Accidental Kleptomania, Christmas Light Debacles, and Almost Fires

Well, I really suck at updating every single day like I wanted to in honor of Nanowrimo. If it helps, I also suck at Nanowrimo. By the tenth I had over forty-three thousand words. As of now, I’m still a thousand away from my goal. Take this month, mix it with decorating for Thanksgiving / winter, my birthday, Thanksgiving, tearing down the Thanksgiving decorations and redecorating for Christmas, Christmas shopping, and preparing for my mom’s birthday on the first of December, and you have my source of complete suckage. I know that’s not a word, but just amuse me.

All of that, however, is okay, because I have an awesome post full with stupidly fun stories for all of you, if I do say so myself. And I do. Which means probably no one else will agree. That sounds about right.

But first and foremost, how was Thanksgiving for all of my American readers? I hope it went well for all of you. There was only three of us and somehow mine ended up being a train wreck, because I found out the day before that no one picked up what they were supposed to, and ended up running around like a chicken with my head cut off. At first I lost my shiz, but then I took on a new mantra. What would Lemon Breeland do? She would smile, and then get up and walk right out of the room and eat alone when someone would not stop treating her like a slave and she had had enough. And that’s exactly what I did. I’m going to use that mantra for Christmas too. But let’s move on to fun things, like stories.

Folks, I am an accidental kleptomaniac. Since I know some of you are new readers and don’t know me from my other blog, this apparently runs in the family. My Aunt Bev is also an accidental kleptomaniac. Just go right on ahead and click that link for the prior story. You know you want to. I’ll wait.

And now that you’re caught up with that, let me tell you about my little adventure. Yesterday, I was happily working outside on an unseasonal sixty some degree day and trying to get my Christmas lights up and such. Low and behold, not one, but TWO strings of lights decided to commit suicide over the winter, while shoved in boxes above the garage and feeling unloved. These two particular sets of lights, of course, strung around the lattice of the porch and were needed in order to make my Christmas display cheery. Therefore, I was forced to throw clothes on, looking all a mess in order to get back in time to put the new lights up in the daylight, and run to the store.

While I was at the store, I ended up buying extremely cute snowflake lights that switch from white to blue and make me a million kinds of happy. That was all I was supposed to buy. I was so excited over the Christmas decorations at the store that another lady and I ended up decorating our yards together as we stood in the store in front of the wide variety or lawn ornamentation. At one point her husband even came over, said “oh gees,” and walked far, far away from us. I knew I was in trouble when I happily left the store with the lights I needed, plus a lighted window snowman, a small santa and reindeer display for the yard, and antique candle pathway lights. Oops.

When I left the light store, I ran to the store next door to pick up rug scrubber solution. I was going to explain why, but then realized that was pretty self-explanatory. I was also looking for one last gift for my mom, so as I was trolling the aisles, I came across some holiday throw rugs that were on sale. Ours are getting so old that they no longer lay flat on the ground like a rug should do, and their hobbies now enjoy tripping us as we walk and entangling a cat within them. I’m pretty sure they laugh, too. Our human ears just can’t hear it.

Anyway, seeing how cheap these rugs were on sale, I snatched one of those suckers up, put it in my cart, and was immediately distracted by something else that I wanted for my mom like it was shiny, even though it was not. I threw it in the cart on top of the rug I had bought, and then realized that the rugs were a two-for sale, and with the points I had on my card, they’d be two for five dollars, and who can pass up a deal like that? Not me, so I grabbed another one. I then looked around for a present for a friend and went to the front to wait in line. Since there was only one register open, I waited for twenty minutes just to get to the check out. Seeing as it was the Saturday after Thanksgiving, this was not wise on their part, but I digress. When I did finally make it to the check out, the woman and I chatted as I got checked out, and I watched her scan my items. She picked up both of my rugs separately, scanned them separately, and put them back into the buggy separately. I collected my purchases an went on my way.

Later, as I was unloading my purchases, I picked up both rugs, together, and the one item I had put in, that same thin little item for my mom that I threw in between my rug excitement, fell out and onto the ground. It wasn’t in a bag. I pulled out my receipt, having forgotten totally about it and not remembering the woman scanning it, to find that she had not scanned it. In fact, even though she had picked up both rugs separately, I had not seen it and forgotten about it until just that moment. I have no idea how it was missed and didn’t fall out sooner. Logistically, it makes no sense. It was one of those magical things like how, when my family and myself arrived home from a shopping trip, this reindeer stuffed animal that I wanted and my mom and grandma told me they couldn’t afford ended up in the bags when we got home and no one had paid for it or known how it got there. That was twenty years ago, and to this day it still befuddles us.

