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Well, I can’t believe how quickly the summer has flown by.  It feels like just yesterday we were in the throes of winter, wishing for warmer days.  Now we’ve had weeks of 90+ temperatures and the end of summer is creeping around the corner.  The older I get, the quicker time seems to fly by.

I know I’ve been a little MIA this summer, but sometimes it’s hard to focus on writing when I’d rather be outside soaking up the sun!  You know how it is…

Speaking of soaking up the sun, T and I just returned from a week at the beach with his family.  We were in Hilton Head, and had an amazing time.  Unfortunately the vacation wasn’t as relaxing as I wanted it to be due to Murphy and his stupid laws throwing some major kinks into the trip.

We arrived on Saturday afternoon, and spent that day lounging around our private pool, having cocktails with the family.  Since it was already a bit late in the day, we opted to wait until the next day to hit the beach.

Our pool – my jellyfish free happy place

Sunday morning we were greeted by rain showers, which pushed our beach time into the early afternoon since no one wanted to sit in the sand in a torrential downpour.  Once the sun broke through the clouds, we hauled ourselves to the beach and into the water.  I was happy as a clam, until about 1.5 minutes in the sea when I was viciously attacked by a jellyfish.  I shit you not when I say attacked.  It wasn’t just a mere sting, it was a full on assault.  My poor leg welted up instantly and was shaking so badly from the pain.  I had to limp out of the water.

Once I dragged myself onto the shore, we all assessed the damage.  My leg was a hot mess.  I had tentacle marks up and down my right leg and they were so red, and stung like someone had lit my leg on fire.  Poor T ran up to the house to get a bottle of vinegar to use to neutralize the poison.  While I waited patiently for his return, his dad was helping me rub sand all over my leg to remove any of the tentacles that were still attached to my leg.

When T finally returned, we doused my leg in vinegar, but unfortunately it really didn’t do much.  His brother had done some research and found out that putting a baking soda paste on the stings would help, so we headed to the store to buy some.  While we were there, people kept telling me it was the worst sting they had ever seen (wonderful!).  I also picked up a bottle of jellyfish sting neutralizer, just in case.

After about two hours of serious pain, the swelling went down and things started to subside.  A few Bacardi and Diet Cokes with T’s mom helped me forget about the pain and enabled me to enjoy the rest of my night.

My leg after the first round of stings

The first stings a few days later

For the next few days, I was pretty leery to get back into the water.  I hovered on the shoreline like a wounded puppy and never went higher than knee-deep water.  T told me I was being ridiculous, and that there was no way in hell that I’d get stung again.  Eventually, I let my guard down a bit because I knew he was right.

That Wednesday, T’s mom and I bought some inner tubes so we could spend the day floating in the ocean.  I figured this would be a safe and viable option for me because most of my body would be out of the water, and away from the evil jellyfish.  I floated around most of the afternoon, without constantly staring in the water, searching for jelly globs.

At one point I drifted downstream from everyone else, and tried to paddle my way back.  With the pull of the current, it was taking way more effort than necessary to get back over to them, so I decided I’d hop off the float and just walk over.  As soon as my legs hit the water, I felt another God-awful stinging sensation in both of my legs.  Yup, I’d gotten jellyfished a second time.

By this point, I was over it.  No one else was getting attacked, why only me?  I stormed out of the water, cussing like a sailor (sorry families with small children) and sprayed myself with the jellyfish sting spray (glad I picked that up) .  I decided that was going to be the end to my beach day, so I went back to the house.

Luckily, the second round of stings wasn’t as bad is the first.  That time it felt more like razor burn, and it didn’t swell up.  For the next few days I had some additional faint red lines to match my very red welts.  Then I woke up on Friday morning…

Both of my legs were super red, welty, and itched like hell.  All my faint lines had swollen up and would not stop itching.  I decided that it was time to go see a doctor since the majority of my legs were covered in stings.  T and I spent our last full day of vacation hunting down a doctor’s office (luckily it was an overcast day).  I ended up getting some kind of steroid shot for the itching and swelling, as well as a tetanus shot.  The doctor also gave me oral steroids to help with the healing process (which make me eat like a heifer).  It’s been three days since I was at the doctor, and I still itch like crazy, but I think they are getting better – slowly but surely.

