Monday, September 29, 2008

Bet You Can't Guess What I Did This Weekend!

No, really, I was there and I can't believe it happened.

I went to a shooting range. But there was a good reason. AlabamaPink decreed that some shizzle needed to be blown up and you don't argue with a prepared zombie-fighter like her. So off I went, after spending a good 20 minutes trying to figure out what one wears to a shooting range (when dinner out is happening afterwards). I had nothing bright orange, nor camouflage, so I went with black, hoping to blend in with the expected disaffected youth clientele (damn those video games!).

I followed the directions on the website which were not correct, so I had to pull over and call Stephano, my go-to-girl for questions of the country persuasion. She's completely citified, but she has seen the Blue Collar Comedy Tour live, so that qualifies her for this type of situation. Or at least I thought so. Turns out Stephano has only pumped lead into rusting appliances in the backyard. In any case, I was glad to have her on the phone when a trio of expected disaffected youth with GUNS IN THEIR WAISTBANDS walked by. Stephano stayed on the phone for safety as I cautiously ventured down the dark road from which they came.

Now I should point out here that I come from a no gun family. We don't own them, we don't shoot them, we read about them in books. There was purportedly a handgun in a locked metal box hidden on the top shelf of my grandfather's closet in Toronto -- I never saw it, hence the purportedly -- that may or may not have been the gun used to defend my grandmother's grandfather's general store. I'm sure somebody told me that once. Other than one skeet-shooting foray, I've never touched a real firearm.

So imagine my surprise when I walked up to the counter and nobody called me out as a fake and a phony. Instead, they merely asked if I had my own gun or if I would like to use one of theirs. I was prepared for this question thanks to a conversation with my co-worker, Hunter. [I know! The delicious coincidence of that!] Hunter had suggested a Sig Sauer 225. O.K., whatever, I've read about those. So they gave me the gun, a box of ammo, a paper target ("bulls eye, please, I'm no killer"), and a staple gun all in one of those little plastic baskets you use at the grocery store. Weird.

I put on my protective eye (fogged up!) and ear (not good with earrings!) gear, and made my way down to the range. The shooting party was well underway. They had an arsenal, so I was greeted by five backs happily blasting away at targets. Thankfully, they put their weapons down before they turned around to greet me. Nor did they mock me when I handed over my grocery store basket and said, "What do I do?"

Over the next hour, I proceeded to shoot all manner of firearms: a small and delicate antique handgun (not too satisfying after the Sig), a shotgun of some kind (bad for those of us not wearing a contact in the sighting eye), a fancy handgun (wicked kick back into the soft flesh between thumb and finger), some really big gun of Mr. AlabamaPink (TOO LOUD), and the Sig (satisfying large holes in the target and rapid shooting action). I started hitting the targets after AlabamaPink explained about the whole sighting apparatus thingies.

I also found out that bullet casings fly out and hit you in the boob. That part was a surprise as I don't ever remember any literary female detective mentioning it. If you ask me nicely, I'll even show you one. A casing, not a boob. Probably.

Tell all your single friends, shoot loudly and wear a chest guard.

XO, JamieSmitten

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Suck It, Jesus!

Kathy Griffin rocked the Mosque tonight.

Tell all your single friends, go see a comedian -- or better yet, a comedienne.

XO, JamieSmitten

Monday, September 22, 2008

Strongest Dog EVER

Boom and I took a drive to Virginia Beach this weekend and a lovely trip it was. Cruise control set at 71, sparse traffic, no need for AC, we made it there in 1 hr. 50 min.

Boom believes in safe travel and we have tried many types of restraint systems. His first was a harness that connected to the seat belt. He chewed his way out of it before we got on the highway (1 mile from my house). His Aunt Valerie can confirm, she saw it happen. Next, I bought a backseat sling that tied to the headrests front and back. The fabric was meant to keep him in the backseat and safe. On his second trip in the sling, Boom shifted his weight and ripped two (of four) tiebacks off the fabric. A few months ago, I found a new harness restraint system at the Humane Society website. Looked good and the money was going to charity. Bonus!

So Boom was wearing his fancy new harness restraint attached to a zip line that runs across the top of the rear seat. Keeps him safe in case of a sudden catastrophic stop, but still allows him to lie down, sit up, gaze out the rear window and sigh, etc. He seems to like it or at least, he hasn't tried to escape it.

Upon arrival, I got out of the car, grabbed my many bags and dog paraphernalia out of the front seat, and opened the back door slowly, prepared to unhook Boom and put his leash on.

Nope, not fast enough, Boom jumped out of the car while still attached to the zip line.


