This is my blog, and it is dangerous. Do you think I want to die like this?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I play Sims (part14)

Guess who came home from France and got a promotion?  Nope, not your mom.
Rachel used part of her bonus to do some outdoor redecorating, including lighting. 
Suri has taken up painting.
Stanley has taken up gardening - and he's pretty serious about it.  Like, wake-up-before-the-crack-in-a blind-panic-make-a-mad-dash-outside-in-your-skivvies-because-you've-got-tending-to-do serious.
It's gotten to the point that he's trying to get out of school work to have more time for weeding - and not even the fun kind.

Meanwhile, the flatscreen tv is on the fritz and in need of repair.  Rachel makes a late-night call.

Guess who Rachel ran into downtown?  Wrong, old camel breath.  It's never your mom.
Other than that, not much has changed.

Don't call us, we won't call you curse words.

I Play Sims (part15)

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Plane travel is as complicated as filing income taxes (except with groping)

Although I'm sure it's only a matter of time before a government agent comes to handle parts of your body when they deliver your w2.  But that's not what I'm here to complain about.

I want to talk about my frozen meals again.  ConAgra, as they promised, sent me a free coupon for one of their delicious (except for the vegetables) frozen dinners.  I got myself the Country Fried Chicken & Gravy, since the vegetable is corn and one of the only edible options - it can be mixed with the mashed potatoes and its taste can be further obscured by the gravy. 

I was grossly mistaken about the corn being edible, though.  I'm not sure exactly what had transpired at the factory, but it appeared as though most of the corn had been pre-chewed.  I was loathe to even taste it, and opened up a can of my own corn, which you can see poured over the mashed potatoes, for the sake of comparison.  Yes, I took pictures - because if you don't, it never happened.

But first, let's take a look at what they claim you're getting:

Corn on the cob, huh? Somebody's asleep at the cobber, I think.

Here's what you get:

Better luck next time, me.
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Friday, December 17, 2010

I play Sims (part13)

Rachel got her vacation - in the form of a business trip to France - but first she has to spend a little time with her new boss, smooching some tush.

Meet What's-his-face:
Not to mention, he's got good taste for miles.
They have a bit of a chat, share a little gossip.
They are definitely on the same page.
The very next day, Rachel is off to Paris for a little B&B - business and Beaujolais, of course.

She's having a bit of trouble meeting up with her contact.  Turn around, Rachel - he's right behind you.

They have a short, but fruitful meeting - right in the middle of the street.
With her business squared away, Rachel is free to explore France.  What will she do first - a little nectar tasting, perhaps?  No, she's feeling adventurous.  She accepts a mission to find an item within a tomb at the Celtic Ruins.  She spots an excavation site almost as soon as she reaches the Forgotten Burial Mound, so the first thing she does is start digging around and flinging dust crotchward.
Then - just as she'd always planned - she plunges her hand into the first hole she finds.

So, what did you find, Rachel?
In the end, Rachel perseveres, and manages to come away with something other than a handful of bugs.

Next, Rachel heads down the steps at the base of the burial mound to do some exploring.

Rachel pauses at the foot of the stairs to formulate her game plan.

Rachel eventually gets back to the matter at hand: searching for the item she was sent for and trying to find some treasure for herself along the way.

This room looks like it might require a bit of old-fashioned elbow grease, Rachel.

Nevermind.  You better just get to digging.
Hey, check it out - I think those nutsy lasers shooting out of that hole over there mean that whatever you were sent here looking for is contained within.
So what's the verdict?

Alright, let's move on before you get yourself too perturbed.  What's up with those statues?  They look prohibitively heavy, so I'm sure you can pull them.
Good work.  It looks like moving that statue revealed some sort of a Chinese Theater jobber over there.  You should go step on it, see what it does.
Looky there, it opened up a staircase into a mysterious room.  Do descend.
Ooh!  It's a hedge maze!  Fancy.

I Play Sims (part14)

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Well, at least the view is nice from my grave ...

We've all been in situations that suck with a silver lining.  Or lived through times that were almost unbearable, except for a few small shiny spots.  One of those, "I live alone in a tiny, roach-infested apartment in a part of town so horrible I'm afraid to leave after dark, but I have plenty of glue and rhinestones so at least I was able bedazzle the hell out of the roaches so my horror is kind of fabulous" type situations.

Now, I wouldn't dare to assert that I have it worse that someone else, or that people should feel really, really sorry for me.  But I don't exactly have it easy.  I'm 100% isolated from friends and my family, and never leave the apartment for fun.  It's been over two years since I've gone out to do anything socially (there are several reasons for why this has come to pass, each one more boring than the last).  When I explain this to people, it doesn't seem to hold any real meaning for them, but trust me when I tell you, it makes you go nucking futs.

