Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Obviously, these people do not watch HGTV."

I went to a home showing the other day. The house online had great promise - it was gorgeous on the outside, beautiful location, not far from rt. 8 and lovely inside shots. When we drove up to it, I thought, this is great.

And then I went in. Barely - because their two dogs were barking their little heads off at me. But I won, and made it into the great room - and by great, I mean, mediocre and stained with dog pee. This was my first thought: "______"

No, it wasn't a bad word. I don't think so. It's just that I couldn't hear myself think over the blaring country music they left on (maybe for the dogs?)

These things aside, I poked around the house, trying to determine if I could live there while avoiding things tumbling out of closets and cabinets. All the while fighting with two dogs who wanted to know why I was invading their turf.

What kind of bothers me the most is the thought that, you know what? Maybe I could live there. But I was so distracted by dogs/messiness/bad carpets/stinkiness that comes with having pets (I know all about it, but when showing your house?!) that I just wanted to get out.

Until I opened the walk- in closet and saw her collection of Michael Kors heels.

And then I seriously considered buying the house. But then I realized that she had them all in a pile ON THE FLOOR.

Now, I am a messy, messy girl. But even *I* keep my lovely shoes in their little shoe organizer in my rinky dink closet. So it made me wonder what else they had been ignoring in that otherwise gorgeous house. And how much it would cost to replace carpets and fix cabinets....

Until I saw the ridiculously huge radon system in the basement. The end.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wow. This real estate thing is hard.

.... Seriously! You have to keep your house clean for days.... six of them to be exact.

Why just six, you ask?

Because. We just sold it. Yesterday.

Well, okay not exactly. But we did accept an offer (after countering) and our house is Under Contract.

Exciting, right? Oh, sure, it was nerve-wracking. And yes, maybe we did under price it. And I'm sure we'll have lots of people tell us this (as they have already). And I assure you that DOES NOT HELP EASE MY MENTAL STATE. *

You know, my mental state that is currently all confuddled because I won't actually have a place to live in about six weeks. So the house hunt is ON like DONKEY KONG. **

And also because, as my sister just pointed out, my closing is FRIDAY THE 13th. ***

* - Sorry for the over caps. I'm really excited.
** - Again, sorry. But hello? I don't have a place to live in six weeks.
*** - Surely this one too is a gimme, no?

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's a slightly more grown-up version of "Can not!" "Can too!"

On Saturday, I made this:

look like this:

Oh, excuse me. It's kind of hard to see with those two vehicles in the way. Oh wait, that's the point! I can actually park cars in our garage! Saturday morning, I started moving stuff around in the garage and taking stuff into the house to put it where it actually belongs and not where it's been since we moved in a year ago. Eight hours later, I was done. And I did it with minimal help from the Pretend Husband, his father or my brother, who were all doing various tasks in our yard (which looks great, but not dramatically different enough to warrant illustration). Ok, I did ask the guys to move some furniture around with me (I'm no superhero).

And, while I was looking forward to finally being able to park in the garage (and I can't wait for the garage door openers the PH promised me for doing the cleaning), I probably wouldn't have killed the entire day on the project if it weren't for one thing. My dad said I couldn't do it.

Am I the only 32-year-old who still feels the need to prove Dad wrong? My dad stopped by about an hour after I started working on Saturday and when I told him what I was doing, he estimated it would take me about four days to finish.

"Oh no," I said. "I'm parking both cars in here today."
"Today?" he said. "There's no way you're going to finish today."

I had to prove him wrong. Which means at hour seven, with one bay cleaned and swept and a bunch of junk still clogging the other one, when I normally would have left the rest for the next day, I soldiered on and got it done. I have Dad to thank for that (I'm thinking of sending him a card saying, "Thanks for not believing in me!") I think the PH is hoping he'll make a comment about the basement next.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I don't like strangers, so having them feet away from my underwear drawer is really hard for me.

I have worked my butt off over the past few weeks cleaning, cleaning and packing to get our house as uncluttered as possible to sell it FAST.

Not only have I been a cleaning mad woman, but I've also been a packing mad woman. You guys *know me* and my shoes. I packed away about 30 pairs - and most of my clothes including just about all of my sweaters.

