Monthly Archives: June 2010

Why Facebook Sometimes Doesn’t Suck

I will admit that I don’t like Facebook.  But as much as I don’t like it – I definitely use it as my catalyst for not needing to talk to people (hello?  That’s what Status updates are for).

Nothing ever new really comes out on Facebook but there have been the occassional scandals.  I’ve learned of divorces, cheaters and numberous pregnancies have all been aired out on Facebook.

However, there are moments when I love Facebook… like this past weekend when one of my absolute best friends from elementary school found me and sent me a note.

I get e-mail notifications on my phone (shout out to MOtorola Droid!  I love you!) – and I was in the car with my husband running errands.  I got the little notification, I opened my e-mail and saw the friend request from my dear old pal, Erin.

And I actually squealed.

Jeremy asked what I was so damn happy about and I told him that my best friend from elementary school sent me a friend request.  His reponse?  “I thought Carrie was your best friend growing up.”

Hello?  I was like 9 years old.  I have multiple best friends… I even had a revolving door of best friends like most little kids.  Erin was one of them!

I was stoked to see that she’s living it up in Florida and that her family is doing so well.  She sent me her number and said if I wanted to catch up, I should definitely call her.

While I’d absolutely love to – I hardly call anyone.  I get weekly phone calls from my mom declaring that if she didn’t call me, I’d never know if she was dead because I don’t call her.  I talk to my brother maybe 3 times a year.  I don’t really talk to anyone else.

Do I call?  Do I not call?  Do I just send her MY phone number and write the same message?  I feel like I’m trying to hook up with someone on Match.com or something…

Ever reconnect with an old pal (I’m talking over 20 years) on a social network?  Hate talking on the phone too?

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Mysterious Injuries

image

I am a very clumsy girl. My legs are often covered in bruises (most of which I never recall getting) or there is a bump on my head, super sore muscle… mostly things I can’t explain.

Today I looked down at my foot and noticed a cut. And I definitely do NOT know where this came from. Any guesses?

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Wedding Dress Blues

If you recall, last year I lent my wedding dress to one of my best friends’ brother’s fiance (wow, what a tongue twister).  They were footing the bill for their wedding and I felt a little bad for them.  I wanted to offer anything that would help them alleviate costs.

The bride-to-be is roughly the same size as me.  Though she has a tinier waist and slightly wider hips (basically – she’s more of an hourglass shape whereas I’m a rectangle) – we’re the same height.  I told her she would have to get it cleaned and she could go ahead and alter it if necessary.

The wedding was this past Saturday at Oregon Ridge Park.  If you recall, it was over 90 degrees on Saturday… and they had an outdoor ceremony.  Oh, and the reception hall?  It WAS NOT AIR CONDITIONED!  Anywho.

I ran into the mother of the bride who gushed about how stunning her daughter looked in my dress and that I was SO generous to let her wear it.  The groom also gushed and thanked me.  The bride-to-be actually bought me a small gift as a token of her appreciation!  It was all lovely.

But you know what?  I hated seeing someone else in my wedding dress.  I really did.  It made me cringe.  She looked fabulous but I couldn’t shake the whole, “that is MY dress” from my head.

Even better?  When we were going down the receiving line after the ceremony (which was adorable.  They had an awesome minister!) – the mother of the bride gushed again.

MOB: Didn’t she look stunning?

Me: Yes!  I even said to Jeremy, “was I that tiny on our wedding day?”

MOB: Oh, I’m sure you were stunning but [bride] had to get it taken in a lot.

Me: {silence}

I think the mother of the bride called me a heffer.  Jeremy laughed and I spent the rest of the evening feeling like a fatty.  I mean, who says that?!  Anywho – I thought I’d post some pictures (I blocked out their faces since I didn’t really get their permission to blog about their wedding) as well as 2 pictures of me in my wedding dress for comparison.

The bride:

My wedding dress on someone else

My wedding dress on someone else

And as if I needed another reason to post pictures of me on my wedding day… (I tried to find some in a similar pose):

I don’t think I look THAT much bigger than the bride in my own dress.  Geez.

AND I heard that she didn’t get anything taken in… WTF?!

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Basement – Half Finished

This basement project has taken over my life.  But I’m happy to report that we’re halfway through the project… and the part that we finished was the part that really mattered anyways (since it was our office / guest room).

