What it takes to rock my world

Last night during rush hour commute, a cable assembly on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge snapped, sending a 5,000 lb chunk of metal careening to the upper deck of the bridge.

A couple vehicles sustained some damage, and luckily, only one person was hurt. No fatalities.

This bit that broke off was part of a “fix” done over the Labor Day weekend. This is the famed S-curve I spoke of here.

As of today, Cal Trans is saying the bridge is closed “indefinitely”. Due to high winds, it may take several days for the welders to get the new piece in place.

Ugh. Since approximately 280,000 cars traverse that bridge every day, this is not a small matter.

This is, in fact, a very huge matter.

Thankfully, neither The Good Man nor I have to cross that bridge to get to work and back, so for us, you’d think, this is no big deal.

But you’d be wrong.

A major traffic hindrance like this changes the whole traffic pattern of the area. Since we live near the next bridge to the south, the San Mateo Bridge, that means much traffic will now be diverted our way so that folks can get back and forth across the Bay.

It will also affect the rest of the bridges and highways in the area. You’d be amazed the distance the ripple effect will have.

Which got me pondering how much we tend to rely on infrastructure, now, as a human race.

I mean hell, just go one day without electricity, and you remember all the little things you take for granted.

The Good Man recently had some major car troubles and was without his ride for about a week. Whoa, that really threw a kink into our lives.

Sometimes, you know…I think to myself, maybe a shotgun shack in the middle of the woods somewhere with a hole in the ground for sewer and a roaring fire, and my manual Underwood typewriter for jotting down my manifesto might not be such a bad idea.

Then I surf over to Zappos.com to look at adorable shoes and use my credit card to pay and have the UPS man put that box right in my hands and I think…



I’m a giver!

Yep, sorry things were so quiet around here yesterday, but The Good Man had a day off from work, so we had a nice Monday together.

And what did we do with that Monday off?

Well. We went to the San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation.

Cool, right?

They chronicle the history of the rise of technology. Especially fitting here in the Bay Area where so much technology got its start.

Oh, and they have an awesome hands on display that shows you how earthquakes work and how the ground liquefies. That display has done a lot to help me understand the phenomenon so well.

But that’s not why we went…


We went to see Star Trek – The Exhibition.

Complete with a replica of the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.

I sat in the captain’s chair.

Because *I* am a good partner to my sci-fi lovin’ husband.

I even leaped through the gateway to the City at the Edge of Forever (the, uh, Guardian of Forever). Oh yes I did.

Because I knew it would make him happy.

Look, I’m not a Star Trek fan. Nor am I a hater.

Ok, fine, I’d watch a few episodes in the early days when I was hanging out with my big brother. I’ve seen a few of the movies and none of the more recent series (which were heavily represented at the exhibit).

But this day was not about me. It was about The Good Man. And heck, to spend time with him, I’d endure much geekier than a bunch of costumes and gadgets!

Did I ever tell you that in the early days of dating, he took me to a Bela Lugosi film festival?

And I had a great time, too. Because when The Good Man is happy, I’m happy too.

I made him go see The Crafty Chica when she was in town, so really, fair’s fair.

Like a good little housewife would

Last weekend, The Good Man and I were putting a clean to our home. We’d let it go for a couple weeks since I’d been traveling and he’s working a lot of extra hours.

We’d let it go too long and it was time to be grown ups and get to work. I started on the bathroom while he worked on the living room.

We generally attempt to be fairly conscious residents of the planet. We recycle, we keep our cars running right, and we try to use environment friendly housecleaners.

I say “try” because, well, dammit, we don’t always succeed.

There I was in the bathroom, cleaning the mirror over the sink. There were a few weeks of soap splashes and toothpaste flecks on the glass that needed tending to. I had an ammonia-free cleaner that promised “no streaks!” in one hand, and a wad of paper towels in the other.

Well, that label on that bottle lied. There were plenty of streaks. PLENTY.

