Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Almost to the point of no return...

Cast of Characters in today's drama:
MIL - Mother in Law
FIL - Father in Law
AH - Aunty Hagrid
AB - Auntie Blobby
AGG - Awesome Great Grandma
Jimbo - Nephew


I'm about to go raging nut crazy at this family I've married into. My Poor Husband!! He's been working so damned hard to be the perfect employee, the perfect son and perfect Dad that he's killing himself! He's been working 15 hour days, and being the main source of support for MIL. As seems expected being the eldest and only son. We've been put the awful prospect of having to use our savings to pay MIL's mortgage. AGG has even offered to give MIL her inheritance early to pay off the mortgage instead.

FIL is still in hospital. MIL can't get access to money because she's not named on some accounts. Yet with the guilty obligation of paying her mortgage for her - I'm saying NO. NO we aren't going to give her one penny unless she A) Phones the mortgage company to find out if she has insurance that will allow her a payment break. B) Finds alternative ways to pay for her horses keep - I suggest AH pay this seeing as she has no obligations outside her mortgage, earns enough to help out and she actually put something other than an ear for her mom to moan into.(This earlier suggestion that MIL sell the horses was greeted with a grim "I'll have to have them destroyed as moving them to a new owner would be too cruel at their age," - fine, try and find a vet who'll put down two perfectly healthy horses, I dare you.) C) She look into ways to reduce her gas payments - I think she should plastic coat all her windows for a start - and I'm not paying for it and I'll deeply resent having Husband do it for her, but as she's short and we're tall, we'll have to do it. I don't care if it's ugly, but over £350/$600 a month is fucking ridiculous!! D) She gets the hospital consultant to sign POA forms so MIL can have access to business accounts and stop fannying around with her head in the sand. If I hear"Oh the consultant wasn't in today" one more time I'll scream. MAKE A FUCKING APPOINTMENT YOU DIZZY TWIT!

Now of course by taking a hard line, I will be known as the family outlaw bitch. Yes, I'm heartless. I won't let MIL martyr herself and let everyone else (feel a deep sense of guilt and obligation) try and get her shit together for her anymore. I fucking quit. Unless she gives a little, I'm giving nothing and I forbid Husband from doing so as well. I haven't told him yet, that'll be a cheery dinner conversation. But MIL is a fifty something woman of experience and wisdom and I refuse to take her responsibilities for her any more - she needs to get her thumb out her butt and stand on her own two feet. Because we're still going to OZ and if this happens again in the future, we're not coming back to fix it again. She needs to know what she has to do. On her own! Although I have made a deal with Jimbo that if he does a few chores around MIL's house I'll pay him an allowance. I showed him how to scrub the toilets, dust and clean the banister and railings. His eyes are full of £ signs and excitement, but we'll see if he manages to get them done on Sunday.

I'm fed up with AH and AB doing nothing because they "have lives" (and we don't?? Tcha!) and leaving Husband to do everything. They'll get a phone call saying "Husband isn't going to drive MIL on Tuesday as he has a Dr's appointment (which I made with my therapist for him because he needs someone who's not emotionally involved to offer advice) so you'll have to help your mom instead - argue amongst yourselves. end of. fuckyou.bye."

I'm feeling very bitter.

And I get all of this with the added bonus of discovering my anti-anxiety medication is causing me to lactate. It's a rare symptom, but happens. Also I've gained weight as it's a higher dose I'm on (which I need to cope with all of the above and began in January) which is also causing menstrual oddities and mimics pregnancy symptoms. I thought it was a phantom pregnancy but no, and No I'm not pregnant, took a test already. I hated to spend the money but better safe than sorry.

So there, sorry. It's why I've not been posting as much. Life's tough just now. And that's what's going on outside the house - don't even get me started on SassyFace. She's grounded, in big trouble in school and does she feel guilty for what she's done???? Nope. It's my fault apparently, because I'm an awful Mum and she hates me. I know all of what's going on is affecting her, even though she doesn't know what's going on, just that FIL is in hospital. It'll be ok though, it's the easier problem to fix, MIL, AH and AB are the real problems. Sassy is a piece of cake compared to that dastardly trio and the incompetent Fiances.