I'm really, really optimistic.

So, our house went on the market on Tuesday morning. And today we have our first showings - back to back.

Thankfully, my beloved is staying home to work on cleaning what we didn't get to (mainly, the one room of the house that hasn't been packed/cleaned by me because the contents include things like "golf bags" and other such nonsense).

But, really, even I'm impressed by my house right now. My basement looks like you could hang out down there. Which you always could, I suppose, except that you'd have to pacman your way through boxes and crap everywhere. It practically looks empty right now. So much so, that I put a rug down. And a lamp with a table. I even considered getting a ping pong table.

I'm not looking forward to this being a long process. But, I am looking forward to a new house. A bigger house. One that can house all of my shoes (however, I've told J that our response for when people ask why we're moving is NOT to say "my wife has too many shoes to fit in our house").

So, while strangers walk all around my house today and judge me for my taste in furniture/paint color/carpet/curtains/wardrobe/shoes (at that point, no one can deny my taste, really), I'll be sitting in traffic praying that they like it enough to buy it when it's been on the market for three days. I can dream, right?

(I'll also be praying that they don't really open my drawers - because a) that's creepy b) they're a mess c) no one buying a house has any reason to look at my underwear. But totally just in case, I put all the Victoria's Secret ones on top, and the ugly cotton ones towards the back.)

And *if* they do, I will kick myself for pricing it too low.

And also *if* they do? And want a quick closing? I'll be homeless.

God, I hope I'm homeless at the end of October.*

*Note: God, if you're paying attention to this blog, first: thanks. Second? I mean homeless but with a pile of money to use as downpayment to a larger more fabulous house.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This is why I will not be moving until at least next year...

Dear SJ,
Selling a house S-U-C-K-S. I mean, I'm not going to blow smoke up your butt. It's terrible. I think the only reason I survived it was because a lot of our stuff was still packed in boxes from when we had moved in a year before.

Showings are a pain in the butt because it means having to get your dog out of the house, erase all indications a dog lives there, clean up anything that has accumulated since the last showing, turn on all the lights (that's a little hint from an old pro at this...) and find somewhere to go-- harder than it sounds because even if you have a million stops to make on your way home from work, inevitably, you will not have anything that needs to get done or any way to fill your time for the hour you need to stay away from home. Oh, and don't get me started on the phone call you will receive at work from someone in the realtor's office saying, "I know you indicated you need 24-hour notice, but these buyers are right around the corner and want to stop in at your house. Is that OK?"

But, you know what? It's worth it in the end. I guess it's like childbirth where you forget how painful it was just as soon as you lay eyes on the baby (or so I've heard...). Because the cleaning? The having to vacate your house for an hour at a time? The open houses? The last minute showings? Won't matter at all the day your offer on a new house is accepted.

So, I wish you an offer $30,000 over your asking price from the first people to walk through your house, an appropriate closing date and the current owners of the house of your dreams accepting your offer for $100,000 less than what the house is worth. And, short of that, I have a cabinet full of (your) liquor I'm willing to crack open at any hour, including the one you need to stay out of your house for while a buyer walks through.

Yours 'til the martinis run dry,
FunnyGal KAT

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I should not be allowed to make promises before 10 a.m.


The wonderful Mollymoo at Exquisitely Wasted gave us this here award (I think it's because she thinks SJ and I are so demure and quiet about our lives and she just wants to know more about us). Also, I may have promised one of SJ's sisters that I would blog every day this week. I blame the fact that it was early in the morning and I hadn't yet hooked myself up to an IV bag of coffee. I wasn't thinking straight. (And SJ, I will cheat and not post if you do. How about we make it a "something gets posted everyday" week rather than "Kat posts everyday"? Good? Good.)

Oh, and just to make an incredibly long post even longer, I should explain that, although the rules of the award only say to share 10 things about yourself, I-- for some strange reason-- went with a job/career theme.

