Tuesday, September 15, 2015

All The Help I Can Get

Entering week three of our kitchen remodel and progress seems to have slowed to a crawl. This morning we had an appointment with the general contractor to discuss the ramifications to our previously agreed-upon timeline. Being the natural "good cop" to my husband's bad cop, I picked up coffee and a dozen "Hot Now" Krispy Kremes to make our meeting more pleasant. By the time he showed up at 1pm, poor Jimmy found three cold donuts and two bad cops.

I know we're not his only client, and I know contractors tend to spread themselves thin. And I'd already warned JB a one-month estimate is contractor-speak for two and a half months. So I listened to the usual litany of excuses. But then Jimmy said something I found odd. "After a lot of prayer this weekend, it's all starting to work out."

I'm not sure, but I think he's praying for our kitchen. That's nice.

Then I mentioned I might be gone for a few days as I'm hoping I can get out of town this weekend for our annual pilgrimage to Munich for opening day of Oktoberfest. Jimmy said, "I don't know if you're a man of faith, but I'm sure if you ask for it, you'll be able to go."

To which I said, "I'm not about to waste the Good Lord's precious time asking for help getting to a beer festival."

But give me His number. I have a feeling I may need His help finding the right granite.

Stevie's room is coming along nice, don't you think?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ignorance Was Bliss

"Abner! 115 is throwing construction debris
in the dumpster again!"
It's been a year now since I've been working full time from home. During this time I've gotten much more familiar with the comings and going of my neighbors than I care to admit. I work facing the window looking down onto our condominium courtyard, and I fear I'm gaining a reputation as the resident Gladys Kravits.

I'm not on our Home Owners Association board, but I may as well be. The board members know they can call on me during the day when the cable guy needs letting in or someone reports a gas leak. As new residents move in, they get the mistaken impression our building has concierge service and they've taken to calling me day and night.

I don't mind helping out, I really don't. The only problem I'm facing with being more active in our HOA is this... the knowledge. I was much happier living here before I knew so much about my neighbors.

My philosophy of harmonious community life has alway been simple: obey the Golden Rule. The problem comes when you realize some people look at the Golden Rule as a sucker's bet. Their philosophy seems to be "See how much I can get away with before someone says something, then continuously test those boundaries."

I don't enjoy sticking my nose into other people's business. In fact, confrontation comes about as naturally to me as cunnilingus. I know plenty of people that seem to get off telling other people what to do. The problem is those are usually the kind of people we don't want on our HOA board.

Now a lot of my neighbors are great. But sometimes it's the nice neighbors who disappoint me the most. Like the sweet couple who moved into 371 nine months ago and have yet to make a single dues payment. Or the elderly widow in 188 whose hoarding puts her in constant avalanche danger.

Or the friend I helped vote to the board because I respected her integrity who is now using her position of authority to flout the bylaws for her own selfish interests.

As much as it repulses me, looks like I'm going to have to hold my nose and dive in.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Impressions Of Rome: Tourists

Rome is awash with tourists.

This isn't a complaint; that would be hypocritical. I was actually relieved to see I wouldn't stick out like a sore American thumb. You see, when visiting other countries I prefer to blend in with the locals.

Take Germany for instance. For formal events I wear lederhosen. Activewear consists of wurst-enhancing spandex bike shorts and a long-sleeve t-shirt. For all other occasions I default to skinny jeans or capri pants, depending on the season.

But there's no way I could impersonate the typical Italian. Despite any cost savings not having to buy socks, one Armani scarf would wreck my travel budget. Buying sweaters to carry around without actually wearing is just wrong on principle. And I don't think they even make silk pants larger than 30, even for men.

Thank Jupiter there where tons of American tourists dressed way worse than I was.

And the tourists were everywhere. "Look at those losers with their selfie sticks," I chuckled to JB. Only JB wasn't there. I turned back to find him buying a selfie stick. Il Sigh. If there was one silver lining to having a selfie stick, it completely weaned JB from his habit of stopping complete strangers to ask to take our picture.

Back off ladies, he's all mine.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Once again I find myself at an airport bar standing by for a flight. This time I'm attempting to get to Rome. I probably don't need to clarify this for those of you outside of Georgia, but the Rome I'm aiming for is in Itally.

I've been preparing for this trip for two weeks, learning some basic phrases in Italian and researching the best places to eat. I'm on a diet again, so it's important that if I do eat gelato, it's the best gelato this planet has to offer.

I've never been to Rome (Italy) but from what I've read online, tourist traps abound. I'll be damned if I'm going to go all the way to eat crappy food made for Americans who don't know any better. Even though I'm an American that doesn't know any better. As far as my tastebuds are concerned, my Italian food experience begins at Little Ceasers and ends at Olive Garden.

Be that as it may, I'm determined to deport myself in Italy as if I were a worldly gourmand, wise to the ways of carpaccio  and cachio รจ pepe.

That's assuming I get on the flight. If not, you'll probably find me in Rome Georgia. At The Olive Garden.