The other half is the partially finished laundry room area and we just need to paint the floor and rearrange everything.  However, I thought I’d share some pictures from our basement project.

Here is our basement BEFORE we pulled up the carpet.  All the furniture had already been moved upstairs but we had to do our own demolition before the waterproofers came in.  You can sort of see how gross the carpet was (lots of dark spots).

The dogs helping

Our nasty old linoleum floor in the laundry room area.  We had to tear up the floor for the waterproofers.

Our nasty old floor

Most of the crap from our basement sitting in our living/dining rooms.  This was driving me batshit crazy.
Mid-renovation
Mid- Renovation

This is what our basement looked like the weekend of June 12th.
Basement under construction
Basement under construction
Basement under construction
Junk
Junk!

And here is what the half finished portion looks like today:
Finished Basement
Finished Basement
Finished Basement

We purchased new “eco-friendly” carpet (yes, we’re yuppies), Jeremy put up new drywall (which he learned to do by watching YouTube) and he repainted the entire basement.  We also purchased a new futon mattress (the old one was so worn down that it actually HURT to sit on it).

Jeremy moved our Wii into the basement as well to clear up the clutter in our living room.  It also gives us another incentive to hang out downstairs.  Now we have to tackle laundry room half and oy, that is a project.  It is amazing how much junk two people can collect in a couple of years.  So we’re sifting through our junk, determining what is getting tossed or donated and then reorganizing. 

Fun fun!

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Exhausted

Holy Mary mother of God… I am tired.

This past week has been a whirlwind of (watching) Jeremy finish up our basement renovation.  Wait – can I call it a renovation when it was really just repairing the demolition that was done to get it waterproofed?  Anywho – the basement project that included: new drywall, new paint, new carpet, moving furniture all over the house… and we still have more to do.  But now all of our crap is back down in the basement and not spread all around my shoebox of a home.

With the basement fiasco, we also hosted a shower for Katie & Ian and like 40 of their closest friends.  I was happy to do it – but I don’t think people really understand the level of anxiety I feel when hosting parties.  This is why we don’t really do it.  I will say that I thought things when swimmingly (I hope Katie feels the same way) and the house wasn’t wrecked like I thought it would be.

Saturday we attended the wedding of one of my best friend’s younger brother.  I still think of him as a 14 year old so it was weird to see him in his tux professing his love to another.  AND this is the couple that I lent my wedding dress to.

And let me tell you… it was fucking weird to see another girl in MY wedding dress.  She was super sweet and appreciative but I couldn’t look at her.  I felt a little bad.  Although they picked a venue with NO AIR CONDITIONING so I didn’t feel that bad.  I’ll have to post some pictures tomorrow along with a lovely piece of commentary given to me by the mother of the bride.

I’ll also have to post pictures of our basement.  I feel like I have so much catching up to do!

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Still Here

Hello friends – I just wanted to post something quickly to let you know that I’m still here.  I didn’t go on any secret vacations.  I’ve just been wiped out from getting our basement setup.

I will post some stuff soon… maybe today or tomorrow.  Don’t abandon me!

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Plumbing Update

Just when I thought my world was crumbling (or at least my house ) – I got a wee bit of good news today.

Remember the original plumbing quote and work required?  Today was the day that the plumbing company (Roto Rooter) was to do the work. 

Because neither Jeremy nor I could work from home today (something our company is generally flexible with) – my father in law made the trek over to Baltimore and hung out at our house ALL day. 

I received a call from Jeremy around 9am.  He told me that the plumbers came and whoever gave the original quote apparently didn’t know what he was talking about.  The guys that came today said that we wouldn’t need that much work done (most notably the demolition of our backyard!) and instead they could do all the work inside.  The quote dropped $2k. 

Phew!

Another set of plumbers came to get everything up to code.  They were super nice, they played with my dogs and apparently also had dachshunds.  Seriously – dachshund people are awesome.   But I digress…

Here are some shots of the updated plumbing (in case you care):

Tomorrow B-Dry is coming to finish their job.  Jeremy will frame out the wall in the front room of the basement and perhaps even begin putting up the drywall.  He’s already started…

Also on deck for this weekend…

  • we’re getting our dryer vented outdoors
  • laying a new subfloor throughout the entire basement (this requires moving furniture back and forth between the front and back of the basement – we moved a lot of it upstairs but there were some ridiculously heavy items that were NOT coming upstairs)
  • laying new tiles in the laundry area of the basement
  • Jeremy will complete the wall
  • painting the basement

I’m already tired.

