I give. Just not to you.

We ALWAYS use caller ID.  Always.  And I never pick up the phone when it says Unknown Name, Unknown Number.  I used to.  I was curious.  But then I learned that Mr. and Mrs. Unknown are ALWAYS asking for money.  So I stopped answering the phone.  Until this morning.  Why?  I got curious again, I guess.  And guess what?  Mrs. Unknown was asking for money.  Of course.  Maybe I needed a refresher.  This one oughta keep me for a year or so.

Totally unrelated: I LOVE Rhapsody in Blue.  If I had to choose one piece of music to have on a loop in my head for the rest of my life, I think it would be that one.  I heard it this morning and danced around the first floor to it.  Interpretive dance.  The dogs think know I’m nuts.

We hear each other – we just don’t listen

Conversation before dinner tonight:

John: “It’s going to be a reboot.”

Me: “Okay.  So it’s a reboot…”

John: “A reboot.  It’s when they retell the origin story.”

Me: “I know what a reboot is.”

John: “Then why did you ask “what’s a reboot?””

Me: “I didn’t.  I said, “It’s a reboot.””

John: “That’s what she said.”

Okay, John didn’t really say that last part.  In case you were wondering, we were talking about the new Superman movie.  The fact that  it’s a reboot is the only thing I know about it.  That, and it isn’t out yet.  And the guy who played Superman in the last movie isn’t going to be in it.  And the guy who directed Watchmen is directing it.  (I think.)  So I know four things about it.  And now you do, too.

You’re welcome.

Reboot looks and sounds ridiculous to me now.  Like I can’t spell (or say) robot.  Like the Jack In the Box commercial where the scary guy with the giant ping pong ball for a head can’t say chipotle and his mouth turns to a squiggly line.  (Chipotoplay always makes me laugh.)

I was afraid to eat there, but I liked the commercial.

One of the lions may talk a little

I met a nutty lady in the parking lot at Wegman’s today.  She locked her keys in the car and asked me if I had a hanger so she could try to unlock the door.  That wasn’t the nutty part.  It was a little, maybe.  She was parked only two spaces away, and she saw me when I came out of the store (I noticed her then, but didn’t realize she was locked out.), but she didn’t ask for help until I’d started the car and put it in reverse.  Then she knocked on my window and scared the crap out of me.  Why not ask while I was putting the groceries in the trunk or returning the cart to the corral?  Anyway, when I didn’t have a hanger, she asked if she could try my keys.

Excuse me?

That might have made a tiny bit of sense if our cars were made by the same company, but hers wasn’t a Hyundai, so…how is that supposed to work exactly?

She TOOK my keys out of my hand (I certainly don’t remember giving them to her) and tried to break my car key off in her lock.  That’s what I assumed, anyway, based on the amount of force she was using to get the thing to turn.  Her friend (there was a friend) kept telling her it wouldn’t work.  It didn’t.

I got my keys back and suggested they call their insurance company.  Then I backed away slowly (sudden movements might startle the crazy lady) and got in my car to make my getaway.

Lesson: Don’t help people?  No…  Always keep a wire hanger in the car?  Maybe.  Don’t let loony ladies take your keys!  That’s the one.

My titles are often not relevant

Or pertinent.  I like that word.  I should use it more often.  I’m failing at the go-to-bed-earlier game.  Again.  As a result, this post, like these sentences (but not this one in particular), will be short.

With all the talk of loud neighbors, this made me laugh.

Goal for tomorrow: manage my time so I can read and write and be asleep half an hour ago.  (That would be impressive.)

In walks a guy with a faraway look in his eyes

I had PLANS. And these PLANS, they involved going to bed an hour ago, because these PLANS of mine were all about not being totally exhausted when the alarm goes off tomorrow morning so I have a chance of getting out of bed within the first snooze.

I failed.  It’s now an hour later, I’m exhausted just looking at the clock, and can’t I pretty please wake up tomorrow to find that some old geezer

wonderful old person

generous anonymous donor has given us 486 million dollars because we’re so cuteNiceDeserving?  Just because?  Oh, the plans I have for all that money…

The neighbors got a cat – updated with video

A big orange one.  Who hangs out in their backyard.  Which backs up to our backyard.  Which I discovered when I ran outside this afternoon to find out what all the commotion was about.

The cat was right up against the fence, all puffed up, growling and hissing, and the dogs were barking their fool heads off.

That is one angry cat.

Eventually, he retreated and glared at us from the slide.

Angry Cat moved off to a safe distance.

The dogs quieted down after that, although Roxy kept an eye out for Angry Cat’s return.

And now, a short romp in the yard.  (My video debut!)  Points to anyone who can figure out what I said at the end.

