Friday, April 04, 2003

The Friday Fives:

1. How many houses/apartments have you lived in throughout your life?
This one could take a while. I lived in an apartment in Beaufort, S.C., when I was born. We then moved to Clearwater, Fla. where my sister was born. Then we moved to Goldsboro, N.C. When I was three, we moved to Germany, where we lived first in a little house with German landlords, and then base housing. Then we moved to Alamogordo, N.M. where we lived in a trailer, then rented a house, then bought a house. Five years later, we moved to Tucson, AZ where we lived in base housing. Two years later, we moved back to Germany and lived in a house in a German village. Three years later, we moved to Plattsburg, NY and lived in a condo. My dad retired from the military and moved to a house in Florida. I moved out when I was 19 and subsequently lived in 9 different apartments in 8 years. My first husband and I bought a townhouse, and then I moved into an apartment when we divorced. My current husband and I had an apartment before we got married, and bought a house 2 years ago. So how many houses/apartments is that? 25!

2. Which was your favorite and why?
I'd have to say my current house because it's mine. We've really worked hard on fixing up its neglected state and it really feels like home to us.

3. Do you find moving house more exciting or stressful? Why?
I find it exciting. I guess I've gotten used to it. I'm an expert packer and I love the thrill of moving to a new place and fixing it up.

4. What's more important, location or price?
Location. Of course, price matters, but you really have to feel comfortable with your neighbors, the neighborhood itself, local schools, etc. We got lucky and live in a great area.

5. What features does your dream house have (pool, spa bath, big yard, etc.)?
Oh, my dream house would have winding staircases, a deck off the second story master bedroom, a big tile master bath with jacuzzi tub, a huge yard with beautiful landscaping, especially around the tiled pool.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Today is my birthday. The big 34! It's my first birthday since I had my daughter, and needless to say, it's a little different.

Pre-baby, I was the kind who would announce my birthday months in advance, constantly mention it in casual conversations, and bask in the glory that was my birthday. But now it just doesn't have the same appeal.

Yes, so far today has been nice. My husband let me sleep in a little, fed the baby and gave her a bath. Then they both came in as I was doing my job search, singing "Happy Birthday" and holding a brightly colored bag with shiny, curly ribbons on the handles. Well, my daughter wasn't really singing, but she had a big grin on her face as her daddy handed me my gift. I got two great cards and some cool clothes. Later, we're going to dinner later, just me and my husband, which is a rarity. So I should have a great birthday.

It's just that my mindset is different. It's hard for me to focus only on me, when I know that my attention is on the 20-something pound little girl who rules my world. I know I need to have some "me" time, but I usually feel guilty.

Anyway, I'm going to enjoy my birthday, but just in a different way than I've become accustomed to. No more staying out until the wee hours, celebrating the day I was born (well, I didn't do that last year, because I was 8 months pregnant, but in the years prior, I did). But I think the scaled down version of dinner, a few drinks and quality time with my husband will be a nice change.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Maybe I'm easily impressed, but I have to give kudos to this girl I met at the gym today. I figured I should maximize my unemployment time by getting into better shape, so I've been taking this Muscle class. They should really call it the "work you so hard your legs shake and you can barely walk or sit the next day" class.

Anyway, I've seen this girl before in other classes, and learned about a month ago that she was 5 months pregnant. I hadn't seen her again until today, and sure enough, she's pregnant. Although, she doesn't look 6 months pregnant. She looks about like I did at 4 months.

She had never taken this "work you so hard your legs shake and you can barely walk or sit the next day" class, but I told her it was fun, that she'd definitely be sore the next day. I figured she'd maybe do less reps or lighter weight than the rest of us, but no. She kept up with the rest of the class. I was pretty amazed.

But that's not where the story ends. We started talking about pregnancy and staying fit while we put our equipment away. She wasn't making any move toward the doors, and the instructor for the next aerobics class starting putting on the music for the next class. I said, "Oh, are you staying for this one too?" She was.

I could barely get through one class and she was staying for two! Unbelievable.

