The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

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Division Halloween

Gray: Which one do you say first, the inside or the outside? Is it 72 divided by 8 or 8 divided by 72?

halloween math

Me: You say the inside first. 72 divided by 8. But I can see how that would be totally confusing.

Gray: I like to think of it like it’s Halloween and 8 is planning to scare 72, but 9 is totally hiding on the roof to scare 8.

Me: … I’m not sure how that helps with the math, but it’s fantastic.

The Solution to Emoji Confusion

We can all agree that emojis are terrible, right? I mean, except, of course, for my sister and sister-in-law, who are ridiculous human beings:

emoji 0

Emojis beyond the standard happy face, sad face and winky face are twee and pointless (is that a ski gondola above?), but even the basic ones are cryptic to interpret. Was the smiley face supposed to mean she thought my joke was funny or she’s laughing at the fact that I’m kind of a mess? I’m always asking myself. Was that wink like a friendly thing because he’s kind of a winker or is he totally being a creeper? 

That said, it seems they’ve entered the cultural lexicon and are here to stay. I’ve found myself unable to function in polite society without them, despite my general distaste. So here’s what I propose: In order to clarify the situation and make things a whole lot less awkward for over-thinkers like me, everyone should have their own set of specifically defined emojis for use, and a key that can be easily referenced for clarification.

I put together my own personal set for example and to kick off what I’m sure will be a world-wide phenomenon.

Elizabeth’s Emojis

1.

emoji 2

Definition: I’m not sure I know you well enough to make that joke without any kind of an indication I’m not serious (interchangeable with: I worry you don’t have a sense of humor).

2.

emoji 3

 

Definition: I feel like what I just wrote sounded unnaturally formal or harsh so I’m hoping this happy face will convey that I’m not trying to be a dick here.

3.

emoji 1

 

Definition: Sorry I had too many cocktails last night and thought it would be funny to grab your boobs.

4.

emoji 6

 

Definition: Oh, are we still having a message conversation? I totally thought it was over.

5.

emoji 8

Definition: I can’t tell if you’re being creepy or just nice.

6.

emoji 10

 

Definition: I just actually snorted at my computer.

7.

emoji 4

 

Definition: I’m not really LOLing, but I can tell you’re trying to be funny and I don’t want to hurt your feelings.

8.

emoji 13

 

Definition: Your story is a bummer.

9.

emoji 11

 

Definition: Your story is a super bummer.

10.

emoji 12

 

Definition: No, really, you have to stop telling me this story because it’s super terrible and I’m feeling completely awful for you.

11.

emoji 7

 

Definition: Hubahuba.

12.

emoji 9

 

Definition: You just complimented me and I’m usually super sarcastic, but I want to sincerely thank you and that’s weird for me, so I’m using this happy face nonironically. I feel incredibly uncomfortable about this entire exchange. Can we stop having it?

13.

emoji 5

 

Definition: In case it’s unclear, I totally meant that the dirty way.

14.

emoji 14

 

Definition: You’re one of those people who uses a lot of emojis, so I reciprocate because it seems polite and now I’m locked in a habit where it feels like if I don’t use one I come off angry or super serious and I don’t want you to think that’s what’s happening here.

15.

emoji 15

 

Definition: You sent me an emoji and I’ve just spent the last 17 minutes trying to determine exactly what you mean by it, but now I’ve given up. Your thumbs-up guy with the heart eyes who is wearing a fez and petting a cat will forever remain a mystery.

16.

emoji 16

 

Definition: Oh you’re the worst. STFU.

***

See? It totally solves the emoji problem. You’re welcome. Go forth and create your own.

(It’s like really hard to draw on your own fingernail.)

 

 

 

5 Reasons Straight Men Should See Magic Mike

Someone messaged me yesterday he recommended me to a reporter who had asked him for a quote on real estate blogs. So of course, today I feel all kinds of pressure to write something brilliant about the real estate market. But the only thing I can come up with for real estate right now is:

Dear All Appraisers Everywhere,

I think there’s a condition you need to come back and check over the edge of that cliff right there. I’ll hold your safety line.

