There’s always something

It wasn’t that long ago that I was rhapsodizing about them, but lately, the LAST thing I want is a hot shower.  Our townhouse doesn’t have AC.  (Our new house doesn’t either, but it’s much better insulated and it’s pretty shady there.)  We have a portable unit we bought in Oregon that vents out the window, and the townhouse had one regular window unit when we moved in.  It wasn’t TOO big of a deal last fall because we moved in September and we only had a couple of really hot days before the cooler weather started.  Now, though, it’s HOT.  We’ve had several days in a row of 90+ degree weather, and the house is pretty much unbearable.

We’re keeping the window unit running in our bedroom 24/7 (can’t wait for that electric bill), and it’s the only room that feels nice to sit in (with, of course, no place to sit other than the bed).  We moved the kitchen table and the portable unit into my office, so John and I are working together in the only other air-conditioned room in the house.  Fortunately, it’s been a quiet week for meetings so we’re not getting on each other’s nerves.  Unfortunately, the portable unit can’t keep up, so we’re still dying.

Today, even though it’s our first sub-90 degree day in a week, it’s still too warm in the house, so we’re camped out at Starbucks.

That is not the point I was going to make when I started writing.  My original point was that COLD SHOWERS ARE THE BEST.  Truly, that is not something I ever thought I would say.   It has become a necessity to take an actual cold shower before bedtime, both to clean off the sweat that’s accumulated all day long and to cool down before sleeping in the only cool room in the house.  AND IT FEELS SO GOOD.  It’s so hot in the rest of the house, bathroom included, that I find myself lingering under cold freakin’ water.  Maybe this is related to the pregnancy thing, too, but except for one incident, John has been as hot and uncomfortable as I’ve been.  We were watching TV, relatively cool, and all of a sudden I was like, “John, I need you to point the fan directly at me, I am so hot I can’t stand it please hurry up”.

Not to worry – I can find something to complain about in the only cool room in the house, too.  The window unit can only go in the window at the foot of the bed (lack of outlets and appropriate extension cords), and the air (which cannot be directed) blows directly on the pillows in the middle of the bed.  When I’m sleeping on my left side, like I am supposed to do, facing the middle of the bed, it blows directly on my face.  Consequence?  I wake up every morning congested with a drippy throat.

When will life be perfect, huh?

Hold your breath and hope for the best!

We are submitting our application for a really good apartment right….now.  Cross your fingers that no one got there first and there aren’t any hiccups in the process.

It’s a townhouse in a great part of town with a bookstore, three coffee shops, and a few restaurants within three blocks in one direction, and a park and the Seekonk River a few blocks in the other direction.  It’s an end unit, with parking in the back (no yard – that’s okay, we have a park), three levels plus a full basement (with laundry), 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and new appliances.  When we saw it yesterday, the management company was in there with three or four guys doing the painting and cleaning.  The bathrooms aren’t great, but our other main contender had even less ideal bathrooms, so this one still wins.  This one is 2 miles to the main branch of the library, 1 mile to Brown University, and downtown is less than 2 miles away.  Easy access, easy walking.

We’re super excited.  Now we just need to sign the lease.

Better than Monday

Things are looking up, but we’re still not crazy about not having a decision made yet.  As of right now, 9pm Wednesday night, we have two places we could be happy with (very different from each other: a fancy apartment downtown and a house in a small town), but we haven’t applied for either.  We’re seeing three more places tomorrow morning, then another mid-afternoon, and two more late afternoon.  We’ve got feelers out on a few more (maybe for Friday), but our hopes are high (probably too high) for tomorrow’s mid-afternoon showing.  Perfect neighborhood – here’s hoping the house is perfect, too.

Too early to tell

We’ve only had one full day of house/apartment hunting.  I have to keep reminding myself of that.  We didn’t find our next home yesterday (Monday), but that doesn’t mean we’re destined to be homeless.

It’s only been a day.

