Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Could there possibly be too much for me to watch on tv?

I’ve been really bad this year with my Fall TV. I try to watch the new programs every year but this year, between work and a possible move, I’ve fallen.

The only new programs I’ve watched so far are: My Name is Earl , How I Met Your Mother and Everybody Hates Chris.

I haven’t even checked out any of the new Lost followers: Surface and Threshold.

The problem is I have too many old standbys that I watch. CSI (and its crop), Law and Order (and its crop) and a plethora of half-hour sitcoms fill my DVR. Add to that my addiction to Discovery channel programs and my nights are filled with tried and true.

It’s a shame really. I really do feel for the freshman crop. In October, I’ll try to check out a few more programs. Nothing really pops out though. Any suggestions?

I finally cleaned out the storage closet. I shoved all the memory boxes in. The last closet that needs to be cleaned is Lrudlrick’s. This closet will not be touched by me. Lrudlrick has the pleasure of weeding through the vast quantities of workout stuff he has in there. We have this giant sparring doohickey that he bought on a lark. He honestly thought that if he punched this thing in our apartment, the neighbors downstairs wouldn’t complain.

We also have this blow up, Weeble like sparring thingamajig that required gallons of water to weigh it down. Filling this PVC blow up with water seemed to time consuming so it hasn’t been used either.

They say women buy a ton of diet/workout stuff but I think men are just as guilty if not more so. For women, we’ll buy a tape or a book or even some cool workout clothes. Men buy giant contraptions that require huge tracts of land. We’ve gone through treadmills, punching bags, weights, toning sticks (I have not idea what these things do) and other martial arts paraphernalia.

The only thing I have is a mat. A plain old mat I use to stretch.

Mind you, my husband has a gym membership too. Plus, there is a fee based gym in our building. Yet, we still have this crap stuffed in our closets.

Every yard sale has an exercise equipment section. Why don’t we get it. It’s not going to be used. Don’t buy it. Still, every few months, we get sucked into buying one of these crazy contraptions. I’m waiting for Lrudlrick to come home with a Tony Little machine.

You can do it!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"Has anyone in this family ever seen a chicken?"

Ok, the subject line has nothing to do with my entry today but it was too funny to not mention.

I’ve spent the past weekend cleaning every nook and cranny in my apartment. I started with the entertainment center from hell then moved onto the bedroom closets. Here’s a tip for you, your closet is deeper than you think. I found stuff back there I didn’t recall buying.

I finally made my way to the kitchen which took two days instead of one because of a nasty bout with suspect yogurt. Sadly, there was little I felt I needed to donate/sell so the kitchen remained the same except for some rearranging of cabinets.

Last night, I finally hit the utility closet and tonight I hit the behemoth. We have this closet that was supposed to be our coat closet. However, through the year, we kind of shoved everything we didn’t want to see or deal with in it. It’s been dubbed our storage closet. All my Christmas and holiday decorations are in there as well as a giant air conditioner that requires a kick stand (I’m not lying about this. The AC came with a kick stand for the window.) and a bunch of odds and ends that I’m a bit fearful to find.

Sadly, cleaning this closet out is necessary not only for my sanity but because the cleaning in the other rooms has produced a plethora of memorabilia that I just don’t have the heart to throw out. I have a ton of stuffed animals Lrudlrick bought me way back in the wooing stages and Lrudlrick has two big boxes of train parts for his toy train.

So I need to clean the storage closet to make room for more storage items. Sadly, we’re still on our wait list for additional storage in our building.

I’ve tried to live my life as simply as possible but I always seem to accumulate so much stuff. I swear if I lived like a hermit in a cave in New Mexico, I’d still fill it with tons of stuff. I’d have piles of twigs and rocks all over the place.

Speaking of rocks. I found a rock on my bookcase and I can’t recall why I have it. I have a ton of rocks from various places here and there but this one in particular rock is alluding me. I have a piece of Blarney Castle. I have two rocks from BI. I just can’t figure out where this other rock is from. My only guess is Florida. It seems highly probable that I took a rock from Sea World to commemorate our engagement but you’d think I’d remember that.

My husband doesn’t question my rock collection anymore. He just smiles and lets me lug boulders in my bag. Honestly, the Blarney rock was the scariest rock for me to take. I was afraid that customs would question a rock in my bag but they let me pass. A rock was ok but matches and a lighter not so much. Go figure.

So I’ve managed to compile a nice hefty pile of donate, sell and store. Problem is the only place to donate used clothes for the Katrina victims is in Queens. All other locations I found only accept new clothes. Queens would require driving which requires gas which requires your first and second born.

I contacted Dress for Success but they only allow drop offs once a month. So I think I’m going to head to Goodwill, Salvation Army or Housing Works.

If you haven’t prepared your closets yet for the Fall/Winter season, I suggest you do and please think about donating to one of the many charities out there. If you live in NYC, here is a great list from DOS of organizations that take donations.

Oh and if anyone knows of a place in Louisiana/Alabama to mail some blankets and everyday items for the hurricane victims, email me.

Friday, September 23, 2005

There was a reason I cancelled my Netflix and Blockbuster memberships...

We didn’t get it.

I don’t know how to feel.

Relieved? Disappointed? Elated? Deflated?

Lrudlrick is stressed beyond stressed. He’s flying home from a business trip to Vancouver. He has ton of work to keep him occupied during the flight, the disappointment of touring homes and filing paperwork for 3 weeks straight to get bupkiss and the fact that I’m not jumping on his wagon to move and he’s miffed.

I’m not doing cartwheels mind you. For the last three weeks, I've felt like I've been in on an eternal audition in 'A Chorus Line'. Put some tap shoes on my feet, a top hat on my head and a cane in my hand and I'll do a snazzy audition scene for you. "God, I hope I get it, I hope I get it! How many people does he need? How many boys, how many girls?"

I know that we’re going to move inevitably so I'm not letting myself hit that slump again. As the days pass, my unhappiness for this whole deal is waning. This means that my husband will now take a sabbatical from apartment hunting. Eventually, I’ll forget about his obsession and that’s when he’ll get all excited about moving again. It’s Murphy’s Law.

Since Lrudlrick is plum tuckered out with house hunting, he’s decided to focus on work for awhile. Meanwhile, I continue to trudge through our apartment, cleaning and re-organizing.

I figure, we’re going to be moving eventually and I really didn’t do spring cleaning this year, so I’m not going to stop rummaging through our stuff. Plus, I did promise myself I'd sort through the gross excessives of my life and share them with those in the Gulf who need it more than me. I mean, here I am crying about leaving my apartment when most people in the Gulf Coast don't have a home, let alone a clean pair of drawers.

I started the sorting. I’ve got four piles: sell, donate, trash, keep. The one good thing about Lrudlrick’s penchant for moving is he kicks my butt into gear about my annual home cleanings. I may have OCD but I can get pretty complacent about certain areas, such as our file cabinet, entertainment center and desk area.

I’ve started my Fall Sweep in the living room, my husband's room. Last night, I tackled our cds, DVDs, pc/Xbox games and assorted toys found in our entertainment chest. Well, sort of. I haven’t quite finished yet. See, I need approval from Lrudlrick for certain items. For example, I'm content selling his smoke ring gun. He's not. I have no qualms getting rid of the Airzooka. He's not. I’m perfectly happy selling Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. Lrudlrick, not so much. He’s happy with selling Sliding Doors. I’m not.

