Sunday, September 30, 2007

Things I Miss Spending Money on; Things I Don't

It has been nine full months of no spending. If I were pregnant, I'd be mighty cranky by now, wanting it to be over.

So, what things do I miss? What don't I miss? Glad you asked. Even though you didn't.


Movie tickets. Yes, I got to go to the drive-in last weekend. But the movie playing was not the point; making out with my Aunt Mary was. Okay, we did not make out. But the movie was stupid. It was some fantasy with Claire Danes and Michelle Pfieffer. My only fantasy was that I was seeing something else.

I miss the anticipation of going to a movie I have been dying to see. Eating overpriced Goobers and popcorn. Or, in the case of the pretentious movie theater we liked in LA, having sausage baguettes, spinach and artichoke dip, and a caramel latte.

Clothes. I am. so. sick. of the Old Navy Tshirts I purchased in the summer of 2006. And I own two pair of jeans: Lucky and Gap. They are now both frayed. All the other pants I have are capris from Old Navy (emphasis on "old"), bought anywhere from 2000 to 2006, and faded black pants from work. I look like a hobo. Is it politically incorrect to say "hobo"?

I own ONE pair of sweats. You would be surprised how quickly clothes wear out when you do not replace them. I did not think one year would make such a difference.

Shoes. Oh, shoes. Glorious shoes. How I love shoes. Does anyone recall at the beginning of this year, when my friend, whose name I will not mention but whose initials continue to be Amy, was worried about how I would go all year without shoes? I huffed at her. I said I had like 23 pairs, that was more than enough.

Guess what? It wasn't. I have had to toss all but one pair of flip-flops. I had to buy an emergency pair of $30 silver metallic flats in July, and can I tell you how I have worn the pee out of them already? They have little tears in the metallic. I'll bet I have worn them 70 of the last 90 days.

Highlights. Getting tired of taking charge of my roots on my own. The dye gets all over the bathroom, ruins towels and shirts, and makes my eyes water and my throat close. And I miss the subtle highlights and stripeys and such that my hair used to have. On the other hand? Somehow my hair seems healthier.

Cable. I had no idea that Reba had so many episodes. How long was that show on? Has it beaten Gunsmoke as longest-running series? And did you know that some juicers can provide you with ALL the vitamins and minerals you need for the day? TV is horrid without cable. And who the hell decided to give Tyra Banks two shows?


Fancy meals. I have never been big on nice restaurants. Mostly they make me uncomfortable. I always worry I will do something embarrassing, and I hate how one is stuck there for hours, unable to leave. Now, LA had a LOT of fancy restaurants, and at some you were almost guaranteed a celeb sighting. But I do not miss it. I do not miss tiny portions, worrying that they will slip cilantro in somewhere, and having to tip the valet.

Gifts. Is that horrid? I used to buy gifts out my rear for everybody. Hey, it's your anniversary of getting your cat! I sent you 12 dozen roses! I guess what I have learned is that people do not expect these things, and a nice email or phone call is often just as thoughtful. Now, Christmas is another story, and another whole blog post. Perhaps I will go back to missing this aspect of spending once December rolls around.

Convenience food. Oh, now don't get me wrong. We have had our share of using our McDonald's gift certificates and whatnot. But food made at home tastes better. Seriously. And you know what is good when you want a snack? You will laugh at me. Toast. Toast with butter. It never disappoints.

(That said, has anyone else tried the new 3 Musketeers with mint? Screw toast; it's the best snack ever. But when one is sticking to one's no-spending plan, toast it is.)

Entertainment. We do not need as much to keep us amused now. Our walks can be fascinating. Have I told you there is one block that has at least one cat at every house, and ALL of these cats let me pet them? That's all I need.

Credit card bills. 'Nuff said.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Mooning over Sephora

Did anyone else have a beautiful, huge orange moon last night? Marvin Gardens and I were driving around, and all of a sudden there it was. It was enORmous! And that peach color was stunning!

We have a really small radio station here that fades once you remotely leave town. It is run out of the Methodist church, and I think the minister is actually in charge of it. Marvin Gardens and I are obsessed. They play mostly 1940s tunes; you totally feel like you're in the car with grandma when it's on.

Last night, when we were looking at the moon, they played "Shadows in the Moonlight," which is an Anne Murray song from 1980 or something. I said, "Wow, they're getting modern!" but then it occurred to us that the minister was looking at the same moon we were.

But besides the moon, this has been a stupid 24 hours. I had a big project to do. Now, let's talk about my fine work ethic. I got the project LAST Thursday. Did I work on it Thursday? Friday? Weekend? MONDAY? Okay, I worked like four really half-assed hours Monday. Which left me to SLAVE like a POOCH for the rest of this week, 10-hour days. Ten hours of proofreading is not unintense, let me tell you in my fine sentence-y way.

Anyway, I kept thinking, "I just have to get through this week. By Friday at 3:00, that thing HAS to be in the FedEx box, so then I can relax."

But because the world hates me, I got a really scary NEW project late last night that was due today. Do you think I slept a wink thinking about it? All new client, do not want to screw up. So I worked like a POOCH again today, and just when I turned in the new work? What do you think happened? New client sent me ANOTHER, BIGGER thing, due Monday. Thanks. I'm dying to work the weekend, thanks for thinking of it.

So to put it mildly, I have been crank, crank, stomping-and-cussing cranky all day. Until...MY SEPHORA BOX CAME IN THE MAIL! Oh, I love gift certificates. I cannot believe I gave up the sweet, sweet nectar of shopping all year. What a mood lifter!

I no longer have to wear that terrifying berry color that makes me look like I should be muttering and carrying a Cabbage Patch doll.

My new pinky nude lipstick is divine! Now I just mutter to Winston. Which is perfectly sane.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cat Drama is Free

When I was little, I used to get into trouble because when a cat would appear on Captain Kangaroo, I'd run over and repeatedly kiss the TV. Then my father would come home, turn on the news and say, "Did you kiss the &%$# TV again?"

That was always an awkward time. Because no one knew what to say to a man who said, "Did you kiss the ampersand-percent-dollar-pound-sign TV again?"

At any rate, for those of you just tuning in, we have three lovely cats that we schlepped all the way from Los Angeles to live here. And by "here," I mean wayyyy out in the country. We are surrounded by trees, large plants, hills, tall grass...

