That's what I remember the most about visiting my dad in West Palm Beach when I was a little girl...the nice Jewish women by the pool at his condo complex who asked everyone who walked out there 1) who they were and 2) if they were renting or buying. They even asked me, a 12 year-old child. I explained, "Me llamo Amanda. No hablo ingles." They didn't talk to me much after that...so my plan worked and I was able to sunbathe in peace.
We've been looking for a house to rent in Tuscaloosa (which, by the way, is far less posh than West Palm Beach) and for some reason, EVERYONE wants to know our plan. "Why are you renting?" "Why aren't you buying something?" "Why do you want to live way out there?" "Why don't you want to live closer to campus?" "Do you have any idea what traffic is like out that way?" "Do you want me to call my brother and see if he has a trailer available?" THE QUESTIONS! They never cease. I'm a little more tolerant than PJ when it comes to people trying to get all up in my grill, but it's really starting to annoy me. None of this is any of their business. And yet, the questions keep coming. If you dare to go so far as to describe one of the places you are considering, then it gets worse..."Well, that room could be used for storage." "You could go to Target and get a card table and cover it and make that an entertainment area." "I know where you could get some shelving units for that spot." and so on...
So here's the deal, people. We found a house we like and we are hoping to RENT it. Yes, we realize that this may seem like a terrible waste of money to you, but we are at a place in our lives where we want to rent. See, this way, if I can't stand living near all of you curious folk, we can pack up and leave rather easily in a year and not have to go through all of this house selling drama. And yes, the house is south of town in the area you say has "horrible" traffic. Well, we've tested it several times, and it seems fine. I'm thinking you've never been to Birmingham or to Knoxville on a Friday. You should try that some time and then tell me what you think about that little leisurely ride out 69 South then. And yes, it's further from campus than I had wanted, but since everything we looked at near campus made my eyes bleed and my skin break out in hives, we found this house to be a better option. And, thank you for offering your help and suggestions on decorating and entertaining, but I've got that one in the bag. I've decided that an empty room or an empty space isn't always a bad thing. Particularly if our guests are drinking. This gives them more room for dancing and crashing later.
And honestly? What if I told you we like to waste money and we like having very little space or too much space? See, that wouldn't be any of your business either.
Another observation I made this weekend - the people you work with that drive you nuts during the week, will still drive you nuts if you work with them on the weekend. Even if it's only for 4 hours on a Saturday morning. They are still the same old sour puss you left there at 5:00 on Friday. And the work drama? Well, it's still dramatic on the weekend. I don't know why I thought this was just a weekday thing.
I've often wondered how this happens. I mean, seriously, it's hard enough to get the funny, well-dressed, handsome gay boys to notice you - much less be their icon. Thanks, Explainer.
Perhaps you noticed I added another person to my blog roll? Her name is Jen Lancaster and she is the writer behind the blog, Jennsylvania. I just finished reading her first book, Bitter is the New Black, and it is HYSTERICAL. (That was in all caps - HYSTERICAL.) It's a memoir detailing her life post-college which includes a fabulous rise to the top and a horrible crash to the pits of unemployment, etc. All the while she maintains her sense of style and wicked sense of humor - and THAT makes the book HYSTERICAL (all caps). I've practically read the entire book to PJ out loud because I simply could not put it down and I had to explain my sudden outbursts of laughter somehow. This didn't bother me at all, but here's a warning for my sensitive readers: lots of foul language...properly placed and sometimes unavoidable, but foul just the same. I can't wait to read the next one: Bright Lights, Big Ass. And I'm pretty sure we don't have a copy at work so guess who has to stop at Books-A-Million today!?!?! I knew I should have bought it when I bought the first one.
And for those of you who might read one of these books and dare to compare my behavior pre, during or post-college to her's...remember that it works both ways. I can just as easily tell a few stories about you in your day. Yes, I'm talking to you, Elaine, Miss Alpha Delta Pi.
In researching Jen Lancaster, I found another fun blog: Conversations w/ Famous Writers: A girl and her books. Distressed Jeans (I have no idea who this is, by the way) reviews books here...books that girls like me read. Girls like me who are DONE with grad school and can actually read something for pleasure rather than reading something in a complete panic for tomorrow's quiz. Have I mentioned how happy I am to be reading real books again?
In other news, I see Drew Carey will now host "The Price is Right." Excellent Choice! I'm a huge Drew Carey fan all because of "Whose Line Is It Anyway." And even though I haven't seen "The Price is Right" in years, I watched enough of it as a child at Gran Gran's to know he's perfect for the job. And somehow I just couldn't picture Rosie O'Donnell having the patience to deal with Gladys spinning the Big Wheel. I also don't want my grandmother to even know who Rosie O'Donnell is...so this works out nicely.
