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Tap Dancing on A Land Mind or How to Dance Like No One’s Watching

I’m on my second month at my job at Chaos (yes that was a Get Smart reference) because that’s exactly what it’s been like working here.  Except for the supersonic elevator that goes up and down in the film (not the series) because it’s fucking slow as hell and I get down the three flights of stairs faster than the elevator.  Our second in command whom I’ll refer to as Skinner (the chef from the film Ratatouille) because that’s exactly what he’s like.  A short, ill tempered, power hungry little man with a huge ego and Napoleon complex.  Who makes us attend weekly department meetings only to hear himself talk.  Which by the way is like nails on a goddamned chalk board because 1) he has a thick Mexican accent and 2) because he asks people questions and then talks over them to answer his own question. 

 Skinner loves to hear himself talk and his favorite words are “codify” “solidify” “team effort” and “resiliency” which he uses all out of context.  I mute him while on these virtual meetings so I can actually do some work.  My boss calls him Megamind but I’ll call him Skinner because the fucker is just like that short little chef who wants to be in control at all times.  He sits at his office at home because we’re all still on a hybrid schedule only going in once a week, with pictures of the American founders signing the Declaration of Independence on his wall and has mini statues of Greek gods on his shelves instead of books on vocabulary and communication.  Which let’s face it he desperately needs to read, instead he uses visuals like copies of old Americana portraits and small statues of gods to make everyone think he’s as smart as he thinks he is.  Which everyone knows he’s not because of his demeanor and he’s already rubbed me the wrong way because he talks down to everyone including my direct supervisor.  He’s a fucking kid just out of college and completely wet behind the ears who thinks just because of his title he should act like a complete asshole.

Other Things Happening In My Life

I’ve heard so many things about Downton Abbey but haven’t really ever been interested in actually watching the series.  That is until last week when everyone at work was told to stay home until the AC at the old ass building we work in has been fixed.  It’s a damned hot house in there and the AC only works on one side of the building and wouldn’t you know it, it’s not the side I work in.  I was baking like a fucking toasted cheeser last week at work and at 2:30pm I called my boss who was working from home to tell him I was out of there.   I came home logged on to my work computer and sat on the couch to watch t.v.   I came across Downton Abbey on BBC America and watched the first episode (not the first episode of the series) but my very first episode and I was so intrigued that I binged watched the entire season 3 and then have gone back to watch the first and second seasons non-stop.  Who knew I’d love this series as much as Ted Lasso?  But I do and I’m still watching it right now, yes, I’m at home “working” but watching Downton Abbey and contemplating having afternoon tea and some tea sandwiches of pimento cheese, yes not very British but I’m in Texas so sue me.  Pimento cheese was one of the first things I learned to make as a girl growing up, no it wasn’t very Hispanic/Latin.  My mom taught me, and she learned from the white ranchers’ wives she worked with babysitting for them as a teenager.  These white ladies came from East Texas and I’m sure they weren’t too happy about being uprooted and brought to far Southwest end of the state, so they adapted.  Believe me it’s delicious and I love it.

Returning to the Treadmill

No technically not a treadmill but this is how I felt last week

I’ve started once again to get back into shape since I’ve been absent in my workout routine since February when everything hit the fan with my dad, my house and well everything.  Let’s just say this year has been a clusterfuck train wreck of a year for me and my family.   So I picked up where I left off or so I tried realizing I couldn’t run my 5K like I had prior and have had to start at walking the distance first.  Then my yoga routine also fell by the wayside where I’ve had to do the same, but I’m a week in and I hope to get back to where I was back in 2020. 

What the FUCK Do YOU MEAN MY HOUSE IS WORTH $180K?!?!?!?

One day a couple of weeks ago I sauntered out to get the mail and got a letter from my friendly neighborhood appraisal district telling me that they are valuing my home at $180K.  Which means that the taxes on my home will go up in the 2022 tax year!! Those motherfuckers are trying to give all the homeowners the shaft and I’m not going to take it!! So, what did I do?? I filed a fucking protest and had plenty of evidence to plead and prove my case.  They gave me an appointment to go before the appraisal board and on that day, I showed up with all my files, pictures, previous appraisals that I got off of their website and a comparable market analysis my realtor JMR provided to me. 

I waited patiently as I was one of about 30 people there and when it was my turn, I went up front to present my case.  The appraisal board is a committee of five people four men and one woman, which is extremely disproportionate.  They asked me why I thought their appraisal of my home is wrong, I began with these appraisals in question were done on a blanket type of program.  They didn’t really do them according to each home’s individual assessment.  I pulled up all the photos of the in-ground pool filled with dirt and rocks.  The electrical panel in the garage that needs to be updated, the garage door jambs that are rotting from the floor because water pools at the door when it rains.  The makeshift, poorly poured concrete in the back yard, the cracks in the brick on the side of my house, the small concrete plug that is up against the back to prevent water from pooling and rotting the wood.  I had tons of pictures and written information that I presented.  To say the least I went in completely prepared to debate any of the board members that might have found their appraisal to be accurate. Then after I had finished my 25-minute presentation, I thanked them for the opportunity to present and sat back down.  Before they called the next person, they called me up to tell me that they would offer me a settlement of $141K instead of the proposed $136K I had presented to them.  I quickly accepted and left happy that I didn’t have to pay taxes on a home appraised at $180K.  I rest my case!

