A Housewarming Party, by the numbers

March 30, 2010

22:  People at the party
2:    People who got lost on the way because google maps doesn't know where we live
3:    People it took to figure out our new coffeepot
5:    People who locked themselves in our bathroom due to the faulty door
2:    People who called us from inside the bathroom to come let them out
4:    Number of adult beverages spilled on the floor
4:    Number of times we were glad we chose tile instead of carpet
12:  Bottles of wine we got as housewarming gifts
1:    People who accidentally fell into the pool
8:    High dollar steaks that almost got burned (but didn't)
5:    People sleeping on our couch at the end of the night
3:    People sleeping on the floor
0:    Number of things destroyed or broken during the party

Now that is what I call a successful housewarming party.


March 26, 2010


The sad part is that they have this disclaimer at all.  Because you know it's only there after someone actually WALKED INTO THAT WINDOW.

Bin There, Done That

March 21, 2010

Maybe other people have this problem. I can’t be the only one. But every time I go to the airport, the number of gray plastic bins that I have to push through the security checkpoint is borderline ridiculous.

Let’s do a little exercise, called “How Many Bins Does it Take To Get Through Security.”

Bin #1: jacket, shoes
Bin #2: purse, cell phone, belt
Bin #3: plastic bag of liquids, whatever item of permissible food-stuffs that I am carrying
Bin #4: laptop

And then, of course, there are the non-bin items, such as my laptop case and carry-on suitcase.

I have, on occasion, been known to utilize up to 5 bins, plus the two bags that I’m pushing through the conveyor belt. On more then one occasion, I’ve had so many bins that after I’ve gathered my belongings on the other side and walked away, I’ll have someone call me back because I have forgotten a whole bin of items.

I’ve tried to help the process, I really have. For example, I have my special “airport belt.”

What is an airport belt you ask? An airport belt is when I know I’m going to show up very early for my flight, so I wear a belt that, if it fails the metal detector, I will have time for the “personalized” screening. In this way, I can find out for future flights whether or not I will be required to take off the belt at the checkpoint.

Once I find a belt that successfully passes the metal detector, it then becomes the belt I wear to the airport, hence the obvious nickname.  I am unreasonably proud of my airport belts. Usually it is a fun time at the security checkpoint. This is how it used to go:

TSA Personnel: Miss, you’ll need to remove that belt.
Me: Oh, it’s okay, I’ve worn this before. It won’t set off the machine.
TSA: Whatever, it’s no skin off my back if you have to have special screening.

And I walk through the machine and their eyes widen in amazement. They congratulate me on successfully passing the security checkpoint and then they give me a high five as I stroll casually by retrieve my luggage.

Okay, maybe they don’t actually give me a high-five.

But all of that came to a screeching halt on a recent trip. You see one day you get that guy, the one who was supposed to start his break half an hour ago and is therefore surly, overworked, and tired. He may also be bald. Like the Brawny man, but shorter and with an angry scowl. This guy does not like to be questioned.

Brawny Man:  Ma’am, please remove your belt.
Me:  Oh, it’s okay, I’ve worn this through before—
Brawny Man:  MA’AM. Please remove your belt.
Me:  But really, it won’t set off the machine it’s okay, I prom—
Brawny Man:  MA’AM. TAKE. OFF. YOUR. BELT.
My husband was busy giving me the look of death. Even though he was in line behind me, I could feel his eyes boring into my back, as if to say, “For the love of God woman, please stop arguing with the TSA man.”

I had to admit defeat.  I hung my head and took off my belt. Since all of my gray bins were already full, I put it in one of those circular thingies for loose change.

As I walked by the Brawny man he scowled a little more and huffed.

“Really?” Chris asked me as we were gathering our items on the other side. “Really?! You wanted to argue with the TSA man?”

“But I know that—“

“I don’t know if you noticed, but he didn’t care.”

“He wasn’t very nice about it.”

“He was nice enough the first time. But when he had to tell you for the third time, then yes, you’re right, he wasn’t very polite by then.”

There are two morals to this story, really.

Number 1: There is no helping the process. Be prepared to use a lot of bins. At least, if you’re anything like me.

Number 2 (the most important lesson): Don’t argue with airport security. Even if you’re right. YOU WON’T WIN.


