Monday, March 28, 2005

This is Terribly Inconvenient

I am such an ass.

All winter long, everything is iced over. I slip! And slip! And slip! But I always manage to regain my balance and plod on, if a bit steadily.

Today, during the first episode of SPRING precipitation (READ: RAIN) I manage to become a weather-related casualty. That's right, I slipped on my painted wooden front steps and landed smack dab on my brick walkway--on my knees! Brilliant.

My skirt? Just a wee damp spot. My tights? Unscathed. My knees? One is fine, one seems to be Royally Fucked Up.

This is, in part, because I decided that the Best Thing For Me To Do would be to (that is, after I writhed in pain for a time) would be for me to get in my car and drive to work! Sure! It seemed to make much more sense to me at the time than navigating my way back to my 3rd floor apartment. Which, in retrospect, seems like a very good reason NOT to get in my car and drive to work. But I did!

I work with a ton of people who are both nurses and mamas. Suffice to say I have a giant bag of ice on my (elevated atop of a recycling bin) knee and stern threats to "stay off of it!!!".

Now, it is time to go to the hospital. You see, my regular doctor is on Milk St. I'd like to see any of you navigate your way to Milk St. with an injured knee. The hospital you can GET to.


There's always a but.

But, I am in Quincy. With Gustav the 5-speed BeetleBugCar. Sean is downtown. With nada. Because he took the T like a good commuter.

Sean does not drive stick. I *heart* my car.

Thus, I am waiting for Sean to take the T to the bus to the square and walk the rest of the way home, where Gunther the Passat is waiting. Then, he will drive all the way to Quincy to get me, after which we will proceed back to the hospital that is a few blocks from our house.

Very inconvenient. Stupid knee! Stupid me!

Friday, March 25, 2005


Life is more fun with an Obsession, so I like to acquire one every now and again. When I tire of it, I trade it in for another. Past Obsessions have included Graduate School, Finding A Better Job, and Planning a Vacation. The best part of all of these Obsessions is that really, they are all very, very repeatable. Vacation over? Just found a new job? Never fear! Just spin the wheel, point your finger, and voila! There's your new Obsession!

But, in time, even a triple-Obsession list needs an addition. Three Obsessions was no longer enough. It was time for a new Obsession. So I have acquired one. I like to call it Investing in a Dwelling, aka Buying a Freaking House.

Buying a Freaking House! Oh, how I love thee! World, if I had ever known the extent to which it is possible to become Obsessed with Buying a Freaking House, I would have done so long, long ago! Oh, the neighborhoods to investigate! The MLS listings to peruse online infinitely! The open houses to navigate while battling nauseous motion sickness and sucking down Diet Pepsi!!!

There are books to read. There is paperwork to fill out. There are Home Depots to visit, drunkenly or sober. There are overpriced remodeling magazines to buy. There are realtors to interview. (That's right! We haven't even BEEN OUT WITH A REALTOR YET! And already, my Obsession Level is way up there at 9!) Best of all, THERE ARE LISTS TO MAKE!



I wake up bright and early and sip my coffee while reading The Everything Homebuying Guidebook or Buying a Freaking House for the Complete and Utter Asshole or some such book. I then head to work, where I will spend the day periodically reloading a MLS listing to see if any of the properties I have saved have gone "INACTIVE". If one does, I immediately email Sean a message much like this:

That house! The one that I liked?!? With the granite countertops and maple cabinets and character?!? That was really cheap?!? In that neigborhood I kind of sort of liked??? It has just gone INACTIVE!!!!!!!! THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT YOU BASTARD!!!!

I am not altogether reasonable regarding my Obsessions.

When I finally get home after a long day of reloading, I sit down to look over listing sheets and open house listings while I eat my dinner. Then, I pick up the laptop and begin showing Sean all the new properties I have found during my busy day of reloading. There are often as many as two. Finally, when the day is complete, I settle down in bed to read my If You Buy a Home Without Reading This Book Than You are Clearly a Raging Retard book.

I am incredibly pissed off that this Sunday is Easter, which means there are NO OPEN HOUSES for me to go to! NONE! Well, a few. But NONE that I want to go to. That is a whole wasted Sunday!

Today at lunch I did a drive-by of a property halfway back to my apartment. I periodically stopped people on the street to ask if they liked living in that area.

This, my friends, is the definition of Obsession.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it has been at least 4 minutes since I've seen the latest MLS listings on ZipRealty. I MUST GO!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Things To Do in Home Depot When You're Drunk

1. Say: "PLEASE. I am NOT DRUNK."

2. Pull a squirting faucet out of its holster and commence singing along to a Cher song that's playing on the Muzak.

3. When the previous action is pointed out to you as a piece of evidence for your drunkenness, say: "PLEASE. I am NOT DRUNK."

4. Open and close every single cabinet in every single display kitchen, giggling the entire time.

5. When this is pointed out to you as evidence that you are intoxicated, say: "I AM NOT DRUNK. They WANT you to do that."

6. Pull apart drawers and watch them clatter to the floor.

7. Laugh hysterically.

8. Protest: "THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE HERE FOR." when your companion becomes embarrassed and says: "SEAN. FOR CHRISSAKES!"

9. Drop a granite countertop sample on the floor with a pronounced "DOONK".

10. Laugh hysterically.

11. Protest: "THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE HERE FOR." when your campanion becomes embarrassed and says: "SEAN! FOR CHRISSAKES."

