Archive for July, 2004

A convenience food too far

July 22, 2004

Yesterday in the supermarket I was stunned as to the depths society’s culinary laziness has plummeted. There, lurking in the microwave meal section was a packet of frozen cheese on toast!

Cripes people!

Metamorphosis Complete

July 16, 2004

After work last night we drove over to the Our Way Cafe, got ourselves some take away for tea (shepherdless pie, steamed carrots and veggi creamed corn for me) before heading home to watch cable.

Then followed an evening of sofa slouching, munching and general laziness. Ed did not come out to play at all.

It was so good to actually get a clear picture for once. No ghosting, crackling or ants nests. Fantastic.

Amongst the gems we watched was the Outdoor Games on ESPN2. For our viewing pleasure we were provided boom running (a race back and forth across floating logs), dog agility, the shotgun competition and my favourite, the lumberJill’s Timber Endurance.

These were scary women competing against each other in a timed race to:

A) chainsaw through a huge log
First they take the chainsaw down through a 16″ diameter hunk of timber, and then they bring it back up the other way.

B) underhand chop their way through another log
They have to stand on top of a 11″ log mounted in a stand and use an axe to chop between their legs until they are halfway through, before turning around and completing the chop on the other side.

C) single buck
An event where the women had to saw through 16″ of pine using a six-foot saw.

Clearly a New Sport for Lynsey

Me? I’m going to sit and watch some more telly.

July 15, 2004

Hoorah! We have cable!

There are Brits on my TV! Andy is being very handy and Lawrence is poncing about while Ms Smillie yabbers away over the sewing machine. Must turn over.

Bill is excited because there is a Tennis Channel and he wants to get some other sports channels too. I can see ownership of the remote control is going to be at the forefront of future arguments. Bring it on. *hides the handset*

Bill ended up having to come home for lunch as while I was waiting for the cable guy to arrive Genghis made another break for freedom and this time disappeared without a trace. One minute he was thrusting underneath the fence at the bottom of the yard and the next he was nowhere to be seen. Pegged it he did.

I toured the neighbourhood and could find no sign of him. Felt very silly wandering around the streets waving the remains of Monkey and shouting “Ginger Nuts!” I had to give up as I had no idea even which direction he’d raced off in. Was very worried.

He must have been gone over an hour and a half and Bill was on his way home in the truck ready to scour East Atlanta when thankfully I spotted him sunning himself in the neighbour’s yard. I’ve no idea where he’d been but his lead was sopping wet and gritty.

Metamorphosis: the American couch potato

July 15, 2004

I’m spending the day at home with the dogs today. Something entertaining is afoot and I’m sat waiting for a man to come around and sort us out.

Bill and I decided to cancel our YMCA gym membership and use the cash to subscribe to cable TV instead. It was just turning into a monthly waste of money anyway as with late nights at work and the Y’s meagre weekend opening hours we rarely managed to make it down there anymore. Also, Bill and I have been spending lots of time at Coan playing table tennis instead, and that’s free. I will miss the steam room, jacuzzi and swimming pool though, wish they had an option where you could drop in and pay as you go instead of most months just throwing money away on membership that isn’t used.

So, by the end of the day we should no longer be forced to endure, crackling, fuzzy, infuriatingly bad reception and a small selection of crap American TV and repeats. Instead we’ll have a vast range of crap American shows to pick over. Joy!

I think BBC America comes as part of the standard package too, but as THEY CANCELLED EASTENDERS! (grrrrr), aren’t really at all like the real BBC and just seem to show endless block repeats of Changing Rooms and Ground Force I can’t see myself straying there too often. Not impressed.

Hmm, saying that, I seem to be currently missing an episode of Changing Rooms filmed in Plymouth…curses! Still, NO BENDERS!!! *wails*

In other news I had a visit to the oral surgeon yesterday for a consultation. I got very nervous and my tummy was all over the place as I’m not looking forward to having my wisdom teeth out. Apparently I only have three and they will all be extracted (probably kicking and screaming) from my jaw a week from today. I had horrid horrid gummy toothy bloody dreams about it last night, can I please run away?

One reason why Bill should remember to carry his mobile phone

July 13, 2004

Yesterday evening Bill left work a little early so he could get to his first table tennis lesson on time. He’s decided to shell out and take some advice and wisdom from a master ping pong player, George Cooper. George is great and has always drilled us mercilessly (sorry, coached) the two of us every time we’ve gone to Coan so it only seems fair that Bill not take total advantage of his kindness and generosity.

Anyway, saying he expected the lesson to be about an hour and a half long he hurriedly charged out of the house just before six, rushing as he hates to be late.

I settled down with the dogs to watch some abysmal telly (damn we need cable) and continue with my next illustration (damn I love ED).

Four and a half hours later I was getting frantic wondering where on earth Bill was as he still hadn’t come home. Of course, he hadn’t taken the mobile with him and I had no contact number for the centre.

We’d been planning on going to the bar this evening for karaoke so even if he’d stayed longer than he said he would I’d been expecting him back at least in time to go out.

