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Monday, December 28, 2009

Sheryl Crow, Home

One thing you may notice is that my comment service has changed. Haloscan was trying to badger me out of more money in order to keep my comments. So they held them ransom and waited for me to pay them or tell them to piss off. I chose the latter. It sucks losing five years worth of comments, but what can you do? I’ve been expunging a lot of things from my life lately, it’s part of moving forward I believe.

When we last left out soaked crusader, she was in the kitchen shaking her head in disbelief feeling much like Noah, sans the Ark. (Please see post below if you are new here or haven’t been around for a while.)

I got on the phone with our insurance company to find out if our insurance would cover any of the mess. The lady on the other end of the phone was very nice and very professional as she said, “Dang, honey, I hope we cover that. I’ll check and give you a call back.”


While waiting for her to find out, I disassembled the lower cabinets trying to find where the pipe had burst. I disconnected the dishwasher and moved it to the other side of the kitchen, and relocated everything to the dining room before she called back.

“Are you okay, Mrs. Lane?”

“I’ve been better. What did you find out?”

She talked for ten solid minutes about water abatement, mold and emergency mitigation??? Before finally saying, “yes most of it will be covered.” She gave me a couple of plumbing company phone numbers to call. None of which would come as far as where I live, but each gave me another number to call, rinse and repeat until someone finally said yes.

A someone who brought his crack! I think I’m blind. Seriously, this dude’s ass was as white as the hottest part of a flame but certainly not hot at all.

Keep in mind, I had turned the water off, cleaned the mess, cleared out the entire kitchen, removed everything from the lower half, exposed and pointed out where the break was, and it still took that dumb bastard way too long to repair the pipe. So long that it cost me my entire two-week paycheck from the job I hate just to pay him. (Here’s where you can insert a ton of cussery.)

There it is, that little tiny break in the copper pipe that caused all this mess.

That put a kibosh on Christmas at the Lane Estate. The kids were more okay about it than I was. The old man thinks now is a good time to join the Jehovah Witnesses.

I finally called Mr. Lane back, after letting several of his calls go to the answering machine. It really wasn’t his fault that any of that happened, but knowing he was a plumber for ten years and could have repaired it not just quicker but at no expense to us, pissed me off beyond words as I signed over what would have been my kids’ Christmas.

The insurance lady kept calling back to see how things were going. After the plumber left she said she was sending an emergency mitigation team out. I didn’t even know what that meant but said okay.

While waiting for the team to arrive, I thought I ought to call the county assessor while I was still pissed off. I offered a friendly, “I know none of this is your fault, but” before I chewed her ass up and spit it out. She explained that the house hadn’t been assessed in a very long time and that was why our taxes had more than doubled. She said we could dispute it by having someone come in and reassess. While the kitchen is virtually uninhabitable, maybe a reassessment would be a good idea.

The only thing she offered me was a blueprint of the house to see that their facts (square footage etc. were accurate). “Sure, send it to my email address.”

I checked my email and here’s where my brain flew out of my freakin’ skull!!! You guys, this fucking house is a 148 years old!!! We were told it was 80-100 max! How do you wrap your head around that tidbit? I had no choice but to grow a deeper respect for this ol’ gal, although she was acting her age. I thought about getting her on the National Register of Historic Places, which is kind of like signing grandma up for social security, and then I realized the paperwork would be a nightmare. Maybe I’ll just send her picture into Willard Scott.

In two years, providing we are still here, I’m going to throw a big ol’ bash for her 150th birthday. You’re all invited but you must wear clothing from 1861.

The mitigation team leader called several times in between the insurance lady and my old man. It was very Grand Central Stationesque.

At 8 p.m. they arrived looking like Ghostbusters. They had every gadget known (and not know) to man. They knew they’d have to go into the crawlspace, which has a dirt floor and is roughly 18 inches deep. You literally have to slither on your belly to get in there. You can imagine all of the animal bones one might have under a house that is pushing 150. It’s seriously the grossest place on Earth. I’ve been down there once, and vowed to never do that again.

They were a tough bunch ready to go in and face the dank crawlspace… until I told them about the spiders down there. Oh, the look on their faces was classic. “They are about as big as your hand, and they move really fast…I don‘t think they bite.” Apparently “mitigation team” means a group of guys who draw straws to find out who has to do the shitty part of the job.

The guy who must have drawn the short straw said the damage below the house is extensive and will be repaired within our claim (thank Blog!) but the work would be done once the floor in the kitchen is removed because the space was too tight as is.