And, as I was standing there in awe of this seemingly mysterious event, that’s when I realized that I was now officially an accidental kleptomaniac. And here I was with Aunt Bev just six months ago wondering how in the heck that even happens. Now, just as Aunt Bev has done, I will right my wrong. I feel so dirty having stolen merchandise, even though I didn’t purposely steal it. But I will go back and pay for it and explain what happened while handing over my $3.49 and hope that no one arrests me or exiles me from the store. They don’t arrest you for three-dollars and forty-nine cents, right? Especially when you go back and pay for it. Now I’m thinking like Aunt Bev. But what makes this even funnier is I have enough points with this store to pay for it, so I’m going to go back and go “Hi, I accidentally stole this, but I have enough points to pay for it, so I didn’t really come back to pay for it in cash, but to redeem my points on it.” That should be beyond awkward. Maybe I’ll just hand them money.

After I finally got over the shock of being an accidental criminal, I decided to hang the lights. As is par for the course with any time I attempt to put lights up, I didn’t buy enough. To be fair, I had done that on purpose, planning to use another set of snowman lights I had in between the snowflake lights, so that the snowman were flanked in snowflakes. It ended up being a lot cuter in my head than it actually was, so today I had to run back out and get more snowflake lights and find a new home for the snowmen. On a good note, I had a $10 coupon, which, since the lights were on sale, paid for my last box.

After my purchase, I merrily came home and used my Christmas spirit to finish lighting up the house. At least that’s how it was supposed to go and went in my head. The snowflake lights went up like champs, and I nearly sang Christmas carols to them in delight, but stopped seeing as I was outside and might assault the horses across the street with my bizarre singing of the carols. After that, I delightfully started to go through the outside lights for our one tree display. An hour later, one strand in the garbage, and nearly fifty burnt out bulbs, I had two strands of lights to use. Yes, it was absolutely as pathetic as it sounds. To make it more pathetic, it wasn’t supposed to rain today, but did. After it got dark, it stopped raining and warmed up, so then there I was outside like a loon putting up Christmas lights in the dark. I would, in fact, be that crazy neighbor everyone talks about and stares at, but just for today. Usually that honor goes to our neighbor who is high all the time. I don’t know if I should feel honored or insulted that I one-upped her.

And when I thought the fun with lights was over, I noticed my strand of lights for the regular Christmas tree was half burned out and completely unfixable. Just half. Now I have to go back out to get more Christmas lights. In retrospect, I did this to myself, because I should have checked the Christmas tree lights out, too, but since the tree wasn’t up and I hadn’t gotten in the box with the indoor lights yet, it was an out of sight and out of mind issue. So with all my light issues, when I noticed two small lights burned out on the strand on my railing, I just shook my hand at them and went in the house. These Christmas lights are much smarter than me. But I learned an important lesson today: When you start calling the Christmas lights smarmy little jerks, it’s time to put down the electrical tape walk away.

When I walked away, I came inside and went into my room. My first thought upon entering was “Oh my damn, something smells nasty.” My second thought was to find that smell. When I did locate the smell, this is what I found.

Yeah, Folks, at one time, in another life, that was the box to my dehumidifier. The dehumidifier is fine. Go figure. This box is, however, toast. To add insult to injury, this isn’t even my dehumidifier. It was Aunt Bev’s, and she had lent it to me to try and help with my mold problem. To add injury to a pre-existing injury that was already aggravated by insult, this baby was sitting all on its lonesome and apparently decided, without touching anything else in the room except the floor, that it was just going to go right on ahead and not only melt, but somehow manage to collect any random dog hair that was floating around the room. For an inanimate object, it sure is a crafty little sucker.

The Pajama / Polish Church Quandary

You’re going to have to excuse the myspace-esque pictures in this post, and I fully apologize for them, but I’ve got a saga for you. It’s a short one. It won’t take four books like Twilight or anything.

I am a quirky person. I’m totally fine with wearing random things that don’t match. I mean, I don’t go out in public looking like the circus threw up on me or anything; that would just be wrong, especially considering that people are afraid of clowns and circuses have them. But I’m not past being all cute like Penelope Garcia. (Holla at your girl! Am I too white and not cool enough to say that? I’m sorry if I just insulted an entire race of people with my horrible punniness. Please forgive me.) The exception to this non circus rule stops at my pajamas. Anything goes for them, just as long as they’re comfortable. In the spirit of that, I present you with this *sexy little ensemble.

*These pajamas may not, in fact, actually be sexy.

To be fair, they didn’t come like this. All pieces were bought separately and never meant to go together. However, it’s one of those nights where my legs are super, super cold, but I’m too hot in long sleeves. This happens often with Pennsylvania weather, so I rock this look. Aunt Bev, however, likes to tell me that, and I quote, I “look like a Polish Church.” I’m not even sure what that totally means, but it doesn’t sound like a compliment.

With that little piece of information in the back of your mind, I bring you these babies.

After the first picture, you’re thinking, “What’s the big idea?” The big idea is that these pajamas were a gift for my birthday from Aunt Bev, the same woman who told me that I looked like a Polish Church in my other pajamas. And, to top it off, these actually are a set. The only difference between my non set and these is that the top has bows instead of stars and the bottoms are just stripes, not plaid. Oh, AND THESE ARE AN ACTUAL SET. To make this even better, when I walked out tonight in the first pair of pajamas, my mom said she was so glad the pajamas Aunt Bev bought me fit. Yep, she went there, and not even on purpose. She totally thought they were the same pajamas, and I had to explain to her that they weren’t.

