What I Learned in San Diego

April 25, 2012 at 10:10 am | Posted in Family, Home Ownership | 2 Comments
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Nota Bene: If you have a weak tummy, skip to the second paragraph. 

When I last blogged, I was sitting in the airport terminal after having tossed my cookies on the Logan Express.  My Mo’s guess (that it was a result of taking ‘roids on an empty stomach) may have worked for that first instance, but the rest of the flight will need further explanation because I ralphed the entire way.  Seated between a very proper gentleman and a 15-year-old boy, I was that girl in the middle seat who got sick over and over and over again.  The one who used every barf bag within a two-row radius, and who grossed herself out, along with most of my fellow passengers, on the flight now known as The Great Disgust of 2012.  I arrived in San Diego exhausted, ill, slightly dehydrated and thrilled to see my besty, even in the state I was in.

Anywhoodles, what I really wanted to talk about today is the surprising insight I had about my parents while visiting Rhymes-with-Tzarina.  Tzarina and I did not make any plans for our visit (other than attending a Padres game).  We hung out, watched silly TV, ran errands, walked her dog and did some apartment decorating.  And then it hit me…

I finally get it!

One night Tzarina was making dinner and I started cleaning her refrigerator door handles (of all things – weird, I know).  She gave me that look – I know because I give it to people, too – the one that says “please don’t judge me; I know I’m not perfect.”  And this realization hit me like a hipster on the latest iGadget: when my parents visit and My Mo cleans my counters or puts away dishes or brings groceries or does whatever she does, when RWFOTB works on my jungle of a yard or makes suggestions about future home improvement projects, it has nothing to do with my inadequacies (of which I have many, though they would certainly contradict that statement in the public domain) and everything to do with how much they love and want to care for me.

What I was doing had nothing to do with critiquing Tzarina (who is amazing) or her refrigerator door handles (which were fine before I even touched them), and everything to do with demonstrating my affection for someone who is the closest thing I have to a sister.

I traveled across the contiguous United States and felt closer to my parents – and that’s what family is all about. 

And because I rarely write anything too saccharine, I’ll bookend this blog with the ridiculousness of my journey home.  Waiting to board the red-eye back to Beantown (cough cough never again cough cough), I noticed the fella standing in front of me was none other than the very proper gentleman who was unfortunate enough to have had to sit next to me en route to SoCal.  He did a double take when he saw me, and, in the most polite way he could, said:

“I hope you’re feeling better… what row are you in on this flight??”

Awkward, people.  Very, very awkward. 

Fortunately, I Have Optimistic Friends

February 9, 2012 at 9:40 am | Posted in Around Boston, Home Ownership | 2 Comments
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Everyone knows that fortune cookies are trustworthy and accurate prediction mechanisms for everything from personal milestones to financial and linguistics-related changes.  Want to win the lottery?  Check out your lucky numbers.  Want to learn the most spoken language in the world?  The dessert will teach you one helpful Chinese word at a time (for example: roast duck is, apparently, pronounced “kăo yā”).  Curious about your personality, friendships, relationship status, etc.?  Turn to the cookie.

Which is why yesterday was so distressing for me.  After some yummy Chinese food (read: always too salty, bloat-inducing, hungry-in-an-hour-but-do-this-to-myself-every-time-anyway), I opened my cookie with great expectation, only to find this:

Fortune Cookie Fortune

Move to a wonderful new home this year??  WHAT??  After all the shenanigans and tomfoolery that has ensued from the house we purchased less than a year ago, I’m supposed to move again???  I’m sure you can empathize with my tumbling into a pit of despair upon reading it.  Honestly, I don’t think I could take moving again so soon!  And I’m pretty sure my family, friends, colleagues and random passers-by couldn’t handle listening to me have to move again, either.  But the cookie decreed it, so it seemed I was doomed.

Until my friends reminded me that sometimes the wise cookie speaks in metaphors.  Home, my friend Michael said, is not where you hang your hat; it is where your heart is.  And Dipika echoed that sentiment, saying that the cookie meant within the year our house will be in good enough shape for it to start feeling like a wonderful home – we’ll be metaphorically moving from our “in progress house” into our “happy home” soon!

