Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
From top to bottom, left to right: Equestrian Rain Boots, Rockport Barbarella Boots, Madden Defiant Pumps, Sebago Boat Shoes
Perhaps I'm not doing myself any favors by publishing this a day after getting this email but, to be honest, I didn't even realize the duh factor until I'd already put this post together. Duh-er.
But still. THIS IS MY PARTY AND I'LL CRY IF I WANT TO.
Or, you know, post shoes.
I've already mentioned safety precautions to him more than once today, like after he narrowly missed beheading me while removing that mirror in the hallway, and I started hyperventilating and yelling, "This is a job for mirror professionals, WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME DO THIS?!"
So far, my warnings have not worked.
Friday, September 24, 2010
"Hello, Kelly, how are you? I want to go out on a limb and make an offer to you. If you are not interested, it's fine, I in no way wish to offend you. I am guessing that you like to take good care of yourself, and therefore your feet, and am wondering if you enjoy having them massaged? Would you be interested in a discreet, slow, soothing, relaxing, partial or full body massage? I'm a white male, not overweight, with brown eyes and brown hair, and well groomed. I'm very clean, and drug and disease free. I can come to you. It would please me to totally satisfy you by helping to relieve any stress or tension in any way you wish. The favor would NOT have to be returned. My talented hands await your response and hope you would like your toes to curl on end like never before."
I think there are websites for that sort of thing. In case it's not clear, THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
This is me trick-or-treating circa 1983. My mother made our costumes that year, and I'd like to confess at this point that I don't even know how to sew. I was an angel, my brother was an ewok and my sister was a ballerina.
The next year, being the resourceful homemaker that she was, she sewed a heart on my brother's ewok costume and VOILA! It was totally reborn into Tenderheart Carebear.
And stuffed to the brim with pillows since there was no other way that I was fitting into that beast.
(I like how I'm the easiest kid to find in old pictures, because I'm always front and center. That's where they put the short kids.)
Yesterday, I was browsing through some of the Halloween gear on Etsy and I found this terrifyingly close costume at Bang Bang Crash. I broke out in a cold sweat.
It reopened all kinds of traumatic scarring from that day, like the scene where I fell over on the bus to kindergarten and had to ride three blocks lying horizontally because I was so fat from the pillows that I'd wedged myself between the aisle seats tightly enough that I had to gasp for air just to breathe. It's amazing that my lungs didn't collapse.
I probably suffered brain damage.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Doesn't this make you want to chuck your laptop into the Atlantic?
Maybe it's just me.
Anyway, most of your emails revolve around questions or comments that are similar to one another, so I thought I'd just simplify and respond to some of the sort of generic ones here. Feel free to leave anything more specific in the comments.
Should I refinance my five year adjustable rate mortgage or ride out the low interest rates?
I've gotten this question so often lately that I'm already typing, Is yours based on the London market? before I read the entire email. Because if it is, then it's time to start paying attention to the changes, projections, and nutcases who swear there's going to be an eight percent rate hike between now and next Christmas. This is a good place to start. Do I think brisk rises are right around the corner? No. So what would I do if I were you? Nothing. Absolutely nada. Does that mean I'm advising you to do the same? Not necessarily. It depends on your specific financial situation, your personal goals, and what happens with the LIBOR or whatever market your Index is based off of. Sorry, I don't have a crystal ball.
What motivates you?
Living with my hot husband. And our four peanuts. And The World's Ugliest Kitchen.
No, seriously, I don't know. Please stop asking me.
I will say that I can recall three or four elementary school report cards that had extremely self motivated written into the section titled Teacher's Notes, though one of them was right beside a reminder that I would be strictly disciplined if I ever kicked Principal Osterlo in the shins again.
So I may have always been this way.
What paint brand do you recommend?
I don't. Though quality does vary quite a bit based on brands, application technique and care are more relevant to the value.
How can I protect myself when choosing a contractor?
I guess I could launch into a conversation about contracts and referrals and deposits and such, but to be honest, they don't necessarily always matter. Whether it's a general laborer or a master tradesman, you can easily interview three or four dozen of them, before you meet one that's fantastic.
And then suddenly, you'll find yourself compelled to name your firstborn after the plumber.
So I think that covers it. I love those of you who care enough to write me, and I apologize for not getting back to you sooner.
UPDATE: For those who have asked, that suit is by Paula Hermanny for Vix from their 2008 collection.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Andrew was reading the article at the beach last week, and his smirk was followed by a half mumbled, "Ohmygawd, that seems JUST like YOU," in what he thought was under his breath, and it told me that I might want to take a look at what the thirty nine year old California native and I were perceived to have in common.
So I think that it's this.
"After moving to Los Angeles in his early twenties, Renner needed all the wisdom he could summon. He wanted roles that were nourishing and authentic, not mindless fun, a standard that left him teetering on the brink of indigence. While holding out, he survived on twenty nine cent burgers from McDonald's.
'You could call it making sacrifices," he says, "but those sacrifices have made me who I am, so I don't know if I'd consider them sacrifices or blessings."
These days there are more opportunities, but also more opportunities to go astray. He refused to settle when times were tough. Now that he is in demand, he is even more determined not to let money dictate his choices. 'My plan is to be able to do what I want to do when I want to do it, and not because I have to,' says Renner. 'I call it my Pull Chute Plan. That's a military thing, you know. Time to pull the chute, like, time to kind of float and enjoy the view.'
That may sound risky, and maybe it is, which is why Renner some years ago turned to real estate. Even in a depressed economy, he earns more money gutting, remodeling, and designing houses than he does making movies.