Clearly, after reading this blog, you can surmise that I completely love these mismatching pajamas that came from Little Miss Matched, one of my favorite sites. But that’s not the point. The point is, my aunt, the one who makes fun of me for looking like a Polish Church, just bought me pajamas that, well, make me look like a Polish Church. Go figure. No, really, figure that out and then get back to me. Free cookies hang in the balance.

The Space-Time Continuum Driver’s License Theory

I am a freak nature. I am also behind on blogging, but my birthday was Friday, so please forgive me for running away for a few days to part-ay. And by that, I mean I totally went grocery shopping and slept, because I have mono and shiz. Fun times.

For those of you who are new to my new blog over here and aren’t used to me from my old one over here, let me just let you all in on a little piece of information: I am not above making fun of myself. If it’s true, I’m going to say it. I’m not perfect; no one is, and sometimes it’s fun to pick on your own imperfections. It keeps you human, plus, it gives you a really good laugh. And trust me when I tell you that I like to bring the laughs and usually do by no conscientious fault of my own. But it’s totally okay if you laugh at me, because you’re probably laughing at me laughing at myself, and I’m cool with that. And now that you know that, welcome to the story portion of this blog, where I actually get to the point.

On November 2nd, I received a letter in the mail saying that I had to update my driver’s license picture or I would have to pay to have my license renewed. By the 12th. While I had mono. Because it’s too hard to alert me ahead of time. I’m just saying. So on the 12th, I strolled my way in there and promptly waited forty-five minutes to have my picture taken. Reaper was right, the DMV really is Hell. But I digress. As I was sitting and waiting to have my picture taken, I was getting out my two forms of photo ID needed: My old driver’s license and my old ID card. As I was looking through the two, I realized an anomaly. I looked exactly the same in both of them, and they were taken five years apart. Then it got weirder.

I got my new picture, and, once I got to Red Robin for my free birthday burger, I set them all out on the table to organize my ID card, old license and new license all neat like into my wallet. I looked exactly the same in all three of them. I never got older. It’s like I went to Never Neverland and hid out for the past nearly ten years. Even my mom and aunt cracked consistent jokes about it that I will never hear the end of until I stop secretly escaping to Never Neverland without being aware of it. I’m sure when I’m forty I will be very happy, but when you’re a twenty-six year old that likes guys in their mid thirties, it gets a little hinky, because you make them look like a pedophile so they don’t want any of you. Ha-ha, life. Ha-ha.

Then again, when my grandma was almost eighty, she still looked like she was in her fifties. She was like freaking Betty White, so I’ll take it. And if you don’t believe me, I have proof. Yes, I’m totally willing to embarrass myself with those awful pictures that come from the DMV for the sake of a blog.

2002

2007

2011 (And I’ll have you know I cut my own hair. Sad, I know, but it doesn’t look like a drunk squirrel cut it, so I’m happy. I also don’t look like a Muppet from outer space, so I’m double happy.)

Electricians, Roofers, and Red Riding Hood, Oh My!

Not so surprisingly, I am sucking at this Nanowrimo blogging thing, but surprisingly, I am doing well at Nanowrimo, with a word count over 34,000 words. Yay! I could make a bunch of excuses as to why I’m so behind in blogging, but the truth is, I’m just too tired to function properly. I blame the mono. It can take it up with its lawyer if it doesn’t like what I’m saying about it. I’d love to see a medical condition try and sue me, because I’ve got some lawsuits for it too.

I had such a hinky morning on Saturday, that I almost sat here at ten AM and posted a blog, got distracted, didn’t do it, and now here I sit. Therefore, I shall tell you all about Saturday morning. I’m sorry if this is making my blog sound like a bad song. I’m also sorry for taking you back in time. I have no real super powers except for procrastination.

In the spirit of that, let me just take you all back to last month’s electric bill before diving head first into Saturday morning. Last month, we got a bill for a whopping $214. Normally, our bills are around $89 and have never gone but a few dollars over $100. Clearly, something was wrong. After going round and round with the electric company and realizing that, like a honey badger, they don’t care, we decided to have an electrician come out and go all over our house, second that it wasn’t something with our electric and indeed the meter that had the issue, have our electrician write a letter, and then send the letter into the power company and try and see if they’d do something that way. We didn’t have much hope they would, but we were pulling ideas out of our rears at this point.

After awakening at the ass-crack of dawn for the electrician to come, things got a little special, and not just because it was early morning and I was minus some strong coffee. It was around the time that the electrician was supposed to come, and I looked out the window to see that, Hark!, he had arrived on time. I put the dogs out and waited for him to come to the door. He never came to the door. I yelled to my mom to let her know the electrician was here. We both congregated into the dining room and waited some more. Nothing. My mom looked out the window and noticed he wasn’t there. He had essentially ran away and we didn’t know why.

