Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Flowers, Firearms, Funny Boys...and no...not Guns N Roses

So do you remember this cutie reporter?

You know where he's from? He's from the land of firearms evidently. Tivo and all...watched a 20/20 special tonight "If I only had a gun" and vowed to never have firearms in my house and when I learnted that 1 in 3 folks have firearms in the home, I vowed to have sleepovers galore. I'm not a fan of statistics like that.

20/20 special clip - check it here

My hubby is the best. And no, not just because he brings me beautiful flowers.
But partly because of that (smile).

Funny boys...have you ever watched Rescue Me? I stand my ground. That show is totally Novella for the boys. I used to say it was a boy soap opera. But it has surpassed even my expectations into the realm of Novellas.

hot. mess.

Like Jamaica...but with no AC

Let me tell you. My honeymoon was the bomb.

Some of my fave memories?
** 27 minutes on site and the welcoming "refreshment" was a Bob Marley.
** Air conditioning
** the smell of Jerk chicken
** Air conditioning
** late night beach walks
** Hobie cats
** Did I mention air conditioning?

I'm married to a wanderer. He likes to wander off places. Like Tibet. And Everest.

While yes, Jamaica is VERY much on the beaten path...especially since you have places in Negril that very much advertise that they are the party capital of the world for the just passed teeny bopper spring break set (ahem), it is definitely on the beaten path.

But here's the thing.

When we think about "where next" a lot of folks are on the "You'll never top Everest" tip. Duely noted. Competitive as we are, we don't feel a need to one up every trip we take.

So for the honeymoon, it became what is the best deal we can get for a long time away from crazyville (preferably right next door to Margaritaville - check) but with the option to see/experience some "real life". Remember...I got to experience rural Chinese toilets on our last big trip before the honeymoon and all.

All said, I loved my honeymoon so much that the ONLY (and I do mean ONLY) issue I had was really a non-issue rendered moot because, as I mentioned, one of my fave things about Jamaica was the air conditioning. Mostly, because that place was hot as a MUG. I mean come on.

I lived in Ujamaa at Cornell and I attended my first and last sweatbox only to get a cool glimpse of what visiting any of the island nations my pan-African people had come from. No joke that the university was really good about making sure the habitat was kept hospitable for us. I'm not saying...just cause, you know...I'm from Texas and we got heat too. Just not like island heat.


Earlier this week, when my better half in all of probably 7 minutes (cause he's fast like that) forwards me an email to a place that shall not be named, I'm game. I mean really. Any place that I need to sleep with a net and be mindful of the lack of reliable electricity sounds like the trip of a lifetime to me. (And it was was).

This morning, he wakes up (well not really since he doesn't sleep anymore) and asks me:

" do know that this place is like Jamaica right?"

Of course I do...that is why I want to go.

"But it is like Jamaica with no air conditioning"


[more silence]

"Oh...and did I mention that they say you need a flashlight to go to the bathroom at night so that you don't step on the crabs in your room...I mean we're THAT CLOSE to the beach."

[really silent and then]

"Well, it's cool that it is on the beach."

"Oh yeah about that. We should also watch out for scorpions."

I'm from the desert. El Paso to be exact. I quit Girl Scouts the week after my troop leader came screaming out of her garage because she had been stung by a scorpion. I've never seen a real live one (well, because the one I saw that day was squished dead) and I'd like to keep it that way.

For the record, my troop split right after that because the leaders didn't get along. But I like to tell it as I do above because that makes it a bit more dramatic and special.

Oh Jamaica.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

but have you REALLY been to Seattle?

Ahh...spring in the PNW. What's that mean? We're not the land of the midnight sun, but we DID have sun pretty darn late last night. So it meant:

Trip to the best people watching place in the city for the best fish and chips in the city.

No. I'm not talking the piers. Unless you're a tourist. And you're scared.

I'm talking Alki Beach...on the first sunny day of the season. With all the hoopties out. And some of the...well...I should behave myself. But it is fascinating. There are the slow rollers. The guy in the ski mask (shout out! please don't shoot out). The gorgeous cars raised and lowered. The rims that cost more than my Ivy League college education (I got off cheap remember...all of $6000 because of that other thing I'll mention a bit later). The girls stopping traffic. The old folks honking at the girls stopping traffic. The endless search for parking. The two trucks pulling folks left and right. The dreaming of "I want that house right there". The realization that a quick summer sale could very well end us in temporary housing on this very strip. But best of all?

You guessed it. Spuds.

Though...I have to say...last night they needed to fire up the grease a bit hotter.

So many folks swear by Ivars little tiny strips of things that are supposed to be fish and stringy fries. And I'll bite (literally).

