Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday at Chalet Beutler

I arrived home from a very successful trip to the yarn store today to discover Dad pulling out of the driveway. He failed to notice me in my car, so I tooted my horn and waved at him. I received a foul look as he sped away, which I took for his displeasure at my using the car's loud horn so close to his sensitive ears.

I was wrong.

When I walked in the house, I saw my mother and brother with looks of barely-concealed rage on their faces.

"What happened?" I asked.

"You missed Dad's blow-up," Paul said.

"Why was he angry?" I asked.

"Plumbing," my mother replied. She need say nothing more.

Plumbing, to my father, is like giving an untrained person with no knowledge of human anatomy a hacksaw and ordering them to do brain surgery. He has no idea what he's doing, and he's bound to do unspeakable damage to what he's trying to fix. That's just how it is.

From what I can gather, this is what happened:

Mom wanted to switch out the faucet in the bathroom for her new one before my cousin arrives for Easter. She discussed it with Dad and, since they needed to repair the gaping hole in the bathroom wall, they chose to replace the faucet themselves and use the money they were saving to, instead, pay someone to put in tile and fix the wall.

Mom placed out everything Dad needed to complete the job. He soon discovered it difficult to shut off the water, so Mom shut it off at the well*, so we would have no water through the whole house instead of just no water to that particular sink.

From here, things get a bit fuzzy. It seems Dad found something impossible to disassemble, so some kind of toxic substance was poured out or sprayed into the air in an attempt to loosen up the pipes he wanted to disconnect. This was unsuccessful. Then, more stuff was torn apart and when the time came to put things back together, doing so proved impossible for Dad (and likely also Mom and Paul), because by the time I returned home, Dad had thrown a rather epic temper tantrum and was speeding out of the driveway in order to "cool down" while driving.Mom, apparently, had warned Dad not to "hurt himself or someone else" when he left, meaning his rage was so great, it compromised his ability to think or make good judgements or drive.

Moreover, Mom had already called a plumber in, begging for him to come to repair the terrifying mess Dad had made of the plumbing, which was the only way we would be able to turn the water back on. When the plumber answered his phone, though, he was deep beneath a house, so he said he'd call her back.

My bedroom, at the moment, could be declared a toxic chemical spill zone by FEMA or the FDA or whoever does that sort of thing. The fumes in here are so strong, I feel like I got high** by just walking in here. In fact, I bet the chemicals in the spray Dad used are banned in California and other health-conscious states where they care whether on not their citizens are poisoned by uncontrolled plumbing-related chemicals. Plus the bathroom window is painted shut (something we failed to realize after we reattached the screen to the outside last fall) and impossible to wrench open. So the chemicals are trapped in the house with nowhere to go except--you guessed it--my room. My windows are wide open, but it's too late. I probably already am poisoned.

The plumber is actually on his way at the moment. He called Mom back to inform her that he had slithered back out from under the house like a snake, and was ready to show up at our house to put the bathroom back together, probably for an exorbitant emergency fee. Is the air wavy in here?

Mom says it will all work out, because Dad is totally paying for the damages from the money he saves each month to use for his various mission trips. So, instead of going away to some strange country to build things, he will be paying someone else to put the things he broke back together in THIS country, because Dad is, quite literally, a home-wrecker. He is why we can't have nice things***.

I feel pretty weird. I think maybe the open window isn't helping as much as I intended it to. The dog is barking, which means the plumber is here. So I guess everything will be okay. Unless I die of fumes. I hope that doesn't happen...

* When you live in the country, you don't get your water from the city. There are no pipes that connect to a central water supply. Instead, someone comes with a piece of machinery that looks like a giant screw, and they drill deep into the ground. They then connect a pump to this gaping hole and electricity pumps water from deep below the ground up and into your home. This only works when there's actually water underground for you to access, though. And if you lose power to your house, your well won't work, so you have no water. This should explain my complaints during power outages...

** Something I do not endorse or approve of.

*** I love you, Dad.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Intro to Greco-Roman Mythology with Professor Laura

My fellow WGCC-er and MHLit reviewer extraordinaire, Kelly, had a mythology test this week. She was not looking forward to it. What follows is our conversation, taken directly from Twitter (with minor edits to allow for readability), in which I tell the myth of Arachne in bursts of 140 characters or less.

Me: Once upon a time, this lady named Arachne had WICKED MAD WEAVING SKILLZ. 

Arachne: "I am weaving LIKE A BOSS." Villagers: "PREACH."

Arachne: "I am MADE OF AWESOME. Not even Minerva, the goddess of WISDOM AND CRAFTS, SUCKS COMPARED TO ME." Minerva: "OH NO SHE DIDN'T!"

So then there was a SHOW DOWN in GRECOROMAN-TOWN, and Arachne wove and Minerva wove in a FACE OFF fit for the WWE.

(That's the Wise Weaver-Elite, not the World Wrestling Entertainment thing.)

Arachne: "MY TAPESTRY is prettier than YOURS. PLUS it features your dad doin' the NASTY with HAPLESS MORTAL WOMEN."


