Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What We'll Put Up With

Peter and I are so desperate for a different place to eat that we actually followed the advice of someone at and tried Stanz Cafe in Larchmont.

It was pretty great. It's a cute little breakfast place and I got a sandwich while Peter ordered the pancakes. As I was eating one of the best sandwiches I have ever eaten and Peter was eating one of the best pancakes he's ever had, we see a HUGE ROACH crawling around on the floor right by his foot.

"Uh. Oh," I said.

Peter looked at it and then at me and asked, "Should we be worried?"

"I mean, it's a restaurant. All restaurants have roaches."

"Yeah, but should they be the size of my hand?"

"I say that we give this place one more chance. If the NEXT TIME we come here, we don't see a roach, then it's fine."

"Wow. Are we really that desperate for a new place to eat in Westchester that we're willing to put up with this?"

My Friend Went to Tanzania and All She Brought Back Was This Stupid URL

I have given a lot of gifts in my lifetime, but I have never given away a website. My sister met the "male her" during her trip to Tanzania this summer and for his birthday she gave him the URL to my blog.

"You gave him my blog for his birthday? Wow, you're cheap. It's FREE ON THE INTERNET."

"Yeah, and he LOVED IT."

I'm sure it provided him with minutes of entertainment.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Bryan-spelled-with-a-Y!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

She's A Good Girl

Today we listened as the kitty used her litterbox, as she does every night. She then very diligently and for several minutes, paws at the box and sweeps up any loose litter on the floor with her paws into a neat little line.

"She's a good girl," I said.

And then Peter said, "So why do I hate her?"

Monday, August 18, 2008


There are many ways cats are different than dogs.

1. Cats do not come when called.
2. Cats will bite you for no reason.
3. Cats will scratch at you for no reason.
4. Cats hiss.
5. Cats will meow and pace around at night.
6. Cats will not play with the toys you give them.
7. Cats will jump up and knock over your orange jewelry box.


Cats are kinda jerky.

I am a dog person, I've always been a dog person and whenever I meet people with cats and not dogs, I understand that the cat is just a placeholder until they can get a real dog.

Now that there's a cat living in this apartment, I discover that I am still a dog person. I think this cat is very cute, but she is not cuddly. She is super-smart and I like her very much, but I just don't know if I can form a very close bond with a creature who hides under Peter's desk 95 percent of the time. And even when she comes out for a few minutes, the second she hears a pin drop, she's ready to run back under his desk.

We're giving her some time to adjust to living in a space with us, but we can't help but feel like we're terrorists and she's our hostage. Every once in a while, I wonder if she'd rather be out in the world as a stray cat. Does she sit around trying to figure out a way to get out? When she looks out the window, does she want to tear out the screen and head for the hills?

She doesn't seem to like Peter, which is a bad thing, because he's the one that feeds her and takes care of her litterbox. She's still TERRIFIED of the dogs, who really don't do anything but look at her through the divider. Rocky looks with interest. Scout looks at her with concern. She doesn't seem to be afraid of Scout, but hisses at Rocky whenever he turns his head at her. The only person the cat seems to like is me and I'm not the cat person, Peter is. She better start learning which side her bread is buttered because Peter is getting a little tired of her hissy fits.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Not Listening

Peter: What was it that you were saying about the plumbers tomorrow? When you were talking about that in the car, I was listening to the baseball game.

Me: That they were going to be here at 9am?

Peter: Glad I asked.

Me: So you didn't hear a word I said during the car ride?

Peter: Uhm...nope. But you just told me now, so we're good.

Me: Riiiiight.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fancy Microwave

There are two types of shoppers, there's the person who likes to research and scope out stores and track down the best price for an item -- that's me -- and there's the other type of shopper, someone who will buy something just because it's right there -- that's Peter.

That item can be the suckiest blender/food processor/fan/air conditioner in the world, but if it's at the Lowe's while we're shopping for a replacement hacksaw blade, then that's the item he's going to want to buy IMMEDIATELY because IT'S RIGHT HERE AND I'M ALREADY HOLDING IT.

Needless to say, we've gotten into a lot of heated arguments at stores because I want to go home and ask the crystal ball I call THE INTERNET and ask it if it's a good idea to purchase that $35 blender from Target (the answer was no). But Peter wants to get his credit card and put $35 on it on a blender that will fall apart the second time he uses it.

And I completely understand why he wants to just buy the blender. Because then WE WILL HAVE A BLENDER AND CAN USE IT TONIGHT. And I'm all -- BUT IT MAY BREAK THE VERY NEXT DAY. LET'S WAIT TO BUY ONE THAT WILL LAST A FEW YEARS.

