Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Blog Train (C'mon 'n' Ride It)

First of all: Thank you for inviting me to contribute to this blog. I have for some time now wanted to join this new trend called "blogging" and now I can officially become the last person under 30 to do so. (By the way, I am currently peppering all of my speech with references to being "under 30" or "in my 20s" and will continue for the next, oh, 19 days, because it's all downhill from here, baby!)

Secondly: Just an initial observation, but, dang, you guys write a lot. You don't tell me this much detail when we speak in real life, do you? I imagine that my posts will generally be shorter, less structured ... perhaps achieving a greater "kvetch-per-paragraph" rate, who knows. Also, there may be more profanity and embedded links to pornography.

Finally: It may be out of the spirit of this blog, but I may use it to write about big, significant good things that are going on with me, like the fact that I am 3-0 in my fantasy football league and currently am running second in my 50-member football pool. Maybe, three weeks into a 17-week season, I shouldn't have already spent the money I anticipate winning, but I think it is clear that I am an unstoppable football-predicting juggernaut. Can't wait for Vegas!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Curious Incident of the 360 Controllers in the Night

The night before last I was lazing in bed with the guy I'm seeing, playing games as usual. (Yes, I really am THAT lame). Having grown tired of the selection of Xbox games, we decided to bust out the 360 & play Kameo. After hooking the 360 up to the bedroom TV & schlepping every game out of the living room & into the bedroom, I glanced around for the controllers. Nowhere in sight. Thus began the endless search for the controllers.

For those of you in the know, while my condo is not particularly large, it is chock full of stuff. Which means that one goes into sensory overload when searching for anything. I started off by looking in the usual spots. TV armoire, no love. Atari closet of doom? No controller there. Liquor cabinet with handy game storage in the bottom....nothing. Dresser full of controllers? Well, if I need some Super Nintendo & Dreamcast controllers, I know where to go. Coat closet? Nothing but us coats in here. Fridge? Nope, that's for food, even in my house. Desk drawers reveal nothing but Vectrex games & some loose change. Under the sofa & TV console in the living room contain empty boxes only. In a stroke of brillance I scan under the bed. Where I find about 8 books, things that can't be mentioned on this blog and a host of hair accessories. No 360 controllers though.

At this point, it's been about 20 minutes of me wandering around my place talking to myself & hurriedly opening doors and drawers as if somehow I could possibly SNEAK UP on the controllers. Like the 5 other times I opened the closet I simply wasn't fast enough. Ignoring the laughter, I open every door, drawer & cabinet in the place. I check the bar, the laundry closet, the electrical closet, and the pantry. Because, as my former roomate can attest to, I think the kitchen is a fine place for my gaming needs. Thwarted, I admit defeat & we settle back in with the Xbox (on a side note, Raze's Hell is pretty damn entertaining).

Alas, the controllers are nowhere to be found. Which means I have to shell out another &%$*ing $40 for a new controller. Damn wireless controllers.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ovaries:1, Depo-Provera: 0

So, as some or all of you know, I suffer from a wonderful disease called Endometriosis. I've had a couple of surgeries for this, and in order to avoid another wonderful day in the hospital, I was placed on a horomone regimen. My little shot of horrors was the wonderful drug known as Depo-Provera. Yes, the birth control shot, comprised of progesterone. A supposed wonder drug, which prevents one from menstruating, like, ever. And has no side effects and is comprised of leprechauns and rainbows.

Mind you, this is the same drug that caused my chesticles to balloon to their current proportions earlier this year as well. Along with the wonderful insomnia, food cravings & road rage I thought I was good to go. Until yesterday, when somehow, I managed to fight off all traces of the Depo. I actually got my period while only 6 weeks into a 12 week cycle. From what I read, after the frist shot, this is virtually impossible. I should not be able to somehow metabolize it out of my system. Apparently, I am blessed with super ovaries, the kind that not only fight crime, but go haywire when faced with the hated, hated enemy of progesterone. Which might explain the histronics. And the overwhelming urge to run people over because for the LOVE OF GOD WHY MUST YOU DRIVE SO SLOWLY? And please pass the pickles and ice cream, because that certainly sounds delicious right now.

So, after a frantic call to my doctor ("Hi! I'm bleeding! Is this normal? Because I'm on Depo? And like, it's supposed to last 3 months? And it's only been SIX WEEKS?") it was decided, that no, NO BLEEDING FOR YOU. I have been assigned a new drug. Lybrel. Which means no period ever again until 2008. Yeah, like I believe that. You think my ovaries can't successfully fight off estrogen as well? Please.

All I know is that if this one makes my chest get any bigger, I'm going to have to join the circus. Or become an adult actress. And change my name to Busty Gazongas or something.

Front for the Mob

At the crazy intersection of Wilson, Old Georgetown, Arlington, and Elm (I think), there has been a vacuum store for 15 plus years. Now, when we were in high school it had a shelf that moved and it looked like people actually went there to get their vacuums fixed (every now and then at least). Well, in the age of the relatively cheap vacuum, this store has been largely a display piece for odds and ends for the past 10 years, thus generating the rumor that the store was a front for the mob.