So, I'm kind of stuck in our apartment slowly losing my mind - and since we're on a night shift schedule, we're at the mercy of the rest of the world when it comes to our sleep.  As an added bonus, while we're on the 1st floor, the 3rd floor apartment appears to be doomed to be occupied only by human representations of drunk or retarded penises.  But, at least I could (operative word) always count on the apartment manager to uphold the very strict written rules about noise disturbances, even if he wasn't there every time something happened. 
Allow me to give you some background about this situation which you care not a whit about (seriously, if you're still reading, you're either my mother or my other mother).

When we first moved in, our upstairs (2nd floor) neighbors would play very loud, bass-heavy music during the day.  It rattled our apartment and my nerves, because not only did it wake me up early almost every day, but I was also in constant fear of it waking one of the kids up during their naps.  When I contacted the apartment manager about it, he came to witness the noise level in our apartment and said something akin to, "This will not continue."

Well, one day the music started after the office was closed, and while the kids were napping.  I'd reached the end of my desperation/stress rope, so I went upstairs, knocked and introduced myself and begged them to turn their music down.  They were extremely nice about the whole thing, and from then on, I never heard their music again. 

From that point, up until now, the only noise issues I've had have been with that accursed 3rd floor apartment.  I've also never - up until now - had any issues with the apartment manager or office staff.  In fact, I've always felt they were better than average.

Here's where I finally get to the fucking point.  Recently, the 2nd floor started playing their music again.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's in reaction to their new obnoxious upstairs neighbors (since the original people have since been evicted).  All I know is that it was waking us up early (it's important to note that the music appears to originate from their master bedroom) and threatening my children's naps again.  Since we think they're nice people, and didn't want to "report" them to the apartment manager, my husband wrote them a note asking them to please turn down the bass in their music.  But, the music continued. 

So, as my apartment rattled, I called the manager to explain the situation.  Since the music was currently playing, he came by.  As he stood in my livingroom, listening to my upstairs neighbors music, he said something to me that just did not compute, when compared with everything I'd been told before, including what I'd read in the Community Policies and Procedures handout.

"This is pretty normal for an apartment.  I'll go up there and see if they have a speaker sitting on the floor, but there's really nothing we can do about it, if they're not playing it at an unreasonable hour."

Mind you, I wasn't asking for these people to be kicked out, or even chastised.  I was standing there agreeing with him that they were very nice people, but explaining that even with white noise machines and ear plugs, their "pretty normal for an apartment" music was still able to wake me and my family up.  All I was asking of him was that he agree that the music - which was just as loud as it was the first time he came and agreed it was too loud - was still unacceptably loud.

He was changing the rules.  He was saying that now the music had to be played after 10pm for it to be too loud, even if it was knocking china out of cabinets.  Well, let me quote directly from the handout I was given when I moved in: "Radios, steroes, TVs and musical intruments must be played so that they cannot be heard outside or inside the adjoining apartments."  That says nothing about time of day, just that the noise you make in your apartment should not be heard outside of it.

What's driving me so bitchshit batcakes about this is that the one thing I felt I could count on was the management being responsive, consistent and fair.  I wasn't asking for something unreasonable - I was even making it clear that we'd tried to deal with it ourselves, didn't want to make a big deal about it, and that if it hadn't been a matter of my family's sleep, I wouldn't be saying anything at all.  And he was telling me he could change the rules whenever he felt like it.

I used to feel protected by good apartment management - now I feel like anything can happen here.

My roaches have lost their rhinestones.
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

I play Sims (part12)

There's a lot going on in the Rosenzweig household, so strap yourself the hell in. 
Rachel, quit messing around in the mirror and pay attention.

Anyway, Rachel got herself a raise and she's jump-in-your-underpants excited about it.

Rachel finally received her work promotion, too.  Her first order of business when she emerged from the building was to throw an epic pity party for one. 
Remember Suri?

It's time for Suri's birthday, so Rachel rushes home with her mind on the accolade and the trophy on her mind.
There was a short, shocking celebration:
Now it's time for a little sparkle and twist.
Whatever, I just hope this time she gets some hair.

Maybe she'll grow into the nose eventually.  We'll work on the hair later.

Oh well, time for cake!
After the party, life returns to normal.  Suri turns out to be a budding neatnik.
Stanley still picks the strangest places to do his homework.

Vegetables are still good for you.
But brains are the most delicious.
Hey, Gollum - guess whose birthday it is now?
It's your birthday, Stanley!
C'mon, Suri - let's make some noise!

With that, Stanley chooses his best wish, then appears to magic the candles out using tricks taken from Mindfreak douchecraft.

I Play Sims (part13)

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