...and for some reason many, many cats. I mean, everyone in this neighborhood must have 5 cats each. And they are all allowed to play outside. I know they belong to people because they have -- are you ready? -- FLEA COLLARS on. Now. 1972 called. It wants its pest control back. Seriously, when is the last time you put a FLEA collar on a pet? I have been using Advantage since Prince told me to act my age and not my shoe size.

So these retro-flea-repelling creatures love to play in OUR yard. There is even one who looks just like our cat Winston, who I call Kitty Doppelganger because I am original that way, who LOLLS on our front porch, ROLLING in the sun, inches from where poor Winston is stuck behind the screen door.

Because yes. Marvin Gardens, who for some reason gets to make all the rules even though I am older, has decided our cats are not to play outside here. So they have to stay inside, the geeky city cats, holding their violins and wearing pinafores, watching the country cats play IN OUR YARD all day.

Poor Winston. You have no idea how Kitty Doppelganger bothers him. He will sit for hours looking out the door, saying mowmowmowmowmowmowmow while I am trying to proofread, and his lookalike loll loll lolls. To make matters worse, Kitty Doppelganger DOES look just like Winston, but he is, well, BEEFIER than my sleek kitty.

And also? While he sports his Hartz 2-in-1 flea collar? I am afraid that my cat is wearing...a Burberry collar and a pave diamond tag, shaped like a bone, for irony.

So today I am in here proofreading about cognitive dissonance while trying to drown out the mowmowmowmowmow of frustrated Winston. I go out there, and I can TELL what that tough country cat is thinking: "Hah! You just have to sit in the house while I get to roll on your porch. Ya afraid of snakes? Ya afraid of the country? Ya afraid of grass? What you gonna do about it, you stripey-ass, ribey, plaid-collar-wearing, diamond-irony-tagged city cat?"

Folks. I could not take it. I know the rules. I know Marvin could come home and ask me if I kissed the TV or let his beloved cat out or whatever. But I could not look at that tobacco chewing, incorrect-English-using Doppelganger tormentor one more second.

I let Winston out the door. Winston, who survived the mean streets of LA, who lasted a month in the pound before I found him, tore out that door and after that cat, his pave bone blowing behind him.

He came back 10 minutes later, not a scratch on him. And I have not seen Kitty Doppelganger since.

There is a bit-up flea collar in the drive, though.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

June Virtually Shops

Is that title sort of misleading? It makes it sound like I sort of shopped. When in reality I REALLY shopped. And it was chilling.

I have had a Sephora gift certificate in my purse since my birthday, which, for those of you who don't know, was well over TWO MONTHS AGO. The certificate was given to me by my stepsister Una and her husband Bill -- who are pictured here along with my mother and me when I was "blond." We are all standing in front of something depressing back in our old Burbank, California neighborhood. I have no idea why we decided to capture this on film, or why Marvin Gardens structured the photo in this 'everyone on the left' manner. Perhaps he was being arty.

This is so unlike me. Not the part where I am standing in front of something depressing. I mean the gift certificate part. There is nothing better than Sephora. Go back to one of my first posts, in December, where I go on and on about it.

For me to not spend this certificate right away is like, well, it's like me having a gift certificate to Sephora and not using it.

Now, we COULD say that going 10 months without buying stuff like this (and screaming over to CVS to buy emergency makeup for an interview is not the same...and even that was seven months ago) maybe got me out of the habit of purchasing.

I actually think I just kind of forgot I had the dang thing because we moved 2,500 miles from our home and I had to get used to the whole lack of 2,997,000 people thing and I got all depressed and such.

But thank goodness I rallied around and went on line to that (Had there been one anywhere near me, I'd have gone in and savored the moment and saved on the shipping, which ate into my certificate. But we do not even have a COFFEE SHOP in this town. We do not have a YMCA. Or a movie theater. "Hey! Let's plop this high-falutin' makeup store in this dinky town, over here next to the John Deere!")

Can I just tell you? If I thought going without buying my cosmetics would make me get over the thrill? I was SO. WRONG!

I got me some nudey pink lipstick because the only color I have left now is a berry which makes me look like I should be muttering to myself and holding a Cabbage Patch doll.

Then I got me some nudey pink lip gloss, for those times when nudey pink lipstick is just...too much.

THEN I got all up in the eye shadow and I got a duo that contained a pink shadow and a tweed. I do not think that I will literally be placing tweed fabric on my eyelid; I think it was a fancy way of saying "brown."

Whose job is it to name makeup? I want that job. "Tres noir." "Tarnish." "Emotion." "Whisper." Those are the names of the makeup I have here in my bag right now. And I can tell you they are, in order, black mascara, green eye pencil, a beigy-color blush and some pale lavender eye shadow. Who gets to sit there and say, "Beigy-color blush. That sounds like 'Emotion' to me."

Anyway, the items come in one to two business days and all I can say is business in the front, party in the back. Which makes no sense unless you are really into mullets. Me and my nudey-pink lips will talk at you later.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

For every jewel turn turn turn, there is a season turn turn turn.

My Aunt Mary, who hails from Colorado, came to visit us this weekend.

In case you are thinking, "That Aunt Mary is some jet-setter, going from Colorado to North Carolina just for a weekend" (and if you are thinking that, are you really that big of a nerd? Is this my demographic? People who say things like "some jet-setter"?), in reality, Aunt Mary had a conference over here on this part of the earth, and she just finished up her week with us. That's all. Don't get too excited. Aunt Mary isn't gettin' on her private plane for a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich or anything.

When one is not spending, it is sort of a challenge to have a visitor. "Hey, welcome. Want to watch our four TV channels? We can't go anywhere except for 17 walks a day. Do you like Reba?"

So, one thing I did was take Aunt Mary out on the town. Which took 17 minutes. The town is three blocks long. But here's the thing about my aunt. Let's say, God forbid, that Aunt Mary fell over dead and for some reason none of us had much money for the tombstone engraving. We could save a bundle and encapsulate her like this:

Aunt Mary.
She shopped.

In fact, she has probably already bought a stone at a deep discount during "Funeral Friday" or something on QVC.

You have seriously never met anyone who shops as much as Aunt Mary. She has over 100 pairs of shoes. She recently lost weight and donated like 62 pairs of pants to charity. Her husband files for divorce twice a year, when he has to lug the winter clothes in and take the summer clothes out and vice versa.

And knickknacks? Don't get me started.

