A Full Weekend

The previous weekend was filled with many eventful…events. There’s got to be a better way to say that. The previous weekend was filled with many eventful…things. Lets start at the beginning.

Friday evening, I got off of work and headed for home. While driving, I was thinking about what wonderfully unhealthy fast food establishment I was going to grab dinner from. Anyone who has known me as a child and/or adult knows my mind was made up before I even asked myself the question. “I’ll take Taco Bell for $500, Alex.” So, I made my way to the nearest Taco Bell and proceed to order food. Nothing terribly out of the ordinary happened as I drove from the ordering area to the paying area. I handed the girl my credit card and sat, casually listening to the radio while the wonderful workers made my meal from scratch, a trait not found at a lot of fast food restaurants these days. It was somewhere around this time when I realized that I should not be in the Taco Bell drive-thru. Not because I had somewhere else to be, and not because of the carbs, but mainly due to the fact that I had spoken with K earlier in the day about what I wanted her to make me for dinner after she went to the grocery store (Bacon sandwiches, for those curious.Yes, they’re delicious and please remove your judge-y face from the computer screen). Now what’s a person to do in this situation? I had already paid for the food, so I couldn’t just drive off. Plus, Chef Lorena Ochoa had worked so hard on my meal I would feel bad if I refused it. So, naturally, I brought it home and had a feast fit for an unhealthy king…tacos, burritos and bacon sandwiches.

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Saturday was a day of new beginnings. Friday night’s dinner debacle was behind us and we were ready to tackle some yard work. Well, that’s not entirely true. Before I could tackle any yard work, I had to construct a ramp for the Dude (He needs a little help getting down stairs these days…because if he doesn’t have help he just jumps from as high up as dogly possible). No worries…I’m a man…building a ramp couldn’t possibly be that hard to do. So, I gathered some tools, discovered multiple, random pieces of wood that were left in our garage by the previous homeowners, found some wood screws (after K told me I couldn’t use the same nails that we use to hang pictures on the walls), and started working.

Now, anyone who has known me as a child and/or adult knows that I am much better at building things when instructions are not involved. Call it creativity; call it a Stein family trait; call it lack of desirable “building” skills; but whatever you call it just know that it’s a fact. (It’s not that I can’t follow instructions…quite the contrary…it’s that I’d rather not follow the instructions just to see what happens.) After tetris-ing together some of the available pieces of wood, I came up with a design that I figured would be wide enough, long enough, and structurally sound. I neither tested this theory nor measured anything before I started assembling.

15 screws later (because you never want an even number of screws…this much I know), I had built quite the dog ramp. And while one of the boards was significantly longer than the others, I figured both the Dude and I could live with it. Plus, I didn’t have a saw. So I took the newly built ramp over to the stairs, put it in place, and voila, it was mildly functional. I say mildly because it seemed a little more like a dog slide at this point. Dude wanted no part of a dog slide. K, who had been doing “yard work” while I was building, decided she could take a break from the manual labor to analyze the situation and give feedback. K suggested that, perhaps, I should put some carpet on it in order to make it less slick. Normally, I take suggestions and do the exact opposite, but this one seemed rather astute. As luck would have it, we already had some carpet next to the trashcan that Dude had used as a puke rug not long ago. So, I went back to the garage and began to lay some carpet (Booyah!). I quickly determined that I could cut off the puke section and still have enough of the carpet left to cover the ramp. Now the problem became, “What do I cut the carpet with?” The only knives we had were kitchen knives, which I figured was out of the question, and scissors probably couldn’t do the job, so I came up with the next best thing I could find within 10ft of where I was standing…garden sheers. It seemed logical. They could cut through wood, why couldn’t they cut through carpet. As I began hacking away at the remnant with the sheers, I realized the error of my ways (and briefly thought about making a house out of carpet because that stuff is way tougher than wood). It was around the third hack at the carpet when I remembered that we had a box cutter. Believe it or not, a box cutter is much better a cutting carpet than garden sheers. Who knew?

Regardless, I was in business and screwed all the carpet down to the ramp…well, I shouldn’t say all the carpet…lets say most of the carpet. There was a flap on one side that I could have “tidied up” a bit more, but I figured Dude wouldn’t care. I took the ramp back over to the stairs, put it in place, and Dude clearly didn’t care about the lack of screwed down carpet. K did, but I wasn’t building the ramp for her, so it didn’t bother me. Dude had his functional ramp.

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Now, moving on to Sunday. The day was kind of a wash, literally, because it rained for about 12 hours. But really, it wasn’t what happened during the day that made Sunday worth talking about. It was what happened that night…in the bedroom(Trust me, you’ll want to keep reading). After getting ready to turn in for the evening, I hit the bed first. Naturally, like any normal American, I turned on the TV to pass the time before K came to bed. Seeing as how we have no cable, like any normal American, I popped in an Arrested Development DVD. After starting the show, and setting the sleep timer, I had the soundtrack to our evening all planned out. About 3 minutes into the first episode, K finally came to bed and it was time to get ready for an evening of…watching Arrested Development in bed. But, this was where the story took a tragic turn. Roughly 3 minutes and 30 seconds into that first episode of AD, the TV went black. It didn’t turn off, or quit working altogether…the screen went black. You could still hear the sounds of Michael Bluth trying to keep his family together, but you couldn’t see Michael Bluth trying to keep his family together. It was like, in a single instantaneous instant, my television decided it wanted to be a radio. This was the same 19” TV I had in the lonely basement dwelling. The same 19” TV that only had one jack on the back that actually worked. The same 19” TV that I was going to ceremoniously get thrown out of a one-story window. And that was how the weekend ended.

Seriously, when does a TV ever want to become a radio? What is this, 1950? Am I co-starring with Brendan Fraser in Blast From the Past? Come on!

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