But if you want the best fish and chips in town, fight the crowds (well, DON'T take me literally on that front) and hit Spuds. The handcut fries (skin on) are to die for. The REAL pieces of fish are worth the price. And the garlic vinegar...oh my sweet saviour.

Of course no trip to Alki is not complete without a stop "on the way home" at the ice cream shop. You'll be proud to know we stuck to the sherbert. Which is good because now that every place in the world wants to let you know how many calories you are sucking down, it's probably pretty important to note it has half the calories of my old standby Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Swirl. Oh the sacrifices we make.

In other news:

Looking like May will be rather litigious
Looking like May will also be rather muddy
Finally figured on a plan B and I totally like it. Totally!
Mexico anyone?
Okay how about DC then?
Scrapping is good - join the 50/50 challenge with me
Pandora still rocks even though I now have not one, but two iPods
Powder Puff Pine Wood Derby rocks my world
Burst pipes don't float my world
Busted brakes do try to stop my world

Drama. Hope the Portland drive is going well for you. I think it's time for another lunch date since it's been like...what...half a year or something?

Drama 2 (or maybe you're 1 since I knew you first and all) can I be your wedding planner? I love planning weddings.

Drama 3 (or maybe one because you are just off the HAM meeter). I'll save it.

House hasn't sold yet (the HORROR! Not.) so you still have time to take a guess on this post.

Happy sunny day.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Who? What? When? Where? oh and Why?

lots of questions and emails to this last post. So let's see what we can get to.

I know it is a bad habit to not respond to the direct comments and only take to responding to emails here, but hey...if you take the time to comment, I figure you're kind enough to take the time to read and I try to really be all "interactive" so...theoretically, I answer comments in subsequent posts (or edits).

If you comment, and it goes unchecked, unanswered, just let me know. Imperfect and all. I'm thinking of doing the comments gone wild version of the blog again (aka, unmoderated) because we do live in an instant gratification world and all.

Only problem is I'm pretty anti censorship and I feel all like "the man" when I have to delete obnoxious, non-sense that really, has nothing whatsoever to do with the price of tea in China. Or anything else I remotely care to have my rare and few blog readers read about. But I've reconciled that inner-conflict with these small nuggets of widespread knowledge:

Blogger blogs are free. You can start your own and have your own soapbox.

Even my frail, wannabe tech savvy father in law can figure out how to google me and find my email address. And that is where he sends me spam. If he can figure out my email addy, so can you. Some things are better addressed (or ignored/deleted) via email.

That said...let's play "did you notice".

Did you notice that in the above photo, there is a gorgeous shade of green on the wall? Gorgeous because it used to be this "interesting" shade of texturized golden/yellowish/orange (see dining photo, think darker). Gorgeous because I cried tears in trying to figure out what color to paint the man cave (aka bonus room). Gorgeous because I "settled" on this ugly color at Lowes (or Home Depot...I get them confused) using the handy little "pretend this is your room" computer monitor and thought it would come out more gray/brown than it did. Was DELIGHTED when it came out this color.

Did you notice in the photo above that there is a bowl of something on the table? That "something" is popcorn. Being that it is a bonus room with a gigantor screen (we watch the SuperBowl on it for the annual party because the tv itself is just not big enough...evidently), the smell of popcorn really helps to solidify that you want to curl up on the couch previously known as "The Make Out Couch" to watch a movie like...oh...The Reader.

Did you notice in the photo above that there are three bottles (on the windowsill) of oils with various goodness in them? If you thought not eating the popcorn in the photo before this was hard, you have no idea the will power it takes for me not to pop open that red chili seed oil with some baguettes. Yes. I said/typed baguettes. name IS Bernadette you know.

Did you notice in the photo above that the walls are red and yellow. Well, really they are this really great color of red and yellow. But remember the bonus room/man cave photo? Where I referenced the dining room yellow? Well, picture it darker...and textured. It made it a pretty dark man cave. All said, that mirror on the wall? Costco. By my better half. It makes me look thinner and I love it every day when I'm looking tired and getting read to go to bed and loading up the dishwasher. Oh yeah. I don't load the dishwasher. There's a reason for that.

Did you notice that there is so much to love and notice in this room? But we NEVER (as in EVER) use this room? Kinda obvious, I know. So my three fave things to notice about this room: the photo above the fireplace was taken by my better half; the chess set was a craig's list alley deal; you really should not come down the stairs in just your towel because those curtains stay open ALL. THE. TIME. Just saying She Who Shall Remain Unnamed Who I Love For Putting up With My Wedding Obsession (and yes, I will skype with ya).
Did you notice that this room is also green? But it is actually a MUCH lighter shade of green than downstairs. And I actually used to hate it (we called it the Thin Mint room. Okay. *I* called it the Thin Mint room). But then accessories made all the difference. Especially those REAL wood logs for our FAKE gas fireplace (well not fake, but it doesn't burn real wood...bummer).