1. I have no desire to become a real estate agent (I don’t think I’d be great at negotiating deals), but I am positively addicted to real estate in general. I love going online and looking for houses for people (only people who are already looking themselves, I should add—I don’t try to persuade people to move). I may be freaking SJ out because every time she mentions a house she has seen or wants to see, I ask for the address and look it up online. The two of us may or may not have spent almost an hour on the phone recently going room-by-room through the photos of each of the five houses she had seen that day. I’m not admitting to anything.

2. I have never had any desire to be President. Or a nurse. Or have any career that would send me into the corporate world. Or do anything that involved science. Or be a flight attendant (I would not be able to keep a straight face in turbulence).

3. I spent a couple of summers and holiday vacations working as a waitress at a country club. It was a great job, for the most part, and it’s where I learned how to quickly and properly cut a wedding cake– a skill that has not really come into play for me since. The club members were all fairly cordial, but some of their kids were horrific and entitled. They liked to order the staff around as though we were their personal servants. I’m sure more than one of them was served an ice cream sundae that had been spit on (I never did it, but not all the wait staff were as classy as me…)

4. I have secretly considered getting my master’s degree and going into teaching. But not little kids. Perhaps at a college? Maybe someday.

5. I WILL flip a house someday. Although hopefully not one I’m living in at the time since I’ve done that and it’s not as fun as it looks. But how awesome would it be to turn something outdated and run down into a beautiful home? And maybe this time I could actually even turn a profit (the only flaw in the plan the last time around…)

6. My job in middle school and high school was as a soccer referee. I did it for seven years and made mad money. In fact, I worked weekends during the spring and fall and was able to take the summer off. I sometimes wish I had stuck with it (summers off sound nice…) Is it possible to become a professional town league soccer referee?

7. After almost two years of marriage, I still sometimes introduce myself with my maiden name. I blame my weekend job because I use my maiden name on the radio. It’s confusing for me. The other day, I introduced myself to a group of people as Kat Maiden Name…… Married Name. So it sounds like I have a hyphenated name—with a very long hyphen.

8. Although all our babysitters growing up were cool and let us stay up to watch television until the moment my parents pulled into the driveway (and sometimes we even got away with it), when I was old enough to babysit, I was the mean babysitter who made kids go to bed at whatever bedtime their parents gave me. I think I was just really stuck on the concept of following the rules at that age. That, and it was impossible to raid the cabinets if the kids were awake and watching.

9. My worst job was the summer between high school and college, when I worked in the kitchen of a restaurant (I had wanted to be a waitress, but the only position they had open was as the salad bar stocker). I was really ill that summer, but had recovered by my final day of work—the day I was required to peel and chop 20 pounds of carrots and then, as a finale, de-vein 40 pounds of raw scallops. It was the most disgusting job ever and my hands smelled like seafood for days. I swore up and down I would never work in a restaurant kitchen again (it may also have to do with why I don’t cook too often either. Ok, probably not, but I may have to plead “Post Traumatic Disorder” if the PH ever questions it…)

10. I’m living the dream, people. I recently found a cassette tape (and then found something that could actually play it!) that had my young voice playing the part of the DJ in between my favorite 80s hits. Even as a kid, I wanted to be on the radio. Then, as I grew older and worked for newspapers in high school and college, I wanted to be a journalist. Look at that! I’m a journalist on the radio! It’s nice when a plan comes together.

I think I'm supposed to "tag" people but I'm not going to put you on the spot. If you have a blog and want to spend a lot of time coming up with a huge list of things about yourself, go for it. If you don't want to, how about everybody leaves a story about their best or worst job in the comments and we'll call it even? Good? Good.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The thing about tag sales...

Time spent gathering items around the house and tagging them= 1.5 hours

Time we awoke on Saturday in order to haul our stuff to SJ's house= 6:30 a.m.

Number of times I wished I had never met SJ so I wouldn't have to be awake so early= 27

Pounds I had to lift onto the back of a truck at 6:30 a.m.= don't know, but it felt like 180

Number of times I had to lift what felt like a 180-pound desk on Saturday= 6

Hours I spent sitting in the sun, chatting with three funny sisters and bargaining with tag sale shoppers= 4.5

Money I made for my 8 hours of work and 6 desk moving experiences= $21.75

Money I spent on an item one of the funny sisters was selling= $45

What participating in SJ's tag sale cost me= $23.25

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

You'll kick your computer in frustration... then you'll thank me for helping make you smarter

Can you name all the countries in the world? Do you even know how many there are? There are 195 and I can name 150 of them in 15 minutes.

