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I never said I was a plumber.

11 Jan

My toilet has a weird handle: you lift it to flush, and it drops back down and points toward the floor between flushes. It’s been this way since I moved in, and it’s never struck me as particularly odd, but apparently it is.

I know this because pretty much every guest who uses my toilet somehow manages to leave the handle in the lifted position. Honestly, I’m not even sure how they do that or how much time it takes to get it to stay upright, but without fail, whenever someone disappears to the restroom, minutes after they return to the living room, I’ll hear the tell-tale sign of the toilet endlessly refilling. I’ll go drop the handle back into place, then explain the oddities of my plumbing to my visitor.

I share this because we had people over for brunch on New Year’s Day. Many of them hadn’t been to my place before, so rather than brace myself for “handle duty,” I simply took a little Post-It note on it so people would know what to do.

It worked like a charm and a dozen people used my bathroom without leaving it in the upright position. It worked so well, in fact, that I decided to just leave the note there, since on at least one occasion I returned from vacation to find the toilet running because the cat sitter didn’t know the flusher trick.

Alan, apparently, had other ideas. As I was working on my laptop the other night, he came into the living room and stood next to me with a shit-eating grin on his face. He’d cleverly moved the Post-It note to the button on his pants.


And he accusing me of the being the 12 year old in this relationship? I don’t think so.


40 x 40: Progress & Failures.

11 Nov
Wine country

Heaven on Earth: Sonoma.

It’s been almost two weeks since my birthday and already I need to update my 40×40 list – partially to mark my progress and partially to amend my list since I’ve already screwed up. (Too bad one of my items wasn’t to cultivate a practice of “self-forgiveness,” because I could totally check that box while blowing off the more difficult things on my list. Next year…)

So here are the updates – mainly to keep myself honest:

#9: Explore wine country with Alan. CHECK. You’re read about our adventures in Carmel, Monterey, and Hearst Castle – but we spent the last five days tooling through Paso Robles, Napa and Sonoma. I’ll blog about it soon, but the trip was all that I’d hoped for when I added it to this list.

#19: See the sunset over the Pacific. CHECK. Did this not once, not twice, but THREE times in the last week. Who’s a lucky girl?

© 2013

Please note the Spartan t-shirt – worn the day we beat the Wolverines.

#10: Completely avoid Diet Dew every day for one month. IN MOTION. It hasn’t been a month since my birthday yet, so it’d be impossible to achieve this one, but I’m off to a good start. I’ve gone 13 days without a Dew. And I really had to avoid temptation on our trip because one of our B&B hosts had even stocked our mini-fridge with a can of Diet Dew for me.

#26: Review the books I read on Amazon. IN MOTION. I’ve actually taken this a step further – I’m reviewing EVERYTHING. This might be one of those unhealthy manifestations of my compulsive personality, because I’ve already earned a “Top Reviewer” badge on TripAdvisor – and I just started reviewing things a week ago. If there’s a “stalker” badge, I might earn that soon.

#27: Swim 50 miles. IN MOTION. I snuck in two miles before we left for vacation. Snuck might be a bad word choice, because there’s really nothing sneaky about flailing around in the pool, gasping for breath as you count laps and pray the lifeguard won’t need to intervene.

#23: Write 50,000 words toward my next novel. UMMM. I’d planned to do this by participating in NaNoWriMo (kind of like Movember, but instead of growing a mustache, you write a book – potentially as embarrassing, but not quite as creepy – unless it’s about mustaches). As it turns out, that was a horrible thing to attempt when starting a vacation. I found that I wanted to write blogs and jot notes about our vacation, so we’re going to need to revisit this one.

#33: Do an inversion every single day. UMMM. I’m amending this one. It should say, “Develop a daily inversion practice.” Because that’s the end goal, and it is REALLY HARD to remember to do something every day, cold turkey. Especially when you’re staying in a hotel and you really don’t want to put your head remotely close to the carpet.

So that’s my progress. And before you judge: How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? That’s what I thought.

Introducing… Miss Moneypenny!

2 Jul

I got a cat.

I know what you’re thinking: Aren’t you ALLERGIC to cats? Didn’t you give BACK a kitten once? How will a cat work with your OCD tendencies?

Or maybe you’re not thinking that at all – maybe I’m projecting?

To answer your (my) questions:

  1. Yes. I am allergic to cats. But my intestines are apparently allergic to food and I haven’t stopped eating. At least I can pet a cat. And a cat will never cause me to shit my pants or need surgery. So overall, I think the cat wins this one. Did I mention I can PET it?
  2. Yes. Factually, speaking, I did once give back a kitten. But in my defense: my co-worker had found a litter in her garage and pawned them off on people for “trials” hoping we’d get attached. And the particular kitten that I got was something of an asshole. So of course I gave him back.
  3. Way ahead of you on this one. I’ve set up a lidded litter box with a swinging door, and it’s perched on a litter mat that grabs loose litter of my cat’s paws. Also? I deliberately chose a cat that matched my couches and rug so that fur would blend in. (That is: any fur that I miss during my twice-daily wipe downs.)

