Friday, May 22, 2009

I am a wood slut

Ok…so if you haven’t guessed yet…I have a slight problem. You see, we are a family that loves the outdoors and we tend to camp a lot and we also take advantage of the great weather here in Southern California and sit out by our fire pit several nights a week.

The problem is that I have gotten to that place where I refuse to buy that stupid freakin ‘balsa’ fire wood that the local grocery stores sell for $6.00 per bundle of 5 logs. I am also unwilling to spend $50 per load of wood from the local firewood yard.

My thing is that I drive around town and stop at lumber yards and construction sites, ask them for any of their scrap wood. It works perfectly for camping and our fire pit…and it is free. I can load up the back of the car and have a week’s worth of wood with only a little bit of cutting with my saw.

I’m sure that this does not sound so bad right now, but it has gotten bad…I could be compared to a drug addict, on a quest for my next fix. I have been known to slam on the breaks, with a car full of people, throw the car in reverse…just to check out a new construction site. Driving down the street, I crane my neck as I pass by lucrative site, to see if there is any junk wood. When I start getting low on wood, I make a point of dedicating a 2 hour window of my day to troll the streets for my pot of gold.

Given the above…Mariah and the kids have all begun calling me; “Wood Slut”, “Wood Whore”, “Scrap Addict”, “Scrap Junkie” and other derogatory names. At first I did not mind, but ….an I sick? Do I need help? Is there a 12-step support group for this?

Well…I gotta run. It is Friday and I need wood for the weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Why don’t printing companies use spell check and have someone who proofs their work?

I see it all the time but just recently I came across two instances where I just can’t believe that someone actually printed thousands of pages with fucked up things on them.

I was at a restaurant the other day (in a snooty part of town) and was looking at the menu when I noticed potato spelled P-O-T-A-T-O and P-O-T-A-T-O-E. I quickly brought it to Mariah’s attention. We exchanged weird looks and the proceeded to continue scrutinizing the menu, at which point we found the same issue with the word tomato…spelled with and without an E at the end.

Then yesterday, I was looking through some of the store circulars in the Los Angeles Times and came across this 4 page, full color ad for a store that is closing a location and has a huge sale going on….but nowhere in the ad does it say the name of the store or an address….WTF?! The funny part is that Mariah and I were very interested in going to the store to get some stuff...but we have no clue what it is ...or where it is.

By the way...why are the weekly store ads called circulars? English is stupid!

Who the fuck at the paper or the store’s marketing department…or the restaurant’s printer is there to ensure that everything reads well? Obviously nobody. I don’t know why this gets under my skin so much…but it does!!!

The English language pisses me off enough…now, on top of that I have to come across shit like this ….HOW DUMB ARE PEOPLE?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nothing Neighborly About My Hood

I will start by saying that I live in a very nice, safe and …sort of upscale neighborhood and love our proximity to the ocean (7 blocks.) This is great and good for the kids. They can walk to the beach, shopping, schools…and we have no need to worry about their safety.

The one thing that has lodged itself beneath my skin is how different this neighborhood is from the one that I grew up in. As a kid, I remember knowing everyone in the neighborhood. My parents knew everyone and got together for dinner or drinks with them regularly. We, as kids, would cruise around and go door to door hanging out with each other. It was a very comfortable feeling…one of community and friendliness.

Here on the other hand, no matter how hard we try, our neighbors SUCK!!!! Even on our block…nobody hangs outside. Nobody is invited to anyone’s BBQs or get-togethers. There is not even a “hello” while walking down the street. We may get a little head nod, but I just don’t get it.

This is a house that Mariah grew up in and her family has been here for more than 25 years…still nothing. There are a few kids on the block that are the same age as our kids…yet none of them play together. Some of the adults are our age, yet socializing is unheard of. What the fuck?!

The only neighbor that is friendly and eager to talk and be involved is the family directly next door…but they barely speak English. They are Chinese and the language barrier is more of a brick wall than a barrier. Mr. Neighbor does come over when he sees me outside, to spark up random little conversations (which is nice and I do appreciate the effort) but often I think that we both get a bit frustrated with our inability to communicate effectively.

As an example (because it just happened) he asked me and I had to try to explain about TPing. (Some girls who have a crush on our son snuck over the other night and did their best to cover our hedge and tree out front with toilet paper.) Mr. Neighbor was concerned, so I had to explain that it was all in fun and that it was something that young teens do as a sign of affection and playfulness. This conversation was one that lasted at least 30 minutes and was primarily me talking and him nodding with a blank look on his face.

Anyway…we have been seriously considering moving. We love the area we are in but this un-neighborly neighborhood that we are in is a shitty feeling that is too hard to shake. I would, quite frankly, rather live in a trailer park in tornado alley with neighbors who hung out together, looked after one another and were just plain neighborly.

Enough venting for me…for now…I have to pee!


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