Monday, May 23, 2011

Uphill Climb

As I write this, I am frantically running back and forth to my kitchen, lovingly adding more chicken broth to my risotto and giving it a nice little mix. With a glass of wine. And then I intend to eat my risotto with chopsticks, because I haven't used them since I've moved to this town. So, it's more or less an average evening.

I have, as of late, but wherefore I know not (spot the nerd reference), developed an unhealthy obsession with Mad Men. I've stopped reading and now spend my free time completely engulfed in the lives of Don Draper and Peggy. Oh, Peggy. How did you manage to get yourself a private office, at 22, as a female in an advertising agency in 1960? I don't even get a door on my shared office. You're my hero. Let's be best friends.

OfficeMate and I successfully climbed to McAfee's Knob this past weekend. Well, climbed is a very strong word for what I did. I huffed. I sat on a log and was passed by children and people legitimately doing the Appalachian Trail with massive backpacks. I shamed OfficeMate by making him stop, too. He climbed. I huffed.Aside from my being shamefully out of shape (It was hot! I was getting over a cold! We only brought one water bottle! I ran cross country nine years ago! Doesn't that count for anything anymore?), the view at the top was absolutely worth it. The view is absolutely breathtaking, and I'm embarrassed it took me until now to get out there. It honestly is not that far from where I'm currently living. I am also now one of those cliche people with a facebook photo of themselves at the top. Sue me.

And finally, sadly, I've begun job hunting again. Much like my hike this weekend, I'm horribly out of shape. If you're a prospective employer, hey, what's up? Let's chat sometime. Job hunting is soul-crushing work. I've said it before and I'll say it again; the whole process is like a bad dating scene. "Hey, I think we'd be great together! I like combating (insert nonprofit mission statement here), too! We should get together sometime. No, I'm looking for something long-term. I think we'd work really well together. Please give me a shot! I THINK YOU'RE CUTE! PLEASE CALL ME!"

Ah, the joys of being back here, not even 12 months since the last time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Tale of Gossip.

Dearest Friends, let me tell you a tale. This is not a tale of romance or of darkness, this is a tale of neighbors.

Upon my return from work this evening, I noticed a team of men working on the lawn at our apartment. Mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes, your usual. One of the men called me over and asked if I knew who drove a certain car out front. I said that while I knew the person by sight alone, I was not actually acquainted with them.

I went to my apartment, went to the restroom, and when I opened the door I heard yelling in the courtyard. One of the lawncare men was yelling AT my apartment building, saying various colorful phrases which led me to believe that the man who drove the car I was asked to identify had made some racial slurs towards some of the workers. The yelling and colorful language continued.

So I situated myself in my old lady chair, like the gossipy old bitty I am. My apartment has provided me with an array of entertainment through my open window since the weather's gotten nice. It's really quite convenient.

As the worker continued to yell, a fellow building-dweller came outside to complain. She came, and I wish I was joking, with her shotgun. She began yelling at him to stop disturbing the peace, threatening to call the cops, and then I got to hear, with more colorful slurs, exactly what went down.

Resident Old Man of the apartment had indeed said rather inappropriate and offensive comments, and this man was not having it. Shotgun Neighbor suggested he talk to the landlord. Angry Lawncare Man left with the rest of the workers, and Shotgun Neighbor went back inside.

Man Who Lives Below Me and I Can Hear Him Snoring When He Sleeps yelled out HIS window to ask what was going on. Shotgun Neighbor yelled back her reply. Girl Who Plays Her Music Too Loudly threw in her two cents. Shotgun Neighbor mentioned seeing Girl Who Lives Upstairs talk to them before the yelling began.

Wait. That's me! I'm Girl Upstairs! Don't gossip about me by yelling through your windows when you KNOW I'M HOME. Also, you should know I'm more than Girl Upstairs. I'm Gossipy Old Bitty. Gossipy Old Bitty who lives in a Redneck Town.

The End.