I didn’t even know if he’d made it to the rec and was really beginning to worry, imagining all sorts of things that might have happened. It didn’t help that a few weeks back there was a shooting in the corner shop by the centre that made the news.

I did some googling and finally came up with a number to call, but when I did manage to phone it didn’t help as I only got an answer machine and thus assumed that the centre was closed and worried even more.

By now it was getting quite late and almost past the respectable limit for calling people, but I remembered I had one last contact number to try. I had Moji’s number so I gave her a ring and suddenly my voice went all wobbly as I explained my concern.

Thankfully she was very understanding and able to help. She gave me a different number for Coan as the one I’d been phoning was wrong and this time when I called George picked up. YAY! Bill was still there. I’ve never been so happy to hear his voice on the end of the phone!

Hubby was okay! *Three cheers for hubby!*

George had simply kept him running around the entire evening and he had had no idea what time it was. I was just so relieved he was there and everything was alright.

Bill got lots of hugs when he got home, even though he was stinky and sweaty and drippy. UGH.

Piesafe comes to Braeburn Circle

July 11, 2004

Well Lakewood was fun, though there was no sign of Tia and we failed to reach her on her mobile. We actually went with a mission in mind though so we carried on without her and explored the antiques and bric-a-brac together. Saw some very strange items up for sale and came up trumps when we found just what we were looking for.

Since the kitchen cupboards fell down on top of me we’ve had nowhere to put any of our crockery or kitchen pots and pans. The dining room has been in turmoil as everything has been strewn over the table and on top of chairs. Practically every surface is covered in crap at the moment.

So, we went to Lakewood with the intention of finding ourselves a cabinet in which to stow all this stuff, preferably before one of the dogs accidentally flings glasses across the house with his tail and breaks everything (as just happened with Quincy, though thankfully no breakages).

We had practically given up looking and were zigzagging through the final warehouse of vendors when Bill spotted exactly what we’d been searching for. An old piesafe, unpainted, in a wood that will go with the rest of our furniture and with mesh cupboard doors. Sweet.

Bill tried to haggle with the seller, but he wouldn’t budge. After some deliberation and financial fretting we decided to hell with it and bought it anyway. It’s cool.

It’s in need of a little cleaning up and restoration, but that’s okay, Bill is on the front porch hard at work on it as I type. In fact, I need to go and give him a hand.

But first, a photo of our new acquisition in its unloved state:

Spiderman 2

July 11, 2004

Bill’s in the shower and we’re off to Lakewood Flea Market in a bit to hopefully meet Tia and maybe get ourselves a a bargain. I’m rather tired as I forgot we had arranged to go and was up ’til 3 last night playing Towers with Bill.

After our excursion yesterday afternoon both Bill and I crashed out hard when we got back to the house. We roused ourselves in the early evening and decided to go to the cinema, with a detour to Mama Fu’s Noodle house en route.

Made it to the cinema for a late night viewing of Spiderman 2 and with super jaw droppingly expensive bag of Skittles (popcorn here sucks) and bottle of water, settled back to watch the film.

I think we both thought it was better than the first one and really enjoyed it. Spiderman is fab and I loved Dr Octopus, he reminded me of Frankie Howerd.

Okay, need to find my shoes and get going now.

Sweetwater Creek Park

July 10, 2004

This afternoon Bill took the dogs and I out for a jaunt. We picked up a couple of pasties from the Aussie Bakery and went out past Six Flags in search of a trail at Sweetwater Creek State Park.

Wearing long trousers, thick socks and a hefty layer of mosquito repellant I took charge of Genghis and having no idea of the trail layouts we chose a random beaten track leading away from the car park.

We followed this through the woods (trees, poison ivy, pine needles, Bill spotted a red toad, really cool looking toadstools, lots of interesting smells for the boys to go gooey over) until it became unclear which way the trail was supposed to continue. At which point we called dibs on one of the two dodgy looking possible paths into the undergrowth and promptly lost where we were going.

Never mind.

We ended up in what at first appeared to be a track, but it became clear it had been created by a now dry torrent of water cutting through the red Georgia clay. Regardless we continued and eventually reemerged at the side of a reservoir. We teetered at the edge of a large concrete spillway carrying a steady flow of what seemed to be a flat ribbon of water away from the mass and into a healthy overflow waterfall. The walls were steep and slanted but the only route was onward so onward we pushed.

Bill led the way as I was somewhat dubious but as he and Quince were soon gallivanting around in the channel Genghis and I followed suite.

As soon as I stepped onto the concrete I could feel the temperature increase as it had been baking all morning things were somewhat toasty there, an effect several charcoal grey lizards were taking full advantage of before they caught sight of us and scuttled beneath wayward logs.

After a quick exploration of our surroundings we decided to cross the water and try to climb up the other side. The shallow ribbon of water then proved to be not quite so shallow, but actually somewhat deeper. A spot of paddling ensued.