You have to go to and get addicted to the quizzes, like I did (work has been a bit slow lately). There's a ton of different ones you can take (naming the U.S. presidents, naming the U.S. states in alphabetical order, naming four-letter movies, etc.) but I challenge you on the countries of the world one.

The first time I took the quiz, I think I named about 60 countries. Then I decided that was shameful and have been working at it ever since, taking the quiz every few days and then studying the ones I missed. Now I can even spell "Djibouti" (a country in Africa), "Uzbekistan" and "Bosnia and Herzegovina" (that's a tricky one because it won't accept just "Bosnia")

Here's your challenge: go take the quiz, report your score in the comments and then assure me I'm now not the only one totally addicted to that site.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A true friend...

The Pretend Husband and I took a little detour after his softball game yesterday and ended up at the SJ manse. The one SJ and J have been furiously cleaning and touching up in preparation for putting it on the market. And while we did little more than admire their work and instill fear into them about how much it sucks to have your house on the market (you're welcome, SJ!), you know what they gave us? Alcohol.

There was some explanation about putting a piece of furniture into storage and having nowhere to keep the bottles, but my brain pretty much switched into alcohol beverage recipe mode and I missed the reasoning. Because when someone gives you free booze in a variety of flavors, you don't ask questions.

And when someone not only hands over a bunch of alcohol but then throws in some furniture for kat's lil bro's new house? You keep that friend for life.

(Hey SJ, martinis at my house anytime you need to vacate your house for a showing!)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Be careful what you say, fate apparently reads this blog... and she's vengeful

So, remember a couple of posts ago when I got a little too big for my britches and talked about how life tried to win one over on me, but I prevailed? Yeah, I guess I spoke a little too soon.

To sum up: I've been working on a birthday present for the best nephew in the world... and it hasn't been going well. I lost all my work once, but I was gleeful that I had taken screenshots, so the second attempt would be a matter of copying my work rather than redoing it completely.

I attempted it again the other day, again spending a couple of hours to complete this thing... only to have it not work again. And to discover that, despite saving my work every few minutes, it hadn't actually saved. I called the company, who was able to find that half my work had saved. And then they told me I'm using a browser not compatible with their Web page and that's why I lost my work. What?!? Nowhere on the site does it list which browsers are compatible and no one told me that was the problem after I lost all my work the first time.

I complained enough to get them to credit me some of the price, but I also got a lot of attitude from them. When I (nicely) told them it was ridiculous to have this happen twice, to not list compatible browsers and to not tell me it was a potential problem when I called, two different people responded with, "Well, it's a beta site so you should expect it might not work."

Uh, no. Actually, when I go to the Website of a reputable company and use their Website to create something that I will be paying them good money to create, I do expect it to work, beta or not. Or, if it doesn't work, I expect to be able to find out why by reading the site or being able to get in touch with a customer service representative who knows how to say something more than, "Oops." Is that too much to ask? (I will be attempting to finally finish this gift today-- the kiddo's birthday. Wish me luck!)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Let me know if anyone finds an all-chocolate diet that makes you lose weight...

The Pretend Husband, the Pretend In-laws and I on Saturday hit up one the many country fairs that will be going on in our neck of the woods. The first thing we did when we got onto the fairgrounds was walk up and down the line of food booths and decide what to have for lunch. Out of all the offerings-- which included fried Oreos, chili dogs, baked potatoes, cotton candy, ice cream, sausages, grinders and those huge turkey legs-- you know what I chose? A salad.

I went to a fair and got a salad (and it wasn't even deep-fried!) I thought I was kidding when I told the PH on the way to the fair that I intended to have a salad for lunch. I thought I was joking because I've never been to a fair where anything even resembling a vegetable was available unless it was battered and fried. But I found the one booth at the fair that was offering healthy food and-- this is the most surprising part-- bought something.

