Operation: Fix This House!

Operation: Fix This House!
Our adventures in fixing up a fixer-upper

Confessions of an Antibride

Confessions of an Antibride
Snarky Commentary on Wedding Planning

Pink Dog Cooks

Pink Dog Cooks
Sort of.


And other Crafting Goodness

Special Delivery

Saturday, July 30, 2011

When we ordered my wedding dress, the confirmation page informed us we had the option of "rush ordering" the dress and it would arrive faster, but it would cost more.  Or we could wait the standard 28-35 days it would normally take to receive the dress at no additional shipping charge.  Since we ordered it in May, I didn't see any reason to rush order it, so we didn't.

35 days from the day we ordered it fell right in the middle of our family camping trip.  I didn't worry too much because we have awesome neighbors who keep a vigilant eye on the neighborhood and had agreed to pick up our mail.  We let them know a dress may be arriving while we were gone, and they agreed to look out for it.  

When we got home from our trip, we discovered that the dress had not yet arrived, and I began to worry a little that we'd been scammed.  I tried not to worry though.  I mean, who ever heard of some random website from China scamming people and taking their money without ever producing a product?  

Eh hem.

Anyway, a few more weeks went by and I finally went back to the website to see if there was a customer service number.  I didn't find a 1-800 number or anything, which is probably a good thing, since I don't speak Chinese.  I did, however, find an email.   It was a very generic customer service email, but I figured I'd give it a shot anyway.

Within 30 minutes I had a response from a real person!  I couldn't believe it!  They apologized for the delay, and assured me that they were paying close attention to detail on my dress, and were just running a bit behind schedule.  They asked for the date of my wedding.

Forgive me father, for I have sinned. 

I lied.

I wrote back and told them my wedding was scheduled for August 27, and I appreciated their response and attention to detail, and I looked forward to seeing my dress.

She wrote back the next day and said that would not be a problem, and as soon as it shipped they would give me a tracking number.  

I felt instantly better about the whole thing, and sure enough, within another week or so, I received a tracking number in my email.  I followed it all the way from Shanghai to my house!

I saw that it had been delivered, and I had a free hour, so I decided to run home and rescue it from the front porch.  And I really wanted to see it.

This is what I found sitting on my front porch:

Sorry about the poor photo quality, I didn't have time to break out the good camera so I just snapped this with my phone.  

But never mind that, look at this packaging!  I don't know what I was expecting, but this was not it.  It looks like those "Dorm Room in a Bag!" things.  Wedding Dress - in a bag!

Anyway, after I got over that, I opened it up and took the dress out so I could have a look.

You guys, it's beautiful.  It really, really is.  If you've read my other posts, you know I don't say that casually. 

It also came with this:

A 12 foot veil.  Just what ever antibride needs, right?  How did they know?!?!  Yeesh.

I'm going to find something obnoxious to do with this before the wedding is over.  I'm not sure what that will be just yet, but I'm open to suggestions.  

MacGyver already tried to sneak a peek after I hung it up, but I wouldn't let him.  He'll have to wait.  Just like everyone else.  

Including me.  

I'm too chicken to try it on just yet.

National Lampoon's Family Vacation Chapter III

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Growing up, Turbo and my dad would go 4 wheeling in the sand dunes every time we went camping.  That left my mom and I to walk around town and do some shopping.  This year, Turbo, MacGyver, Turbo's girlfriend, and my dad were all going to the dunes.  I have no desire to ride one of those death traps up and around constantly moving sand trails, so I never go.

But MacGyver, my dad, Turbo and his girlfriend all have adrenaline complexes and thought that would be a fantastic idea.  Before I continue, I would like to take this opportunity to mention the following important points:

1. Turbo had massive shoulder reconstruction surgery in January.  He also has the coordination of a drunk elephant.
2. The last time my dad rode a quad out in the sand dunes was somewhere circa 1995.  He was 15+ years younger then.  (I'm not saying you're old, Dad, but - well, you're just not 35 anymore.)
3. MacGyver managed to screw up his shoulder and most everything attached to it shortly before we went on this trip.  He didn't really do anything specific to it, but I things had been steadily building up and finally his shoulder got together with his back and they went to their union rep to formally make a statement that they weren't going to take this kind of abuse anymore.
4. Turbo's girlfriend is miniature.  All 5 feet of her.  I think that's the absolute minimum height to ride a quad.  And even then, it's iffy.