One of the gadgets they had was a thermal imaging device. The team leader showed me that the windows weren’t sealed properly and there appeared to be no insulation whatsoever in the floor. The device read, 80 degrees at ceiling level and 35 degrees on the floor. That was when I told him about us getting denied for a loan before all this happened. He had a ton of anger for us. It was kind of nice. He promised to find a way to remedy that in the repairs.

They brought three industrial sized fans and a chest-height dehumidifier to dry everything out so mold and bacteria wouldn’t grow. They said I saved this ol’ gal by getting the water shut off quickly. I told them I was pretty much ninja like that, they agreed, I like them.

Because of the timing on this pipe break was less than convenient, the demo work will have to wait until after the first of the year. Until then, the coffee pot is in the bathroom and we are living on cereal and granola bars.

Then there was that damn crow, I wanted to tell you about. You already know how stupid our dogs are, but this time, they really outdid themselves. I believe their stupidity is contagious and I’ve caught a heavy dose.

They went out in the yard and got a bird. It was a big ass crow. Seriously big, nearly as big as the dumb dogs! (I later noticed, it was longer than my arm.) Even though I called them repeatedly, they wouldn’t leave it alone.

Even though I detest crows, I'm a dumb sucker who now probably has encephalitis because I went outside in my pajamas, scooped that fucker up in a towel and brought it in the house.


It had two puncture wounds that were bleeding, and a bum wing, which may have been how the dogs were able to catch it. After I warmed him and he was out of shock, I wrapped the bad wing, put ointment on the wounds, which I got to stop bleeding with a cold rag (in the trash now with my towel) gave it bird seed, bread and sugar water, set it in a plastic tote box.

That SOB pulled the dressing off his wing, jumped out of the box, flew into the window, flew into the wall, hopped around like an emo kid at a rock concert, and proceeded to shit on the pile of folded laundry… the WHOLE LOAD.

When that fucker stretched its wings out, it was as big as an eagle and it freaked my shit out. I decided to evict the crow from our home. But trying to wrestle it into a towel was much harder now that it was feeling well and I was feeling pretty intimidated by its monstrosity. Ultimately, I succeeded and took it out onto the front porch where it hopped out of the towel, flew onto the railing and up into the tree… above my car, where it showed its gratitude by unloading its ass.

I hope you all had a merry Christmas and your new year is filled with wonderful things that do not involve crows and or water explosions.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

So much has been going on around here I barely know where to begin. How about, I cram ten pounds of shit into this five-pound blog?! First and foremost, if you are my “friend” on Facebook, you may have already seen some of these pictures but you don’t know the whole story.

My cousins, planned an amazing send off to an amazing man. Uncle Eddie was under hospice care and knew he was nearing the end. Those tough topics had to be discussed, you know the ones, last rights stuff.

Uncle Eddie told his girls, “If there’s going to be a party, I want to be there… really be there.” He was asking that they have a going away party rather than a typical after funeral luncheon or whatever. And they did.

I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty freaked out initially by the idea. How can we have a party if we are so sad knowing he is going to be leaving us…for real? Call me crazy but, all that worry slipped away as soon as I saw his smile.

Are you kidding me? Look at that mug! He was in 7th Heaven really being there.

Tell me that it isn’t more enjoyable than seeing someone you love dressed in a stuffy suit laying in a box, with all of the life, twinkle in their eyes, smile, laughter… just gone.

Auntie Shorty was no doubt talking dirty to Uncle Eddie.

My cousins, Tony, Joey, Stevie and Jimmy with Uncle Eddie and Auntie Shorty.

Guilty as all of them, I hadn’t seen some of my cousins for years. Hell, I didn’t even know my cousin Jimmy never learned how to play cards! Seriously, that guy has like 70 kids!!! Our dads learned how to play cards and suddenly stopped reproducing. (Dude, you could learn a lot from our dads, I’mjustsayin’.) Here’s the just a few of the second cousins, most of whom are Cousin Jimmy’s handy work.

That day, I also learned that my dad’s parents were both adopted, and the chance of us having any Irish blood from either of them was slim to none. As you can see in the photos, we take our Irish heritage very seriously. Only…some of us aren’t really Irish at all. Unlike my un-Irish family members, I have my mom’s family to fall back on. She’s so Irish, her dad used to shit Lucky Charms.

Last week Uncle Eddie joined his brothers in The Big Poker Game in the Sky, where no doubt, everyone gets to be Irish. Every family gathering, for as long as I can remember, the party revolved around these four men, and 52 playing cards, added with a ton of laughter. (left to right; Uncle Eddie, Uncle Jimbo, Uncle Giant and my dad)

The night that picture was taken, was Christmas Eve at Auntie Shorty and Uncle Giant’s house, circa 1983ish. Uncle Eddie’s suspenders got snapped with a vengeance every time he won a hand or even looked at one of his brothers cross-eyed. My grandmother was a lucky lady to have four boys who were not just loving and wonderful people, but hysterically funny.