It’s only been a day.

It’s only been a day.

There.  That might work.  Partly, it’s frustration.  We’ve found a lot of places we’d like to look at, but we’re not getting a lot of responses so we can’t schedule times to actually see them and I feel like we’re spinning our wheels.  After one day.  Which I realize is ridiculous.  We sent out a bunch of messages around 10pm last night, and it’s not even 8am right now, so to be worried that we haven’t heard back when no one has gotten to work yet is not terribly reasonable.

I can be reasonable.  And we still have four full days to look, including today.

This is stressful.

On the other hand, already this visit has reaffirmed for us how much we’d like to live in Newport or Bristol or a couple of neighborhoods in Providence.  If we have to go further afield to find our very next place, at least we’re sure we want to make it work here at some point.

Deep breath.  Shower (I think I sweat more in hotel gyms – no breeze!) . Breakfast.  Search.

I made John drive

We went to Portland last Saturday, mostly to check out the neighborhoods of apartments we’d consider renting to see if Portland is our next move.  The verdict is still out, but it wasn’t a promising day.  We drove all over town, but not much was available where we want to live.  Kind of disheartening.  We did get a better sense of the city, though, and it still seems pretty cool (despite recent news and undercurrents).  The one place we got totally distracted by could be the BEST, but its main problem is that you can’t walk to ANYwhere from it.  It’s near the top of a ridge, I think the neighborhood is Hillsdale, and the place was AMAZING.  The drive up is twisty and winding with spectacular views of the city and the river and beautiful houses.  This apartment (house?) is 2 bedrooms, 1200 sq ft.  We think it’s a big apartment over a three-car garage, but the ad isn’t clear.  It’s a detached building, next to a beautiful house with gargoyles on the front walk.  GARGOYLES.  It would be quiet and peaceful and beautiful and impossible to get in and out of in bad weather or in a hurry if you want to run a quick errand.  It’s the opposite of what we have in Eugene (and what we want), which is a house close to shops and restaurants and the library and walkable to everything.

It’s a no.

Still available, though, if anyone else is interested.

More apartment issues

When we got back from PA Sunday night, we walked into a very cold apartment.  We checked the thermostat and found the screen blank.  Thinking it might be a dead battery, we took it off the wall, but it doesn’t take batteries, apparently.  The heat was off (it had been warm up until we left Friday evening), so we tried turning it on.  Nothing – no screen, no heat.  I texted our landlady (and let her know we could get through the night), and she said the HVAC guys would come over in the morning.  We threw an extra comforter on the bed and made it through the night alive.  Getting out of bed the next morning was next to impossible, though.

The guy arrived around 11am Monday and camped out in front of our bathroom door (the closet with the furnace is right outside the bathroom) for several hours.  Thankfully, he went in and out of the apartment a few times so we could use the bathroom.  It’s awkward to use the bathroom when someone is sitting right outside the door, you know?

He managed to get the emergency heat turned on later in the afternoon, and the place slowly warmed up, but we stayed bundled through to bedtime.  The guy had to come back yesterday (Tuesday) because he wasn’t prepared to run a new wire on Monday.  Apparently, some animal chewed through the wire.  Our landlady thinks it was the squirrel they caught.  That was the first I’d heard of a squirrel.

Let me back up.

I spent three days in VA for work the first week in March.  When I got back Thursday night (almost three weeks ago), John was standing in the kitchen, peering intently at the ceiling over the sink, and he beckoned me in and shushed me.  We could hear scratching in the ceiling.  From something big.  I pictured raccoons.  John said he heard it both nights I was gone.

We let it go a couple of days, but whatever it was didn’t go away.  We mostly heard it at night, sometimes all night long, and then one day our landlady appeared at our door.  Our upstairs neighbor called her because he saw mice in his apartment, and she wanted to know if we had mice.  I told her I hadn’t seen ANY animals, certainly not mice, but I’d heard scratching.  I told her it sounded bigger than a mouse, but I don’t think she believed me.  She set out some traps upstairs, apparently caught a mouse or two (and our upstairs neighbor came down one day to get John’s help with one), and the scratching did go away for a few days.  Then it came back.