Oh it's all fun and games at la casa Lyvvie.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Absconded mind...

Seems I keep forgetting to post, and yet I keep thinking "Oh that's blog worthy, I have to talk more about that. Unfortunately, after a few hours, I've forgotten, talked it to death with friends or Husband and then figure I've already blogged it. But I haven't. I peeked in here twice and was very pissed off my post failed only to realize, oh yeah, I didn't actually get around to it. I think I can be forgiven, it happens to us all right? sure it does. If it hasn't it will.

I even forgot to do my Smart Bitches Day post which I had planned on doing, even so far as to think ahead on structure rather then blubbing it all out and kicking my self for grammar and spelling mistakes (I seriously love that the Mac has an "as you type" spellcheck so all the errors are right there for you fix. Awesome!)which seriously irritates me because I want folks to think I'm smart and stuff. Not like some divvie.

See there, I thought I had already posted this, ran about the house doing chores and getting Sassy ready for judo class and I come back to play a game and there's the post I was only two paragraphs into.

So I'm killing myself in the gym these days, just upping the weights, cardio and everything until I am molten ooze by the end of it. Today was leg day, so I did 40 minutes on the elliptical, then weights for legs which included Swiss ball exercises, weighted squats, lunges and various machines all set to 25 kilos/55.1 lbs at three sets of 15 reps. Tomorrow is aerobics, back, triceps, abs and calves. Thursday is 60 minutes of cardio and shoulders with weights for whole body but at two sets of twelve. I'm paying for a lot of sins, mostly chocolaty ones.

Sassy is grounded. She's being awful. Home and at school. She's needing some divine intervention or at least a stronger angel on her shoulder because the one she's got is so damned inept. I think it flirts with the devil side. Gives into temptation a bit too often.

So anyways, just a minor bit about the Mills and Boon book last week, it was a three novel compilation of "Latin Lovers" featuring two Italians and one Spaniard. I only read two of them and then needed a break. The first one, which I don't have to hand and can't tell you what it was but as I'm not really recommending them to read. The first one was an Italian businessman who has a torrid affair with the redheaded decorator of his godmother. He resents his attraction. She resents his attraction, but the sex makes them rethink this. They have an open affair, many cities all over the world, and then when it looks like she'll confess her love, and he'll confess his love and it all looks very, very awwww cozy: she gets pregnant. Talk about a popped balloon. He thinks it's the oldest trick in the book, they have an argument, with passionate angry sex at the end that causes her a miscarriage. He hates himself, she feels hollow and then they hook up at the end, marry and have a kid a year later. It sucked.

The second one I liked a bit better, but it bugged me because the premise was unacceptable. Rich guy will buy out failing family business, preserve the company reputation thereby preventing the patriarch of that family from having a major coronary, keep his knowledge of the big brother's homosexuality a secret if the snobby sister has sex with him. Which she does, a lot, but only contractually. So she says. There's a jealous love rival for rich Spaniard guy.

I view the world of romances with a heavy sigh just now. I should just go and read one I know, or at least have been told, is good. Where did I put that copy of Lorna Doone? no wait, she bakes cookies doesn't she...Dunnett, that's what her name was. Where is that one?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hee hee!

funny_japan_lrt_sign_disable

These are found on Japan's metro trains. They read to give up these seats for:

1. Person with injured arm
2. Person holding a child
3. Pregnant women
4. Person with injured leg


I mean it's so obvious, right? What else could it mean?!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Smartie-Bitchery about Mills and Boon

Some of you may remember back in December I got a big bag of books that were destined for the dumpster. Granted many would say that's where they belonged, as they were just a bunch of Mills and Boon romance novels, right? Not worth saving. Well, I'm not severe about it. I'll give any book a try (That's not true, I refused to read "Miss Smilla's feeling for snow" because it sounded bleh. I know it's probably good, many folks have raved, including Husband but I just don't want to read it.)

