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July 29, 2010

Suburbs v. The City



It is no secret that Dan and I are ready to get out of this Nightmare House.  We are still working out some logistics of what our new budget will be, but the primary battle is over location: suburbs or the city?

If I were Married Melissa with uno puppy Yorkie Toby living in Dallas I would want to live in a hip condo in downtown with a great view and easy access to the city.  There is one key problem to my desired downtown living:


Kadira changes everything, i.e. we must have a fenced backyard.  Which means it must be a house, not a hip downtown condo. Sad face.

When faced with the constraint of living in a house, I want to live in the suburbs.  For lots of reasons. I love the 'burbalicious town we live in right now.  I have finally settled in and know where my grocery store is, where doggie daycare is, where my gas station is, where the best parks are, favorite restaurants, shopping etc. I also have figured out where all the best neighborhoods are and scoped out the average price of homes.  I want to stay in this general area. 

Dan disagrees.  He wants to move into the city so the commute isn't over an hour.  He says that once I start commuting I will want to move too.  This is a fair point.  I have had long commutes before but Dallas is the 4th largest metro area in the country which makes the commute terrible.  Plus people here drive like idiots and all have guns, which makes me think that taking the Dart and risking getting mugged is a much safer option then getting cut off in traffic. 

However, living in the City is way more expensive then living in the suburbs. Every time I find a house I like in the City I think about how much MORE we could get for that same price in the suburbs.  The suburbs have nicer areas, nicer property, bigger property, you name it. Plus, all the houses in the city are older homes, and I hate older homes.  Screw the "character" bullshit and get me a manufactured home with new fixtures and granite counter tops.  Since we are renting there will be no renovations, so the house has to be nice from the get-go.

On the other hand, most of our friends live in the City, which means if we ever want to go out we have to drive almost an hour to meet up with people.  Which means we normally leave early or get home at a crazy hour.  Plus one of us can't drink because a cab ride back to hour house is expensive.  We are young, we need to go out and socialize.  Living in the suburbs definitely holds us back. 

My main issue is that I don't want to spend a ton of money to rent a home.  I think its silly to be paying somebody else's mortgage. I would much rather live somewhere on a lower budget for a year or so and save to buy a house.

We are looking at some homes in the city this weekend, hopefully my opinion on the matter can be swayed.

Any advice? Would you prefer the City or the Suburbs?

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July 27, 2010

Black Thumb

Remember when I was all excited about my little herb garden?

Then they sprouted and I was thrilled?

Well, I killed them. 


Granted, the basil doesn't look so bad but it hasn't grown and centimeter in weeks.  And that single solitary sage?  That was replanted after I killed the other ten off.  The thyme speaks for itself. 

I don't understand what I did wrong! I kept the soil moist and I place them in a sunny spot in the house and I talk to them and let them listen to classical music.

(I am just kidding about the talking and classical music)


I keep hoping I can bring them back to life, but things are looking a little bleak at the moment. 

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July 26, 2010

The Time My Gym Quit Me

So, remember when I went on a pretty solid six months running binge? Where I was running races and trying to psych myself up to run a half marathon and all that jazz? 200 or so miles later I started getting a little burnt out. I am very much a goal oriented person when it comes to working out, and it became very apparent to me that running a half marathon in Dallas in August was going to be a no-go. Way too hot. There was no way I was going to attempt to run my first half marathon in this heat. Its hard for me to even lay out by a pool in this heat. So I tried to spice up my routine with some biking but it didn't work. Soon, all I felt like doing was laying in front of a fan with the AC blasting. So I haven't been to my gym in like a month. Okay fine maybe a little more then that.

I start my new job soon, and we are thinking of moving cities, so I decided it was time to quit my crappy gym since I was never going. I read through my contract and noticed I had to give 30 days notice in writing via certified mail. So I did that, and then I decided that I should really try and use that 30 days left on my membership and get back in the swing of things. You know, maybe run a half in September or something. 

This morning I psyched myself up. I put on my running shoes. I made a new running playlist on my ipod. I was going to do 5 miles.  I didn't care how long it took or how much it hurt I was going to run 5 miles.

Do you know how much energy it took to get me to that point?  Like Tony Robbins energy people.