Tuesday morning the four of them got up early and headed out for a day of quadding in the sand dunes.  Mom situated herself near the fire with a book, and I (feeling sorry for myself from falling the day before) went to town in search of a pedicure.  Stop laughing, you know you would have done the same thing.  We all have our inner princesses.

I went to town and did a little shopping, but all the pedicure places were booked up (on a Tuesday?!) so I came back to the campsite.  Mom and I played Yahtzee for awhile by the fire and hung out waiting for everyone to come back from riding.

About noon, Mom got a text from Turbo that said they were heading back to camp.  I remember thinking that sounded odd that he didn't make mention of how it went, or whether they had a good time, but I also realize he's not a 13 year old girl, and texting all of that might have been a little much to ask.

They all arrived back at camp about 45 minutes later and Mom and I got up to go greet them and to see how it went.  I saw the look on my brother's face first and I immediately knew something was wrong.  I started to really worry when the first thing out of his mouth was, "everyone is okay."

Huh?  Insert panic attack sequence in 3...2...1...

I immediately assumed MacGyver had somehow irreparably injured himself as he was already hurting before they left, and doesn't always know when to stop.  But when I saw my dad get out of the truck I realized it wasn't MacGyver who'd been hurt.

According to the story as it was told over the next few hours, they were all out cruising around and Dad made a beeline for a ridge up over the top of some big dune.  MacGyver followed him up a little ways behind.  The ridge turned out to be what I have now learned is called a "razorback".  That means that the sand is like a razor's edge and it drops off on the other side.


You can see where this is going.

So it would appear that Captain America was cruising up the side of the dune, and fell off the other side, not realizing what it was.  Turbo stayed behind and his girlfriend, who was barely big enough to ride the quad to begin with stayed below too.  MacGyver came up right behind him and darn near landed on top of him.  Dad had flipped over the front of the quad and landed with the thing on top of him.  MacGyver almost landed on top of him too, but managed to maneuver out of the way just in time.

MacGyver said Dad was not responsive when he got to him and he had a moment where he honestly thought he was dead.  He later told me he started imagining how he was going to tell me and my mom about this and couldn't breathe for a minute.

But Dad ended up being alive and wiggling - sort of.  He was wearing his helmet (did you hear that, kids?  WEAR YOUR HELMETS!!) that was apparently cracked from the impact.  My brother has some medic training so he did a pretty thorough check to make sure his organs weren't going to suddenly fall out of his nose or anything, and determined he was probably just pretty banged up, but okay.

My dad's extremely stubborn.  I would have requested Life Flight.  And possibly the Coast Guard.

I'll take another moment to explain that this is not the first time my dad has been laid out in some sort of extreme adventuring accident.  In fact, it would seem that this is becoming a bit of a vacation tradition for him.  We went to Hawaii for Turbo's graduation in 2008, and my dad hit his head on a rock or something while snorkeling.  My mom sent me a picture of my father, laying out on his back in the sand with his eyes closed, and a huge dent in his head.  I had to call her to make sure she wasn't trying to tell me he was dead.  Then, last year for their 30th wedding anniversary, they went to Maui and on one of those snorkeling adventure things where they take you out in a catamaran to special snorkeling coves.  At some point, they hit a wave and the boat bounced and launched my father ten feet into the air.  On the way back down he collided with one of the metal beams of the boat with his head.  I got another text saying my father almost died while bounce-housing his way to a snorkeling trip.

I guess they got the people that run the little shop to come out and swap quads out for him since he still had more time, and he kept riding.  Because he's a bad ass.  Or really stubborn.  Or both.

That night had started developing some pretty gnarly bruises across his chest where he hit the handlebars on the way over, and where the quad landed on him.  Moving became increasingly difficult with every hour.

I'll stop here and point out that this was day 4 of our camping trip, and already we were two people down.  Two and a half if you count MacGyver's limbs that were staging a strike outside the union office.

I also forgot to tell you that on Monday night we went to town to watch fireworks for the 4th of July, and Turbo dropped his camera in the field where we had our chairs set up.  He didn't realize it until we had gotten back to camp, but he and his girlfriend ran back out there and found the camera!  None of us could believe it!  That should have been the first sign that everything was going to go south shortly thereafter.

So yeah, day 4 and 2 people down.  And we weren't scheduled to go home until Saturday - in four more days!!

National Lampoons Family Camping Trip Part Deux

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The first 48 hours of our trip were fantastic.  We sat around the campfire, roasted marshmallows, and relaxed.  We even sacrificed a few Peeps I found after Easter.  Roasted Peeps, by the way, are sublime.  SUH-BLIME.  The sugar on the outside carmelizes and hardens a little, and the inside stays all gooey and warm.  So good.  I ate two, and then all my teeth instantly fell out of my mouth.  I see the dentist on Tuesday.

