Learning and Stuff

Things you learn when you live on your own in a different state, are cheap, and can’t have your parents come over to help:

1. Fire extinguishers have to be checked by fire people every so often to make sure they still, ya know, put out fires.

2. Floating shelves are the devil and walls can be too soft to handle stupid screws. Screw screws.

3. WD-40 can apparently fix everything.

4. Staple guns are amazing.

5. You can overfill your car tires with air when you are trying to fill them back up. Apparently you only have to hold the air thing to the tire thing for a second.

6. Popcorn is a totally acceptable dinner at least twice a week.

7. Using a measuring tape and level thing are pretty necessary when hanging stuff.

8. Things can be toasted in the oven if you’re too cheap to buy a toaster. Toasters are pretty irrelevant.

9. Mattresses are expensive, but if you go to mattress firm in Temple you can get free delivery and a date…I think getting my cell phone number off the order form, texting me to see how my mattress feels, and asking if we can chat about it over coffee goes a little above the call of duty…but then again, I am a first time mattress buyer.

10. Toothpaste can do a lot of really handy things.

11. Empty wine bottles make beautiful vases…home decor…another great reason to drink more wine.

12. There are different kinds of oil that can go into your car and putting the wrong one in your car is bad.

13. There are blenders that can make soup. I am now the proud owner of said blender. Soup maker and smoothie maker. Two for one all day.

14. You should put a towel down before you iron on surfaces other than an ironing board.

So these are all the wonderful things I have been learning while living on my own. I am such a functional adult, it truly is amazing. The good news is, my mother will be here next week and she can fix all of the things for me and cook all of the delicious meals.

I’m Back!

Woooo buddy. It’s been a minute so I have a couple important updates about my lovely little retirement community that I have found myself living in. Lets start with a new character before moving on to my buddy Earl.

I forget my new neighbors name so I’m going to call her Fran. (Side note: I’m clearly reallly good at coming up with sweet names for my neighbors).

So I’m out walking Henry one evening and I get approached by Fran. I’ve never met her before, but she walked right up to me looking like she had something important to say, so I figured I’d see what was up. I stop and am ready for her to say hello and start petting Henry, but instead she stares me down and say “I just have to tell you, I think it is so impossible for women your age to find anyone to be with even for a little while. I’m not even talking marriage, I’m talking about even just to date for a little bit. People today are terrible and I don’t think you’ll find someone good. I was lucky, I married my husband a long time ago, but I teach now and I see young people who have to settle for these terrible people with no job.”  

I am dead serious. She continued this rant for a good five minutes. I just nodded along and said yes a few times. Mostly I was thinking, is my crew neck sweatshirt and soccer shorts a giveaway that I’m single? Needless to say, I was a little taken aback. Then she asks how long I’ve been with the guy I live with now. Now I was very confused. First because I don’t live with someone and second because if she thought I lived with a guy, then why would she be ranting about me not being able to find a good man? I corrected her and informed her I live alone. Now she seemed confused. To change the subject she finally acknowledged Henry, only she called him Wilbur. I corrected her again. That’s when we both came to the realization that she thought I was another girl that lived in the complex. She’s the only other person who lives in the apartments that has brown hair. That’s where the similarity ends; however. She does live with her boyfriend. She has long hair that pretty dark brown, almost black. Her dog, Wilbur, has black fur. I’m pretty sure she is a good three inches taller than me and is in way better shape. I’m going to take Fran confusing us as a compliment, but I really think the older people in the apartment just blend all the young people together. You know how they say studies have shown that white people can’t tell the difference between Asian or African American people…I think old people can’t tell the difference between young people. It makes total sense, old people have been calling me my sisters names for years! Anyway, Fran quickly moved on, but I think we are new best friends.

Now on to Earl. The last few weeks I have been very worried about my Earl. I was walking Henry on the trail past his apartment one morning and saw the maintenance people pulling all the carpet out of the place. My first thought was “What a lucky bastard! How did he get new carpets when I’m stuck with stupid old tan ones. The next day I had another more terrifying thought. The apartment complex cleans or replaces carpet if people LEAVE! EARLLLLLLL NOOOOOOO. I remind you, Earl is pretty old so if he left the apartment complex, I did not think it would be to move to a new hot spot with a better pool. I thought dear old, murdering Earl had died! The birds and squirrels were probably psyched.