Kisses,

All the Agents, Loan Originators, Buyers and Sellers

 

And I’m not sure that counts as a blog post. Death threat, possibly.

Plus, I’ve learned my lesson about ‘coming up with something brilliant’. All attempts generally end in total inability to string together 5 words coherently. So instead, let’s talk about what I’m currently having a strong opinion about: Magic Mike.

Are you seriously acting shocked right now? Have you read this website before? OF COURSE I saw Magic Mike this weekend with 6 girlfriends and a tiny box of wine in my purse. And then the next day when I went to pick up bagels for the family for breakfast and realized I was still carrying around a half empty tiny box of wine in my purse I gave up all hope of ever being considered classy. (But for reals how great is the tiny Bota Box of Pinot Grigio with a screw cap that holds 3 glasses? It’s like they made it just for me. They should have named it The Elizabeth.)

So listen to this: I really liked the movie. I’m not saying it will win an Oscar for Most Deeply Moving and Important Film of Our Lifetime (or even this week) or anything, but I was sincerely entertained and feel like the ticket price was money well spent.

I know I don’t need to convince any of the ladies to see this movie. Even the excessively self-respecting ones have been regularly having dreams where Channing Tatum walks into the room and explains they have amnesia but he’s their fiancé and then takes off his shirt, does one of those ab body rolls and grins. Anyone who tells you she hasn’t is a filthy liar.

The men, however, are treating this movie like the ‘Gay Tests’ of Junior High School. “There’s something on your shoe. OH DUDE LOOK! He just looked at the bottom of his shoe from over his shoulder instead of picking it up in the front! HE’S TOTALLY GAY, IT’S A SCIENTIFIC FACT!” And only a gay man would set foot in a theater playing Magic Mike, right?

I assert this is silly. Sure, it’s a movie about male strippers starring a bunch of hot guys with super nice bodies and awesome dancing skills and fantastic smiles… I’m sorry, what was I talking about? Oh, right, but I think it actually has plenty to offer a hetero male viewer as well. And I feel like someone needs to convince them all to go see it so we can appreciate the fabulousness that is Magic Mike together as a whole community. Thus:

Five Reasons For Straight Men to Go See Magic Mike:

1. Olivia Munn is fully topless like 10 seconds into the movie. In fact, it took me a second to realize it was Olivia Munn because the shot started on her boobs and it was hard to pry my eyes up to her face. But be advised straight men: this happens directly after a long shot of Channing Tatum’s ass. You’ll be tempted to look away, but if you do, you might miss Olivia. Stick with it (this post has really gone to a dark place and I sort of feel like I’m on a rollercoaster I can’t get off. I just have to ride it till it’s done.).

2. The writing is actually super witty. The guys have a sort of post-game locker room vibe when they’re not on stage that’s pretty awesome and hilarious. If they were taping their knees instead of stitching gold thongs it could almost be a movie about football.

3. Matthew McConaughey’s strip club owner is a caricature reminiscent of his Dazed and Confused role. Every time he says ‘Alright alright alright’ and plays the bongos you can’t help but love him just a little bit more for how freely and completely invested he is in mocking himself. Which brings me to…

4. This movie isn’t taking itself seriously for one second. Magic Mike knows it’s silly and ridiculous. Magic Mike isn’t trying too hard to be gritty and realistic and it’s not completely cheesed out on the dance numbers and sexy shows. It’s a fluffy, delicious combination of glimpse behind the shiny black curtain of the world of body oil and rip-off pants and a parody of it. It’s like Marshmallow Fluff, probably without actual nutritional value, but damn if it’s not enjoyable straight from the jar.

5. There’s a tiny pig who couldn’t be weirder or cuter. And he eats vomit. So… just for a bit of bizarre, how can you miss that?

You’re gonna like it. Just go see it and then email me and let me know how right I was. Because those words make me happy.