I guess our landlady called the right people this time, and I guess they caught a squirrel (who apparently chewed through the wires to our thermostat).  I know we haven’t heard the scratching for at least a week, so maybe that’s all over.  And in less than a week, living in this apartment, with its leaks and scratching rodents and no heat and terrible, uncontrollable water pressure, will be over, too.

It hasn’t been ALL bad, but we are over this apartment.

Sandwiches are the universal cure

This morning:

Jess mentioned the other day that it’s amazing how quickly she can go from “Today’s a pretty good day” to “I hate everyone and everything” some days, and some days, I’m right there with her.  Today, at least, I have identified a trigger: it’s laundry.  Not just laundry, though – I’ve been doing laundry for years, and it doesn’t automatically put me in a bad mood.  No, it’s laundry HERE, in THIS apartment, with THIS gross basement and machines that don’t drain correctly (the utility sink that the machines drain into has dirt in it – DRY dirt – even after two loads of MY laundry have drained), and with our messy upstairs neighbor who is doing his best to live on his own, but needs additional help.  I’ll cut him all the slack he needs, but that doesn’t mean that what he does (or doesn’t do) doesn’t affect MY mood.

Messy neighbor definition: we have mice (or something) in the attic because he leaves open soda cans and pizza all over his apartment (according to our landlady).  In the laundry room today, there are two full loads of his clothes on the (gross) folding table, most likely put there by the downstairs neighbor who needed the dryers.  Don’t know how long they’ve been there or how long they’ll be there.

I’m going for a run.  Maybe I won’t hate everyone when I get back.

This afternoon:

Better.  Not great, but better.  Running is good, running is helpful, AND I ate a sandwich, which probably has a LOT to do with it.  (I typed “AND I hate a sandwich” and fixed it SO fast.  That is not true.  That will never be true.  I love sandwiches.  Rumors about sandwich-hating are hurtful and must be dealt with immediately.  Without delay.  Posthaste.  Now.)

Yes, I’m feeling better.

Good Samaritan (it wasn’t me)

Today was beautiful and warm and breezy.  We had the windows open and the fans going all day.  It was great, but it also means we hear EVERYTHING that goes on outside.  This evening, before sunset, we heard a horrendous screeching noise right outside the apartment.  We looked out the windows and saw a car stopped in the middle of road, blocking the northbound lane, with the drivers side door open.  There was another woman inspecting the red mini parked on the side of the road just in front of it.  I assumed we’d just heard a crash, that maybe the car had hit the mini or the mini backed into the car.  I stopped looking through the screen (opting for the clear part of the window), and I couldn’t see any damage, and then John noticed the tire leaning up against the mini.

Apparently, this car was driving up our street when the front left tire CAME OFF THE CAR and rolled into the street and hit the mini.  The horrendous screeching noise was the front left corner of the car, minus its tire, scratching up the pavement.  We stood at the windows watching the circus (the people in the car running around, getting the tire, staring at the car, the other drivers trying to go around the car to get out of town, the southbound lane stopping to let the northbound lane swerve into their lane to go), and then we heard someone shout something about needing a jack.

John: Should I help?  I have a jack.  I should help.  Should I help?

He decided to help.  By the time I went outside, there were 7 or 8 people clustered around the car (only three of whom were working).  Everyone else on the block was out on front porches and stoops (me and our housemates included), watching the fun (and occasionally yelling).  With the help of two of the guys who live next door, John jacked up their car and got the tire back on.  Sort of.  Turns out that out of the five bolts that usually hold a tire on, one was missing and one had been completely broken off.  Of the three that were left, only one was straight and able to be used.  The car owners (who didn’t help at all and barely said thank you) decided to risk driving back to DC rather than drive the car slowly to a shop.