Still, selfishly sad over the loss of such a great man, I can’t help but be happy knowing that the son-of-a-bitch cancer, that took all four of them, is now free from their bodies, and their souls are filled with Irishy goodness.

Another child in our town is gone, just months after a 9-year-old boy drowned. Only 17 years old, he took his own life. As a mom, I find it very difficult to explain the unexplainable to my kids and their friends. He is the only one who really knows why.

I was impressed by our tiny school, as they pulled together a group of staff, teachers and social workers on a Saturday afternoon. An automated service called all of the parents offering a place (and people) for the children to gather, talk, mourn together.

There are so many things that have gone on that I am simply unable to wrap my head around. This portion of the post is no different. If you’ve been reading Home Fires for a while, you know that we bought our first home (80-100 yr. old house) three years ago. If you read the bitching post a couple of weeks ago, you know that our taxes were doubled but the bank said our house had no value.

We’d asked the bank for a loan to make improvements on this ol’ gal. Specifically, we wanted to better insulate the roof, floor and windows, relocate some of the copper pipes that freeze every year and try to save money in the long run on utility costs.

The bank said, no dice, so we kept a slow drip in the kitchen to keep the pipes from freezing as we’d done before and wrapped the windows in plastic to keep the draft at bay.

Our efforts were fruitless. As Mr. Lane was on the road headed for South Dakota, and I was making oatmeal for breakfast… the hot water pipe froze and burst. The entire floor, sub floor and cabinets are a total loss.

You would have laughed your faces off had you been a fly on the way that morning. I can almost laugh at myself already. Picture if you will, me standing at the stove in a morning haze, a loud crack sends me off of my feet and into the air. Followed by the sound of rushing water while I’m still getting my Michael Jordan on. Trust me, that hot hunk of athletic sex in his Nikes didn’t have shit on these Lane Air Slippers.

“Oh fuck! Holy…what the??? Jesus!” (Still in the air, frozen in what-the-fuckedness) “You’ve got to be shitting me! Oh fuck!”

I only came down long enough to saturate my slippers, socks and feet to (god, I’m stupid) unplug the toaster, coffee pot, dishwasher, hop over the counter like a fucking ninja, shove the fridge away from the wall with brute force to unplug that too.

It didn’t dawn on me that I could get electrocuted until I was ankle deep in water. But something told me that it was imperative that I get everything unplugged. Of course I tried shutting the water off too but the angle stops were on the wrong end of the break.

I tried calling Mr. Lane, stalker style because he didn’t answer the first seven times. Then I called the city to get them to shut the water off at the main. Before they arrived, I found two shutoff valves that finally made the water stop turning my kitchen into a swimming pool.

Mr. Lane finally called me back…he was annoyed. (Whatever, dude!) “Why are you calling me so much?”



“I was just calling to say the fucking pipe in the kitchen exploded! Water is everywhere! City truck just pulled up, I gotta go.”



And I left that poor bastard hanging like that ugly shirt in the back of your closet that for some unknown reason you can’t throw away.

I yelled out the door to the city guy that I’d shut the water off from the inside. He yelled back, “Good because this damn thing is frozen and I can’t shut it off out here.”

I just shook my head and went back into… the pool area. Using every towel our linen closet has to offer, I sopped up all the visible water, yes it took every towel, wash cloth and sheet set. (resulting in five new loads of laundry, don’t get me started)

You ever want to just crumple yourself up like a big ball of paper? Weird feeling, but best description my brain can find for that feeling I had.

Now it’s your turn to be left hanging. As I am leaving so I can run off to the job I hate. I’ll finish this story and the one about the crow, the one about my tirade to the assessor lady, the one about the plumber who brought his most important tool to the job…his crack, the one about the team of Ghostbusters?


I love all of you ugly shirts! By the way, if you like sex and laughter, read the post below. It's kind of my favorite. Stay tuned, more insanity coming soon to a blog near you.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Love Drunk

This post is not for the faint of heart, children, family members or anyone who wishes to continue viewing me in a virginal light. (How’s that for a disclaimer?!)

I went out to lunch with the girls last week. My friend Jodi hooked me up with a bottle of sure-fire-sex, better known as a raspberry tart ale, brewed in Wisconsin.

Me and the old man don’t drink very often so it only took one glass each before we were giddy and…naked. (There’s no turning back. I warned you!)