Achieving A Goal (Ish)

I’ve had this weekly workout plan for the last month or so. It goes like this:

3 Runs
2 Ballet Classes
1 Long Hike

Every week it feels like a reasonable, moderately aggressive exercise plan. If I’m going to be ready for the 24-miles-in-one-day-holy-shit-what-am-I-thinking Rim-to-Rim Grand Canyon hike I’ve agreed to in October I need to keep my cardio up and hike at least once a week. If I’m going to have any hope of ever being a professional ballerina who wears pretty outfits and dances on a stage for everyone to see not being the worst old lady ballerina in my class, I need to at least attempt class a couple of times a week. The hike is a good long term goal and the ballet just makes me happy. Running takes care of the cardio, the ballet works on the toning and the hiking is a good mixture of both.

But this is how it inevitably turns out:

Saturday – Head happily to ballet class at 9AM. I don’t have to get up too early to make it work and it just generally makes me cheerful.

Sunday – Peel myself out of bed at super-early-o-clock. Trudge 8-10 miles through the deserty mountains. Feel pretty good about how the hike went until I remember the Rim-to-Rim hike is three times the distance and elevation change. Gorge myself on fatty food and cocktails at lunch because ‘I earned it’, effectively negating all of the exercise benefits I might otherwise reap. Pay each of my children $5 to just be quiet for an hour while I nap.  Go to bed early because the hike has almost killed me.

Monday – Alarm goes off at 4:50AM for running. Turn it off and have a heated internal dialogue about whether it’s worth it to get out of bed to go running:

I’m just still too tired and sore from the hike yesterday.

But if I don’t get up now I will have to run tomorrow and that means I’ll have to run two days in a row to get all three of my run days in this week. I hate running two days in a row.

I might go to the gym later and run on the treadmill. Then I could sleep another hour and a half.

Last time I ran on the treadmill the episode of MadMen I was watching was too boring to hold my attention and I quit 2 miles early. And the I went home and ate half a box of Cheez-its out of disgust for my own lameness.

I’ll be a happier human being if I just get up and run.

I’ll be a happier human being if I go back to sleep now.

Almost always fall back asleep halfway through berating myself.

Tuesday – Force myself out of bed completely by means of self-loathing. Act as my own Drill Sergeant, telling myself what a pathetic maggot I am until I want to punch my own face and finally get out of bed. Have a decent run and feel pretty good about myself.

Wednesday – Consider going to ballet class at night, but end up having to show property to 3 different clients and write two offers. Stay up late working and finish the night with several glasses of wine to wind down.

Thursday – Hurl phone across the room when alarm goes off at 4:50AM. Internal Drill Sergeant realizes this is not the morning to fuck with me and lets me go back to sleep. Wake up at 6:45AM when Jason is leaving for work and resolve to go to the gym later and run on the treadmill. Later, on the treadmill, resolve to never drink wine, stay up late or run on the treadmill again. It’s torture and it’s probably all Wine’s fault (I have a tendency to blame anything I feel guilty about on Wine). Quit a mile early and utterly loathe myself.

Friday – Don’t even try. Sleep in and promise I’ll be better the next week. Inner Drill Sergeant is at Krispie Kreme getting breakfast for both of us. He’s going to stop by the grocery store and buy OJ and champagne to go with. I’m probably going to have to fire him, but first we’re going to have a nice brunch. As soon as I finally get out of bed.

I’ve gotten really good at:

2 Runs
1 Ballet
1 Hike

Is what I’m saying. Or moderately good. Actually I’m mostly good at the ballet and the hike on the weekend. I’m looking to hire a new Drill Sergeant. Any takers?

Stop being so jealous of the many excessive colors I'm sporting for my hike last weekend. I'm awesome and you probably couldn't pull it off.

The 4 Hardest Things About Marriage

Can we talk about marriage for a few minutes? No, I mean really talk about it? It seems like there are only two socially acceptable avenues of discussion about one’s spouse that we all generally stick to:

1.    Gushy endearments about how much we adore our spouse when he or she has done something impressive or kind to us. Example Facebook update:  My schmoopie is just the nicest, sweetest, best looking husband with the highest IQ and largest penis ever! He came home tonight with the same flowers he brought me on our first date just for no reason at all. Feel free to be insanely jealous because your husband obviously doesn’t measure up.  

