So the Office is doing this Biggest Loser type competition (only they are obnoxiously calling it Biggest Winner instead, true story) and almost 50% of our site is participating. Not being one to be left behind, and despite never in my life ever having to lose any weight, I decided to get on board.

Millions of people reading this blog (true story) probably just threw up in their mouths right now. “never in my life ever having to lose any weight” they may be asking themselves with several exclamation points and question marks and maybe even some stuff that looks like this: $@#&%!  You horrible bitch, how dare your complain, they are thinking.  They may even say I am making a mockery of something that a lot of other people may be taking seriously and there is nothing wrong with trying to improve your health through frivolous office programs so just STFU you skinny biznatch!

And here comes the disclaimer: For those of you who have been playing along since, oh 1993 you’ll remember that I have a HORRIBLE INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISORDER AND HAVE NO CONTROL WHATSOEVER OVER THE FOLLOWING: my ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients like a normal person, when and how often I visit the ladies room, whether or not a particular food is going to make my stomach explode, and, among a number of other things, whether or not I gain or lose weight.

Why bother then?  Well the program promises to offer an exercise routine (I hate exercising but still should do it to keep my heart in good shape and help prevent the inevitable osteoporosis) as well as nutritional information (never hurts to get a reminder).  Also, Matthew is considering making more improvements towards the healthy, so maybe I can pass along what I learn.

So anyway. In order to join the program, you have to go in and meet with the health counselor (yeah, we have one in our office two days a week, wtf) and she takes your measurements.  Not surprisingly, my weight, BMI and hip to waist ratio are all in good shape, but today apparently my blood pressure, which is typically on point at 120/80 was super duper high.  I blame this on a number of things causing stress in my life these days (none of which are ready for primetime) and have now fostered much resentment for the actual, PHYSICAL trouble they are causing me.  I resent you, problems!!

Needless to say, with the exception of a hopefully lower BP, not a whole lot is probably going to change for me as a result of this little program.  I don’t foresee any of these types of pictures making their rounds any time soon.

This is real.

This is real.

Enter my foray into food blogging: the recipe for Key Lime Pie shots as requested by my father and his lovely bride for their reception.  A challenge? Matthew and I asked.  Yes!  We will prevail!

And without further ado:

Cast of Characters

Cast of Characters

Key Lime Pie Shots
Recipe:

Slightly less than .5 oz (1/2 shot) lime juice

Lime Juice

1 oz (1 shot) cuarento y tres (Licor 43)

Cuarenta y Tres

Cuarenta y Tres

1/4 oz malibu rum

Coconut rum

Coconut rum

1/8 oz cointreau

Cointreau, God's Gold

Cointreau, God's Gold

Mix above with a one second burst of whipped cream into a shaker with ice.

The whipped cream goddess

The whipped cream goddess

Shake briskly for 10 seconds and pour into two shot glasses.  Garnish with whipped cream.  Kick ass.

Perfection

Perfection

I am totally kicking the ass of this homeownership thing.  I am primarily proudest of my ability to remain calm and not have the compulsion to constantly work on something.  The truth is, not only do I not have the energy, but I also don’t want to work on a bunch of stuff after a long day at work of working on a bunch of stuff. 

I come home in the evenings and I’m like a fifties housewife (only without the marriage, which was probably key in this metaphor).  Check it out, Monday night I got home after a glorious (horrible) 45 minute bus commute and immediately set to work planting more seeds, repotting two plants, installing a deadbolt on the front door, putting in a load of laundry and finally making dinner.  I don’t know how it happened, but I can promise you, this much productivity on a work day is not going to happen too often.

There is of course still this weird drive to “address” things.  If nothing else, I want them documented in a list somewhere of things that may or may not happen one day in either the near or very distant future.  The floors will be refinished. It will not be before we have a housewarming party.  The bathrooms will be painted.  It will be before we have a housewarming party.  And god save the household budget, if I don’t set it up soon my head may explode.  It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the family falls in line with my “Johnny Says Relax” attitude.  Or at least I can hope as much.

