Friday, November 11, 2005

Holy Smoking Washing Machines Batman!

Ok - so I'm SORT of habitual about this whole blogging thing.

This is like the third time this week! Yea me!

So I thought I might make good on tying up a few loose ends in the Blog universe. Today I will be concluding the story that I mentioned I may or may not get around to in regards to laundry. I bet you are all on the edge of your seats now, reading faster, heart rates sky-rocketing.

Because Laundry is SO hot. So scintillating. SO fabulomatastisk!

Ok, fine. See here.

If you work your way down, past the half way mark, after a bunch of rambling, blabbing, and general pro-brevity sentiment, you will find a remark I made about our washing machine.

To be exact:

"Except when the washer emits smoke and threatens to explode. But that's another story which I may or may not get around to telling ..."

So there, considering this ME finally getting around to telling the story of our incredible smoking washing machine.

It was just an average Friday night. The husband and I had hauled ourselves up to Sacramento for the weekend. Lately I have taken to starting laundry on Friday nights because I am a LOOSER and like to get it out of the way so that we have more time for projects throughout the weekend with limited interruption.

Since generally it's a bad idea to rotate clean laundry when you're up to your eyeballs in sweat and sawdust.

I was about one laundry rotation and 1.5 glasses of wine into the evening when I finally joined The Husband for a movie.

Apparently I am now tracking my time in quantities of alcohol consumed.


About 15 minutes into the movie I started to smell something foul and generally un-good.

Burning rubber is never something you want to smell IN the house.

Upon turning to The Husband I see that he has registered the same concern and we simultaneously look up at the video projector from whence the movie cometh forth.

And we both become buggedy-eyed and concerned that our new precious BABY was melting down.

Fortunately it was not in fact the projector. Which left us with only a moment of relief before it was replaced with the OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SMELL fear.

Was the house burning down??

And then it occurred to us both that it WAS possible that during the installation of the projector - and all the wiring that was required - that the attic was now on fire from some faulty wiring.

Holy shit that was a freaky moment. The very idea that the insulation in our attic was engulfed in flames left me feeling simultaneously very helpless and VERY aware of the consequences. That and was my husband capable of bad wiring that would cause the house to fall down in a smoldering heap? I mean, the guy knows what he's doing! How could this happen??

We grabbed a ladder and ran to the laundry room where the attic access is. The room was filled with smoke and smelled even worse than the bedroom.

At least we were getting closer - but this did not bode well for the attic/fire/crap/we're in deep shit now theory.

My Husband climbed up the ladder and very carefully pushed the access open.

We've seen Backdraft people! Excellent movie - lots of hot firemen running around, I highly recommend it. But I was having NONE of that in MY house thankyouverymuch. Well, all the scary fire and backdrafts at least.

And THANK GOD there was nothing but fresh air up there.

And apparently we had located our burning-stinky-smell source.

The laundry room - and in it, the currently running and highly suspect washing machine.

We turned it off, kicked on the vent, and let the room clear for a few minutes. The Husband checked the wiring and hoses, and after confirming they were ok, he turned it on again.

And the bad, evil, stinky smell returned.

Thankfully it doesn't take a person of high intellect to deduce a conclusion from this scenario. Which was in our favor given our combined wine consumption for the evening. Apparently the spin cycle was having issues and Mr. Maytag man will have to pay us a visit.

And with that we went to bed.

And the next morning I lugged a load of soaking wet laundry to the local Laundromat and sulked that one of my favorite appliances was kaput.

Mr. Maytag man came and replaced a bearing and a belt and chastised us for apparently over-loading the machine.

Um, excuse me? Over-load an EXTRA LARGE washing machine? I don't think I've EVER had what would be even considered a FULL load let alone an EXTRA LARGE. I haven't even washed a comforter or a sleeping bag which this beast is promoted to enjoy and reply "thank you may I have another".

Hello? This man was accusing me of ABUSING my washing machine? Any of you neat freak cleaning fanatics will know my pain.


So all is better now - I am happy to report that our washing machine is back to it's normal routine. And I no longer have to drudge off to the Laundromat and suffer from all the horrible inconveniences that I illustrated from my Thursday Blues post.

Cuz it's just agony I'm telling you.

Monday, November 07, 2005

In an attempt to make a habit of this...

Look at me! I'm blogging again!

With nothing particular to blog about. I mean, sure I've got stuff to blog about. Technically. My head is always swarming with ideas.

But I've got an itty bitty amount of time. Which is NO time to try and write anything of real content.