Ok, how likely am I going to have the urge to pop in Sliding Doors into the DVD again? Not highly likely but I still want to keep it. Maybe there is some sentimental value to Rob Schneider for Lrudlrick. Who knows.

By hour three, I asked myself, where does all this come from? What provoked me to buy all these movies?
When do I think I want to watch a DVD? I love most of my DVDs. Most are collections but when did I think I was going to pull out the entire season 3 of ‘Father Ted’ and watch it? It’s a great show but I have a hard enough time trying to keep up with the current Fall schedule and new movies. Popping in ‘Greg the Bunny’ is the last thing on my to do list.

Now, I can keep these movies but for what? I’ve had these DVDs for years now and aside from lending them to friends and the occasional, let’s-check-out-that-episode-where moment, we really don’t pull them out to watch.

Oh, and can someone tell me why I kept 20+ diskettes? By the 8th disk, I was expecting to pull out floppies.

Tonight, I go through a massive amount of DVDs, CDs and videotapes that are not labeled. A few years back, Lrudlrick and I got into this weird stop-start animation kick. So we’ve got tons of DVD-Rs with us fiddling with a Crocodile Hunter action figure and our 70 gallon fish tank. Of course, the idea of labeling these discs didn’t dawn on us then. So some may have work info, some may have video, some are old mix cds, some may be junk disks that didn’t finalize properly.

Hmm. Maybe I’ll be able to pop in Shaun of the Dead while I sort through the lot.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Wine and dine me before you pillage me, please.

Here is the next loop in the roller coaster ride we have dubbed, The 3rd tier of Hell: The Misadventures of Pantrygirl and Lrudlrick in the Manhattan real estate market.

The co-broker for the little slice of midtown, we put an application for has somehow or another brought up the fact that we have a mortgage. Now, I’m not going to go off on the guy I’ve met twice for all off 15 minutes each. Ok, I’m going off. The man had one of those ugly Bluetooth phone earwigs on. He didn’t even have the courtesy of giving me his name when I shook his hand and introduced myself. Bad signs but I shook it off.

Then he gives us the tour and has the audacity to show us around the apartment while calling several other clients! Ok, I’ve dealt with many a broker, sales and rentals, in my lifetime in NYC. Occasionally, they will excuse themselves to take an important call but never have I had a broker show me a place and dial numbers while I’m touring with him/her!

Our broker, Maurice, was nice enough to show us what he looks for in an apartment and his opinions of the construction, layout and neighborhood. He was careful not to step over Bad Broker’s spiel because it was his listing but he knew us long enough to know we weren’t happy with this guy’s attitude.

Subsequent visits with BB were similar. This time, he stopped dialing long enough to pull out the damn contracts to sign and collect our down payment to remove the listing from the market. While we were signing, he was informing us that he was worried about our mortgage but we told him it shouldn’t be an issue. We’ve budgeted and can carry it temporarily. We can also sublet if necessary but the market for a family size one bedroom was still ripe and we would have no problem unloading our pad.

Still, BB persisted so we told him politely, thankfully, it wasn’t up to him and that we’ll know soon enough. Our broker told us not to worry that our credentials are good and we should be fine. He's seen other couples in our situation who did not have trouble getting approved. Well, today, we received a call from our broker saying that they are suddenly concerned with our mortgage. What? Why? As per our broker, it looks like BB voiced his concern to the owners and now they want a list of outrageous extra deposits. I know this is hearsay so I can take it with a grain of salt. Maurice was totally miffed in the loss of comission kind of way. Lrudlrick and I(Yes, shockingly) were miffed in the cursing and turning beet red kind of way.

So, now we’re waiting again. Personally, I think BB didn’t want to split the commission and pumped up the other application. Either case, he’s still a BB in my opinion. I’m not asking a broker to be my best friend but good brokers I’ve worked with understand a good relationship leads to a good sale. Know what I’m like and what I like and I don’t waste your time and you don’t waste mine. Finding a new home is emotional and although I don’t want you to be hugging me when I lose out on a place, I don’t want you to be cold and callous either. You want the sale, give me positivity and sound advice, brother. Don’t make me feel like another notch on your bedpost.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Freedom and Arepas. What else can a girl ask for?

Not having to wear contacts has brought lots of freedom. I can fall asleep without worrying about waking up in the middle of the night to remove them. I don’t have to worry about mistaking the dog for a pillow. I’m not walking into doors, although I did slam my head into one on Sunday.

It’s a strange freedom really. It’s a forgotten freedom. For those who are not sight impaired, you do not realize how much you don’t worry about your eyes. Now, I just wake up, wash my face and head out the door.

Being naked, sans makeup, isn’t as hard as I thought it would be either. I'm still happy that i can wear makeup starting tomorrow. I've got a big board meeting and a bit of makeup can boost my confidence a bit.

I’ve decided to throw out my contact solution and case but donate my old pair of glasses to a local battered women’s shelter. The new pair may go to a friend. They are less than 30 day old and have served me well. Hopefully the frames will work for her.

At work, I’m still not used to the fluorescent lighting so I’ve taken to wearing my sunglasses indoors periodically. My boss calls me the Asian Ray Charles. I take them off depending on comfort level.

Sunlight is less of a nuisance but I still wear my shades and wear a baseball cap, aka the celebrity incognito look. After awhile, you completely forget you’re wearing shades. I was in the house watching an episode of ‘Dirty Jobs’ when my husband asked me why I was still wearing the shades. “The shades are drawn, the lights are barely on. Why do you still have them on?” Because, I'm reenacting the Memorex commercial.

If you are considering getting Lasik, I highly recommend it. Sure, you will be apprehensive but once you talk through your apprehensions with your doctor and feel comfortable going forward, you'll be quite happy you decided to go for it. You'll be able to read the alarm clock. It will no longer look like a blur of red. You won't have to worry about packing extra contacts or glasses.

As for my allergies, I’m sure the corti-steriods and antibiotics have helped. The real test will be next year but so far it feels like my eyes can actually breathe. I know this sounds odd but they really do feel like they can breathe.

On a side note: We went out to a great arepas place in the East Village with Dave and Judy. Now, please don’t tell me you’ve tried a Mozzarepa at a street fair and think you know arepas. Check out Caracas before you tell me you’ve had an arepas. The brunch was so delicious and filling, we didn’t feel the need to eat dinner until 9pm. Did I also mention the price is completely affordable?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The funniest line of Monday night.

“How am I supposed to find someone willing to go into that musty old clap trap?” --Lucille, The Cabin Show. Arrested Development.

Thanks go to the brilliant writer(s) who gave me a day long chuckle.

First place goes to Lrudlrick's gaytastic exclamation, "NPH Rocks!"

You can't take it with you, but the Buddhist sure do try.

We just put our papers in for an apartment half the size of our current one. Call me crazy but I told Lrudlrick to do so.

For the last week, he's been walking around sullen. His soundtrack has been “Christmas Time Is Here". Thanks Colin Joye for posting his piano rendition.

L: I don't want to do this if it means I'll lose you.

Lrudlrick, you won't lose me because of one move. I'm here. Remember, I go where you go.

Now, we wait and as we wait, I plan. I plan how to pack, what to pack, what goes in storage, what gets donated, what gets sold.

I'm not sad nor am I upset. As long as it doesn't kill me and Lrudlrick's happy, I'll manage.