'During the Academy Awards, I was sleeping under painter's plastic in a guest apartment with no plumbing, and had to brush my teeth at Starbuck's,' says Renner."
I've never been to the Academy Awards.
Friday, September 17, 2010
I used to own this Eames Plywood Molded Chair. When a boyfriend ran off with it years ago after I broke up with him, I was more devastated about the chair than the boy.
TRY SEVENTY FIVE BUCKS.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
That he finished a fraction of what he was contracted to finish and that it took three weeks longer than it should have taken and that it turned into a painfully exhausting task of babysitting.
And, yes, I am aware he never delivered several hundred dollars of materials that I paid for.
The thing is, I know that if I had reacted the way that I wanted to react, I would have only given him more control of the situation, and besides, I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.
But I've decided on a new direction.
Have you ever moved forward on a project without someone that you hired?
p.s. A few of you might be wondering why I don't just use one of my Usual Guys, 'cept (in case you're new or you don't remember) they're all in South Florida, and I'm having to start with a brand spankin' new database. Cry. It's been the hardest part of the move, by far and away, things like not knowing everyone at every Special Services desk at every Home Depot in a four hundred mile radius. No more twelve dollar sale faucets stashed behind the returned paint cans for me, no sweet talking urgent shipping for special orders, no ten percent off coupons slipped into high fives just for showing up. DARN YOU, JACKSONVILLE.
p.p.s. What the heck, I'll throw in a totally unrelated shot of this from last week. Just because it makes me happy. (And, by the way, you can see all of our South Florida places in this photo and where we got married!)
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
In this particular space, I needed to find a way to keep the hardware quiet without letting it get overwhelmed by either the Black or Pearl shades of the cabinetry.
And so we chose these. Martha Stewart Living's Polished Nickel Alcove Bin Pull.
2. We ate at Green Turtle Inn in Islamorada for the first time on Sunday night, and I've decided that if I'm ever sentenced to death I will be requesting both the Lobster Lasagna and the Osso Bucco as my last meal. It was one of the best dinners I've ever eaten.
3. This is a picture of Lauderdale By The Sea that I took on the plane when we were departing Fort Lauderdale. When I looked down, I only seemed to see the properties that I spent my twenties on, all around that little area, and (like each time that I have to leave) I got a little misty eyed. It's like I'm saying goodbye to my babies.
Except that these kids don't poop and spew vomit. But they do require the cost of a college education.
4. There is a special kind of connection between two people who know each other well enough that it's not always necessary to speak. Andrew and I quietly watched the sunrise together every morning that we spent in The Keys, and it was so magical that, at moments, I felt like I could hardly breathe.
But eventually I snapped out of it, from the sound of Andrew snoring.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
That's about the extent that I follow her.
But this recent exchange caught my eye, particularly the following excerpt.
International Business Times: What do you think regulators should do about underwater mortgages?
Suze Orman: This is a very difficult, because it's very unfair for those people who have been paying their mortgages every single month... They have been very responsible and some of them get absolutely no help.
I really think we should have reset all mortgages, across the board, to current fair market values. It's absolutely nuts that some people bought homes and put a lot of money down, but now their mortgages are underwater.
I can give you an example of a $600,000 home in Tampa, Florida, and $120,000 was already put down. The house is now worth about $150,000. There is no help for this person, because it's a rental property. But it was a legitimate purchase for them. But there was no help for them, and there was no choice for them, so they walked away and claimed bankruptcy. How sad is that?! All for somebody to buy that house for $150,000, when they could have just let these people stay and reset the mortgage at $150,000. What's the difference?
While I find the circumstances around their foreclosure and bankruptcy highly suspect (rents have not tapered off in our more severely affected markets in South Florida, at least not enough that they wouldn't be able to cover their mortgage if they'd purchased correctly as an investor in the first place, and in their position I would have to ethically recommend simply hunkering down) and do not entirely agree with Suze's explanation of market conditions, the idea of resetting all mortgages to fair market value DOES make sense to a certain degree. Like I spoke about here, bailing out only the borrowers who are the least likely to drive the economy (not to mention, arguably the least responsible) makes zero sense to me. The bankruptcy and foreclosure process is economically inefficient for banks, yes, but the resulting plunge of property values and associated risks of uncared for vacancies are disastrous for communities and tax payers. AND THE PEOPLE STILL PAYING THE MORTGAGE COMPANIES.
I've learned a lot of things these last few months, but the most important, I think, is that there's nothing else I'd rather be doing.
Even though there's a gaping hole in our kitchen.
Second to that, I'm finding out just how valuable it is to TAKE A BREAK SOMETIMES, especially during the moments when it seems rather unfathomable, but you've eaten boxed Thai coconut soup exactly sixteen days in a row. Andrew was not opposed to the idea, but he was skeptical that we'd be able to sneak away, and so I lured him onto the plane with the words, SECLUDED, BOATING, OCEAN, and JOSE CUERVO.
Which was just as easy as it sounds.
And then I mentioned that we'd be making a pit stop in South Florida to sign two leases, return a deposit, check on The Bathroom progress, shop for flooring, and hit up an appliance supplier.
Which only took up most of Friday, and then we set off to Margaritaville where we're laying in hammocks and wading in the ocean and only checking our cell phones three or four or twelve times a day.
"SEE," I told him this afternoon, "AND YOU THINK I DON'T KNOW HOW TO RELAX."
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Plus, I remembered that my name was on the order.
So I totally wouldn't have gotten away with it.