May 27, 2009

Good Advice

The best advice we received after getting laid off was call your creditors and tell them. Credit card companies waived payments for a few months and even the bank that has our home loan made alternate arrangements so that we won't have to make a payment until August. I thought it was important to put that out there for you all to know.

May 25, 2009

Book Ends

It will rain today just like it always does and then clear up in time for the parade. Today is the last annual memorial/margarita day parade at the casa de Bombadee. I am trying to commit to memory every moment of today. At 8:30 this morning the neighbors lined their chairs and blankets up in front of their houses and claimed thier viewing spaces. This is the first year Ella can remember not being in it. It's my 16th year sitting on this front porch on this day and Dan's 20th.

Thanks' George for putting this parade together year after year. When I speak of tiny town this will be one of the things I tell.

May 24, 2009

Make Me an Offer

We found an apartment. We'll get a twelve month lease on a two story, three bedroom with a study. Ella and Dan will get a room for their toys and I'll have space for my computer and easels. It has a pool and is about 15 minutes from the ocean and 15 minutes from the city. Dan is going to be looking at it when he's down there and signing a lease and then he'll fly back up and we'll load the truck and go. Ella and I will be here for a bit to finish packing and get the house clean. Now the last piece of the puzzle is selling the house. I need someone to make an offer.

May 23, 2009

How I Almost Got Arrested at Monkey Joe's - Kid's Play Place

On Tuesday we were invited over to Monkey Joe's to celebrate our pal's 4th birthday. We brought him a few very loved stuffed animals that belonged to Ella but she decided her pal would like to have them instead of packing them for the big move to Houston. Also in the bag, and a homemade card and necklace and a promise to send something cool from the Houston Space Center when we get all settled. At the door, we signed all our rights away and traded Ella's shoes for some jumpy castle fun. The adults sat down at a lovely table in the center of the facility. The kids never looked back.

As we sat and visited, Sarah the manager came over to our quiet conversation to ask if the bag on the table was a present. I answered with a puzzled yes at which time she insisted my friend then bring it out to the car as we weren't allowed to exchange gifts unless we booked a party room. (Now it was just one bag and the two of us sitting there, we didn't exactly bring in a cake and twenty kids and a sack full of wrapping papered boxes.) I quickly back tracked and said "well really then, it's just a bag of stuff I'm giving to them" and Sarah the manager said "You already told me it was a present; someone has to take it out of here - now." My pal took it out to her car.

This was when I decided I was going to do a blogular review of Monkey Joe's jumpy fun place. I took a few of pictures of the jumping kids mid air, I took a picture of the rules posted, I took a picture of Sarah the manager, I took one of the snack bar, and Sarah the manager came stomping over yelling "Did you just take a picture of me?!" Now I could've easily said no, but I was a little amused at this point and said yes. Sarah told me I wasn't allowed to just take pictures of people without their permission and she was going to call the police if I didn't delete it. This is when I started laughing, a lot. I think I even said "Really?! You've got to be kidding" and then Sarah said that if I didn't delete the picture of her right there in front of her she would ask us to leave AND call the police, then she turned to the lady at the counter and said "Call security."

This is when I did a quick review of my options

A) Stand up for myself and let her call the police who would also laugh at her but still get kicked out and the kids all cry.

B) Tell her what a rude and stupid person she was and inform her about a person's rights when they are in public and how it doesn't include being paparazzi free, but still get kicked out and the kids all cry.

C) Delete the stupid picture let the kids play and write this review.

At this time my pal told her she was a real "killjoy" and I had enough time to decide on option C. I deleted the picture while Sarah stood over my shoulder watching. It wasn't enough because she accused me of actually not deleting it and indignantly demanded I give her my phone. I handed it to her and she proceeded to delete the pictures of the jumping kids mid air, a picture of the rules posted, and one of the snack bar. I told her I would be writing a review of the place, without those pictures. She pointed her finger and said "You'd better not write anything slanderous about me, the authorities will find out, and you'll have to remove it." and I laughed again and asked her if she was implying I would lie about her on the internet. She said no and stomped away mumbling something like "You'd just better not."

