Friday, July 30, 2010

Sitting on the pot

Right now, I'm on the pot. And I've got to decide whether to shit, or get off of it.

On Wednesday, I checked my email to look at the bazillion houses that went on the market the night before. Every day, we get between 5 and 10 new listings or price reductions. Its sort of like dating on e-Harmony, actually. "Oh, that one looks good!" "oh. ew! Yuck. Nope." And so forth. But instead of wrinkling my nose when I clicked on this little blue house and looked at the pictures, I thought, "oh. huh. wow." And then I looked at the aerial photos, and immediately sent it on to Prof. "I think this house should definitely go on our list."

He was enthusiastic about it. And he should have been. The house is in about the exact location I wanted it to be in. Its got a huge backyard, a huge deck, trees, across the street from open space, on a culdesac (ok, not so much of a selling point for me. I despise culdesacs, but after living on a road where people whip by with their stereos blaring, culdesacs are starting to look a bit better), and very close to a park with wooded walking and biking trails. And a lake, for leisurely after work paddling. It has bamboo hardwood throughout - almost the exact floor I just put down in my own house. It pretty much met all of our criteria, and the price is decent.

I showed it to a couple co-workers, and T encouraged me to go see it immediately. I was going to wait until next week when we already had an appointment to go see some other houses we weren't that excited about. So, after a flurry of emails back and forth, our real estate agent got us in to see the house that day. Dude, in this market, the owners must be super excited. Who gets a showing on the first full day the house is on the market?!

We spent almost an hour inside and outside the house. Prof really, really likes it. Its got some design elements that weird me out a bit, but with paint and my furniture (our furniture?) I'm sure it would be workable. And did I mention the location and the price?

Up until this point though, buying a house and living together has been an abstract concept. Something that would happen far in the future. And when it happened, we'd be fully prepared. Like, we would have talked about how we would deal with our money and mortgage payments. And how we would deal with housework. And how we would deal when one of us wants the other one to just get out of their hair. And what temperature we keep the house at in the summer (80! No. 68! No! Too cold! No! Too hot!) And how we would rectify the fact that we are making an investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars together, without a long term agreement.

I don't know why I thought these things would magically be resolved. Now is really the time that we need to be serious about house shopping and making offers, since Prof's lease runs out this fall. And this perfect house and this perfect situation drops in our laps, almost exactly on schedule.

And we choke.

Well, I choke anyway.

I mean, holy shit. I've got a house. Its got bamboo floors and an awesome deck. I've also got autonomy. He's got autonomy. We don't get on each other's nerves - because its so rare that we get to spend real time together. We don't fight about money, or the trash, or whose socks are on the floor. But my house is small and in an area that doesn't really work for me anymore, and certainly doesn't work for us. And have I mentioned my annoying neighbors? And I'm getting tired (been tired) of having to schedule time with Prof, and maintaining two houses and having all my food spoil cuz I'm not here to eat it.

It feels like a real commitment to buy a house together. No, strike that. It IS a big commitment. Him moving into my house? No big deal. No long term agreement. If it doesn't work out, he moves out and finds something else. No divvying up equity, because I would keep it and I can afford the payments on my own. A house together? Well, that's pretty different. If things go sour, jointly owning real estate makes shit really difficult. And even though the house we are interested in is really affordable, I would never be able to make the payments on my own, and Prof would be stretched to. I mean, you don't want to think about breaking up when you are supposed to be excited about taking your relationship to the next level, but you'd be irresponsible not to consider it.

So, after we saw the house, we talked for a long time about stuff like this. Where the money comes from, the commitment it means, how its weird... and that led to our second real conversation about the benefits of marriage. And its something that I've been thinking a lot about. And something that I think he's been thinking a lot about. But neither of us really have faith in the institution of marriage. He's been burned by it, and I'm just cynical as hell about it.
So, we have to decide to shit or get off the pot. In so many ways, I'm ready. But in so many other ways, I'm not. I'm so happy right now, sitting in my living room with my couches, watching what I want to watch on tv (well, not really, because there is nothing on and my netflix won't be here until tomorrow), with the windows open (even though its making it hotter in here), doing my thing and relaxing. But at the same time, it would be really nice to also spend Friday night hanging out and relaxing with Prof, instead of Leroy the cat and Dateline.