(2 hours later.) Hm.  Well, if Vimeo ever finishes converting that video, I’ll upload it.  Maybe in the morning?

Morning: Here we go.

Short Romp from Susannah Brewer on Vimeo.

I could be funnier if I had a British accent

I know, cat videos on the internet, cliche, blah blah, but this is hilarious.  Trust me.

Thank you to John Scalzi for finding it. Speaking of John Scalzi, I recently read Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded, a collection of some of his blog posts over the course of a decade.  One of my favorites was Football With Jesus, which I just found in his archives.  For you.

Secrets to do

I drove home today behind the most cautious lane-changer in the world.  We were in the right lane of three, and about a mile before it ends, the guy put his turn signal on.  And then nothing.  Cars went by, lots of space between them, and the guy didn’t move.  I did.  And then, eventually, he merged into my lane, still in front of me.  Didn’t turn off his turn signal, though.  Still blinking, but now he’s cruising in my lane again.  The left lane is WIDE open, nobody in it, and his turn signal is still blinking.  We went through another intersection.  Still blinking.  Finally, after the left lane had been clear for at least three minutes, he moves over.  I have NO idea what was going through this guy’s head.  I have no idea why this is still bugging me, almost four hours after it happened.  At least he used his turn signal.

Why I Want to Move

Reason #24: From our bedroom, I can hear every conversation the neighbors have when they’re out on the sidewalk saying goodbye to their guests at the end of the night.  I can hear the guy across the street whistle for his dog.  He’s whistling that distinctive whistle people who can whistle whistle when they’re calling their dogs in from the yard.  You know which whistle I’m talking about.  (Whistle.)  I can hear the car door close when my early-rising neighbor goes off to work at god-awful-early-in-the-morning.

Point?  I don’t want to live this close to my neighbors.  I like the idea of neighbors, I like having them, I like knowing them, and I kinda wish I knew some of them better.  But I don’t want to hear them when I’m inside.

Can they hear me?  Can they hear the TV or the music I was playing when I picked up this afternoon?  Don’t invade my privacy, neighbors.  And get off my lawn!


What’s with today today?

  1. I’m allergic to work.  Like the physical building, not the work itself.  I got in this morning and my head exploded.  I felt fine (not achy or sick or anything), but I couldn’t stop sneezing, my eyes wouldn’t stop watering, and my head stuffed up.  I left around one to go home and take Benadryl, and as soon as I got in the car, I dried up.  Just like that.  I didn’t take anything when I got home, and I’ve been fine since then.  We’ll see what happens tomorrow.
  2. The dogs stole a tupperware lid out of the sink.  Did they chew on it?  No.  They just stole it.  They must do it for the thrill ’cause they never eat what they steal, even when it’s food.
  3. I slammed the very tip of my finger in the car door.  Hurt SO much.  I shouted some not nice words and then called my mommy.  Not to shout not nice things at her, though.  She distracted me long enough for the pain to fade.  Thanks, Mom.
  4. John is on the phone with his dad, and I think he’s forgotten that we haven’t had birthday cake yet.  (It’s his birthday.  We had pancakes for dinner.  Can’t complain.)  We’re not having birthday cake, but he doesn’t know that.  (I didn’t buy him a cake.  Or make him one.  Yes, I know how.  Out of a box.  🙂  Not the point.  I got a mini peanut butter cream pie for him.  Which we may or may not eat tonight.)

Time for pie!  Gotta go.


I could tell you a cute dog story, but I’ve been talking about them a lot lately.

I could talk about what’s going on at work, but I don’t want to dooce myself.

I could go on and on about how tired I am, but that’s boring.

I bore myself.


Other times, I crack myself up.  We all know I’m easily amused (I LOVE the sound the Roku makes when you make a selection.  DEE-doop.), so it’s not very hard.

John drew a picture of a house on the fridge whiteboard.  There was a sign in front of the house that said, “Stay away, fool!”  Name that song and win a free tote bag.

Where the grass is labeled

I want SO many books.  John and I ran a bunch of errands today, and one of them was a trip to Borders (33% off coupon – yay!) where I got the new Connie Willis book (love her).  I walked through the science fiction section and saw at least two books on every shelf that I want to read.  And own.  And keep on my bookshelves forever.

This is a problem.

I don’t have enough time to read all these books.  And I haven’t read at least 30% of the books I already own.  Maybe only 20%.  Hm.  I should figure that out.  Later.  How do I convince someone to pay me to read what I want, when I want to (which is all day and all night)?  If any of you have the answer, please share.

Wait.  Wait!  I’ve got it.  Jess, hire me to be your editor.  (You know, with all that spare cash you have lying around.)  Put me on retainer and, in between editing the chapters of your book (which is going to be fantastic), I’ll read.  No, I have no experience as an editor (other than editing college papers for John, Erik, and my roommates), and no, I don’t have any contacts in the publishing world, but wouldn’t that be fun?