Upon arrival I noticed that the parking lot looked rather empty.  I mean, the parking lot is never bustling at 1 PM since most people are contributing to society, but still, where are the retired old people I am so used to hanging out with?

Wait.

What the hell happened to the gym sign? Why is the equipment being loaded into a truck?

You know you haven't been to the gym in awhile when you go AND IT NO LONGER EXISTS.

All of a sudden all I wanted to do was run on the treadmill. Why? Why did you close down? Now I am going to get lazy and chunkalicious! Ahhhhhhh!!!

I called the corporate headquarters and apparently they didn't get an option to renew their lease.  Apparently they have been closed since the 11th.  They said they would give me a refund.

And then I ate an ice cream sandwich.  

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July 25, 2010

Sunday Post


Head on over to Seven Dames a Week to read (and listen!) to my new music obsession "Marina and the Diamonds."

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July 22, 2010

The Name Game

When I was in junior high I used to doodle my first name with the last name of my "crush of the week" on the back of my notebooks.  When I was in college I decided that if I ever got married (and that was a big "if") I would probably hyphenate.  Then I did get married, and I ultimately decided to not change my last name. 423 days later, I can say that I am still really happy with that decision.

I think my generation is one of the first generations where it really has become more of a choice. I have the "are you changing your name?" conversation with every single one of my girlfriends, and that's refreshing.  Most people still chose to change it, but aren't we lucky that in this country and culture we also have the option not to and its perfectly fine?

I get a lot of questions about my decision to not change my last name.  My personal opinion on the subject is not to overthink it and its really not that big of a deal. People get to caught up in the logistics and its not really about logistics because it hardly impacts my life or my marriage at all.  Its more about preference and personal philosophy.

Someday I might get into the personal reasons why I decided not to change my last name, but not today.  Instead, I wanted to answer some of the common questions/comments I get from people about my decision in hopes that perhaps it might ease some of the concerns for other women who are considering the ramifications and logistics of keeping your maiden name.

A. MAILING AND ADDRESSING

1. How should I address a letter to you?  How did you address a letter to me before I got married? Probably the same way.   

2. But if I address the letter to you and Dan its so long!  Not really! I do it in the upper right hand corner of every letter I send and my hand has not turned green or fallen off yet.  I think you will survive.

3. Will you get offended if I just use Dan's last name?  I don't know, if your name was Linda and you kept telling people your name was Linda and they insisted on calling you Susan, would that bug you? If not, then go for it.  If so, then use my correct name.

In truth though, I recognize that keeping you maiden name is not the norm so if people assume that I took Dan's last name and make a mistake I don't really care. However, its the people who know I didn't take it who insist on calling us "Dan and Melissa Dan'sLastName" that can annoy me.  I know it sounds a bit silly, but some days it just seems a bit disrespectful.  Probably depends on whether I am PMSing and how well I know you.

4. What about if I address you as "Mrs. Dan Dan'sLastName":  Ding! Ding! Ding! You've hit my one big sore spot. I absolutely lose it.  I don't care what anybody says, I think that is so outdated and disrespectful. If you are over the age of 80 I will let it slide but otherwise that's a big no-no in my book.

The not-so-offensive version of "Mr. and Mrs, Dan Dan'sLastName" on formal things, such as wedding invitations is a bit different.  I still think its ridiculous but lots of people swear that its proper protocol so I am willing to let it slide.  But still, that's not my name. 

B. KIDS

1. Are your kids going to take both of your names? For the record, kids are not even on my radar but I would say yes, probably. 

2. Don't you think that is going to be confusing for them? No. That is the last name of their parents, why would that be confusing? I think people who are worried about that are overthinking it. 

3. Wont your kid's name be really long then? Yea, maybe, so what? Lots of kids have long names. If it bothers them that much they can go by a nickname or something. Hopefully, they will understand why they have two last names and appreciate both sides of their family.  

4. What will they do when they get married and have kids? Whatever they want! Just like we did.

C. MISC. 

1. Have you ever had somebody react poorly when you told them that you kept your maiden name?  Yes. All have been men.  One guy even told me that if his fiance wouldn't take his name he wouldn't marry her.  That seemed a bit ridiculous to me but I suppose some guys are just traditional like that.  Another told me that it was my "duty as a wife" to uphold the name of the my husband's family.  What century do you live in?  Needless to say, Dan does not care that I didn't take his last name which I think is a symbol of a very secure man.