Did you notice that the big blue star and the bowl of starfish are holdovers from another time. Another day specifically. July 19, 2008. They couldn't make me get rid of ALL my wedding decor.

Did you notice, barely, that piece in the front, right corner? Our TV lives in there. The tv I kinda scraped up in the move. But more importantly, that cool piece was my first indicator that my man was more than handy AND frugal. The piece is a Craigslist find (sensing a pattern here) left on the side of the road. He stripped it and stained it. I love it to pieces.

Did you notice that this room used to be my scrap room? And that the transformation is awesome?

Did you notice that there is a bunch of orange throughout our place? Could you tell that orange was my favorite color?

How fun! Okay really though:
Why move now, why not wait?
Because, as I mentioned, we can. We could wait until the market starts to go back up but guess what? The market will start to go back up on the other end too (the end where we're looking to buy another place). And since we're buying up as all good, responsible Americans chasing the dream are want to do, it makes more sense to sell now while the market is down so that we can buy while the market is down. It would make MOST sense to have sold while the market was up, waiting with our crystal ball for the crash to come and then capitalized on both ends. Alas, there is now bigger pay off for us to sell now and at the least, capitalize on the end which will be a better bang for our buck - the buy side.
Where you going to girl and why you gotta leave like that?
First the second part. We don't "have to" go like that. We like where we're at and like the peoples. We do, however, both work on the other side now. And by the other side, I mean we float to work (cause the 405 would make me homocidal). When we first started here, he worked downtown and I worked on Cap Hill at SU. Now we both work in Bellevue. On the East Side. So it makes more sense to live on that side closer to work because we're both slaves to our jobs and our jobs predicate how we will live our lives. To that, there's the answer to the first part. Where we're going is closer to work. Likely NOT Bellevue (cause I'm married to a banker at his core and I work in the non-profit sector and that's working out swimingly financially right now but not Bellevue style swimmingly). But east of the lake definitely.
It is so pretty! Why would you want to leave?
Again, not so much want or have to. It just is what it is.
Townhouse again? Or a real people's home this time?
I DO declare! But funny enough to make the cut because I've heard my hubby refer to moving to a "grown up house" too. I don't get it. Mostly because it is a pretty UNIQUE townhome I guess. As I was educated last night, it isn't a zero lot line so there's an HOA. Which is actually GOOD because there is uniformity to what very similar looking units look like. Not that you have to all be the same (don't go there...I was the Director of Diversity & Equity and a Diversity Columnist so I appreciate difference well enough - just not when you want to drape your place in purple gauze and my other neighbor wants to keep the multicolored Christmas lights flashing year round), but I do like coming home and not worrying about the yard. But now I DO want a yard to worry about. And grow a pea patch in ( was called for).
I'm a visual learner. Show me.
Me too. Some links for your vicarious pleasure.
And no. We have not found where to next. We're not officially looking (the links above would make me a liar to say "we're not looking") until after we sell. One time per marriage of signing on the dotted line only to say "but wait" is enough for us (smile).
Happy house peeping.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Home for sell (Guess the Offer/Sell Date)

Need a new place?
Holy crap. I just typed a long post and lost it. So that's a sign.
The gist?
We put the house on the market this Monday.

5 days. Guess.
Guess on what day (ie, day 92,978) we will get our first offer. After that, we'll play guess the day we'll actually close the sell (ie, on day 938,298 you will close) and we'll make it a good contest.

The prize? You get to say you won!
Actually, you get to brag that you know when the Seattle area real estate market turned and we were able to sell. And I'll throw in a $25 GC for the poor folks who can't afford to shop for groceries anymore. Grocery Outlet anyone? will be to like Target or Barnes and Noble or a charitable gift in your honor to your choice of screwed by the economy charity/non-profit. Whichever one you prefer that hasn't gone out of business by the time this place sells and you win.

"Winner" will be the person (or first person) who guesses the right day. If you guess something more optimistically close to today, you can guess again (on this post only so I can find it please) after your day passes.

This should tide us over for 5 months eh?
*** ETA: Man ya'll are researchers. It's really just a guessing game. No need to research TOMs and market trends (smile). We're selling because we want to (and can afford to) not because we have to. I'm a bit partial, but I'll do another post about this all. Soon as I figure out how to link up some of my faves without inadvertently telling the free world exactly where to mail their pipe bombs when we move. ***