A little later she appeared again to hand me her boss’s business card and say she already informed her boss of the whole situation, I thanked her and told her I would be informing the internet. I think she was trying to apologize, but I didn't actually hear the phrase "I'm sorry" what I actually heard was more threats about writing this piece. I wanted to tell her - if you don't want people to think you're an ass then you've just gotta not act like an ass, but the afternoon really wasn't about me and I was pretty sure I couldn't put the toothpaste back into the tube if I said it, so I didn't - I just nodded.

The rest of the visit was wonderful for the kids and I really considered live blogging it from the free high-speed internet next to the recliners and the big screen TV in the adult relaxation area while the kids burned off whatever endless energy they had flinging their bodies about and sliding down giant inclines, but I was really trying not to get kicked out at that point. I didn't know if Sarah would come stomping out again and read what I was doing over my shoulder at the computers, so I just sat at the tables. When we finally left I asked the lady at the snack bar for the manager's name and she said she couldn't tell me what it was.

So after all that, my conclusion - I recommend Monkey Joe's, but not Sarah.

(Rockford franchise on Tuesday, May 19th between 10:30 and 1:00pm.)

May 20, 2009

I'll catch you up.

I'm frustrated I haven't had time to write.

I almost got arrested at Monkey Joe's yesterday (I wish I was joking.)

I've found some of the coolest things while sorting (lost jewelery, money, letters and pictures from politicians - including Rod Blagojevich .)

It' surprising what I've decided I can't live without and am packing.

The experience of packing is like having your life flash before your eyes, only it's not a flash, it's a long grueling process.

I miss skating.

I finally got sick of the "Beastie Boys" station on Pandora I've been mostly listening to since I started packing and switched to Led Zepplin/BobMarley/Rolling Stones.

May 17, 2009

The Little Bistro

A few weeks back I helped Ms. Quik write a business plan for her new restaurant, The Little Bistro right in front of the farmer's market in Beloit, WI. She'll feature Paninis and gourmet burgers along with the best potato salad I've ever had in my life, home made potato chips that are to die for and various beer and wine. She'll also have jazz and art and wine tasting on Friday nights, it's my kinda place for sure. I won't get the pleasure of being here on opening day, July 1st, but I did get to sample some of her genius today. She invited folks over and taste the menu as well as all the wines and beers she's trying to choose from. It was simply the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon with pals.

May 16, 2009

2,000 Books

It was a frenzy of family and friends today grabbing armloads and for some carloads of books. I only have two shelves left and they are select war and history volumes, odd encyclopedias and text books, some musty novels form the seventies, and poetry. I have gratitude today, standing in the empty library. Yesterday wondering if all my books would go to a Goodwill or the trash made me feel sick but today seeing people I love, happy to be adopting them and willing to read them was beyond what I hoped for. The poetry will get a good home and as for the odd encyclopedias I wish I could keep them and may hang onto them until the auction, but the rest will likely go to Goodwill on Monday with another giant bag of clothes and I am ok with that.

May 15, 2009

Four Things I Discovered Today

Sorting through things has helped me find stuff I've been looking for (Grandma's cookbook!)

I own too many pars of black shoes, anyone close by me a size 8 - 8 1/2?

I'm going to need a new swimming suit.

I have seven rolls of film to develop. I haven't shot a roll of film since 2003, when I went digital. I have no idea what is on these.

Lone Star

Dan arrived in Houston on Tuesday and had a great interview with a company that he didn't like and on Wednesday had a great interview with a company he loved. The company he loves has a cowboy that runs it and the cowboy says things like "We don't work Saturdays, Saturdays are for your family" he also said things like "I'll pay you more than you made before plus some to move" and "We'll pick up 100% of your family's insurance." Today I am sorting through junk drawers trying to figure out which light bulbs I should pack and exactly how many bottle openers we need. On Saturday at 1:00 friends and family are coming over to claim armloads of books we are not taking. The following two weeks I'll be fitting everything I love and can take with me into a twenty six foot space. At the end of this month Dan will drive the minivan filled with essentials to the South East end of Houston and start spending his days working with the cowboy. I'll stay in the house with Ella and finish packing and cleaning until somewhere around the 12th at which time Dan will fly back up and we'll load everything into a truck and hug our families before we drive towards the ocean. What's left behind will get auctioned in our absence including the house. I don't want to be here to see my piano go for a dollar I just need the auction house to send me a check for new furniture next to the ocean. I've read this area is the number three place in the world to raise your family, the number two place in the job market, everyone is polite, the school systems are wonderful and there is roller derby. I also heard one must carve the air out with a knife and chew it to breath. What I know is they want us to come, I love the ocean, and when I get home sick for the leaves and fall air in October I can catch a train from New Orleans to Chicago for $108.00.