And ALL of these things were bought at 689% off. "Oh, this Chanel suit? I found it at DressBarn for $1.50." She has never paid full price for ANything, ever, in her life.

This drawn-out description was necessary so you could feel the mirth I felt when, not one hour into her visit, Aunt Mary found a STORE, in this three-block town, that I have never been to. "What's this place?!" she squealed. The woman has a divining rod in her hair or something.

And it was the cutest place! It's kind of a consignment/antique shop, and it had a ton of stuff. Most important, a cat lived at the store. She is gray and her name is Tabatha.

I guess it goes without saying that Aunt Mary bought her a little something, and even a gift for me.

For the rest of the weekend, we went to the nature preserve where we were almost stuck for the rest of our lives (which is a whole 'nother Oprah), we made dinner out of vegetables we bought at a roadside stand, we went to an antique fair which involved a long country drive and we went to the Pee Dee River, because it is just fun to say "Pee Dee."

I must admit that we also took Aunt Mary to the drive-in theater, but in our defense, we brought our own popcorn. She also bought us dinner at the grill here in town, of which I am so enamored.

So that was how I cheated a little and mostly skirted the spending this weekend. Oh! But before I go, I wonder if you could help a sister out and comment on the following.

Last night I was trying to untangle my necklaces, and Aunt Mary said, "That reminds me. I have to get my autumn jewelry out." Her AUTUMN JEWELRY. She was as appalled at ME as I was at HER.

"Everyone has seasonal jewelry!" Home Shopping Network told me. "I mean, you don't wear a white necklace in January!"

Okay, Joan Collins, I don't OWN a white necklace. But I told her I would ask you guys, since I am sure I am right and she is sure SHE is right.

Do you have seasonal jewelry? Do tell. I won't make fun of you. Really.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I Want to Rock the Hair Dye with You...

I have such exciting hair news!

I always feel bad for the five men who read this blog when I talk about my hair.

That was a poorly constructed sentence.

When I talk about my hair, I always feel bad for the five men who read this blog. There.

Actually, three of the men who I know read this are gay, so the hair talk is probably fine. ...No. My uncle is not gay that way. He is no fun at all, and should just go ahead and spit and scratch and like women, because there is NO celebrity gossip, NO decorating advice and CERTAINLY no hair interest. He is forever emailing me articles on the state of the world and cerebral crap like that.

Every time he sends me one of those dull articles from The New York Times or wherever, I make it a point to forward him an article on Tori Spelling.

So, straight and uninterested gay men, I apologize. Now I must get into the hair talk.

My lovely roots were showing again, although I have to tell you that it took longer than usual thanks to my Aunt Mary sending me that John Freida hair glaze stuff. I'll bet I got a good two weeks without dying out of that stuff. That was another poorly constructed sentence.

So last night we went to the store so I could get me some dye. Now, let me tell you what's beginning to happen. It is starting to be that we can go NOWHERE without knowing someone. We saw two of Marvin's coworkers at the grocery store the other night, and then last night I'm all loaded up on the hair dye and I hear Marvin go, "Hey!"

I met the nicest couple, the woman being another teacher at Marvin's school. Turns out the man likes Michael Jackson, and I have probably failed to mention that Marvin Gardens worked for Michael Jackson for a few years. Somehow Marvin had already MENTIONED this to his entire school, and the woman had already told her husband, and then lo and behold there we all were at the drug store.

Well, Michael Jackson wasn't.

Now, I understand that this occasion could not have been any less about me. Everyone was kind of focused on Marvin and his brush with "greatness." (He insists that Michael Jackson is not a child molester, by the way. Maybe I'll have him do a guest post, if y'all are so inclined.) But I could not help but be terribly conscious of the fact that I had not one, but TWO boxes of hair dye in my hands. "Hi! I am a fake, tarted-up woman! Got any push-up bras up in here? How about press-on nails? Any press-on nails? Do they sell grilles for your teeth in that aisle down there? And hey, where can I get my weave worked on?"

I don't know. It was just weird. I wish I had been holding something respectable, like hand towels and Lysol.

At any rate, I used an EVEN CHEAPER hair dye than before: Revlon. (I used to use L'Oreal.) AND I went crazy and bought one box of medium brown and one box of medium auburn, so I got a really dark red color that is decidedly not burgundy. Which I wanted to avoid. It just doesn't look good with my grille.

So the good news is it turned out really great! I think each box of dye cost less than $3. Now, do not get me wrong. When my year is up, I am SO going back to highlights, lowlights, light my fire, light my fanny and call me Harry, whatever. But for now I am quite pleased.

And to my uncle, next time we will discuss the primaries and the national debt, I promise.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Seventy-six (trom)bones

I just deleted the "Amount We Have Saved This Year" section at right. I deleted it because we are going DOWN, folks, DOWN.

I am trying to remember what we'd saved at our peak. I want to say it was like $18,000. But does anyone remember for sure?

Anyway, now to our name we have $7,631.88. I had to pay a gigantic COBRA payment, and I don't even like snakes, and this move cost more than I thought. Plus, we are living on nearly $100,000 less than we were at the beginning of the year. So into savings we dipped.

I know I should look on the bright side. If we hadn't gone this year without spending, we'd have NO savings whatsoever, which is pretty much what we had the other nine years of our marriage. We always had like $500 or maybe a big $1,000 saved. Which as a dual-income couple with no children was inexcusable! You know it was.

So, nearly eight thousand bucks is actually pretty exciting. As long as we can LEAVE IT ALONE from here on out. Which we may not be able to do, actually.

We are living with one car, and it is not pretty. It is, in fact, ugly. For example, my one outing I have is my volunteer work at the assisted living facility. I can't walk there (I tried to chose a place I could walk to but I accidentally picked a place more than three miles away, through a terrible neighborhood. Oops.), so I have to wait, hovering, like a spider, when Marvin gets home from school. He usually gets home after 4:00, so I LEAP into the car and TEAR over to the home to play this book on tape for Miss Lilly, a blind woman. I have to get there with enough time to play the tape before dinner, which is at 5:00.

So remember how I sold my VW Bug to my mother? Turns out she is not happy with it and wants to sell it, so she is willing to sell it back to us, at whatever monthly payment we can afford. We are thinking about it, trust me.