We finally got an offer on the condo and we have countered, but don't know yet if he accepted the counter. Turns out the potential buyer is a bit detail oriented (a nice way to say he is an engineer). And he had a few questions before he even made the offer (a few million of them). And the offer was pretty "engineer-ish" but good. He wants our bar stools. And he wants our Storehouse towers on either side of the fireplace. Let me just say, I'm flattered he's interested in my decorating abilities, but I find that odd, and the answer is no. Well, he can have the bar stools, but not the towers. And why doesn't he want this heavy High Definition TV that fits perfectly over the fireplace that we offered him? It's a great TV with a fabulous picture and as I said, fits in the niche above the fireplace like it was manufactured especially to go there. (Did I mention it's heavy? Like the heaviest thing I've ever even attempted to move? I wonder what he would do if we just left it here.) So anyway, we wait. And obsess. And we are really bad at waiting, but world class champions at obsessing. Needless to say, it's been a long weekend.
I handle stress by getting physically sick and spending my time in the bathroom or in the bed. PJ reacts in a similar way, but he also talks things out. And that's a whole lot of talking. And I can only listen for so long - especially if I'm in the bed or in the bathroom. He's also much more sentimental than anyone I know. He's sad to be leaving here - our first home together and he's been waxing poetic about it all weekend. It's really quite sweet and reminds me of why I love him so much...as long as I'm in the mood to hear it. You never know with me.
We spent yesterday riding around and looking at possible rentals in the town where we work. I guess I never really noticed before how unattractive the town can be in certain spots. And the fact that it's a college town makes rent on anything better than a tool shed quite unaffordable. Of course, even a tool shed close enough to the stadium would be out of reach financially. And what if Mr. Anal B. Engineer doesn't even accept the counter offer and walks away from this whole thing? Then why are we even spending our Saturday riding around this town getting more and more depressed by the hour?
This whole ordeal is going to take some patience and some time. Do I need to remind you that I have no patience and very little time? However, if you are going to feel sorry for anyone, might I suggest PJ? He's the one who has to deal with me in addition to everything else. And that? Well, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.
Warning: If you haven't read yesterday's post - this won't make a bit of sense to you.
I just went upstairs to order my usual and this is how it went down:
Me: "Hello. I'll have a grande nonfat misto with three pumps of mocha and a little whipped creme."
Barista: "Sure. That will be $2.07."
Me: "Are you sure? It's usually $3.11."
Barista: "Grande nonfat mis-a-lo with three pumps of mocha and whipped creme?"
Barista (rather loudly as she is rolling her eyes and looking over at the other barista): "Hmm."
a few seconds later...
The Other Barista: "Grande mis-a-lo!"
Me (as I exit stage right): "La di dah...life is good."
There's a Starbucks on the 2nd floor of the building where I work. I visit there frequently and I always order the same thing: a grande nonfat misto with three pumps of mocha and a little bit of whipped creme. I order this at every Starbucks I visit, and every now and then I have to tell the barista how to make it, but most of them know what I want. The women who work at the Starbucks in my building, though, can never seem to get it right...unless I stand there and tell them every single step of the process...which I am happy to do since I'm spending $3.11 for the damn thing. (Yes, Noele, I just remembered I owe you $3.11. I'll pay you tomorrow - sorry.)
But what irritates me more than having to pay a fortune for a cup of coffee is the fact that the women who work at my Starbucks always "correct" my pronunciation of the word "misto." The conversation goes the same way every time I go up there. It doesn't matter which one of the women is working the counter. This is how it goes: I say, "Good Morning. I'll have a grande misto...non fat with three pumps of mocha and a little bit of whipped creme." The barista says, "You want a mislo?" I say, "A grande misto...non fat with three pumps of mocha and a little bit of whipped creme." She looks at me like she's thinking, "Poor white girl." And then she says, "You mean a mislo. OK then." She then looks at the one fixing the drinks and says, "She want a mislo." And rolls her eyes. And then she says, "What size?" To which I reply, "A grande misto...non fat with three pumps of mocha and a little bit of whipped creme." She then looks at me like she's thinking, "Poor stupid white girl." She says, "You want whole milk or skim milk?" To which I reply, "A grande misto...non fat with three pumps of mocha and a little bit of whipped creme." She then rolls her eyes right there in front of me and scribbles something on a cup and takes my money. When the woman fixing the drinks has prepared mine she yells out really loudly, "Grande mislo!" with a particular emphasis on the "mislo." And they all giggle or give each other a look as I grab my drink and walk off.
