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So. How was your weekend? Mine was…well, eventful comes to mind.
Not the entire weekend, just yesterday. Keem decided it was my turn to make lunch and I said sure. We had bought some Market Pantry pizza shells the week before because I had said I was in the mood to make a pizza. Keem had already cooked the hamburger and I decided I was going to make a garlic butter sauce.
Note to self: Really, when you’re making a garlic butter sauce for a pizza shell, you only need one stick of butter. Maybe not even that.
I am sure you may be able to guess where this is going. I took two sticks of butter. I microwaved them. I added minced garlic and garlic powder and some Pampered Chef dipping sauce seasoning (which is very yummy and has garlic in it, if I remember correctly (Yes, I like garlic. How did you guess?)) and mushed it all together. I used the pastry brush to brush the garlic butter sauce on the shell. Hmm. I still have a lot of garlic butter sauce. What should I do?
Oh, I know. I’ll mix it in with the hamburger and then, after placing the Provolone cheese on the shell, I’ll dump the hamburger on top. Cover hamburger with cheese and put in oven for 15 minutes.
At about 14.5 minutes, the smoke detector in our apartment started going crazy. I went and fanned it with a hot pad, as I was taught by my mother when I was younger. It calmed down, I opened up the oven and was greeted with a disaster. Apparently the garlic butter sauce decided it wanted to go for a road trip and had dripped all over the stove.
No problem, right? I can deal with this. I know, how about I put the oven on self-clean? Brilliant idea, right?
No. It is not a brilliant idea. Do you know what self-cleaning an oven does? It locks the oven and turns the heat on to 350 degrees. So the garlic butter sauce that is all over the bottom of the oven starts smoking. A lot. And then the smoke detector goes off again.
Only so much waving of the hot pad works after about 10 minutes. There is an acrid smoke wafting through our apartment, my eyes are burning, Keem’s eyes are burning, the cats are freaking out and my arm hurts from waving it at the smoke alarm. Keem suggests I go get the fan from her bedroom and lock the cats up in there. I do so.
The fan works when you set it underneath the smoke detector. Keem opens the window wide and the smoke starts billowing its way out. After about 30 minutes, the apartment is fairly clear and we shut the window. Eddy and Kalli come out of the bedroom, high-tailing it towards Keem (Eddy) and the treat buffet (Kalli). They are fed and consoled accordingly.
A few minutes later, Keem and I see Kalli sitting underneath the table where the fan is, still directed towards the smoke detector. Kalli is doing her patented meerkat impression and trying to figure out what the heck is going on. There is a stool sitting next to the table and Kalli climbs on it.
Apparently she feels the need to protect us and starts using the Paw of Justice on the fan. Thwack! Thwack! Thwackity, thwackity, thwack! Take that, evil fan! Keem and I are laughing hysterically. Eddy is looking at Kalli like she is nuts. I turn the fan off and Kalli decides to go off and start talking to her spider friends (there’s about three or four spiders that hang out on the windows outside of our apartment. Kalli chatters at them. It’s really cute).
The pizza, by the way, was pretty good. However, I am banned from making pizza ever again.
How was your weekend?
Why one should be careful when they read Stephen King
So Beth and I are at karaoke last night and she turns to me.
Beth: You know how you always get sick when you read The Stand?
If you have never read The Stand, this may not make sense to you. Short synopsis – The Government is conducting secret germ warfare testing and something goes wrong. The fail safe way of making sure that the germs don’t get out fails when one soldier realizes there’s a problem and the gate doesn’t shut. Soldier escapes and runs across country with his family. Spreading the germs on the way. A short time later, 99% of America’s population is dead. Long story short (too late), there is this epic battle between good and evil (led by my fake boyfriend Randall Flagg).
Every single time I read this book, I get a cold. And then I am absolutely convinced that the book is becoming true to life and we’re all going to die. A little paranoid, yes, but this is also the same man that instilled in me my fear of clowns.
Beth: I read it and the Swine Flu pandemic hit.
DM: Oh. Yeah. That’s not good at all.
Beth: The Government keeps saying everything is okay and I’m thinking “I don’t believe you!”
In the book, there was a huge conspiracy to keep everything undercover and oh,hey, it’s just the flu. No big deal, folks. Which is a huge stinking lie!