2.    General proclamations and piling-on regarding the entire gender of your spouse when he or she is pissing you off. Example passive-aggressive tweet: Dear Women, How about we have an emotional discussion about changing the cat litter during Teen Mom & NOT The Game next time? (Retweeted 7 times and favorited 13.)

The grit and grime about being with one person for three quarters of your life tend to get swept under the rug, until someone is getting a divorce. Once the relationship is over and done with, what went wrong and how it made everyone feel is exhibited for the masses to observe and digest. The still-marrieds seesaw between relief (Oh, we’ve never been as bad as that) and anxiety (Really, in the end that was it? It was just that one little straw that broke the camel’s back?) as they listen to the post-mortem and take notes about what not to do.

Before something catastrophic occurs the mutual marital bond of silence is pretty universally observed. It’s all about how great she is and how lucky you feel, or only occasionally, how slightly irritating they can be in a super normal-for-their-gender-role manner. Hee hee, in a funny way! Not really a bad way. We’re not getting divorced, everything is fine and dandy!

I have almost no filter and a desire to share every emotion I’ve ever felt with the universe, and I am not immune to this unwritten gag order regarding the daily strife of being married. I feel frustrated, angry, hurt and annoyed, but do I shout it to the internet world like I would about anything else? No. I keep it bottled up, because… well, I guess because I worry if I say my husband and I are fighting or ‘having troubles’ people will think we’re getting a divorce. That’s what I would wonder if someone else mentioned issues in their marriage.

Here’s my problem with all of this: Marriage is fucking hard. I know that’s not really a shocking statement (except to my dad because I used the f word). It’s not like I’m announcing The Statue of Liberty was actually modeled after a cross-dressing hooker and sent over to the US from France as a gag-gift. We’ve all heard old-marrieds admit with a knowing shake of the head, “It’s hard. Being married 50 years is really hard.” But without hearing the details and the confession of specifically why being married is hard, it’s easy to dismiss this statement as a compliment fish. Oh yes, being married this long was really difficult. Can I please have my cookie now?

But it’s not an over-statement. If anything, to say marriage is ‘hard’, and tolerating one person you may have chosen when you were young and naïve for the rest of your life is ‘tough’ might be akin to saying the Grand Canyon is ‘kind of a big hole’. That said, that comparison is really just another non-specific way of skirting the issue.

I propose we do away with this taboo and stop assuming married people who fight and have issues publicly are getting a divorce. I propose we, for the good of those who are considering marriage and even for those marrieds who feel alone in their fighting and working through of issues, be more specific about the difficulties normal, generally happy and satisfied couples experience on a regular and on-going basis. I say we be a little bit more honest about the imperfections in the way we treat each other so we can learn from each other and our own mistakes.

Thus, from my perspective, here are the top four hardest things about being married:

1.    Not taking out the stress of life on my husband. It’s hard not to look for a scapegoat when things are going wrong, even when it’s no one’s fault. Jason and I have been known to scream obscenities at each other over a sick or hurt child because we’re both just so worried and without control in the situation. When life is difficult and ugly, it’s tough not to want to punch the nearest person in the balls. I should probably work on standing next to people I already hate when the shit is hitting the fan.

2.    Understanding each other’s communication style. We don’t always even speak the same language and neither of us is particularly comfortable with genuine sentiment. I struggle to interpret his thoughts and feelings from silence and one word answers. He has to translate my exaggerations and dramatics (Expressed: You’re an asshole and I just kind of hate you a lot right now.) into statements he can work with (Translation: I am frustrated with how things have been going between us lately and I think we need to work on our relationship.).