They are quick reads, and as they were December toss-outs, many have Christmas themes. They seem to have a page count around 250-300. The authors all seem to cram as much action into these stories as possible. Not all of them are sexy either - some are just plain romance with "fade out" to bedroom antics, and only at the end of the book after they've confessed their love, which is fine, I can accept that. I'm not all about the lusty passion you know. I like a bit of old fashioned romance. The problem I find with these stories is, they don't focus enough on the relationship that is building. It seems the characters are "love at first sight" and whizz-bang in love just like that. There's no romantic tension, no sexy talk, no overtures, no close proximity goosebumps and uncontrollable smirky, giggly grins. There's none of the "Oh my gawd he can't possibly like me, as much as I like him, I feel like such a doofus!" and he's thinking "I would so have her if only she could show me I had an in. I feel like such a doofus!" and they play that game of charming seduction. Or, just as good is that "I Hate Until You Die and Then I Will Hate you Even More, You Cad/Vixen," where there's going to be no possible way these two people will come together and fall in love. And yet the author makes it work. You got to love those!

I Found there were too many coincidences, too many assumptions, and too much testing of my suspension of disbelief. I read a historical called The Vicount, by Lyn Stone, which wasn't too bad, but I didn't like the fact the Hero and Heroine touched so much at first meeting, like affectionate family - even though she shows up dressed like a man having just escaped from an insane asylum where she was left after being kidnapped and lied to the Vicount to try and get him to give her a job...as a man. Once he realizes the other guy is a woman, then that knew each other when they were kids it becomes all hands on forearms, she touches his chest, they touch foreheads, and he kisses her hair. This is 1859, I seriously doubt they'd be touching that much. It bugged me. Also, thier sex was bad, it was bad sex. It was deliberately bad sex at that. The one thing that made me laugh out loud was this line, which described the Mother-in Law's eyes "They were grey like granite. They were granitelike." Anyways...

I also read Don't Open Till Christmas by Leslie Kelly which again I kind of liked. The drawback on this one was that the Heroine had bladder control issues because every time the Hero came near her she had "a flood wetness between her legs." I mean all the time. She must need depends or something to cope with all the panty soakings she endures during this novel - not to mention for their lives hereafter. There was also kind of creepy moment where she was going to give the guy a blow job, but just licked the wet spot on his boxer shorts. It was...just...yeah. Moving on.

I'm trying to spot if there's a formula to these books, and the authors are trying to fit their ideas into the formula. I have about a dozen more to read and I'd like to think they'll improve. I'm optimistic. I like the fact I've found no typos or grammar mistakes. That's good right?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Caught in the whirlwind...

I've been so busy! I'm barely able to get a few minutes to sit these days, never mind blog. So unfair. And I'm so tired at night I just crash in my bed and sleep like the dead until the alarm goes off.

I've been going to the gym Mon-Thurs because it's the only days I can go, really. I'm burning over 5000 calories a week just exercising, then who knows how many when I'm at work at night. But the scales aren't showing much for my efforts; damned plateaus. But I'm happy, strong and have my stamina back after being ill for most of December. Libido is back too, hooray! I think that has more to do with crocuses coming up, days getting longer and the cooing of randy pigeons in the trees. Can't wait for the trees to get leaves and the warm air is full of the smell of plant sex. I'm sure you hayfever sufferers feel differently, but I don't have that problem anymore (give up dairy and you won't either) so I can enjoy me some deep breaths. (Thanks Rich for the Kudos, it means a lot and not even a little bit was condescending)