Beth: If this did happen, I wouldn’t head out to try and find other people. If there were say 4 people left, I’d say “C’mon and hang out at my place.”
DM: OOH! We could scrapbook!
Beth: We could scrapbook.
DM: And then we’d take pictures of dead people and stuff. Okay. That’s just weird.
Only Beth and I would decide to use the end of the world to our scrapbooking advantage. A sure sign that we’re addicted.
I was talking to Co-Worker Rykken about this today and we discussed our plans about what we would do if the book became true to life. Rykken has a plan to go and read tons of books and learn how to fix things so he’d have a good life. He came up with this after watching “I Am Legend.” I told him he could come hang out with Beth, Keem and I.
DM: We wouldn’t make you scrapbook.
Rykken: I’d probably enjoy it for one day and then say no thanks.
DM: We do other things. We could watch movies and stuff. We could have you pose for us with the dead bodies.
Rykken: Would you make me pose the dead bodies?
DM: Well, I’m not going to touch them. Ew.
There’s a brief pause.
DM: This is kind of creepy, huh?
Rykken: Uh, yeah.
DM: Okay, I’m going back to work now.
I just want to state for the record that I am not completely sick and disturbed. It was just the lack of sleep and this book has been haunting me for years.
In which the Swedish people conspire against me to drive me insane
So Beth went to IKEA and bought this laptop table that is named Dave. Keem and I really like Dave and decided we wanted him as our own as well. So we could say “This is Dave and this is his brother Dave.”
The last time Keem and I went to IKEA, Dave was not in stock. It was very sad. Kari had part of last week off because Eric was in the Caribbean for his sister’s wedding. She was taking Josh to the Mall of America for a trip to Lego Land (Or Lego World or Lego Paradise or something like that. All I really know is that there are tons of Legos and the kid loves the place) and they would stop at IKEA. She said she would pick up Dave for Keem and I.
Friday night she called me to tell me she had the two Daves in her car and would be stopping over to drop them off. YAY!
I manage to drag the Daves up to our apartment and Keem and I start putting them together. Keem offers to put my Dave together if I pay for hers. Looking back, you would think I would say “Sure.” Dave was only $17 – not going to break me.
But noooooo. Not me. No, I have to say “I can do it.”
Flash forward. I have managed to put together the majority of the table. But there is this one piece that is thwarting me. All I have to do is attach it to the bottom of the table and that’s about it. But I cannot get it no matter how hard I try.
Twenty minutes later, I am just about in tears. My back hurts, my head is starting to throb and my hands are shaking from the attempt to squeeze this piece together enough to get it to snap into place.
DM: I can’t do it! I can’t. How did you get it to work?
Keem: It was a little hard but not that bad.
DM: KEEM! Make it work!
Keem: I offered to put Dave together for you.
I give her the pathetic puppy dog eyes.
Keem: Oh, no. I’m not doing it now.
There is more cursing on my end.
Keem: Did you look at the diagram?
I glare at her.
DM: OF COURSE I looked at the diagram! I’m NOT STUPID!
Keem: Okay. Well, I don’t know why you’re having so much trouble with it.
I glance at the diagram. Huh. Look at that.
DM: I just spent 25 minutes trying to put this damn thing in upside down.
She spends an equal amount of time laughing at me that I spent cursing the stupid table. But Dave is put together and I love him so much more than the stupid TV tray I was using.
The keeten is a freak
So we know Kalli is a piglet because she constantly wants to eat. We know she’s annoying because we’re constantly telling her to shut up or stop chewing on her brother or no, it is 6 AM, you are not being fed right now or get off the counter. We knew she was a freak because she is obsessed by ice cubes and wants to get into the freezer so she can play with said ice cubes.
What we didn’t know is that she is a) a circus animal and b) impervious to pain.
To entertain Kalli and make sure she gets some exercise, I’ve taken to tossing her dry treats for her so she has to work for them. I’ve also managed to train her to do the meerkat pose when I say “Up” (usually only when she knows I have food. And it takes forever). Or, I’ll skid some treats to the end of the table where she can pop up and scrape them onto the floor. I am assuming she is doing this to keep her hunting skills sharpened. You never know when a bug might get into the apartment.