I'm drawing a complete blank of what I preoccupied my time with this weekend. I recall it being busy, involving a few too many beers (translation: calories), and changing a toilet seat.

Oh yea. That's was charming.

So our toilet seat cracked Friday night. Go figure. Just cracks and proceeded to pinch the ass of everyone who used it.

Let me tell you - good times.

So I drag the Husband on a study break to the local Home Depot Saturday afternoon and we proceeded to analyze and assess each and every toilet seat option.

This is an important decision you know.

Do you want the more expensive wood variety? The very same that CRACKED for no apparent reason.

But the cheaper plastic variety

Do we just get the same one we had before? But again, it CRACKED. So, not too inclined to go that route.

And then there are the squishy ones filled with air that are comfy and all...but they explode.

I'll let Michele tell THAT particular gem of a story.

And then my husband homed in on the toilet seat of ALL toilet seats. It's like he, being a man, is naturally equipped with some sort of homing device. One that is designed to find the most COOLEST toilet seat out of all the choices.

The SoftClose 2000.

It is a toilet seat that, with a gentle nudge, will close SLOWLY ON IT'S OWN.

No more slamming lids by accident!

And for those of us lazy people who like to disguise our laziness with an apparent need for ultimate efficiency - it's great because it reduces the time spent closing a toilet lid from 1.3 seconds to a mere 0.7 seconds!

That's a savings of 0.6 seconds!

Seriously - that's a big deal!

If you think about it, if you use the restroom approximately 3 times a day, that's 1.8 seconds you're saving a day. 12.6 seconds a week...655.2 seconds a year, which is like, 11 minutes!

Over your entire life time you could save 15 hours closing the toilet!

And that's just if you go 3 times a day - some people go twice that! 30 hours people! Something to seriously consider here.

So this is how I spend my Saturday evenings - installing toilet seats. But, you know, it was like 4 beers into the evening and I thought it was a great plan.

And I only dropped 2 of the bolts into the toilet bowl. But I wasn't so knackered that I didn't put on some gloves FIRST before reaching in and pulling them out. So that's good.

You know you have a drinking problem if you reach into toilets bare-handed.

And the seat was only slightly crooked and was easily fixed the next morning after all the beer had vacated my system.

This is what Do-it-Yourselfer's do on their Saturday nights.

Get drunk and fix toilets.

Next week I'll amuse all of you by getting drunk and hanging sheet rock.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Who'd have thunk.

Look Tiff! I'm blogging - two days in a row! The lunacy!

Today's topic of choice is Real Estate.

Oh yes - I'm now going to talk about Real Estate.

Never mind the light hearted anecdotes I have so lovingly compiled in the past. Oh no. Now I'm going to talk about the exciting wide-world of housing!

Apparently my work (that doesn't necessarily exist) has distilled all humorous story-telling out of me. Damn you non-existent slave drivers!

Ok, so, you can't live in the Bay Area and not be aware of the fact that there is a bubble that is going to BURST.

Any day.

Yep. Any day now.


The news is all over it at all times. Not a day goes by that I haven't noticed a headline that either uses the word "bubble" or "housing market" or "interest rates". In fact, I could probably pop on to Yahoo News right now and dig up some recent article on the state of the real estate market...

What the HELL? Coca Cola will be discontinuing their Vanilla Coke line?



...and that is SO not what I meant to blog about.

Ok, so - the real estate market.

So you've got your news, and then you've got your friends. So I have one friend who is this real estate buff and has been playing with it as a hobby for probably over 10 years now. She has some investment property, loves to watch the Bay Area market, and is more recently interested in trading in her cute little 3 bedroom tiny bungalow in Willow Glen for something a bit more roomy. All the while she gives me all kinds of advise and commentary on the market. And then there's another friend - the lovely Tiff - who blogs on occasion about her Real Estate woes and tribulations.

And then you've got me and my Husband.

You know - the ones with the weird living situation. I'd recap but I'm lazy - so just go read this entry if you really care. Brevity is not my strong point, but I ASSURE you there is an explanation SOMEWHERE in that particular blog entry.

I think.

Often times I wonder what will the next chapter for us be like in the whole living situation realm. As much as I LOVE the confusing lifestyle. And WEE FUN I love maintaining more than one household. I'm thinking a consolidation is definitely in order. And soon.

And my poor husband. I'm a woman - what can I say? I like to dream...think about the possibilities. Talk about them OUT LOUD. I think I drive him nuts.

