Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weekend Weirdness

Friday Night, 2 a.m.:

I had just crawled into bed when I heard a car pull into the driveway and saw two MP's (military police officers) get out and head toward our back door. Three seconds later I heard the back door open, and someone enter our house. As I went flying down the hallway toward the kitchen, the swinging kitchen door opened and nearly hit me in the head.

It was the Blonde One, who had celebrated his last day of high school at the beach with his friends, and was supposed to be spending the night at a friend's house.

"Mom, I'm not in trouble. Except maybe with you."

The short version: They were still at the beach. Some of the kids were drinking. Everyone was given a breathalyzer. The Blonde One and his current Nottagirlfriend were the only ones to blow a 0.00000. Alcohol was confiscated. Anyone under 18 y/o was escorted home because there was a midnight curfew for 17 y/o kids.

I'm still trying to figure out exactly what to punish him for.

His friends were drinking. He drove two of them home, just to make sure they made it safely.

The M.P.s said he was very polite and cooperative, and had obviously not been drinking.

He was out past curfew, but I didn't realize there was a curfew for 17 y/o kids.

He asked the MP if he could keep the little white tube he had to blow into for the breathalyzer, and he thought it was really cool that they let him keep it.

Other than being a goofy teenager who wasn't where he told me he would be, I really don't have a lot to punish him for.....except maybe making me run outside and talk to MPs at 2 a.m.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Poetry Slam

Sometimes the ideas they come up with scare me.

Take the Wildcard this time.

They are doing a poetry unit in English class, and their assignment is to choose a poem (any poem), analyze it, critique it, and explain where you think the writer is coming from. It's due next week, and he hasn't really started yet.

Oh, and it's an oral presentation.

No biggie, he's pretty good about getting things completed and turned in on time.

Tomorrow his school is having a carnival, of sorts. The teachers are all volunteering for dunking booths, face painting, and other activities. The kids get to have the upper hand for the day, dunking the math teacher or watching the music teacher dance the hula. It's a fun day, and the money raised goes back into school programs.

The Wildcard's English teacher came up with her own idea, something only an English teacher would attempt. For $1 she will write a poem about any subject of the student's choosing, no matter how obscure.

You read that right, and probably made the connection.

The Wildcard is going to pay his teacher $1 to write a poem on a topic she knows nothing about, then critique it for his oral presentation in her class.

I'm looking forward to the teacher's feedback on that one....

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Power of Sir

After the packers hauled all our crap away, the base provided us with loaner furniture and a washer/dryer. We discovered this weekend that the dryer wasn't heating (and it takes approximately six hours to dry clothes without heat, FYI).

So, apparently the Hubster (aka "Sir") and I (aka "Justawife") each decided to handle the situation.

I called housing. I expected them to take a week or more to fix it, and was surprised when they told me they would send someone to 'take a look at it' between 1-3 on Wednesday. 'Taking a look at it' may or may not mean the same as fixing it, but it was a start, right?

The Hubster (aka Sir) contacted a 'Sir' at Housing. They said they would take care of it as soon as possible, most likely today.

Less than an hour later they arrived with apologies and a brand new dryer, tags still attached.

I need a title. Obviously "Justawife" isn't cutting it any more.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Attracting the Crazies Yet Again

The Hubster hates being home on packout and moving days, and I don't blame him. There's always a bit of weirdness going on with our movers.

Take this week for example.

Packing out is a three-day process, usually two days of packing followed by one day of loading everything onto the truck(s). The moving company we had this time did a pack and load each day, which was awesome - our house was cleared gradually and we didn't have to live among cardboard and clutter while we waited for it to all be loaded.

Day one was uneventful.

Day two took a turn toward the bizarre early in the day.

The Big Guy of the three-man crew asked to use my phone. Not a problem.

I happened to be in the Blonde One's room at the time, which was just around the corner from the kitchen where he was using the phone. I heard him dial several numbers, but there was no conversation.

A few minutes later, my phone rang and when I answered it, it was a woman asking if I had just called her.

I told her I didn't, but someone else in the house may have called. I handed the phone over to the Big Guy who acted confused by the whole thing. He had a brief conversation, then hung up.

A few minutes later the phone rang again. It was the same lady asking who I was, then asking to speak with the Big Guy.

This happened two more times within an hour.

Finally the Big Guy came clean. The voice on the other end of the phone was his ex-wife and she was demanding more support. He called her from my phone, then hung up just to "mess with her".

She kept calling back to find out who I was, and why her ex was at my house.

The next time she called, I handed the phone to him and stood there until he told her the truth. My kids don't even pull crap like that.

Day three didn't turn weird until the afternoon.

I think the Big Guy felt bad for his behavior the previous day because he showed up with a large bag of "grinds of da kine!" (grinds=food; da kine really has no translation)

He explained that his girlfriend (NOT me!) works at Zippy's (the Hawaiian version of Denny's) and always brings home leftovers at the end of the day. The previous night she had brought home a bag of ham/cheese croissants, hotdog croissants, and some chicken wraps.

He declined my offer of refrigeration and plopped the entire bag on the kitchen counter, where they sat all morning. Keep in mind that this is May in Hawaii, we currently have no tradewinds, and we only have air conditioning in our bedrooms.