We’re going to keep an eye on the news for the idiots who are surely going to lose the tire again going too fast on the highway back to DC tonight.

I can hear the chapel bells chime

Our apartment is directly across the street from the Naval Academy and just a little bit down the block from the Naval Academy chapel, where midshipmen get on the longest wait lists EVER to get married.  I have yet to see a wedding there, but I rarely go on the yard.  My view of the chapel is the back view, pretty much.  But I can hear it!  Bells chime on the quarter hour from 8am to 8pm daily.  Sometimes I can tune them out, sometimes every quarter hour shoves me through the day.  Most of the time I don’t mind them.  What I’m not crazy about are the songs.  At noon every day, after the bells ring the hour, they play “Eternal Father, Strong to Save”, and at 6pm every day, they play…something.  I think it varies, and it’s not always recognizable.  Sometimes it’s not even recognizable as a melody.  Tonight, though, it was “Amazing Grace”.  I think.  I’m pretty sure.

The Naval Academy website has a page for the chapel but NOTHING about the bells.  I found a 16-year-old article in the Washington Post about them, so now I know that they’re not rung by people (they’re digitized), I’m right about the Navy Hymn at noon every day, and apparently a hymn is selected at random from a database at 6pm every day.  Although it also says that the organ was going to be hooked up eventually, so maybe eventually came during the last 16 years and some person on the organ is responsible for the 6pm hymns that don’t sound like anything melodic.  I choose to believe that.

We’re about to trade constant bell-ringing for train chugging and whistles.  Which will we prefer?

The highs and lows of apartment hunting

Months before our trip, I was on a bunch of sites looking for potential places to live.  I knew those places wouldn’t stil be available (probably) by the time we got to February, but it gave me a good idea of location and price.  In the few days before we headed out week before last, I made a ton of calls and sent a ton of emails, all to make sure we’d have actual places to look at in the five days we had.  The worst thing I could think of was the scenario where we show up, there’s nothing to check out, or they’re all terrible or too expensive or not available, and we end up coming back to Annapolis without locking down our next home.  I did NOT want to rent a place without seeing it first, and I did NOT want to have to move across the country without an actual destination (like we did when we moved San Diego, in our early twenties, young and stupid).

Luckily, we had plenty to see.  Luckilier (so much better than more luckily), we found our perfect house on Day 1 and our very good backup on Day 2.  In between, we saw some good, some bad, and some so-so places.

Our very first showing (viewing?) was at an apartment complex on Broadway, right downtown.  The location was perfect, the way the buildings were set up was really nice, they have underground parking available, and the apartments were cute.  Cute is the operative word here – they were small.  One of the things we were looking for (John in particular) was more space.  In the Annapolis apartment, we live and work in the same room.  When we’re done working for the day, we don’t get to close the door on work and walk away.  It makes it very hard to leave work behind, so one of the things we were looking for was a place with a room we could call the office – just the office.  This apartment complex didn’t have anything with quite enough room.

Our next place was an old house (1860s or something), yellow with a red door (I love that), big porch – it was a nice looking house, looked charming, in a good spot, right on the edge of downtown.  When we got there, the apartment manager had thrown open the front and back doors.  Welcoming, right?  No – we’re pretty sure she walked in, reeled in disgust, and opened the doors (and windows) hoping to dispel the animal odors.  This house was old, yes, and it was quirky, but it hadn’t been kept up well enough to make the quirkiness work for us, and the smell made it an almost immediate no.  It smelled like animals had peed all over it.  “We’ll have that taken care of by next week.”  Oh, no, you won’t.  Link.

We didn’t have another appointment until 4pm (and it was only 10 after 1), and we were beginning to feel a little nervous; what if we don’t find a place in the only five days we have to look?  We drove around the corner, spotted a very cute house for rent that hadn’t shown up on any of our searches, called, and got someone to come out and show it to us 15 minutes later.