2. Have you had any problems with your husband and you having different last name? Nope. In this day and age there are so many people living together or in common law marriages OR who are married with different last names that we have never had a problem with anything. Also, for me, I don't need to share Dan's last name to feel like we are "married" or "a family."  Sharing our last name isn't that important to me, which I know it is for some people.

The decision not to change my name was definitely one that I really thought about and considered.  I know its not for everybody, but conversely, changing your name is not for everbody.  Some girls love the thought of changing their last name, I am not one of those girls.  It felt very "identity changing" for me and was something I dreaded doing rather then was excited about. So I didn't, and so far so good.

What kid of girl are/were you? Did you change your last name? Did you keep your maiden name? Was it a hard or easy decision?

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July 19, 2010

Book 14: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows


On the jacket of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society there is a quote by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) that says "Treat yourself to this book please- I can't recommend it highly enough." I think that is the perfect way to describe this book. It is a treat. It is delightful. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The story is a series of letters between Juliet, a writer, who is adjusting to life after WWII. Her series of newspaper pieces have just been turned into a very popular novel, but she is having problems finding inspiration for her next book....that is until she receives a letter from a man from the Guernsey islands and correspondence turns into a beautiful story about how the island survived during German occupation.

The best part of this book is the characters. Through their letters Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows are able to develop people and stories that are captivating. The book is a tribute to literature and the ability of people to find hope even during the toughest of times.  My friend Maria (who also suggested The Hunger Games and The Book Thief) gave this book to me and I am so glad she did.  I never would have picked this book off a shelf to read on my own, but I am really glad that the universe brought it to me.

Mary Ann Shaffer had always wanted to write a book, but after submitting her first draft to the publishers she became very ill and her niece, Annie Barrows, had to step in and finish the rewrites.  In the end they had an impeccable novel, a NYT #1 Bestseller, and a fabulous way to spend an afternoon.

Next up is The Time Travelers Wife...which I know, I am late to this bandwagon but excited to jump aboard.

Make sure to friend me on Goodreads! My user name is DuolyNoted.

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July 18, 2010

Sunday Post


Head on over to Seven Dames a Week to read my Sunday Post "Summer Flashback"

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July 16, 2010

A Dramady...With Artwork

EARLY MORNING TEXT MESSAGES

Me: There is a giant flying insect downstairs. I cannot get close enough to kill it. Will be stuck in my room the entire day now.

Dan: Are you serious?!?!

Me: Yes. It is huge. Might be a grasshopper, hornet, or hybrid Texas insect. Do you think I should try and get Kadira to eat it?*

Dan: Not if you think its a hornet or a bee. But otherwise yes.

Me: Well I don't know!!!!

(short pause)

Me: Will you come home at lunch and kill it :) :) :)?

(pause)

Dan: Yes

Me: Oh my god seriously?   I love you so much and will make you a yummy lunch of warmed up pizza and wont get mad if you take the roasted nuts back to the office.**

*Kadira often incapacitates and kills bugs before I find them. I love her for this. 

**Reference to earlier fight wherein I refused to let him take the roasted nuts given to us as a gift back to his office.

LATER THAT DAY

Dan has just driven back from Dallas into the suburbs to kill the bug.  I am cowering in my bedroom. Dan walks into the house. 

Dan: MELISSA! You are kidding me! This bug is already dead!

I poke my head out of the bedroom.

Me: Seriously?

Skip down the staircase. 

AND SCENE

A Brief Statement in my Defense: 

I am not scared of all bugs.  In fact, I kill quite a few bugs.  However when they reach a certain gigantic size and have stingers and/or wings I find myself unable to get close for fear they will jump on me and suck my blood.  I also don't like the sound a large bug makes when it gets squished.  This was never a problem until I moved to Texas and encountered bugs the size of Toby. 

Upon further inspection, the giant bug was a definitely of the hornet/bee/yellowjacket variety with yellow legs, black body, and yellow stripes. It also had two different sections of the body and the wingspan of an eagle.  Seriously, who wouldn't be scared of that sucker?


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July 13, 2010

On Top of Spaghetti! All Covered in Cheese! I Lost My Poor Meatball....