But THAT WASN'T ENOUGH for Minerva. She totally slashed Arachne's face up! And THEN, she turned her into a SPIDER.

Which was kind of overkill, if you think about it. She didn't need to slash her up if she was going to spider-ize her.

Minerva: "I WILL CUT YOU. No wait. I have a better idea." *SPIDER RAY*

And THAT, twin, is why knitters hate spiders. Cause the goddess of wisdom and crafts tells us to. So we kill them DEAD.
Kelly: That is a BRILLIANT retelling. SO much more fun than Ovid.

Me: *takes a bow*

I totally kill all the spiders. I end them, Shadowhunter-style, cause my lady Minerva done told me to. *knits on*

Kelly: I love how I said "TWIN. TELL ME THIS STORY." And she just KNEW it. My twin is SMART.

Laura: I also have a copy of Edith Hamilton's MYTHOLOGY and I knows how to use it. And I am obsessive. And I read the Ovid.

Why did I reproduce this? Firstly, because I had so much fun teaching mythology via tweets. Secondly, so you would all know what you were missing by not following me on Twitter. Lots of hilarity goes on there.

I think it might be fun to teach other things in ridiculous ways. Does anyone have anything they'd like to learn about? I will TEACH you. Let me know in the comments.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dating 101

I went walking with Jennifer today and when we had finished, I went to the store to get myself some gold eyeliner, because it looked so good on Cinna in The Hunger Games*.

After I snatched up the eyeliner, I went over and got some furniture polish, because I am cool like that. Then it happened. Something no one had ever thought possible. Something that I would have found absurd and unbelievable if I had not experienced it myself. It caused me to tweet this:

I knew the people Attractive Man was with, and they noticed me. So I stopped and they introduced me to Attractive Man, who, I might add, was tall--TALLER THAN ME--and had red hair. He was like Alan from Sarah Rees Brennan's Demon's Lexicon books, only without the limp (but I bet I could fix that by kicking him in the shin repeatedly).

Now, most girls would have smiled winningly and attempted a hair toss, but the last time I tried that, I got dizzy and fell down, and I can't toss my hair because I have chopped it far too short. Also this is what happens when I attempt to be alluring.

So I was forced to fall back on my usual standard for Coping with Members of the Opposite Sex.

Step One: Smile. Make eye contact.

Step Two: Realize you have smiled and made eye contact. Become overwhelmed by raw terror.

Step Three: Talk to someone else, anyone but the Attractive Person.

Step Four: As politely as possible, flee.

Step Five: There should not be one of these. You should run faster.

Once I arrived safely in my car, I realized that I am, for all intents and purposes, undateable. This caused me to tweet some more.
He looked like Alan without the glasses and I almost swooned right there, but instead I did what I always do, which is run away.

I am very good at fleeing from potential suitors.

Attractive guy: "Nice to meet you." Me: "Is that a bird?" *points up* Attractive guy: "Wait. Where?" Me: *vanishes*
"What if he starts to hang around the library all the time?" My friend Kenzie asked. "Where will you run?"

"Well, if he comes to the library," I responded. "It will be HIS turn to run away."

This is what flirting looks like in the world of Laura. This is also why I am still single. And will likely be so for the remainder of my life.

I drove home, got out of the car, and confronted my father.

"It is your fault I am this way!" I insisted. "If you had not convinced me that all men were evil and attempting to deflower me by any means, I would be able to not be terrified of all men, including my male friends!"

"Sorry," Dad said. He knows what he did. HE KNOWS.

"Also, this man, he is your DENTIST. So...IT IS MORE YOUR FAULT THAN BEFORE."

"Oh," Dad looked confused. I later discovered this was because he had changed dentists without my knowledge and his current dentist is a 50-ish year old man who listens to simply the worst easy listening music from the 70's and 80's you could possibly imagine, so Dad was somewhat concerned to discover that I found him attractive.

I shared my plight with Twitter. The advice I received made a certain kind of impossible sense.

Could this in fact be the way things should be done? Could my tried-and-true method of mortal terror and flight be the WRONG way to meet people? Don't answer that.

I think I need to hire a relationship proxy, so that said person could introduce me to people and then bodily restrain me to prevent me from running away. Or maybe an arranged marriage? Do we still do that?

Don't answer that, either.

*Newsflash: Laura in gold eyeliner looks much the same as Laura in not-gold eyeliner, which is to say, it would take a few professional make-up artists for me to pull this gold-eyeliner look off effectively.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Is it spring? Please tell me this is the real spring and not some kind of fake spring that will suddenly vanish in the blink of an eye, to be replaced with snow and horridness.

I do not trust this weather.

I am afraid this means I will end up standing in sandals in ankle-deep snow, like I did when my friend Becky got married. And then I will die.

Snow on the ankles = death.

I am also afraid that this Trick Spring will cause me to take out all my warm weather clothes and put my cold weather wear away nicely, only to have to reverse the process next week. I am too lazy for that kind of repetition.

Someone needs to reassure me about this.