Wednesday, November 28, 2007

new place, new winter gear

I’m really starting to like this place. But what's not to like when it’s nearly December and you still don’t need to wear a coat outside? Better than that, I actually wore a t-shirt and shorts today. Now that’s my kind of winter gear!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I’ve been waiting a long time to write the following words…

Our condo sold!!

After about 128 days, 80 e-mails, 25 showings, 2 bogus offers and 1 near-nervous breakdown, it finally sold. In fact, it closed today!

We are ecstatic, relieved, and just plain thankful.

I’m not sure our old neighbors will share the same enthusiasm if what their new neighbor says is true on his myspace page…that he spends “countless hours” on his “drum set.” Whoops. But on the positive side, he has nearly 300 myspace friends, so maybe he’s not such a bad guy.

Regardless, we are ecstatic. And did I mention relieved and thankful?

Happy early thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2007

going overboard

Boat outings are always the highlight of any trip to visit my parents, and a recent trip was no exception.

My mom announced as soon as we arrived that her and my dad were planning a special cook-out for us on the boat, complete with hot dogs. Husband, who would happily eat hot dogs at every meal for the rest of his life, was excited at the offer.

So we set out on our boating expedition. The weather was perfect - breezy and sunny. We spent a couple hours on the boat, and my dad fired up the small grill attached to a rung on the side of the boat.

The hot dogs were reaching peak readiness with the tinge of black crispiness starting to appear. Meanwhile, we had reached our peak hunger, with salivation probably starting to appear, as we smelled them cooking. Each one of us was probably imagining how we would top our dog (Husband – ketchup only; Mom – mustard and relish; Me – ketchup and mustard; Dad – all of the above).

I handed my dad the plate for the dogs. He held it in his hands, reaching for the dogs. And before I could realize what happened (the grill tipped over), I saw the hot dogs floating in the water below us. All 8 of the hot dogs. Every hot dog that we had on the boat. Our only lunch, floating further and further away from the boat and us.

In my brain, I screamed! “NOOO! The hot dogs! Please, someone save them!”

But there was silence. No one said a word, as we all struggled to understand and accept that our hot dog lunch would be without, well, hot dogs.

In just a few seconds, I ran through all the emotions associated with the grieving process of losing your hot dog. Disbelief. Anger. Disappointment. Frustration. Hunger. Until I settled on laughter.

I started a few chuckles, and soon I was laughing so hard I couldn’t speak and tears were streaming down my face. We all started laughing because there was nothing else we could do.

So we salvaged the lunch as best we could. Thankfully, my mom had brought a variety of sides that then became the main course. I munched on the solo hot dog bun (not so tasty), some cucumbers, chips, and brownies. Husband got creative and put the cucumbers in the hot dog bun, making some sort of cucumber sandwich. We would chew in silence, and then one of us would think of the humor of the situation, and start the laughter again. We made a variety of hot-dog related jokes:

- “Who let the dogs out?” (Horrible, I know)

- “So, I guess hot dogs can float!”

- “Hey, Dad, maybe you can throw our dinner in the pool tonight, too!”

And then we came up with a variety of “lessons learned” for the next trip:

- “Maybe we should have the net handy in case anything else falls over again.”

- “Let’s only cook 4 hot dogs at a time, that way we still have 4 left if the first batch falls over.”

- “We should stabilize the grill better next time.”

The lunch itself turned out to be ok. We had enough food to ward off our hunger, although we still pined for our lost dogs.

This event happened only a couple weeks ago, and we’ve already made reference to the “hot dog incident” countless times, telling (and re-telling) the story to friends and family.

Because of that, I can’t say that I would change the incident, even if I could have. But only because I finally got my hot dog on the next boating trip!

[This story is dedicated to my mom, who asked recently as a gentle reminder: “When are you going to write that story about the hot dogs?”]

Saturday, November 17, 2007

casualty of our new place

[Disclaimer: What you are about to read is slightly disturbing and downright gross. Proceed with caution before reading, especially if you are eating.]

The first casualty of our new place was actually an air freshener dispenser. Well, more specifically, it was 6 small bugs, but followed soon after by the air freshener in its surprising demise.