It’s so cute (spoiler: it’s the house we’re renting, so you’ve already seen the pictures), and since it was a real possibility, we felt a ton better.

Our 4pm appointment was not so positive.  It was in the hills in the southern part of Eugene, and the area was beautiful.  The house was at least 100 years old, and it was a bit more remote, a bit more secluded.  Unfortunately, it was terrifying.  This house is where horror movies are made.  The owners don’t keep up the outbuildings (there was an overgrown shed and a garage with the roof caving in), and the renters aren’t allowed in the basement (basically a cellar) – they didn’t say why.  Perhaps to hide the bodies?  There was a giant round grate in the floor, I assume for heating, but I just kept imagining scary long fingers reaching up through it or carpets of bugs scurrying out.  Speaking of bugs, the sink hadn’t been used on so long that there was a little spider living in a web in it, and a freakishly large spider (okay, it was no bigger around than the circle made when I touch my forefinger to my thumb) hanging out in the hallway near the scary grate.  Just sitting there.  The eaves (which you could see outside the upstairs windows) were festooned with webs and nests and bugs and things, and the washer and dryer were in an enclosed porch off the kitchen that leaks, judging by the water stains on the top of the washer.  Also, just one bathroom that was…fine, I guess.  There was a cupboard under the stairs, but I was more inclined to make People Under The Stairs jokes than Harry Potter jokes, and there was a strange grate/opening in the wall near the floor of the master bathroom that overlooked the stairs: perfect for grabbing the hair of the unwary person climbing the stairs.  So….no.  No, no, and no.  Here’s a link to it.  The link we followed (that I can’t find) had more (and better) pictures, and the pictures at this link don’t do the scary parts scary justice, but I’m sure you get the idea.

After that place, we quit for the day.  Two absolutely nots, one yes PLEASE, and one probably not, but in a pinch, maybe.

The next day at 9am, we met a property manager at a duplex in the southern end that was interesting, but didn’t grab us.  It would do, but it was kind of dark.  The living room would have been cool – vaulted ceiling, big windows – and the kitchen was nice, but the bedrooms and bathrooms were on the lower level (sort of a walkout ranch) and were kind of dark.

Our 10am appointment was at a brand new complex a little west of downtown.  If this complex had had ANYTHING interesting in walking distance, it would have been a real contender.  As it was, it became our first safety apartment (until we found a better safety apartment).  Aside from being a little too remote, it was a crazy nice place.  Construction had JUST finished, so everything was as new as it gets.  The fitness center was a really nice, with a giant TV and space to use it for classes.  You could call up zumba or strength videos right there and use the space for them.  In addition to the pool and the tennis and basketball courts, they had a pet wash station and a bike repair station.  Of course, they had bike storage.  EVERY complex in Oregon has bike storage.  The apartments were really nice, too, but they didn’t have any three-bedrooms.  Could work, but not perfect.  The house was still better.

After that place, we looked at a house on a hill that could have been good.  It had a nice garage, the front yard was nicely landscaped, and the top floor was pretty good.  The bottom floor was a little creepy, though.  There were odd-looking doors in odd places, not enough light.

We spent the afternoon checking out a couple of complexes.  One was too far away from downtown, but it was super nice.  We looked at a two-bedroom loft apartment there that would have been really nice. It was also the most expensive apartment we looked at.

The other complex we looked at that afternoon became our actual backup.  It’s our true safety apartment if something happens with the house.  If we end up in our safety apartment, we will have a three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, brand new, beautiful kitchen, full-size laundry in unit.  We will be very happy there (even though we really want our house).

So Friday had 1 eh, 2 nos, 1 possibility, and 1 yes.