I know that buying a CAR certainly counts as SPENDING, though. And we are trying to be really really really really strict on our policy now. Even if I did buy some red velvet creme-filled Bingles at the grocery store last night, which I do not think is a cheat, as the rule is we can only buy what we could not make ourselves, and I assure you I do not know how to make red velvet creme-filled Bingles. But OLD June, beginning-of-the-year June, would not have allowed it.

And one more thing. I really have to remember that I did not do this year of no spending in order to save money. In fact, I sincerely thought we were living within our means and that we would save nothing. So having ANY money saved is a PLUS. The POINT was to see what would HAPPEN if we didn't spend. That was it! So, maybe I should get over myself. $7,631.88 will still garner me a lot of Hello Kitty necklaces at year's end.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I hope this song won't end soon

BOOM, fall is here. On Friday, the weather was as it has been since we got here on August 5th. Hot, slow, syrupy, thick. At night was the deafening chirp of nine million June bugs, which we could hear loud and clear because we slept with the bedroom window wide open and there's a tree less than a foot away.

But sometime Friday night, it got chilly. And Saturday had a definite... lightness to it. Last night we closed the window, and all that was out there were a few hagged-out crickets.

Then tonight? When we went on our walk? I had to wear my zip-up sweatshirt. And you had to kind of walk fast at first, so you wouldn't feel too chilly.

Who knows? Maybe it'll warm up again, but it feels fall-y out there now. Which is exciting for me, because I have not experienced a seasonal change since I wore long underwear as fashionable tights under cutoffs.

I moved to LA in early 1997, and I was in Seattle before that, which definitely had a change of seasons. But it's been 15 years since I lived in the land of seasons. The land known as Michigan.

Autumn to me feels so...retro. Maybe I should start wearing bodysuits again. Or not.

Today I am immensely grateful for my friends; those who have stuck with me this year even though they have not gotten any gifts, and those I have made this year while blogging. It was Marvin Garden's idea for me to blog about this year, and I poo-pooed the idea at first. Blogging. Okay. Maybe I could join one of those virtual reality worlds, too.

But I love it! Just today, I received a 1978 gossip magazine with Barry Gibb photos in it from faithful reader Kelly Garrett, who really only knows me through my blog.

My friend Dottie sent me a lovely note to cheer me, after she read here that I was blue. My sister-in-law sent me a PERFECT book, my mother just sent me beauty aids and such, because she knows I can't buy any, and my mother-in-law is sending me her hair conditioners for the same reason.

Without this blog, or bog, as Renee's mother would continue to say, I would not know dcrmom, stie, brownyn, jtcosby, kellie, fullyoperationalbattlestation, lara, Catherine, frankie -- and do you like how I have to keep everyone's names upper- or lowercase depending on how they write them in my comments? Could I be ANY BIGGER of a proofreading nerd?

Anyway. We decided to not spend for a year to see what it would be like. I had no idea it could be rewarding like this.

I leave you with this lovely photo taken at the wedding we went to earlier this year. The bride -- who I am also grateful to and who is still waiting for her gift -- just sent it to me. It encapsulates our views on dancing completely. Look at your June, there, shaking her groove thing, and those rather large hips. And then poor Marvin, thinking, "How long 'til this song is over? Will she like the next song? Are there any friends who look like they'd join her for the next number? When are her FEET gonna get sore? Will she ever stop?"

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cleanliness is next to cleanout. Go look in the dictionary.

Good morgen! As they would sort of say in Germany!! It is Sunday and it is CLEANING DAY. WHOOOOOOO! WHOO!

Okay, trying to get excited about stupid cleaning day.

I know I have mentioned this to you before, but the last time I mentioned it was January, and perhaps you have -- I don't know -- lived your life since then and you have forgotten, so I will reiterate.

Because I can no longer just call the cleaning lady, I have been doing the Martha Stewart cleaning technique from her Homekeeping Handbook. Go get this book if you want to know how to do anything in your house. Need to know how to have a lovely entryway? Which just sounded dirty but I meant your vestibule? Look at the Martha Stewart Homekeeping book! How long to keep your cosmetics? I think you know where to look.

So I am going to do each step of her Weekly Cleaning techniques and report back to you, so that (a) I have someone reading this and keeping track of me and (2) (...I never cease to think it's funny to say "a" then "2." When does my hilarity stop?) you can see what a fine, not-at-all never-ending time it is.

First, old Mart has six things you are supposed to do every day, like make the bed. I usually do none of those six things. Then she has these weekly tasks, then monthly, seasonal, SPRING (I am not kidding), then specific fall jobs. You know that heifer is doing none of these. Her staff has to do them, and they all want to bitch slap her.

Today I am only doing the weekly tasks. And I promise it'll take all dang day. Here we go:

10:29 a.m. I am starting with wiping everything in the kitchen.

10:31 a.m. I cannot find ANY rags. I find 8,945 towels, but no rags. Marvin is in there eating a watermelon while standing over the sink, and he says towels and cleaning rags are the same thing. I am already annoyed with him because he is getting pits everywhere. I am using an old t-shirt as a rag.

11:06 a.m. Seriously. That's how long that took me. I wiped cupboards, appliances, the oven, the furniture, you name it. My only distraction was when I cut the t-shirt into more manageable pieces and also when I was wiping an old mason jar and thought, "Wouldn't it be pretty if I gathered up all the sea glass and put it in this jar" which I did. Okay. Next I have to wipe the INSIDES (geez) of everything and flush the drain with boiling water.

11:39 a.m. Waiting for the STUPID water to boil, I managed the next three steps, including (yes) washing inside and outside the trash can.

[Two cleaning tips from June -- and yes, it is frightening that you would take cleaning tips from June -- if you boil your water in the microwave, it's then easier to clean inside said microwave. Also, a way to clean the trash can? Take the bag out and use it as the pail for washing the floor.]

11:57 a.m. The kitchen? It is done. Only 78 rooms to go.

12:21 p.m. Floors everywhere? Swept. Used the Swiffer-type thing (which my mother always. always calls a "Swifter" no matter how many times I correct her) AND the vacuum. Am disgusted at size of dust bunnies given that we have only lived here five weeks and that I have "Swiftered" before. Also increasingly annoyed that Marvin G. has apparently become centipede, as he has left 12 pairs of shoes in each room.

12:37 p.m. Have managed to take perfectly lovely, shiny tiles in kitchen and hallway and by washing them with Dawn dishwashing liquid, turn then into the dullest floors imaginable. It is like your 8th grade algebra teacher were the floor. The floors are comparable to a statistics book, advanced edition. I mean dull.