That was the sound of the grab bar ripping out of the ceiling of my car. You know, this thing:


(ignore the dummy)

So is the force of Boom jumping out of a care more than the force sustained if I was in an accident? It would at least slow down his momentum, wouldn't it? Before, of course, the grab bar came loose and conked me in the head. Hmmmmm.

Can't wait to find out how much grab bars cost.

Tell all your single friends, I have the best of intentions and the worst of executions.

XO, JamieSmitten

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thanks for the Clarification!

Jamie: Hey Universe? I'm just going to put it out there. If you won't give me a vermin-free house despite my best efforts to dispatch them quickly and painlessly, I'll just move to Paris and live a wonderful life not unlike the film Avenue Montaigne.

Universe: Hey Jamie? Uh no. Doesn't work that way. But I'll throw you a bone so you don't give up hope completely.

Jamie: Boom! Oh my God! The green light is flashing! WE FRIED MICKEY!

And there was rejoicing in Carytown.

Tell all your single friends, I emptied the trap all by myself.

XO, Jamiesmitten

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Resignation + Plan

I give up. I am resigning myself to the fact that herbal mouse repellent and mouse zapping traps are no match for the vermin bastards who keep pooping on my kitchen counters.

And therefore, I am moving. To Paris. With Boom dressed as a small child with unusual ambulation. [Once we get through customs, we'll be fine. Les gens français aiment des chiens.] I'm going to get a job as a waitress in a fancy brasserie and one day shortly after I start working there, this man will show up, fall in love with me instantly, and promise that I will never, ever, ever, have to deal with rodents again.

Tell all your single friends, house for sale -- perfect for cat owners!

XO, JamieSmitten a.k.a. the future Mrs. Gerard Butler

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Humming Along

The refrigerator is back in its corner behaving properly via the customary receptacle. Thank goodness, as the scalding burn on my left hand (sustained while carrying my cup of tea -- not coffee because I like a latte in the morning and there was no milk for many untrustworthy fridge days -- in one hand and a bag of frozen vegetables -- Mexican style! -- for my sore knee in the other hand, and simultaneously ducking down under the extension cord coming over the fridge to the other wall and squeezing in between the fridge and the counter) has been a constant reminder of all not copacetic on the home front.

No new mouse poop, but Mr. Electrician revealed more leftovers when he moved the microwave (oops!). So despite my desire to wear a clothespin on my nose to avoid the spearmint smell, I threw the last organic-non-toxic-mouse-repellent sachet behind the stove. The trap seems to be a no go. Apparently, peanut butter is no longer the attraction it used to be. Or maybe they just don't like the organic kind.

On a different note -- because why should we all suffer through another vermin lament? -- I enjoyed a new playlist at work today. Enjoyed it enough that a co-worker felt compelled to demonstrate some of my better chair-dancing moves to a third party. I have inspired this kind of jealousy before. Believe me, I've got moves. This is the odd mix that got me going:

  1. Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I) by Yaz
  2. Situation by Yaz
  3. So Many Nights by Cat Empire
  4. Right Now by SR71
  5. Missundaztood by Pink
  6. Get the Party Started by Pink
  7. Someone to Love by Fountains of Wayne
  8. Boyz-N-The Hood by Dynamite Hack
  9. Take Off Your Clothes by Morningwood
  10. C'est pas la première fois by Caroline Néron

A refreshing change of pace from my recent Ramones immersion, I chose some Yaz because Alison Moyet has such a damn fine voice and because these songs remind me of dancing nonstop at university parties. "You play your games but the fact remains, I'm the only one that can hold your reins." Was there ever a more appealing lyric for a Scorpio?

I heard this Cat Empire song on KEXP Online and loved it instantly. I don't groove on Cat Power, but the whole empire, DEFINITELY! "So many nights I'm still thinking about you."

I think I heard this SR71 song on the "we play anything!" station and it stuck in my head. "So what if the sex was great, just a temporary escape." I think we can all relate to that. Don't leave me hanging.

Next came a pair of old Pink tunes because I'm not completely sold on her new song or that great color/horrid cut coat thingie she wore on the VMAs. When I had the cd (bootleg copy that cracked!), I really liked her duet with Steven Tyler, but for desk dancing, this is the go to pair. "Looking for the right track, always on the wrong track." Story of my life lyrics, yet again.

I saw Fountains of Wayne at the 2007 Virgin Festival and I was pleasantly surprised. Mind you, it was early on and seeing the Fratellis an hour later knocked them right out of my mind until I heard this song a week or so ago. "Don't give out, don't give up, one of these nights you might find someone to love." Bite me, I'm a closet optimist.

EXCELLENT segue, if I do say so myself, to Dynamite Hack's laid back version of the classic NWA/EazyE song. "Don't quote me, boy, I ain't said shit."