We had one more place to see Saturday morning.  The pictures weren’t that promising, and we almost canceled it, but we showed up anyway.  The woman who showed it to us told it was centrally-located.  What does that mean exactly?  It’s centrally-located in relation to three malls.  So convenient!  Three bedrooms, one bathroom, super-nice yard, big garage.  Unfortunately (again), this was the other smelly place.  We walked in and were olfactorily assaulted.  No exaggeration – the house smelled like someone took a handful of cat poop and smeared it on the walls, in every room.  There was no sign of cat poop or anything disgusting.  The house was clean, but the smell was intolerable.  The property manager swore it didn’t smell like that a week before.  Not sure I believe her, but it made the place a big ol’ NO.

Happily, we’d found the place we wanted and a very acceptable backup (with more than one unit available), so we got online and submitted our application, and we were able to relax for the rest of our trip.  That also made it possible for us to spend Monday hanging out in Portland, which was very cool and which I will tell you about later.

I wish I’d taken more pictures so I could show you the awful ones, but at the time, it seemed silly to take pictures of places we were definitely not going to rent.  Oooh, but I can give you the links….links have been added for all except our house and the backup complex because I’m not posting my potential addresses online.

SO ready

It rained all day yesterday, which was fine, and we had high winds and pouring rain and thunder in the afternoon and evening, which was cool, EXCEPT for the leak.  Yes, our apartment has ANOTHER leak.  Apparently, one of our side windows (and the wall where it meets the ceiling) leaks.  Like, a lot, but apparently only when the wind throws the rain directly at that side of the house (since we haven’t noticed it before).  Big puddle on the floor, water dripping down the wall from the ceiling, the blinds on that window are actually DRIPPING WATER…

Also, the basement has standing water in it, right by the washing machines.

We need to move.

Here is a picture of the front of our new house:


Here is part of (most of) the backyard:


Here is part of the kitchen:


And here is the front room (gas fireplace):


Haven’t signed the lease yet (soon!), haven’t chosen an actual move date yet (even sooner!), but we’re getting there.  We just have to deal with the crappy parts of our current apartment for one more month.

Presidents Day, Annapolis Edition

What have I done today?  A lot and not much, both of which are fine with me.  Made banana nut bread for breakfast, which also became lunch, watched a never-ending episode of Arrow (John is working today, so we kept pausing the episode for extended periods of time.  The show is not that good, so it didn’t really matter that we came back to it with little memory of the preceding dialogue.), and then I made my way through a handful of graphic novels.  Re-read volume 1 of Chew (which has a very interesting, totally disgusting premise), read volume 2 (which I enjoyed even more), re-read volume 1 of The Wicked + The Divine (still really good), and started volume 1 of the Federal Bureau of Physics.  After that, I only have two more new ones to check out, and then I can go all digital, all the time, plus library books, with a clear conscience.

The snow has stopped for the moment, but the sleet and the rain are supposed to be moving in.  I have no intention of leaving the apartment today.  We’re considering extending the breakfast theme into dinner and having eggs and toast instead of spaghetti.

We’ve had a really good weekend being out and about, but it’s nice to be able to stay inside, be anti-social, and not talk to anyone for the day.  Decompress.  This coming week will be both stressful and relaxing, possibly at the same time.  Today is necessary.


It’s really $&#$^%#$ cold in our apartment.  John thinks it’s an insulation problem (and he’s probably right).  We crank up the heat, close the door to the room we’re in, the heat comes on, and while it’s on, we’re toasty warm.  The second the thermostat (which is across from a window in the kitchen, two rooms away, and gets direct sunlight) reaches the set temperature, the heat stops coming out of the vent, and all the warmth leaches out of the room.  We start to shiver, and eventually the heat comes back on.  It’s ridiculous, and it’s a wonder we’re not both sick with all the temperature fluctuations we sit through every day.


That’s a grumpy post.  Welcome to my week.  Lovely that it’s over.



