Monday, January 26, 2015


Dear Monday,

I completely and utterly GIVE.

It's only halfway through and I've had enough.

Just a couple of the half-day highlights:

1. American Home Shield SUCKS. Credit card gets hacked, company send new one, we call to update the payment on file with AHS and they tell us we owe $75 for a service call from October that we've gone over several times with them. No, I do not owe $75 for the service call in October to come and fix the dishwasher that was NOT fixed on the previous service call. It's the same appliance, not fixed right the first time.  It took from frikkin May until October to finally get someone to stop it from leaking. The first time we went over this it was "I'll make a note and take care of it." By the third time I'm told we still owe $75, no one is buying that crap anymore. 

All of this would be largely moot except that over the weekend, what appeared to be very sloppy water-dish etiquette from the dogs (the carpet seemed to have been soaked) turned out not to have been the dogs at all. We moved the dish, only to watch the carpet get wetter and wetter. Now there's a slightly gross smelling stain stretching from the bathroom door about 2 feet in radius across the carpet in the bedroom. I need to get a plumber out here before we end up falling through what appears to be rotting floorboards underneath that carpet between my bedroom floor and the garage.

But we owe $75. 

For the millionth time, no we don't. So now they're saying (which I don't believe for a minute) that it's the FIRST service call that shows owing $75 from May. Except we have the processed check showing it paid. Oh, but a scan of the check isn't good enough. It has to be FAXED to American Home Shield or it won't be legit.  Of course, who the F has a fax machine? Not us.

You better believe they're going to fix the plumbing and ever inch of the bedroom carpet when I get through.

Naturally, I have surgery in ten days and will largely immobilized and confined to the upstairs of the house for two weeks when this work will likely need to be done, including pulling up the carpet in the bedroom and moving all the crap out of the way to do it, which I won't even be able to help with. 


(Speaking of which, I'm now having nightmares that involve a hip and thigh so engorged and swollen with blood that the stitches start spurting open. Lovely. This appears to be a mixture of pre-surgery anxiety mixed with plumbing problems.)

2. Meanwhile, at work, claim after claim is getting held up for errors. And when I try to get with the people who wrote the stories (full of errors, it turns out) I get attitude and persecution complexes. Why yes, I'm sure the auditor singled your claim out for personal reasons. Just answer my damn questions!! And, after wasted energy back and forth explaining the same things over and over in creative and different ways in attempt to get to the bottom of the problem? Yep. Audi was right, tech was wrong, extra work for me. Booyah. I'm very sorry the east coast is getting slammed by a blizzard, but it's the only thing that's keeping me from committing harakiri. The storm means there's very little coming in for by bigger dealer while I wrangle with the Florida mess. 

3. I am in the middle of the post from hell (literally in many ways) about Brio over on the South Belt blog side of things. I am trying to put all of the 1990s articles together like I did for the 1980s so it's a one-stop reference. Between Blogger crapping out on photo downloads and it sucking all the memory from my machine trying to chug them into uploads, I have to let it run overnight to get stuff on the blog. Only to discover, some of the stuff didn't upload and, to keep from losing all chronology, I have to piece-meal each individual missing upload into its correct spot Which also slows everything else down to a crawl.  I'm never going to finish this thing. 

4. The very cool new toy to digitize Super8 film that I ordered ONE MONTH AGO is still on backorder, despite when ordering being told it was 7-14 days from order to shipment arrival. When will they get more in? Nobody knows. Should I cancel, get a refund, and buy it from the manufacturer's website for $20 more -- because they apparently can keep them in stock there but not at B&H? To cancel, I'd have to call them -- and they're in New York in the blizzard.  And I'd rather get the one I ordered at the sale price...

How is it only 2:00???????

And HOW THE POOP is it 70° outside in January in Denver?!?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

1/24/15 The Girls' Saturday

Amber, Deana, and I tried out Upstairs Circus today and had a great time.

The only confusing part is that . . . it's not upstairs.

So the basic premise on Saturdays is that you have three hours, bottomless mimosas, and your choice of more than thirty craft projects to complete during that time. 