This is what my newer stings looked like today – they are much redder in real life

To top off the “whatever can go wrong will go wrong vacation,” my car ended up dying on Friday.  T and I found this out as we tried to take my car to the doctor’s office.  We thought it was a dead battery since I hadn’t driven it all week, but unfortunately that was not the case.  The fuel pump had to be replaced, which meant we had to have my car towed to a shop so we could leave for home the next day.  The damn thing cost a small fortune, but my car was fixed and we made it home safe and sound.

And since we haven’t spent enough money on random catastrophe’s on this trip, T ended up knocking my month-old cell phone off the counter onto the tile floor, resulting in a shattered screen.  😦 Luckily I have insurance, so I was able to get it replaced (but I still had to pay $130 for a new one…damn deductible).

My poor broken phone

Even though a million and one things went wrong during out trip, we still had an amazing time.  We stayed in the cutest house, complete with a screened-in pool.  We cooked delicious food, and spent a majority of the time sipping cocktails, gorging on yummy food, and floating in the pool and ocean.  It was so much fun to have a whole week off of work to relax and hang with T’s family because they are a cool bunch of people.

Sorry for the marathon post!  Hope you’ve all had an amazing summer so far!

So, have you ever had vacation filled with disasters?

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Today, T-Mobile really pissed me off.  My family and I have been loyal customers since 2001.  Hell, we were with T-Mobile before they even existed.  First they were Powertel, then Voicestream, then T-mobile.  I’ve always been happy with my service, because they have some of the best rates  out there.  But now TM has left me with a sour taste in my mouth.  Let me give you the back story…

For my birthday in 2008, I got the G1 Google Phone.  I was so excited about it because it was way more high-tech than any of my older phones, and it worked so well.  Fast forward to the end of 2009, and I started to notice that the battery life on my phone was not as stellar as it had been in the beginning.  I understand that battery life wears down over time, but the phone is only a little over a year old.  It should still hold a charge for more than 12 hours, especially when I’m not using it constantly.  I know using the Internet and apps drains the battery, but I very rarely sit there for hours on end using them because I’m on a computer all day at work.  The phone has also started popping up some error messages when I restart it (I turn it off almost every night to give it some down time) asking me to wait or forceclose.  I know that, that is not supposed to happen almost every time the phone loads up.

Last night I’d finally had enough, so I called T-Mobile.  I spoke with the nicest and most helpful rep who had me do a few things that would make the phone perform better.  After I explained all my issues to him, he agreed that I would need a new battery and possibly a new phone sent to me.  Here comes the crappy part…since I’ve owned the phone for more than a year, there was nothing T-Mobile could do to help me.  I was kind of annoyed, but I understood.  The nice rep referred me to the phone’s manufacturer (HTC) and told me that they would be able to help me – especially since the amount of time I use the phone didn’t seem correct for the amount of battery drainage I was experiencing.

This morning I gave HTC a call to see what they could do.  I was told that I would need to send my phone in to have a technician look over it and try to repair it.  That isn’t really much of an option since I don’t have another phone that I can use.  I guess I could try to find an old handset, but I don’t know if I even still have them (I may have donated them).  I told the rep that wasn’t really an option for me.  Eventually she put me through to a technician to see if he could assist me with my issue over the phone.  Once I got connected to the tech, I was informed that he wasn’t allowed to help me because T-Mobile has taken over the phone, and he legally is not allowed to work on it.  He was nice enough to transfer me back to TM, where I chatted with a less than helpful person.

Basically, she told me there was nothing they could do because I was out of the one year window.  She told me that I could buy a new battery for $50 from their Web site though.  After that, I got off the phone with her because I was annoyed about being shuttled back and forth and not receiving any real resolution for my problem.

Nothing irritates me more than being forced to sign a two-year contract and being sold products that can not make it for that duration of time.  If I have to be legally bound to your company for such an extended period, you better be damn sure that my phone will work up to par for that amount of time.  And if there is an issue with it, you better be willing to work with me to fix the problem.  It’s ridiculous that my phone’s battery can’t even make it 12 hours without having to be charged.  I’ve only had it a year and a few months.