May 13, 2009


Dan is in Texas doing interviews and I thought Ella and I would have a wonderful time going to the park and eating subway sandwiches and jumping on the bed but she came down with a fever yesterday and so we are sitting on the couch on this gray rainy day cuddling and watching our 10th movie in two days.

May 11, 2009

Heard in the Living Room After Dinner on Mother's Day

Me: Are we gonna make S-M-O-R-E-S?

Dan: Yep, that's what I got.

Ella: Great! 'Cause I am O-A-R.

Me: What does that even spell?

Ella: I don't know.

Me & Dan: (laughter)

Indignant Ella: What?! I don't!

May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I have a hard time being mushy and sappy, but this is why I have Ella, she is awesome at it and what she says completely applies. So Mom, I love you more than the moon and the stars and the sun and the universe and a that's hundred infinities much, because you are the best Mom ever. Thank you for being so spectacular.

May 9, 2009

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month

DD Hunter t-boned a full sized Chevy pickup doing 40mph on her motorcycle yesterday. The driver who pulled out in front of her said he didn't even see her. I spent over an hour with DD's husband pacing the floor with no idea what was happening behind the fortress they call the emergency room "We're still running tests" was the only information we could get. Eventually we were allowed to see her. She broke her left orbital bone (eyebrow area) and will be consulting with a plastic surgeon today. She filleted her pinky finger, sprained her hip, has leather glove embeded into the back of her hand, a gash in her thigh and may have bruised her spleen. The doctors locked her in the high tower over night for observation. The guy in the truck drove away after the accident and for DD, there are stitches, bruises, a banged up helmet, clothing they cut off and one totaled motorcycle.

I'll say it again May is Motorcycle Awareness Month.

May 7, 2009

MW/SBO/BAHC (Migrant Worker/ Small Business Owner/Broke Ass Hungry Chick) The Saga

I sat down this morning with Pam over at the Illinois Small Business Development Center and she was absolutely awesome and helpful in every way and best of all FREE! So if you need business advice (Mike) make and appointment and go talk to her. So anyway, she helped me refine my plan of world domination and sent me back to the drawing board and now I am more excited than ever to get this shindig started. I think I'll still be building the Laser of Debilitating Fun but it's going to be in a different format and more powerful and hey the only thing better than more powerful lasers is being able to strap them on the heads of sharks. So yay me.

What else, Dan has two different interviews with two companies in Houston now, apparently it's a very successful and needy city. There's also an interview tomorrow in Madison for a company in Eau Claire (about four hours from here.) I'm told the yearly high in Eau Clair is 88* so the snow pants will have to stay and in fact should we move there I may invest in a variety of lovely snow pants (bleah.)

Today just for good measure, I'm sorting through old clothes and tossing anything that needs sewn and giving away gobs of stuff (Heather have a few tubs for you) and then I'll sell some on e-bay 'cause extra money sounds good right about now. We are also tossing all sorts of odds and ends and unfinished broken projects, lamps we planned to fix and toys that need to be glued. The good news is even if we don't go anywhere we'll be lighter for it.

We tried to do the right thing and called Chrysler yesterday to see if we could get a deferment for 90 days on the car payments and they laughed at us and called the pitbulls to the edge of the fence to chase us away. Today the lackeys are calling the house for their money and we are waving our butts in their general direction until next Tuesday at the earliest when Dan flies down to Texas and we know more about how long we need to make what we have last. In other broke ass news, we went to Aldi's yesterday and bought three bags of processed carbs and some grapes so we're not starving yet.

May 3, 2009

Job Update

Hey kids, the good new is Dan will be setting up an interview on Monday with a very reputable company doing what he does right now. The bad news, it's in Houston Texas. They're calling him Monday to arrange a day flight down. Not that Houston is bad news, there's all sort of lovely things there - the ocean for one, liberals, art, a space program, Spinster Aunts, a university, roller derby, and the internet (so hey, we'll still talk.) And of course the troubles are as I've said before selling this crazy house and leaving 36 years of friends and history and of course family here. Although our parents have collectively encouraged us to spread our wings as long as we fly home twice a year.