I guess this is a good time to simplify. Every now and then, it's good to do a major overhaul of you accumulations.

After all, you can't take it with you.

The problem is I have an attic mentality.

I grew up with an attic filled with my Grandparent's memories. Old suitcases filled with photos, clothes and bric-a-brac.

I used to love to climb up and rummage around. I would make up romantic stories about old trinkets belonging to my Grandma's old beaus.

Although I am no longer the packrat I once was, I still have a bit of that attic mentality.

I have boxes of memorabilia of my life. My first bracelet. My favorite books as a child. Love letters from my husband.

The problem comes every 2 years when nomad Lrudlrick picks us up and moves us. Where do I put this stuff? Why do I keep it? Who would ever get this stuff?

It's not like I'm Hugh Hefner. The Smithsonian isn't knocking on my door for my 1970's version of the Merriam-Webster children's dictionary.

I just don't want to part with this stuff. So where do you put your attic stuff in an apartment? Sure we're going to need storage for seasonal items but is it right to pay for a bigger storage locker so I can keep a box of sentiments?

Along with my attic mentality, comes the storage room mentality. Since I’ve lived in a house for practically all my life, having an extra set of sheets, toilet paper, cleaning supplies and the like has become habitual to me. If I see liquid detergent is on sale but I don’t really need it yet, I still buy it and store it in the utility closet until we run out.

With this new place, I can’t do that. It’s minimalist all the way baby. After another 11pm ‘discussion’ with Lrudlrick we both agreed that there are a lot of negative factors in this move for me but the positive spin is that it’s like Uber-Spring Cleaning for obsessive compulsives.

Now that I have cried my eyes out (pre-Lasik, mind you) over the fact that all my Christmas and holiday decorations will have to go to storage and my fine china and entertaining servers will all need to be packed away as well, I’ve focused my attention on the Uber-Spring Cleaning.

Lrudlrick feels terrible, especially about the whole, chopping my kitchen in half but he has promised me that the next time we move, he’ll give me the entertaining style kitchen I’ve always dreamed of. Now, I know that’s just fluff and he’ll forget but it sort of makes me feel better. I’m not throwing away my serving platters and decorative dishes in the hopes I’ll get that kitchen one day.

I’ve decided to go minimalist, neo-traditional with this move. This means all the antique stuff goes into storage. All the family photos too. Since this place is in essence a crash pad, it’s not going to be furnished like our current place.

We met with the broker again yesterday and took measurements. We’re jumping the gun of course but that’s because if I don’t I’ll bitch and moan. If I can focus my mind at the inevitable, it will keep me from being a grumble puss.

BTW, anyone have suggestions on decorating a bay window? I’m thinking Roman shades because they are pretty but cheap. I’m also considering buying some batting to make a seating area. The problem with NYC apartments are most have little natural light so you don’t want to cover that but you don’t want to be living in a glass house either. Well, maybe if you had $1.6mil to $10 mil lying around willy nilly.

Anyway, I’m off again. For the next few weeks, I need to avert my eyes from my pc every 15 minutes or so. According to the giantess, staring at my computer, pda, cell phone and television causes a person to blink less than they should. To keep my eyes lubricated, I have to turn away every 15 minutes to relax my eyes. People who know me are laughing at this near impossible feat for me.

Now, I have to figure out how to fit a pantry filled with supplies into my new tiny kitchen.

Monday, September 19, 2005

"You better keep movin', You better keep movin' 'cos, ...ahhh, you've been left behind."

This past week, I’ve rushed downtown after work to check out apartments. Every day, Lrudlrick has left me IMs with addresses and meeting times. Every day, without complaint, I rush out of work. Because I have odd hours at work, I need to beeline downtown before it's too late to see the apartments. I take the train down, check out apartments then beeline back on the train to go home to walk the dogs before they burst.

My average day this past week has been as follows:

Wake up
Walk dogs
Go to work/Conference into meetings while commuting
Meetings until 12:30
Head home/Conference into meetings while commuting
Move car, walk dogs, eat lunch
Go to work
Rush down to Chelsea area
Check out apartments
Beeline back home
Walk dogs
Eat dinner/Go to community meeting/Draft project plan for packing
Heat dinner up for Lrudlrick
Talk about apartments
Go to bed
Wake up in the middle of the night (anxiety/night terrors)
Pass out from exhaustion

I’m just thankful that my meetings this week have not required me to travel to the eastside or downtown.

It’s been so nutty, my nervous stomach is back. If you don’t know what a nervous stomach is like, imagine out of the blue someone punches you in the stomach or you feel like you haven’t eaten in 3 days.

I’ve been caught at meetings with an attack. All you want to do is fall over into the fetal position. On the train the other day, I felt as though I’d pass out.

It’s just been one thing after another; one craziness into the next. Well, at least when we move, I’ll just focus on work and not have to worry about heading home on time.

With some new responsibilities, it looks like my hours at work will extend again. I’ve got meetings regularly scheduled at 5:30 now which means, I won’t get out until 7ish. This means the move will benefit the pooches because they will continue to have their regular walks from Lrudlrick and I won’t feel obligated to go home in between meetings to take care of them.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Why I haven’t been sleeping well for the last two weeks

Or What I’m giving up for the man I love...
Or How a Project Manager by profession desperately tries not to be so controlling in her personal life...
Or Letting faith guide my future...
Or Anxieties that spill out at 3am...

I’m leaving the comforts of what I have known my entire life. Sure I grew up in NYC but where I grew up in the Bronx it was more like suburbia. My neighborhood was filled with tree-lined streets. Each street had a set of houses. In each house lived at least 2 generations of a family. Families had 2.5 kids. Mom and dad each had a car and belonging to the PTA was a must.

That’s what I knew and that’s what I thought my life would be like as a grown up.

Of course, I grew up and for some time I went and did the single girl in the city thing. My dad introduced me to the West Village and I stayed there for awhile.

Eventually I met my husband and we began moving around. Each time, it was to a bigger and better place. Each time, I thought it brought us closer to what I thought was what grown ups did.

We finally get to this one place and although it wasn’t what we had wished for, we called it our home and spent half a year and a lot of hard earned cash into renovating it. All those renovations I thought were going towards something more permanent.

Now as I pass each room, as I open each closet, I realize how much I’m leaving behind to follow my husband’s wish. We’re giving up our car. We’re giving up our pantry. We’re giving up our privacy. We’re giving up our dining room. We’re giving up our closets. The ice chest and antique card table his dad gave us will need to be placed in storage, along with our bedroom furniture, all our family photos and wall hangings and memorabilia. The roll top desk my husband desperately wanted when we first moved in will also have to go; although he is delusional and believes it can fit in the new place. I’m sorry Lrudlrick, but we can’t even fit our couch at that place. There is no way a roll top desk is fitting in there.

We’ll need to sell most of our books, movies, cds, dining room table, couches and Lrudlrick’s electronics. Clothes and extra bedding will be donated.

Ok, we don’t have the place yet but understand that in NYC, we’re never going to find a place that will allow us to have these luxuries. We were lucky once.

Yes, I’m scared and yet I can’t tell my husband because he so desperately wants this. Everything he dreams of is different than mine. Everything he grew up with is so different than what I’ve grown up with. I try very hard to understand and try to be open-minded.