12. Pick up EVERY SINGLE PAMPHLET that is available, until you are carrying around an 8-inch stack of cabinet pamphlets. Two of most of them.

13. Protest: "THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE HERE FOR." when your companion becomes embarrassed and says: "SEAN! FOR CHRISSAKES!"

14. Repeat as many times as necessary until vacating Home Depot.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


I am a big fan of my crock pot. And when I say "crock pot", I mean "crock pot" both in the colloquial all-encompassing term that is the same as "slow cooker" (much like "kleenex" = tissue and "jello" = fruit-flavored gelatin dessert) AND the specific brand of slow cooker that is, crock pot.

Crock pot. I love you, crock pot.

When I first got my crock pot, I ordered a couple of crock pot cookbooks off of Amazon. One, The Everything Slow Cooker Cookbook, has just rocked my world. Everything I've made out of it has been deelish. If you are in the market for a crock pot cookbook, I officially recommend this one!

The other one is Fix it and Forget it Cookbook: Feasting With Your Slow Cooker. This cookbook sucks The Ass. Now, the lame title should have immediately been a tip-off. I mean, what do they mean? Am I going to hunt antelope with my slow cooker by my side, gleefully tearing the warm moist flesh from the bones of the unfortunate antelope I take down? Because, you know, that's what I'm envisioning.

Anyway, this cookbook is awful. It's one of those cookbooks where all the recipes are contributed by "readers", in this case women from the rural midwest who name their dishes things like Barbara's Good Chicken and Dottie's Best Ham and Bean Bake. In a word, eww.

I would like to take this opportunity to clarify a few things for the "contributers" who "contributed" to this book, just so their "contribution" could be enhanced next time they care to "contribute".

1. A can of cream of mushroom soup AND a can of cream of celery soup is overkill for FOUR CHICKEN BREASTS.

2. Adding 1 tsp of soy sauce to a dish does NOT make it "Oriental". "Oriental" is a word used to describe a RUG.

3. Nice try, but adding 1 tsp of soy sauce to a dish doesn't make it "Asian", either.

4. Adding 1 tsp of ground peanuts or peanut butter to something does not make it "African".

5. It takes a helluva lot more than 1/4 tsp cumin to make a 3 lb chicken dish "spicy".

6. Pouring a bottle of storebought barbeque sauce over a package of cut-up chicken and turning on the crock pot does NOT equal a "recipe".

7. Neither does doing that with cream of mushroom soup.

8. Neither does doing that with Italian salad dressing.

9. Neither does doing that with cream of chicken soup.

10. Neither does doing that with an envelope of onion soup.

11. Fifteen seperate recipes cannot all be the "best".

12. It is the year 2005. No one knows what the fuck "salt pork" is. I don't, for chrissakes, and I'm from the sticks.

13. Nothing should contain an entire stick of butter. Nothing.

14. Grape jelly and a bottle of "chili" sauce does not become barbeque sauce when put into the crock pot.

15. Don't call it "Chicken At A Whim". In the first place, it's ON a whim. In the second place, 5 hours cooking time is far from a "whim".

And lastly, a question:

16. What kind of person cooks a rabbit in a crock pot?!?

Thank you, contributors.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Fung WHAT?!?

I'm taking the Fung Wah to NYC this afternoon to visit my friend Sarah, the Pollyanna of the East. Most everyone who lives in either Boston or New York is familiar with the Fung Wah phenomenon--the fact that there is actually a bus you can take between these 2 cities that takes 4 hours (plus or minus) and costs a mere $15. Hell, you can't drive there for that these days. And if you drive, you can't watch DVD's or read. Eff that ess.

Still, despite my level of "familiarity", I have not had personal experience riding the Fung Wah. Today I pop my Fung Wah cherry.

I am now going to share with you a few tidbits of Information I have gleaned re: the illustrious Fung Wah.

1. (In response to my comment "Oh, I'm sure I don't really have to be there a half hour before the bus leaves. I'm sure that's overkill. I'll get there like 15 minutes before.") "DO NOT MAKE THAT MISTAKE! I got there a half hour before last time and they had ALREADY SOLD MY SEAT. They made me wait an hour and take the next bus!"

World, I cannot help but feel that this defeats the entire purpose of PREPURCHASING YOUR TICKETS ONLINE. Here is my ticket. I have bought my seat. How can it be gone?

2. (In response to my question as to whether or not there were restrooms on the bus). "Yeah, there is one on there, but they don't like you to use it unless you really have to."

World, I ask of you, WHAT KIND OF PERSON USES A RESTROOM ON A BUS FOR ANY REASON OTHER THAN PURE, UNADULTERATED NECESSITY?!? Are there people who travel the world, taking recreational pees and craps in bus restrooms? (Can a pee or crap ever really be recreational?)

3. (In response to my bosses' question as to whether I was taking the Fung Wah) "Be sure you check to make sure the driver has a license. My daughter took it once, and the bus BROKE DOWN. Then the police found out the driver didn't have a license, so they just dumped everyone out in the street and told them to find their own way home."

World, I am calling you for a ride if this happens to me. Especially since I will have spent all my available cash on knockoff handbags and martinis. Preferably at the same place.

Thursday, March 03, 2005


MALE CLIENT: "You have a real nice voice!"

REDPANDA: (laughingly) "Thank you!"

MALE CLIENT: "I mean it. Your voice is real comforting to my earlobes right now."

REDPANDA: *awkward, uncomfortable giggle* "Thank you. I'm glad to...comfort them."

MALE CLIENT: "I'm 5'8" without high heels on."