We will go see it again next week, with some other similar ones. In the meantime, we are looking into mortgages and moving forward. But will we make an offer? I really don't know at this point. But I do know that Prof and I have a lot more talking to do.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Beware the GPS

I got Prof a GPS for his birthday. I hate GPS units - that electronic voice, the routes that make no sense, all those cords cluttering up the dashboard... I'm more of a hit AAA the day before a trip and map out a route in highlighter kind of girl. So, he had his GPS, and I hit the AAA the day before we headed to Maine.

Because I have so many friends who live in the greater Boston area, I know the route by heart, but Serena, our chosen GPS voice, had way different ideas. I hated her from the first time she opened her little mouth to tell us how to get out of the neighborhood. Duh Serena. We know how to get to the highway from the house. Serena was insistent both on the way to Maine and the way back from Maine that we take I-95 the whole way, and take the George Washington Bridge in NYC. Serena is nuts, and obviously has no experience driving in the U.S. Anyway, my chosen route made her mad. She recalculated and recalculated and recalculated the route in a vain attempt to make us get to the George Washington Bridge. Ha Serena! I am SO much smarter that you. We ended up turning her off for a good majority of the ride up, until we got into unfamiliar territory. Turns out, the territory was also pretty unfamiliar to Serena too.

We took a detour off the highway to stop by to visit an old friend of mine who relocated to Maine several years back and lives in a cute coastal community about two hours from our final destination. I had a case of Yuenglings for him - apparently, beer from Pennsylvania is a hot commodity up there. He sent me his address, and we plugged it into the GPS. Surely Serena could get us from the highway to Maple Ave. Right?

So we followed her directions, closer and closer to town. Then she said "turn left on Maple Ave." Great, finally! We'd been in the car forever. But all that was on the left was a very large cemetery, with tiny little roads in between rows. So, we kept driving, looking for Maple Ave. Serena told us to turn around. So we did. And when we got near the cemetery, she told us to turn right onto Maple Ave. So we did. I thought, "ok." His house is just on the other side of the cemetery. Nope. No such luck. Serena told us that we had reached our destination as we pulled up next to a dozen small graves of children from an orphanage in the late 1800's. Then we noticed that all the little roads in the cemetery were named. And we were on Maple Ave.

I was laughing hysterically at this point, of course. Tears streaming down my eyes. My friend lives in a cemetery! I was vindicated! AAA maps rock. GPS sucks.

I call my friend, tears streaming down my eyes and ask him which grave was his. After some confusion, we finally figure out that he lives on Maple Street, not Ave. Maple Street, however, the street where the living people live, wasn't on the GPS map. At all. Nada. Nothing. In that town, Garmin has one Maple, and its a pretty exclusive address.

People are dying to live there.

(sorry, cheap punch line. I've been with Prof non-stop for a week. Its starting to rub off)

So, I dropped the beer, saw his new house, met his new girlfriend (complete with cats. Ha! Sucker.) and we made plans to have more beers later in the week in Bar Harbor.

Then we plugged in the address of our rental cabin in the GPS, crossed our fingers and took off to begin our vacation.

We took the scenic route up the coast to Bar Harbor. The sunset over the tidal rivers was gorgeous. The little lobster shacks, ice cream places, cute small towns, boats... Oh. I was in love already. And Serena kept us on the right track. She owed us after the great cemetery debacle.

At some point as the sun was setting, it dawned on both Prof and I that there was a possibility that we had been scammed. We reserved the cabin from a person off the internet who we didn't know. We saw pictures of the cabin, but, that was no guarantee that the cabin actually existed! Our instructions were that the cabin would be open in the afternoon and the keys would be on the table. What if it was there, but we had gotten the weeks confused? What if we got there and somebody else had gotten the weeks confused and we walked into someone else's vacation? Why didn't we consider these possibilities before we drove for twelve hours? So, we spent some time gnashing our teeth about that, as Serena patiently shouted turns at us.

Our cabin was on a major road, but, on a dark wooded stretch, and set back from the road quite a bit. But Serena got us there. AAA would never have been able to do that in the dark, so, at the end of the trip, Serena and I had made up. But I'm still a paper map girl.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Road Trip

I have the iPod charger, travel connect four, trail mix, a pillow and my snuggie. I think I'm ready for our first real road trip.