So my latest dream is that we might actually stay in the Bay Area. Which in it's own way is INSANE. I mean, a little research and I quickly learned that we would not be able to find a free standing house for less than $500,000. And you know, as much as the whole idea of living in a place that looks just like an apartment is great and all, except if you OWN it. Hello? Owning an apartment? Owning a cookie-cutter mini-house where you share the walls with strangers and to add insult you are expected to pay HOA fees so they can paint YOUR HOUSE whatever color they want? "They" being the mini-government that you have just now volunteered to live under because lord knows that having a Federal and State Government isn't enough - no, gosh darn it, you need a Community Government to harass you too.

And they call these fancy things "Condos" or "Townhouses". My ass.


They all just look like apartments.

But I'm a realistic woman. I know that if our jobs keep us here in the Bay Area (which they are looking more and more like they will) (if I had a job that is) (and if I did I wouldn't blog about it here) (you think I'm crazy?) we will have to find SOME place that we can call home. And throwing our money away to the rental-pit of despair is SO not an option in my book. Furthermore I refuse to allow either one of us to commute more than 45 minutes each - and even that is undesirable. We've done the weekend commute long enough - I'm tired, it gets old (after, like, day 2), and it's just not realistic.

So we'll find ourselves a nice little 3 bedroom (grumble) "townhouse" with a one car garage and call it home. Because it will be ours - and we'll be happy we have anything at all.

So you might imagine my surprise when I stumbled across quite the little gem of information.

There is LAND available. Yes! LAND!

Dirt - with nothing on it!

HERE - in the Bay Area!

And no - not, like, in Gilroy (and yes, there are some that consider that the "Bay Area").

In Redwood City no less! Emerald Hills! In the East San Jose Hills!

It's an ANOMALY!

I haven't figured it out yet. But I have my suspicions. See below for those. Oh yes, I'll get into those. This blog is not NEARLY long enough yet to be one of mine.

I mean - 1/4 of an acre in the Emerald Hills for $300k? Kidding right? Sick, cruel, mean, sadistic kind of ha-ha humor?

But it exists!

And there are no seminars involved - no crazy investment scams that I know of.

Just land. Complete with electric to the property line, sewage and water, and an MLS listing number!


Oh MAN - and for those of you who know us you'd know that we are SO ALL OVER building our own house from the ground up. With a little help from a few professionals of course.


We ARE crazy folk you know - we built and hung our bed from the ceiling as some of you may recall.

So apparently there's hope.

It may mean we'll be living out of a free standing garage and an RV on some dirt in the Emerald Hills. But hey! It'll be ours, the commute won't suck, and we will officially be property owners in the Bay Area.

So my suspicions.

I'm thinking that people are just not into the whole *buying a totally empty lot and building everything from the ground up themselves* kind of thing. I mean, it's a TON of work. You've got to get architects in there. If you care about the trees you should probably get an arborist-guy in to poke around. Then there's trenching for electricity, water, sewer, fiber optics down from the street. Getting permits, hiring contractors, getting manicures, pedicures, making your hair appointments.

Part time job at the very least.

And then you basically are waiting for about a year before it's livable.

Maybe we are crazy.

But I can use a hammer! I'm handy!

Totally nuts.

We are totally and completely nutty-nutty.

And you guys all get to watch!

Either that or I'll get bored with this idea in, like, a month and move on to some other hair brained idea.

But you can keep watching!


I have more thoughts on Real Estate and all it's glory but I'll save that for another day.

And if you're familiar with my blog you're probably thinking that you'll check back in maybe 2 weeks and then MAYBE I'll have written again.

But, I don't know. I mean - I wrote yesterday, and now today.

My GOD - I may be making a habit here.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Deep Thoughts? What's happened to me?!

I was recently reading a blog which has put me in a more serious mood for blogging (thanks a hell of a lot Tiff). I finally get around to blogging and I'm SO not feeling funny.

This will me my very first, official, serious blog, officially. This ought to be interesting.

Warning: for those of you looking for witty and smarmy banter - I'd like to think you'd get it here normally. But not today! Today I have my serious cap on!

So. On to the subject of wants, wanting what we can't have, not getting what we want, wanting, wanting wanting.

Of the many things I've learned in my short (albeit eventful) life, one thing that is pertinent to this topic (how convenient) is that when you want something either you need to go for it, or?

...squash it for good and never look back because you will do nothing but tear yourself up and torture yourself with dissatisfaction for as long as you continue to go without that want being met.

Now, I could go on talking figuratively - never really emphasizing any real point I'm getting at. But I hate doing that.