So a week or so goes by and I’m thinking Earl is dunzo and I need to move on to my other weirdo neighbors (Fran was a front runner). THEN a real twist came into play. My co-worker stopped into my office one day and asked if I lived in the Chappell Creek apartments. When I said yes, she told me that her in-laws or ex-in-laws or something like that lived there too. To make a long story short, she told me they noticed a leak that turned into a downpour and the realization that the upstairs apartment water heater had broken and was now dumping water into her in-laws lower unit. Everything was drenched and ruined, but the apartment management people were really nice about it and put them up in a new apartment for now while they replaced the carpets and all their furniture and stuff. The whole time she’s talking I could barely listen because all I could think was OMG EARL IS RELATED KIND OF SORT OF TO MY CO-WORKER! I had a million questions, specifically about the sling shot, but that would mean admitting that I stalk and blog about her family. They already think I’m super weird because I tried to eat ribs with a fork and knife so I figured I’d bit my tongue and keep this one to myself.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas…Maybe

So it’s almost October, which is just a hop, skip and a jump from December. That means Christmas is around the corner. Having recently moved to Texas and now that I have my rescue pup, Christmas plans have become much more stressful. I’m currently in the process of determining if I can make it home, for how long, and what I should do with my little nugget.

I have three options. 1) Fly home with Henry. 2) Fly home and leave Henry in a boarding facility. 3) Stay in Texas with Henry. Sorry family, I care more about the dog??

I’ve thrown out option one since flying home with Henry would require drugging him, putting him in a crate, and loading him into the bottom of a plane. I just feel like that is way too traumatizing. Plus he has a week stomach and gets very sick any time he needs medicine.

So now I’m down to options two and three. Most people would probably be looking at the financial considerations first. How much are flights? How much does boarding cost? How much money will it take to make my family crappy home made Christmas gifts? Can I bring cookie tins on the plan? I mean, checking a bag is THE WORST.

I wish I could say I am basing my decision on such sensible thoughts, but that would be a lie. Don’t get me wrong, I am looking into all that, but honestly, I think the determining factor will really be if I can bring myself to leave Henry and be apart from him for a week??? I am seriously considering not going home for Christmas just so I don’t have to leave my dog. What does that say about my life?

In my defense a big part of it is because Henry is a rescue pup and he freaks out if you try and force him into a crate. The groomer learned that the hard way. I don’t want him to think I’ve left him for good if I leave for the week and I don’t want him to be cramped in a crappy crate all day. Who knows how often they actually take all the little nugglets out!!

To help, my co-worker suggested I check out a place called Barker Heights Bed and Biscuit. It’s a pet boarding facility in neighboring Harker Heights. This. Place. Is. Amazing. It will basically cost me my life savings…all $300 of it, but Henry would have his own room WITH A TV and a private yard so he can go out and poop any time. Henry is very regular, so that’s super important. The TV is on 24/7 and plays pet shows and pet food commercials and shit. So sweet. You can also pay extra for your dog to receive “extended individual play.” Basically a worker person chills with your dog for like 8 hours. I don’t even do that! All of that is great and all, but here is the best part….you can pay to have cameras rolling in the room 24/7. The cameras are hooked up to an internet feed so you can check in on your pet any time you want over the internet!! WHATTT! It’s like that Panda cam at the zoo! There little saying is “So you can see here, when you can’t be here!”  Oh my goodness. They have answered my prayers. Can I get this installed in my apartment for when I’m at work? Here’s the link if you want to check how sweet this place is.

So I’m still not sure what I’m going to do since I might have to take out a small loan to afford these sweet digs for my little turd, but it’s good to know I have a pretty nice option for my Christmas travels if I need it.

Some other things I will also be considering when making my travel plans:

1) My nephews who I see too little of now.

Not sure I want to miss out on this…

Not happy to receive shoes.

Not happy to receive shoes. What’s happening with your eyes Logan? Did you get into the dessert wine? Are you drunk again??

Very happy to receive Lincoln Logs

Very happy to receive Lincoln Logs. Two things are also happening in this picture 1) Dad will always get trash duty on Christmas morning and 2) My parents have given up on wrapping and started keeping things right in the Amazon box. Cutting open the box is almost as cool as unwrapping presents right?

2) The weather.

Not sure I want leave mild winter in Texas for this….

Snow

But then again, the snow can be beautiful

But then again, the snow can be beautiful

Who am I kidding...the snow sucks.

Who am I kidding…the snow sucks.

3) My grandmother

She really wants me to come back for Christmas. She’s resorted to guilt…last time we talked she said I’ll start praying that you can come home. Man oh man, now I think I have to.

Mims with my adorable sisters :)

Mims with my adorable sisters 🙂 Seriously Erin, you were one cute kid.

Apparently I Look Like a Man…

This weekend I was taking Henry for our usual walk around the neighborhood when I noticed a bunch of estate sale signs. Normally not my thing, but this particular estate sale was for a house that is at the bottom of a big hill that is really more compound than a house since there are like eight random barns down there so I was intrigued. Henry and I made our way down and looked around for a minute. I made the wise decision not to let Henry in the house (despite approval from the owners) since he would probably sniff/knock over/pee on everything, so we quickly turned around and headed back towards home.