Like I said, the first 48 hours were great.  That's when everything went horribly, horribly wrong.  You know when you're watching those movies, and a sequence of unfortunate events happens, and you're like, "there's no way that would really happen in real life!"

Yeah.  It does.

Monday afternoon we decided to make our first voyage to the big lake that is situated near our campsite.  As a kid, my dad and I would load up the raft with all our stuff for the afternoon and row across the lake to our special spot away from most of the other visitors.  This time I decided to walk.  The route around the lake is one that I've never actually walked.  Or if I have, I don't remember.  It's mostly sand, a little water, and some marshy areas.  I was barefoot for most of it since it was hot and the water felt so good on my feet.  But when we got to the marshy spots, I thought putting my flip flops back on would be a better idea.  The ground was super muddy and I have claustrophobic feet. I can't handle them being covered in slime, so I thought the shoes would provide more traction and protection from the grody mud.  Or something.  

That act proved to be my fatal error.  The next step after putting my shoes back on I did a Bambi on Ice maneuver and ended up face planting in the mud.  Well, more like knee planting.  I landed on one of my knees really hard, but ended up sitting in a huge pile of muddy slime.  In my clothes.

I was able to get back up and go a few more steps, before landing with my feet in the air again.  It was awful.  I was hurt, embarrassed, and covered in slime.  And my whole family watched it happen form the bank a few hundred yards away.

Thankfully they were merciful and didn't laugh at me, and I made it over to sit in the sand and nurse my poor knee.  And my pride.

MacGyver, in true MacGyver fashion, built a water gun that sprays continuous water.  It's nothing short of amazing, and a definite force to be reckoned with in a water fight.  Some time after I'd patched myself up enough to be social again, I found myself on the cusp of a wet sand and water fight with my little brother, Turbo.

He was in the lake threatening to throw wet sand at me on the bank, so I threatened to shoot the water gun at him. Or maybe I started it.  I can't remember, and it's not important.  What's important is that the battle began, and we both ended up covered in wet sand, and soaking wet.  I emerged victorious.

How did I win, you ask?  It doesn't matter.  I'm writing the story, therefore I get to be the victor.  The end.

After indulging in the mud bath on the way over, and now being covered in wet sand, the only logical thing to do was wade into the lake in my clothes and try to rinse some of this crap off my body.  This would have been just fine, if I hadn't been so thoughtful as to slip my cell phone into my pocket right before heading to the lake.  My logic?  So I would know what time it was.  Because when you're camping, that's sooo important.


Little known fact: Droids don't swim.  In case you were wondering.  Penguins don't fly, and Droids don't swim.  I'd been in the water for a few seconds when I realized my mistake, and fished it out of my pocket and into the air.  Like that was going to save it.  Everyone rushed into action.  It was like a scene out of ER.

It's coding!  Quick!  Take it apart!  Get it into some rice!  STAT!

We laid it out in the sun for awhile, letting the wind blow sand into all it's already water-logged orifices, and then when we got back to camp, my awesome dad and brother ran to the store for some life-saving rice for my poor phone.

We were unable to resuscitate it.

And then somewhere between that happening and the next evening, I lost the stupid thing.  I suppose this is why we pay insurance on our phones, right?

The best part about this story?  This is only part 2.  Just wait.  It gets better!!

To be continued...

Your Attention Please

1.  Welcome to the new Pink Dog Blog!  For those of you who have followed my many blogs for awhile, you'll recognize the posts.  Keeping three blogs was simply too much work.  I'm all about efficiency, and combining them makes keeping them updated sooo much easier.  At the top of the blog you'll see the four main areas of posts.  I did this so that people who don't give a rat's petunia about home remodeling, can skip around and look at other posts.  You can also use the links under the "Labels" category on the right hand side to navigate through specific posts.

2.  Some of these posts date back a long time.  I'm currently going through a revising some of the nicknames I've given people so that everything is consistent, but it's taking forever.  So please bear with me while I get that all straightened out.  Here's a quick list reference of the who's-who on the blog from here on out:

MacGyver: Master remodeler, kite flyer, jack-of-all-trades extraordinaire.  And, as of October, he will be my husband (good grief...husband.)  The name MacGyver was chosen by popular demand from everyone that knows him.  If you already know this  man, no further explanation is needed.  If you don't, the name pretty much sums him up.  Minus the mullet.  For which we are all very grateful.