I have always been fundamentally against the concept of the meatball. It all stems from my hatred of meatloaf. Yuck. Even the writing the word makes me gag. As a kid it was the only food I really refused to eat.  It was also the one time I really remember my Mom and Dad taking a stand on me finishing dinner which led to a 3 hour stand off of me sitting at the kitchen table while everybody else was off doing other things.

I won. Because I hate meatloaf that much.

Yet there I was, with all this leftover beef from the 4th of July holiday and I decided that I wanted to try this homemade spaghetti sauce recipe I had been saving and then, on a whim, I decided to make Pioneer Women's meatballs.

And holy crap I love meatballs.

There amazing! Nothing like meatloaf! I can't believe that I went all of these years without having them!

MEATBALLS
Adapted from Pioneer Woman 

INGREDIENTS
-1 lb ground beef
-4 cloves of minced garlic
-2 eggs
-3/4 cup Parmesan
-Salt and pepper to taste
-1/4 cup of milk
-1/2 cup of Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine all ingredients (except the Olive Oil!) into a bowl and mix

2. Roll into 1/2 inch balls and put in the freezer for 10 minutes of the fridge for longer.

3. Get Olive Oil hot in a saucepan and fry those suckers brown over a medium heat.  No need to cook all the way through, they will continue to cook when you put them in the sauce.

4. Let drain on a paper towel

5. Place in simmering sauce for the last 30 minutes.

SPAGHETTI SAUCE
A recipe given to me from Emily
An easy base recipe to play around with! 

INGREDIENTS 
-Olive Oil
-1/4 white onion
-3 cloves of garlic
-2 28 ounce cans of tomato sauce
-1 small can of tomato paste
-1 1/2 cans of water
-Italian Seasoning to taste
-Sugar to taste

DIRECTIONS 
1. Coat bottom of pot with Olive Oil. 

2. Saute onion and garlic. 

3. Place tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water into a giant pot and bring to a boil. Add onions and garlic.

4. Simmer for a couple hours, sauce will thicken as it simmers.  Add Italian seasoning and sugar to taste.

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July 11, 2010

Sunday Post


I am just a little blogging machine this weekend. This is because I am a bar exam widow. Dan is taking the bar in 2 short weeks hence he is holed up in his office studying and I am bored, bored, bored.

Plus there is something really important that I am supposed to be doing with my time, so obviously I have to blog about anything that pops into my head to procrastinate.

Without further ado here's my Sunday Post! Check out out PlanAhead and My Grandma Issues over on Seven Dames a Week.

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Happy 22nd Ryan!

{Photo Credit Cait}

This is my oldest, youngest brother Ryan.  Today is his 22nd birthday and in celebration of his 22 years on this planet I am going to post pictures of my little brother without his approval.  This is my all time favorite photo of Ryan.  We don't get to let loose with each other much, so it was with great joy that I watched him rock out with this air guitar at my wedding.


Most of the time, Ryan looks like this.  He is the best self taught photographer I have ever met, and even took our engagement pictures, which people always say look professional.  They were the best wedding present ever. 

{Arguably, not the best photo of the three of us but definitely indicative of what most of our pictures turn out looking like}

Ryan, I don't remember a lot about the day you were born, but I do remember people kept coming and bringing you presents and nobody brought me anything. I was very upset and hid under the coffee table for about an hour.  When nobody cared enough to come get me I crawled out from underneath and asked Mom if I could hold you.  You were really heavy so I gave you back right away.  Mom quickly took you back for fear I would throw you on the ground.  I was quite the jealous, bratty older sister.  Forgive me, I was an only child for four years and sharing Mom and Dad took some getting used to.

We had a rough start, but over time I grew to like you.  You were pretty fun, and you let me order you around and would play whatever I wanted to play. You also provided good training for soccer, and were surprisingly good despite the fact that you were 4 years younger then me. We were quite the team...until Kevin came along...

{Photo Credit: Ryan, I think.  I don't actually know how I ended up with this photo}

When Kevin came along you finally had a brother to play with and it didn't take long for the both of you to gang up on me. I knew I had to change that dynamic quickly so I taught Kevin how to jump off the couch and land on your back while you were quietly watching television.  My evil plan worked better then I could have ever hoped.  You two were mortal enemies for a good two years
{Stolen from Ryan's Facebook. Mwahahaha.}

Now you are all grown up and your smarter then me, can run faster then me, and you are more artistic then me. If my four year old self had known you were going to grow up and totally dominate me on all levels I would have dropped you when I had the chance! But in all seriousness, I am so proud of you and all you have accomplished in your 22 years.  I couldn't ask for a better set of younger brothers and I hope year 22 brings you the best year of your life (until you hit 23, of course).