3.    Loving my husband as he is without attempting to change him. There are things about my husband that always have and always will make me insane. I’m sure if he wanted to, he could write a book about my flaws, too. Heck, I could write a book about my flaws. I think as a sentient human being, constantly interacting with other human beings, it’s impossible not to wonder if someone else would be more perfectly matched for you than the person you ended up with. Jason doesn’t like to read and refuses to eat tomatoes, two of my very favorite things on the planet. He bottles up his feelings and they regularly explode, quickly and in a loud rush like a shaken up pop. What if I had found someone who loves tomatoes and was not emotionally constipated? Ah, but this verbal, feeling, lover of tomatoes, would he also be a child-whisperer who kids of all ages adore? Would he be creatively talented and mechanically brilliant? Would he make me laugh and laugh with me at exactly the things I find funny? Would he put up with me and my insanity like no man ever has before? Because all of those things are a yes with Jason. You can’t Frankenstein a spouse. You take the good with the bad, otherwise you end up with a butterfly-effect and a whole other reality. In that new reality I’m afraid my husband wouldn’t have that gorgeous head of hair and it’s just not worth the trade. This is occasionally difficult to remember.

4.    Not allowing resentment to build up. This is the big, bad one. Little, almost insignificant issues glom together over time to create a big horrible, relationship-stomping resentment monster. He looks like The Blob, smells like boogers and kills your desire to make up with your partner. You have to battle this bad guy regularly, forever, or he will grow too big to defeat. It’s the resentment monster I fear the most.

So… where am I going with all of this? I guess I’m just trying to say: I think everyone fights. And everyone struggles. I cannot imagine living with another human for years and not hating him or her a little bit for short-to-medium periods of time. We are flawed, selfish creatures, so to exist together is inevitably a battle. I’m tired of feeling ashamed of admitting this. Instead, I choose to feel valiant that so far I’m winning. I don’t know for sure what will happen in the future, but for now, I’m so happy to have a partner who’s willing to fight for me even as he fights with me.

Things I Will Never Be

I will never be the wife who wants to make sure everything is put away before she goes to bed.

I will never be the mom who always knows what school days are: off/picture day/when the science fair project is due/when the field trip money is due/when there is some random class party celebrating an obscure holiday like the 100th day of school.

I will never be the parent who never ever swears within earshot of her children.

I will never be the person who’s so financially responsible she always knows exactly how much money is in her bank account.

I will never be that girl who gets a creative project done ahead of time.

I will never choose to organize anything if I can think of any other remotely more interesting way to spend my time.

I will never not have a sarcastic comment on the tip of my tongue.

I will never pick an outfit for any kind of activity or event based solely on its practicality and comfort.

I will never be under-committed or probably even just manage-ably committed.

I will never be comfortable or good at telling a lie.

I will never not want everyone in the nearest vicinity to know how I’m feeling at any given moment.

I will never be happy without a ridiculous goal or project I’m working on and four more on the horizon.

I will never regret spending money that should have gone to savings on activities we will remember for the rest of our lives.

It is what it is; take me or leave me.

What Exactly Is Your Real Estate Agent’s Job?

I overheard some people talking about real estate last week and one of them mentioned she had hired an attorney to help her with answers on her short sale because, “Real estate agents never tell you what to do; they just say, well you could do this or you could that. The lawyers tell you do this, sign here.”

Of course this simple observation sent me into a tailspin of inferiority. Do I not answer my clients’ questions definitively? Am I really not that helpful? Is the existence of real estate agents basically totally pointless? Should I just dig a hole in my backyard, crawl into it, cover myself up and perish so that I save my loved ones the effort of disposing of my useless remains?

About two feet into my hole I had an epiphany: It’s not that real estate agents aren’t useful or good at what we do; it’s actually that the public is a little bit confused about just what exactly that encompasses.

I can see how this would happen. Realtors are notorious for getting involved up to our elbows in a deal. We work on commission, so we don’t get paid if it doesn’t go through. This gives us extra incentive to be problem solvers and sometimes it even gives us enough incentive to be the guy who goes over and fills the pool up before the appraiser gets there. This, however, does not mean we are the pool guy.