I can understand not wanting to send me a new phone, but not replacing the crappy battery is pretty shady in my book.  There’s no way in hell that it’s going to survive till November, when my contract expires.  And I don’t think I should have to pay money to replace a poorly designed battery.  If it was $10, fine.  But $50 is quite a chunk of money – especially since it’s not my fault it can’t hold a charge.

T-Mobile, this really hurts my heart.  I’ve always stood by you, even when you didn’t have the coolest phones on the market.  I don’t always get the best reception, especially when I’m in NY, but I don’t complain.  I drop calls in my house at least a few times a week.  And you’ve always been so helpful in the past when my other phones have had problems ( I had a phone in college that kept messing up, and they replaced it 3 different times without any issues).  But this time around, I’m very disappointed.  You’ve left me hanging.  And if I can’t get this resolved without having to fork over my hard-earned money, you better believe that I’ll be switching to another company when my contract expires in November.  T-Mobile, your days with me as a customer may be numbered.

So, have you had any cell phone drama lately?  Do you have any tips for getting my issues solved?

Hello lovelies!  Wow, it’s been a minute since I’ve last posted.  Sorry about that.  Things have been a little hectic.  Last week there was some serious work-related drama that put me in a less than stellar mood.  Things have smoothed over, but still, last week was sucky.

I know you are all dying to know what my Snuggie looked like during the pub crawl.  Well, JD and I went Jersey Shore on those bitches, and I am very confident to say I think that we had the best looking Snuggies by far.  We were slightly hungover that day from too much late night partying with friends, but we managed to still have a good time.  The best part of the night was when strangers came up to me and tried to read Poughkeepsie out loud.  Hilarious!

Jersey Shore Snuggies

Snug Life

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I have to say, our Super Bowl Party was quite the success.  We had an amazing spread of goodies to choose from that included homemade humus, sliders, crawfish and shrimp, buffalo chicken dip, mini meatball subs, chicken tenders, taquitos, taco cups, chips, cheese and crackers.  We seriously had so much food that it barely fit on the table.  Since about 20 people showed up, we had to do some serious rearranging to fit everyone into the condo.  We ended up rearranging our living room and bringing our futon down from the guest room, which makes the living room look more open and gives us a ton more seating.  We also set up a TV on our bar that is in the dining room so people had options on where they wanted to hang out to watch the game.  It was so much fun – one of kegs ended up getting floated (it was a small one that we’d had for a bit) and beer pong was set up in the dining room.

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We had quite the snow storm for Atlanta on Friday.  I think we ended up with 3-4 inches – I know that’s not a lot for most of you, but it’s quite the ordeal here.  Since the snow was seriously coming down, we got to leave work early.  Unfortunately, since the rest of Atlanta got out early as well, it took me almost an hour and a half to get home (I only live 10 miles from the office).  Major suckage.  But everything was so pretty when it was covered with snow, and I am sad to see it melted away already.

This was about 4 hours into the snow storm

And of course nothing will stop Fado from going outside, not even the snow.  He’s such a brave little guy!

~

T and I had planned to go to Savannah for a nice romantic Valentine’s Day weekend trip, but the work drama and snow poo-pooed on our plans.  Luckily the B&B we were going to stay in was nice enough to let us cancel at the last minute without charging us a fee.  We will definitely be staying there when we finally take this trip, and I seriously think we aren’t meant to ever take it because something always pops up and causes us to postpone – ankle sprains, weddings, work issues, weather.  You name it, it’s stopped us.  Sigh…

Our Valentine’s Day was pretty unproductive.  We lazed around the house watching True Life marathons and made a nice dinner.  What did we make?  Well, be prepared to drool – crab stuffed lobster tails, bacon wrapped scallops, mushroom bruschetta, and a salad with dried cranberries, cherries, nuts and blue cheese.  It was amazing!  We meant to take some pictures of it, but we went a little fat kid and ate the whole thing without snapping any images…oh well.  This coming Saturday, we will go see the DaVinci Exhibit at the High Museum of Art and go out for a nice dinner before meeting up with friends for a birthday celebration.  Who says lovey dovey activities can only take place on February 14th? 😉

Do you ever feel like you are stuck on a dead-end road that leads to nowhere?  I think I’m sort of hitting that point.  I am starting to dread the daily grind.  I feel stuck.  I want to be able to learn and grow more, but there really aren’t that many options here.  Maybe I’m becoming a little unmotivated because I receive little reward for my efforts.  Positive reinforcement and rewards (more money) breed harder work and happiness.