The other night, she is sitting by the bookshelf and she realizes there’s a treat on the coffee table that she hadn’t seen before. Oh my GOD! A treat! Yay! She throws herself at the table and does a somersault in the air. Unfortunately, she doesn’t keep in mind what goes up must come down and the somersault is interrupted by her smashing her head and back onto the table. Keem and I are horrified. Is she okay? Did she break her back or smash her head too hard?
Apparently not. She stands up, shakes herself and is pawing the treat onto the floor. Two seconds later, she’s begging for more. Either she’s Wolverine’s cat and can heal quickly or the extra pounds she’s put on is working as a cushion.
So how are all you guys doing?
So I was going to volunteer this last Saturday but:
- I overslept
- I woke up with the world’s worst backache and could barely walk, let alone bend over and pick up trash
Then, later on in the day, I had a horrible, horrible headache and decided to take a nap. You know what doesn’t work when you’re taking a nap? Having a small gray cat sit on your chest and yowl at you about how no one ever feeds her and she is completely and totally unloved.
I decided to treat myself to an exciting dinner Saturday night and ordered chicken wings from a local pizza place. Sunday morning I found myself projectile vomiting said chicken wings onto my shower curtain and the floor. While the Kalli Monster watched avidly. Eddy, just in case you’re wondering, behaved like a perfect gentlecat the entire weekend. There was some dejected moaning that Keem was not home but he got over it and came out to spend quality time with me.
Food poisoning? I think so.
Keem returned Sunday night and we watched the last two episodes of Lost and the newest episode of Dollhouse. So much for my theory that Adelle and Dominic might have something going on. That was blown right out of the water.
Today, of course, I feel absolutely fine. Except for the gigantic throbbing zit on my forehead that is shouting (in neon) “LOOK! LOOK at me!” And I hate my hair. Other than that, life is good.
How was your weekend? Better than mine, I hope.
I have just done a thing that is completely out of character for me. I volunteered to help clean up the Saint Paul parks this Saturday.
I have elected to get up early on a Saturday morning and go deal with trash. Trash thrown onto the ground by people who don’t have the decency to walk two feet and put it into a garbage can. And dirt. You know there’s going to be dirt, it’s always dirty after the snow melts.
Plus, the park is outside. I am not an outside kind of gal. Granted, I don’t hiss at the sun but I am not overly fond of it. I moved to downtown Saint Paul because my dream was to live and work in a skyway system so I would never have to go outside again (this worked until NABABNA moved on me) unless I really, really wanted to go outside.
And you just know there will be other people around. People that will probably want to talk to me and stuff. I will be bringing my iPod for sure.
I hate dirt. And trash. And I’m not overly fond of being outside or meeting people (you know, outside of the computer).
And yet, I am oddly looking forward to this. Two hours of being outside with dirt and trash and other people. The only logical explanation is that Spring is finally coming and I am excited about making the park outside of my apartment beautiful. Since it’s April, it should be a perfect balmy 45-50 degrees. Maybe even 60!
It’s going to be an awesome weekend.
So this last weekend I spent being sick and cleaning. Yes, I am still sick. My sister is convinced I have Bronchitis and she is probably right but I refuse to take an entire day off of work to just go and listen to my doctor say “you have Bronchitis. Drink lots of fluids.” I already know this. And Keem refuses to go to the Minute Clinic because, as she says, it’s more like the 60 Minutes Clinic. Keem is not a very patient person, especially when she is waiting for me. I am muddling through, occasionally pausing to hack up a lung. Other than that, though, I feel fine.
On the cleaning front, once a year our apartment complex has an annual fire inspection. Representatives from the fire department tromp through the different apartments to discover which ones of us have stacks of old newspapers from 40 years ago cluttering up our homes. They do not take kindly to seeing rooms where you have a path from the door to your bed. And the only way you can get to the computer is if you climb over the bed. That, apparently, is a fire hazard. So I cleaned. And cleaned some more. And threw a lot of crap away. And brought some books to the laundry room. And did 400 loads of laundry (okay, 4, but it still seems like a lot). And actually found the floor to my bedroom. Believe me when I tell you this is a small miracle. I am not the world’s tidiest person.
