Friday, January 30, 2009

A sigh of relief

This week is over; January is over; bring on February!

We weren't able to make it in to work Wednesday due to all of the snow, and we won't be coming in Monday because we are having the gas turned on at our new house. Naturally, the Almighty Gas Company doesn't make appointments, instead forcing you to twiddle your thumbs close by from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. But rest assured, they'll call a half an hour before they arrive. That's terribly considerate of them.

At least FINALLY having the gas turned on and the heat cranked up will allow us to begin our renovations. I agree with Husband that it is a daunting situation, but I am very ready to begin. At least I can start to feel productive! Maybe it will also begin to feel like this is really our house, whereas now it still just feels like we're intruders every time we go over. For my peace of mind, here is a list of things we need to get done, in the order we need to do them:

1. Have gas turned on; have water turned on.
2. Install fancy new 7-day thermostat.
3. Clean out former owners' garbage; move appliances out to garage.
4. Remove baseboards; rip out carpet; tear out kitchen linoleum; eradicate wallpaper borders; demo kitchen wall.
5. Wire house with Husband's internet cables.***
6. Install new front door
7. Patch drywall; paint walls.
8. Install bamboo flooring in lower level; have carpet installed on second floor; install tile and new toilets in bathroom(s).
9. Re-attach baseboards and possibly crown molding.
10. Install new appliances, sink and countertops in kitchen, and new lights.
11. Move in furniture; hang pictures; decorate.
12. Enjoy.

This is obviously a short list that does not include many of the important details. However, I'm really looking forward to number 12...

***Update: Husband has informed me that the "internet cables" that I reference are technically called Cat5 network cables, and that I am adorable. Of the latter, I was aware.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

As the snow flies...

Round about this time of the year I start to forget what it's like to go outside without the usual winter accoutrements, especially a down-filled coat. Here's a little ditty ("June Bride") from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers that should give us all some hope:

In November, the snow starts to fly,
Piling up, ankle-high.

Come December, it's up to your knee,
Still a bride's a bride-to-be.

January, higher still,
To the parlor window sill.

February finds a drift
And the storm that seems never to lift.

March comes in like a lion, what else?
Still the snow never melts.

April showers will come, so they say.
But they don't, and it's May.

You're about to forget the whole thing,
All at once, one day, it's Spring.

Photo from here!

A morning giggle

Here's a funny little story to start your morning off right from I don't think you necessarily have to be blonde to appreciate stupidity:

Gestapo, Taco, Same Difference

Retail | UK

(I work in a retail store that sells kind of quirky and alternative items. As it is nearing Christmas, I was doing the gift-wrapping while a co-worker was ringing up items.)

Lady: *hands a mug*

Me: *begins giftwrapping the mug* “Nothing to it. Just
like wrapping a tortilla!

Lady: “What would you know about tortillas? You’re blonde!”

Me: “Well, my mother loves–”

Lady: “Shut up! You blondes think you’re so much better than everyone else! You’re not! You need everyone else to do all the work for you! You’re all useless, and you’ll never be the master race!”

Me: “Erm…”

Lady: *pays and storms out*

Monday, January 26, 2009

When all else fails...

...put a pillow over your face and scream. Especially if it is an exceptionally pretty pillow from

Exhibit A. Contrast, elegance, appliqué. I have an understated tropical feel.

Exhibit B. The patterns on each of these pillow are unique and simple yet striking. I am simply saddened by the fact that never would I think to put these three patterns together and even imagine such a beautiful result. I especially like the color of the green pillow.

Exhibit C. These are pillows that might actually have a chance of appearing in my home. Very simple and restrained yet colorful and balanced. I would totally nap on those stripes. Plus, they're slimming...

Exhibit D. I have an obsession with polka dots that was acquired within the past few years. There's just something about the's...hypnotizing...

Exhibit E. I wouldn't use the butterfly pillow in my house now, because the overtly feminine design wouldn't be fair to Husband (I don't think he could properly play one of his first person shooter video games while leaning against this pillow). However, if I was single and had a pink couch, I would be all over this pillow, because YUM.

The good news? BEAUTIFUL SHINY PRETTY THINGS. The bad news? Not one of these pillows is available for under $25 (and most are OVER $50...for serious). I do not keep my hatred of our current sofa throw pillows a secret. But I also would not pay $25 for ONE PILLOW. Even if it was as pretty as these.


I'm annoyed today for no apparent reason. Perhaps it's just a collusion of many things going on in my life that have culminated into one big, fat annoyed feeling. Because my apparent purpose in life is to make you feel just as annoyed as I am, here's a laundry list, in no specific order.