Make a baby with anyone!

March 18, 2010

I was surfing the internet recently when I came across this advertisement:


But as bad as that one is, it’s not as creepy as the ads I saw when I was checking my Facebook account:


Thanks, Facebook, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want to make a baby with “anyone.” Especially if it means I end up with that alien-looking baby.

...Or one that takes the nickname “chipmunk cheeks” to a whole new level:


So of course, I had to try it out. You know, see what my future (way, way future) babies with Chris will look like. Thankfully, according to the indisbutible science of the interwebs, our future babies will actually turn out kinda cute:


Birds of a feather

March 15, 2010

This is a picture of our new backyard, taken last weekend.

Choose your favorite caption from the selection below, or create your own and leave it in the comments section:

“OMG, the pigeons are mutating! Look at the size of those things!”

“Thanksgiving’s come early this year… Cletus, get yer shotgun!”

Actually... the birds in question are actually neither pigeons or turkeys -- they are peafowl.

Yes, I meant peafowl:
As you may recall, we recently bought a house. Our new neighbors have about a dozen peacocks/peahens that they let roam around the neighborhood.

Which seemed really cool, at first.

Until we found out they could hop the fence into our backyard. And that they poop. A lot. And that they have very LARGE poops.

Apparently we are going to have to introduce ourselves. As in, “Hi new neighbors. Here are some cookies. By the way, your peacocks are really cool but we have a dog and, well, we can’t be held responsible if your peacocks get in to our yard and our dog attempts to eat them. Also please send someone over to clean up their poo. Thanks. Enjoy the cookies.”

Happy Anniversary

March 14, 2010

One year ago today, we got married.

Does this mean we aren't technically newlyweds anymore?

Vegas, Baby

March 10, 2010

So, is it inappropriate for your husband to dress up as an Elvis impersonator to attend a Vegas wedding?? Or funny??

We had some good friends get married at the MGM in Las Vegas last weekend.  After a few cocktails at the bar on the night before the wedding, my husband and his twin brother thought it might be hilarious to rent Elvis costumes to attend the wedding.  The next morning, however, we had our doubts.  What seemed like a good idea at midnight on a Friday does not always wash in the light of day.  Plus, it is - ahem - the bride's day.  Two Elvis's might have stolen the show.

Aside from a beautiful wedding, here's a short list of highlights:

Flying into Vegas, and having the air traffic controllers route your plane almost directly over the strip...

Spending an hour at the North Las Vegas airport hanging out with a woman who I'm pretty sure was the artist Pink...

Visiting the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop and getting a meet-and-greet with Big Hoss and Chumlee...

Spending 15 minutes trying to fish my $5 back from the vending machine (with an earring) when it refused to give me a water....

Only to later have it spit out 3 waters for the price of one (the best payout in Vegas!)...

Checking out the gorgeous view from the bride and groom's private patio...


Heading all the way to "Mandolin Bay" to watch the "sharks play their tiny guitars"...

Only to find out the Shark Exhibit costs $25...

And then taking a $6 cab ride back to the MGM because we kept walking in circles around the Excalibur trying to get to the strip...

"Why is it," our friend asked, "that half the doors in these hotels lead to dirty alleyways?"

(We always seemed to find the doors that went out to dirty alleyways, insetad of the glitzy strip)

Oh, and... the best part... coming home with MORE money than you left with...!

The $500 Chair

March 05, 2010

A little story of two companies, one chair, and a clerical error…

The company that I work for has a lot of temporary project sites, for which we establish mobile offices. We often furnish our mobile offices with rented furniture.

This past month, we closed up one of our mobile offices, and called the furniture rental company to come pick up their desks and chairs.  Well, when they came to pick up the rented chairs, they had a surprise in store: an extra chair.  A few days later my boss received the following message:

"During our scheduled pickup, we retreived 5 chairs from your location.  Since our records had only indicated that your company was renting 4 chairs, we have submitted the following invoice for the rental fees for the 5th chair, dating back to the start of the rental contract...."
The rental fee, back-dated two years, came out to slightly more than $500.  Now, let's just take a moment to reflect on this:

a) we weren't actively trying to cheat the system.  It's a big enough company we honestly didn't realize they should have been billing us for 5 chairs.

b) had we not done the right thing by returning the chair and, instead, just kept it -- not only would they not have been able to try and bill us for the rental but they would have been out a chair, too.

c) we rented a lot of stuff.  In the grand scheme of things, they shouldn't jeopardize their business reputation and the loss of a client over one chair.

d) that chair is not worth anywhere near $500.  At this point we've more than bought the darn thing.  Twice.