She was nice enough to tell me that I looked like I had dropped all of the weight from my pregnancy, even though I still have a little more than 10 pounds to go. Of course, she can say that because she never saw me before. But it still felt good coming from someone who looks so great at 6 months pregnant. Gives me a little more incentive to work a little harder at this whole workout thing.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

The following are two incidents of parking lot rage that I had the pleasure of witnessing during the past few days.

On Friday I had to go to the post office to get stamps. I know I can purchase them at the local grocery store, but I had an hour to kill while waiting for my film to be developed, so I thought what better way to spend an hour than standing in line at the post office.

When I got there, I witnessed the tail end of what seemed to be a heated discussion between a bearded man getting his mail and the clerk behind the counter. I’m not really sure what the discussion was about, I just know that the clerk “never said anything of the kind, would never say anything like that, and no one who knew what he was doing would ever say anything like that.” The bearded guy got his mail and walked out in a huff.

Luckily, since I only had to buy stamps, I was able to move ahead of all the other people who had numbers and go right to the counter. As I walked out the front door, I heard honking, then honking again. I looked and the bearded guy was getting out of his car to talk to a woman behind him. Apparently, in his huff, he had neglected to look behind him when backing out and hit the woman driving into the post office lot. “I was looking at the guy in the van who was pulling out next to me,” was his explanation to the lady.

So they proceed to examine his rear bumper and her front bumper (or is one of them a fender?), while blocking the traffic that is trying to get into the lot. I get in my car, and realize that I can’t get out because he’s in my way as well. But as soon as I started the car, he pulled into the space next to me, and she next to him. So I should have been able to get out, right?

No. Because apparently, a woman in a van who had been waiting while they scrutinized the small dings in their cars was mad because she couldn’t move. So she drives right behind my car and proceeds to yell at them for blocking traffic, for not getting out the way sooner. Meanwhile, I’m stuck because she’s blocking traffic. She then speeds to the blue mailbox to drop off her mail. Now by that time, I had pulled out and was heading toward the exit, but she cut me off in her hurry to get out. I got a good look at her bitter face at the red light down the street, and shook my head, feeling lucky that my life wasn’t as bad as hers.

The second scenario occurred at the Wendy’s parking lot. I think I may have mentioned Wendy’s in another blog, which proves my addiction to fast food. Anyway, this very old woman was in the drive-thru line, about four cars behind me. I could see her because the drive-thru is in a U-shape, so I could see her on my way to the pick-up window. Anyway, she honked her horn at a truck who was pulling out of a parking space. The truck was nowhere near her car, so I thought she was just honking to let him know she was there. So he continued backing out, and she honked at him again, this time in a more nasty way, if car horns can be nasty. Again, he had plenty of room to back out.

The guy, probably in his early 20s, leaned out of the truck and yelled, “How to do you expect me to get out?” Her answer? She just faced straight ahead. Then she had to pull up because we moved forward, and he was able to back out completely. He pulled up alongside her car and continued to yell at her for several more seconds before speeding away. I just shook my head and hoped I’d never become a bitter old lady.

Speaking of old ladies, and completely off the subject of parking lot rage, I saw this woman at Old Navy today, who was the scariest result of plastic surgery I’ve seen in real life. From the back, she looked like a young 20-something, with a great figure. Once I saw her from the front, however, I realized that great figure was nothing that nature made. Especially when I saw her gigantic boobs. But her body wasn’t the scary part. It was her face.

She reminded me of a cat. Her eyes were tilted at an abnormal angle and seemed very small. Her nose, while not quite in the horrible situation that Michael Jackson’s nose is in these days, was reminiscent of his earlier surgeries where it was very pointed on the end, and kind of puffy and scarred looking on the sides. I think she had some sort of injections in her lips, but must have had some other mouth surgery because when she talked, her upper lip didn’t move. It was like she was trying to keep something stuck inside her gums.

She was buying some clothes for her grandchild, so I know she was probably about 50. But I thought she probably was a very pretty lady at one time, and ruined her looks by trying to stay young. I just don’t get it.

Anyway, those have been a few of my observations this week.