As I was heading back up the hill, several families stopped to admire Henry, which of course he loves. He’ll sit down in front of them and put up his paw. They freak out about how adorable that was and start petting him like crazy. Smart little bastard. One couple actually acknowledged my presence (believe me, that rarely happens) and asked my name. After I responded, the man said “Ohhh I’ve seen you guys walking through the neighborhood a bunch.” To which I said “Yepp, that’s us! Every morning!” Then the guys says this “Does your Dad walk him sometimes too?”

Two things are wrong with that question:

1. That means he thinks I look young enough to still live with my Father….I swear I’m not 12, I’m actually 23. What 12 year old takes their dog out for a walk every morning at 6am anyway? That would be one responsible kid! Anddd what 12 year old randomly visits estate sales on a Saturday morning by themselves? That would be one weird kid.

2. It’s always me walking Henry so that means that some mornings when this guy see’s us walking he thinks I’m an older man. Seriously? I’ve been growing my hair out and everything! I know I’m always in work out clothes, my hair is usually a mess, and I never have make up on, but come on man! It’s 6am! I’m also really not sure how you transform from a 12 year old to an old man either. Would have made more sense if he thought it was my brother walking Henry.

I offered the guy an out and just smiled and said “Nope, it’s just me, but I think there is another guy in the neighborhood with a bassett.” Instead of taking the out, he said “No, it was definitely this dog so I guess it was just you.”

Awesome. Thanks sir. I will encourage Henry to pee on your mailbox now.

 

8 Reasons Why Being an Adult Sucks

Here is a list of all of the things I don’t like about being an adult:

1. Bills. Seriously guys, does everything have to be so expensive? The ramen noodle diet no longer belongs to college kids. I was eating wayyy better back then when my rent was paid for and all of my money went towards drinks, food, pedicures, and drinks. The ramen noodle diet is really for recently graduated 20 somethings who have stupidly low paying jobs because “they’re doing what they love” and ten thousand bills to pay. My feet are seriously jacked right now, sushi is out of the question, and drinks…what are those again? I vaguely remember the deliciousness and bad decisions.

2. Work. Let me clarify. I like work, but this all the time stuff has got to go. I used to think school was way worse than work since you had homework afterwards. 9am-5pm seemed pretty legit. BUT most days you’ve got to get to work early to get stuff done on time and then there are the networking events after work or the late night cram session to get my weekly reports done. On top of that, I work in events, that means many weekends of being onsite at the crack of dawn. Skip work after a long weekend of working an event?? Yeah right!  That’s all topped off by the fact that in this lovely age of smart phones, you’re never away from email. I have to resist the urge to email back “11pm is just not a good time for me guys.” Or better yet, “6am is worse. Go away.”

3. Waking up early. I’ve always been a fairly early riser. 7:30am, maybe 8, I’m up and ready to hit the couch with a nice big bowl of cereal and repeats of Will and Grace. Ready to take on the day! Those days are gone. Mostly because I rescued a ridiculously adorable, but tragically hyper dog who thinks 5:30am is the ONLY time to get up. It starts with a little whine. Then the front paws are up on the bed and he’s nudging me with his giant nose. If I’m still not up he runs laps around the house and barks like a maniac. Out of courtesy to my neighbors, I’m usually up well before that. 6am at the latest I’m up and out for a walk then back for breakfast and answering the first round of emails for the morning.

4. I have no life. This is partially because I just moved to Temple, TX, partially because I’m an awkward weirdo and partially because I am so exhausted by the end of the week that Saturday and Sunday become “let’s see how many naps Henry will let me take” days. Seriously, last weekend I took Henry to the dog park twice and bought a pair of shoes online. THAT WAS IT! I couldn’t even muster up the energy to put on real clothes and go to the grocery store. I walked to the dollar general up the street instead and bought a bag of tortilla chips. Thought process: This will tide me over for about a week. I’d also like to say that nothing is worse than people who schedule stuff after work on a week day. Come out for dinner on a Monday night?? Are you kidding? #1 I need to feed my dog and give him some love since I’ve been at work all day. #2 I can’t wear sweat pants to the restaurant, which is what I will be putting on right when I get home. #3 There are excellent TV shows on Monday and my DVR list isn’t going to watch itself. #4 One adult beverage will get me drunk at this point and I can’t afford dinner. #5 I want to go to bed! Seriously people, if you want me there, which I know you allllll do, Saturday is your best bet and even then it’s iffy.

5. Traveling. Traveling for work is really not that cool. Okay, so maybe it is if you have a really amazing job and you get to travel to foreign countries or really fun cities. I travel from Temple, TX to Victoria, TX. Think Temple isn’t a big town? Go to Victoria. I have to wake up early so I can get on the road with enough time to get to the office by 10am. I drive 3.5 hours through the middle of no where Texas. The speed limit goes from 75 down to 35 every couple of miles as you drive through tiny towns. I check into a kind of gross hotel, drop Henry off, and head to the office. I get off work, grab bad food, and eat it in bed in my hotel room. Wake up the next morning to go to work until the afternoon. Come back, grab Henry, check out, and I’m back on the road to be back to Temple around 6 or 7. Not glamorous and not fun. Packing is annoying. Hotels are annoying. Driving is annoying. Answering emails while trying to drive is annoying. I really love it.