So here it is, we did it, finally, we own a home and we’re not even thirty yet, as my grandmother so astutely pointed out yesterday.  We have officially arrived as adults and now we can begin stressing out about mortgage payments, refinancing, neighborhood watch and whatever is wrong with the roof at this point in time.  I have to say I am feeling pretty good almost a week into it- the stressful part is not the moving and getting settled, it’s the constant fog of confusion before closing where you aren’t sure if the power of attorney has arrived at the title company four hours before the scheduled paper signing session.  Not that I’m keeping track of the heart attack causing periods of the last month (gift letter issues, miscalculation of closing costs vs. total money in bank accounts and last minute homeowners insurance changes, I’m looking at YOU).

The living room, after at least three sweeps and mops a piece.

The living room, after at least three sweeps and mops a piece.

Thursday
Closing day started out just as any other: Matthew and I slept in… until like 7am!… as we had already gotten word on Wednesday night that the closing would need to be delayed a few hours due to problems with the P of A (see above) so we decided to make the most of our additional time during the day to mill around the apartment feeling anxious and not really packing anything.  James emailed at about 3:00 asking us to meet him at the house for the final walkthrough at 4:30 and off we went. It was raining pretty steadily but we had already packed/lost both umbrellas and had to concede to only wearing our hoodies.  We made it there early and decided to use the code (this is probably illegal in some way, but would not be in a matter of about 3 1/2 hours, so what the heck) to go on into what would very soon be our new home.  Nothing had collapsed/burned/exploded/been stolen so the walk through was quick and easy.  Matt and I stared with disdain at the mess that was the basement and crossed our fingers we could make it liveable and rentable in as few weeks as possible.  We headed out to the title company’s office for closing (which was again delayed by thirty minutes while they finished up the paperwork for us), making a quick stop at the liquor store so James could get us a celebratory bottle of rum and a six of Sam Adams seasonal.  I was feeling warm and excited by the time the paperwork was ready for the extensive signing session (incidentally, this was not as arduous as people had told me).  Happy surprise of the evening: our mortgage broker and close family (Matt’s) friend and his assistant came to the closing and we all got to meet face to face for the first time.  We headed over to the house immediately after (ok, we stopped for more alcohol and copied another set of the keys) to set straight to work on the carpets upstairs.  After about an hour of filthy, disgusting horrible work (albeit easy) we had several rolls of disgusting beige berber carpet sitting smelly, moldy and dusty, on our new front porch.

The dining room, which has not been cleaned as well as I would have liked but at least we aren't tracking filth through the house because of it.

The dining room, which has not been cleaned as well as I would have liked but at least we aren't tracking filth through the house because of it.

Friday
Matt insisted on setting the alarm for 6am even though his dad was not supposed to meet him until 7 and wouldn’t you know, Pete showed up at about 6:15, as Matt predicted.  I begrudgingly got up and started throwing toothbrushes, dog bowls, last nights pjs and various other miscellany into whatever bag or box I could find and the movers showed shortly after sunrise at about 7:20.  They were two very nice Latino men who got the whole job done in less than three hours (although at one point I doubted they would be able to fit all the CRAP plus the couch and our dressers into their truck but it all worked out anyway).  Meanwhile, Matthew and Pete headed to the house to get started on the basement with nothing but excellent results- it turns out there was not a burst pipe but a problem with leaky valves on every single toilet, sink and bathtub in the house. Ridiculous, but easy to tighten and easy to stop; we were relieved.  They continued on, handling various plumbing-related issues with only an impressive two trips to the Home Depot.  Regrettably, the rest of a the day is a blur.  I recall a trip to McDonalds and possibly Target. At one point there was a long walk to the nearest police station to request a guest parking permit since Pete had already gotten a $30 ticket (the circumstances surrounding the ticket were questionable).  I also made a trip to Washington Gas because PLEASE TURN ON OUR HEAT BECAUSE IT’S STILL REALLY COLD AT NIGHT OK.  We cleaned most of the afternoon in order to make the air quality in the bedroom at least moderately acceptable for sleep the first night.  This entailed about five rounds of sweeping and four of mopping as well as crawling around on hands and knees disinfecting the baseboards and corners.  That night we learned about the lightpost aimed directly at the bedroom window and vowed to buy curtains first thing tomorrow.

People pay money to reproduce that kind of exposed brick/plaster combination in their Italian restaurants.

People pay money to reproduce that kind of exposed brick/plaster combination in their Italian restaurants.

Saturday
Cleaning. Meeting with contractors about the basement remodel. Cleaning. Going to Target. Mopping. Going to Home Depot. Dusting. Unpacking. Sweeping. Going back to Target. Cleaning. Mopping. Dusting. Scrubbing. Cleaning. (The house was way dirtier than we noticed, to the point of disgusting.)