I am going to eat something, because I feel weak and shaky and realized all I have consumed today is black coffee.

12:54 p.m. Feeling emboldened by lasagna and a peach grown right here in our town, I soldier on to dust and to vacuum living room furniture.

1:24 p.m. Enter living room to find Marvin and our cat Francis luxuriating on couch. Both scatter, horrified, when I come stomping in with my Old English. Why, whyyyyyyyy do we own so much wood? In that room there are two bookshelves, an old chest used as coffee table, a Victrola, a PIANO, and an old radio that is four feet tall, which Winston hangs out in (see visual aid). Next up? Bathroom.

2:23 p.m. Have cleaned toilet, bathtub, sink, mirror and floor. I have dusted the light fixture and am laundering all throw rugs and blankets in house. Am beginning to detest Martha Stewart. Am beginning to wonder if this book is why she went to prison. Would love 10 minutes in prison with Martha and a shiv.

2:51 p.m. Dusted in dining room. If you think I moved the 4,756 knickknacks to dust under them, you would be wrong. Upon entering guest room to write in blog, find Marvin napping on guest bed. Think again of shiv.

3:06 p.m. Fluffed sofa pillows, threw away old catalogs and sorted the mail. Began putting away clean throw rugs and pillows, if they are dry. Swept front porch and walkway. Begin thinking of great-grandmother, who had a cleaning problem. She used to scrub the sidewalks, and my grandfather said if you got up to pee in the night, when you came back she had already made the bed. Wonder if she was this miserable. Wonder why I didn't inherit her need to clean.

Wonder why I was ever born.

3:21 p.m. Dusted spines and tops of all books, all ceiling fans and electronic equipment. Remember, this bitch expects you to do all this EVERY WEEK. What the hell is WRONG with this Nazi? If I were an Indian goddess with eight arms AND I was on speed, I could not do all of this. As I am dusting the phone, it rings. Marvin, taking his microwave popcorn out, yells, "PHONE!"

I being wondering if any of my old boyfriends are still single.

3:36 p.m. She STILL expects me to change and launder sheets and pillowcases in each bedroom, DUST in each bedroom and clean all the windows. Oh, and vacuum all the vents. I have been working for FIVE HOURS. I am sweaty, and decidedly cranky. I am giving up on this stupid woman and her stupid, stupid book. After all, tomorrow is another day.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Havin' a Flashback

Now that I have been gone from my job in LA for almost two months, I feel it is safe to tell you something that I have wanted to tell you since February. It is a chilling tale. It is


I wish I had that dramatic chipmunk music. Have you seen that video on YouTube? Can I put it on here or will I get sued? Dcrmom hates it when people put YouTube on their blogs.

Okay. I'm gonna say it again, and then you click on the video. It'll be so dramatic.


And yes, I know it is a prairie dog and not a chipmunk. I didn't name the stupid thing.

The story begins back in November of 2006, before you knew me. Remember those heady days, when "Marvin Gardens" was just a piece of Monopoly property?

I had been at my job nine months. I liked it there. Then one night, out of the blue, during Entertainment Tonight and The Insider, my phone rang. It was this fancy finance company that I had interviewed with in 2005. They had another copy editor position coming up, and did I want it?

You guys, they pursued me. They called, they cajoled, they stood outside my window and played "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel. I mean, this company wanted me.

Finally, in FEBRUARY, three months later, I decided to go there for an interview. It was way closer than my current job -- a drive of 15 minutes rather than an hour. Plus, they paid seventy million dollars a week, they gave you three weeks' vacation your first year, two bonuses, and all those ridiculous government holidays off, just like my stepsister the librarian has. That chick is never at work. "It's Arbor Day. We have the day off." Whatever with her.

So I took a personal day from the job I liked. When I woke up the morning of the interview, I was putting on the one suit I own and have had since 2002 when I realized...(maybe you should go replay the dramatic music)


Because my commute was so terrible, and as a result I got there reallyreallyreallyreally early to avoid traffic, I would put my makeup on when I arrived. Do not ask me why I took ALL of it to work. I guess because it was all in this cute brown train case, and it was just easier to throw that in my car rather than pick through it and decide what came to work and what didn't.

But you guys. This was an interview for a fancy-ass job and yours truly is no spring chicken. I could NOT go there with zero makeup. I would not look fresh-faced. I would look like Merle Haggard.

So here's what I had to do. I had to scream over to CVS, crying in my suit, and buy all new makeup. Now fortunately, given my love for the cosmetics, I had basically been training for this event since I was nine. I was able to get foundation, eye shadow, an eyebrow brush, eyeliner, mascara and lipstick in about 27 seconds. When I got to the counter, the CVS worker said, "Would you like to apply for a CVS card today?! You'll save --"

"I HAVE A HUGE INTERVIEW IN HALF AN HOUR AND I HAVE NO MAKEUP!" I screamed. She shut up and put everything in a bag.

Anyway, they did offer me the job, after making me go there three times and interview with more than 10 people, but I turned it down. And every day I have to look at that illegal makeup, and I have been unable to tell you about it because I didn't want to get in trouble at what used to be my current job.

I think I spent like $37 on that makeup, and it was all Maybelline or some lowbrow brand. And you know I have used it all year? I used up the lipstick totally, and the eye shadow is low and the eye pencil is gone, too. I have virtually ignored my expensive makeup, sitting fancy and angry at the bottom of that train case.

So that's the tale. Oh, it's a relief to be truthful.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I could have been Jennifer on WKRP

Seriously. WHO told me I could proofread for a living? I made the BIGGEST mistake yesterday and had to spend the whole day sweatily fixing it. WHY did I think this was a job I was good at?

I am a flibbertygibbet. I think that goes without saying. I think no one ever wants to hear the word "flibbertygibbet" again anyway, so we're set. But really, I am a... you know. I should be a CRUISE director, or a movie star, or a princess. But a quiet, introverted job like proofreader? WHYYYYYY?

Anyway, I currently have no other choice, so I guess I'll proof the reading or read the proofs or whatever again tomorrow. Girlfriend has to bring home the sixteen dollars an hour or whatever sad sum she is currently dragging home.

You know, I was once a receptionist. I chose this profession when I first moved to Seattle, based mostly on the fact that there was a bar on the first floor of the building. This career worked for me. I dated FedEx delivery men, I chatted with the guy who came in to water the plants, I wrote funny things on people's messages. ("Jerry from WINK TV called. Said he had his EYE on you!")