I didn’t grow up moving around and splitting my time b/w two homes. I lived my entire life with my parents and grandparents. We lived in a three bedroom apartment together until I was two and we moved into our house. I always knew my neighbors and local shop owners. I stayed in the same school and moved up the same chain as every other kid in the neighborhood.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not backing out. Every since we handed in our paperwork to our broker, Lrudlrick’s Eeyore cloud of gloom has lifted. A twinkle has set back into his eyes. Honestly, I’m excited about moving too but I’m also scared.

Every year we moved, we moved closer to finding a happy medium b/w our ideas. I thought marriage was going to lead to something more permanent. Now, I feel like we’re jumping backwards. We’re going back to the days of our 20’s where living in a box apartment was adventurous, rebellious and fun.

I’m not 20 anymore. I don’t want to be rebellious. I don’t want to be carefree about my living quarters. I don’t want to figure out how to store two bikes in a bedroom without tripping over them every day.

As I said yesterday, I have an attic mentality. It’s not easy to give up that dream of having my own attic where my kids can rummage through my memories and develop exaggerated fantasies.

Maybe I’m being unrealistic. Maybe my mentality is too old school. Maybe I married a free-spirit and I'm just codgy. Maybe I am a suburban chick stuck in a city girl lifestyle. Is it too much to ask?

Tomorrow, I’m sure my anxiety will subside. Today, I plan what to take with me to my next temporary shelter and what to pack away for what I hope will be something more permanent in the near future.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Frustration hits Lrudlrick

Our days no longer start with good morning. Instead they begin with references to our broker.

"I'm going to call Christine."
"Did Heather email?"
"I'm going to tell Maurice forget it. I'm sick of this and the fighting."

The last one was from this morning. After our 10pm call, Lrudlrick came home. He heated up some leftovers and came to our bedroom and sat on the one-seater. He looked at me as I continued to type away on the laptop. I knew he wanted to talk. I knew finding an apartment was on his mind. It's the only topic nowadays.
I just didn't want to hear it.

Sure, I was avoiding. All we've talked about was apartments and moving. I just wanted one night of talking that didn't involve apartments.

This morning as I ran out of the house, Lrudlrick asked me if I wanted to move. "No and you should know this by now but I go where you go. That’s the deal."

Defeated, he left. Does this mean no moving for us? No. It just means he’s hit the disheartened stage.

I spoke to him later in the day and told him to just stick to 1 agency for now. This multiple dating of brokers is too much work for him. Plus, it feels like cheating.

Tomorrow, will be a new day and the tiredness and frustration will subside.

Friday, September 16, 2005

"I can see clearly now, the rain has gone..."

“She’s a giantess!” -- Lrudlrick during the pre-op assessment

I want to thank my husband for calming my nerves about the surgery by letting me drive in torrential rain storms. Nothing like driving in zero visibility to keep your mind off of having your cornea shaved.

We arrived at the facility and as I waited for the nurse to prep me, my husband spent the time going back and forth to the car to search for a nail clipper. Go figure. My husband has a strange fascination with nail clippers. I'll elaborate on another day.

The nurse made me go through the tests again. The first one was the verti-gogo machine. This time I didn’t flinch. I think the fact that the images would be used by the surgeon to compute the laser positioning forced me to stay still.

The next test was a simple, stare into the red light and then the needle probe again. Afterwards, I was re-evaluated by a physician with extremely bony hands and then met with a consultant to discuss what to expect during the procedure, what to expect after and aftercare.

Yes, for those wondering, my husband asked the consultant if excessive exercise included sex. After a chuckle the consultant said, “As long as you avoid her eyes, it will be fine.” Of course, this made everyone in the room burst out in laughter. As the shade of red dissipated from my face, the doctor came back with my Valium. I’ve never taken Valium but I will say that after you take it, you really could care less that someone was going to fiddle with your eye.

Oh, I also asked about the whole not washing the face rule. She ok’d Seabreeze and a warm wash cloth so I guess I’ll be ok.

When I got to the laser room, I was flying high on the Valium. I sat on a chair similar to a dentist’s chair without the spittoon. “Ok, pg, we want you to hug this teddy bear.” “Oh, ok.” Now, I’m going to tell you I acted like it was a weird request but it felt so good to hug a furry bear. It was if I had my dog or cat near me, calming me. Of course, the real reason, is they don’t want you to move your hands around during the procedure.

The next steps were sort of blurry in my mind. My husband saw it all but he didn’t give me much info, I guess to protect me. They clamped this thing on my eye like in A Clockwork Orange, a suctioning machine with a hissing sound turns on and then the surgeon begins doing some smoothing and irrigating.

The scariest part was when for a brief moment everything goes black. That’s when you grip onto the teddy bear and practically rip it’s head off from fear but that only lasts for 5 seconds. The rest of the time, you stare into a red light and just watch as the doctor keeps smoothing your eye out.

In less than 20 minutes, I was done. I could see. It wasn’t clear yet; it was still hazy but you can see. I was left to recover in another room where I had to keep my eyes closed for 30 minutes. Afterwards, they put these crazy shields that look like basketball shields on your eyes.

I looked like Arthur from The Tick. Lrudlrick said I looked like a bee. BTW, thanks for making me imitate a bee. The Valium left me without defenses. You crazy nut.

I went home and slept for a few hours then woke up to begin a series of hourly drops. It wasn’t really bad really. The only discomfort you feel is the first 4 hours where you feel as if your contacts are in and are fit incorrectly. Then all of a sudden you are fine.

Occasionally, things get blurry but you blink and things get better. I’m pretty excited now. Now, I’m off to my post operative exam.

Oh, before I forget, according to the nurses my optometrist, Dr. G, was the worst patient ever. He kept trying to touch his eyes and continuously checked his vision on the machines. Guess I get to rib him this morning.

I’m off for my first day out with good vision.

Just call us Mr. and Mrs. Replacements

We got the call. They gave the apartment to a previous tenant who wasn’t even a candidate.

Lrudlrick is bummed out. He gave me the news at 4pm today which means tonight I'll get a call from him with some ideas that have been swarming in his head.

As I predicted at 10pm he called. He calls me on his way home to ask me what I think about another apartment we saw. It was being renovated so it was hard to tell what it would look like. The Super said that a new bathroom, tiles, toilet, bathtub, the works would be installed. New wood flooring as well as an upgraded kitchen are planned.

So if we apply, we’re putting a good faith effort that we'll like the badly needed renovations. Like all affordable apartments in Manhattan there is little to nil natural light which bugs me but I’ve lived in worse apartments.

L: Well, what do you think?
pg: It doesn’t have a lot of natural light but I guess I can live there.
What I wanted to say was, you’re disheartened by the last apartment and just want to move already.
L: You sound very negative about this whole thing. I know you’re trying to be optimistic but it would help if you tried harder.
pg: What do you want me to say at 10pm on the phone? You want us to live there for a year, fine.
L: A year?
pg: Yes, a year. This time next year, I fully expect you to uproot us again so just fill out the application already, if you haven’t done so. I thought we were waiting for answers to some of our questions to the landlord, like, when will the apartment be ready and what appliances are they replacing.
L: Yes, we’re waiting but we don’t want to lose this opportunity.

Now I know the market is crazy and you really need to have your application in as soon as you see a decent place but am I the only one who thinks he’s rushing and jumping the gun?

I know that living closer to his job will make his life easier but does that mean we should settle?

I know he doesn’t understand how difficult this is for me and I’m really trying hard not to be so glum about this but I’m tired. I’m physically and emotionally tired. Nothing in my life is stable right now.

