Sunday, May 17, 2009

Deceptive Images

I'm buying a house.

Or at least I'm trying to. But the market is just not making it easy. Do you want to know what the average (i.e., normal, slightly broke, yet hopeful) buyer goes through on a daily basis? This is what happens: Your agent sends you prospects. You find the perfect house. Then your agent calls and tells you there is someone in line ahead of you. You say, okay, that's fine, let's bid. That's when your agent breaks the news that the people you're up against have suitcases full of cash they'd stashed offshore for tax avoidance purposes and there is no way you're getting the house. So they advice you to start looking at your 2nd and 3rd (and 89th) choices.

Thus I've been spending my off days looking at ugly homes.

I'm officially a bottom feeder.

These real estate agents, they're more imaginative than a romance novelist. (Rich, handsome, ripped men with no annoying relatives marrying plump, plain women with no jobs, personalities or self esteem? Really?) Agents are just plain fanciful (desperate). Example: Listing # 90030952. The agent states, "Great opportunity for a kitchen designed and put in by you! The last owner liked the kitchen so much it went with them!" Wow! Who doesn't want to cook off of a hot plate for 6 months? But those are just words.

You know what they say about pictures.

One house showed pretty well online. Here are the pictures the agent posted:

Here are the pictures I took:

When I walked into the house I looked around, looked at my agent and asked, "Are you @#$%ing kidding me?"

This house, which is priced at $187,000, looks like they'd used it as a set for the Saw movies and The Last House on the Left.

My first inclination was to flee and take a shower. Not just any shower, but one of those Karen Silkwood I've-been-exposed-to-radiation kind of scrub downs in which yellow suit clad workers come in with brushes and lye soap. My agent assured me she'd seen worse, much worse, yet this did not make me actually feel any better.

It was freakin' horrible! You should see the pictures I didn't take. (There was no way I was going into that garage.) I started flipping out, my mind screaming, "I'm never going to get a house! I might as well spend my savings on cosmetic surgery and then marry a rich guy who already owns a mansion but is looking for a plastic trophy of a wife to complete his collection!"

After I disinfected and calmed down a bit, I decided to have a little fun with my pictures and fd's Flickr Toys.

And I bet you thought magazine cover generators were only for happy images.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Getting Back Into the Groove

27 Things is kinda like a diet.

You start out all gung ho, talking about how you’re only going to eat things that taste like tree bark (it’s good for you!) and drink 10 glasses of water minimum, this despite the fact that your bladder is the size of a thimble and you’re not supposed to have liquids after 7 pm. (At least not if you want to sleep.) The old exercise clothes get blamed for your lack of fitness---who wants to be seen at the gym in a number 23 Bulls jersey and sweatpants that have holes up and down the inseam? You're too old to pretend they're for ventilation, meaning new clothes are in order for the new you! You send the food pantry your stash of Top Ramen, Snickers bars, fudge brownies, and frozen lasagna and buy a bunch of heads of lettuce and low fat dressing to kick it all off because you’re getting into shape.

Fast forward to a month later.

You’re sitting on the couch eating cookie dough while watching Dancing with the Stars. Sure, you spent a ton of money on yoga pants, but no worries. They’re soooo comfy and stretchy, and since they’re long and black, you figure you can get away with wearing them to work with a tunic without anyone noticing. You’d like to salsa dance like you see them doing on TV, but since that would require actual movement of something other than you’re right thumb, you’re fine with just staring at the LCD screen. Though you didn’t actually accomplish your goals, you got off to the great start (at the mall) and that’s what counts, right?

I’ve been busy. Really busy. I knew I should get back to 27 things between hosting a job fair, putting on movie nights, doing Toddler Time, timesheets, and constantly disinfecting between touching icky children’s materials (and riding public transit, LOL), but honestly, I didn’t feel like it. And I didn’t feel bad about not feeling like it, because neither did you.

Feel like it, that is.

Don’t lie. (Not that you would---it requires too much thought.) I saw the links on the 27 Things blog. Some of you haven’t posted in 4 weeks. Instead of it making me feel bad, it made me feel better to know, not only was I not the laziest person here, I was better than some of you by default. (Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling right where my heart should be.) Though it’s a bit off (by like 6 days), it stated I last posted 1 week ago. I kinda did the assignments for the last two weeks, but since I haven’t digested them enough to come up with something really snarky to say, I’m going to wait until Sunday or Monday (or July) to tell you all about it. I just didn’t want to go 2 whole weeks without posting something.

Don’t want to look bad, right?