Keem and I come home yesterday, wanting to see if we passed the inspection with flying colors. We find a note from the maintenance guy (not sure which one, I didn’t read the note). It goes something like this:
Hey. Your thermostat in the living room and master bedroom are frozen and not adjusting. It’s good that we figured this out since you wouldn’t get any AC this summer if it wasn’t fixed. I’ve done a work order to have this taken care of and have put on the work order to watch out for the cats.
You know what this means. Uh-oh. I must be gay!*
*Sorry, random “In and Out” reference to Howard’s brother, Walter. Who, by the way, is in an Applebee’s commercial and I am always very excited to see it and say “Look! It’s Walter!” Fortunately both Beth and Keem have recognized him as well and do not think I am insane. Much.
Anyway, what this means is Kalli loves to escape whenever she gets the chance and run into the hallway. Eddy will at least only escape when it’s Keem or I. But Kalli is constantly waiting for her opportunity to make a run for it. Or, you know, sit on a random delivery man’s shoe and sniff his pants as though he was the greatest smelling thing ever (turns out he has cats as well).
I can imagine what happened yesterday. Kalli heard the key turning and raced to the door, probably encouraging Eddy to follow her. The door opens and a small streak of grey lightning races out into the hallway. The larger, not as fast, orange pumpkin boy follows her. The maintenance guys probably sit there and wonder “What happened?” The idea of them having to herd kitties makes me laugh. It’s always an experience.
Kalli got out again last night, which is why I didn’t see the note right away. Our neighbor saw her running around the hallway, shouting “Catch me! Hahaha! I’m faster than you! Oh, wait, I’ll walk reallllllllllly sllllllooooooow in front of you! But no! I’m too fast!” in kitty language (Mew. MEEEEEEEEW. Mew. Mewmewmewmew). The last time he had seen her, she was in the carrier, doing her patented barrell rolls in protest of going to the vet.
Kindly Old Neighbor: How is she doing after her ordeal?
DM: She’s good. She started leaping around two days after it. You know, like she hadn’t just had major surgery.
This is directed to Kalli who, like usual, ignores me to tell the Kindly Old Neighbor that we never feed her and she is horribly neglected and what a horrible life she leads.
KON: Well, she seems to be back to her usual self.
That’s my girl. Loud, obnoxious, an escape artist and known for her antics (the first time the Kindly Old Neighbor met Kalli was when she decided to go running around his apartment when they left the door open). Sigh. I’m going to have to get a sign made that says “Beware of Cat. She may not bite you (unless you move your feet in the middle of the night) but she will meow you to death.”
In one week, I will be 42 (March 11th, in case you are wondering). I realized this today when looking at the calendar to figure out what day it was (I have 3 calendars scattered around my cubicle and I still can’t figure it out half the time. Yesterday I decided it was September 1st). I announced this to my co-workers without the panic that usually accompanies my realizing I’m going to be a year older.
For many years, a former friend of mine would say “Hey, Dana, it’s March 1st. You’re going to be (insert age here). What have you done with your life?” Then he would list off all of his accomplisments and compare them to mine. I, of course, was not as awesome and wonderful as he was since I didn’t have children or own a home or ever done anything worth mentioning.
It got to the point that March 1st would roll around and I would plunge into a dark depression. And then it became February 1st and then January 1st and you get the picture. Plus the depression would take forever to break.
A lot of things worked to help me get over this:
- I started working at NABABNA and met Beth and Keem and their families. It feels like I have one big extended family.
- My sister and I are close and I spend every Wednesday night with her. My family has been a great support system.
- I stopped hanging out with people who seemed to only care about themselves and what I could do for them.
- I haven’t seen former friend in years. I rarely think of him. While I’ll always be grateful to him for convincing me to start working at NABABNA, it is nice to be away from someone who once told me my only purpose in life was to be someone people could make fun of since that would make them feel better about their lives. Um, yeah, former friend? Bite me.
- My doctor, after a few tries, found an anti-depressant that helps. While I know I’ll be taking Effexor for the rest of my life, I’m okay with that. I have been around me when I forget my meds and believe me, I am not much fun. I’m either plunged into the depths of despair and thinking about killing myself or very manic and doing really dumb things like gambling away my rent money.
- I started blogging and met all sorts of awesome people IRL and through the internet.
- I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe.