He replaces everything we build together every few years. You would think this would get easier and easier each year yet it just seems harder and harder for me.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Things I like to do with my best friend:

Things I still love to do after a decade of being best friends:

1. Make Lrudlrick wig out by playing with my soft shell crab. His face as I suck a crab leg in and out of my mouth is priceless. The face on the hoity-toity patrons sitting next to us was even better.
2. Rolling over in bed and seeing his innocent face. Even when his mouth is open and the breath of Rip Van Winkle blows past my nose. It’s just a good feeling to wake up next to him.
3. Tickling him even though I know he hates it. It’s the one argument I always win.
4. Picking out presents for him. Out of everyone, I have the most fun buying his presents.
5. Receiving his morning goodbye kiss. My day doesn’t seem right without it.
6. Snuggling up next to each other on the couch for an afternoon nap. It's as comforting as chocolate cake but without the calories.
7. Walking the dogs together on a warm summer night. Even if it's down to the corner store for a pint of ice cream.
8. Rolling our dogs onto their back and rubbing their bellys until they can't take it anymore.
9. Making the bed together. Ok, watching him make the bed as I fiddle with the pillowcases. That mattress is heavy!
10. Receiving his evening hello kiss. Even if he's sweaty.

No Linty Sweaters inside the laser room.

My boss: Hey, I just noticed you've been wearing your glasses for a while. Is this your new look?
L: 50's librarian? No. I need to be off my contacts for 2 weeks so my curvatures return to their normal state.
Boss: Oh, thought you liked the look.

Everyone has been sending me well wishes for my surgery. Thanks guys. It still hasn't hit me yet.

I guess it will hit me on the ride over.
I've read the do's and don'ts several times now and I'm astonished to see that I'm not complaining.

Apparently, I'm not supposed to do a lot of things after surgery. Here's a list:

Do not rub your eyes. Well you shouldn’t do this anyway.

Do not shower until the next morning. Do not let the spray fall on your face. First, how do I wash my face then? Second, my husband found this particular line amusing. I think he’s just got a dirty mind.

No makeup for a week. Are you kidding me? I haven’t been without makeup since I was 12. Heck, I’ve brought makeup to a camping trip. I even put on lip gloss to walk my dogs.

Do not let hair products enter your eyes. Well at least the humidity has prevented me from doing anything aside from putting my hair up in a ponytail or twist.

Avoid dust or dirty environments for a week. Guess who gets to clean the house for a week, Lrudlrick.

No swimming for 1 week. Unless I somehow slip into the Hudson, that’s not a problem.

No heavy weight lifting for 1 week. Guess who gets a week reprieve from packing?

No contact or racquet sports for 2 weeks. Protective sports glasses are recommended thereafter. Lrudlrick wants to know if this includes sex. Please don’t ask this of the nurse tomorrow.

Aerobic exercise can be resumed after 1 week. Lrudlrick wants to know if this includes sex.

No seasonal sports for 1 week. Lrudlrick, this does not refer to sex.

No flying for 1 week. This bums me the most. I can’t go to Vancouver with Lrudlrick next week. I’ve always wanted to visit Vancouver and check out the islands. I heard Whistler was a wonderful place to stay.

I’ve also learned that I’m supposed to wear protective shields at night for 4-5 nights. Now, I don’t know what these things look like but if they are anything like the retainer I had to wear when I was a kid, Lrudlrick is going to make fun of me for 5 nights. I guess I can complete the look by putting rollers in my hair and a face mask but according to the instructions, I need to refrain from spraying my face with water the first morning after. Am I the only one that still thinks that’s disgusting? I hope the nurse explains this or gives me another alternative. The idea of walking around with an unclean, no makeup face brings vain Pantrygirl out.

Tonight, I need to use antibiotic drops in my eyes. Apparently this is a new trend in Lasik surgery. It's strictly a precautionary measure. After the surgery I continue with a bunch of other drops which I’ll get instructions on tomorrow.

Lrudlrick is insistent that he watch the procedure which terrifies me more. Lrudlrick doesn’t have a face that can mask his disgust very well. Now, I know I won’t be able to see him but still, the idea that he’s there behind some glass staring with a look that spells disgust doesn’t calm me any.

Let’s see if he changes his mind tomorrow after he sees my eye on the Jumbotron.

Oh, I’d take pics well, Lrudlrick would but the instructions clearly say, no video, no cameras, cell phones or pagers. Besides, I really don’t think I want any commemorative wallet size photos of my eye being lasered. BTW, Lrudlrick, this also goes for any ideas you have of filming any future births of offspring. Let’s let selective memory do it’s thing.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Day two of the waiting game. It's like the NBA drafts but without the press and bling

The broker called us and said that they will consider us even though we have pets. It’s a glimmer of hope.

We finally get a call in the morning from the broker. They will look over the applications this week and let us know in two days. In the meantime, we continue to search.

This anticipation is killing me, especially since I promised myself to not berate Lrudlrick with my apprehensions on moving again. It hasn't been easy but I’ve been trying desperately to sound a bit more enthusiastic.

I’m sure wherever we move, I’ll be fine, but I’m a very plant roots kind of girl and it’s hard for me to accept change especially so frequently.

I haven’t mentioned my work woes here for fear of no longer having work woes aka losing my job but things are really unstable where I am. I tried speaking to Lrudlrick about it but he freaked out on me instead of being the normal calm-and-cool Lrudlrick. Now, I just stay in my lily pad and peek out every now and then to check out the craziness at work.

So, with work instability it’s very hard for me to come to terms that my home life is unstable now as well. It will all work out though.

It isn’t all fun and games for Lrudlrick either. Every night, after spending a few hours viewing apartments, he returns home exhausted. He has the look of a boy coming home from a long day at school who just wants to glaze over. Just like said school boy he does just that. He beelines to the Xbox to play the latest game. Right now it’s one of the Star Wars games which requires him to choose to go light or dark. Of course he goes dark. Who wouldn’t go dark? The day my husband has to share that thing with a kid will be one for the books.

For now we just have to sit and wait and Force influence our enemies to do our bidding.

Tomorrow is the big day folks. I'm getting frickin' laser beamed in the eyes! If all goes well, I may be able to tell you how it goes. I wonder if I should do a ceremonial tossing of the contact lens case into the Hudson River.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Want to know what it's like to have the hormone crazies? Try finding an apartment in Manhattan.

Lrudlrick's pop: "Getting up, packing and moving every 1 and a half to 2 years is exhausting. Don't you just want to settle down somewhere? If anything, this must be rough on your wife."
L: It's high time I get an easy commute. Besides, I spent my whole life moving from one place to the next. I'm used to it. It's just harder for PG.
pop: I think it's high time you settle down. That's all I'm saying.

Mind you, this is the first thing my FIL and I have agreed on in 10 years.

I feel like shit now. The apartment we were vying for has changed from a pet friendly apartment to no pets allowed. Lrudlrick is pissed as all hell and I feel like a heel for giving him heat about the whole move.

He really wanted it. I’m sorry, Lrudlrick I’ve been a grumble puss.

Apartment hunting in Manhattan is a real emotional rollercoaster. I’ve been on both ends, renting and buying, and to be honest, both are just as rocky. The only difference with buying is that for one brief moment you’ve held copious amounts of cash in your hands. Then you hand it over to the seller “And poof. Just like that, he's gone.”