He climbs on top, hits the mark, and says, “Oh yeah!”

I said, “Are we calling your dick Kool-Aid Man now because it‘s busting through the vaginal walls?” Laughing pretty good at my own joke, I started coughing.

“Damn, girl! You know when you cough…it gets tighter.”

“Are you going to ask Santa to bring me emphysema for Christmas?”

Laughing so hard, he lost his balance, splatting himself flat against my body like starfish clinging to a rock. Did I mention we were in the bathtub? Anyhow, water whooshed out of the tub and onto the floor…and onto the cat who happened to be walking by trying to mind his own business. Chippy never hisses but he was pissed! Which only made us laugh harder.

Mr. Lane felt bad for the now “saturated…pussy” as he called him, and got out of the tub to dry him off. As he stepped out of the tub (man I wish there was video of this moment) he slid into a half spilt, whacking his nuts on the edge of the tub.

And I announced, “Just in time for Christmas, the Nutcracker live from the Lane Lavatory!” Hunched over, trying to hold his balls and stomach, while clutching a towel, he mustered a laugh, and said, “I guess that’s what I get for going after a wet pussy that isn’t yours.”

Tiger Woods could learn a lot from my old man.

Jodi, we never actually finished the deed that night, but we shared something even more special. Thank you!

The rest of you can look now.

Incidentally, the song in this title, Love Drunk, is another song my old man screwed up royally. One day I heard him singing, “I used to be love drunk, but now I’m just fucked up.”

Lucky for me he is as gullible as he is deaf. So I lied and said, “Babe, it says, ‘I used to be love drunk, but I’m just a dumb fuck.’”

It’s kind of my favorite when I hear him singing it now.

(RE: Post below, thanks for all of your help and encouragement, you guys rock!)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

We Can Work It Out

This is the post where angry Lois goes off on a tangent or ten.

I’m one of millions in this country to have taken on a second job to help make ends meet. Financially, we have been screwed for most of our lives, lately however, it’s gotten so bad there really wasn’t a choice. As inflation keeps growing, our paychecks have been shrinking.

As most of you know, Mr. Lane and I bought our first house three years ago. Since then, every extra penny has gone into fixing it up. Although, there’s much more work left to do in this 100 year old house, we’ve managed to get some things accomplished.

Hoping the improvements were significant enough to get a loan so we could make more improvements, we were told by the banker, “Your home has no value.”

Wow, that’s rude. Whatever.

Even though we have done most of the work ourselves, saving thousands, in this economy, it doesn’t mean much.

But the county, well, the way they see things is, we have value, lots of it, so much in fact that they have doubled our taxes. Enter second job from hell.

How the bank sees no value and the county sees double, is beyond our comprehension. Added to the Summer of Suck, the extra person living here, the production company I’m working for falling short on my pay, this year’s harvest being the shittiest in years for Mr. Lane, it’s been a struggle to say the least.

The bottom line is, we moved out into the middle of nowhere (near the place where the Lord lost his sandals) because the taxes were affordable. And now, they aren’t. So that means we are stuck in this shit hole of a town with me working a job that I detest. (I realize it isn’t really all about me, but those fuckers don’t blog, and that’s not my fault. LOL!)

Clichés of the day: It’s hard to soar with the eagles when you are surrounded by turkeys. How can we ditch the dodo birds in our lives and get our birds of a feather on? It’s hard to keep your eye on the prize when you feel like it’s just another rigged carnival game.

I’m not gonna lie, the job sucks. I tried explaining to my kids, “It would be like you going to school and your teacher saying, ‘I know you are almost finished with high school, and you are doing well, but we are sending you back to kindergarten because the world and economy isn’t really ready for you right now.’”

This is the same kind of mundane bullshit I did over 20 years ago, making less money, which blows my freakin’ mind. I am trying to make the best of it, I just don’t know how. Plus, I feel super guilty when I see people coming in every single day looking for a job there, which they would likely love to have.

It’s probably jealousy talking, but lately, I’ve been so fucking angry at all these douche rockets who are getting huge book deals (Carrie Prejean and Sarah Palin specifically) when I have two full manuscripts just waiting for one agent to say yes.

I have as much experience writing, as Miss Masturbation has on this planet. Maybe if Russia were my neighbor, I’d have a better shot, don’t cha know.

Today, rather than bitch any further, I’m going to work on perfecting a new letter to potential agents. If you have killer letter writing skills, I could use all the help you can offer. Thanks for reading my bitch session. Don’t worry too much because I’m sure there is a damn good reason even for this, the Chapter of Suck.