So now that we’ve resolved your (my) initial concerns, let me introduce…

Miss Moneypenny  © 2013 pithypants

OK, I’ll admit, her given name is “Squeaky.” And as Alan has pointed out, it’s probably ridiculous to try to rename an animal something that involves five syllables. But I think we all agree that “Squeaky” requires updating for obvious reasons. So why not go with a James Bond character?

Alan actually first suggested (to one of my co-workers, nonetheless) that we were naming her Pussy Galore. I’m sure I don’t have to explain why Miss Moneypenny seems a tad more fitting, but in case you’re slow on the up-take: because I’ve always wanted a secretary.


One step closer to becoming a crazy cat lady. Wait for it.

Stream of Consciousness: Dude, Where’s My Bag?

16 Nov

Ah yes, Le Carousel. With bags on it.

I never travel with more than a carry-on. Never. Not even when I have a trip that covers three dramatically different climates and two continents. I consider myself a Master Packer and am confident that it – along with parallel parking – is a category in which I could easily medal at the Olympic level.

Waiting at the luggage carousel completely short-circuits my internal Efficiency Sensor, which is why I limit myself to a carry-on.  So imagine my consternation when I checked in on Sunday and was told that since it was a full flight, rollerboards were going to have to be checked.

Does. Not. Compute.

So, here is what went through my head while waiting to claim my bag:

Is this the right carousel? Or is that the right carousel?

Let’s see… do I recognize anyone from my flight?

Did I pay attention well enough to know who was on my flight?

Where is white-haired guy who sat in front of me and told jokes so loudly it was obvious he thought he was a comedian?

Oh – there he is! Along with the woman who fake laughs at everything!

Nice! They finally are serving a purpose other than annoying the shit out of me.

I must be at the right carousel.

Carousel? Who decided to call this a luggage CAROUSEL, anyway?

That makes it sound like it should have ponies on it carrying my bag. That would actually be cool. But messy.

I guess Lazy-Luggage-Susan didn’t inspire confidence.

Speaking of: Why Susan? What is it called a Lazy Susan?

This would've been me, if my bag hadn't appeared.

And knowing that word exists, why would anyone name their child Susan?

Way to handicap your child. Nice work, parents.

I wonder if they name Susan’s brother “Good-for-Nothing?” 

OK. So let’s get this lazy-luggage-susan moving. Why isn’t it moving?

We’ve been on the ground for over 20 minutes.

I’ve managed to deplane from the last row, pee and walk the entire length of the terminal and I still beat the first bag? What?

I should really be an efficiency consultant. I could help them get this party started.

[Luggage carousel screeches into motion and bags begin tumbling off conveyor belt.]

Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No.

Why is there a pair of boxer shorts riding around on the carousel? Gross.

Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No.

OK. Who packed THAT bag? It’s HUGE. I hope they are moving here and not just visiting.

I could be a packing consultant and help them travel lighter.

Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No.

Uh oh. I wonder if my bag made it? 

I am going to be pissed if my bag is missing. My new boots are in there! 

Did I throw away the claim ticket they gave me? Uh oh.

I hope they didn’t lose my bag. How will I get it back without the claim ticket?

Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No.

Why is there a five year old child clogging up valuable real estate right next to the carousel?

He’s going to be in my way when my bag shows up. IF my bag shows up.

Where are his parents? 

Someone needs to tell them to get their kid out of the way.

Somehow, I don’t think “parenting consultant” is something I’m qualified to do. 

Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag???

YES! That’s my bag. FINALLY.

As I wheeled it away, I could feel someone’s eyes boring into me. It was a petite blonde woman who had claimed a gigantic suitcase that she could easily have fit in. I saw her eyeing my bag and my outfit with the same look of disdain I had probably been wearing when sizing up her bag.

And if I had to guess, I bet SHE was thinking, “Wow. I could totally be a fashion consultant and help that poor girl out. She hardly packed anything.”

Turns out, everyone’s a consultant.

An Introduction to Shadow The Wonder Dog.

25 Aug

I’m dog-sitting my friend Betsy’s dog, Shadow, this week. Whoa. I know – everyone is thinking back to every post I’ve ever written that includes the letters “OCD” and wondering how I’m functioning with a dog in my residence.

Well, it’s easy, actually. Because Shadow is ALSO OCD. At least, she’s willing to indulge humans’ OCD tendencies. She’s incredibly well-trained. Don’t believe me? Check out this (poorly filmed) video of her eating breakfast:

Have you ever seen a dog that can sit in front of a bowl of food and NOT eat it until given a command? Actually, the incredible thing is that you can leave the room or make her wait an hour and she won’t cheat. I don’t know many humans with that kind of willpower. (And for the record, PETA, I don’t marinate cats OR make her wait an hour – so just simmer down with your claims of cruelty.)

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