For me, apartment hunting starts with denial and anger. Then it hits interest and optimism with a quick chaser of despair and hopelessness. Afterwards it’s onto excitement, anticipation, nervousness. Depending on the powers that be the next emotion can be depression and defeatism or elation and excitement followed by an OCD cocktail of nervousness, tenseness and hyperactivity.

If anyone needs a test guinea pig for a psych paper on the emotional cycle of apartment hunting, email me. I’ve hit about every emotion in the spectrum so far and I still don’t have an apartment.

Two Sundays ago, the NY Times had a shot by shot montage of the emotional rollercoaster that comes with closing on your apartment. I’ll tell you it’s true. At a closing, just a small span of on average 4 hours, you’ll go through every stomach turning emotion there is. I’ve never had a more tense laugh than the one I had the day I closed on our last pad. The phone calls. The paperwork errors. The bank errors. The money being handed back and forth.

But the closing is just about the last step to the whole process. Hunting for a place to stay with a newspaper, a bottle of water and an endless list of voice mails and emails from brokers is tiring. It's another fulltime job. The whole process is a bit degrading. Assess what you can afford, tell the broker(s). Have a few slam the door in your face. Have others laugh then slam the door on your face. Have some reluctantly take you but be bitter about it the entire time.

You finally find a kind soul and he/she works her blessed heart out scouring the city for an apartment for you. You arrange your lunch hours and evenings to tour a stranger’s home. Now, we all think we should live in the river view apartment with sky light and terrace and Jacuzzi but in actuality, we can only afford the alcove studio in an 8 floor walk up.

You intrude on their homes and no matter how hard you try, you can’t help but criticize how they could live like this. “I’ll never live with my bicycle hung on the ceiling above my bed. Never!” After numerous viewings you realize, that it’s not that you want to live like this, it’s that you have to live like this.

Like hyenas, you jump at the first place that you deem semi-livable and hand in your paperwork for approval. Then every hour, you check your email and phone for messages, hoping to get the green light. At this time, your broker mentions something about 8 million other people who are vying for the same piece of property. You pray to every deity and patron saint imaginable and consider baking cookies for the board and/or landlord.

Your hours at work are spent scouring apartment listings half-heartedly to keep your brain occupied. Instead, you begin daydreaming of the 400 sq ft apartment and wondering if the bike frame on the ceiling can hold two bikes.

Then the moment comes. The phone rings.

Monday, September 12, 2005

I feel like I'm a walking Japanese animation.

On Saturday, I had my pre-operative exam.

Essentially they do something like a dilation but much more intense. They need to assess that the prescription is accurate and that you are a stable candidate.

I’ve had my eyes dilated and been ok. This however was a whole other ball game. The doc dropped these yellow drops into my eyes and told me to sit in the waiting area for 20 minutes.

I sat patiently reading my Times. 10 minutes passed and I felt nothing. Another 5 minutes and I noticed I had to squint a bit more to read the fine print. By the end of 20 minutes, I looked up to check the time again and thought all was peachy keen. Then I looked back at my paper and everything was a blur.

According to the doctor, I had a glimpse into my life when I’m 60. Since your eyes overcorrect themselves as they get older, I’d be farsighted. In order to read, I had to lift my glasses up. I finally gave up holding them by my eyebrows and put my glasses on my head and read the rest of the Arts and Leisure television previews.

The rest of the exam involved giant beams of light and some type of headgear and an upside down shot glass like instrument. I'm pretty much set for the surgery on Thursday. I just need to place antibiotic drops in my eyes the night before and day of the surgery.

I left the office looking like a Margaret Keane painting.

Oh, and I now know what a vampire feels like when subjected to sunlight.

Mind you, the effects didn’t wear off until the following morning.

Courtesy of Margaret Keane online

Race for your life, Pantrygirl

Holy crap! "The median price of a Manhattan apartment clocked in at $725,000." -- Curbed

My husband, Mr. Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves, has filled out an application. So begins the race.

$5.00, he'll ask me for the massive amounts of paperwork you need to get approved.

You do know that we haven't put our apartment on the market yet, either. We're not sure how fast it will sell nor do we know if subletting is the way to go. Just in case Pantrygirl finds living in cramped quarters a little too claustrophobic for her spoiled ass. I'm wondering how many strange hits I'm going to get for 'spoiled ass'.

This does not deter Mr. GTT. Rather, this invigorates him in the knowledge that we won't be doing the mad rush of moving out and moving in we did last February.

Alas, the denial & bargaining ends. Thus begins the whiny phase. Tomorrow I begin the great hunt for boxes at supermarkets.

I know opposites attract, but this is really going to kill me if I need to do this the rest of my life.

Where I weigh and debate, Lrudlrick goes head on. Don't get me wrong, he does contemplate. I just contemplate longer, like more than two weeks.

I suppose if we went on my pace, we'd never be able to move forward. I just perpetually feel as if the rug is being pulled from under me w/Lrudlrick.

He's always running and I'm always trying to catch up.

It's not as bad as it sounds but it can be very tiring. This travellin' show wagon is getting bigger and bigger every year.

I'm off to Staples to buy my 2005 moving notebook and get me a bottle of doctor good.

BTW, I have less than 4 days before they laser my frickin' eyes yet I'm too preoccupied with this impending move to be nervous. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

“You can be a Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Independent, Green, What-have-you but if you don’t vote, you’re just stupid.

Unfortunately I know a lot of stupid people.” -- Muthafunga

Ok, folks. Yes, I know it’s just the primary but sitting on your tuckus is not going to get your delegate onto the November ballot.

I’m not saying I’m Dominic Carter but I try my best to keep up with what’s going on and the overall insanity that comes with a democratic election.

So do your part and vote!

Now, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to vote. Nor do you have to be some political maven.

I’m sick and tired of hearing, “Well, I don’t know. It’s just too confusing. Back in the old country we didn’t have to vote.”

Well, you’re not in the old country and one of the reasons you came here was to have the freedom to choose. So choose, people!

You want it easy? How about we add a ‘quick pick’ box and have some computer generate your vote? Does that sound kosher to you?

New Yorkers, to help you, there is a plethora of sites out there but my favorite is the Gotham Gazette’s guide.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Michael Jackson isn't the only one with McDonald's in their home.

We toured an apartment building. Well, we toured two apartment buildings. Apparently the buildings are interconnected. The smaller of the two only has one ancient looking washer and dryer. So you need to go through a tunnel like passage in the basement to get to the larger laundry room in the sister building. Spooky isn’t the right word because I was too busy avoiding construction equipment to be scared. All I needed to do was trip, break an ankle and have to lie there in agony until someone decided to do wash.

After surveying the equally ancient looking washers and dryers, Lrudlrick and I searched for the bike room. As we traversed the dark tunnels, we passed a women who had just gone down a flight of stairs. We watched as she entered a door that was clearly marked, ‘Women’.

L: “Wow, the basement has unisex bathrooms.”
broker: “Huh. That’s curious.”
pg: “Do I smell fries? I think this is McDonalds.”

As I proceeded up the pale blue and grey staircase, the smell of Big Macs and Quarter Pounders became stronger. Sure enough, at the top of the stairs was a row of fast food patrons waiting patiently on line to order their Happy Meals.

