Clearly you see that the sign says to feed us. If you feed us, I will smile.”

alpaca2.jpg

“Mmmmm. Nuggety. Gracias.”

alpaca3.jpg

“Smile.”

alpaca4.jpg

“Extra smiles for extra food?”

alpaca5.jpg

– :) –

Lolly said that before she went she thought it was possible that she wouldn’t like them as much as she thought she would. In fact, she confessed that she hoped maybe she wouldn’t so she wouldn’t have to work so hard to save money to buy a farm and stock it with alpacas. But, she adored them, so back to work she goes. (I don’t think she’s played Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab all day!)

Eggs and Chickens

LizzieLou | lolly palooza,nablopomo,neighbors | Friday, November 9th, 2007

For today’s lunch, Lolly handed me a plate of scrambled eggs to carry to the table. She also gave me a fork. Then she carried the other items to the table and we commenced eating. After a little while, she looked for the egg plate and noticed it empty. “You ate all the eggs…?” “Yup! They were great!” “…those were for both of us.” We laughed and laughed. I mean look, if you give me a plate of food, if you give me a fork, I’m gonna figure the fork is for eating what’s on the plate. Even if it is supposed to be a communal serving plate. I realize that if we go somewhere for Thanksgiving this could be a problem. Note: serving plate must be accompanied by serving spoon, else it’s mine all mine.

During what was left of our meal – or MY meal, as they all are – we discussed the now empty house next door. There have been a lot of moving activities by the nice neighbors, but all of sudden it seems they are gone. I peered out the window yesterday and their back yard is empty of lawn furniture, sporting equipment and welcome mats. (What was still there, up against the foundation where it must have stopped rolling, was a lonely white bone. It made me cry. So tonight I ran over there and got it in case Tucker ever comes to visit.)

But what was funny at lunch, beside the fact that I am a piggy, was that I realized that we still have the key for the house next door even though the new neighbors are expected any day now. My first prank idea was juvenile and rather gross so I won’t tell you what it was. It did make me realize that there’s potentially an opening for on-going pranks if they don’t change the locks. I had the idea that it would be hilarious to haunt them. Examples of haunting could include: spraying perfume lightly in one corner of the house whenever they go out somewhere, moving all the furniture around in small increments, opening all the cabinet doors, rehanging pictures upside down. I think the key to a successful haunting would to even do things that are unnoticeable, just to create a general feeling of uneasiness. Always the pragmatist, Lolly pointed out that if they are really a couple with small children (as rumors would have them) then they will have one of those nanny-cams and we would get busted.

Which would also be hilarious, but only until getting processed and fingerprinted down at the station.

Now writing this I realize that someone might wonder what I’ve got against the new people that I’ve yet to meet to make me want to scare them and make them unhappy in their new house. Well, I didn’t even think of that. It was just all about the funny. It often is. Lolly and I find joy in coming up with inappropriate behaviors and pranks whenever we are housesitting or pet-sitting for people, but we’ve yet to follow-through with anything good. (I don’t think drinking all the vodka really counts as a prank.) One that we’d love to do, have had the opportunity to do, but never did is to replace the photos of the homeowners with pictures of us in similar poses. During one stint several years ago we also had the brilliant idea of getting “naked,” getting in the couple’s bed, and leaving Polaroids behind for them to find. Surprise!

Lolly Drives the Bookmobile

LizzieLou | lolly palooza,nablopomo,reading | Friday, November 2nd, 2007

I have some new books I am excited to read.

In spite of the spiteful library (JK SPL – I Luv U!), I continue to enjoy reading and I have recently finished:

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman (Speculation, science, history and a little bit of travel writing make this an engrossing read. It referenced the Will Rogers quote: ‘Buy land. They ain’t making any more of the stuff.’)

Diary by Chuck Palanhuik (I first started this on audio, as read by the lovely Martha Plimpton, but only got through the first third. The rest of the book, as read by the lovely Me, was not as expected. And it referenced the same Will Rogers quote. Weird.)

Selling Seattle by James Lyons (This looked at examples of how Seattle and its icons were created and have been represented in the last couple decades. It did not reference the quote, but it would not have been surprising if it did.)

But the new books I got, for my birthday donchaknow, that I’m excited about are: Lauren Weedman’s “Woman Trapped in a Woman’s Body – Stories from a Life of Cringe;” 2008’s “Best Non-Required Reading;” Terry Moore’s final installment of “Strangers in Paradise;” Adrian Tomine’s new graphic novel, called “Shortcomings;” and, Harrell Fletcher & Miranda July’s “Learning to Love You More”. (If anyone needs inspiration for NaBloPoMo, their website may offer some interesting ideas.)