The Big Guy and his Two Accomplices went about their business, wrapping, packing, and loading throughout the morning, taking occasional breaks for 'da grinds'.

Early afternoon came, and the Big Guy was complaining of stomach pain. He asked if I wanted the other half of his chicken wrap, because it didn't seem to be agreeing with him. (Ummmmmm................no?) Almost an hour passed, and he was doubled over in pain. He asked if I would call an ambulance for him, then changed his mind and headed to the Diva's bathroom where he spent the next thirty minutes.

Meanwhile, the Two Accomplices continued working, sort of. Accomplice #1 slowed the pace, then had to go lie down in the truck for a long time. He came back just in time to take his turn in the Diva's bathroom while the Bug Guy took his place in the truck.

Accomplice #2 did the best he could, but by that time most of the wrapping and packing was finished. Loading the truck was a two or three person job.

Eventually they gave up and said they would return in the morning for an unprecedented (for me) fourth day of packout.

It's been a freakin' long week.

In spite of everything, I am optimistic that they did a good job, but I won't really know until I see my stuff again in July.

I'm hoping I don't open a kitchen box and find some grinds of da kine in there......
So It Begins

Everything we own (except 1,000 pounds and six suitcases not to exceed 50 pounds each) is on its way to the Mainland. The remaining 1,000 pounds will leave in early June, and we will be on a plane soon after.

Moving sucks.

More on that after I get some much needed sleep and a Margarita or two.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Maybe She'll Get Her Own 900-Number

I'm not sure what disturbs me the most about this story - that the Blonde One can do this with a straight face, or that the guidance counselor actually believed it.

The Diva is majoring in kinesiology, with a pre-physical therapy focus. Kinesiology is the science of human movement, basically how the body functions and moves.

So, the Blonde One was talking with his school guidance counselor this week, and she asked about the Diva and what she was studying in college.

The Blonde One inherited the sarcasm gene, which runs rampant in our family. I'm positive it is a dominant gene, because I'm constantly surrounded by smartasses, and they all seem to be related to me.

He told the counselor that his sister was a kinesiology major.

The counselor gave him a blank look, then asked what "kinesiology" was.

The Blonde One jumped at this opening.

Blonde One: She's studying to be a psychic.

Counselor: Oh. (long pause) I didn't know you could major in that.

Blonde One: It pays really well if you have a degree.

Counselor: She's a very smart girl, I just never pictured her as a psychic though. I'm sure she'll do well.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Craigslist Crazies

We have a love/hate relationship with Craigslist.

We've had some very good luck selling things on Craigslist, but have also run into more than our fair share of freaks.

Like the lady who wanted to buy the Diva's vehicle.

The Diva has been trying to decide if she should keep her vehicle or pay $1,000+ to have it shipped to the Mainland when we move. She finally decided to list it on Craigslist just to see if she got any offers. If it sold, fine. If not, we'll ship. No big deal.

She listed it about a month ago for the Blue Book value, $7,200. Almost immediately we received a call from Crazy Lady, who seemed quite normal at this early stage of the game. Crazy Lady had been looking for that make/model, and was very interested in the Diva's vehicle. We talked for several minutes, and she told me how much she loved that make/model, she only drives that make/model, and would love to take it for a test drive before buying it. Then she said that she could not go above $6,300.

We said we would consider it, if it meant a quick sale.

Crazy Lady drove the vehicle and raved about how much she loved the make/model and wanted to buy the Diva's vehicle for $6,300. She asked if we could meet her at her bank the following morning to do the transaction.

Awesome, right?

The next morning when we met her at the bank, she said she wanted her mechanic to take a look at it first. We were okay with that, so we headed over to the auto shop and took a ride with the mechanic.

We drove around town while Crazy Lady asked about the quality of the vehicle in general, and the quirky noises of the Diva's vehicle. The mechanic said the make/model tends to run forever with few problems, then addressed each quirky noise she asked about. All in all, the mechanic said it was an excellent vehicle, and the little quirks could be fixed for under $200.

We drove back to the bank, where Crazy Lady said that based on her mechanic's recommendation, she couldn't offer us any more than $5,800 for the vehicle.


She said the repairs would cost a few hundred dollars, plus the vehicle didn't have a cassette player and she would have to install one. It has a 6-CD player, but she only listens to cassettes.

I told her we wouldn't sell for $5,800. After some negotiation, we agreed on $6,000 only if we could complete the sale the following day.

The following morning she called and said that her friend told her we were taking advantage of her status as a single, older woman, and that she shouldn't be paying any more than $5,500.

So now we've gone from $7,200 to $6,300 to $6,000 to $5,500.

I said, "No thank you" and ended it there.

She followed up with an e-mail detailing why she should only pay $5,500 for the vehicle. Most of her rationale was that she was borrowing the money from a friend and wanted to pay it off in ten months. Her payment of $550 was going to strap her for those ten months, which was somehow our fault.

Fast forward to this weekend.

The Diva took her expensive sound system out of the vehicle and re-listed it for $6,300.

The first e-mail we received was from Crazy Lady: "I sure wish you had offered it at that price when I was in the market for a vehicle a few weeks ago."

WTF?? Then she would have tried to get it for $4,600??