L: “Cool! We can freak out friends and tell them we have a McDonald’s in our building.”
broker: “Huh. That's interesting.”
pg: “Am I the only one that thinks this is a security issue?”
L: “Think about it. I can run down in my pjs, do a load of wash and get us Egg McMuffins.”

Friday, September 09, 2005

You're leaving your home for what's behind curtain no 2?

"Nearly a quarter of renters pay more than 50 percent of their incomes for housing." -- Gotham Gazette's Campaign 2005 Mayoral Grid. Someone tell me how a city can sustain itself like this?

Yesterday’s post landed me a few calls and emails. You’re leaving your 1000 sq foot apartment? Why? You’re leaving your apartment by the park? Why? You’re leaving your quiet neighborhood? Why? When are you planning to go? You’re going to subject yourself to another move? Why? Where are you moving to? Can I have your shoes?

Yes. Ask my husband. Yes. Ask my husband. Yes. Ask my husband. As soon as my husband finds a place he likes, applies and gets board approval. Yes. Ask my husband. Somewhere within walking distance to Chelsea. No. If I have to hang my shoes on pot racks, I’ll do it.

There is a time for everything. Change doesn’t necessarily mean bad. I’ve got to have a leap of faith. Heck, Monty Hall could give me another kick ass apartment in an equally kick ass neighborhood or I could go home with a lifetime supply of squid in a can. Can you tell I tivo'd the weekend marathon of Odd Couple? Speaking of which, how much do you think Felix and Oscar paid for their gigantic pad?

If I find I hate it living in a box, we’ll move again. I’m not married to wherever we move. So yes, I’m leaving a lot but I hope it leads to better things.

My family is frustrated. They've suggested I just leave everything in bloody boxes and live out of them. Forget furniture, everything will be matching because it’s in a brown box labeled, ‘This Way Up’.

We’ve amassed a lot of stuff during this last move. I’m not sure how Lrudlrick thinks we’ll be able to keep it all. Plus everything is fairly new. There’s no way we’ll fit a roll-top desk anywhere. The dining room table I keep for Thanksgiving will have to go.

Great. I’m beginning to panic again. I need to relax and breathe. Where the hell am I going to put my shoes? My pretty shoes.

The dogs are not going to like this. My in-laws are not going to like this. On Tuesday evening, without even mentioning a possible move, my MIL ended our biweekly call dejectedly, “I guess this will be another year without babies, right?” Moving to a tinier apartment will only lead to another line of questioning that I’m not ready to answer.

Excuse me as I find solace in a sweet roll or two.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Quest for affordable housing. Yes, folks, we're moving, again.

Every two years, Lrudlrick gets the itch. I’ve spoken about it before. This time, I’m not as apprehensive. Why? Circumstances have changed and our future plans are changing with them. We’re hoping to move closer to my husband’s job. On any given workday, I don’t see him until after 10pm. Since his schedule is less flexible than mine, we figured we should be closer to his job for awhile.

Now moving closer means of course that we’re giving up space alot of space but I guess that’s what we have to live with. Heck, we should be grateful we’ll have space.

This move is more for Lrudlrick than for our family. When we’re ready to settle somewhere, I’m sure we'll plant roots. I’m no longer apprehensive and against it. Now, I’m riding the wave. I don’t know in what phase I’m in the K├╝bler-Ross grief cycle now. I'm either still in denial or bargaining.

As long as FreshDirect or some grocery store delivers and I have a working kitchen, I’ll be ok. Of course kitchens and pets make our apartment hunt that much harder. See, although every one we know has a pet, not every building likes them. So you got to do the whole shmooze and sell routine to the damn board for approval.

And as for the kitchen, for those outside of NYC this may be hard to fathom but not every apartment has a kitchen or what you would define as a kitchen. A burner on a counter can be considered a kitchen in the city.
Heck, a toaster oven and a counter top can be considered a kitchen.

For me, a kitchen is my lab. It has to be useable. Now, I’m not picky. I’ve lived in apartments where I’ve only had two burners and a tiny oven. When I used to live on Hudson Street, I lived with a bathroom sized kitchen sink and a small gas stove and was content. Now though, I’ve amassed a plentitude of kitchen appliances, cookbooks, dishes and bric-a-brac that must be stored someplace readily assessable. Lrudlrick, if this means we’ve got cast iron skillets in your bedroom closet, so be it. I’m not parting with those babies. It took me years to get them nice and black.

So now the great hunt begins. Can we make it within our budget and find decent living quarters? Can we survive another tumultuous move? Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

"He has made everything appropriate to its time, and has put the timeless into their hearts."

Yesterday I baked chocolate chip walnut cookies for a goodbye party for our priest. Father Pat is heading to Japan to help Peruvian Japanese who have returned to Japan acclimate back to society. He doesn’t know a lick of Japanese but he’s been reading his Japanese for Dummies. Apparently, there was a large group of Japanese in the 60’s and 70’s who fled to South America to find jobs. Since then they have adopted their culture, their language and their religion.

They are ready to head back home and will need someone accustomed to South American customs to help them. Since Father Pat spent over 20 years in Cuba and knows fluent Spanish, he’s been asked to help in Japan.

I always find it amazing that Lrudlrick and I met him. Father Pat is an Irish-American who was born and raised in the Bronx. He attended St. John’s, the same school as my husband.

He found his calling and became a Franciscan father and became a pastor in Cuba. After 20 or so years, he fled to America after his visa was revoked by Castro. He’s an amazingly patient and intellectual man who isn’t afraid to speak his mind against the injustices he sees.

I’m going to miss him terribly but I know he goes where he’s needed. There are so many people who could benefit from getting to know him.

As for me, he’s asked that I help with the Catechumens and although I’ve said yes I’m not sure how long I can help. If things go the way Lrudlrick hopes, it looks like we’ll be moving before the end of the year. Don't worry folks, there is no way Lrudlrick would uproot us out of the Big Apple. The real estate market might kick us out but Lrudlrick is fighting tooth and nail. This is all circumspect of course but so far things look likely to be changing.

Oh, and for those who wondered, I did make my beef stew last night. Sure, I wound up eating dinner at 10 but, it was so worth it. Yummy beef stew with a fresh baguette. Yum... Guess what I'm having for dinner?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

It's the Fall. Time for leaves changing, apple pies and programming the DVR.

The weekend was lovely. The weather was perfect to do just about anything. We spent ours with family barbecuing. I made my guacamole and salsa which apparently makes people cry before even eating it. Sorry. I’ve got Asian blood in me. Spicy is good. Next time I’ll cut back on the Chile peppers.

I’m heading now towards my fall weather phase. This means Pantrygirl’s kitchen concludes the baking with berries phase and heads towards the bread and stew phase.

I get obsessed with a food and focus on it until I’m satisfied. One year, it was all about the potato. This year, I feel compelled to learn how to make more types of bread. Of course, with bread, one must have a hearty stew.

Yesterday, after we returned from The Met, I made sweet rolls. My husband has finished 6 by himself already. He even had one for breakfast this morning. BTW, Lrudlrick swears the Egyptians were the first to invent the copy machine. For proof head to the Egyptian Art exhibit and hang the first right.

Yes, this is my second trip in less than two months to The Met. Bloomberg has financed Met Mondays for all Monday Holidays this year. Usually the museums are closed on Mondays and holidays. We figured the other museums would follow suit so we headed to the Frick. Well obviously the Frick felt it didn’t need to be opened on Monday because The Met was. So we rambled back up to The Met instead. BTW, Lrudlrick, it’s not called the Frick because you can’t frickin’ get in.