With these things in mind, my boss responded in kind:
"Although we regret that a clerical error on your part has resulted in the loss of rental income for this one chair, we feel that the good faith effort of returning your chair should suffice as payment in full."
There was a bit of haggling back and forth after this.  They countered and said, "How about half the cost of the back rental fees?" To which we responded, "No thanks.  You can still have your chair back though."  This went on for a few emails and phone calls until finally, they said, "Okay, when can we pick up the chair?"

At this point, you would think that's the end of the story.  Oh, no, it couldn't be that simple.  Because as it turns out, when the rental company came to pick up the extra chair (which we have now dubbed, "the five-hundred dollar chair") they couldn't find it.  We had set it aside so it wouldn't be mixed in with the regular office furniture, and when a different moving company came to pick up our mobile office they took everything - including the five-hundred dollar chair which had been carefully positioned inside that office.

After many phone calls and much disbelief on the part of the mobile office movers ("We always make sure the offices are empty before we move them") we managed to retreive the chair.  Only now we have to figure out how to deliver it to the rental company, becuase they won't come out again to pick it up.  (Of course, they won't just let us keep it, either).  So it sits in our main office, hanging out with a sign on it that essentially reads, "DO NOT SIT on the $500 chair."

We gain a house, but lose some sanity

March 03, 2010

Look at the photo below and answer the following multiple-choice question.  Does this photo represent:

A) I have finally learned how to use the “super macro” function on my camera

B) I have keys that are both purple AND sparkly



D) All of the above

Obviously, the answer is D. Which is why my blog has been suspiciously silent for the past week. If anyone has ever told you that buying a house is “fun”… watch out. THEY LIE. Oh, sure, looking at houses is fun. It’s the actual contract, negotiations, and loan part that sucks monkey butt.

Here’s what HGTV would have you think about home buying, with my personal edits.

John and Jane Doe acquire a realtor to help them search for a house.
Okay, this much is true.

After 15 minutes, 3 houses, and 2 clothing changes, they find a house they like.
What they don’t show is the 1.35 bajillion other houses the picky couple drags their hapless realtor to. But in our case, it was just one house. We saw it, we liked it, we wanted to buy it.

The couple puts in an offer on the house they like. They sit down at a pretty garden table with a scenic vista to sign their offer letter.
We quickly scribble our signature about a dozen times and our realtor says, “thanks, I’ll call you.”

The couple waits in a fancy local coffee shop for their realtor to come back with the buyer’s response.
We wait about two months for the buyer’s response. And we are not hanging out in a coffee shop.

Eventually, the offer is accepted. The couple jumps up and down and cheers and hugs each other.
We sigh in relief because we think the hard part is over. HAHA jokes on us. We still need to finalize the loan…

The couple goes straight to title.
Getting a loan is neither simple nor easy. You never see that part on the TV shows. For our loan I was on a first-name basis with half of the staff at the loan agency, bounced back and forth emails and phone calls at all hours of the day, and may have found my first gray hair.

The couple goes to the title company, sits at a large wooden table with half a dozen people, and signs a paper with a flourish.
We go to the title company, sit at a small desk in a small office and start signing all twenty thousand and one pages of the necessary paperwork. Halfway through, the title officer pokes her head in and says, “um, we have a slight hiccup…”

The couple then hand over a check, and are then presented with a set of keys and told, “Congratulations, you just bought a house!”
YOU DON’T GET THE KEYS WHEN YOU SIGN AT TITLE. THAT IS A BIG FAT LIE. You get the keys later that day, or the next day, once the sale has recorded.  So anticlimatic.

The couple instantly walks into their new house where they find a beautiful housewarming gift from their new friends at HGTV.
We walk into our new house much later in the afternoon only to find out the utility companies have been by to turn off our electricity and water. Also, oddly enough, HGTV did not leave us a housewarming gift.

But it’s done now, and we have a beautiful house!