6. Making dinner. I live alone. Making dinner is either a big hassle or just depressing. When I was a kid, my mom had a full meal on the table pretty much all the time AND usually something for dessert. I was a picky asshole then. I’m sorry Mom. I’ll eat anything you want to make me now. Even that weird soup with all the beans. ANYTHING! As long as I don’t have to cook it myself, I’m in!

7. Birthday parties. Past 21, birthday parties seem super lame. I want a bounce house. I’d like a giant funfetti cake. Or even a pool party where everyone actually swims and eats ten million handfuls of cheese doodles without worrying about how the impending food baby belly will look while in a bikini. I would love to go to the roller rink and eat bad pizza. Mini golf, bumper boats, sleepovers! I would like to combine all of those things with booze and have a giantly awesome birthday extravaganza.

8. The mall. Remember when going to the mall was really cool? I used to BEG to go. It was a great day if mom took us to the Warwick Mall, but it was even more awesome if we were able to talk her into the Providence Place Mall. Obnoxious parking garage or not, they had way better stores. I could spend and entire day there. It also helped that I wasn’t always spending my own money and when I got old enough to be making my own money, the only things I had to worry about buying were movie tickets, baskets of french fries at Applebee’s, and a littllleee bit later, bottles of $7 Burnett’s Vodka. I can still taste the green apple goodness. Side bar: What a tragedy it was when they were out of green apple and you had to get cherry. Now, I avoid the mall at all costs. I only go if I absolutely have to and even then I hit the one store I need and get out of there as quickly as I can. Staying there for hours. Lugging a million bags around. Eating gross panda express. No longer an ideal day for me. Don’t get me wrong…I still LOVE to shop (wayyyyy to much in fact), but give me one store at a time please. Better yet, give me a great website and free shipping.

So now that I have you all convinced that I am an angry old lady who hates everything, I’d like to say, that I am actually very happy…most days 😉 I do love my job. And I really like having my own apartment (mostly I just like having control over my own TV and DVR box and no one is there to judge me for recording 24 hours of Love It Or List It….seriously my HGTV obsession is out of control). I love having a new car and being able to afford more than $10 of gas at a time. And I LOVE having an adorable, amazing, little nugget of a dog, even if he wakes me up at 5:30am and burps in my face after he’s finished breakfast.

Neighbors Be Crazy Update #9,764

So by now you all should know that I am obsessed with my weird, old, murderin, crazy neighbor. It’s just so interesting to me that he is so freaking weird and crazy.

In my previous report, I had mentioned his trusty binoculars and sling shot, which he uses to murder innocent birds and squirrels. These items are kept out on a little table on his back patio next to his chair (which has a strawberry patterned chair cover on it, by the way). If he’s ever out on the patio in the morning he’ll usually mumble something in a thick, crazy Texas accent. I pretend to understand, smile and laugh a little, and proceed to pull Henry along faster so I don’t become his next sling shot victim.

This morning, he was not out on his patio, but a new addition to the table was! Any guesses?

He had a super old video camera. I’m talking still records to VHS old, I’m surprised this frail little man can lift this thing old, I don’t think this thing films in color old. I didn’t think you could even still buy blank VHS tapes. Are there working VHS players in the world? So many questions, so little time.

More important questions include: what are you filming sir? Do you film your kills? How do you sling shot and film at the same time (I didn’t see any sign of a tripod)? Should I be more worried about this? Is it weird that I want to try and get invited inside his house?

Other thoughts: What is your name? I think you look like an Earl. Earl it is! Did you pick out the strawberry chair cover and fake flowers in that flower pot? Do you have a wife? Did she pick them out? Do you hate her for that? I mean, it’s pretty girly. Does she approve of your sling shot past time? Can I meet your wife too? I’ve never seen a wife or any evidence of a wife so he probably doesn’t have one. Do you keep her locked inside and hit her with the sling shot if she comes out? That would just be mean! You should let her out. I don’t think that’s what you do, so no wife. If you don’t have a wife, do you live alone? You’re so old! Does anyone bring you food? Is that why you sling shot animals? Are you hunting for dinner? That’s a very Texas thing to do and also very sad. Should I bring him dinner? I think I should bring him dinner.

Look out for Crazy Neighbor Update #9,765: The time I brought Earl dinner.

…If I never post again, you should probably assume Earl killed me…with a sling shot.

Wouldn’t a sling shot been a cool Clue weapon…

Mr. Plum, in the library, with the SLING SHOT!