My #1 priority for our next apartment is NOT sharing anything to do with our water pressure with anyone else in the building.  It’s not about hot water, it’s about HAVING water.  I ran at lunchtime the other day, so I showered at midday.  Water came on, water was hot enough, I got shampoo in my hair, and water stopped coming out of the shower head.  It trickled down to nothing.  I assume that the residents of the other apartments were doing laundry, running the dishwasher, washing dishes, doing SOMETHING that somehow took MY water pressure away completely.  It came back after a couple of minutes, only to disappear again.  My guess is it was the washing machine, but I was stuck in the shower and unable (and VERY unwilling) to run down to the basement to check.

That wasn’t the first time.  I totally understand planning when I shower around when appliances use a lot of water.  I’m used to that, and I have no problem doing it when it’s only John and my own chores I have to take into consideration.  It’s ridiculous to think I’d have to knock on my neighbors’ doors to find out when they plan to do THEIR chores so I can shower at other times.

This is a downside of living in an apartment in an old house, I guess, but it’s really really the biggest thing I’ll be looking to avoid in the next place.  Other priorities, in no particular order, are having our own washer/dryer in the unit (which will help with the water problem) and finding a place with 1.5 to 2 bathrooms.


Our apartment is on the second floor of this rowhouse, and our bedroom is the room at the back.  It sticks out a little bit past the first floor, and I think that makes John a little nervous.


The floor in our room isn’t perfectly level, and it’s an old house, so it creaks.  His side of the bed is the side towards the back, so….if the house falls apart, he’s going over the edge first.


I wouldn’t say it worries him exactly, but he might not sleep well until we live in a place where he’s not sleeping while hanging out over the open air.

Flying, he can do.  This?  Not so much.  I did offer to switch sides with him, but he says that’s weird.

It’s a nice place

Annapolis is really pretty all decorated for Christmas.  All the storefronts have pine boughs with red bows all over, and the sidewalks have potted trees with lights, and there are wreaths hung across intersections.  We took a short walk last night down Maryland Ave.  All the stores were open late, doors wide open, and there was Christmas music (an instrumental version of “The Christmas Waltz” – one of my favorites) playing near the end of the block.  Just past it, a very nicely dressed Santa Claus came over to say hi.  He asked John if I’d been good this year.  Sexist, but otherwise he was a nice Santa.  There was a whole gaggle of kids at the other end of the block, but we didn’t stick around to find out if they were going to sing or anything.  And on the way back, we passed an older couple who wished us a merry Christmas.  People can be so nice when they aren’t being horrible.

So we came back home, and now we’re listening to Pandora’s Christmas station.  This is probably as Christmas-y as we’ll get this year.  We’ll do our shopping this weekend, and we’ll make sure we get out in the evenings to enjoy how festive Annapolis looks, but we’re not planning to do any decorating (outside of Bird and Bird, who will be joining us on our travels).


Overactive imagination

I went down to do laundry (yes, I’m ALWAYS doing laundry), and I found the door slightly ajar.  The lights were off.  I was alarmed.  Clearly, the basement monster got out.  Or was thinking about getting out.  Or was standing right there at the bottom of the stairs waiting for me.  But I turned on the light first because I know what’s up.  No monster.  Which only means he’s fast.  And hiding.  Or already lose and on the rampage.  But my guess is that he was hiding and using his creepy monster powers to make me forget things like my keys.  I got all the way up to the apartment door before realizing I couldn’t open it because I left my keys on the icky folding table I will never ever use.  Had to go all the way back down into the basement to get them.  Luckily, the monster hadn’t taken them yet.  Lesson?  (I have to learn a lesson since I’m stuck in this basement/laundry/monster situation.)  Always wear clothes with pockets when doing the laundry.  Then the keys go into my pockets and don’t get left behind.

Those who falter and those who fall

May I have your attention, please? Attention, please.  I have accomplished a great feat of laundry tonight.  And juggling.  I would appreciate it if you would hold your applause until the end.