I'm annoyed at the state of several of my friendships. I'm not necessarily annoyed at these people, I'm just annoyed that I've let myself lose touch. I really do miss them and feel guilty for not calling them (let's ignore, for the moment, the fact that they have not contacted me...perhaps they're just as annoyed as I am). I mean to call, and then my fat ass gets distracted by the shiny shiny television or some hunk of food, and I don't call. Plus, the telephone annoys me in general.

I'm annoyed that my bangs are in my eyes and, although I totally want to get a professional haircut and get some highlights, I don't want to spend the money, especially when my dear husband has subjected himself to my home head shavings for the past few months. My ends are split and my roots are dark and ugly, but it seems such a waste to PAY someone to make me slightly less horrendous when there is PAINT to buy and FLOORING to install (we'll get to this next).

I'm annoyed that it's been two weekends and we still haven't made a single inch of progress on our home remodel. The reason is that the heat has yet to be turned on. So, I'm either annoyed at the gas company because we have to be home ALL EFFING DAY during the workweek for them to turn it on, or that the weather isn't warm enough to facilitate a no-heat necessary renovation environment. If that made any sense at all.

I'm annoyed that I'm lusting after a giant, delicious Den pop when I should be drinking water or tea or some other non-caloric beverage. I'm annoyed that they are so INexpensive and yummy and I am so thirsty and doughey. In reality, I don't really think I'm that fat, but I think that other people think I should think that. Uhm...yeah. For a regular 8-5 desk worker, I'm pretty normal, if not un-defined in the muscle area. But I think other people think I should want to improve myself physically. And I probably should. But, actually, maybe I'm just annoyed at that whole situation in general. DON'T JUDGE ME AND MY LOVE OF CARBS! (I'm also annoyed at the caps lock key.)

I'm annoyed that I'm a whiny little bitch that needs to look on the effing bright side and get over it. So, the (rhetorical) question is, whaddya gonna do about it, punk?

Friday, January 23, 2009

For your enjoyment

This makes me feel better about life:

Yet another reason why BlindIrishPirate RULEZ.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Be there, or be square

Are you free April 16 at 10 a.m.? I sure hope so, because our house is getting auctioned off at a sheriff's sale! Let me start at the beginning...

Husband and I returned home ( door at his parents' where we currently reside) last night and noticed a note taped to the door of our house (erm...that place we just bought...this is going to get confusing). We waddled over and investigated. The previous owners were named as the proper recipients of the note which stated that a sheriff's auction would be taking place in mid-April for the sale of the house.

Apparently, the sheriff's department didn't get the memo (...or notice the "SOLD" sign in the front yard...). Husband made a few calls and is working to get everything cleared up, but I would be less than surprised if the bank we bought the home from dropped the ball and forgot to let everyone know that the house had already been sold last Friday. We can prove it! We've got the deed safely tucked away. They would have to pry it from our cold, dead fingers.

Meanwhile, the house might be trying to kill me. Spending more than ten minutes inside sends me into some kind of anaphylactic shock. Okay, we'll, maybe not that bad, but still. First, my eyes get scratchy, then I start to itch just beneath my throat. If I've actually made physical contact with anything in the house, there's a good chance some part of my body is turning red and welty. I can feel my lungs begin to close up and the wheezing commences. It's pretty hot, let me tell you.

I'm hopeful that once the carpet finally is removed and the walls have been washed that my problems will disappear. Otherwise, we're going to have to buy stock in Benadryl. I was in a sound coma last night by about 9:45. It's just drugs and sex and rock and roll over in our bedroom, believe you me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The New Homeowners

We arrived early to our closing and finished signing all of the paperwork in record time. We handed over our check and received the keys, but it still hasn't truly sunk in that we own a house. The three day holiday weekend was filled with trips to home improvement stores, comparing this flooring to that flooring and these appliances to those appliances. We gave two separate groups of friends tours of the house and cannot wait to have everyone over to relax and visit once the renovations are complete. Before we can begin ripping out carpeting and tearing off ugly wallpaper border, we will have to get the heat turned on (luckily our foresighted Realtor had the home winterized, so no real danger of frozen pipes!). Once the house is toasty and we are waist deep in the castoff of manual labor, then our wallets will hemorrhage money in exchange for beautiful floor coverings and countertops and paint. We hope to be finished and moved in by April.