Happy Birthday Ryan!

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July 10, 2010

Book 13: The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran


Recently, Life of a Law School Wife commented that she liked The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran better then Hunger Games.  I was immediately intrigued because ya'll know how much I love the Hunger Games.  So I obviously had to read it, right? I don't know that I would ever have read this book without her suggestion, it is a far departure from the books I normally read, but I was really glad that I did!  Heretic Queen is interesting and compelling all in one, and was my first real attempt at historical fiction.

The book is based in Egypt during the reign of King Ramses. The young princess Nefertari, the niece of the famed Heretic Queen Neferteri, is heartbroken as she watches her childhood friend Ramses become King and marry Iset.  What ensues is a tangled web of lies, manipulation, and determination to try to get Nefertari to be crowned Chief Wife. From rivalries in the palace that lead to murder and deception, to a beautiful love story.  This book has everything.

In the beginning, I did not know if I was going to like this book.  I know very little about ancient Egypt and I kept having to flip to the timeline at the front of the book to understand the lineage and who was who.  Yet after about 50-75 pages I started getting the hang of all the names and who everybody was and from that point on I was totally hooked.  I kept googling things throughout to see what was real and what was not, and I have to say I am really impressed by how true to the story Moran was.  Obviously a lot of what we know about Ancient Egypt is speculation, but Moran took very few creative liberties in regards to the timeline of what history believes happened.

So for all you historical fiction junkies out there...I think you'll love it.  If you don't like historical fiction, I think you'll enjoy this book too! It was great- thanks for the recommendation Brittany!

Next up is the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  My friend gave this book to me, the same one who suggested The Book Thief and Hunger games, which I both loved, so I have high hopes for this book as well.

 Make sure to friend me on Goodreads! My user name is DuolyNoted.


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July 8, 2010

I Hate Our House Part Deuce

 (Photo taken right when we moved in...we have since tried to save the yard to lackluster results.  Although I guess now it has been highly fertilized.)

So where was I?

Oh right, pretty flowers all over our front yard and me breathing into a paper bag.

We didn't notice the, um, eruption because we never use our front door - only the garage. Right next to the front door is a giant stone turtle that I particularly adore.  In fact, I had been so consumed with my love for the stone turtle I never noticed the random pipe next to it sticking out of the ground.  Apparently the turtle hides the escape pipe for the sewage if it gets backed up.  All the water we had used that day from toilets to showers to laundry had found itself on our front lawn. It was a sight to behold to say the least. Needless to say I no longer plan on taking the turtle with me when we leave.

We call the landlord agency who says they will send out a plumber. 36 hours later the plumber arrives. Granted Monday was a holiday for most people, but apparently this sewage problem did not concern the landlord enough to get somebody out there ASAP.  Which leads me to wonder, what exactly IS a problem where my landlord will send a plumber out ASAP? Because, how much worse can it get when your front yard is flooding with pretty flowers and your neighbors are complaining? 

Plumbers number one comes with this massive machine. They believe the culprit is this gigantic oak tree in our front yard that has roots that are messing up the piping. So they spend over an hour trying to fix it with this machine that is SO LOUD neighbors are coming to watch (EMBARRASSING!) I am hiding in my house praying this works when one of the plumbers knocks on the door and kindly informs me.

"Can't fix it. Sorry. The problem's on the City's side so you'll have to call them."

Crap.

Literally.
 
(Brief side note: The amount of "this is so shitty/crappy" jokes that were made in our house over these three days was out of control.)

So I call the city, and I am not kidding they arrive in 2 minutes flat. Who says the government is inefficient? Mr. Private Industry Plumber took 36 hours. Government plumber took 2 minutes.

The city has even bigger equipment, but it is not working. They knock on the door and look at me apologetically. Whatever is causing the problem is actually under the sidewalk, which is technically "our side" which means they are not responsible to fix it. Yet out of the goodness of their heart they are bringing out water trucks to try and dislodge whatever is causing the problem.

