Anne Notations

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Craigslist: Killer comedy

No, not the Craigslist Killer. Yikes. (And one of his attempted crimes happened right here in my town last week!)

I'm talking about the sometimes silly, often ignorant, and occasionally hilarious posts made by regular people selling their used bikes, venting about politics, trying to find a new roommate, etc. etc. on the free classifieds site.

Like this one I just read in the "Free" section of Providence Craigslist.

Free couch and loveseat set (Tan Microfiber)
Date: 2009-04-29, 12:56AM EDT

Free tan microfiber couch and loveseat set to any kind of home you are willing to provide. I don't care if you have 10 cats, 12 dogs and or baby triplets, you can take this set.

We got this set almost 6 years ago just before we got married. We thought it would last 10 years, what we did not realize is that we would spawn within our first year of marriage and that our darling beautiful children would be about as destructive as the children of the corn.

About every 2 months I have used Resolve Fabric Cleaner to try to keep these couches in good, presentable condition. But since we found out we had to move and we were not willing to allow this set passage to our new abode, I have not bothered to clean the couches. I may have made a meager attempt when I thought, "Perhaps I can get $25 for the set to put towards the new set..." but then I stood there looking at the set with a bucket in one hand, Resolve in the other and children shrieking in the background, and said, "What is the worth of my sanity?" The answer was $26 so I just parked my booty on the couch and watched Reba instead.

My husband spent at least one year of our 5+ year (and counting) marriage sleeping on the couch. Not because he had to but because he wanted to... Hot day? sleeping on the couch with the AC on... Cold day? Sleeping on the couch with a blanket on... Late night? sleeping on the couch with hand in pants... You know, typical man couch sleeping. So the couch has a huge dent/sinkhole in it... he did rack up some serious hours on that couch. IN FACT as I type here in the office, he is denting your couch even more! He must be stopped.

You may have to do a bit of work, washing the fabric and so forth but these couches have plenty of life in them, and if all else fails, SLIP COVERS. As I stated, I have two kids. These couches have seen their fair share. Oatmeal spill? You bet... Apple Juice dump?? For Sure!... Experimentation with a sharpie? Yippers! What they have not seen is smoke or pets... we have a smoke free, pet free home... and that is what really matters, am I right?

This set is perfect for a dorm room, especially if your child was a destructive little bugger. If you have a kid in college who cracked 18 eggs onto your kitchen floor after you just mopped, THIS SET IS FOR HIM. If you have a child who dumped 10 pounds of flour onto your floor because they were "cuking" then this is the ideal set for her! Just grab this set and say, "Here... this is what my furniture looked like for most of your childhood... enjoy!"

Don't get me wrong, this set is great for any kind of environment. My first thoughts were a first time home buyer, or a renter.... a college student... a family or person just starting out... or a crack den.

I will post pictures later on, since my half naked husband is parked there now... I am not running a brothel people, I will post them when he is off and/or dressed.

We are moving on May 1st and these couches will be on our street any time after 5PM. If you want to make sure you get them... you can email me and come and get them yourself. But be advised I will only schedule appointments when my husband is home, cleaning his gun... you are welcome to pick them up yourself on the first or gather them from the street.

This sassy Craigslist poster could be the Susan Boyle of undiscovered advertising copywriters. Just clean her (prose) up and turn her loose on Madison Avenue. (Watch out for the "hubby" with the gun!)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I just wanna celebrate

Good news! Strike up the band! Except... I feel a bit numb rather than ecstatic. Perhaps I've been stressed-out and apprehensive about our finances for so long – it will be two years next month since Michael was laid off – that I will have to learn all over again how to be effortlessly happy.

We got the word yesterday. Michael has a job! It's a good job, in his field, at a high level (vice president). It means we can begin paying down some of the debt we've accrued these past two years just keeping ourselves afloat.

For Facebook, at least, I mustered a yee-haaah expression:

Of course there's a catch. With Rhode Island enjoying just about the worst recession in the recession-plagued country, and one of the highest unemployment rates at the moment, there had to be a qualifier. Which is: The job is two hours away in central Connecticut, southwest of Hartford. Michael will have to live there during the week and commute home on Fridays for the weekends.

We will have been married 34 years this July – I know; it's hard for me to believe, too! During that time we've each traveled a bit on business, and once I spent a week in Indianapolis at a Star Wars convention with some amazing Internet friends, but basically we've been together almost all of the time. I'll be getting a taste of single parenthood now. On the bright side, our youngest child, the only one still at home year-round, is almost 17. Kevin and I get along well despite the nearly 41 years between us.