I self-imposed a moratorium on buying new books for myself, because I have so many in the house that I haven’t even gotten to yet, but dear Lolly can always bend my rules for me. Sweet!

Is OK for Girls

LizzieLou | home & garden,lolly palooza | Friday, June 8th, 2007

We are having our house painted.

Last summer I scraped, sanded, sealed, primed and repainted the garage (with help from my mother who was visiting and the next door neighbor who is skinny enough to squeeze between his fence and the building). One afternoon out in the alley working on the door a guy came by me and said, in what I assumed was a Russian accent, “Not bad job, thdis.” He told me he was a house painter working in the neighborhood and then quizzed me on my plans to do the rest of the house. “You’re doingk house? rrest of house? I could make house look nice. Now looks like shit – up thdere peelingk, needs scrrapingk, needs caulkingk. I could do house, fence, wall, whole thingk! I give good prrice. You do thdis colour? Thdis is pink?” And he made a face. “Bah, I dunt know. You like colour?” When I told him that I did and that we had, in fact, picked it out on purpose and wanted to do the house in the same (which you can see below) he reconsidered. “I guess is ok, you know… for girls.”

He said that he would come by and leave his number because I was definitely interested in having the house not look like shit anymore and I can’t do the high stuff myself. I think I saw him occasionally after that, having the same conversation – yes paint house, other houses in neighborhood good, yes pink, maybe summer. I remembered to tell Lolly that if a Russian guy came around not to worry, it was only “Mike” and he wants to do our house.

Some time later while getting out of the car in the garage, Lolly was unexpectedly cornered by a guy speaking animatedly in the doorway. She squinted at him and stepped back cautiously looking for a weapon and wondering how she would escape when she realized… that he sounded kinda Russian… and that he seemed to be gesturing at the garage and over to the house… and that perhaps he is covered in paint splotches because he is the painter… ahhah. He then seemed to realize that he had cornered a stranger, a woman, in her own garage and he took a few steps back. Unable to answer any of his questions, or really even understand much of what he was saying at all, she gave him my cellphone number.

The weather started warming up. I started to consider this thing more seriously and took a bid from one of those college painter groups. 7K? Too much money! I waited for Mike. Finally last month I was walking home through the alley and he was back there talking to the Swastika Santas. (Definition: the Truck-driving Men With Piles of Junk Around Their House. One item of junk was once a good-sized, plastic, lawn santa with a black swastika spray-painted on its belly. It was only there a day or two but made a lasting impression.) He shouted, “Heylo! heylo!” and trotted after me to ask if we were ready to paint. I told him to come along and give me the Good Price. Only 2K? That’s more like it! We made an arrangement to meet so he could show me the house he was finishing a couple blocks away. “If you like, I paint for you.” He had done several in the neighborhood. “Thdis guy over here, I do thdis one. One on corrner? I do thdat too. But thdat guy thdere, I didn’t do. I, ehh, no like him. I only worrk for people I like.”

One of my coworkers noted that I might end up on the local news special investigation into fraudulent handymen. I figured that if he really was a scammer he wouldn’t still be hanging around the same neighborhood where he’d been scamming. Right?

So he was coming on Monday to start, with pressure washing. I met him that morning and while he was explaining that the pressure washer hadn’t been working properly because he had let his friend use it and there was air getting in somewhere and that was bad but he had it fixed even though this one is like new but not as good as the one he had that got stolen it will be okay, I noticed that his t-shirt read: Official Bikini Contest Judge. The pressure washing began on the back of the house. I put towels down in the doorways to keep the water from coming in and Lolly drove me to work. She kept me apprised of the progress (lack of) when she got back home:

Subject: we’re peely . . .
but everything else is fine. Just got home. No water a’tall on towels by front door, or anyplace else. Back of house facing back fence now seriously peely in places it wasn’t, like under kitchen window. Front of house still seems dirty to me, but maybe it doesn’t get washed. Or mebbe he’s not done. Maybe he stopped due to rain. Not sure, but no flooding, no worries there. No waffley on the paint job, though. It needs it now fo’ sho.

Tuesday it was time to pressure wash again. Again, Lolly kept me posted while I was at work:

Subject: currently getting pressure washed [9:06 am]
I closed all the windows and reapplied the towels. There’s also a dude here who looks just like one of the actors on Rescue Me. I talked to them and Mike said (upon seeing me walk out the back door), “But I just called the tall one!” I said I was the one there today. He got a little flustered but I think he’s regrouped by now. He said he’d be done pressure washing today, so no more worries about windows after this.