My mom went into the living room and picked up her phone to call him to find that he had called her. Her phone had never gone off, probably because it gives itself the lols doing that. My mom called him back, and he said he was just down the road and would be right back. We remained confused as to why he never came up and knocked on the door, but just sat in his van and drove away instead. Wonder and you shall get an answer.

As we greeted the electrician, he immediately apologized for not coming to the house, then said this: “I didn’t want to knock in case I was at the wrong house, which is why I called when I got here. This is Western Pennsylvania. I’ve had someone answer the door with a gun when I was at the wrong house once.” He was forgiven for his strange behavior.

And, as it turns out, the guy was pretty fun. The biggest disappointment was that he was already married. I almost asked if he was happily married, but then I remembered I’m not a man stealer and only like single men. And, if you’re wondering, we did find the problem with our electric, and at least part of it was us, though it doesn’t seem like it was enough to bring the bill up that high. Long story short, our neighbor did some illegal digging behind our house on a hillside. It completely changed the water flow and caused us a bunch of issues since we have well water, before we could get the township to stop it. It happened to screw up our water heater by clogging it with dirt, making the water heater run constantly just to try and warm up the water. We’re working on getting it fixed and going from there.

Directly after that, a roofer showed up. Lately, my room had decided to become a breeding ground for mold. When I said this to my mom, she said she was aware the roof was leaking over there. That’s just awesome to know. I’m so glad she was on that. Now, it’s so bad that I had to move half of my furniture out of my room, and it’s complete chaos in there. Not only that, but my closet runs around the same outer wall where the leak is, so stuff from my closet is everywhere so it doesn’t get ruined.

To add to that, I have a mouse that has lived in my wall for about four years. I lovingly call him Leonard. Leonard is generally a good mouse, who, in his time here, has never eaten any electrical wires and stops running around like mad when I tap on the wall. I don’t know the life span of a mouse, but I’m fully aware that there’s probably several Leonards, but that’s neither here nor there. Recently, someone much larger and louder than Leonard has somehow gotten into the walls and moved into the inaccessible crawl space above my room. I’ve come to the conclusion that I believe this creature to be a squirrel because it sounds like it’s rolling nuts around up there. God, I hope it’s a squirrel. Irregardless, I needed a name for him. Since I already had a Leonard, I went for Sheldon because it was larger and much more annoying than Leonard. Big Bang Theory fans, I totally went there on purpose.

As we were explaining this to the roofing guy, he said that he was choosing not to tell his men so that when they pulled that part off of the roof, it would surprise them and they would scream like little girls. I already love this guy, plus, he thinks because of the type of damage we have, the insurance will cover it. The only problem is that he can’t do it until warmer weather moves in, so now we’re trying to figure out if we can tarp this sucker or not. If not, my room is technically in three rooms now so things don’t get ruined.

To seal the fate of my new love for the roofer, and by love, I mean he was super funny but I have no interest in him at all, these two things happened.

*He gave us a packet of papers about his company. As he pulled the first paper out, he noticed the second paper was upside down. He went to turn it around and noticed the third paper was upside down. Before it was all said and done, he came to the conclusion that they were all upside down. He looks at us, back to the papers, back at us and very seriously says, “Have a few drinks, turn them around and give them a once over.”

*We said our goodbyes and he departed. A few minutes later, we heard him pull back into our driveway. Both of us went around the house to see what was going on. He proceeded to roll down the window, peak his head out, and say, “I thought I forgot my sunglasses here,” and then pointed to his head. They were on top of it.

On a totally random and unrelated note, has anyone seen Red Riding Hood? We had a free movie rental code from RedBox and it seemed like the best thing in there, what with being an Amanda Seyfried fan and all. We weren’t expecting much out of the movie, but another big reason we rented it was because Catherine Hardwicke had directed it. Nothing against Twilight, but if someone could take a sub-par novel with horrific grammar and poor editing and turn it into a fantastic movie, even for someone who isn’t into vampires, then I had to wonder what she could do with a twist on a fairy tale. You know what, Folks? If you haven’t seen it, do so. It’s not scary and it’s not gory, but holy crap, it’s a ride trying to figure out who in the heck the wolf is. And it’s beautifully directed. You can’t ask for more. Well, you could, but then you’d just be greedy.

The Sandwich Shipping Incident

I used to work at the UPS Store. It was there that I learned just how interesting of beings people were. I think I’m armed with more strange shipping stories to last me a lifetime, but one particular one sticks out in my mind and gives me a bit of a chuckle every single time I think of it.

It was June, just going into July. The Pennsylvania heat wave was in full swing, making it disgusting just to go outside, because you usually ended up soak and wet minutes later due to the high level of humidity. In walks a woman in her mid fifties with two sandwiches, sandwiches that need to be frozen, both about a foot long, a cooler, ice packs and a cardboard box. Immediately, I was wondering where this was going.

As it turns out, this woman’s son was in college and taking summer courses. She decided that, since he was on the whole other side of the country, to ship out his favorite sandwiches that were only made at a local restaurant for him to have. She wanted to put the sandwiches into the cooler with ice packs and ship them. When things are shipped through UPS, they go through a conveyor belt to be loaded onto the trucks at the main stations. Because of this, we couldn’t allow her to ship a cooler, being as it had a rounded lid and would get stuck. Plus, there was just no good way to tape it down. The shipment would never make it onto the truck.