With soggy squelching shoes and sodden socks we then attempted to climb out of the overspill and although we soon realised that the walls were also deceptive and somewhat steeper and higher than they first appeared, lovers names scratched into the surface was enough evidence to prove it could be done and spurred us on.

With some effort I managed to haul myself and Genghis up the bank and felt quite victorious looking done at Bill and Quince. This was short lived. Bill followed my achievement by scaling the wall with ease and made my attempt look pathetic. Bah.

Dogs then got tied to trees and veggie pasties were happily devoured before we picked up another trail and carried on.

We were hoping to be able to walk the circumference of the reservoir but this got dashed as the trail hit a dead end of a property line barrier and we had no choice but to turn around and go back the way we had come. (yay, more paddling!)

I think the dogs had a good time. I liked getting out of Atlanta and taking them walkies.

Oh, and I drove home. On the interstate. All the way. (The insurance company finally came up with a quote and I am now insured to drive the truck).

Genghis on the loose

July 9, 2004

Startled by a knock at the door I looked out the window expecting to have to deal with some unwanted solicitation or the Jesus Squad. Instead I saw a very familiar looking red dog being chased around the property over the road. Their grand daughter was at the door with the message that Socks (their bizarre name for Genghis) had escaped.

He’d been so very good these last few weeks we’d been letting him out into the backyard on his own and even gone so far as to open the doggy door for our boys.

That privilege will now have to be relinquished.

Luckily this time the little girl had spotted Genghis heading up the road and had managed to attract his attention and call him over to where her Nan could grab hold of him and prevent him adventuring any further.


Toothypeg trouble

July 9, 2004

Bill has run off to play ping pong this evening but I’m not feeling 100% so I’ve stayed at home this time.

This past week has been horrid on the health front as I spent practically the entire weekend in bed feeling very poorly and then developed an intense pain in my jaw. Self-diagnosis decided that a trip to the dentist was in order as an emerging wisdom teeth was prime suspect.

After a few days of putting up with the pain and being rather flakey we got a recommendation for a dentist and I made an appointment for yesterday afternoon.

The experience was somewhat nerve-wracking as it was my first visit to a dentist State-side and I think I was a little anxious. As it turned out the dentist was very nice and put me at ease, couldn’t fault him at all. Was very much like going to see a friend’s Dad, he was very fatherly. All the staff were immensely pleasant too.

The practice was strange, not at all how I imagined an American dentists to be like. Not really sure what I expected but a small office in a tower block complex where you had to request a key and leave the dentist’s and walk down the corridor and around the corner if you needed to use the ladies wasn’t it.

Once seated in the consultation room the nurse introduced herself and to my horror started a DVD playing on the overhead TV screen before leaving the room. Hence followed what seemed like an eternity of waiting trapped in a tiny cubicle with close ups of teeth beaming down at me squirming in the dentist’s chair. Before and after photos of grinning gnashers enticed me to allow the dentist to attempt to perfect a stunning example of the NHS’s best work and turn it into an all-American perfect Barbie mouthful. Not what I wanted to see.

Thankfully the nurse returned and requested x-rays to be taken so that absorbed my attention during what must have been at least the third looped screening. However, once the dentist emerged the TV was turned back on to Oprah and I had far worse to contend with.

It was a special on failed operations and hospital malpractice. The volume was on low but headlines outing surgeons for operating on the wrong patients flashed up above me while the dentist poked around in my gaping mouth. A case of a Doctor performing brain surgery on the healthy side of a patient’s organ, and another where a patient underwent open heart surgery intended for his ward mate were featured horrors to accompany my dentist’s explanation that I need to have my impacted wisdom teeth extracted and he would refer me to an Oral Surgeon. Aaargh. *whimper*

I have the pleasure of being the not so proud owner of an evil wisdom tooth surrounded by painful infected gums. Hoorah. The dentist prescribed some antibiotics, cleaned everything out, gave me some Novocaine to ease the pain temporarily and instructed me to make an appointment with the surgeon once the infection had cleared. Crap! I had enough of dental surgery last year!

Actually, there was a second option banded about, but that involved cutting the gum away around the tooth and hoping it would continue to emerge properly. That idea sounded just as scary though and it seemed that there was no guarantee that the problem would be resolved and I could quite possibly need to have them out after a while anyway. I was persuaded that the best idea was probably to just go ahead with the extraction now and thus remove the possibility of any future problems.

Bill has been consoling me ever since.

I do hope the tooth fairy hasn’t entered retirement by now. Looks like I have some custom for her.

Which reminds me, Mum and Dad did some major clearing up when their house finally emptied of lodgers. They even did a rehaul of the attic and amongst the many childhood articles left scattered and strewn up there a small beige cigar tin was found. Inside it, I imagine, my parents found layers of now slightly crispy pink toilet roll once carefully folded into squares lying snugly in the flat square case. Upon curious investigation this tissue revealed a collection of tiny infant teeth, milk teeth that as a child I hoarded as precious items and stored away to be forgotten about until now.

I suppose in a couple of weeks I’ll be adding to my collection then.