OK, so I was thinking the other day that maybe it is "mislo." Maybe I had been wrong all this time. But after a few minutes of googling, I still think I'm right. And I've even thought of trying to use another term for ordering the drink because I think a misto is really just a cafe au lait, but when I've tried that they look at me like I'm speaking Japanese and I end up going back to "misto" which at least they can translate as "mislo" in their minds.
Well, today the conversation was a bit different. Which, by the way, made me very happy since I've obviously had NOTHING to blog about in days...
Today (after bumming $3.11 off of Noele) I went up to Starbucks and this is how it went down: I said, "Good Morning. I'll have a grande misto...non fat with three pumps of mocha and a little bit of whipped creme." The barista said, "You want a mis-a-lo?"
Wow. I had to step back for a moment. Now it's three syllables? I can't keep up!
I said, "A grande misto...non fat with three pumps of mocha and a little bit of whipped creme." She looked at me like she was thinking, "Poor white girl." And then she said, "You mean a mis-a-lo. OK then." She then looked at the one fixing the drinks and said, "She want a mis-a-lo." And rolled her eyes. And then she said, "What size?" To which I replied, "A grande misto...non fat with three pumps of mocha and a little bit of whipped creme." She then looked at me like she was thinking, "Poor stupid white girl." She said, "You want whole milk or skim milk?" To which I replied, "A grande misto...non fat with three pumps of mocha and a little bit of whipped creme." She then rolled her eyes right there in front of me and scribbled something on a cup and took my money. When the woman fixing the drinks had prepared mine she yelled out really loudly, "Grande mis-a-lo!" with a particular emphasis on the "mis-a-lo." I have no idea if they giggled or rolled their eyes when I walked off. I was too excited to notice.
I headed back to my meeting and within three minutes, a coworker (who shall remain nameless but will probably be the reason I will fall off the edge one day) said the following: "This situation is just going to esculate if we don't get a handle on it now."
Yes, it's going to S Q late.
I just sat there sipping my mis-a-lo and thanking the good Lord that I had made it through another morning with these freaks.
Yesterday's lookers are still hung up on the association fee. And they can't seem to talk about it and ask about it enough. It is what it is, people. And yes, you could take that fee, add it to the mortgage payment, and for the same amount - buy a house with a yard. But, see, we did not want a house with a yard...and if you want a house with a yard, well, why are you wasting my time making me clean when I would rather be reading or scrapbooking? I'm done. Completely done with this whole thing. I'm feeling like I am doomed to commute one hour each way to work for the rest of my life. Do you have any idea how many hours of living I am giving up by sitting in the car? Of course, the days I can carpool with PJ aren't completely useless - it's a good time for us to talk and catch up on things and he's an excellent travel partner...but still. I'm over it.
OK, next topic. My face is twitching...has been for two days now. It's on the left side of my face between my cheekbone and my nose. And sometimes it is so strong I can see it in the mirror...pulsating. It's driving me nuts. I googled "face twitch" last night and was a bit overwhelmed at the possibilities. Of course, my favorite explanation went on and on about how common this is in middle aged women. WHAT? How crazy is that? So...let me get this straight...I can't sleep now that I'm over 40, and just in case that's not irritating enough, I have an alien with a ferociously beating heart living just inside my face. Sure. No problem.
I liked it. PJ and I happened to catch The Singing Bee last night and we both liked it. So there.
It reminded me of one of those games that my dad used to make up to entertain me on rainy days...like the time we were watching MTV and he turned his back and tried to guess every song title and artist without looking at the screen. He sucked, by the way. Oh, but then he got the idea to try the same game with a radio staion that played 50's and 60's tunes and he did just fine.
And I think Joey Fatone is too cute. Am I the only one? And the Honey Bees? Well, they crack me up. Yes, it's a silly and ridiculous show, but there are times that call for such entertainment. And The Singing Bee showcases just the type talent someone like me (or PJ) has - the ability to remember completely random things with amazing accuracy and beaming satisfaction. That skill goes unappreciated the majority of the time, so score one for us.
This Washington Post reporter trashed the show. I'm thinking he must be from a home that had Atari or something...no made up trivia and charades games. Sad.
For some reason I can't get this out of my head this morning. God help me. Bye Bye Bye.
Edited to add: I just clicked on that link above to the song (Bye Bye Bye) and since it's a free download I expected there to be ads, but my goodness...sorry if you didn't want to see a very large banner offering you the opportunity to find a real sex partner in Tuscaloosa - RIGHT NOW. No thanks, I will pass. But feel free to work on that if you want. I just don't want to be blamed for the fallout later.