Nothing ever seems good enough – it could always be better.  There could have always been more.  I know there are people who appreciate what I do and think I am doing a great job, but I feel negative vibes from some.  Even though I am doing a lot and getting positive results in return.

You think all the time off I just had would leave me feeling refreshed.  Instead, I am feeling this sense of dread and discontentment.  I don’t want to be back.  I want to be anywhere but here.

Maybe I feel this way because my time off just flew by way too fast.  Maybe I’m sad that the happy and festive times of the holidays are over.  Maybe I’m just stressed about all the things that are rushing out of the gate at the start of the year.  Maybe I’m being super emotional because I skipped my period for the last 2 months and now all those hormones are taking over my emotions.  Maybe it’s the winter blues.  Or maybe it’s just time for a change…

I don’t know about the rest of the country, but it appears that Swine Flu (and the regular flu) is running rampant in Georgia and Florida.  That freaks me the fuck out.  I am leaving for Germany in 6 days and can’t be infected with this highly contagious illness – especially since we will be spending some time with my grandparents when we first arrive.  They are older and not so healthy…

You want to know why I think flu is running rampant?  Because people continue to send their kids to school or go to work when they aren’t feeling well.  It’s so stupid, selfish and rude.  If you are sick, stay the hell home.  Don’t go out in public and spread your germs around.  Plus, you will be anything but productive if you aren’t healthy.  If you stay home and rest up, you will get better much faster.

I personally have never understood the reason why people insist on going to work or school when they don’t feel well – don’t even get me started on the bullshit prize that kids win for perfect attendance.  I know some companies don’t give sick days (which is so stupid and blows my mind) but I don’t think people should get punished for being sick by having to use a precious vacation day or not get paid at all.  When a sick person comes to work, they affect the company in so many ways.  First of all, they are not at the top of their game, so they aren’t being as productive as they would be if they were healthy.  Second, they will infect the rest of the office, which will severely decrease productivity – especially in a small office.

At McHell.com, we didn’t get sick days.  In fact, they were super stingy on our vacation time as well.  This meant that people didn’t really take off, unless they didn’t mind not getting paid.  One January, one of the customer service reps had a really bad cold, but because of the lack of sick days, he came in anyway.  Well, he ended up getting about 10 other people in the office sick – including me and JD.  We both caught his nasty head cold that gave us fevers and wiped us out for days.  We didn’t miss any work because we got sick on Friday night and had the weekend to recover.  But a couple of our sales guys ended up being out during the week because you can’t sell things over the phone when you’re hacking up a lung.

The reason I’m talking about Swine Flu in particular is because one of my boss’ daughters has it.  She’s been out all week because she’s had a horrible fever and this nasty hacking cold.  They went to the doctor on Tuesday and the doctors were fairly certain she had it – they never ran a test though.  Why?  I’m not sure, especially since the CDC is in Atlanta. Then our accountant called and said she thought her daughter had it too.

My boss came back to work today, and I hope to God that she isn’t carrying it because we had to work on something that required us to next to each other.  I. Can. Not. Get. Sick!

I know it’s been a few days since my last post, but things have gotten a little hectic at work (and my laptop at home is dead – even though I am slowly bringing it back to life).  We’re leaving in 6 work days for a 2-week trip to Germany, so I’m trying to tie up loose ends and finish everything before I head out.  Let me tell you, I. Can’t. Wait. for this trip.  Two work-free weeks will be glorious!

I guess my blog will be a little quiet once I leave since I don’t plan on spending my time in Internet cafes blogging up a storm.  Let me know if you’re interested in keeping my little blog company by guest blogging while I’m on my Euro Trip.   I’d be happy to have you!

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I love this time of year, but man is it bad for my car.  Right outside my house, where I park, there is this giant oak tree that spits death acorns off of it.  Well, when they drop off the branches, they ricochet all over the place.  They bounce off our glass screen door, making me think that someone is knocking.  They bounce off of our cars so hard they leave damage that looks similar to hail damage.  The acorns make such a loud noise when they hit the metal on the car that it woke me up a couple of times the other night – we were sleeping with our window open.  The worst part is, when I get out of the car I have to make sure I don’t step on them and faceplant into the parking lot (à la birthday weekend 2008).