I was raised by extremely frugal parents. Parents who taught me that it was best to save up to buy things IN CASH and be careful how you spend your money. These are people who showed me their booklet of mortgage payment slips instead of reading me bed-time stories.

Peter, on the other hand, was raised by a woman who will buy Hummel dolls as an investment, a person who thinks that "credit card" is synonymous to "free money." In other words, Peter was raised by a RENTER. Not that there's anything wrong with renting, but I wouldn't advise you to do it for sixty-five years.

But I am trying to be better about it. Being with Peter has taught me to bend a little more and to compromise. Sometimes it's better for me to pick my battles. A few days ago, we went to Sears to purchase a microwave that I had researched -- a $200 microwave that would suit our needs just fine. Unfortunately, Sears was out of that particular microwave. But they did have a $350 microwave that had a "browning feature" that was good for "melting cheese."

This is probably a feature that we would never use, a feature that no microwave really needs, but this microwave, the one that cost nearly double what we had planned out in our microwave budget was the one that was in stock, so Peter wanted to take it home.

And I didn't even argue with him. That's love, people.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Property Managers

I'm sure that mothers everywhere want the best things in life for their children. What's the point of gestating a baby for nine months, raising them through childhood and paying for their college tuition just so they can grow up to be the property manager of our new coop apartment? I'm sure the mother of our property manager asks herself this question every single day of her life.

Right before we closed on our apartment, we did what the real estate biz calls a "walk-through." Which is basically a formality of walking through the apartment, making sure that everything turns on and nothing has fallen apart from the time you looked at it and the day you are officially the new owner.

This is usually a formality, but during our walk-through, water was leaking everywhere -- out of the bathroom sink, gallons of water poured from the dishwasher and the bottom of the kitchen sink, it was a NIGHTMARE.

Of course I got completely freaked out and I was literally shaking as I sat in the law office where our closing was scheduled. When my attorney walked in, I told her that I needed to speak to her privately, and when I told her the problem, she said to me, "Well, there's nothing you can do about this. We're closing right now."

Just so you know, don't hire our real estate attorney. (I won't mention names, but her initials are CM and she works out of Mount Kisco). This was the last thing I needed to hear, especially from someone we pay to be OUR advocate. Because I ended up having to do the negotiations to get the seller's attorney to ensure that this stuff would be fixed -- while our attorney was chit-chatting with the bank's attorney about the last time they all went fishing together. At one point, the seller's attorney (who was the building's attorney, since we bought the unit straight from the building) said, "That sounds to me like it's just a gasket. Sometimes when a sink isn't used for a few months, the gasket gets loose."

My useless attorney who still uses an aol mail account for her law business says, "Yeah, y'know it's probably a GASKET."

I was shaking with anger at this point and I'm usually a very nice person, but push me to this limit and all I can say is that I let her HAVE IT. I turned to her and said in a very slow and calm voice, "I would appreciate it if you don't try to ARGUE FOR THE OTHER SIDE. You are OUR ATTORNEY. I would appreciate it if you would SIDE WITH US."

A hush fell over the whole room.

FINALLY, we got it sorted out that the building would take care of the plumbing issues, which is all we wanted. I don't know who they sent, but we're still having trouble with our bathroom sink and the water from our kitchen tap comes out hot -- on both sides. It's been about a month since closing and just yesterday some new plumbers came over and took a look under the kitchen sink and told us that all the hook-ups were done incorrectly and that no hot water was coming into the dishwasher.

I emailed our property manager, who on his nicest day is a putz, and he didn't reply. So I called him today and asked him if he was going to give the okay to fix the dishwasher.

"I'm debating it," he said.

"What do you mean by that?" I asked. I mean, what does he mean by that? I'm debating it? Does that mean -- yes, I know that I should have this problem fixed, but I don't want to?

"Your problem was that the dishwasher was leaking. It's not leaking anymore, is it?"

"But nothing is hooked up correctly under the sink. We're getting hot water on both taps and apparently, there's only cold water going into the dishwasher."

"That's because we got one of the newer ENERGY EFFICIENT dishwasher which has its own heating system so that you don't need to have hot water going into it."

"I know about those ENERGY EFFICIENT dishwasher and it's more ENERGY EFFICIENT to wash the dishes with HOT WATER than to have to HEAT COLD WATER to wash the dishes."


"I don't have a problem going to the board with this issue, I'm sure they'll side with me with the fact that you had agreed to FIX THE PROBLEM, which means not just ensuring that the dishwasher doesn't leak, but that IT WORKS."

Dealing with this property manager is kind of like dealing with my younger cousins growing up. Everything is a struggle until I say, "I'm going to tell your parents." And then all of a sudden, it's like the sun breaks out of the clouds. Because as soon as I mention going to the board, this guy is all nice as can be and all "of course we need to fix your dishwasher."