Well, I went to get my hair cut last night and I walked by. It is now empty! How very odd! I kind of miss the now non-moving shelf and the array of vacuums. One can only wonder what it will be used for next (especially, considering it is sitting on very valuable real estate). Sadly, I will never again be able to use it as a place of note in my direction-giving.

Is it 6pm, yet?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Crash and Burn

So we've clearly established that the motley crew know as kvetch is the new blog is host to some less than...graceful people. Let me proudly add myself to that list.

Today while over at my parents' house, I somehow managed to lose my footing & take a header. Awesome enough in & of itself. However, I skated in the roller derby for a year, and have taught myself to only fall forward, since I usually wore kneepads when falling. So I tumbled forward, and crashed down on my knees, then my hands, as I was taught. Only, no kneepads. And my parents' kitchen floor, you ask? Oh, it's made of CERAMIC TILE. &%$@ does that ever leave a mark.

My mother actually laughed at me, then tried to find me something to ice my knees with. I was offered some frozen ravioli. Because everyone knows that nothing goes better with broken kneecaps than some delicious meat-filled pasta.

For me, the best part about this (aside from the purple knees, which did I mention: HOT. Especially since I have a date tomorrow)? I didn't even trip over anything. No, this was sheer lack of coordination & grace. Awesome.

Oh, and I got a speeding ticket in the mail today too. Like icing on the cake, or perhaps sauce on the ravioli.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Is It Friday, yet?

Christina has been rather busy recently and neglectful of her reading of the blog. She is quite happy to see that other people speak of themselves in the third person also. Perhaps she will start to regularly refer to herself as "our hero."

Well, I should go back to the white collar he*** in which I work. If only I didn't have to deal with inane doctors office people, IRS employees, and clients on a regular basis.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

So, what do YOU sleep with?

My afternoon has been spent on the hated, hated task of cleaning. Of course, as I am a lazy housekeeper at best, all I've managed to do is start my laundry & change my sheets. Oh, and put away about 1000 pairs of shoes. Why can't I just learn to put things away like most adults? Apparently I think the shoe fairy will magically arrive & whisk my shoes away to never-never land, also known as my shoe closet.

But I digress. I decided to tackle the delight of changing the sheets on my bed today. I do this weekly (roughly, some times it's a bit longer, but never more than about 10 days between, for lo, I am compulsive about clean sheets). Anyhow, this is a bit of a struggle. My matress is something like 20" thick, which makes putting sheets on the bed exhausting. As I go to tackle the feat of removing the bedding from the bed, I pull from on top & amidst the covers, these items:

1 laptop computer (with tasteful wood paneled top)
1 calculator (ghetto solar variety, no extra functions)
1 Alpha Centauri Planetary Pak CD
1 Civ 4: Beyond the Sword Box & manual (game's in the laptop)
1 Titan Quest CD
5 Harry Potter Books (#2 & #5 are missing)
1 Domo-kun plush toy
1 extra pillow, for leaning on when gaming
7 ponytail holders, 5 barrettes & 2 bobby pins (I have a LOT of hair)
1 retainer case (because I am the hotness)
3 pairs of pants, 1 jacket, 4 shirts & some assorted lingerie
1 wireless mouse
1 fake hairpiece, which resembles a tribble when viewed from a distance

Now really, what DOES this say about me? Um, the first thought: wow, I REALLY must not be getting any action. Second? Jesus, is my house a strip club? Cause really, that much lingerie strewn about is not classy. That's for damn sure.

So, um, yeah. My bed=only good for clothes storage and game-playing. Not for action. For there is apparently not room for anyone, including me, in that bed. Yeah. Here's to you, horomone, because apparently my Depo-Provera induced celibacy is actually created by some weird nesting instinct designed to keep others out of my bed by sheer un-sexiness.

Also, I must really spend a lot of time in bed for an insomniac. This is my 2nd post about my bed.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A comforting shout-out to the Marshaless...Marshalette? Mrs. Marshall?

I feel your pain. But the hero of this particular short story has done something more clumsy and embarrasing in the foot-injury-area. this is, of course, ignoring the countless times that our current hero has bashed his shins on stuff, and dropped things on his slightly sasquatch-like feet that make it hard to buy real shoes, because of surface area concerns and oddly-shaped clodhoppers...where was I?

Here's the scene. Sometime, in Junior high school, our hero waits in his room. Still short, having not really climbed fully aboard the puberty train, and therefore given to embarrasing voice cracks. However, our hero is starting to grow just enough that he is not fully aware of the length and power of his own limbs. Our hero's mind is convinced that he's at least an inch or so shorter. And, he's waiting for a commercial break to be done, so that he can watch whatever shamefully embarassing cartoon that he would watch at 4 in the afternoon while avoiding homework. alone in his room, our hero hears the commercial break end. "Nooooooo!" Our hero thinks. "I'm missing the show, I had better hurry!" So, our hero takes off running with all the speed and grace that his 12 year old body is capable of mustering. Which is to say, too much of the former and not enough of the latter. So, while running into a room in bare feet to catch a TV show...Our hero manages to hook his little toe on the door frame of the room that he is proceeding into at full speed. Here, the laws of physics and pain take over, the tensile strength of small bones versus forward momentum are tested, and bone loses. Ironically, Our hero misses his show, because he is lying on the floor in pain, unable to concentrate on the TV because his little toe is broken, and he is berating himself for being a complete fucking idiot.