WATER TRUCKS

200,000 pounds of water pressure later they STILL can't fix whatever the hell is stuck in this pipe. They tell me that I am going to have to call the plumber back out and there is a good chance that we might need to rip up the tree and the sidewalk to get to it.

I have a mild heart attack at the thought. I don't own this house, I don't want to deal with massive reconstruction in my front lawn.  Furthermore, my heart breaks for the tree because it is really quite beautiful.

Plumber number three comes out the next day.  Day threeThree days of this mess.  I was informed by plumber number 1 that he would be the biggest man he had ever seen in his life.  He was, in fact, the tallest man I have ever seen in my life...as in he had to duck to get through my door frame.  I have no social filter so I tell him that he's the largest man I have ever seen.

"I'm a big man with big equipment" he says.

Get your minds out of the gutter people. He was talking about the plumbing equipment.

The poor man is outside in 100 degree heat for an hour when he knocks on my door and triumphantly says "I fixed it! Want to see?"

I'm thinking "Uh. not really."  But since he was my savior I obliged and ohhhed and ahhhhed and all the roots he had pulled out of the pipe as well listened to his war story about how this was the worst problem he had ever seen and how he misses his mother's gravy biscuits.  I am not really sure how that revelation worked its way into our conversation but it did.  I think it was something along the lines of "you don't appreciate it until its gone."  For me it was plumbing, for him his mother's gravy biscuits.

Apparently if you have giant trees in your yard you should do maintenance yearly to ensure that this issue doesn't happen.  Ye shall be warned. 

Thank you for all your supportive comments from my last post.  I think the general consensus was (1) Thank God I don't actually own this house (2) Get the hell out of here and find a new place to live.

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July 7, 2010

I Hate Our House Part Uno

Do you remember my pretty flowers analogy? If not, you need to go HERE before you read this post and get caught up on my use of the term.  Trust me, I was hoping I would never have to write a blog post wherein I had to utilize the term again either.

Ever since we have moved into this house our lives have been a nightmare. I wish that I was being a tad over dramatic but the Xanax pills on my counter beg to differ (okay THAT was me being over dramatic.)  Let's start back at the beginning with a quick recap.

A little less then a year ago Dan and I have just graduated, got married, got a dog, taken the bar, and were now driving from WA to TX. We did not search for a house before we moved down here.  In retrospect, that would have been a good idea, but hindsight is 20/20 vision and at that moment all we could see was the bar exam we needed to study for, the plane tickets we couldn't afford, and Dan's start date looming a week after we took the exam.  So instead we hoped to find a house once we got to Dallas and move in as quickly as possible.

We initially wanted to live in the Dallas city limits, but as our Realtor took us around to all the homes in our price range we quickly realized that was not going to be an option.  They were all dumpy with no backyards for the dogs. We looked at upwards of 20 houses all to no avail. We decided to expand our search to the suburbs where we would get a lot more bang for our buck and the homes had yards.  Meanwhile all of our belongings were sitting in a truck on the side of the road like a little ticking time bomb, so we needed to find something fast so we could stop paying UHaul a massive storage fee every day. 

We looked at a few homes when we found this house.  At first glance it looked perfect. It was in our price range. It had 3 bedrooms. It accepted dogs (or rather, a giant dog and a little hamster dog).  It had 2 1/2 baths.  It had a backyard. It had a giant kitchen.  Hardwood floors. Plus when we walked through they were repainting the entire thing.  Desperation took hold and we jumped on it, trying to move in as quickly as possible.

Now lets make a list of all the ridiculousness that has ensued since living in this house (ahem):

1. Water faucets don't work from the get go and closets doors were completely broken
2. There was a double murder in the house across the street (not technically the house's fault but ridiculous nonetheless).
3. Hornet Infestation (this was a dramatic two parter you can read about HERE and HERE)
4. A heating bill in TEXAS where it does not get that cold and we did not turn the heat above 65 that accumulated to $650 in the month of December. 
5. Our ceiling caved in because our plumber turned on a faucet he shouldn't have and I had to pop the ceiling open and watch all the water fall onto the floor.

That list just encompasses the dramatic things that have happened- there have been plenty of non dramatic problems with the house as well (which I could list, but there is no need to get myself more worked up then I already am).