Thank heavens for optimists!  Because of friends’ proclivity toward silver linings, my faith in the wisdom of the cookie is intact, and I’m feeling more optimistic about Chez L-ski, too!

The Great HindJew Pact of 2012

January 25, 2012 at 11:00 am | Posted in Heebs, Home Ownership, In The Kitchen, Married Life | 4 Comments
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When I last obsessed about focused on my “healthy lifestyle initiative” (who am I kidding?  Let’s call a spade a spade: my diet), I was desperately trying to be the perfect bride. Since that time, I got hitched, got a new gig, bought a fixer-upper and started to fix it up, and, as a result, resumed eating my feelings. And I have a LOT of feelings. So now there’s a lot more of me to love than in my wedding photos…

Enter my gal pal and colleague, Dipika, and our brand new initiative: The Great HindJew Pact of 2012. Together Dipika and I are vowing to battle the bulge, to rediscover our skinny jeans and, most importantly, to feel better about ourselves. How? By making smarter food choices (cough cough portion size cough cough) and committing to a torture regular exercise routine.

Why am I telling you this? Well, we read somewhere that “publicly declaring your goals significantly enhances your chance of success.” So yeah, we’re using you. Thanks for your inadvertent assistance!

And if you’d like to join us in The Great HindJew Pact of 2012, we will welcome you with soon-to-be-unflabby arms!

Photo Phriday: Religious Intervention

September 1, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Posted in Home Ownership, Photo Phriday | 2 Comments
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As you may have gathered, life hasn’t been easy at Chez L-ski (e.g. dead deer, power loss and flooding basement, tree falling on our house, among other nonsense).  While the hubs has taken it all in stride, I’m having a tougher time going with the flow. But thanks to my diverse group of friends, I think it’s all going to turn around for us.

Upon hearing of our trials, those near and dear to us supplied religious items, talismans and good wishes, and since luck knows no religious preference, we’re embracing them all! So last night I performed every cleansing ritual I could:

  • I said a prayer when I entered the house by my mezuzah
  • Used sage from New Orleans
  • Made a sweet gift to Ganesh on his birthday
  • Took a deep, cleansing breath with the statue from Buddha’s hometown
  • Performed a cleansing ritual with a candle and jar of salt water
  • And even took the difficult step of indulging in the global deity, Dos Equis


I feel more blessed already!

So here’s to friends from all walks of life, to religious tolerance, and to a little luck!  Happy Labor Day weekend, dear reader(s).


Hurricane Irene Blows

August 30, 2011 at 11:43 am | Posted in Around Boston, Home Ownership | 15 Comments
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If I hear one more person talk about how they weren’t at all impacted by Hurricane Irene, I may lose my… errr… cool.  Because, as you can guess with the way my life has been heading lately (my house is only considered inhabitable to drunk twenty-something boys, my husband’s armpits burn, and our kitchen and bathroom are, well, practically nonexistent), we are still feeling the love from that rhymes-with-witch, Irene.

But given the choice between dissolving into a puddle of tears or utilizing every magnifying glass in my purview to find the elusive silver lining, I’m doing my best to look for that Ag.

Always look on the bright side... and that's an order!

Take, for example, the fact that we still don’t have power at Chez L-ski.  Can you imagine more flattering light than that generated by candles?  Seriously, those sticks of wax hide every flaw!  I’m practically a supermodel when there’s no one else around and my house is almost dark but for the light of the Yankee Candle (which I managed to unearth even though I can’t unpack anything substantial yet).  Win!

Or consider that the basement flooded (again) and without electricity, we can’t wet-vac the water out.  Arps found the best of that situation, encouraging me to reflect on how romantic my situation is.  Don’t believe her?  Just think about Venice… if I could locate a gondola, I could mimic the canals and create my very own romantic – and private! – honeymoon spot in my home!