I can't even begin to think how bad of an idea it is for us to temporarily keep our trash in the basement.

I can't even begin to think how bad of an idea it is for us to temporarily keep our trash in the basement.

Sunday
Matt scheduled cable installation for that morning but obviously there was a hangup and they couldn’t do it.  According to the tech that came out, his ladder wouldn’t reach to our roof (apparently we have the largest two-story attached row house in the entire city) and someone would be out later that day.  As you could probably guess, as is the case with every cable company in the whole world, they didn’t show and rescheduled for the following day.  We made significant progress on unpacking and finally started to feel somewhat comfortable about the level of cleanliness in the upstairs.  The size of the kitchen was made apparent by the cursing as I attempted to cram pots, pans, coffepots and pantry items into five cupboards.

While the paint colors may be considered "creative" they're going. Seriously.

While the paint colors may be considered "creative" they're going. Seriously.

Monday
Another day off for both of us and we were very close to being ready for Matt’s sister and her boyfriend to come over that evening.  We had decided to hire the Italian dude to do our basement, and more importantly address the leaky gutter/roof/window problem.  Dave the Contractor worked steadily for 9 hours yesterday and I paid him $450 to come back and finish tiling our shower and putting on a ceiling and etc. etc.  The cable guys also finally showed and after using the same ladder the first guy should have used and something like 500 hours of work, they finished installation around 7:00pm (I estimate they arrived at about 2:30).  We vacuumed (yes, we got to that point) mopped and generally narrowed our stuff down to about 6 boxes just in time for the Brinks guy to show up and the cable dudes to leave.

Our refridgerator is housed in it's own little cubby, which used to be the door to the dining room!

Our refridgerator is housed in it's own little cubby, which used to be the door to the dining room!

Tuesday
After a sleepless night worrying about paying rent (I will summarize our landlord experience in a separate post once the ordeal is over) Brinks, cable and Dave the Contractor, I settled in on the couch for an unproductive day of finally blogging updates for my friends and family on what has happened over the past few days and wondering if Matt could leave work early enough for it to make sense for me to go into the office.  Dave came down a couple of hours ago and while the gutter is fixed and the roof looks good, there still seems to be some sort of water leak up there as there is a slow and constant drip (which is no longer going in the window, but is still a problem) and he’s leaving to go to Lowe’s for more materials.  At least the shower is tiled.

I’m watching last night’s (I assume) Colbert Report and sitting with the dogs listening to sirens and children (why aren’t they in school??) and trying to think of something productive to do next.  Twiddling my thumbs is not going so great actually, but there will be things to do, an unending list of things to do. Once we have money again. If ever.

The rest of the photo tour of the house is here.

In the hopes that this ends my long-standing blogging freeze, I am responding to the tags.  The many, many tags.  The tags that continue to haunt me.  And to kill two boring-ass birds with one stone, I’m blogging both tags: the God Awful 25 Random Things You May or May Not Have Already Known And Still Don’t Care Either Way and The Bucket I’ve Got Nothing Else to Do List.  Here goes.

25 Random Things

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you. (Ed. I’m fucking tagging all of you who tagged me, just so you can feel the pain of the TAG.)