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The Money Pit (aka my house)

June is not shaping up to be a good month for us. 

While we both loving living in Baltimore City – we would like to move.  We long for a yard and more space.  However with the current state of the market and my piece of shit neighbors – we know we won’t be able to sell our house.  Plus with Jeremy still in school – we don’t want to leave just yet.

But we know that there are things we’ll need to do to our house just to make it sellable.  We decided to tackle a few of the things this summer.  What originally started with us just needing to replace our basement carpet has turned into a need for demolition, waterproofing and now a new sewage pipe.

FML.

We knew the waterproofing was going to need to get done.  We had 2 companies come out to check out our basement and give us a quote.  We settled with B-Dry because we had friends that used them with good results (plus they have a commercial that promotes them as one of the few trustworthy companies featured on Dateline).  They said they’d need us to remove the bottom half of our front wall in the basement (including the studs) and they’d jackhammer down the center of our basement to the back wall and then install a sump pump.

Cost?  $6700.

We had to move a bunch of our basement furniture upstairs so our house is a wreck.  For anyone that knows me – this disorder is MAKING ME CRAZY.  

They came out on Monday.  Jeremy said the guys were fantastic.  About mid-day they noted that our sewage pipe was leaking.  This came to light after Jeremy flushed the toilet.  He immediately thought they damaged the pipe and insisted on calling out a plumber.

He called several plumbers until one company said they could send someone within the hour.

The plumber’s visit resulted in the following:

  • the discovery that the sewage pipe leak was not a result of B-Dry.  It was clearly damaged prior to us moving in and someone did a shit job trying to “plug” it. 
  • our pipes were not “up to code”
    • the main surge line must sit vertically… not at the slight angle it is right now
    • the washer drain line was installed incorrectly (whatever that means)
  • our water heater was not “up to code”
    • our water heater resides in a closet that is not properly vented
    • our water heater is missing a pan
    • we have several pipes that run out of the water heater that are plastic when they should be metal
    • our refrigerator ice maker is hooked to the water heater and that is totally incorrect

Just to get everything “up to code” – $1700.  To fix the sewage leak?  Well that requires the following:

  • Installing an entirely new sewage line to connect to the city’s lines
  • Demo’ing our backyard (jackhammering through the concrete) to replace the line
  • taking down our back fence so they can get the damn back hoe (?) into our back yard to tear it up

That quote?  $7600.

FML.

The plumbing was all unexpected.  WTF?!  I guess we’re not going on another vacation for the next few years.  And it almost feels like all of these events are coming up where we either need $$ or we need our house to be in shape for people to actually come over.  Shoot me now.

Words cannot begin to express the amount of stress I am feeling.  I feel sick.  But here are some crappy cell phone pictures of our basement for your viewing pleasure:

We at “Charm City Kim” are currently accepting donations ranging from…

  • Taking my place at a bachelorette party this weekend (only $50)
  • Hosting a party including
    • Food
    • drink
    • Cleanup

And cash is always welcome.  :-)

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Vacation… Glad I Got Away

I went on another super secret vacation the last week of May.  Again – I never really publicize that I’m on vacation because Jeremy thinks our house will get robbed.  I don’t think our neighbors have internet access.  Whatev.

We went down to the Outer Banks, NC (again) but this time we stayed in Buxton.  Also new for the both of us is that we went with my friend’s family (her husband, her parents and her in-laws).  At first I felt like a little kid but it actually worked out just fine.

I’d also like to add that I absolutely love that her folks get along so well with her in-laws.  I don’t see that type of friendship often and I think it is awesome that they can vacation together. 

My parents are socially-challenged.  But I digress…

There isn’t much to do in Buxton.  In fact, there isn’t anything to do in Buxton so I ended up with a lot of this:
Image of bottles of wine

Also sprinkled in my trip was my attempt to run outdoors.  I haven’t really been running outdoors since the November marathon.  I’ve run twice with disastrous results.  Distrastrous in that I wasn’t able to run nearly as far and long as I used to and that is really ridiculously frustrating.