But when I started dating Marvin Gardens, he got all self-esTEEm building on my ass. "Why are you doing this for a living? I see you doing so much MORE." Marvin was never much of a drinker. The whole bar-in-the-building thing did not sway him.

So that's why I proofread today. It is all Marvin's fault. HE should have been the one perspiring and tensing and cursing and mewling at this very desk all day.

But he can't cause he isn't here. And that is why I have gathered you all here today. Marvin had to go out of town, somewhere cool, for the night, for work. Could I have crammed more commas into that last sentence? His trip was paid for by his work, and he wanted me to come along. Have a swell time at the Holiday Inn or whatever. But you know what I did? I stayed here. I stayed here because it would have COST MONEY, and we are NOT SPENDING.

So it's just me, a can of Pringles, and eight episodes of Gray's Anatomy from Netflix. We are allowed Netflix because it is an expense we already had. Shut up.

McFlibbertygibbet out.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Clothes make the man really silly looking

I have a 17-page paper on research committees to proofread, and it was written by someone with an Ø in their name, so you know it's gonna be screwy English. And I have to get it done in the next four hours, because as soon as Marvin gets home we are OUT the door, and he's gonna be Mr. CrankerTrousers if he gets home and I had all day to proofread and yet I'm not done and what did I DO all day.

Nevertheless, dcrmom sent me a meme. So I must do it. I must do it now.

No one in blogworld knows what "meme" means. I love it that someone completely made up a word and we are all saying it. I am going to try that. I officially make up the word...sparklefraffle.

All words should have "sparkle" somewhere in them.

Okay, so my meme is, I have to list five of my clothing pet peeves. I know I am being deep on September 11th. Here we go:

Holiday sweaters. I am going to offend all of my female relatives, but cut it out with the seasonal sweaters. We know what holiday it is. We don't also need to see that shamrock in 3-D on your midsection.

Holiday socks. See above. Replace "midsection" with "instep." I have now been disowned. I will have to go in the basement and drink beer with the men in my family, because no one is lettin' me in the kitchen anymore. Not that I tried to help out in that kitchen so often.

Ill-fitting clothes. Now, this is a teenager thing and I know I am old because I do not get it. WHY is showing your muffin top acceptable? And do not get me wrong. I think women can be beautiful at all sizes. Give me Marilyn Monroe's body over Cameron Diaz's any day. But you didn't see Marilyn in low-hung pants and a short short T. Actually, she probably could have pulled that off.

I feel the same way about baggy clothes. With the underwear showing. When did I turn 147?

Irony. Yes, it's hilARious that you are hip AND you have on a redneck hat. Ooo! Somebody stop you! It's been done. Move on.

Men in flip-flops. This never bothered me until I met Marvin Gardens who canNOT stand feet. Oh, he gets sick at the sight of them. We have often joked that his worst job ever would be fitting people for toe rings on Venice Beach. So now, just like how I no longer drink anything with carbonation, I am also bothered by exposed feet -- but only on men. Somehow it skeeves me out.

I certainly hope no man is reading this in his holiday sweater, socks, flip flops and ironic hat with his muffin top hanging out, cause man, did I just lose a reader. And by the way, I am writing this in sweats from Target and the tank top I slept in. So I am one to talk.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Hi Hi Bi!

Marvin Gardens and I drove to Albemarle yesterday, to go to Harris Teeter. In case you didn't understand a single word of that sentence, Harris Teeter is a fancy grocery store, kind of the Whole Foods of the South, if you will. Although nothing can match the hippie pretentiousness and overpricedness of my beloved Whole Foods. Once I heard a woman there say, "This is the worst olive bar I've ever been to."

Like she goes olive bar hopping or something.

So, Albemarle is like 15 miles away, but really, what else did we have to do, and I seriously could not go back to our local "We sell only iceberg lettuce" grocery store. Iceberg lettuce. 1971 called. It wants its salad back. Got any French dressing to go with that?

Albemarle is where Kellie Pickler is from. (For my mother: she was on American Idol. I know you are too cool to watch anything but Face the Nation or whatever boring cerebral show you watch.) They had all kinds of bumper stickers and license plate holders celebrating Kellie Pickler, all of which I wanted to buy right up, but did not, because I stick to my stupid plans.

And there was no reason that Kellie Pickler should not have known what salmon was. They had some right there at the Harris Teeter. Maybe her family went to Food Lion all the time. Got them some iceberg lettuce.

At any rate, if you read this blog regularly -- and if so, why? How bored are you at work? -- you know that I have really bad eyes and that now I am losing my closeup vision. I had considered LASIK, but it is not really a medical NECESSITY, per se, although I am a proofreader, so being able to see is kind of important.

Anyway, yesterday I finally had my contacts in and I was therefore able to check out...bifocals at the Harris Teeter there. They even had a little eye test where you looked into this thing (do you like my skillful writing? "this thing." Do you feel like you were right there with me?) and you saw a page from a phone book, then you twisted a dial until you could see the letters.

Happily, I am prescription strength 1.0 for now. Which is the weakest. You'll be pleased to hear that I selected blue cat eyes, with rhinestones on the ends. No, really. This will delight my friend Blanche.

Blanche and I worked together in Seattle, and on my last day there we had a goodbye lunch. Right next to us were these old ladies and we said, "Look! There's us in 40 years!" One old lady had on a tasteful beige pantsuit and nice hair. That, um, would be Blanche. The other old lady -- me -- had on what I'm SURE she thought was a cutting-edge sparkly sweatsuit and some HOT blue sparkly glasses.

I am living up to my end of our future, Blanche. Got any beige, over there?

So, June marches on, into the world of middle-agedom. Soon I will get a prescription for Prilosec and jeans with an elastic waistband. I guess those will have to wait until January 1...

Saturday, September 8, 2007

By popular demand...

...if the request of one person can be classified as "popular demand," here is THE HILL THAT KILLS.

Okay. So this is the first hump I have to walk over, which isn't bad, really. And also? Proportion? Not so easy to achieve, here, when trying to photograph a hill. Trust me, it goes up, this road. Enough to make you run out of breath.

But HERE is the bad part. See all the way at the back of this photo? That is ALL ROAD going UP.

