Does anybody read these?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The joys of homeownership

No, I am not being facetious, like when I spend all my money at Lowe's on paint and supplies or when my neighbor bogarts my parking space. I really am joyful about owning my own home.

You can all remind me when the next thing goes wrong.

Even though it required something going wrong, I love my new kitchen faucet. Much more user-friendly. And less cheap-looking.

I am finally getting things organized. I guess inviting everyone you know to a party will do that for you.

My new buffet is built, and my Fiesta is going to look awesome in it. And, while we're on the topic of new furniture, I found a really cool kitchen table at a furniture store that I need to go order. And then, I will be all done furniture shopping.

Can we get a "hell yeah" for that, please?

I heard a report today from the home front that the downstairs bathroom is now pink. All we need to do is add our black and white accessories, and we should be ready to rock and roll. I will post pictures soon, because I am super-geeked that I took inspiration and rolled with it.

I am switching from cable to satellite, and they are giving me a free TV to do this. I am going to put the new one in the den, and move the old one to the living room. This was a hard decision because I really wanted the living room to be a place where you sat and talked and hung out and weren't focused on the old boob-tube, but my awesome couch would just be so comfy for watching movies... We figure if we tuck the old TV in the corner, then it still won't be the focal point of the room, especially once we get the fireplace build out in there.

Do you have a TV in your living room? Any feelings on it either way?

Aside from that, life is pretty boring. I am working a lot at Babies R Us, but that's a good thing. I am hoping to start getting ahead sometime soon. Especially now that the only home improvement thing I can think of that I need is paint for the upstairs bathrooms.

It is nice being a homeowner. It's nice having my own space (even though it's a lot more to clean). There have been some bumps along the road, but it really is worth it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

If you can't stand the heat...

... stay out of the kitchen.

That was a favorite phrase of one of my favorite presidents, Harry S. Truman. Truman's kitchen was metaphorical, but I'm going to be literal for the purposes of this rant. Not because my kitchen is hot, but because my kitchen is my kitchen.

In case you're new here, I get solace from cooking. I'm a stress-eater, but mostly because I am a stress-cooker and a stress-baker. When the times get tough, the tough get going to Kroger, in my world.

Something about trying a new recipe or pulling out an old favorite gives me comfort and joy. I feel better when I'm elbow deep in meatloaf, piping frosting onto cupcakes or planning a dinner party.

My kitchen is my retreat. It is my favorite room in the house, whether it's my teeny-tiny galley kitchen from my college and early years living out on my own, the nice big kitchen that went out to the nice big wooden deck at Jane's house or my kitchen now, which opens into the den and allows me to watch the Food Network while I cook and socialize with my guests. I always said if I ever bought a house, I'd have a nice open kitchen attached to the rest of the living area, and now I do. I have lots of cupboards, lots of counter space, brand-new kitchen faucet and pot rack. It's a nice space.

When I finally got things organized and got settled in (sometime after my home's previous owner finally got settled out), one thing that I did was organize all of my staples, spices and the like in the cupboard next to the stove. You know, the things that I needed the most just an arm length's away. There wasn't anything else in that cupboard, but that was OK. I'm short, and I'm sure as soon as all my stuff gets here out of storage, I'd find something to put there.

So, with three more shelves available, I thought it'd be a goodwill gesture to suggest the precious cabinet space near the cupboard to my roommate for all of kitchen things that had become piled on the counter. I said to her, "There's some extra space in that cupboard if you would like to put the stuff on the counter in there."

I keep re-reading that sentence and replaying it in my mind. Because I'm not quite sure how you'd hear that and think "Hey, Laura must want me to move all her stuff and put my stuff on the only shelf in the cupboard that she's using."

Really, honestly, how does that make sense?

So, now all of her stuff is on the bottom shelf and all of my stuff is on the next shelf, which I can't really reach. So, instead of cooking being a wonderful, stress-relieving activity, it now requires me to climb on a chair to reach my staples. So, basically, if I want to cook, I have to climb on the chair to get even the most basic of ingredients.

Even if I didn't have to stand on a chair, it would still piss me off. Mostly because I would never imagine moving someone else's stuff to put my stuff there, especially if that's not what they instructed me to do even if it meant that I had to stand on a chair (which I'm not believing she has to do, because now even more kitchen goods are in locations I can't reach). I would never, ever treat someone poorly because they are living in my home. I would never make someone feel like there were no space available to them in my home when they were paying to stay there. But I also wouldn't have moved their stuff if it had been there first. I just don't get it.

Part of me wants to be a bitch about it (and I have been a little passive-aggressive; I guess one could say this blog is a little that way... ). Part of me thinks it's not worth it (even though I don't want cooking to be inconvenient and I really do find it to be a personal affront). And part of me knows that the situation is getting worse (like the drinking glasses being moved to an even higher shelf than my commodities), because I haven't spoken up.