Monday, May 9, 2011

When I'm a Real Adult...

So my computer gave up. Last Monday, he just refused to turn on anymore. Awesome, right?

Luckily, I was Charleston-bound last week yet again, because my brother graduated! This also means that my parents were able to bring brother's old (and I mean old) laptop - an iBook from 2004 that shall suffice as my computer until I have a real salary and can invest in one of my own. They keyboard pops out. I don't know why. Apple, what were you thinking?? So I apologize for the lack of blogging last week - I just had no computer. But check out my new, sweet, top-of-the-line-seven-years-ago gear! (Stock photo since I'm afraid of asking this one to open a jpeg)

In addition to using a seven-year old computer right now, I am also driving the world's most sneaker-like Kia Soul, which I had previously only associated with hamsters. When Mr. Merlot got hit back in February, I played many a fun game of phone tag with various insurance companies, and last week the whole situation was finally resolved. Mr. Merlot is in the shop getting his bumper fixed right now. Fingers crossed that he'll get a new T out of this whole situation!

This Kia though... oh man. I've always mocked people with particularly boxy cars. The Nissan Cube, most Scions, and now I'm in one. A friend asked me if the Soul had any redeeming quality, and I told him the key fob had a beeper lock thing. That's sad for two reasons: 1, Mr. Merlot doesn't have a fancy key fob and 2, that's the best thing I can come up with about the Soul. Thankfully, it's only until tomorrow when I can be reunited with my ghetto Corolla.

It's not uncommon to hear me utter the phrase, "When I'm a real adult, I'm going to have (insert whatever I'm kvetching about my lack of at the moment)." The past week's events have swelled up the urge to write that list out. And so I bring you...

When I'm a Real Adult, I'm Going to Have:
-A car that's not a Kia. I love Mr. Merlot and he's allowed to join me in Real Adult land.
-A laptop that both works and is younger than 7 years old. This computer is older than brother's dog.
-A garbage disposal. No more peeling carrots over the trashcan and getting sad when they slip into strawberry stems and moldy leftovers.
-An ice maker, because making ice one tray at a time is sad.
-A dishwasher, because nothing sucks more than making a big meal and then having to wash every damn dish by hand.
-Central air conditioning, so that when it's 90+ degrees outside, I don't have to hope the itty bitty window unit can reach my bedroom.
-A toilet with a balloon in the tank and a handle that isn't held together by a rusting paper clip. Yes, you read that properly. I don't even know how my toilet is able to flush without exploding.
-DVR. Because no one should have to choose between House and How I Met Your Mother.
-A gas range. Not only do they cook more evenly and ensure you can cook after the power goes out, food doesn't get stuck on them and then later set off the smoke detector when you try to boil water.
-A double oven. I've never had one and can't help but imagine they'd be so helpful.
-A ceiling that doesn't leak onto my electronics. Or really, one that just doesn't leak at all.
-More than two chairs at my dining room table so that if you have a third person over, you don't have to drag over a chair from the living room. And if a fourth person comes over, they don't have to sit on the armrest of the third living room chair. As for five or more people... that's when we eat around the coffee table.
-A shower that doesn't go cold for 2-5 minutes while you still have conditioner in your hair or shaving cream on your legs.
-More counter space than the pittance I currently have.
-A washing machine and dryer in my house/place of residence. Laundromats with men who talk to themselves and machines that eat your delicates are just unpleasant, awkward and expensive.
-Windows that don't allow huge breezes in, forcing you to tape plastic bags over windows in the winter. (Our sail came down about a month ago, and our window is back!)
-Windows that don't shatter when you try to close them, forever scarring you and making you rethink shutting the windows in the future.

All that being said, I realize this is the time in my life to live with a leaky ceiling, tape plastic bags over my windows, and warn visitors about the toilet. "Don't be frightened if it sounds like jet engine when you flush it, and you don't forget to jiggle the handle after the bowl drains!" In all of the ghettoness, there's a level of endearing charm.