There's a guy at work who keeps asking me about weight lifting. I was nice in the beginning but lately I've been telling him to google and educate himself. Now he asks me to arm wrestle him every week and it's getting annoying. Plus he keeps rubbing his nipples at me and that kind of grosses me out - which is why he does it. He's alright, just a young guy who thinks he's funny and I'm not on the same level anymore with what a 20 year old, ADD sufferer finds funny (even though I did completely want to make Daniel Radcliffe my bagelboy when I saw his nudish pictures in the newspaper! Not that he's 20, yet, or has ADD, but. Uhm. Ahem. Sorry but it's the bellybutton hair that got me. But you can tell it was cold in there.) He's just being laddish, and all I can think is, I want to tell his mother what he's being like away from her care. I'm living in a somewhat confused state of Motherhood vs Womanhood. This must be a thirthsomething issue when lusting after young guys used to be normal, but now makes you a cradle robber. Where the pivot point was I don't know, but I know I'm past it. I guess I have to stick with the over 25's from now on. Anyways, about annoying Lad, I may have to drop a case of something heavy on him.

Somewhere in there I have to put I've been trying to write. Nothing much but wee stories. Adult kind of fairy tales I guess. Because magic should happen to grown-ups too, not just kids. I hate that most kid's stories say adults can't see magic. Such piffle. I know it's so kids can feel extra special but it sets up an "us and them" kind of thing and, well, I don't like that.

So I'm off to get in my gym kit and head off for aerobics. I don't wanna but I'm gonna and that's that. Once I'm there it'll be fine. Just be silly and all will be good.

***15:54 update

It is such a gorgeous day today! The sun is bright and warm, it's about 48 degrees and I didn't even need to wear my coat when walking to the sport center. The birds are so noisy, even they are pleased about the better weather. I don't know how long it will take for Beth's storm to reach here, but I'll enjoy the warmth while it's here.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I can't belive she did this again!

That damned Tooth Fairy forgot to show up AGAIN! I mean really, how awful it is for Sassy to wake up and expect a bright, shiny pound coin under her pillow and all she finds is her tissue wrapped tooth still there. I mean this is the third time this has happened! You'd think the Tooth Fairy would have a bit more pride in her work, I mean it is the only thing she does, no one else has as much experience as her. Yet here I am again making excuses for her "I bet her wings got too cold with the snow last night and that's why she didn't come - she'll be here tonight." And then I give her a pound coin instead so she can buy a sweet at the shops later on. Yes...I give her money to buy sweets for losing a tooth - geez, it's not like she lost the tooth due to poor hygiene or anything. She was a brave girl when she asked me to pull it out for her because it was so sore she couldn't eat; dangling there by a thread but she just couldn't pull it herself. So yes, she got to buy some chocolate. You would've liked your Mom to do that for you when you were a kid, right? Sure you would; which is why you wish I was your Mom, don't you.

Now, I was scanning about looking for something on the internet when I came across this story about a man, Mr. Purcell, who was so upset he'd accrued £3400 worth of banking charges over the past few years that his bank refused to refund, that he took his bank to court. Now foolishly, the bank didn't take this seriously and didn't appear before the judge on the court date, then the court said Mr. Purcell wins. The bank ignored this ruling so Mr. Purcell went and got a warrant and bailiffs to go into the bank's branch and take the bank's property to the same value of £3400. Bailiffs came in and took computers, fax machines and even one of the cashier's tills.

The thing that gets me is, this guy is being hailed as some kind of hero, like Robin Hood, steal from the rich and give to himself, but nowhere do we read if the bank charges were valid. You won't hear the bank tell its version of the story either because even though Mr. Purcell has been a downright jerk of a customer to them, he's still protected by the Data Protection Act. Unless Mr. Purcell gives the bank authorization to disclose activities on his accounts, the bank cannot tell or they could incur a fine far heftier than £3400. I'm also sure the branch had to comply with Mr. Purcell's demands because he was holding hostage computers which contained thousands of other customer account details. Some hero.