So now that the gloves are off, we might as well take off our clothes with Morningwood (top 10 best band name EVER!). I heard this first on KEXP and although it doesn't have the deepest lyrics, I couldn't resist the rawness. Besides, how many songs can you name that reference a happy trail? "When I see you baby, I wanna take off your clothes."

The last song was a total find as I stumbled through some lists of contemporary Canadian music. Haven't heard much French blues, but this song appeals. According to IMDB, she's also an actress. She's not ugly either. Bet she isn't spending the evening writing about vermin. Sigh. I'll skip the French, but the basic idea is that it isn't the first time she's been played by a guy like him. Hmph.

Tell all your single friends, two glasses of bistro red make a pretty awesome dinner.

XO, JamieSmitten

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Zero Steps Forward

The refrigerator is in the middle of the kitchen plugged in with an extension cord to an outlet that works.

Zeus crashed into my knee when he and Rocky came to visit Boom last night and I actually cried from the pain.

There was a mouse poop 3 inches from the zapping mouse trap this morning. There was no mouse in the trap. And my house still smells like a spearmint gum factory.

Tell all your single friends, I quit.

XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pain, Suffering, and Uncooperative Appliances


Knee injured in fall at work is still sore. I can walk, but deep knee bends are out of the question, and even the slightest graze across my kneecap causes me to say really bad words and/or see stars. According to my orthopaedist (surely a sign of age, when one has specialists?), the kneecap sensitivity is likely due to nerve damage. It will get better, but nerves regenerate slowly. Come back in a month, try to avoid bumping it. One would think that was fairly straight-forward but I bumped it twice at work today. Clearly, the workplace has become my own personal Amityville house of horror -- GET OUT!


Mice poop. On the counter. On the stove. ON MY BANANA. I am an animal lover but mice are vermin and as such, are not welcome in my home and most certainly, are not welcome on my banana. I have purchased an electric zapping mouse trap and with 4 rechargeable double AAs gleefully inserted, I now reportedly have the wherewithal to dispatch 50 mice! I do have to dump the carcasses, but with a little practice, I should be able to do this without even seeing the corpse. Additionally, because it seemed prudent to hit the little bastards with full firepower, I also bought non-toxic sachets that purportedly deter mice from even stepping over the threshold. On the downside, 3 sachets for my mini kitchen has created a powerful spearmint aroma that is quickly permeating the entire downstairs. I hate mint, but I hate mice more. I'll keep you posted.


First the dvd player got finicky. It just wouldn't read most cds. So I bought a cleaning disc and used it several times. It read the first cd I inserted. Hooray! It refused to read the second, third, or fourth. I purchased a replacement today -- a dual dvd/vhs player. I hope my tv doesn't take the hint and crap out.

On Monday morning, there was no light in the refrigerator. After slamming the door shut and spending five minutes trying to figure out when I bought the damn thing, it occurred to me that it just might be the bulb. So I bought a two-pack of bulbs. Good thing, as the first one I tried didn't work. Gave up, went to bed. On Tuesday, I tried the next bulb. It didn't work either, so I called Neighbor John to find out if the fridge part was separate than the freezer part because the ice maker still worked. He didn't know, but offered up his fridge thermometer so I could confirm if the fridge was indeed dying. On Wednesday, Neighbor John called to tell me that the thermometer which has been in the back of his fridge for 13 years is missing. So I go buy my own (go straight to Pleasant's Hardware, people, don't waste your time at Home Depot like I did) and put it in the fridge. One hour later, I have confirmed that fridge is definitely cooling and decide to try the bulbs again. This time, one of the bulbs lights up. My happiness was short-lived as the bulb did not light up when I opened the door to get some water at bedtime. This morning, the fridge was both dark and warm inside, with the thermometer indicating the temperature was in the danger zone! (No real need for an exclamation point there, but it just seemed logical following the words danger zone!) Annoyed that my breakfast icepack (for knee) was soggy, I heaved the refrigerator out into the middle of the kitchen and discovered that the whole electrical outlet wasn't working. I checked the breakers and nothing was amiss. An extension cord across the room to an outlet on the other wall got the fridge back to humming normalcy so I could get to Amityville reasonably on time. I called electricians and finally get one to call me back. He patiently listened to my story and asked if I had pushed the reset button. But there wasn't one on the outlet. This is when he tells me that a reset button in the room should reset all the outlets in the room. This helpful bit of information never came up during my many years of formal education. It worked. Awesomely.

Tell all your single friends, I'm slower, lethal (to vermin), and clearly in need of that fix-it manual that everybody else got.

XO, JamieSmitten