I know, it doesn’t seem possible for anything to actually happen to it since it’s only job is to sit in one place, passively releasing its smell. And it wasn’t even a fancy plug-in type (since we have a shortage of outlets in the joint). It was the most basic type that you place on a table. We bought it soon after we got here to mask the mustiness of this place, certainly a tall order for a small air freshener.

So, the other morning when I woke up, Husband announces in a quiet voice:

“Something’s happened to the air freshener.”


He continued: “It fell in the toilet.”

I thought I maybe misunderstood him in my semi-awake state, especially when said the next part, in an even quieter tone.

”And you peed on it.”

Yikes! As if it wasn’t hard enough to believe that it 1) fell in the toilet, I somehow strained to comprehend how 2) I actually urinated on it!

He then offered an explanation. Since the location of the air freshener was on the too-tiny counter of our bathroom, Husband decided before we went to bed to move it to help save space. Husband then placed it on its new location on top of the wall-mounted hair dryer. About an hour after we went to sleep, in its apparent suicide attempt, the air freshener jumped off the blow dryer and landed, with a crash, into the toilet. Plunk.

I wasn’t aware of any of this, as I was enjoying some beauty sleep. I then got up in the night for one of my ritual nightly bathroom trips, unknowingly contaminating the water for the air freshener that lurked below.

Husband didn’t realize that the air freshener actually fell into the toilet, until he saw it in the morning bobbing like a buoy in a sea of pee.

I still couldn’t believe the situation and started a line of questioning that sounded like this…

“But why did you move it?” (Husband answer: “To conserve space”)

“But why on top of the hair dryer? That surface isn’t even flat.” (Husband answer: “But it fit on top of there and seemed like it would stay.”)

“But why didn’t you let me know it fell in the toilet before I peed on it?” (Husband answer: “I didn’t know it fell in the toilet. I just heard a crash and thought it fell on the floor.”)

“So…um, where is the air freshener now?” (Husband answer: “I took it out of the toilet.”)

“Ewww! Did you wash your hands??” (Husband answer: “No.”)

Don’t worry, Husband was being sarcastic in the last answer and did, in fact, wash his hands.

Though not an expert on air fresheners, I figured that its pee bath would not render it capable of doing its job of emitting a good smell and I deposited it in the trash.

We have not found a replacement for the air freshener yet. But when we do, I can guarantee that we will put it in any location except on the mounted hair dryer.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

hello to our new home

After 3-days of driving in separate cars (and a lot of calls between on the walkie-talkies), we have arrived at the new place we’ll call home. For just the next 4 months, that is. (Thankfully!)

The first day that we arrived I was speechless. Literally. I knew that our living space (a one-bedroom studio-type apartment) would be rustic, but I wasn’t totally prepared these rustic proportions. (Think camping out, except not as fun and indoors.)

Husband, noticing my unusual silence and shock, was trying to be the energetic optimist. He pointed out any positive attributes with energy that would rival any used car salesman.

“Wow! Look…not one, but TWO TVs!”

“Ooh…what a nice big desk for your computer!”

“Cool, a four-slot toaster!”

He then got so desperate to cheer me up that he resorted to pointing out even the most basic items with the same enthusiasm.

“Wow, a closet!”

“It has a refrigerator, too!”

“Check out the table!”

I moped for a day, and then got over it. Sure, this place wouldn’t be my first choice (or even second choice) for a living space, but it’ll do. I’m grateful that we’re together and we have a safe place to live. (And that there’s internet in the room!)

So my gloomy mood faded and I became the “it’s-not-so-bad” cheerleader for the both of us. That’s when Husband caught the gloomy blues. After all his initial enthusiasm (and after nearly 72 hours of living here), he finally looked around, as if he just saw the place for the first time, and frowned saying: “this place is a dump!”

He’s right. It’s sort of a dump. But we are laughing at all the quirks of the place. (Trust me – there’s plenty, so we’re doing a lot of laughing.) Like the bed that seems to be only slightly larger than a twin bed, fit more for a small child than two adults. Or the overhead fluorescent lights that cast a yellow-ish haze over the room. Or, the kitchen sink that isn’t big enough for more than one dish at a time. And, last but not least, the invisible stove and non-existent oven that’s made the microwave our best friend.

Regardless, I know that we’ll survive…and we’ll have many more laughs at the expense of our poor little place.