It's just cause for confusion.

So I will attempt to be more specific.

The first thing that comes to my mind when it comes to "wants" is relationships. Afterall, it's where a vast majority of our wants in life stem from. And we've got all kinds of relationships - working ones, family ones, intimate ones, etc. But today, boys and girls, I will be focusing more seriously about relationships with men.

Once upon a time I dated a guy for a good chunk of my adult life. For those in my audience who know the real 3-D mary, they will remember him fondly as the what-the-fuck-was-mary-thinking? guy.

Or, the Artist.

Retrospectively I agree with all the opinions - he was a "unique" boyfriend.

What this has to do with my theme of the day is that I WANTED certain things out of life and he was not going to give those things to me. And that was ultimately the ruin of that relationship. It was slow, and took me forever to figure out. But if I had to put my finger on why we didn't make it and I don't go home to him every night today - it's because (cliche alert)...we wanted different things.

I shall elaborate.

I wanted kids. He didn't.

I wanted a house. He could never ever ever ever in a million years guarantee he would have rent money next month. So to him, it was out of the question, so wanting wasn't an option.

I wanted marriage. He wasn't really sure about that other than maybe it would gain him financial security (regular paycheck = me). But ultimately? Eh. not really. Marriage didn't mean all that much to him.

At the time I was in my young 20's. Every time I wondered if I could really compromise my wants I shrugged it off because I was too young to worry about it. Which was true. I was having fun. The Artist was a sweet guy. Weird yes. Sweet, fun, handy in the kitchen, yes. So I had no real deadlines or goals to meet anytime soon.

But it harped on me. Because I knew one day that I would be older and I would have to make a choice.

Were those wants really important to me? And if I told myself they weren't, was I prepared to never look back? Because you do that and you find yourself in your 40's - wanting kids and unable to conceive, and having just ruined your relationship with the man you sacrificed your wants for because you subconsciously resented him for not wanting the same things as you. And you can't take it anymore so you leave him to find someone else who has the same wants in life.

So why did you stay with him all along? So you could just widdle away 15 years of your life for fun? Wee fun!

It doesn't go away.

5 years I was with someone who wanted different things. 4 years of which I told myself I didn't have to make a decision. And after 4.5 years I woke up and realized that I WANTED these things. I would look back and hate myself for letting them slip away. You live one life, blah blah blah.

And after 5 years I intentionally walked away from a relationship that, while fun and entertaining and secure, was going to kill me because I would compromise things I wanted just so I wouldn't have to break his heart. Because, after all, he had everything HE wanted.



I got angry. Angry because I just sat down and took it. Angry because I wasn't honest with myself and just spent 5 years with a guy who I thought was selfish for getting everything HE wanted out of our relationship but gave me nothing I wanted. And jealous because I lived with a guy who had a great relationship and that's what I wanted.

In hindsight I know that I had no reason to be angry at him. Afterall I never told him I wanted those things. I knew he didn't - because, GASP!, he was honest with me - so I didn't contradict him. I feared our relationship would fail because I wanted different things so I kept my mouth shut.

Ironic huh?

Our different wants in life still killed the relationship. It was just more of a long drawn out slow suffocation rather than a quick heart attack.

Every day we are faced with wanting things. A new car. New job. New hair cut. A new body, new wardrobe, new housemate, a new cat (cuz god knows if you have to pick up cat vomit ONE more time...).

But what are the "wants" that, after the day is up, we NEED them?

What are the wants that have always been there, the ones with staying power?

The ones that caused you to put on your best dress and play wedding when you were 6 years old? Or cradle your baby doll to sleep? Or build houses in your living room out of couch cushions, blankets, and pillows?

For me?

Kids, a house, a marriage.

And I know that it's not 100% possible. Life happens and we're met with obstacles. And not everyone has all their core "wants" met.

But when I was faced with giving them up but never really letting them go, or getting out of a relationship that wasn't giving me what I wanted and taking the chance of finding one that would?

I'm young - those were odds I was willing to risk. And I was damned to not even fight for them.

And I feel a bit of a hypocrite because there was a man who actually wanted to give me all the things I want in life waiting right around the corner. So it appears I had it easy. But I still had to make the choice to be honest with myself about my wants, to leave the artist, and break his heart. I still cryed on my Best Friends shoulder, fell off the face of the planet to my family, packed my cats, my things, and told him goodbye.

The rest was just good timing.

Thank you Tiff for inspiring me to write something a little more candid and thoughtful.