After three months of living in this apartment, doing laundry in the dank smelly basement with a folding table (that I don’t use) that has a ring of dirt on it (from a potted plant, maybe) and a floor that I know has flooded at least twice since we’ve been here, I have FINALLY managed to do a complete load of laundry (complete meaning both washers followed by both dryers, since they are NOT full-size units) WITHOUT dropping a single article of clothing on the gross, icky floor.

Your applause would be welcome now.

I will admit that it was a close thing.  One pair of my underwear landed on my shoulder on its way from the dryer to the laundry bag.  My shoulder is infinitely more preferable than the floor, so I forgave it.

Usually, a sock lands on the floor and I start yelling (“EW!  Grossgrossgrossgrossgrossyuckewgrossugh”) as I swoop down to pick it up (hopefully not dropping anything else in the meantime) and shake it SO very forcefully.  The yelling helps de-grossify it, and the harder I can shake it, the more I’m convinced the grossness falls away.  I have not yet resorted to running anything through the wash again, but it’s only a matter of time.

It’s too soon to tell if I have crossed a threshold, but now that I’ve managed to set this record, I’ll work twice as hard to defend it.  No more clean clothing of ours will hit that disgusting floor.  This I swear.  This I swear by…the stars.

It’s humid in Oregon, right?

It got cold this weekend for maybe the first time this fall, and we realized just how dry our apartment is.  We can crank up the heat, but it’s not going help the dry skin we’re both suffering from.  This morning (after brunch at Miss Shirley’s Cafe (Wow – I tried to type Miss Shirley’s Face over and over.  It took three tries to get Cafe right (and I just did it AGAIN).), which was disappointing, I’m sorry to say), we went to Home Depot and bought a humidifier.  We have high hopes for it, although it didn’t seem to help in the front room today.  I just moved it to the bedroom and shut the door.  Maybe it’ll be better by the time we go to bed.

In more positive news, I gave up on the steampunk short stories I was reading and moved on to a fantasy novel by an author I like, and I feel SUCH relief at being able to dive into a book I really enjoy.  Apparently, forcing myself to read something causes me stress.  The whole day turned around once I made the change.

Is it home yet?

We’re back from Kentucky and a successful surprise party for Corey to celebrate his 40th birthday (very late – it was in July) AND his successful bar exam results.  Corey is an actual honest-to-god lawyer now!  Well, he will be when he gets sworn in, which I think happens tomorrow (Wednesday).  He’s got business cards and everything.  (You can’t call yourself a lawyer without business cards.)

It was a good visit (and I’ll be going back soon), and it was both good and super strange to come back to Annapolis from there.  On the one hand, it felt like coming home.  It’s familiar (BWI, the main roads – we’ve lived in the area for a LONG time), our stuff is here, the weather was super-nice (that always helps a homecoming feel good), that sort of thing.  But on the other hand, we’ve only lived here for 7 weeks.  Just how homey can it be?  And on the OTHER hand, does it need to feel like home?  We’re basically itinerants now.

We missed the torrential rain from the hurricane (since we were in KY), but it definitely came through the ceiling again.  The bowl we left behind was half-full. And the toilet has started leaking again.  One of the bathmats was soaked from the end near the toilet to about halfway across the sink.  Our landlady says there’s a window leaking on the third floor (she’s waiting for the replacement window to arrive), and she’s calling the guy about the toilet.  So maybe that stuff will get resolved.

Other than that, the apartment is in good shape.

We got home around 4:30, unpacked, picked up a little, and then went out to eat.  We picked another good one this time.  Vida (on Main Street) is a taco place, local food, and really good.  Yummy guacamole and really interesting tacos.  They have traditional ones (carne asada, avocado, that kind of thing) and non-traditional ones (ahi with kimchi, pulled pork, etc).  SO good!  And when they brought the check, they brought little hot hand towels doused in lavender water for our sticky hands.  (Oh, the margaritas were really good, too.)  AND today is Tuesday (Taco Tuesday), so we got 20% off the bill.  I’m happy.  We’ll go back.