This remains one of my most embarrasing injuries ever. Much worse than telling people that I hurt my back on my honeymoon, and seeing the automatic snicker. So cheer up, Milady Marshall. It could be much, much worse.

ps. The treatment for a broken little toe? Taping it to the toe next to it. That's it. You'd think medical science would have advanced beyond waterproof tape.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Mother Nature Hates Us

While I'm still on hold (see previous post), here's the initial entry from the Oliveri Family Vacation file. I'm sure this file will be much thicker at some time in the future when there have been more vacations and there are little Oliveris, but right now the adults are doing a pretty good job of creating interesting stories, and getting themselves hurt to boot.

Picture, if you will, a beach. It is low tide, and the beach is quite wide. Our hero, his wife, and his cousin are happily playing in the sea. Our hero and his cousin are "bodysurfing," wherein one times the break of a wave and rides its crest into the shore. After a particularly good ride, both our hero and his cousin are making their way back out when a particularly compelling wave arises. Seeing an opportunity, our hero and his cousin attempt to catch the wave. However, being greedy, they are not in the proper position. Instead of gently riding the crest into shore, the wave bitch-slaps them both. The cousin gets tossed around a bit, but no harm done. Our hero, however, had a more violent experience. The crushing power of the wave slams his forehead into the ground and flings his legs sideways over his head, twisting his back in the process. At this time, his exact thought is "Oh shit, am I going to be able to get up." Fortunately, he was able, despite a smacked head, a scraped arm, and some sort of pulled muscle in his shoulder. Upon exiting the water, our hero is told that he is bleeding from above his nose. For the rest of the week, he has a big honking raspberry in the middle of his face, as a type of Stupidity Badge. Two weeks later, his shoulder still hurts, and his back hurts upon awakening from his precious slumber, but he has managed to regain some semblance of pride in his no-longer-marked face.

A second incident in the "Mother Nature Hates Us" saga arose last Friday. Our hero's lovely wife was walking to the Metro from work when the skies opened and rain pelted our beautiful city. Apparently, the managers of said city are not too smart, though, and paved some sidewalks with a slate-like material. Rain and slate don't go that well together, and when you add flip-flops to the equation, the consequences can be Chernobyl-like. Lovely Wife slipped on the slate and bashed her big toe into the curb. After much pain (and notably, no assistance from passers-by) she managed to continue her journey. There was much ice, drugs, and wine involved, but she has managed to regain her ability to walk, for the most part. Still, not a comfortable few days.

So, why does Mother Nature hate us? Not only does she send Stuart Little into our new home, but she physically causes us harm! Why?! What have we done to her? We saw "An Inconvient Truth"! We use those squiggly light-bulbs! We keep our thermostat at a reasonable temperature! We even walk to get ice cream, rather than drive our low-emissions vehicles. Lashing out like this is not going to help us come to her side. Do unto others, right? RIGHT?!

Oh, and I'm no longer on hold. Issue not entirely resolved, but he swears it will be tonight. Right.

Tech Support, Vol. 12,376

So we all hate tech support. That's no fun to kvetch about. Everyone has the same experiences. For example, I am on the phone with Verizon for at least the fifth time on the same issue. And of course, I'm on hold. But there is hope- I have stumbled across someone who has vowed to fix my problem before I get off the phone. It is possible, folks. There are humans who work in customer service. It just takes four months and several dozen phone calls across several different companies to find one.

Today has actually been a reasonably pleasant service day; however, it didn't start out so well. When my lovely wife and I awoke, we found approximately fifteen tiny things on our kitchen counter that I will heretofore refer to as "doots." These doots were produced by a tiny little mammal that, when animated, looks like Stuart Little. However, when not animated it could make someone scream and jump on a chair. Fortunately, my wife and I are not that type of person, however it is still unnerving to have Stuart Little dooting all over the kitchen counter.

We had known that there was a Stuart running around our house, but we thought he was just in the basement and in the garage. Well, apparently not anymore. So we called Western Pest, who had actually come to give us an estimate on service before, and amazingly they came right over. The techician was great, and did a whole bunch of stuff to help us out (also related to other natural creates we don't want around). The only remaining issue is that we now have traps all over our basement and "glue pads" in our garage, that might catch Stuart alive and stick him in place. Wouldn't that be fun to come across? Little Stuart revving the engine in his tiny car trying to unstick himself. And then when he gets out of his tiny car, sticking his feet to the glue pad and screaming in his little high-pitched voice. Fun stuff at the Oliveri's!

Oh, and I'm still on hold.