This will be a new kind of challenge. I've become spoiled with a "house-husband" at home fulltime: the laundry is always done, the kitchen cleaned up, the dishwasher emptied, the errands taken care of. Kevin will have to step up more than he's accustomed to, especially when it snows next winter. That's probably a good thing. I'll miss my husband four nights a week, but I have a feeling we'll get through this next chapter pretty well … and maybe even learn a thing or two.

Two years of worry, fatigue, anxiety, fear. Now: resolution.

Relax. Ahhh!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hey, little bud

As I drove to work earlier this week, I saw alongside a busy city street several young little trees, new chartreuse leaves just beginning to poke from the tips of their whip-thin branches. In the morning sunshine the saplings waved skyward like eager toddlers reaching up for their mothers' hands.

So sweet, the baby trees! They evoke a maternal smile. How perfectly nature has programmed the young of almost every species to be adorable, appealing; and the elders to delight in the sight of them.

At a baby shower in 1992 when I was pregnant with Kevin, some of us were cooing about the utter cuteness of infants. My friend Judith, a sweet-faced woman whose long career has been spent in the field of primate research, remarked tartly, "That's so we won't eat them." We all laughed.

I laughed, and instantly I knew she was right. Babies are helpless, cute; their round faces and big vulnerable heads soften our expressions, stir our hearts, and prompt us to reach out with open arms to gather the soft bundles to our chests.

Judith's clinical observation was a bracing reminder of what we are: heirs to millennia of behavioral and physical evolution. The survival of a sentient species depends on the charity of its mature organisms toward newborns. We are programmed to go "Awww!", to be gentle and protective with the young, and not just toward the young of Homo sapiens: The archetypal bobbleheads and tottering clumsiness of baby birds and animals have the same effect on us. This explains the appeal of Web sites such as Cute Overload – my own nightly indulgence to ease the day's cares before I get ready for bed.

No wonder I am touched by the sight of those saplings tossing their fluffy heads along the busy streets of Providence. Charmed by the tiny snake we found sunning near our house. Enchanted by the prattling of three-year-old Caroline when she visits every Friday.

Youth isn't wasted on the young. It's lavished on the rest of us who, witnessing new life in its myriad forms, dissolve in love and joy.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Visitors! We have visitors!

First day that feels like, smells like, looks like spring. Good Friday is good indeed this year.

Stopping by for a visit:

A sweet little snake.

A scruffy (molting?) downy woodpecker.

An almost-transformed goldfinch parading in his spring coat.

Jasmin (left), Melinda's friend from Syracuse. It's the annual Easter egg dyeing party.

My children are all here, along with our daughter's lovely pal. The sun is shining. Hope springs. Why did I ever doubt it?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Dopey. Grumpy. Sleepy.

At home on the weekends, I sleep. Sometimes I stay in bed until late morning. Other times I sleep away the afternoons, as I did today in my leather recliner by the front window, snoring like a lawnmower.

My need for sleep at times is tangible, thick, overpowering. I walk around in a fog, thinking frantically: Today I should clean the stove. Today I should photograph those shoes and put them up on eBay. Today I should clean the bird cage. But the chair, the sofa, the bed pull me like spaceships with tractor beams.

I don't feel overcome with sleepiness on most work days. Early starts, activity, and adrenaline seem to sustain me. But: the weekends!

Why am I so sleepy, especially on Saturdays? Is there mold in our house? (Possibly.) Am I just getting old? (Definitely.) Is my thryoid out of whack again? (Fine as of the last blood test.) Depressed? (Maybe.) Is my weight causing all this inertia and fatigue? (I'm sure it's contributing.)

I hate wasting time. I am sick of cold days, gray days, windy days; sick of huddling under polar fleece blankets in my living room; sick of avoiding outdoors. It's April. I want warmth, spring. I want my gardens growing. I want a spring in my step, a gleam in my eye, a song in my heart.

I want my energy back. Two days ago I had my annual checkup. Dr. C said I need to lose 35 pounds by August. Not to look better, although that would be nice, but rather to save my joints, my heart, my blood sugar ... my life. Please say a prayer, or send some supportive vibes. God, please help me. I am sluggish, discouraged, and unmotivated. I don't know how I am going to get the willpower to do this again.

Excuse me. I'm yawning. Is it bedtime yet?