So today, just for fun, let’s do a quick breakdown of what the job of your Realtor is.

It IS your Realtor’s job to:

Set you up with a property search
Show you houses
Advise you of what comparable houses have sold for recently
Write a contract for you to make an offer (in the state of Arizona this is the Realtor’s job, because we have been given the legal right to write real estate contracts under our licensing, in other states you must have an attorney write the contract)
Act as a go between to negotiate between you and the seller or buyer
Guide you through the home buying escrow process and advise you of your time limits, rights and responsibilities
Advise you on the price at which your house will sell
List your house for you on the MLS
Photograph your house (or pay to have it professionally photographed)
Put a lockbox and a sign at your house
Check with the agents who’ve shown your house to get feedback on how it showed
Regularly reassess the listing price in relation to the market
Bring you all offers that have been submitted on your property and help you to navigate them
Assist and advise you through the selling escrow process

That’s mostly it. It’s generally our job to make the houses on the market available to you, or if you are the seller, make your house available to the market. It’s also our job to give you the facts on how the market and other properties that have sold recently factor in to your personal buying or selling situation. Then, it’s our job to explain and write the contracts for you. It really breaks down to those three areas.

But I’m sure you know there is LOTS more that goes into buying a house. You also generally depend on your Realtor for LOTS more than that. And hey, we have LOTS of experience in these transactions to bring to the table, so it would be rude of us not to help, right? So we do. We get in there and really get our hands dirty. We refer you to lenders and title companies and home warranty companies, we negotiate your short sales, we hand out anecdotal legal advice, we tell you what we’ve heard about tax implications, we point out cracks in the foundation and tell stories of what we’ve heard inspectors say about them, we drive you around, we schmooze appraisers, we generally get shit done.

However, with every one of these little extra things we do, we hand it to you with a caveat. 800 times a day we say, “This is what I would probably do, but if you have any questions or concerns, you should really consult a professional.” This may sound like we’re saying we’re not a professional. It may sound like we don’t really know anything. That’s just not the case. We are professional Realtors. You can take my word to the bank if it’s regarding the Arizona approved real estate contract, whether I can meet you at a house, or what is the best recent sold comp. I went to school for this. I’m licensed to help you with these things. I did not, however, go to Lawyer School, How To Keep the IRS From Throwing You in Jail School, or Build a House School. I didn’t even actually go to How to Fill a Pool School. I’m happy to tell you what I know about these things (which is, actually, kind of a lot), but you need to know I’m not a licensed professional in any of these areas.

So let’s finish up with things it’s NOT your Realtor’s job to do (but that they might help you with if you ask, as long as you know you can’t hold them legally accountable):

Advising you on the legal ramifications of short selling your house
Watering your landscaping
Meeting professionals at your house to have work done
Referring you to any multitude of professionals needed to get the house closed
Figuring out how you will have to file taxes on your short sale
Predicting exactly how long it will take for the short sale you put an offer on to be approved
Getting you quotes from contractors to figure out how much it will cost to remodel the house you’re buying
Helping you figure out how to keep scorpions from invading your house
Correcting mold
Translating between you and your lender
Mediating between you and your spouse (or ex-spouse)
Giving you general financial advice
Determining whether purchasing a property will be a ‘good investment’
Seeing the future

I could go on, but I’ll stop there. In general, when you ask your Realtor to do something (or she offers), determine if it fits into one of the three basic Realtor job categories: showing or making available houses, advising on the market, explaining or writing contracts. If it doesn’t, think about if you should really be asking a professional to do this. If you feel confident your Realtor can handle it, consider acknowledging her for going above and beyond to help you out. Or at the very least, keep in mind you can’t sue her for it.

Conversely Speaking

Do you ever just wanna remake yourself? Like maybe you’ve always been that guy who wears crew-neck shirts, but you’re thinking, Hey, I could rock a V-neck. I know I could. It’s possible I could even make a deep V work.