For years, if you ask me what the meaning of life is, I will respond with 42. I can’t help it. It’s just ingrained in me. It’s the same thing that makes me growl at the thought of vampires that sparkle (I don’t get this, actually, I read maybe one or two chapters of Twilight and all it did is make me really miss Angel and Spike) or still be disgruntled over the fact that Data died in the last Star Trek: TNG movie (which I haven’t seen yet but I read the transcript). Once I find something I love, it sticks with me.
So the idea that I’m going to be 42? It’s like the coolest thing ever. There’s no depression. There’s no twinge that maybe I could have done something better in the past that would have led me elsewhere. I have an absolutely fantastic life and I have all of you to thank for it.
Kalli is fine – she has been spayed and declawed (we didn’t want to get her declawed but it is a requirement of our lease unfortunately (please don’t hate us, Liz)). She is apparently being affectionate and quiet (this was a shock to hear) and we can pick her up tonight. Eddy misses her, last night he was wandering around the apartment looking for her. We look forward to spoiling her like crazy and taking many pictures of her with a cone on her head.
Last night, Keem and I were sitting in the living room, watching Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (not the best movie ever made but I tend to relate to Drew Barrymore’s character since we both have a thing for bad boys (plus there’s that whole great moment where she and the Thin Man realize that they’re perfect for each other and have this great kiss which makes me happy (and then he gets killed which really ticks me off)) and there’s bombs and car chases and a flying Demi Moore so it appeals to my need for violence and explosions) and once again, I’ve gone off on a tangent. Let’s try again.
Last night, Keem and I were sitting in the living room, watching Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle when Kalli in her “I must hunt down all ice cubes and destroy them” phase decided to knock over Keem’s ice water. Said ice water fell onto Keem’s laptop. This is not good.
After much cursing (on Keem’s part) and meowing (on Kalli’s part while she rejoiced that she had triumphed over the evil ice cubes), I found Co-Worker Beau’s phone number and called him. Keem explained what had happened and Beau said he would be over in a few minutes (because he is awesome).
Beau arrived and looked over the computer. Keem had already removed the battery and used compressed air to get as much water as possible out of the keyboard. Beau told Keem to let it dry out and try restarting it in the morning (and it worked! Woo-hoo!). He then looked at Kalli who was trying her best to demonstrate what an angel she is (hah! Everyone at work has heard the stories, they aren’t buying it).
CWB: Hello, freaky kitty. She’s really gorgeous.
DM: Yes, she is. Want to take her home?
Keem: She’s not kidding.
Later that night, I’m talking to Beth. Kalli is wandering around, whining about “how no one loves me or feeds me and oh, hey, why don’t I just push Keem’s computer onto the ground and break one of the keys off of it and did I mention that I’m STARVING!”
DM (to Beth): Hold on a second.
I put the phone down.
DM (to Kalli): For the love of GOD, shut it!
I pick the phone up.
DM (to Beth): Want a cat?
Beth: Kind of. But not Kalli!
She’s a wise woman, that Beth.
I am leaving work in a few minutes so I can go to a new dentist and be yelled at. I am sure there will be a lecture or two about the fact that I’ve not been to a dentist in at least 10 years. And I don’t floss. And I subscribe to the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Or, if it is broken but not causing massive amounts of pain, don’t fix it” philosophy. This is probably not a healthy philosphy. Plus, there’s been the occasional throbbing emanating from the giant hold where my filling fell out last year. It’s probably time to get this worked on. Stupid teeth.
But hey, maybe the dentist will want a cat!
Last night the demon spawn also known as Kalli came into the kitchen as I was sweeping the floor. She leapt up onto my back and used me as a springboard to reach the counter. There she sat and stared at me for awhile. Since it was a welcome change from her trying to “help” me sweep (which involved sprawling in the middle of the floor or attacking the broom or deciding to bounce a ball right through the dust pile), I decided not to worry about it. She was just sitting there and not causing trouble.
Yeah. Right. I turned my back for two seconds and suddenly heard a scrabbling noise. I turn quickly and the next words out of my mouth are:
DM: Kalli! No! We do not climb on the toaster!
Fortunately I managed to get her down before she managed to electrocute herself. I haven’t figured out why she thought the toaster was the best place to perch but I’ve learned not to turn my back on her for very long.