I'm getting up at the ass crack of dawn tomorrow to finish packing and get my ass out of town. Destination: cool, wonderful, beautiful Bar Harbor Maine. Oooooh. I can't wait to get there. Its been so very seriously awfully stinking hot here and its so not any of those things in Maine.

Prof and I have never spent more than about three hours in the car together and I get really antsy when I'm not the one in the driver's seat (how THAT like the rest of my life). Tomorrow's drive? Somewhere between 11 and 14 hours, depending on how many times I stop to pee, and how many times I insist that we stop to stretch and check out the scenic overlook. We are taking Prof's car, which makes me even more antsy. I want to take MY car on road trips! But, MY car has a tendency to break down in New England. Every. Single. Time. So, Prof's ride it is. Hopefully the Civic hasn't learned any nasty tricks from the VW.

We are going to hike, and bike, and kayak, and relax, and read, and swat flies, and talk with a funny accent, and drink blueberry wine (then take migraine pill) and sleep as long as we want...But more importantly, we will actually get to spend some time together. We haven't had much of that recently. Feast or famine baby. Yesterday, not enough time together. Tomorrow? WAY too much time together.

I hope we survive.

We are taking a laptop with us, so, if you are lucky, I'll post pictures and make you jealous. I love the intraweb.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Crash into me

For those of you who think that I've gone soft since being with prof, I've got a glimmer of hope for you.

On the way home from work, Prof asked me if I had heard about the bus accident that involved a husband and wife. Of course I hadn't. He's the one that surfs the internet all day and finds this stuff. So, he tells me more about it... husband and wife both driving school buses. Somehow, there is a nasty accident between the two buses and the wife ends up dead.

My first question to him: "Was it on purpose?"

Because of course, it can't just be a tragic accident between a sweet old couple who have been in love for centuries - it has to be a calculated act to get one of them out of the way to get a newer model or to get the insurance money.

I guess I'm less cynical about my own relationships these days, but still plenty cynical about others'. Interesting.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wah Wah Waaaaaah

First day back at work and real life after a holiday weekend always sucks. But sometimes it sucks more than usual.

This morning, groggy and bleary eyed after my weekend of travel and camping and kayaking, I rolled out of bed, cursed that I had to go into the office, cursed that it was going to be 100 degrees (what do you wear to work in triple digit temps?!) and fed the cats, already kinda in a cranky mood.

Then Arlo puked up his breakfast.

Ok, not the most auspicious start to the day, but I didn't take it as a sign.

Until he also peed on my foot.

After the puking incident, Arlo ran down into the basement. Well, I know what that little bastard does when he is anxious. He pees on stuff and makes me anxious. So I follow him downstairs and shove him into a litter box, freshly cleaned. He acquiesces and pees. But he is aimed the wrong way, and pees out of the box and directly onto my foot.

Warm cat pee on my flip-flop clad foot. At 7:30 am. Totally awesome.

Well, thank god I had decided that its ok to wear flip flops to work if its 100 degrees out because they wash off exceptionally well.

Eventually I make it out of the house. I open my front door and the heat hits me - after the door burns me (dark purple front door is great in the winter, but gets a little hot in the summer). Turns out, dark purple is also the color of the bruise on my shoulder from kayaking that I didn't know I had until I got to work wearing my sleeveless dress. So now I'm wearing cat pee flip flops and look like I've been in a bar brawl (also, another bruise appeared on my knee later on, also visible). I definitely did not look like a seasoned professional today.

And of course, it didn't matter because work is all kinds of screwed up. We are in the middle of a top down reorg and details are starting to come out. We got our hands on an org chart and spent most of the day examining it, cursing and wondering how they could possibly get away with such shenanigans. Who sends that shit out the day before a holiday weekend? What a way to come back to work.

Prof had a bad day too, for various reasons, none of which had anything to do with me thank you very much (at least, I think). So, I was cranky, he was cranky, there were cranky gchats and text messages and phone calls. Cranky, cranky, cranky.

He was supposed to come over to my house tonite so we could actually see each other in person for a change (not his fault. I keep abandoning him to go kayaking). And he bails on me because he is cranky and its hot. And I get more cranky, and it just keeps getting hotter.