I explained this to the woman, and also explained a few other things. For starters, the sandwiches would be extremely expensive to ship since they had to go one or two day air per UPS rules to assure they had a chance of making it without going bad. To top it off, they had to follow guidelines of frozen food and be shipped a certain way, on certain trucks and planes. She said that she didn’t care, she just wanted them to sent out no matter what the cost. From there, I explained to her that we had a regulation shipping container that both of her sandwiches would fit in and that would keep her sandwiches cool that she could cheaply purchase to put them in. If she did, they would be gauranteed to get there in edible condition or she would be refunded all of her money for both shipping and the sandwiches. If she chose not to use it, that the insurance would be null and void if the sandwiches did not make it in edible condition per UPS rules. If she chose to customer pack the sandwiches, she would be entitled to no money back.

She chose to customer pack them, rejecting our box. Though, now that the cooler was out of the question, she decided to put them, with ice packs, into a regular cardboard box. You can see where this is going, and even though I tried to explain this to her, she couldn’t. The thing that really topped this situation off was that her box was larger than the regulation cooling unit that UPS suggested. At this time, shipping didn’t go by weight, but by dimensions, so it would have actually cost her more to ship her box, the one the ice packs were predictably going to melt it and ruin, than it would be to buy the regulation cooling box and ship it in there.

She insisted that I get my manager, because I was trying to up-sell her. I did. My manager explained everything to her that I just had, and she still decided to ship using her own box and paying more money. We made her go through and sign paperwork saying that we had explained this to her, and she understood that most likely her sandwiches would not make it and that we were not responsible for that, nor would UPS refund her any costs if they did not make it. She happily signed the forms and left in a huff, all proud of herself that we didn’t “up-sell” her.

Predictably, she was back in the store a few days later demanding her money back. The sandwiches hadn’t made it. One not at all, and only part of another one as a result of the gaping hole in the box due to the melting ice pack. On top of that, the sandwich that did make it didn’t stay cool, so it wasn’t any good. She had paid nearly $100 to ship and $26 for the sandwiches. She wanted it all back, and when we showed her the papers she had signed, she still insisted she hadn’t signed them. Long story short, when I quit working there, she was still calling, saying she was going to sue. She tried. She lost. Sometimes it does pay to listen to the person at the UPS store. Sometimes.

This Really Irks My Turtle, Barnes and Nobles

Today, I went to a book signing event at Barnes and Nobles. It was for Cake Wrecks, a site I love and am well familiar with. When I noticed that two-hundred people had RSVPed for the event, I gave Barnes and Nobles a call to make sure that there was going to be not only enough room for everyone, but enough seats. As I’ve mentioned before, I have medical problems. I’m unable to stand for any amount of time, which is a large part of the reason that my doctors won’t let me work. If I do, one of a few things happens: I end up in a lot of pain because of my blood disorder, I pass out, or I get weak and can just no longer stand. So, in calling, I thought I was covering myself to make sure that, since I can’t drive and my mom and aunt were going with me / driving me an hour away to the event, we would be able to enjoy it. This did not happen.

On the phone I was told that you could come at any time prior to the event and get a line pass, which would guarantee you a seat at the event. The incredibly sweet and cheery woman on the phone directly told me that you had the choice to buy the book or not buy the book, but irregardless I could still get a pass if I told them I was there for the event. Being as I was already familiarized with the book, I didn’t need to buy it, but was going to the event because I wanted to meet the people who wrote it and enjoy the awesome presentation everyone is always going on about on the site. I explained this to her, along with noting that I had a medical condition that didn’t allow me to stand for very long, and she assured me everything would be fine. With the assurance there would be seating, we set off early to make sure we got a line pass. Upon arrival, we found out the prior was untrue.

We walked into the store and told the lady in charge of the event what event we were there for. She proceeded to tell us that after we bought the book we could get a line pass. I told her that I had talked to someone on the phone who said that we didn’t need to buy the book, and that I had already read it and didn’t need one, and I was also told that all I had to do was arrive for the line pass. The woman again reiterated that we had to buy the book or we weren’t getting a line pass. If we didn’t buy the book, we were welcome to stand. We were NOT allowed to sit if we did not buy a book.

Essentially, we drove an hour to turn around and leave. I had no other choice, because they would not allow me to sit, and I couldn’t stand for that long without medical consequences. We also tried to explain this to the woman we were talking to, and she couldn’t have cared less. We bought the book or we stood, period.

Now, I realize we could have gone right ahead and spent the $15 to buy a book, but money is tight and we don’t have the extra money, and why buy something you don’t need to have and have already read? There’s no point to it. We went to the event simply to enjoy meeting the authors of a book I already adore, and we realize this was not, in any way, their fault, but Barnes and Nobles’.