I've been trying to eat better lately in an attempt to slim down. I've been exercising a bit more and am using an app on my iPhone that allows a person to track how many calories they consume each day. In order to lose a pound and a half a week, I'm allowed 1,500 calories a day. I'm here to tell you that 1,500 calories a day is not a lot. It's a granola bar and coffee for breakfast, two small snacks, a Lean Pocket for lunch, a turkey dog and tater tots for dinner and Jell-o or an ice cream sandwich for dessert. Actually, writing that out makes it seem like a lot, but I'm hungry just about all the time, so it doesn't seem that way during the day.

But it seems to be working. My pants feel just a bit looser (let's be real, 2 or 3 pounds isn't exactly noticeable-- even when I tell the PH to squint and look really hard to see if he spots any difference). And I feel healthier and better about my eating habits. But still, let me repeat this: I went to a fair and ate salad. It doesn't get any more hard core than that.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

I win! I win! Well, kind of...

This is to make up for all those times something doesn't go right in my life and I immediately run to the blog to moan about it (or at least make it funny in the re-telling). I thought it was only fair to run to the blog to boast, "Aha, life tried to get me down, but I won (sort of)."

I spent many hours yesterday working on a birthday gift for the greatest nephew in the world, whose first birthday is next week. I've known what I've wanted to do for him for months, but just recently got my butt in gear to finally create it. Sorry for being so vague, but Peyton's mom sometimes reads him the blog as a bedtime story and I don't want to give away the surprise.

Anyway, this gift involved some serious time on a Website that, late last night as I tried to order the gift, refused to work. And I just knew the thing I had spent so much time on would not get ordered and would not be saved and I would have to do the whole thing over again. But-- and here's the part where I kick fate in the crotch and run away gleefully-- I figured out how to take a series of screenshots of my work.

So, yes, I will have to spend some time later today or sometime tomorrow recreating my work. But-- and this is the only thing keeping me from laying down and crying right now-- at least it will just be a matter of copying the screenshots and not starting over from scratch. At least there's that. I'm counting it as a victory.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Do you think I'll have to list "Insulated in Porn" on the disclosure form?

Well, we here at Funny Gals wouldn't dare let six months go buy without someone buying real estate, and so to ease the burden of KAT and the PH, who like to buy a new house once a year, we've decided to bite the bullet and buy a new house.

Really, this is mostly because my shoe collection has outgrown two closets and threatens to take over my life. And because more than half of my beloved bakeware lives in Rubbermaid because I don't have enough storage space in my tiny, though beautiful kitchen.

Which means, in short: we're moving.

As everyone knows, with moving comes a good deal of cleaning, house hunting, staging and the whole nine, since we will of course have to sell our house in order to move into a great big one. (Or, a slightly bigger than the current one and by that I really mean twice the size because let's face it, I am NOT going through this again.)

And with the selling comes a question: Do we have to disclose that our house is insulated in porn?

Oh? You mean I haven't shared that story before?

Well, yes. As it happens, our house is insulated in pornography. We discovered this five years ago when we bought the house and were putting in heat on the second floor. Just me (the youngest of three girls), my fiance at the time and my father - who, for the record, looks alarmingly like John Wayne, sitting around doing home improvements when lo and behold, my father discovered a stash of porn that could rival the archive of Playboy under the floorboards.

And with publications much, much more foul than Playboy. And when I say publications, really, I mean we found pornography in every medium possible and not limited to slides, photos, magazines, newspapers and soft cover (no hard cover. make your jokes now...) books.

As you can imagine, this is a story that often gets repeated when I'm sitting around having some beers with friends. Which is why, when I recently told one of my bloggy buddies that I was moving his reaction was: what are you going to do with all of your porn?

Another very good friend of mine suggested that the porn may in fact be a selling point.

I'm not so sure. In fact, I'm starting to worry that the next owners may discover the porn on their own and think me much more... interesting.... than I really am. I almost want to bury a little Vera Bradley note card under the floor boards that says:

"Hi there!
Just so you know, this wasn't my porn. It was here when we moved in. And the color in the living room is caled "Irish Paddock" - I've left you the curtains because they match perfectly. Enjoy! And by that I mean the color of the walls. Dirty bird.
Love, SJ"