I know that I am not any Francisco Scavullo, who is the only famous photographer I could think of, and he was a fashion photographer so it's a bad example. But anyway, trust me. Hill is steep.

Friday, September 7, 2007

June Eats. At a RESTAURANT.

I cheated today. I had a LUNCH DATE with the woman I met at book club a few weeks back. I do not care, I mean I really do not give two flying rat's hoots or whatever, that I cheated. Girlfriend needed an activity, over here.

(And can I just tell you all HOW MUCH I enjoy your comments cheering me up? It really does help me tremendously; thank you.)

There is the one restaurant in town (there are others on the busy freeway, but they are mostly just fast food). As you may know, we only have one car now, and of course Marvin had it at work. So I had to walk, WALK, up the GIANT HILL that leads to the uptown area.

I got my crampons and my carabiners. I had my matterhorn going, and my oxygen mask...

A few times I called out, "Ricola!"

Seriously. That thing is ludicrous. It is the STEEPEST hill you have ever seen. And have I mentioned to you that there are no sidewalks? So you're walking in the road, unless a car comes, and then you have to walk in the grass, which I did, until I.....




SNAKE. A snaaaaaaaaaakkkkkke was right under my little leopard-skin flats and my VULNERABLE ankles. A SNAKE! AAAAAAAAAACCCCKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You can imagine how manly I was about this. And it was just a little baby snake. But you know they are born with their venom.

I do have to tell you that a very nice person pulled over and asked if I wanted a ride uphill, and I also have to tell you this is not the first time someone has just offered me a ride. I always say no, because, hi, from LA. In my mind, you are from the Manson family. You just rode in from Spawn Ranch to creepycrawl a house. But it is a nice gesture.

When I crested that peak, after spending some time at base camp to acclimate, and I saw the restaurant, oh. I was happy. When I got there, a guy got out of his car and said, "Did I just see you walk up that whole hill, honey?" I mean, we're talking steep.

Anyway, you can imagine how pretty I was when I got there. My new friend must have thought I was having hot flashes, or that I was really turned on at seeing her or something. I had been so careful with my appearance, too. I glazed my hair (my Aunt Mary sent me that John Freida glaze for 'redheads' and I cannot recommend it enough), I had done foundation AND concealer, two kinds of eye shadow, and all of it was running down my face like I was Alice Cooper or a Dali painting or something. And we needn't discuss the hair. You know. You saw it if you were in the Western Hemisphere.

Nevertheless, we had a lovely little lunch (I had pork chops, mashed potatoes, green beans and a biscuit. Oh, and pink lemonade. Hey, I don't get out much. This is news) and after she took me to a local shop to introduce me around.

I think our husbands are basically gonna fall in love.

Oh, and she sees snakes all the time and isn't afraid. I do not understand that in a person.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

June Volunteers

I know you don't feel sorry for me that I have been working for 12 hours. Have I done nothing but complain that I have had NO work for a month?! Don't you totally want to cut me right now?

The place I talked about the other day? That emails you jobs and says, "Here's work. Want it?" ObSESSed with it. Can't turn anything down. So far today I have proofread a letter to the president of Iran, a paper on Beowulf, a paper on the German economy and some introduction about Tennyson, a palace and art.

Total raked in? Like $200. Again, have I mentioned the pay is sucky sucky suck pants?

Do you like how I have titled this "June Volunteers" and all I've done is talk about my paying job? Good focusing.

So I went to the assisted living place to do my visiting. The auctioneer director of activity whirled by, all papers and crafts and doilies and words. Kind of like a sweet Tasmanian Devil. "WellHI,sweetheart,IrememberyoufromyesterdayyoucomeoninIhaveamillionpeopleonholdbutyouwaitrightthereandI'llgettoya."

Love her.

So I visited with the old people just hanging. One woman and I discussed how nice the breeze was out on the porch. Another discussed her arthritis in her leg. Seems her meds wear off fast. Seriously, when I get old, don't give me any of that arthritis. Doesn't it sound awful?

Then I heard music playing.

Okay, you must understand. I am depressed. I am crying at the drop of a hat. I am crying at the drop of a visor, for heaven's sake. I had already misted up at the St. Teresa Prayer hanging on the wall there:

May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be....Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.

So I go into the rec room, and there, alone, was a woman playing the piano. Now, sadly, she only has a few music books, including a Christmas songbook. She was playing "I'll Be Home for Christmas."

This song kills me on a good day. On a day like this? Drop the visor day? Oh, lord. I sat at a table near her and sobbed, sobbed, I tell you, until my tears formed a beautiful stairway, leading to the path to happiness. Until an ocean formed, and glittering unicorns swam to my rescue, lifting me to the pink sky above. Until that poor old lady saw me and said, "I'll play something else."

She was not even a nice old lady. We talked for a long time, and she asked my name and said, "What is the origin of that name?" I told her it is a Jewish name and she said, "You don't look like a Jew!" and I told her I wasn't but my husband is. She then proceeded to tell me how dreadful "interracial" marriages were.

But the thing is about old people? For me they're a lot like cats. Even the ornery ones, who hiss and swing at you? I still love them more than anything. And this old lady? She has been EVERYWHERE. Russia, Europe, you name it, traveling with Big Bands and eating figgy pudding and such. Also, she knows everybody in this town, she knew the lady who owns this house, said I was gonna have lots of daffodils in the yard come spring.

Okay, she's a bigot. She's MY bigot. I can't help that I liked her racist ass.

Oh. And speaking of my crying thing? Have you guys seen that ABC thing where people do a video using just three words?

You are gonna DIE of weeping. Isn't that something to look forward to?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hanging with the shorties is free. Wait. Are shorties little kids?

It is 11:21 at night, and just Francis and I are up. Francis is on the guest bed, sitting like a man with his legs out in front of him, all bent over his 21-pound stomach, having a bath. I am in my robe, having never gotten dressed today, drinking a Hi-C Grabbin' Grape juice box.

Perhaps you wonder why a childless couple in their 40s would have Hi-C juice boxes. I'll tell you why. They're good.

One of our rules for not spending this year was if we bought juice at the store, it had to be 100% juice. Upon reading this box, I see that we have completely broken this rule with a TEN PERCENT juice. Man.

And why does grape juice have pear juice in it?

Anyway, I wanted to tell you what I did today, so that I am more obligated to follow through.

As you know, I have been blue. (Did you enjoy my special effect, there? Wooo! George Lucas called. He wants his skills back.)