Peter's ready to call it quits with this guy and just hire our own plumber because the aggravation isn't worth it, but I'm all like, "But there's a PRINCIPLE here! THEY agreed to fix it!"

And Peter's all, "Arguing with this jerk is a WASTE OF LIFE."

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Hiss and Vinegar

At this point we have had the cat almost two weeks now and she is still TERRIFIED of the dogs. We put up a divider between Peter's office and the living room so that the dogs don't go rushing into the office to try to eat her. We've also been sleeping on the sofa in the living room because we don't have a bed yet.

Yesterday, the cat decided to jump over the divider and sleep under our makeshift bed, which I didn't realize until this morning, when the dogs were sniffing under the bed and I heard hysterical hissing sounds underneath me. Peter thinks this is because she has become so attached to me that she wants to be around me, and I'm all, "So why does she hide whenever I go into the office?"

And since Peter's family has had numerous cats while he was growing up, he says, "Because she's a cat, not a dog. Hiding is what cats do."

We've discovered that this cat hisses at just about anything: vacuum cleaner, dogs, an accidental touch on the tail. Oh, and let's not forget about the dreaded BROOM. She hates that thing with a vengeance that comes straight from the dark depths of her soul. Somewhere in her short life a broom has done her a large wrong. Whenever Peter sweeps the floor in his office, she goes into conniptions.

Yesterday we went to Petsmart and bought several jingle-jangly plastic balls for her to play with and when I tossed one at her, she ran away from it and gave me a dirty look that said, "Why are you doing this to me?" I let Peter pick out the toy at the store because of his previous cat experience and he said that cats LOVE this stuff.

When she ran away, he looked at me and said, "Well, I guess this isn't going to be the first time this cat makes a liar out of me."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Moved In...Kinda

In recent days, Peter has told his mother that it's okay to call every day. She coming up against the doldrums of summer. My theory is that between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, she's got events coming up on the horizon she can look forward to, but during the summer, it's just one long stretch of being reminded how little your older children care about you.

One mean trick Peter's sister plays on his mother is telling her that they're going to invite her to stay over soon. In my mother-in-law's vocabulary, "soon" is synonymous with "this weekend." So several weeks ago, she turned down an invitation to her grandson's bride's wedding shower in order to go to her daughter's house. And because she told Peter that she was going to Long Island that weekend, he made no plans to visit. By the way, did I ever mention that she NEVER gets invited to do anything? So the one time this millennium she got invited to something, she turned it down to keep herself free just in case her daughter just happened to feel like having her over.

So when she called that Saturday and Peter said, "I thought you weren't home this weekend," she got extremely agitated and a pus-filled vitriolic tirade flew out of her body and Peter was all, "I was gonna come by and see you, but now I'm not. Good. Bye." Okay, he didn't verbally say it because he's too nice to, but those were the undertones.

These past few days she's been leaving messages on our answering machine that go like this:

"Peter? Are you there? Are you there? Why you no call me? Are you okay? Okay...."

When he tells her that we're EXTREMELY BUSY, I don't think she gets it. So I told him today that he should bring her over here where she can sit in the one crevice that is not overtaken by boxes while I paint and he organizes his office, just so she can fully comprehend what he means by WE ARE BUSY.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Unnamed Emily Mortimer Project

I'm so sorry that the postings have been nonexistent! We just found out last Friday that we could close on our condo yesterday, so I've been in a packing and labeling frenzy and hadn't had internet access in the last few days. PLUS we're trying to acclimate our brand-new kitty with our two dogs and let's just say that it is NOT going very well.

I wanted to name her Emily Mortimer, but since Peter hates that name, we're calling her Meow Meow, otherwise known as The Unnamed Emily Mortimer Project. Every other day I vacillate between keeping her and giving her away. She's sweet and affectionate, although a bit skittish, which is understandable since she was a stray. But she is TERRIFIED of the dogs, and yet brazen enough to jump over the pet gate just to be subjected to her terror. I guess cats are just not that bright. We might have to give her away to someone who doesn't have dogs, but we're still holding out hope that they will be able to acclimate to each other.

Anyway, we're really glad to be back in Mamaroneck! We've been going to Sal's Pizza almost every other day since our kitchen is a MESS. However, I do believe that their slices are growing smaller and smaller as we speak. Pretty soon they will be bite-sized.

A great, big, HUGE thank you to the commenter who suggested Al's Moving Company. They did a GREAT job and were the nicest movers I've ever encountered. I could write a tragic novella describing my experience with past movers (Flat Rate and Seaman's. Please, do not EVER hire Seaman's Movers. They are the sucks.)

There is tons of new news and I will post more later!