(Jess, this is not a serious offer.  Well, it is, but I wouldn’t expect you to pay me until your second book, after you’re rolling in cash from the first book.  🙂  )

Can’t stay away any longer

Not that I was trying to.  I was able to slow down around mid-morning today.  I can breathe again at work, I don’t have to rush anymore – everything is under control.  Mine.  As it should be.  I’ve  hardly slept in two days, though, so this’ll be a short visit.  I need rest.

Riley flipped out tonight.  I took them to the vet for routine exams and shots, and he went nuts the second we walked in the door.  He’s usually a little nervous (he pants a little, gets extra slobbery, stays under my feet), but tonight he whined and cried, paced and drooled, tried to get into my lap and then back out the door – he was a wreck.  I tried to calm him down, but nothing I did was working.  Roxy pretended she didn’t know us.  She stretched out on the floor at the very end of her leash, facing away from us.  Riley didn’t calm down until we were checking out, and from then on, he was back to normal.  I don’t know why this visit was so traumatic for him.  We were the only ones there, but maybe he was reacting to a lingering odor of fear from some other animals.  Or something.  Who knows.  He’s crashed out on his dog bed now, like nothing ever happened.  So’s Roxy.  And they’re making me tired.

I’ll continue my re-introduction to the Internet tomorrow, hopefully, with some visits to my blog friends.

Pet photographers have more patience than I do

We bought new dog beds a few days ago, and the dogs LOVE them.  They’ve never seemed to care about dog beds before, but over the last couple of days, we’ve hardly seen them anywhere else.  They haven’t traded yet, either.  They used to not seem to care which bed they hung out on, but this time, they’ve each claimed one.  It’s cute.

They were being awfully cute most of the day, but now they’re in trouble.  We left a couple of short glasses of milk on the coffee table for a few minutes, and Riley DRANK THE MILK while we were in the other room.  The glasses were upright but mostly empty when I went back in the family room, and there were tell-tale drops splattered near the glasses.  We’re pretty sure it was Riley.  Roxy would have knocked the glasses over.  I don’t understand how we didn’t hear him drinking, though.

Car stuff

We’ve gone through a lot of car-related trauma lately.  A month or so ago we had the issue with John’s car not starting sometimes (resolved), and then John had a run-in with a parking garage while leaving work on Thursday.  There was a concrete pillar at the front left corner of the spot, and he was paying close attention to it as he backed out.  He got clear of it, turned the wheel, and CRUNCHED his front left fender into the other concrete pillar, the one at the back left corner of the spot.  There’s a big dent just in front of the wheel well on the driver’s side.  We’re taking it in for an estimate tomorrow morning.

My car is mostly fine, but during my last safety inspection, the guy pointed out that my brakes were on their way out.  This was in May.  John is good with cars, likes working on them, and has replaced brake pads and rotors on several of our cars (among many other, more impressive things, like transmissions), so we finally set the date and decided to do it this weekend.  The front ones, anyway.  That’s what he’s been doing most of the day.  It’s never as easy as we think it’s going to be, but that aside, it’s always worth NOT paying nearly $1000 to have someone else do it.  This job cost us a little over $100 and an afternoon.  And while John worked on the car, I spend a few very pleasant hours on the front steps with my laptop.  I mowed the lawn, front and back, and then I stayed nearby to hand him a tool here, apply a little pressure there, here a rag, there a wrench, everywhere a breaker bar.  The first wheel gave him a little trouble (took over two hours), but, true to form, the second one took less than one hour.  John’s cleaning up, and I’m about to test the brakes.

You may ask why, if John’s so good with car stuff, he’s not fixing the rather large dent in his car himself.  My answer: that’s what insurance is for.

I don’t get barefoot running

This morning I saw a guy running in those weird barefoot running shoes.  The guy looked super uncomfortable and sort of like a duck.  Flat-footed.  Or like he was wearing flippers.  (Flippers?  Those things scuba divers wear on their feet are flippers, right?)

You know, these things.

Googling…Vibram Five Fingers shoes.  They look ridiculous and uncomfortable, and while I understand the idea behind the whole back-to-nature thing, I’m totally okay with the engineering that brought me my running shoes.  While I was googling these, I found a bunch of websites about running barefoot for real, no shoes at all, with or without toes.  (With or without toes on the shoes, I mean.  The people running barefoot have toes.  I assume.  Maybe some of them don’t.  I shouldn’t make that assumption.)  CRAZY.  Hot pavement, rocks, broken glass, HARD pavement – not for me.  If I could arrange to do all my running on nicely mowed grassy lawns, I might consider doing it barefoot.  Anything else?  No way.