Yeah. I feel that way all the time. My freshman year in college I thought I’d go for an entirely different persona. Instead of the ‘Liz’ I’d been going by in high school, or the childhood nickname I couldn’t seem to get rid of, ‘Mini’, I thought I’d introduce myself as Liza. Yes, Liza. Because, you know, people named Liza have to be sparkly, confident and awesome, obvs (this was before Ms. Minnelli kind of ruined the name by being primarily known for marrying gay men and forgetting to put pants on). Sadly, when it came right down to it, I just didn’t have the cojones to introduce myself that way. And there were too many people I went to high school with who also went to my college. They would have laughed their asses off at Liza.

Ultimately I’m glad that one didn’t work out. I have enough names as it is. It’s a total pain in the ass to remember what each person calls me already without throwing a Liza in the mix.

But the point is, I just love to remake my image. It probably doesn’t mean I’m actually any different, but I love to think that making a change to something I’ve always done one way or always worn one way, means a fresh slate for who I am. It proves I’m in control of my destiny. I’m whoever and whatever I choose to be. I still think I can be whatever I want when I grow up (that’s something that will probably never change).

So today I’m going here:

That’s right, I bought casual tennies. And even socks to go with! Anyone who’s ever known me will tell you I am a flipflop gal. In fact, I’m even more so a barefoot gal; the flipflops are just so they don’t throw me out of restaurants and 7-11s. This purchase of a casual, not-specific-to-athletics tennis shoe is a huge deal for me. But I think I can pull it off. It’s a new Me whose toes aren’t showing. Maybe the new Me’s a little tomboyish. Maybe she needs to run somewhere with no notice. Maybe she just sometimes gets cold feet. Or possibly she’s going to visit her friend in Colorado and thinks these would work for both wandering around Denver and whitewater rafting (without the adorable socks, of course).

(I know, I know, I’m about to get a flood of comments telling me my shoes are in no way appropriate for whitewater rafting, with or without the socks. When will you people get that I’m stubborn and I have to learn these things for myself?)

Whoever this new Me is, I’d like her to also be someone who doesn’t have a dozen tiny hand prints all over her previously clean sliding glass door:

But that would mean remaking myself into someone who does windows. I don’t think I’m ready for that extreme of a change. I’ll stick with footwear.

 

 

On The Fly

I’m writing this from a plane, because I’m all sophisticated and jet-settery like that. Today my day will consist of 4 plane flights and 9.5 hours of travel, only to end up exactly where I started. I’m delivering my older two sons to Dallas to visit their grandma and coming right home. Stop being so jealous of me, I know I have an awesome life.

The worst part about today isn’t the getting up at 4am or the waste of a work day. I actually have plenty to keep me occupied. I’ve already sent off an offer to a listing agent using the docusign app on the iPad, I have two seasons of Dexter to watch and the last third of The Book Thief to read. It’s kind of nice to have a day where I can do nothing but that.

No, the worst part of today is that I’m a nervous flyer so I will spend 90% of the day having this conversation with myself:

Nervous Me: Why does it feel like we’re going down? Is that normal, when the plane is all jiggly like that? That doesn’t seem normal. Does that guy across the aisle look nervous too? If he’s nervous, too, it probably means we’re crashing. Will they come on the intercom and tell us if we’re crashing or will I just be able to tell?

Logical Me: Stop freaking out; you’re being ridiculous. The plane isn’t just going to fall out of the sky. They build the wings so the air flowing over the top of the wings moves more quickly than the air under the wings, so the air underneath actually pushes up in an attempt to equalize the pressure and helps to hold the plane in the air. Remember? We learned about it at that aircraft field trip we chaperoned a few months ago. It’s called the Bertolli Principle.

Nervous Me: Bernoulli. Bertolli is the pasta. That’s right. So really take off and landing is the most dangerous part because that’s when you can stall and not have enough time to correct or pitch too far down, right? And then there would be the crashing and the dying.

Logical Me: Right… But that probably won’t happen. I think. Although it happened a lot on that flight simulator we did. Maybe we should ask the flight attendant if we can go talk to the pilot and find out how long he’s been doing this. Just to be on the safe side.