I’m going to try to get to the Frick before the end of the year just to add more culture in this television obsessed brain of mine.

Speaking of television, I’ve got my television schedules ready and I’ve been programming my DVR. This year, we’ve got an added bonus, HDTV. As part of the weekend without the ball and chain, Lrudlrick picked up the new Time Warner HD DVR which means we can tape HD programs. Last year, we were relegated to not being able to pause the HD. For shame.

So now I have to verify if a program is on HD and if it is, tape it on the HD channel. Some programs are easy enough. CSI and Law and Order are givens. It’s the other programs that I have to verify.

Personally, I could care less if it’s on HD or not but Lrudlrick is insistent that we tape HD programs on HD. Whatever. My OCD ends with just being able to tape the damn show. I really don’t need to see David Caruso and his smarminess in HD glory.

So far nothing is catching my eye. The only thing that looks humorous is My Name is Earl but that’s because I like Jason Lee and Earl vaguely reminds me of H.I. McDonnough (aka Nicholas Cage in Raising Arizona).

Maybe I’m not catching the teasers enough. Oh, and for the Martha Stewart Apprentice writers, my tagline was so much better than the one you chose. “You just don’t fit in.” does not beat “You’re not a good thing.”
I’m tired of the Apprentice really. I loved the first season. As a project manager, it was interesting to watch the cat fighting. Then it just went all crazy and brought out every single person who wanted ten minutes of fame.
One day, I swear I’m going to hear, “The Apprentice: Kato Kaelin.”

Don’t take my opinions though as a barometer of what’s going to last though. Heck, even in college, I consistently berated shows that lasted. In our television critic class, I blasted Party of Five and that became some cultish hit. Of course, who knew people would fall for the iron shaped face of Jennifer Love Hewitt. I suppose if I can predict anything it’s that the shows I like will tank or at least have a bumpy ride (aka Andy Richter, Futurama, Family Guy, Arrested Development, Newsradio etc) and the shows I loathe will make the grade.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Lord of the Flies II: Escape From New Orleans

I just placed a link above to a wonderful blog written by Michael Barnett, crisis manager for, who weathered the storm and is now holed in his office on St. Charles and Poydra.

Please take a gander and send him and his team supportive words.

His descriptions and photographs are extremely alarming.
As I mentioned before, we got married in NOLA. In fact, part of our reception was at the convention center. The photos and videos I've seen are heartbreaking.

Until civility returns, I'm going to retain the link on the top of this page.

Everyone please say a little prayer for the safety of those in the Gulf Coast.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

9 years of kissing each other hello and an old man's foot halts us.

L: Whoa whoa whoa. Be careful. I got old man on me.

pg: Cocks head to the right like a dog.

L: Actually, old man foot.

pg: Looks inquisitively.

L: I was practicing with the old man in class. (He then proceeds to explain why the old man’s foot is all over his body.)

pg: Slowly backs away.

L: So, I got the old foot on me. (Leaves to take a shower.)

"Hello there, Mr. Bunny Rabbit."

This morning I saw a five year old girl wearing a glittery sweater, purple feather boa draped over her shoulders and a tiara. You go, girl! When you’re 30, you can’t rock the feather boa like you’d want. Unless you idolize Courtney Love’s look. Rock on! Everything changes when you get puberty, so enjoy the princess life. Dance in circles. Wear the polka dot stockings.

Last Saturday, I started the mandatory ‘no contacts’ before my laser surgery. It is not the easiest thing to get used to. I forgot how hard it is to shower blind. It’s making shaving a little difficult. I’ve had to contort myself into a ‘K’ shape to ensure I’m really shaving. It’s not that I have to shave often either so I really shouldn’t complain. I shave once a week in the summer; sometimes even less. If I can’t see hair, there’s no point in shaving really.

When I was thirteen, everyone in my class was shaving their legs. I was still in my training bra waiting for something to sprout. I was a late bloomer and all I wanted was for some sign that I was becoming a ‘woman’, even leg hair.

It’s funny how as females, we beg for these crazy things. Why? Why the hell did I want leg hair? Why the hell did I want my period?

To all the girls out there who are wishing to the stars for their puberty, don’t. There is plenty of time for all the cramps, the bloating, the hormonal fits of anger, hunger, sadness, etc… Enjoy your life. Have fun. You’ve got the rest of your life to enjoy these wonderful accompaniments to womanhood.

To the men out there who don’t understand how illogical your woman can be sometimes, understand her hormones can take hold of her at any given time and cause havoc. If she’s like me, she’ll probably give you fair warning. If you don’t heed her warning, be prepared for the beast to attack you. Heck, even if you are warned, the beast will attack you. Everything in the world that is bad is your fault. Just understand it isn’t the sweet, cute, adorable, sassy chick you dated that is saying those things. It’s Mrs. Hyde.

Hyde and Hare - Courtesy of Golden Age Cartoons

I don’t get Jekyll and Hyde often. If I had to gander how often I turn, I’d say maybe two or three times a year. I know very well that Lrudlrick will say I’m underestimating but he’s not writing this, is he. When I do though, boy howdy. It’s like the creature from the deep starts bubbling to the surface. I know something isn’t right because things will get overly emotional to me. I’ll try to assess what’s making me all funky and nothing makes sense. That’s when I realize it’s her. I just pronounced assess ‘ass-es’ in my head. What movie was that again?

I warn Lrudlrick at this point. I’ll say that I’m feeling a bit bitchy/sad/funky so steer clear. It works every so often. When I first started the warning system, he questioned me like a 7 year old.

pg:I don’t know. I just feel it’s coming.
L: What is upsetting you?
pg:I don’t know.
L:If it’s coming, why don’t you stop it?
pg:I can’t.
L:You can’t control yourself?
pg:Yes, and you’re really pulling it into the express lane.
L:But you’re a grown up. You should be able to suppress your emotions at will. Shouldn’t you?
pg:I’m suppressing what I want to do to you right now but only because jail time is an imminent threat.

Nowadays Lrudlrick tries his hardest to leave me be when Mrs. Hyde visits. When we do get into a row because of Mrs. Hyde it always ends with Lrudlrick looking totally defeated. This isn’t easy to do when the man loves to debate. I’d say he’s a master debater but that doesn’t sound right. I won’t go into details but Lrudlrick loves arguments. He will talk you circular until you admit defeat.

During our last Mrs. Hyde vs. Lrudlrick match, the bantamweight coldcocked the middleweight with an emotionally charged rant about of all things, time. Yes, Mrs. Hyde blamed Lrudlrick for the sands of time. I’m sorry, honey. Honestly. It wasn’t me talking. He didn’t have a chance against her. There was definite brain damage.

Of course, the next morning, I felt back to my old self. Birds were chirping. The sun was beaming in. I was all smiles. Meanwhile, Lrudlrick was still in the fetal position in bed with his eyes wide open, rocking himself.

I give men credit though. It isn’t easy to live with us when Mrs. Hyde comes around. Imagine how it is to live with Mrs. Hyde living within you. What used to be a logical, empowered woman turns into an emotionally motivated dragon with talons.

The only advice I have for men is to listen to your woman, no matter how illogical it sounds and ride the wave. Oh, and if possible wear a mouthguard.

Words to Live By

Live well and with joy, in Jesus, in Others and in You

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