My Aunt Kathy is blue, as well. A year ago, she and her husband (aka my Uncle Bill, but not the guy from Family Affair) moved to Vermont. She is retired and doesn't know anyone there and basically we are in similar boats. Blue, blue boats. So we like to call each other and kvetch.

But she came up with a really good idea. She said she was going to call a nursing home in her town and ask if anyone there needed a visitor.

So today I got the hymnal-sized phone book for this little town (the yellow and the white pages are both in one book. It is small. Rhode Island could kick the crap out of it in a war. We're talking small.) (that is from Arthur, the funniest movie in the history of time) and looked up nursing homes.

Then I went on line and figured out the difference between nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Then I decided which place I could fairly easily walk to. Then I split the atom and read War and Peace and finally, I called Meadowview Terrace and talked to the fastest-talking director of activities you have ever talked to in your life. She was practically an auctioneer. Rhode Island could kick the crap out of her in a war. No, no.

Anyway, I am proud to tell you that (a) I understood most of what she said and (2) I told her I would pay a visit as soon as I could. She said a lot of people need visitors there, and that she would introduce me around until I had chemistry with someone. She said she could just assign me to a person, but instead she'd leave it up to God.

How much did I love the auctioneer activities director?

Anyway, of all the luck it looks like my old workplace FINALLY sent me work (they, um, forgot to actually attach the job), so if it is all due tomorrow or something, I won't be able to get to old Meadowview Terrace (which, by the way, has neither a view of a meadow or a terrace, I think).

But do not let me go until Friday without getting over there, you hear?

You mean Shaquille O'Neal is AVAILABLE?

Do you think it is futuristic or pathetic that I was feeling sad, but reading dcrmom's blog today cheered me up? I mean, I have never actually spoken to dcrmom. But I consider her a dear friend who I check in with every day.

Seriously. Am I turning into a recluse? Am I becoming Miss Havisham?

To ward off plummeting any further than I have, I am happy to report that I have been working a bit. I had forgotten that back when I freelanced, I had worked a little for this company who emails you work that you can take or not.

How it works is, customers go on this company's website and say, "Here is my dissertation or my letter of recommendation or my novel or my website" (if you really said ALL those things at once, they may worry that you are biting off a bit much).

You turn said work in, and they email all the proofreaders (we had to take a RIGOROUS test to be one of their proofers). If you want the work, you go on their site and download it.

I had seriously kind of forgotten about them until Sunday night, when I instant messaged them and ended up getting some work immediately. I guess they still need people.

So, I've made like $112 so far, which I admit is not stellar, but it is better than watching our four TV channels and obsessively looking for work in Charlotte, which if you'll recall I said I would not do because it is an hour and a half away and I did not move from Los Angeles, where all I did was drive, to a place that has no eyelash perming or cranial sacral therapy (and yes, Catherine, I have had that done) to ALSO drive three hours a day. But there you go.

So that's what's happening over here. And oh. Does anyone have any idea how I can dredge up more readers? I seem stalled at about 110 a day. Which isn't bad, but for the first part of this year it was rising steadily and now I'm stalled. Have I become boring in my depression and ennui?

Monday, September 3, 2007

I See Gloria Vanderbilt and I Want to Paint her Black

I have found Utopia, and it is Black Mountain, North Carolina.

We went to the mountains yesterday, specifically to see a town called Asheville. I have heard about this town for 20 years. My grandparents were obsessed with it (they pronounced it "Ayshevull"), mostly because there is a Vanderbilt mansion there that they loved to visit. The driveway of the place is three miles long. Those Vanderbilts made a fortune selling those jeans, didn't they? BAH!

I had me some Gloria Vanderbilt perfume in 11th grade. I smelled some at CVS the other day. I was right back at my little vanity, surrounded by my Paper Moon Graphics cards (did anyone else love those?), Billy Squire playing, sporting my Jordache jeans.

But I digress.

Everyone on earth has been telling us about Asheville. They say it is like Ann Arbor (a cool town in Michigan) or Seattle (a cool town in Washington) or San Francisco (a cool town in California) or Paris (a cool town in general). So we went.

And you know it was full of your filthy hippies? Don't get me wrong. I enjoy being among the hippies, visiting the hippie stores and watching the drum circles and seeing the liberal bumper stickers ("These Colors Don't Run...Other Countries"). But I already LIVED in Seattle. I already dated patchouli boys, getting smacked in the face with their dreadlocks. I am too old and, frankly, too intolerant for that sort of a thing anymore. I want to say, "Do you even THINK about having a 401(k)?" or "How do you think those tattoos up your arm are gonna look when you're a gramma?"

I do not know when I became this person. As a child of hippies, I spent 74,000 weekends in the aforementioned Ann Arbor, protesting the war or Nixon or nukes or whatever we were pissed about at the time. I ran around naked, giving peace a chance and such. I guess I got over it.

Anyway, we liked Asheville, but when we were leaving, we decided to visit the next town over, Black Mountain. I should have known I'd like it because it had "Black" in the title. Four of my favorite songs have "Black" in the title (Black Dog, Black Hole Sun, Paint it Black, and especially Black [by Pearl Jam]).

Oh, was it ever cute there. You are absolutely surrounded by green mountains (I really didn't SEE a black mountain) and cute cute cute little stores: chocolate shops, hardware stores that had really cool things (oh! Did I want to buy the lip gloss at said hardware store! They had Baby Ruth flavor, Razzle flavor, Bit O Honey flavor...), antique emporiums, coffee bars...

We DID buy a table at an antique shop, but get your knickers out of your nether regions (I am crude today, aren't I?). We had no kitchen or dining room table. The one we had in Burbank broke so we donated it to charity. Nice. "Hey, poor person! Have a cracked table!" (It was just wobbly. It'd work well enough in a pinch. We just didn't want to move it all the way here.)

Anyway, we got us a gray Formica and chrome 1950s table with a hidden leaf built inside of it. Oh! It is cool. Here is a picture of KIND of what it looks like. Ours is more of a butterfly, boomerang sort of pattern.

Sadly, we have no chairs to go with it yet, but that is our next project.

And finally, I did get up the nerve to count our money, which I knew would be lessened after this cross-country move. We have $11,217.40 to our name, as of today. Which is still better than the $500 we had at the beginning of the year. So perhaps I should calm down. Maybe I should be more of a hippie...