Having worked for the same bank, let me tell you, most people who incur that high amount of charges probably deserved them due to mismanagement of their accounts. The bank is not a personal secretary, they aren't going to call you up and say "Oh dear, you've gone overdrawn today - can you put a couple hundred pounds back in your account or we'll have to fine you." because they have hundreds of thousands of customers and there's no way to monitor them all. Not to mention trying to employ a full staff just to play mother hen to a bunch of people who can't be bothered to watch their own money.

When you open an account you are well informed about charges, they're written on the application form. If folks choose not to read it, that's their folly. You shouldn't sign anything without reading it. The bank will also refund any charges that are the bank's error, often with compensation on top of it, if asked. So you have to wonder what Mr. Purcell was like as a customer and businessman to reach a high level of charges that the bank was outright refusing to refund.

I worked for the head office, the managers there where mostly a bunch of cowering, spineless "whatever you say, Sir!" kind of folks who refunded charges left, right and center. Also there's a complaints process in place so that if we did say, no we aren't refunding on this occasion, the customer could take their complaint to the higher level, who then turn around and tell the branch "Bad Branch! BAD! Give that nice man back his money." and they always did. So Really, my sympathy for Mr. Purcell is in negative figures. He's an outright thief who got lucky with a sympathetic judge.

Considering Mr. Purcell has gone from owning a motorcycle business to working in the London Underground, I have a feeling he wasn't as business savvy as he was pretending to be.

Monday, February 05, 2007

To the Head Chef of The Bay Inn,

Good morning. I recently had lunch in your establishment with a friend of mine. We found the atmosphere appealing, the staff very friendly and the coffee divine. I do, however, have to offer a small concern over what your kitchen calls a "Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad".

A Caesar Salad is a very simple to prepare salad, as I'm sure you know. There are a few things that we disagree on:

1.) A Caesar Salad has romaine lettuce, not iceberg. You may mix the two, but there should be at least some romaine.

2.) A Caesar Salad does not have large chunks of red onion.

3.) A Caesar Salad should have its leaves evenly coated in the dressing, not drowned in olive oil with a white herb sauce poured over the top. There should not be a pool of oil on the bottom of the bowl.

4.) A Caesar Salad should not have a large scoop of coleslaw on the side, hiding the cherry tomatoes.

5.) A Caesar Salad goes very well with cherry tomatoes, however, it is best to cut them so your patrons don't have to chase them around the bowl or embarrass themselves when biting into one and having the seeds burst forth from between their lips onto their dining companion's shirt.

6.) A Caesar Salad should have a nice sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, not large plasticine shavings that must have been cut with a lathe in the back kitchen. Also, there should be more chicken than cheese.

7.) When ordering a "blackened" chicken, one assumes it will be char-grilled and therefore hot. Not simply sprinkled with Cajun spices and offered cold.

I am sure this comes as a shock, so to assist you further, I have included a couple of recipes* I was able to find on the internet. If you have not heard of this internet, you should look into it - it would go a long way to ensuring authentically prepared cuisine and also, you can find millions of recipes to try.

I hope you have found this letter informative and I look forward to seeing any improvements you've made on my next visit.

Yours sincerely,

The American Bitch who's never happy.

* Recipe1 and Recipe2

Friday, February 02, 2007

You wish I was your Mama don't cha.

I just made the kids French toast with butter and honey for dinner. (Shorty got a vegan friendly version, we got the full dairy dietary nightmare) It was gooooooood. Plate lickin' good, baby. Sucking the sauce of the knife good. May have seconds. Bet you wish you were invited. Yeah.

On a side note, I've got my period, and I feel like my breasts are going to spring a leak and lactate all over the place. I have no clue what's up with my hormones right now, but pity the menfolks, they'll never understand the chemical soup mind-fuck a woman's body puts her thorough.

We're not going swimming tomorrow so YAY I don't have to shave - anything - for a whole 'nother week!

One more thing...cotton underpants SUCK! I'm going back to my polys and suffer the yeast infections.

I may have lost all male admiration with this post. To you squeamish sorts all I can say is: Wanna wrestle?