You might say: yeah, but what about the dead deer on your front lawn?  Well, dear reader(s), that one is harder… but after much consideration, I’ve found the plus with that, too!  You see, this morning we were “alerted” to the fact that there was a deceased Bambi sprawled across our front lawn (looks like someone hit it with a car last night – you know, without street lights it’s tough to see in the wilds of Boston’s Metro West), by a distressed jogger who was startled by the sight.  The plus: with no electricity, the jogger’s scream worked even better than my silly old alarm clock.  Let’s just say I wasn’t late for work this a.m.!

And I’d like to give a special shout-out to my staying-classy colleagues!  Megan, who brought me a kickass sage stick straight from New Orleans to help cleanse my house juju!  And to my browntastic gal, Dipika, who has treated me to many a meal during which I could eat (and sometimes drink) my feelings!  My disastrous living situation has shown me how lucky I am, and for that I’ll always be grateful.

But I think I’ve learned the lesson well enough, and it’s time to move on…

Please.  Now.  Seriously.

~ Sarah

Breaking News: 30-Year-Old Woman Lives in Frat House

August 24, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Posted in Around Boston, Home Ownership, Married Life | Leave a comment
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unAssociated Press – August 24, 2011 – Earlier this week, officials discovered a 30-year-old married woman living with a younger man in a frat house.  When questioned by mental health workers assigned to the case, the unidentified woman reportedly responded with confusion, stating she had no idea how it came to this…

Old School

Even Will Ferrell can't make living in a frat house appealing to me...

Oh wait, that’s me.  You see, a few days ago, the hubs figured out that the best way to describe living in our new home was to compare it to Greek life… and not in the awesome parties, lack of responsibility kind of way.  In the day-to-day existence as a smelly, dirty, immature boy who gives Martha Stewart nightmares kind of way.

As a former frat president, Andrew noted the eerie similarities between our current home and his life as big man on campus – mainly, you can’t leave your bedroom without protective footwear and the ratio of beer to food in the refrigerator is shameful for even the booziest of boozebags.  Seriously, we have three bottles of ketchup, a few frozen dinners and innumerable cases of beer.  And that’s it.

Don’t get me wrong, having a bevy of brewskis on hand at Chez L-ski is an awesome thing.  And we’re grateful that everyone who comes to visit brings truckloads of liquid courage (because lord knows we need all the courage – both liquid and otherwise – we can get).  But I do wonder what this is doing to my reputation…


Strong Enough for a Man, pH Balanced for a Woman?

August 17, 2011 at 10:15 am | Posted in Around Boston, Home Ownership, Married Life | 2 Comments
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If there’s one thing I’ve learned about home renovation, it’s to do it when you’re NOT living in said home.  But if there’s another thing I’ve learned, it’s that there really is a difference in men’s and women’s toiletries. 

armpit smell

Well this is awkward...

Because we can’t actually unpack anything yet, Andrew and I have been “making do” with what we have.  So I’ve been using his Pert Plus and yellow Dial soap in the shower (my hair and skin have never felt so stripped of moisture – seriously, I’m a walking desert!), and he grudgingly uses my deodorant.

Yes, you read that correctly: Andrew has been using my deodorant.  He tried going without any for a few days, but we were afraid the EPA was going to get involved, so he broke down and used mine.  And he smelled delightful for a few hours.

Then he started asking if my armpits ever “burned.”

Ummmm… no, dear.  There is no Usher song dedicated to my pits, because my deodorant has never made my armpits burn!

Oh, he replied.  Maybe there’s something to that pH thing they talk about in the commercials after all!

Poor hubs and his burning armpits!  Before you get all judgy on me, please know that I’m stopping at CVS on the way home to buy shampoo, conditioner, body wash and MEN’S deodorant.

I heart home ownership!


Movin’ On Up!

July 26, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Posted in Around Boston, Home Ownership | Leave a comment
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Who needs a toilet, anyway?  Or a shower?  Or a sink?  Or faucet? Or even a kitchen?  Not Andrew and I… or so we hope!  On Friday we’re finally moving in to Chez L-ski, and as you can guess, we’re a little behind.  Okay, a lot behind.

Photo by Betsssssy (flickr).