I chose the beaded wrap bracelet beforehand and brought along three charms from my MeMaw that I've held on to since I was a kid. When she went on her Alaskan cruise with her lady friends, she brought me back a tiny oval piece of ivory with an eskimo painted on it, and a jade bear. The third charm I picked out from her jewelry box after she passed, which was her initial scrolled in gold. 

It was very zen to weave the threads and beads together, over and over again. 


So, Amber and Deana had both chosen string art which, as it turns out, 
is way more involved. I had time to roam around and take pictures.

Next time?

the end of the bottomless mimosas

Meanwhile, they're cleaning up tables while A & D are madly hammering nails and stringing yarn. 

finished, just in time!

Afterwards, we hit up Los Dos for  . . .  what's the name of a meal at 3:30? Linner?

Deana headed back for the Springs while Amber and I decided we were too close to IKEA not to make the rounds. 

Perfect Girls' Saturday all around.

The Week in iPhone Pictures

Latest offload  . . . means more dogs, cats, and sunrises.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

September 1924 Atlantic Monthly


"Rhapsody in Blue" is brand new. 

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is founded in Los Angeles in April.

New company Mercedes Benz is created from a merger between Benz & Daimler in May.

In June, Russell Maugham flies from New York to Los Angeles in just under 22 hours.

By September, the first aerial circumnavigation of the globe is completed by U.S. Army pilots, taking 175 days.

And, that same month, The Atlantic Monthly arrived in the mailbox of the Joseph and Lucy Byers. Mr. Byers was an attorney and Mrs. Byers taught English, speech, and public speaking for over thirty years at Mexia High. She also directed the school plays and taught both of my parents. According to J.H.'s obituary in 1944, the couple moved to Mexia in the oil boom of the 20s, but I can't seem to locate any records about the age of their home at 409 N. Canton, which was later owned by the Blaylocks. 

(no telling what the house looked like in 1924, but here's the oldest photo I have)

Whether these first monthlies (years and years of them, along with decades of Harpers) were delivered to this house, or another, they made their way to the Canton house, where they were left when my grandmother found them, and then to our Kirkdale house when my grandparents moved in with us. Then to Sageville. Later, they moved to Clear Lake with my parents and finally to Navasota when my parents moved to Colorado. I ended up leaving two big boxes with my friend Lynne when we moved to Colorado, but kept a small number that caught my eye. 

The oldest of the batch I still have is from September 1924, no where close to the magazine's  original publication year of 1857, but now past 90 years of age, and still holding together.

The ads are incredible. The copy is just so overwrought and delightful.

Even a superficial acquaintance with the Lincoln is sufficient to create 
a dominant impression of distinction and individuality.

A living room as comfortable as it is attractive -- your dream come true! You can hear the admiring comment of your guests as they share its rich beauty and experience the comfort of its center of attraction, the deep-seated, luxurious Pullman davenport-bed.

Since the pioneers plunged through the primeval forest, led on by the astounding roar of its falling waters, Niagara has been a Mecca for sightseers. Now, with good roads leading to it from everywhere, more and more tourists make it an objective. . .

Fortunate people who buy whatever they life always choose the Hartmann Wardrobe Trunk, beautiful in design -- convenient in appointments -- sturdy in construction. 

The Fifth Avenue Building wasn't yet the Toy Center that it would become and the Boy Scouts' National Headquarters was here for a few more years. It was only 15 years old in 1924.

It's the Mifflin Alkohol ad that caught my eye. 
Nothing like a straight alcohol bath for the invalid in your life!

Take a Kodak with you, $6.50 up ($87.56)

Against a cheerful setting of soft brown wall and warm green and brown floor tiles, the white purity of the Marmor lavatory and Tarnia bath stands out vividly in this inviting room.

Her friend saw her hesitate a moment before entering his office. 
This was the dictation that she dreaded every day. 

A poise, a certain nonchalant assurance, marks the man who is at home in high places. Oshkosh Luggage, too, has an air, an assurance, that attests its accustomed position in exclusive circles.

In planning your new home you should, by all means, select a heating system of established reputation. if you place your faith in Capitol Boilers and United States Radiators there can be no question as to ultimate satisfaction.

[In November, the first woman will be elected governor (of Wyoming), Coolidge will defeat Davis for the presidency, and the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will be held.]