~

On a parting note, here is our schedule for our trip:

9/18-22 Waldershof (small town where my grandparents live)

9/22-25 Berlin

9/25-27 Nuremberg/Erlangen

9/27-30 Munich

If anyone has been to any of these places and done something fun and unique, please share it with me.  We are still ironing out our plans for what we want to do in each city – especially Berlin since none of us have ever visited.  🙂

For the past weeks, my teeth have suddenly become über sensitive.  I’ve never been able to chomp teeth first into a Popsicle, but now when anything really cold or hot touches my upper, right side back teeth, I get this shooting pain in my mouth.  And let me tell you, it’s not very pleasant.

I have always been someone who takes super care of my teeth.  I brush twice a day, sometimes more.  I never very rarely go to bed without brushing.  And when I brush, it’s for at least 5 minutes.

I never had a cavity growing up.  I go to the dentist twice a year.  In fact, my first filling came when I was 23 or 24.  I was in for a cleaning and my dentist said my top 2 back teeth had tiny cavities, so I ended up with fillings.

When I first noticed the sensitivity, I didn’t think too much about it.  I figured I’d buy some Sensodyne and go on with my life.  But then it got worse.  Sunday night I was eating some tortellini and bit down on it.  The heat from the filling sent a jolt through the right side of my mouth I took a sip of my cold drink (clearly I was not thinking) and ended up with a second jolt.   I’m not sure which tooth it is, since it only hurts when something hot or cold touches it.

I really hope my enamel has just worn down and that’s it’s.  My coworker said something similar happened to her a few years ago and she ended up with a root canal.  😦

My appointment’s tomorrow afternoon.  I’m going for my bi-annual cleaning and to get that bad boy checked out.  Fingers crossed it’s nothing major…

Ok guys, last night was rough!  I suffered through some torture and I was sure I wouldn’t be able to sleep things were that sketchy.  You may know that I am not a fan of bugs, specifically roaches.  Well, last night I got the roach-related scare of my life.

Since I haven’t been sleeping well lately, T and I decided to head upstairs to lay in bed and watch TV around 10.  That way we would both be comfortable, and we could roll over and go right to sleep when the show was over.  We were just hanging out and relaxing, watching Dinner Impossible.

At one point, T decided to head downstairs to get a glass of water.  I’d been propped up awkwardly and sat up to readjust my pillows, when I saw the biggest and sketchiest looking roach crawling on the ceiling, maybe only a foot or so away from the bed.  I freaked the fuck out!

I started yelling to T to come and kill it before it came after me.  It was having a hard time climbing on the ceiling since it’s popcorn-y, so it fell.  Then I panicked.  I was literally backed into a corner because that asshole was blocking the door (well not really, but it seemed that way).  The thing that freaked me out the most was that when it fell, it opened it’s wings and gently fluttered to the ground.  The crawling ones are bad enough, but the flying ones are double scary.

Finally T came running up the stairs because I was screaming like a lunatic.  Guys, it was fucking HUGE and that scary.  He grabbed our little metal trashcan and put it on top of it, but to my horror, it wouldn’t die!  He smooshed the crap out of it, and every time he lifted the can, it crawled away…fairly quickly.  It wasn’t even phased that he was smashing it with a trash can.

I think after a couple of terrifying minutes, T was able to eliminate it.  As I was sitting on the bed, curled into a ball and twitching with horror, I saw something move out of the corner of my eye.  Yup, Roach #1’s buddy was climbing on the wall by our bathroom.  I started screaming again and T came running.  I pointed at Roach #2 with a shaky finger, jumped off the bed and hauled ass down the stairs.

I almost had a heart attack when I reached the landing.  Crawling around on the living room floor was flying Roach #3.  I started screaming all over again.  Luckily the furbabies were right there, and Fado was on a mission to seek and destroy.  He clawed and batted at it until T could get down there to kill it.  I sat huddled in a ball on the stairs like a coward, trying not to cry at the invasion of our house.

Eventually I headed back upstairs and sat on the bed, waiting for T to return.  He was cleaning up the remnants of #3 downstairs.  As he walked into the guest room to clean up #1, he noticed that it wasn’t in the same spot he’d left it in.  That fucker wasn’t dead after all!  This began round 2 of crushing the roach with the trash can until it finally died.