Continuing Obsession with Coconut Cake

Yes, I’m still continuing my ever-evolving coconut cake recipe and I think I’ve come to my final and yet brilliant adaptation to it.  It’s quite simple really and I love the fact that it actually tastes like coconut, to which I still devotedly add my chocolate ganache sauce on the side.  The recipe is simple really and I’ve yet to try it in round 8” cake pans.  I will this weekend, but since this has been purely experimental for taste I’ve used an 8” rectangular baking dish and it still comes out delish!  Recipe is as follows:

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 can cream of coconut
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tub of Cool Whip

Prepare cake mix as per the instructions on the box, except instead of water, use the can of coconut milk.  Follow baking instructions on the box and when the cake is done leave it to cool slightly.  Heat cream of coconut for about 45 seconds in the microwave, stir to mix thoroughly.  While the cake still warm, poke holes in it with a fork, end of a wooden spoon or chopstick and pour cream of coconut over the entire cake.  Let set in the fridge for about an hour then frost with whipped topping.  Now this topping is purely optional and for me it’s the best option since it’s not heavy or too sweet for me.  In spite of the cream of coconut on the cake, it’s not overly sweet or mushy either.  It’s perfect for the chocolate sauce on the side, okay let’s face it this cake is only a vehicle for the dammed chocolate sauce.  Since I can’t drink this chocolate sauce out of a wine glass this is the best I can do. Gee maybe I should cut down on the cake and put more effort on the treadmill? Ppffttt…….hell to the no!

Until next time……this is the Huntress, saying…”Don’t be a Moth Around a Dim Yellow Bulb, Be a Moth to a Flame, Make it worth the Burn!”

Published by thehuntress915

My life has been a lot like the movie Bridget Jones Diary (the Hispanic version) constant comedic struggles and life lessons learned by way of personal experience. I've survived divorce and online dating debacles, so tag along for the ride and lets laugh together.

19 thoughts on “Tap Dancing on A Land Mind or How to Dance Like No One’s Watching

  1. I never jumped on the Downton bandwagon either but I did see the movie and then a documentary on the house where it was filmed so I’m intrigued as well.
    Good for you in fighting in city hall… and winning!
    Your coconut cake cake sounds lovely. I’ll try it on the Sunday pool tournament boys since the hubs doesn’t like coconut.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I loved the documentary on Highclere Castle!! I saw it too but that was way before I became intrigued by the series. There’s also a documentary called American Princess and hosted by Elizabeth McGovern the actress that plays Lady Grantham on the series, it’s interesting to know just how much American blood there is in the aristocratic world in England, who knew?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I too went in front of the jack-holes in the appraiser’s office many years ago. We also brought pictures and files and went through pretty much what you did. When we were finished, one of the elite said with a thoroughly ‘shocked’ voice – “How did you let your house get into that condition”. I was kind of dumbfounded and said nothing, because – what was there to say? They did bring the appraisal down significantly and it stayed that way for the 40+ years we owned it. You were lucky that you didn’t have someone like that in the group.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh Barb….what a prick you had on the appraisal board! I was lucky that they were all respectful and listened to everyone there. But I did tell them that I bought the house only 10 months ago and thought it an unusually high appraisal.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m getting that you aren’t all that fond of your boss. Is that right? You might feel better if you share your feelings with the group.
    My last tax appraisal was pretty fair, I think. Property values in my town have risen steadily over the twenty five years (!) we have lived here. That’s market value, not that we’re planning to move. Good on you for standing up. Fight the power, YO!
    If Downton Abbey was set in the antebellum south, no one would like it. They’re snotty and absurdly entitled, behind their cloak of being one of the people. It’s easy to do that when you don’t have to do it every day. Then there’s dinner: Black tie or white? I mean really, who do I have to break on the wheel to get a bleedin’ grilled cheese sandwich over here? When I watched that show it made me feel like a redneck (Which I’m not, I’m a Hillbilly). Worse than that, I’m kinda OK with it.
    I’m glad you saved the cake for dessert. Nobody wants to have a bad taste in their mouth. Coconut cake is my absolute favorite, without exception. Cathy wants chocolate on her birthday but the rest of the time it’s mostly coconut. Your recipe looks pretty good, gotta say. I would go with scratch instead of the box cake but the coconut milk to wet the batter is way smart as well as the coconut cream with the holes. Thanks for that, it’s going to make for a big improvement in my next one. Onya (I’ll bet you didn’t know I spoke Australian, did you?) .