Turbo: My brother.  He earned this nickname in high school because he's actually powered by a jet engine.  Passing through the Department of Emissions Quality is part of his yearly physical.  He has a very important job. He could tell you about it, but then he'd have to kill you.

The Home Improvement Store formerly known as Lowes:  LOWES!!  You can read about it here, and here.  And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Me:  I have a few alter egos on here, including Pink Dog, Antibride, and some others.  Integrating them just seemed like a little too much work.  So they stay.

Everyone else who makes fleeting appearances here will get their own names at that time.  These are just the ones that seem to be frequent fliers.

3.  I'm still working all the kinks out of this new format, so you may experience some technical difficulties for a bit.  Thank you for your patience.

I'm glad we had this talk.  

National Lampoon's Family Camping Trip Part 1

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Every year when I was a kid my family would go camping for a few weeks.  These camping trips are some of my favorite memories of growing up.  I remember going swimming at the lake every year, waiting to get out of my warm sleeping bag until I knew my dad and brother had the fire started and the coffee/hot chocolate made, driving through the Redwood forest and seeing those magnificent trees for the first time, that time I got the flu and had a horrible fever the whole trip and my dad threatened to throw me in the lake and I was so scared he'd actually do it, or that other time when my brother fell on a tree stump and wound up with some serious carnage on his back...

Ah, yes.  Fond memories.

Last year my dad mentioned that camping sounded like fun and I immediately jumped on the bandwagon and invited myself and MacGyver along.  Then I invited my brother.  Pretty soon we had a camping reunion in the works!  Dad booked the campground we always stayed at when we were kids.  We have a special campsite too, and Dad reserved it a year in advance.  I took time off work and my brother flew in with his girlfriend.  They live on the east coast so we don't get to see him often.  He's a real kick in the pants and I was soo looking forward to hanging out all week.

MacGyver and I packed our Exploder to the gills, and then shoved wine bottles in every nook and cranny.  Every time I pulled another bin out while we were unpacking it was like Christmas!  This was the first family camping trip in which alcohol was involved.  Wooo!

The first day or so of camping was fairly low key.  We'd all just come off of crazy, strenuous work schedules and I think we all needed a little down time.  But on Sunday, my brother, his girlfriend, MacGyver and I went to the sand dunes to fly his new kite.

Two things that are vital to this story that you need to know before I begin:

1. My skin would make an albino shield his eyes.  It's a glaring, brilliant white.  Actually, I bet on a clear day they can see me from the space station.  This means that I also sunburn easily.  Like, just me walking from my car to her office puts my dermatologist in fits.

2. MacGyver and I just found an amazing deal on a new telephoto lens for our digital camera, so we bought it.

Okay back to the story.  On this particular Sunday, the sun was shining high in the sky, as it is wont to do in July.  Our campsite was fairly shaded, so I was wearing jeans and a black hoodie.  I was also wearing sneakers because I wasn't thinking about walking in sand when we left the campsite.

There is a lake in the middle of the sand dunes, and a nice little swimming hole.  That day there were a fair amount of people playing in the water, and also sand-boarding down the dunes.  I had never heard of this sport before this weekend, but it looked like fun.  If you're into the whole running up and down huge, steep hills of sand kind of thing.  MacGyver and my brother went to go get the kite started.  I was advised that if I continued to stand where I was standing, I might find my head, or other various limbs, in need of intensive care.  Or a morgue.  So I moved down the hill a bit, closer to a lot of the families playing in the sand.

I realized shortly after arriving that I had not applied sunscreen before we left.  Please don't tell my dermatologist.  This meant I couldn't take my hoodie off and wear the much more appropriate tank top I had on underneath. I tried to keep my hood up to protect my head, but it was too hot, so I just adjusted the camera bag strap so that it pushed the hood up around the back of my neck a little more.

So there I was.  Standing out in the middle of these huge sand dunes, by myself, next to a swimming hole with lots of children, in dark sunglasses, black hoodie, jeans and sneakers on a hot, sunny day, with a telephoto lens on my camera, taking pictures of someone flying a kite several hundred feet away.

I'm sure it didn't look creepy at all.

I am rather surprised that people didn't try to relocate their children away from the Unabomber taking pictures of nothing.

I did get some pretty awesome pictures that day though.

MacGyver showing off his mad ninja kite flying skillz.

 I love how the guy in the background looks like he's running for his life.

I stalked this bald eagle for awhile too.  I've never seen a bald eagle that close before.  Really impressive - even for a bird.


2009 ·Pink Dog Blog by TNB