By this point, I was completely traumatized.  We are not dirty people, hell we’d just spent time cleaning the bathrooms and the kitchen.  I just don’t know where they keep coming from.  I mean, living in the south in an old house, you expect them.  Every once in a while, I will find a dead one on its back (thankfully the cats like to attack them).  But I have never, in the entire time we’ve been there, seen 3 live ones INSIDE.  Two of which were in our room…shudder.

The only thing can think of is that because it was raining really hard outside, they must have come inside to escape the water.  I’m assuming they come in through the air vents, though I’m not really sure.  But they really just appear out of nowhere sometimes.  I also know that they can squeeze through tiny cracks in between doors and windows, so maybe that’s how they get in.  Maybe it’s time for a monthly pest control service…

Hello my lovelies!  Wow, it’s been a looong while since my last post.

Last week was super stressful.  I was out Monday with a migraine.  Then the rest of the week I was working like a crazy woman to finalize a media trip that we took this past Monday-Wednesday.  On top of all of that, Little S and I were planning the surprise party for the parents, and we were still renovating like maniacs.  Unfortunately, the renovations are still not completed.  And our once super clean house is semi-trashed again as we move things out of the rooms we are renovating and store them in various places around the house.

The surprise party went off without a hitch!  Our parents were completely shocked.  We were able to stealthily set up everything while my mom was upstairs with her German friends and my dad was working on the condo with T in Atlanta.  Pretty much all of the guests arrived at the same time, so shuttling them from the pool parking lot to the house didn’t take much time at all.

We were even able to bring some of the German friends down to the basement to partake in the surprise by telling our parents we had made them a cool present, and we wanted everyone to see it.

Once everyone was in place, we lead mom and dad downstairs to the dark basement, where everyone jumped out and yelled “surprise.”  They were genuinely surprised, and it was great!  Then we showed everyone the slideshow of them from all of the years they were together.  And then we all celebrated for the rest of the night.

I am so happy that all of the work Little S and I put into this resulted in a wonderful party for our parents.  They totally deserved it!

anniversary cake

The cake we ordered for our parents – complete with their picture!

It seems like I keep falling off the blog wagon lately.  But I have been pretty busy as of late with condo repair and preparations to sell it.  And of course, you can’t forget about work.  And planning my parents’ surprise 30th anniversary party.

Speaking of their anniversary party…things never go smoothly when you are trying to plan a surprise.  Never!  On Friday after work I met with Little S so we could do some more planning.  We decided to call the neighbor who is assisting us with getting our parents out of the house so we could formulate a plan.  Well, that is when we found out the our mom is having all of her German friends over for coffee and cake that afternoon.  Just our luck!

Now we have to totally rework our plan.  Instead of getting the parents out of the house, we will have to set up the party in the basement without them catching us.  Little S and I have already set the stage for them by telling them we have a cool anniversary present that we need to assemble in the basement.  Meanwhile we will be having our own covert mission where we will be smuggling the other guests in through the basement.  Eventually, we will invite the German friends to come and see our cool “gift” in the basement.  They will really sneak downstairs to get into position.  Then our parents will head down, only to be surprised by all of their close friends.  Fingers crossed that this goes off without a hitch!  (FYI – thanks for all of your gift suggestions.  Little S and I have decided to make them a special slide show highlighting them throughout the years).

~

T, my dad and I spent all day Saturday doing major work on the house.  T and I finished striping the wallpaper in our bathroom and touched up any old holes in the wall that had been covered up by the wallpaper.  Tonight we are going home to paint it so we can finally put it back together.  Showering without a shower curtain up has been an interesting (and drenching) experience.

After we finished with our bathroom, I began to remove the border from the hideous yellow stucco walls in the guest bathroom.  Imagine my surprise when the “stucco” started peeling off too.  Come to find out, some genius back in the day had used textured wallpaper.  Whoever lived there before us took it upon themselves to just paint over it instead of taking it down.  Since part of it ripped off on Saturday, the rest has to come down since there is no way to disguise the part without the pattern.

The good news is that the ugly will be gone.  The bad news is that T and I have extra work to do now.  Oh joy!

Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.  Dear old Murphy – you sand your stupid law are on my shit list!

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