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Mmm……cake! It’s barely 9am and now I want cake! Sounds delish! I’d also be interested in your pimento cheese recipe!

    You go, girl! I’m glad you got that appraisal down! You’re badass!

    I tried to watch Downton Abbey a while back and I just couldn’t get into it. I don’t know why as I DO love British tv shows. Maybe I should try again. 😉

    I do hope you find a new, more suitable to YOU job, my friend. It sounds like Skinner needs to be taken down a notch or two, or three. Lol. I always say everyone has the wrong job; it sounds like he should be the garbage man. Lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha! You should give it a try, I started in season 3. Then I watched the first two and I’m hooked. I know what you mean about the cake, I’m already wanting some but I have to cut back or else I’ll keep gaining weight…..damn those carbs! My moms pimento cheese recipe is so simple it’s not even funny. I’ll email it over to you. I promise I won’t take as long as I did with the tamale recipe, lol. That short little shit of an assistant director should go back to college and learn some manners.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t think Downton Abbey sounded interesting, either. Then around the 6th season I accidentally ran across it and watched. Binged my way through the rest of it. Congrats on the tax reduction. I only went up against city hall once for a parking violation. Got it reduced to half and figured it was best to take it rather than take the time to fight it all the way. Principles, you know.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Never watched Downton Abbey … I am one of those smug assholes that never watches it but judges those that do. I have one right by my PC that I turn on once every couple of months to watch wars, tsunamis, volcanos, and losing politicians.
    Got my appraisal in the mail, and begorrah! They didn’t give themselves a raise. I learned to not put up nice outbuildings nor to powerwash the house just to keep them at bay.
    You make me grateful for retirement. No more bosses!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well Rusty, don’t judge me too harshly. I watched it but I was rooting for the servants the entire time because the aristocracy are a bunch of assholes who think they’re entitled to everything. Sorta like the appraisal districts raising the value of our homes. And be grateful your retired and never have to deal with the Skinners of the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Doesn’t everyone have a Skinner or two in their work worlds? They ARE the worst!

    I’ve never watched or been interested in watching Downton Abbey–maybe one of these days (probably years after it’s done) I’ll get around to checking it out. I spend very little time watching TV or seeing movies, and there are always so many recommendations!

    Well done getting back to your workouts! I desperately need to do the same–I fell off of them at the beginning of the pandemic and haven’t gotten back onto them…yet.

    A huge round of applause for you fighting (and WINNING!!) against your county’s appraisal!! I am super proud of you!! They probably count on people being too lazy to take time off of work and fight them. Me. I’m people.

    I’m not a coconut fan, but I love that you’ve found a new passion with coconut cake–just reading you geek out over it makes me so happy for you!! ❤

    All in all, this was a pretty great update!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Skinners are all over the damned place, ugh. It just seems per capita I get the to work with the majority of them. I did what I had to do with my appraisal. This job doesn’t pay me enough to pay higher taxes right now. Maybe you should watch Downton Abbey, it’s interesting from the servant point of view, the aristos not so much. I’ve lost six pounds since starting my workout routine again!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Downton Abbey is still one of my favourite shows–so glad you came across it, so now we can Abbey Buddies! And I’ve never heard of that kind of appraisal, or that you can go and personally fight it–maybe we don’t have that up here–but good for you!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love Downton Abbey! I resisted watching it because I really never found an interest in it. But after two episode from season 3, I was hooked! So Canadians don’t have an appraisal district that values homes for property taxes? Yes, we can protest the appraisal value on our homes. Like mine was extremely over inflated, so I did go and present my case because they’re appraisal of my home in its current condition is way off. I haven’t made any real upgrades for it to be that high, let alone be taxed on a home valued at $171K.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ooh, did you see the new Downton Abbey movie? I love it for the escapism. David’s the one who got me into it. Your cake sounds yummy. My favorite cake is German Chocolate, which has coconut in the frosting…or isn’t icing? I wonder what the difference is? Anyway, your recipe sounds divine. I may have to make something delicious for dessert today with coconut in it! I fell in love with pimento cheese courtesy of Zoe’s Kitchen…and now they don’t make it anymore. I’ve tried Price’s from the grocery store…ick. I guess I’ll have to learn to make it myself. One of the best things in life is a grilled pimento cheese and bacon sandwich! Glad you got your property taxes worked out. Also. that elevator at your new job sounds suspect and a little scary. The good news is that if you use the stairs instead, your bound to get back to the fitness level you want to be at in no time. Skinner sounds like another idiot that’s risen to the top. Take care and have a great week ahead…in 100 plus degree heat! Do y’all have ‘dry’ heat or the suffocating humidity that we tend to get? Mona

    Liked by 1 person

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