On our way out, we ran into a manager who asked us if we needed help with anything. We told him what had happened, and that we had called prior specifically to make sure this didn’t happen. He looked at us and said, “Oh, okay,” in a very complacent, I-couldn’t-give-a-damn voice and walked away. I was so upset about the way we were treated, both by the incredibly rude woman running the event, as well as the complacent manager, and the fact that I had forced my mom and aunt to take me somewhere they wouldn’t have otherwise gone because I had really wanted to go, only to make them turn around and waste their time and gas, that I actually cried. I’m not particularly one to cry over spilt milk, but I was at my wits end from being lied to and treated like complete junk by the store, and for feeling guilty for wasting everyone’s time, that I just lost it.

This was the first and last time I will ever walk into Barnes and Nobles in Homestead, Pa. And if I need books, I’ll go to Amazon. Clearly, they don’t care about their customers. And, for the record, I regularly buy my books at Barnes and Nobles instead of online purposely, because I know it’s hard for actual bookstores these days. I was also planning on picking up a few books before we left the event. Hi, Amazon, I’d like to buy them off of you now.

This really irked my turtle into explosion.

Nanowrimo

Today, I officially decided to join the Nanowrimo website. I have no idea what I’m doing or how I’m doing it, but boy am I having fun. Fun, however, can also be a lot of work. For years I heard about Nanowrimo, but I always fluffed it off and moved on, wondering how anyone had the kind of time to complete such a lengthy task. And then this year came around, and I decided to dive in head first and hope I didn’t give myself a concussion. It took me a total of an hour and a half to set up my profile and figure out exactly what in the heck Nanwrimo is, because, I admit, I didn’t know much past the fact that they want you to write a lot, and as I’ve explained before, I’m just awful with new sites and figuring them out. There’s grannies out there that are figuring out these sites faster than I am, but I digress.

I am already in the process of writing two separate novels, so I was a bit discouraged when I saw that I had to start a new novel from scratch for this event. However, I feel like I’ve been stuck when it comes to writing, and I’ve been looking for something to do to loosen my mind and just get myself writing again, going back to the days where I wrote whatever came to me and stopped trying so hard and frustrating myself. This seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Around 7:30 tonight, I sat down to officially start brainstorming ideas, because I had not a one. Between then and now I have not only written the first chapter, a full 8,885 words and eleven pages, but I’ve also outlined two more chapters of the story. I don’t know where I’m going with this ultimately, but I’ve forgotten how much fun it can be to just sit down and write things as they come. I’m sure my bliss and glee of getting so much writing done today will probably be short lived, because after all the hours I spent on it today, I probably won’t want to work on it tomorrow, or will spend the night stressing about the next chapter, which is where I hit my wall. I put too much pressure on myself, and for once, I’m trying not to do that. I miss the days when I didn’t.

If you want to check out my profile for Nanowrimo, you can find it here. Here’s hoping that my motivation doesn’t leave me and I don’t stress myself out, because I haven’t been excited about anything like this in a long time.

On a side note, I know my novel description sounds cliche. It is, but that’s because I’m not sure where I’m ultimately going with this story yet. So please hang in there with me, because once I figure it out I will update the description so the story actually sounds interesting instead of so run of the mill.

Welcome to My Little Life That I Like to Refer to As “A Bucket Full of Accidents”

Hi, all! Thank you for visiting my shiny-new little space. I’m no stranger to blogging, but am to WordPress, so please excuse the insanity and my blatant non-tech-savvy nerdiness until I get all phazers simultaneously set to stun. (Excuse the Sci-Fi reference. I’ve never even seen Star-Trek.) I am in the process of packing up all my thoughts neatly into boxes that are probably too heavy for me to carry, completely ensuring at least one bad accident, and bringing them on over to a new beginning. My previous blog, Truly Ruby, is my pride and joy, but unfortunately Google bought Blogger out and Miss Tech-Confusion Inside of a Mild Case of OCD over here can’t seem to become friendly with the new dashboard. I’m completely embarrassed by this, as I should be. So this shall be my new blogging home…just as soon as I unpack everything and put it out all nice and tidy like.

If you’ve found this post, it’s probably important to warn you all that I’m a tad unconventional. I do things a little differently. Heck, I fully believe I was supposed to be a Southern girl, since I am one at heart, and my life just got confused, hence the name of the blog. (I also realize that unsouthern isn’t a world. But if it’s good enough for Blanche Devereaux, it’s good enough for me.) I mean, it has to be a mistake. If that’s not enough for you, I have two names. For legal purposes, my birth name is Amy. For all other purposes, I go by Cassadee, or just plain Cass. I’m a writer, aspiring author, animal lover and rescuer, friend, daughter, and psychic medium. If the last part isn’t your cup of tea, that’s alright, too. I would never ask anyone to believe me; everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I’ve been called crazy too many times to care. Besides, I have plenty of stories to tell, paranormal or not, so there’s a little something for everyone on this site, be it a lover, fighter, comedian, animal person, or paranormal enthusiast, and everything in between, too.