The worst part is that the leasing company that represents the landlord had completely ignored us for the most part. We have obviously thought about challenging the lease and trying to get out, but the legal battle that will likely ensue, as well as the amount of money it would cost, has always made us hesitate.  Well, ME hesitate.  I have spent hours looking over our lease and the Texas Property Code trying to come up with a solution.  Dan wanted to wage war but I suggested that it might be less stressful if we just endure until our lease ends at the end of next month and then just get out of this situation as quickly as possible.

Then Monday happened.

Our new neighbor's politely knock on our door (emphasis on NEW and the fact that they probably now HATE us).

We answer.

Them: "Do you know your sewage has backed up all over your front yard?"

Us: "WHATTTTTTT"

We looked onto the front yard to see massive flooding and pretty flowers everywhere.

To be continued....

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July 6, 2010

Theory


This weekend consisted of good friends, lots of beer, lounging by the pool, discovering Tash.O, card games, Super Mario brothers, fireworks, and Uncle Julio margaritas. Good times were had by all - that was until the sewage backed up all over our front lawn and I knocked the rear view mirror off my car while backing out of the garage. That will be a story for another blog post.

Instead I want to talk about something much more entertaining, the popular reality television program "Bethenny Getting Married" - or as it was referred to by some this weekend "Some Chick That's Having a Wedding."

You see, my dear friend J and I share the same love for trashy reality television. So obviously, upon our mini reunion we had to get caught up on everything that was happening in this week's People magazine (while everybody else was watching the World Cup).  Also, we had to get J all caught up on Bethenny Getting Married (while everybody else was playing Super Mario) because she had never seen it before. What kind of friend would I be if she left my house not understanding the fabulousness that is Bethenny's new reality show?

This of course led to us being mercilessly mocked by everybody else and a huge bashing session on all the reality television that I watch.  Which is how I came up with my theory.

Ready for it? (This is Einstein Theory of Relativity awesomeness coming at you right now.)

I think if you tested the brain waves of people who were watching sports and people who were watching reality television you would discover that that their brains were responding in exactly the same manner. Why? Because both sports and trashy reality television provide the exact same kind of external stimulus.  Need examples? Here you go:  

THEY BOTH HAVE ACTION 

Sports: The obvious running up and down the court/field/whathaveyou

Trashy Reality Television: Have you ever watched any of the Real Housewives of New York?  Do you know how much stamina it takes to attend 4+ parties in one evening? Not counting the work it takes to network an entire room while simultaneously avoiding your arch nemesis in the corner? All while being followed around by a camera thus having to ensure that your good side is being captured AT ALL TIMES?

THEY BOTH HAVE DRAMA 

Sports: The fights, the crowd punching, the rivalries. 

Trashy Reality Television: If you watched the reunion break-up interview with Vienna and Jake last night at the end of The Bachlorette you know that trashy reality television has tons and tons of drama.


THEY BOTH HAVE WINNERS AND LOSERS 

Sports: The team or individual that scores the most points. 

Trashy Reality Television: While not necessarily linked to points, who can forget the epic battles of reality television where there were very clear winners and losers.  Jill Zarin v. Bethenny Frankel, Scott Disck v. Khloe Kardashian, Taylor Jacobson v. Rachel Zoe, Kim Zolciak v. NeNe Leakes....not to mention the reality shows like Survivor, American Idol, Last Comic Standing, yada yada yada where there is a physical winner at the end of the show.

THEY BOTH HAVE A FANTASY ELEMENT

Sports: Children always want to grow up and be a professional athlete.  

Trashy Reality Television: Who doesn't want the Kardashian sister's closets?  Who doesn't want to win American Idol and get a recording contract?  Who doesn't want to flip a table every once in awhile when you're breaking bread with a prostitute whore?

So the next time you give ME crap for my admittedly shallow love of trash television, you sure as hell better not be an avid sports fanatic otherwise you will have to hear me go on and on and on about how they are really the same thing. Also, if any of you own the equipment necessary to test my brain wave theory let me know.

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July 2, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

Since I haven't exploited my dog in awhile...


Toby would like to wish everybody a wonderful  
4th of July!  

(Please ignore his bad haircut.  I was trying to save us some money and went crazy on his face and now he looks a little ridiculous.  Dog grooming is obviously not my calling.) 

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