It reminded me of going with a friend to get her hair cut. While this was happening, she asked me to watch her small child. Small child was probably about 3 years old and was given Mom’s keys to play with. I figured she was entertained enough so I could read my book. I was wrong. Next thing I know, I hear the hairdresser shout “No, honey!” And turn around to see the small child has taken one of the keys and inserted it into an electrical outlet. The words “Holy F**k” came to mind.
The hairdresser knocked the keys out of the outlet with a broom and there was no harm done, unless you count the shower of sparks that came with it.
And this is why I should never be left alone with small children. I have a tendency to forget about them once I get engrossed in a book.
- Kari and Josh came over this weekend so we could bake cookies. Have you ever tried to bake cookies with a 5 year old? Not an experience I would recommend (Josh is just a tad stubborn (and when I say tad I mean really a lot)).
- So cookies need lots of flour and stuff which, since we were making 8 recipes and tripling them, so that meant Kari got to buy a 25 pound bag of flour. Which meant that I was elected to drag it out of her car.
- And I was also in charge of mixing. Keem has been asking for a Kitchen Maid for Christmas and it would have come in really handy.
- So my arms are very sore.
- And then Kari broke out the Wii and let me tell you, I really, really want one. We were doing the Outdoor Adventure game which meant kayakking and jump rope (which I suck at) and all sorts of other things. I was pretty good at the whack a mole but mainly that was because I kept jumping around on the mat.
- Kari also bought the Wii “My Life Coach” where this impossibly thin animated woman asks you all sorts of personal questions and then convinces you to work out.
- She determined that I am overweight. Let me tell you, I was sure shocked to hear that.
- And then she decided to kill me by making me do 15 minutes of lunges and crunches and squats and all sorts of things.
- She’d say “You can do it” and I would gasp “I hate you.”
- She’s say “Let’s keep our focus” and I would say “I am focused on killing you.”
- I am not sure if it is possible to murder an animated character but I will find a way.
- 15 minutes later, I was trying to breathe again while Kari told me she was proud of me.
- We had gone swimming Saturday night and then Josh wanted to swim again on Sunday. I was a bundle of aches and pains but sure, why not. It would have been better if the hot tub was open but it is being repaired.
- Kari left me in charge of Josh for a moment and the next thing she hears is him saying “you dropped me.” And I replied, “Yeah, I dropped you. After you punched me in the mouth.”
- The explanation of Josh punching me is that I had come up on him from behind and hugged him. Apparently that brings out the urban warrior in him and in one smooth motion, pow! Right in the kisser.
- Kari said I was lucky because the kid can punch pretty hard. He was holding back.
- I look at Kari and say “You just had to have a boy, didn’t you?”
- Josh did apologize and said next time he will use his words.
- When it was time for them to leave, guess who got to load the cart with the 300 pounds of cookies? Yep.
So I am very sore and tired and really don’t want to be at work right now. But, on an exciting note, Mom and Kari figured out that I really did want an iPod and I now have my pretty, pink iPod Nano at work, regaling me with music. Now I am going to take about 40 ibuprofens and crawl under my desk for an hour or so. Have a good day.
It is 6:32 AM. Instead of lying in my cozy bed, hitting the snooze button repeatedly, I am in the living room. Do you know why I am in the living room? Because at 6 AM, keem woke me up to tell me there was water pouring from the light fixture in her bathroom.
The water has stopped but we are waiting for the engineer to come and do something. Not sure what. But neither Keem or I want to take a shower now because you just know that is when someone will come pounding on the door.
Right now Keem is sitting on the couch and Kalli is attacking her. This is what I am hearing:
“Ow. Ow. Ow. No. Not the fingers. Ow. Obviously you do not understand the language of Ow.”
She (the kitten, not Keem) is insane. Eddy, who is an intelligent water-fearing cat, stayed far away from the bathroom during the water catastrophe. Kalli was inside it. Staring at the water with fascination. She is also obsessed with ice cubes and has climbed inside of the freezer several times to get closer to them when I’m filling my glass.
I am really tired and want to go to bed. Seems to me you should be handed a “get-out-of-work-free” pass on days like this.
Oh, the engineer just called. Apparently the idiots who live upstairs forgot to put the shower curtain inside of the bath tub. Brilliant.
I’d love to say I’m going back to bed but unfortunately I need to guard Keem against the possibility of the engineer walking in on her while she’s in the shower.
This is not my week.