The closets haven’t been painted so we have nowhere to unpack our clothes.  And while the fridge is being delivered on Saturday, the water line isn’t in yet so it can’t be installed.  And even though we ordered a fancy new Toto toilet (I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to flush a small country!), part of it is back-ordered.  Our kitchen sink and faucet, bathroom sink and faucet, even our counter-tops haven’t been delivered.  We don’t have a dining room table or chairs, or enough furniture to fill the place.  I could go on and on.

But I won’t.

Instead I’ll just tell you how excited we are about this new stage in our life (we’re grown-ups!), and how grateful we are to our families for all their help and support (especially Big Charlie of Costanzo Tile & Marble fame).

So here goes nothing…

Time to pray to the moving gods, the shipping gods, and the plumbing and electrician gods.  And any other gods that’ll listen!


Love The One You’re With… Even If It’s A Different Color Than You Expected

July 14, 2011 at 10:15 am | Posted in Around Boston, Home Ownership | 2 Comments
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My hubs is obsessed with all things New York.  Especially evil sports teams.  Ptoo, ptoo.  So when we were picking paint colors for our new construction site, errrr, I mean house, he may have been swayed by Behr’s creative naming practices.

This is NOT, I repeat, NOT what home improvement is like!

We wanted to paint our bedroom walls gray – with white wood furniture, black bedding and a pop of red accent accessories, we thought it would look really contemporary and cool – so when we stumbled upon “Manhattan Mist,” he was sold!

Did I point out that painting our room the self-professed color of smog might be a bad idea? No.  Because I don’t like to rain on his parades.  And I’m being very careful about picking my battles these days. And because I thought the color was pretty slick, too.

So we painted our room Manhattan Mist, and we were SUPER excited about it!  We knew that once we finished painting, it would be the only room in the whole gourd-forsaken place that would be finished before move-in day!  FTW!

As you can guess, it didn’t work out as planned.  In the afternoon and evening light, our slick gray color looks lavender.  Really, really, unmistakably lavender.  We have purple walls.  Purple!

And we are completely, utterly and unequivocally exhausted.  So, rather than taking the time and effort (neither of which we have enough of) to repaint the rhymes-with-trucking walls, we’re learning to love the lavender.


The Bathtub Incident

June 30, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Posted in Around Boston, Home Ownership | 3 Comments
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Our new neighbors may be wondering if Andrew and I are staging a Cialis commercial in their driveway.  Why?  Our bathtub was delivered (yay!) to our neighbors’ driveway (boo!).  Apparently the delivery company is staffed with dyslexic or lazy employees, or perhaps employees who think it is funny to drop a 150 lbs. tub in the middle of the wrong driveway to see how suckers like us handle this snafu!

This image from Demotivationalposters.org says it all...

Said neighbor pulled into his driveway after work, saw a random, mysterious bathtub sitting there (cough cough weird Cialis commercial cough cough) and then had to rifle through the accompanying paperwork to find the actual owner of the tub.

Fortunately or unfortunately (the jury’s out), our neighbor shares the same name as a popular political candidate, so not only was he inconvenienced by the bizarre and unexpected placement of our bathtub, but when he tried to call me to rectify the situation, he was also met with my skepticism.

New Neighbor: Hello, Sarah?
Sarah: Speaking.
NN: Hi, my name is [insert political candidate’s name].
Sarah: Ummm… ooooh-kay.
NN: I’m your new neighbor.
Sarah: Riiight.  I live next door to [political candidate’s name]?
NN: Not exactly – I live diagonally across the street.  And I’m the other [political candidate’s name].
Sarah: Oh!  Sorry!  Hidyho, neighbor.  How can I help ya?
NN: I’m calling because of your bathtub.
Sarah: My bathtub?
NN: Yes.  It’s sitting in my driveway.
Sarah: D’oh!

Needless to say, Andrew high-tailed it over to his house after work and attempted to relocate our bathtub.  But our poor neighbor had to endure further shenanigans, because it was far too unruly for Andrew to move that far on his own.  The neighbor had to help him carry it across the street and into our driveway.

I think it’s fair to say we’re not making the best first impression in our new ‘hood…


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