I’ve been looking for a new place to unpack my little knick-knacks and chotskies for a little while, but what a better time to do it than on the first day of Nanowrimo? I’m going to attempt to write a new post each and every day, but you will soon learn that my life often has other plans. I am currently full of time to do things, but I am currently full of medical issues, too. (I’m not complaining. Life is going to go how it’s going to go. It’s what you do with it that matters.) My doctors aren’t allowing me to work, which you think would allow me plenty of time to write, but often days I’m too sick to think straight, and then Mono came right on along and somehow visited me while I was being all cool and never leaving my house like a shut in, because I was already sick. I’m also perpetually single. (Don’t worry, my doctor and I got a good laugh out of how I was the least likely person to catch mono, too.) So if you don’t hear from me for awhile, feel free to assume I’m still alive and poke me with virtual sticks. It usually gets my attention.

In honor of Nanowrimo, I’m going to post my first story about the insanity that is my life, which will be what this blog encompasses in the future. This post was originally written for my old blog and people who knew me. It was kind of like Cheers over there, y’all. Therefore, there’s a few things you’ll all need to know in order for this post to make sense. One: I am the clumsiest, most ill fated, accident prone people you will ever meet. I’m fully convinced, and it has been proven, that I can get hurt in a room with nothing else in it. Two: My mom is a real estate agent. It doesn’t sound important, but it is to this post. Three: The events in this post happened about three weeks ago. I’m just a little slow getting around to posting it. Four: I’m slow. I could sit here and tell you that I’m usually busy jet setting around the world and hugging homeless puppies, and although I’d prefer that to be the truth, it’s a total lie. I’m just sick. Five: Welcome to my life. Try not to get let my ridiculousness rub off of you. I don’t want anyone getting hurt over here.

Anyway, welcome to my first post. I hope you all enjoy it.

I’ve said it once, twice, a thousand times, but I’m going to say it again, I am a walking disaster. There could be movies written about the nearly unrealistic conundrums I find myself entangled it. What I’m saying is, y’all, it’s been a week. I almost broke my thumb, ankle and ribs in a span of five days, because I’m super talented like that. I’ve also been completely hammered with paranormal cases to the point where I find I have to turn off my phone if I want to attempt to get any sleep or anything else done. Plus, I’m the only psychic-medium our historical society will work with, so I’m busy resolving issues there. It’s been fun, folks.

To have y’all understand what kind of fun, I’m going to tell you about the very I Love Lucy worthy moment that happened last week. It all started in a very innocent, non suspecting way. My mom’s coworker needed a vacant home cleaned and asked us if we wanted to do it. It was an easy enough job, and it was a way to make money on my own schedule, since it didn’t have to be done at that moment. It was also something that I could sit when I needed to, only work on it for a few hours, and not stress out my health. We snatched that job right on up.

The job should have only taken a few hours. Should have are the key words here. They make guest appearances throughout this post, but I digress. We arrive on what should have been day one of one, put all our stuff in the house, and then yelled “HOLY SHIZBALLS” really loudly, only without that last part. I only did that in my head…I think. The owner had just moved out of this house, so it was very recently vacant, and literally looked like no one had lived in there or touched it in years. There were cobwebs all over the walls and ceiling, and full fledged dust rabbits on growth hormones all over the floor. If I put all those dust rabbits together, I could have made myself a horse. A small, cute horse, like this, but a horse nonetheless.

Everything was still especially wonderful, because we didn’t have furniture to clean around. Then I reached the dining room. Unfortunately, in being under the understanding that the house was vacant, we didn’t expect to open up a cupboard and find enough beer pong supplies, alcohol included, for an entire frat house. Did I mention the owner was single guy in his 30s? And this was the best thing we found in the house. The next part is not suitable for anyone. Anyone.

I found used condom wrappers, folks. USED CONDOM WRAPPERS. I mean, let’s just start with the fact that this dude moved out and left them there, and end with the fact of WHY IN THE HECK DID HE NOT THROW THEM AWAY AFTER HE OPENED THEM? WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM? Okay, sorry for that little glitch in my hardware. I’m calming down. I was never so happy for rubber gloves in my life. Ever.

And that; it also ended up being another one of the best parts of the day, because directly after this, I heard my mom yelling. She had gone downstairs to start cleaning up down there while I finished the upstairs. Now, it’s important to know before I go any further that we had come in the downstairs, because the only way we had to get in was by using a garage door opener, and the garage was on the lower level. My mom had showed me the house, which she had been in once before, and we had been all over that downstairs before we had gone upstairs to clean. So really, I was wondering where the fire was, because that downstairs was kosher the last time we had been down there.

I leave my post with the empty condom wrappers and head downstairs where I find that it’s, well, flooded. We had just been down there less than two hours before and had heard nothing. At this point my mom was unable to find out how to shut the water off, which is why she called me down. In fact, between the two of us, we couldn’t even figure out where the water was coming from or what was going on.