Realistically, this week when I bring the ladder downstairs to paint the bathroom, I am just going to rearrange the cupboards again. After all, it is my house (OK, I guess I am playing that card). And if anyone asks, I will explain why I am doing it. I don't want a big confrontation and any type of drama and it isn't worth getting upset about, but it does need to be corrected before I do have something to say about it.

Not the best way to deal with things, but I've had food go to waste because I can't reach the pepper and the bread crumbs. Nevermind that I can't find the olive oil...

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Dinner Party

On my MySpace page (I linked to it like any of us still use MySpace, ha ha) there is a question about whom you’d like to meet. I didn’t really have an answer for that. I’ve already met a lot of really cool people in my life. And, honestly, I think living in Nashville has made me kind of blasé about the whole celebrity thing, because that’s how Nashvillians roll. I was explaining to someone the other day that Nicole Kidman lives here because no one cares that she is Nicole Kidman. (Well, that, and the fact that her husband is the hottest thing to ever be part of this town’s music scene.)

Anyhow, if you can run into that chick from Sugarland at the grocery store or shoot the shit with Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton in your everyday tasks, why would you need to pee your pants over meeting someone famous? Seriously.

But, that question does remind me of the age-old question, “If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead, who would it be?”

I think you all know me well enough to know that I make enough food to feed the Russian army and I throw dinner parties.

So how could I really just pick one person?

I couldn’t. So, here is my list. With commentary, because I love commentary.

Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt. I got the idea for this blog from reading some FDR quotes today. These two people, hands down, are not only heroes politically but as human beings, as well. If you have not read their writings and speeches, I encourage you to do so, especially in the current times facing our nation. They were profound, philosophical and kind people with a can-do spirit, and I do believe that there might not even be an America, and it would certainly not look like it does today without their contributions.

Thomas Jefferson. There is a famous John F. Kennedy quote (when addressing the attendees of a White House dinner for Nobel Prize winners): “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” I thought of that quote when I compiled this list. I’m sure having Thomas Jefferson at your dinner table would be a fascinating time.

Mother Teresa. Another selfless, brilliant individual. I would love to hear about her call to serve the Lord, her travels, her work, her observations on our Church. Maybe if I could only meet one person, it just might be her. Maybe.

Princess Di. I’ve always been fascinated with the British monarchy, especially the Windsors and Diana, Princess of Wales. A lot of people respect her contributions and good works in our world. She was taken too soon and who knows what she could’ve achieved had she lived.

River Phoenix. He was my favorite actor growing up. He lived a fascinating life and had some interesting perspectives.

Jon Stewart. He makes me laugh. And his political commentary is usually spot-on. Seriously, can you imagine him at a table with the Roosevelts, Thomas Jefferson and …

Patrick Kennedy. My favorite Kennedy. I’ve met him (actually, I hugged him, but I’m not one to brag). I am pretty sure I love him. And he would be a great addition to my dinner table, but only if I am allowed to sit across the table and stare at him with admiration.

Morris Dees. Morris Dees is one of my personal heroes. He is a leading civil rights attorney and has made it his life’s work to fight bad guys. And by “bad guys,” I mean Klan members, neo-Nazis and other bad racists, some of whom had orders to kill him. He is the reason I wanted to go to law school, until I realized I’d never be able to pay off $150,000 in student loans working at Legal Aid.

Melissa Etheridge. I wrote this list a long time ago. And when I wrote it, I included Melissa because I love her music and she seemed like a cool chick. However, after all this mess with her wife and their break-up, I am not positive she is not a diva. And if I’m going to invite a diva, it will be Aretha Franklin. If I need a token lesbian (wait, don’t I have Eleanor Roosevelt?!), then I am picking Rachel Maddow!

Wayne Gretzky. I love hockey. I’ve always had a huge crush on Wayne Gretzky. He’s the Great One. So, Wayne can come to my dinner, but as a Detroiter, I should probably invite Gordie Howe too.

Peyton Manning. Everyone I know who’s met Peyton Manning says he’s brilliant. Not just about football, but life in general. After all, he stayed at UT that fourth year not only to get a Heisman trophy (oops) but also to get a master’s degree, when most players don’t graduate with any degree. So, we could talk about Big Orange football, whether the NFL will strike in 2011 and whatever else he wants to talk about.

Matthew McConaughey. He’s a little odd and quirky. He’s definitely entertaining. And he’s hotter than a firecracker.

And, last but not least, Jesus. I could say something about how He is my Lord and savior and it would be great to meet him, but I know that I will meet him one day without my silly dinner party. Really, we all know Jesus would dine with anyone, and He is the only person who can keep the peace with this motley crew!