Subject: Re: tsk tsk [10:29 am]
They were definitely in the back and on one side doing something, but now they seem to have left again, and nothing has been done to the front. ??? But they told me they’d be done after today. It did rain, perhaps that’s why they left? But they surely knew that would happen, and told me they’d be done today anyway. Are they coming back today? I have no idea what’s up now, they just vanished. When I sent the last email, I assumed they were staying until done. That doesn’t seem to have occurred. I am totally confused, and don’t know what to think about windows and towels.

Subject: more . . . [11:14am]
Well, the pressure washer is still in the yard. Maybe I’ll toss it down the back stairs, cover it with a blankie, close that door, then act dumb when they come back. (You think that’s how that other one went missing?) Washer? Who? Huh? Where? What? It’s raining. Everything’s clean now. I’m tired. Are we done with these towels?

Subject: they’re baaaaaaaack . . . [1:54pm]
I guess the bikinis and piroshkies have been properly wrestled under control, and it’s time to return to the issue of our Dirty Dirty House. They’re wambling about in our backyard again.

Subject: Mike is currently ON [2:28 pm]
the roof. As in, on. Walking about a bit. Weezie Meep doesn’t think this is a great thing. She’s looking annoyed. For some reason they didn’t think I’d closed one of the upstairs windows, so RescueMe rang the front bell. I went and double-checked, and it was closed. Already. ??? But in the course of making sure, I pulled aside the curtain and . . . smiling Mike head waving back at me. Inches from me. OH! IS CLOSED THEN! YES! VERY GOOD! You just don’t expect to see another human head looking back at you just inches from yours, while looking out a window not on the first floor.

Subject: Gomez . . . [4:40 pm]
is experiencing distress. He does not know where to go or what to do. He is currently parked midway up the stairs. Both upstairs and down have apparently taken on suspicious qualities. He was tucked in bed till he saw Mike on the roof. Yes, Gomez. I’d feel the same way. RescueMe is standing right outside my window as I type this, halfway up a ladder, holding on with one hand, smoking a cig with the other. I need that man to hold on a bit better. Hold on, RescueMe. Hold on. Hold on NOW, smoke LATER. Weezie just growled. She’s in the office with me.

Before Mike and RescueMe left that day they stopped to ring the bell at the front door with some final comment or question for Lolly. Mike was holding a molded cardboard box with holes in it. The box had been out on the back porch since they returned from lunch, but Lolly could now see that it was an animal carrier. She asked what was in the box. “Is snake.” was the reply. Mike and RescueMe started to giggle. Lolly was unfazed; she thinks they were expecting her to say “eek!” or recoil in horror. “But no, I joke. Is no snake… IS KITTEN!” And the box opens and out pops a little black and white kitten head wearing a tag that said “Timmy.” Mew? While away for lunch they went to the PAWS animal shelter down the road and Mike got a kitten.

On Wednesday, there was some more washing.

On Thursday, there was some scraping. A little maybe. Maybe some on Friday too. RescueMe almost fell off the ladder explaining to me that some wooden parts of the house were rotten. Mike was kept up the night before by the kitten, “biting nose, biting feet.” He might name him “Tiger.” On Saturday it rained a lot.

On Sunday it didn’t rain but no one came. Nothing happened on Monday either. On Tuesday maybe something. Wednesday? I don’t remember. At some point there was a lot of talk about how realtors and people who are selling houses do many bad things like painting over parts of the house that need to be fixed just to make them look nice and fool the people who buy them. A box of movies on VHS appeared on the back porch.

On Thursday, there was a lot of activity. It was going to rain again and we were all behind schedule. Another guy joined the crew, a cousin who is better at the work. I could see it; he got things done. One of the things they got done was to put plastic all over the windows and door in preparation of priming in the morning. After the cousin left I found a cassette type out where he had been parked. Someone had designated it as “avnili dhe grupi.” I showed it to Mike. “Oh Avnili dhe grupi! Is music. You have cassette player? you want listen? You listen. You can dance to Armenian music!” He left, with RescueMe, and I went inside to play the tape and dance for Lolly. She had a headache and preferred a nap to my Armenian dancing. A carpeted cat scratcher appeared on the back porch.

On Friday morning it rained. On Friday afternoon the 2 returned with the paint sprayer. Is new. There was no painting however, just a little more scraping and then we put the sprayer in the cellar so it wouldn’t get stolen.

On Saturday, it was supposed to rain later in the day, but the morning was clear. So they were back and then gone and then back. We got the sprayer out of the cellar. There was a little scraping. Some of it by me. It was too windy for painting and rain was coming and so the sprayer went back in the cellar. It was joined by an electronic dartboard in a small wooden cabinet.

…. [to be continued]

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