This is where things quickly turned into an episode of I Love Lucy. We were running around in the water and trying to find out not only where the leak was coming from, but try and turn it off, only the knobs were missing for anything connected to the pipes. All of them. And us, in a vacant house with no wrench. In fear and panic, we started running around the downstairs like morons and hitting every switch we could, including the main power line, to see if we could just make it stop. We couldn’t. And on top of this, we’re trying to get a hold of the realtor of the house who is an hour away and in the middle of a conference. Just picture this for me, if you will. Water flooding a basement, all the knobs broken, two people running around like idiots trying to figure out what’s going on. It isn’t just hysterical now; it was actually hysterical when it was happening. Luckily, we were able to see the humor in how ridiculous it was and how stupid we looked.

Eventually, we did get a hold of the realtor, and she sent out a plumber. Turns out the water meter, which, for whatever was on the inside of the home, had burst. It took the plumber a minute to find which one of the knobs with no handle was the right one, and him and his wrench went to work. It took him about two seconds to turn it off after forty-five minutes of us looking like morons. It was awesome. Really.

Then, just in case we weren’t having enough fun, we then had to wait for the realtors’ husband to get there to get the keys, because, by this time, the realtor had walked out of her conference, gotten a hold of the insurance, they had called the restoration folks, and the restoration folks were set to come out later that night. We had to pass the one garage door opener over to her husband so he could meet with the restoration folks in a few hours, and then keep one for ourselves so that we could come back the next day and finish cleaning the house once the downstairs was dry.

At this point, we couldn’t go back upstairs and finish cleaning, because we were all over water and were going to drag that upstairs and through the rooms we had just cleaned, so we were stuck outside waiting. When he did arrive, we gave him the garage door opener and went to shut the garage door. Nothing. Niche. Nadda. The big old, huh uh girlfriend. It took two of them to figure out that one of the switches we hit inside was actually the switch that the garage door ran off of. Once they got that figured out, the garage door went down beautifully, and we could go home. I also supervised this situation like a boss.

So one day of work suddenly turns into two and, if you can believe it, day one was the better of the two days. We pulled up to the house on day two, got out the garage door opener, the one we tried the night before to make sure they both worked, and nothing. It took us about two seconds to realize that the restoration company had somehow managed to get out of the home AND hit the switch to disable the garage door. It sounds like fancy magic to me, too, guys, but that’s what happened.

Enter our conundrum. Most people would call the realtor, listen to her say she was staying where the conference was since it was a few days long, wouldn’t be back for a few days, and would get us a key then and be okay with that. Only we had all our cleaning supplies in the house and company coming to our own home, that also needed cleaned, before she could get us that key. We needed in that house. And we would have taken everything with us the night before, except that we couldn’t go upstairs without messing up the floors we had just cleaned by dripping water all over the lovely wooden floors. You guessed it. That’s, of course, where all the cleaning supplies, except the mop, were. The mop wasn’t even ours. It was left in the house. This just wasn’t working out for us.

Seeing as we needed our cleaning supplies, and I was not about to give up, I devised a plan. The day before when we were there, I had spent next to five minutes fiddling with the door that goes out on the balcony from the kitchen, only to realize the lock was broken. In order to get into that door, I had to climb over a four-foot fence with a locked gate, up onto the balcony, and break in. There was a slight concern about the neighbors seeing this and calling the police, but I welcomed the police to show up and see that we had broken into a vacant house and were cleaning it. Not only that, but the sale sign was still in the yard with the real estate agency’s name on it, and my mom’s SUV has the name of the real estate company on it, too, so I did the responsible thing and broke in. It seemed reasonable at the time. And the police didn’t show up. I was a little disappointed. I’m not going to lie, I would have liked to have seen how that was going to go down.

As soon as I was safely inside, I went downstairs to flick on the switch for the garage door, which they did indeed turn off and let my in. As soon as she got in, went to see how well they did in their restoration and found they didn’t do diddly squat. They moved the few pieces of furniture the new owners had bought off the old one and put fans down. They didn’t even suck up the water. The place was still sopping wet, which we had to walk through to get upstairs. Having no choice, we made it work. I won’t get into details.

When I had to break in, I should have taken it as a warning sign that I wasn’t to be in that house that day. When the floor was still soaked, I should have gotten my stuff and ran like bananas, you know, if bananas could run. I was minding my own business upstairs and cleaning the last bedroom all on my lonesome. I happened to be cleaning the two very large, connected windows when the very heavy metal blind came right down on my thumb. I didn’t even touch the gosh darn thing, it just brutally attacked. I was highly offended.

At first I thought everything was peachy keen. Then my thumb swelled so badly that I had to take the glove off of the hand because it was strangling it. I continued to work, but eventually couldn’t use my thumb. I didn’t think it was broken, just badly bruised and swollen. The last time I thought this, however, I injured my foot so badly that it took me a year and a lot of treatments for me to be able to walk on it again. I decided not to take a chance with my thumb. The lady at Med Express thought it was broken, but luckily I just beat the crap out of it. It still hurts and is cramping my blogging.

And since I’ve already warned everyone that I wrote this three weeks ago, if you’re wondering, my thumb did finally heal…about two days ago. So, in all fairness and the little bit of defense I have, that is my reason for staying oh so incognito when it came to blogging. It wasn’t just my natural pace of tortoise.