But I vowed to run at least twice while at the Outer Banks.  Running in Buxton is tricky because there isn’t any ideal running path.  When I vacationed in Duck, NC – there was a lovely path.  Buxton gives you a small shoulder on the road where tons of traffic zips by you.  It was stressful.  My first attempt at running wasn’t ideal but I was happy to do it.

Jeremy ran a different path (towards a lighthouse) and said he really liked it because, despite not have a sidewalk or shoulder on the road, traffic was light, there was plenty of shade and there were nice things to look at along the way.  For my second attempt I ran Jeremy’s path.

I ran past this lighthouse:

Image of a lighthouse

And up to a memorial for some fallen British soldiers:

Image of a soldier's memorial
Because of the limited amount of traffic – I wasn’t feeling as stressed and was able to run faster and longer while feeling fantastic.  Who knew I hated cars so much?

Sadly – the majority of the week was filled with dark clouds and rain but we did manage to catch at least 3 days of sun (and it was enough to give me an awful heat rash).  On one of the cloudy days, we hit up Ocracoke Island.  We ate at some restaurant, poked into a terrible gift shop (called the Treasure Chest!), were horribly disappointed that the ice cream shop closed and then were entertained by this:

Images of birds hovering around a car
Those are a mass of birds hovering around a car because they threw out a bit of food.  Jeremy started that trend by throwing a Pringle at the birds.  Immediately a ton of birds hovered around the car… it was like an Alfred Hitchcock movie or something.

So because I only ran twice, did nothing else but sit on my tush (I read a lot!) and eat a ton of junk food… this week has been tough.  I feel like I’m in a fog.  I’m exhausted.  I’m hungry all the time for junk and my workouts have been pitiful.

OY!

Tomorrow I’m attempting another outdoor run.  My goal is to get up to at least 5 miles outside.  Maybe I’ll even sign up for the Baltimore Half Marathon?  Who knows.

have a great weekend!

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The Many Uses of Cucumbers (Get your mind out of the gutter)

My friend’s mom sent me this today about the many uses of cucumbers.  I’m not sure if this is even true… but if it is – cucumbers are amazing and I’m reluctant to eat something that can remove pen and tarnish.  Regardless – I thought I’d share this interesting list (and if you try any of these things and it works – let me know!):

  1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need  every day, just one cucumber contains  Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin  B5, Vitamin  B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium,  Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus,  Potassium and Zinc.
  2. Feeling tired  in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda  and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good  source of B  Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can  provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for  hours.
  3. Tired of your bathroom mirror  fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a  cucumber slice along the mirror, it will  eliminate the fog and provide a soothing,  spa-like fragrance.
  4. Are grubs and  slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few  slices in a small pie tin and
    your garden  will be free of pests all season long. The  chemicals in the cucumber react with the  aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to  humans but drive garden pests crazy and make  them flee the area.   
  5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove  cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try  rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your  problem area for a few minutes, the  photochemical in the cucumber cause the collagen  in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer  layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite.  Works great on wrinkles too!!!
  6. Want  to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a  few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake  up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers  contain enough sugar, B vitamins and  electrolytes to replenish essential  nutrients the body lost,
    keeping  everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a  hangover and headache!
  7. Looking to  fight off that afternoon or evening snacking  binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries  and often used by European trappers, traders and  explores for quick meals to thwart off  starvation.
  8. Have an important meeting  or job interview and you realize that you don’t  have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a  freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its  chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine  that not only looks great but also repels  water.
  9. Out of WD 40 and  need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber  slice and rub it along the problematic hinge,  and voila, the squeak is gone!
  10. Stressed out and don’t have time for massage,  facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire  cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water,  the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber  with react with the boiling water and be  released in the steam, creating a soothing,  relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce  stress in new mothers and college students  during final exams.
  11. Just finish a  business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or  mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to  the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30  seconds to eliminate bad  breath, the photochemical will kill the  bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing  bad breath.
  12. Looking for a ‘green’ way  to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel?  Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the  surface you want to clean, not only will it  remove years of tarnish and bring back the  shine, but it won’t leave streaks and won’t harm  you fingers or fingernails while you  clean.      
  13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside  of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the  pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!

Did you know cucumbers were this powerful?

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