Nervous Me: That’s a good idea. Let’s do that.

I do have a new cool iPad accessory with me today to keep me cheerful, though.

It’s a protective sleeve I made yesterday. Because I had 4,375 other, more productive activities to complete. So instead of doing those I went to the fabric store, dug my sewing machine out from under the pile of crap that has collected on top of it in the last year and went all crafty on your ass.

I’m actually pretty pleased with how it turned out. When Jason got home last night he was all, “Where did you buy that; I love it!” and I’m only 60% sure he was saying that to kiss my ass because I was grouchy with him.

I would write out a tutorial for you on how you can make one yourself, but it would go like this:

Step 1 – Drive to the fabric store and pick out red and orange thread because you love red and orange. Get home and discover you already own every possible shade of red and orange thread because you love red and orange and that was a waste of $5.

Step 2 – Carefully measure iPad and calculate correct amount of fabric needed to make sleeve. Cut fabric. Hold fabric up to iPad and realize it’s totally the wrong size and not nearly big enough. Start over, this time without measuring and pretty much just guess on the size.

Etc.

And that’s not a particularly helpful tutorial. So instead, if there’s anyone reading this who’s interested in having a poppy decorated iPad sleeve made out of heavy duty Eco-friendly felt, leave a comment expressing said interest and I will pick a random winner to send one to (you know, if there’s more than one person interested). You can even pick between red and orange poppies and yellow and green poppies.

Did I mention I’m writing this from the plane right now? I <3 my iPad.

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I’m Trying Really Hard To Be Cheerful

I’m having one of those weeks where I feel like I’m failing at everything. I’m trying to juggle 8430 things at once and I just don’t have enough hands (plus I’m a terrible juggler), so they’ve all rained down from the air to the floor around me and instead of picking them all up I’m about to just lay down and make snow angels with them. Does that give you a visual of my frame of mind right now or does it just make me sound like a lunatic? Because either way is probably appropriate.

So yeah. Instead of the real estatey rant I have percolating in my admittedly less-than-totally-sound brain, I’m just going to focus on the things that are currently making me feel cheerful. Thus, without further ado (unless ado has anything to do with lunch, then I would like more ado right now, please), here’s my list of Things That Make Me Happy Despite (Or Possibly Because Of) My Current Insanity:

1. My white-girl client who works in the corporate engineering world and emailed me this morning about a house she wants to see because it’s “phat with a PH.” And yes, I meant to put the quotes after the ‘with a PH’ part because she included that in her email. Even though she typed the word ‘phat’ so the ‘ph’ part is implied.

2. I lost the key to my mailbox over a week ago, so we haven’t gotten any new bills that are stressing me out because I’m not sure how I’m going to pay them in at least a week.

3. The house I showed yesterday that had signs in both of the bathrooms that said, “The owner has requested visitors not use the restroom.” My client noticed the homeowner also hid the toilet paper before she left to walk the dogs around the block to make sure we didn’t relieve ourselves in her toilet. I told my client it was her fault. She’s 5 months pregnant and she looks like a pee-er. She radiates the vibe of someone who if you let her in your house, she’s going to want to urinate. Can’t trust those preggos.

4. Despite the fact that I had two short sale deals that had been languishing like beached whales about to perish spontaneously sprout legs and attempt to eat me alive yesterday and this morning, I’ve managed to get them both coaxed back into the ocean where they belong and on track to close with little to no bodily injury sustained (except, of course to my sanity, which was questionable before).

5. In less than one week my tax appointment will be over. Between now and then there will probably be bloodshed and maybe even death, but at least I can take comfort in knowing my misery has an expiration date.

6. This guy was super cheerful when I drove past today:

 

No, not the guy on the freeway spraying weed killer. This guy:

See the portly surprised Cactus Man?

Apparently I unconsciously anthropomorphize stuff I see when I’m out driving and don’t realize it until they’ve become a part of my life and I start communicating with them out loud.

It’s not that weird.