I got fresh paper towels and rubbed at the glass harder. Just smeared everything around. I really put some elbow grease into it. It only slightly improved.

So, without much remorse, I dug around in the cabinet where we keep cleaners and extracted the good old ammonia based glass cleaner.

*spray spray, wipe, rub*



No sore arms, no troubles, no streaks.

Clean mirror gleaming, I turned to the bathtub and the soap scummy mess waiting there.

Do you think I picked up the “safe and gentle” cleanser?

Nope! I grabbed the scrub with bleach and squired with reckless abandon!

Ok, yes, I do have at least a little remorse.

There has got to be a solvent/cleanser/scrub out there in the world that actually WORKS and is also earth friendly.

Doesn’t there?

And then I ask myself why I’m getting all bundled up over household cleansers.

It’s so…1950’s of me.

If only The Feline had email

Look, I’ve managed people as part of my job for quite some time now. It’s a rollercoaster experience every day.

And yes, I’ve resorted to that weenie method of managing the hard conversations…email.

Hey, oftentimes, it actually works. You can disseminate the issue to a large audience with the click of a button. You don’t actually have to, you know, talk to anyone.

Plus, it gives you a trail. Proof that you told people something!

Anyhow, I’ve been wrestling with The Feline lately. Damn employee of the household has a mind of her own! Feh!

Herewith, the email I’d write to that damn cat if only she had opposable thumbs…and the ability to get online.


From: TheGirlHuman@thisoldhouse.net
Subject: Recent Issues for discussion
Date: October 22, 2009 8:35 AM PDT
To: CrankyCat@meow.net

Feline – As you and I have been sharing domicile for some time now, I feel we’ve both settled into our routines and know what we’re about.

Things have been slipping a bit lately, and we have some issues we need to discuss. Please bring a copy of this email to our next one-on-one (aka the next time you are standing on my head, sniffing my dinner while I try to eat). We’ll sort out a corrective action plan at that time.

First things first, as you know, you are fed at 8am, 5pm (snack) and 10pm. This has been in effect for some time. You were notified of these changes before they took effect.

Yes, we are giving you diet food. Remember when the vet explained why, Ms Fourteen Pounder?

As such, the yowling for feeding well in advance of any of the set times is unacceptable and this behavior must be curtailed.

This is especially true of the 4am yowlings. This only causes the boy human to throw pillows at you, and usually leads to your banishment from the room, which then produces hurt feelings and sad looks on your part for an entire day.

Please implement these process improvements immediately.

While on the topic of the sleeping situation, we must also address a space issue. As you know, the Boy Human and the Girl Human are soft hearted and allow you to sleep in the bed.

It’s also agreeable that you take certain liberties, like sleeping up ON me while I snooze. Fine.

Here’s the issue. Being as that I was graced with a bladder the size of a small walnut, it’s inevitable that I must rise at least once a night to use the human version of the litter box.

When nature calls, I carefully extract from around you so as not to disturb your slumber. Then when I return, I find you have streeeetched out to fill up the space allotted me in the bed. Sometimes, you even have a proprietary paw placed on the Boy Human.

I then have to push and shove you so I can get back into the bed and next to the boy. You respond by meowing testily at me.

This is uncool, cat. Way uncool.

Finally, while on the topic of usage of the litter box, human or otherwise, I’d like to mention that I can and am able to use the human litter box on my own.

I don’t need your company.

When you use YOUR box, do I run in there to stare at you and then get on the counter and sniff at your head and face while you do your business?

No, I do not.

Please cease and desist.


That said, your work in the sitting on the lap department has improved dramatically lately (coinciding, I’m sure, with the turn toward the cold the weather has taken, but fine).

Also, since you’ve been able to lose some weight, your playful kittenish-ness is rather enjoyable.

Keep it up!

Thanks in advance for your attention to these matters.

Best regards,

The Girl Human

(Execu-Kitty ignores your emails)