Our toes are freezing. Our lungs are clogged with year-old dust and dander. Our hearts are happy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The long-awaited January 20, 2009

I will give everyone an update on The Weekend We Bought a House soon, but to interrupt your current programming, I bring you January 20, 2009. A lot of people have been waiting a lot of years for this day, and it has finally arrived. He won't be able to change everything overnight. He won't even be able to change everything within the first few years. So don't get your hopes too high. However, the following e-card, courtesy of, sums up my thoughts on the whole business quite succinctly:

Thanks to Dedracula for bringing this spectacular e-card to my attention. Happy inauguration, everyone.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Counting Down...

Only a few hours and signatures separate us from owning our first home, and I'm not sure even the biggest, fanciest words can adequately describe my excitement. I really have no apprehension over this purchase, and I had no trouble sleeping soundly last night. It's been awhile since I showed you the house that has been mocking us next door for so many months. Here she is, in all her Realtor homepage gloriousness:

Buying our first home has been a long road, and we have taken many wrong turns, had a flat tire, and eventually ran out of gas, but now we are about to arrive at our destination! Okay, so maybe that metaphor wasn't the greatest... I know we're really just beginning this journey, but I am looking forward to everything we are about to encounter rather than wringing my hands over the amount of work (and money) we're going to pour into the house.

You're welcome at our place anytime.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I have a feeling that, like almost everything else in life, this whole "homeowner" business is really going to give me an edumacation. For example, last night I learned that house insurance is much, MUCH less expensive than car insurance. The disparity in the value of the objects was what initially struck me (house=très cher, cars=not expensive in the scheme of things...particulary the one that isn't running right now and that I would like to put into neutral and push off a cliff...). However, the liability is the difference. It's not like you're going to kill or maim someone by running over them with your Cape Cod. So, I learned.

I think I'm also going to have to learn (the hard way) to somehow stress less. Yesterday was a busy day of calling the loan officer and bank, repeatedly. Because our current bank hates us and wants us to suffer, they have no office hours that do not coincide with the time we are at work or commuting from work (they are also closed on Saturdays...). So, I've made my poor father my gopher. BUT, his name is no longer on the checking account (his name was on a previous savings account that we closed), so began the rigamarole of making sure he could fulfill his gopher duties without being arrested for being a fraud of some kind.

Add to that the fact that we may not even know the final total for the cashier's check until Thursday or Friday morning (yeah, we close at 1:30 Friday), and I'm more than just a little annoyed. I don't trust the competency of anyone we're working with, so I'm trying to have all my bases covered, but I'm sure I'm missing something. Besides, I've always been a bit...shall we say "highstrung?" I'm glad Husband is blissfully even-keeled.

We were able to take one final look inside the house last night, which calmed my internal frustration a little bit and got me extra excited for redecorating. For all of the anticipation followed by waiting, waiting, and more waiting, I really just cannot imagine a better home for our purposes or a better deal on said home. Things really are working out for the best, even if they didn't quite go according to my plan.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

So, yeah, more than a little excited...

I have been waiting patiently (well...maybe patiently isn't the word...) to decorate my own home. Actually, I've been waiting patiently just to start thinking about decorating my own home. Because our future in our new house has been so uncertain, I tried very hard not to get my hopes up by thinking about every single color I wanted to paint the walls and how I would arrange my furniture and what picture to hang where. But tonight we are signing the papers for homeowner's insurance and we are still scheduled to close this Friday. So I'm going to start contemplating, beotches!

Husband and I aren't exactly granola munching Birkenstock wearers that stink up the room with patchouli oil, but we are interested in helping to sustain the Earth through the use of renewable resources, green products, organic gardening, composting, and recycling. When first contemplating the flooring of our home, I was thinking about lots and lots of neutral carpeting throughout except for the kitchen and bathrooms. However, we're rethinking that plan of action, and our new potential plan might just be bamboo. Bamboo flooring (it's actually a grass and not a hardwood) is something we've always been interested in. It's just as hard and durable as, say, oak or cherry, but it is less expensive, and even after harvesting the bamboo will continue to produce the product over and over again from the same plant. Plus, PRETTY. Here's a sample from Lowes's Web site in a Cognac color (because everything is better with alcohol-related names).

My in-laws have the best window blinds in the whole entire world in their game room (which is surrounded by windows). They are simple but so lovely and keep the light out like it's nobody's business. I covet them. These are the blinds (or a very similar version) from JC Penney's Web site: Cape Cod Roman Shades. I would get them in a darker color to match the darker bamboo floors, but LOVE. I would be completely okay with forgoing curtains and just showcasing these puppies!