  1. My favorite secret to tell people is about my crooked finger.  Also a good way to break akward silences.
  2. I have a crooked finger, thanks to my younger brother and a doctor never telling me I would need to do stretches with it so the tendons wouldn’t tighten up. It grosses people out for some reason, but it’s all I’ve known and I love it.
  3. I have trouble remembering from what context/time period in my life I know people from.  This stems from knowing too many people on a casual basis and living in roughly the same place for about 15 years.  Facebook gives me anxiety because of this.  Take heart, I do not accept friend requests unless I can remember the context from which I knew you.
  4. I love turkey clubs, sour candy and have a seasonal addiction to candy canes and conversation hearts.
  5. Ginger is supposed to soothe your stomach and aid in digestion but it makes me absolutely nauseus. Except the pickled ginger you get with sushi, which I’m fine with.
  6. I’ve had the same cell phone number ever since I ever had a cell phone.
  7. I don’t understand the difference between ASP/AMP/WAMP.
  8. My brother lives in Philadelphia and doesn’t respond to my emails or phone calls.  I like him anyway.
  9. I read blogs at work. Frequently. It’s my compensation for not having time for a lunch break.  Do you hear that co-workers?!?!?
  10. I never really cared for chihuahuas until I met Javi and now I can’t get enough. Even of the bloated-head bulgy-eyed ones.
  11. I don’t think I even KNOW 25 things about myself.
  12. One day I might adopt a kid. And seriously no, it is not because I want someone else to do the laundry.
  13. I’m not getting married until EVERY PERSON is allowed to do the same.  So just chill.
  14. I have an annoying habit of starting a book, liking it, but stopping it for a while, reading something new, picking it back up, stopping it…
  15. I played second base and pitcher in softball and I wasn’t very good.
  16. I was better at acting and singing, but not a superstar. I always played the motherly characters: the Nurse in Romeo & Juliet, Dracula’s mom, etc.
  17. Shows I bet you didn’t know I DVR: This Old House, Rock of Love Bus, 48 Hours Mystery, Medium.
  18. I’ve been listening to a lot of Tegan and Sara lately.  Evidently a shortage of lesbian rock I needed to overcome.
  19. I feel guilty for not volunteering enough for Barack, even though he won.  I also feel guilty for not volunteering enough, period.
  20. I do NOT feel guilty for watching the inauguration from my couch even though I was within walking distance of being there.
  21. One day I want to have visited all of the countries in South America.  I had better get started.
  22. I hope that Matthew will quit smoking and biting his nails.  Also, I want him to get an iPhone.
  23. I wear pink things because it is the only clothes color I can tolerate besides black.
  24. My favorite flowers are poppies.  No reason besides them looking great in a big huge field.
  25. I know how to cross stitch and I am not beyond making you silly crafts.
The Bucket List.
The Bucket List. Place an X by all the things you’ve done and remove the X from the ones you have not, then send it to your friends (including me).
Things you have done during your lifetime:
(X) Gone on a blind date (I think so?)
(X) Skipped school
() Watched someone die
() Been to Canada
() Been to Mexico
(X) Been to Florida (and seriously, screw THAT)
() Been to Hawaii (and seriously, screw THAT)
(X) Been on a plane
( ) Been on a helicopter
(X) Been lost (now, for instance)
(X) Gone to Washington, DC (in a way)
(X) Swam in the ocean
(X) Cried yourself to sleep
() Played cops and robbers
(X) Recently colored with crayons (I had an operation!)
(X) Sang Karaoke
(X) Paid for a meal with coins only (if candy and chips count as a meal, then I’ve done it)
() Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch (was not aware this was possible)
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t.
(X) Made prank phone calls
() Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans
() Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere (deviated septum)
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
( ) Danced in the rain-naked
(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(X ) Been kissed under the mistletoe
( X) Watched the sunrise with someone
(X) Blown bubbles
( ) Hiked the Grand Canyon
(X) Gone ice-skating
(X) Gone to the movies
( ) Been deep sea fishing
( ) Driven across the United States
() Been in a hot air balloon
( ) Been sky diving
() Gone snowmobiling
( ) Lived in more than one country
(X) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets
(X) Seen a falling star and made a wish
() Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser
(X) Seen the Statue of Liberty (from like Brooklyn though)
( ) Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle
() Been on a cruise (damn house buying)
(X) Traveled by train
(X)Traveled by bus
(X) Traveled by motorcycle
(X) Been horse back riding
( ) Ridden on a San Francisco CABLE CAR
(X) Been to Disneyland/World (OMG)
( ) Been in a rain forest
( ) Seen whales in the ocean
( ) Been to Niagara Falls
( ) Ridden on an elephant
( ) Swam with dolphins
( ) Been to the Olympics
( ) Walked on the Great Wall of China
( )Walked through a volcano
( ) Saw and heard a glacier calf
( ) Been spinnaker flying
() Been water-skiing
() Been snow-skiing
( ) Been to Westminster Abbey
( ) Been to the Louvre
( ) Swam in the Mediterranean
(X) Been to a Major League Baseball game
( X) Been to a National Football League game

I opted for the warmer, more informative seat about 25 blocks away from the capitol here on my couch and I’m pretty happy with that decision.  For instance, I already know what the future first lady is wearing today.

I got $66.18 worth of groceries for $49.17. That’s $17.01 we can spend on beer now!