And on that bamboo floor? In the room with beautiful Cape Cod Roman window shades? I might just have to put this rug. I not only have impeccable taste, but I'm also a cheap date. This rug is from Target's Web site and is from a line called "Italian Walnut," although I prefer to call it, "My Precious." Can you even imagine walls painted with the blue, cream, and green colors pulled out? CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE?

I think I need to go lay down...all of this exciting decorating is getting me all verklempt.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Closing Time...

As of the afternoon of Friday, January 16, Husband and I will officially be homeowners. This is the date we sign away our current money, future money, collective souls, and firstborn to a bank that has hemmed and hawed and dilly dallied until they were about to lose their shirts. The sheriff's sale was supposed to be next Thursday. You will note we are signing the paperwork the day after that. They were somehow able to push the sale back (technically canceling it), but I am completely convinced of this bank's inability to meet any kind of deadline.

However, the minute we sign the paperwork, we will automatically have $30,000 worth of equity. Joke's on them.

We've been looking for a new home since June, and, suddenly, somehow it is January and we have finally achieved our goal. If we'd purchased a home in June, our interest rate wouldn't be as low and the banks wouldn't be as desperate, so things really do work out in the end. I hope things work out for you, too.

Closing time - every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


During our annual New Year's Eve celebration, a conscientious friend pointed out the fact that, sometimes, I ain't talk so good. Valid point, illustrated by my use of the garbled response, "Idnit?" (see: "Isn't it?") I guess that kind of vocabulary just comes with the Midwest territory.

Even if I ain't talk so good, I can at least try to write properly from time to time. I'm not a particularly mentally sharp person, but I would like to participate in more activities that dust the cobwebs off my frontal cortex. For my birthday I received a gift card to the mecca of readerly capitalism, Barnes & Noble. Husband spotted a word game he'd heard a co-worker speak of, called "Bananagrams." Scrabble-like letters come encased in a pouch shaped like, you guessed it, a banana. The players work independently to make their own personal crossword puzzle, rearranging the letters until all are used, the first person to finish being the winner. It has simple rules and is surprisingly fun! I would recommend the game to anyone! (Can I sound any more like a commercial?) Buy it today!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Joyeux anniversaire à moi!

Today is my birthday! I am officially 23 years old! I'm already able to buy lottery tickets and drink alcohol, but I still can't rent a car or get a lower insurance rate, so 23 doesn't seem to really have any serious perks as far as I can tell. Actually, this birthday seemed to sneak up on me as I suspect most birthdays from here on out will. Here are 23 facts about my birth and birthday that will probably have no interest or consequence to you:

1. I was born at 5:13 a.m.
2. If you're not good at math, I was born in 1986.
3. I am the first and only child (read: spoiled).
4. I was supposed to be born around December 15 (poor Mommy).
5. My mother ate a pound of chocolate candy right before I was born (poor me).
6. Thanks to the candy, I was a chunky 8+ pound baby.
7. My father announced my name after I was born, which apparently came as a surprise to my mother.
8. My husband was born at the same hospital I was (3 years earlier) and we both have the same baby shirt from the hospital.
9. On the day I was born, my paternal grandfather opened an account for college at the bank under my name, which he misspelled.
10. I am the fourth grandchild on my maternal side, but the first girl.
11. My only female cousin was born just 6 weeks after me.
12. I've never had a surprise birthday party (and I'm okay with that, for the record).
13. No one terribly interesting (aside from me, of course) was born today, but here is a list anyway.
13. Wikipedia is a wealth of knowledge.
14. 360 days remain until 2010.
15. Because of the date, my birthday always seemed to be anticlimactic, like letting the air out of the balloon of Christmas and New Year's.
16. Sixteen was probably my favorite birthday, thus far, if only because of the excitement and promise the year held. That year I received a shiny new yellow Volkswagen beetle, an amazing gift (and probably my favorite, it's a little hard to compete with).
17. My favorite birthday dessert would probably have to be plain old chocolate cake with chocolate icing, because double chocolate is never a bad thing.
18. This is a much longer list than I anticipated...
19. A very dear girlfriend and I initially bonded over our shared birth month. We were in band together and also played the same instrument (read: nerds). Her birthday is in just eleven days.
20. I might get to see this dear girlfriend tomorrow for dinner!
21. It really has been a great day thus far, although I forgot my sweater and when I came in to work today I found the furnace had conked out in my office and it is about 50 degrees in here. Thank goodness for my little space heater!
22. Tonight I am having dinner with my parents, husband, and in-laws at one of my favorite hometown restaurants.
23. I am blessed to have so many friends and family members who love me and recognize my birthday. I hope I am always able to return the favor in kind and help make those I dearly treasure feel special, if only for one day.