Thursday, March 22, 2012

YBNormal?

We are still hoping to own The Goddamn House someday, but have decided to buy everything else in the city in the meantime.  We're looking at both investment properties and back-up homes for The Goddamn House, so we've been studying listings, obsessing over houses, and writing offers all over the place. 

One investment property has recently fallen through -- another short sale because we apparently hate ourselves -- and just last night we wrote an offer for an old Victorian that makes The Goddamn House look like pristine clean perfection.  There are currently 26 offers on the Victorian, so perhaps our only chance of getting it is to seduce the seller, which is a bank, so that may be uncomfortable.


I know what you're thinking -- "But MJ, with all that going on, how can you possibly have time to blog?"  The answer is I don't have time, and am risking my life crashing and burning around me as I write this.  Blogging is a compulsion, and it's sick. 

Alex just emailed me one sentence: "We need normal lives."  Good point, my man.  Because besides the intense housing situation, there are other strange things afoot.  For instance, I spent my morning with a man in a storage facility in Bellevue, a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to Earnest Hemingway.  We were there to switch ownership of a storage unit from him to me.  It's a long story, so just take it at that.

I've met Hemingway Guy before;  he's always been a vibrant, energetic, funny man.  In fact, it was Hemingway Guy who spun his dance partner into the dessert table at the wedding we all attended in Provence a few years back.

But something's changed for Hemingway Guy, something I noticed right away at the Bellevue storage unit.  It appears H.G. is going senile  Or maybe he was drunk.  Or stoned.  He insisted my name was "Nikki" and shuffled slowly when he walked, usually in the wrong direction.  I had to jump in front of him a few times to turn him around.  When I asked if he'd brought the key for the storage unit, he said, "I think so," pulled handfuls of tiny keys from his jacket pockets and dumped them all on the front desk.  I said "Hmm....that's not good"  and the man behind the desk laughed into his hands.

We walked to the storage unit and tried all the tiny keys.  None of them worked.  Mr. Chuckles behind the front desk said he'd be happy to cut the lock off, but he was out of grinding discs, so could I come back tomorrow?  I'm almost certain I'll find Hemingway Guy still roaming the corridors when I return.

Another strange thing happened, too.  I dropped Seattle Mom and her three kids off at the train station early Saturday morning so they could catch a train to Portland.  I drove them in Seattle Mom's minivan, which used to be my minivan until she bought it from me when we moved to Paris but that's not important right now. 

On my drive home from the train station, a man ran a red light at high speed -- really ran it, as my light had been green for a long time -- and came straight at me.  I saw Red Runner coming and braked as hard as my body could brake.  Red Runner careened past, the nose of Seattle Mom's van grazing the side of his car and peeling the trim off like one of them tasty Fruit by the Foot snacks.

Red Runner didn't stop, just took off into the still-dark early morning.  I pulled over to inspect the damage to Seattle Mom's van and was relieved to find there wasn't any, just some dark paint smudged on the front and Red Runner's trim curled up like a handlebar mustache in the lower grill.  I broke it off before driving home but in retrospect should have left it there because oh my gosh, so silly and curly!  While inspecting the car, several kind Seattleites ran over and congratulated me on my cheetah-like reflexes.

   Nice try, Red Runner, you asshat

Alex and I took the kids to the YMCA when I got home because there's no better way to celebrate narrowly avoiding a major traffic accident than by running around an empty gymnasium with your family and yelling. 

"Let's play dodgeball!" said Alex to the kids.  "It'll be me and your mother against you two."  Initially excited to play a new game with Mommy and Daddy, their enthusiasm evaporated when we fired those balls at their tiny bodies.  Al and I won in five seconds so the kids have to buy our beers this weekend.

victory is sweet
 
We put the kids in the Y's childcare for a bit so we could exercise for real.  I headed for the elliptical machines, the cool ones with TVs attached to them.  Everyone around me watched news or sports but I threw caution to the wind -- let them judge me! -- and watched The Golden Girls.  It was the episode where Dorothy sleeps with her ex-husband, Stan, and then considers getting back together with him.  "Don't do it, Dorothy," I cried,  "He cheated on you with that bimbo Krissy, remember?"  The guy next to me startled a bit when I laughed out loud but I couldn't help myself -- that Sophia is such a pistol.

When I wandered over to visit Alex at the free weights, he made fun of me.  "The Golden Girls?  Really?  At the gym?"  I replied, "You can only dream of knowing friendship like theirs, Al,"  It was a total Golden Girls burn, and he felt it, and cried for hours.

Lucien's school had a multicultural night last week.  Each class did a song or dance from a fancy exotic culture somewhere in the world.  Lucien's class did a Japanese dance with fans, which we all agreed was culturally enlightening.  The audience was perplexed, however, when the next class did a Hank Williams song.  Ahh, yes... the mysterious, exotic culture of Hank. 


I so badly want to blog twice a week.  There are many things to put on the record, many tales I want to remember for all time.  But life is at goddamn warp speed over here suddenly -- calendar full, responsibilities numerous, homelessness imminent.  I will be here when I can, but for the foreseeable future I'm going to be a once-a-week blogger.  I never wanted to be that person, and therefore feel like a failure.

Thank you for being a friend,
MJ

49 comments:

  1. Bonjello!

    Firstly, glad you're not dead.

    I'm glad you're switching to once a week because now I might have time to homeschool instead of commenting on your awesomeness :)

    I know exactly which episode of Golden Girls you're talking about! It traumatised me because Bea Arthur is about as sexy as George Dzundza in drag.

    What is a short sale, by the way?

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    1. Can't find the "comment" button only the "reply". Ah well....

      Glad you're ok...sounds like a close call.

      We'll still be here whether you post once a week or once a month. Hope things start to calm down a little for you.

      Linda

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    2. Bonjello, Bec and Linda. It's taken me awhile to get over here to respond to comments because I'm hopeless.

      Bec, a short sale is when you choose to buy a house in the most complicated way possible, with as many moving parts as possible, and as many difficult people involved as possible, thus almost certainly assuring your failure in said purchase. It's fun!

      I'll be back, ladies, promise.

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  2. I too want you to blog twice a week!:)

    Ahhhhhh the Golden Girls! I'm a die-hard fan!:) There's something strangely comforting about that show:)

    Off to Brussels tonight for the weekend! Yihaa:) And two weeks til Paris:) Can't wait:)

    Getting less and less motivated to work, here... the end is near and my motivation is waning...

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    1. hang in there girlfriend....two weeks to Paris..I'm soooo jealous....walk thru the lux for me......

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    2. Will do, Debs!:) Anything else I can do for you while I'm there? Macarons, Berthillon ice cream, chocolat chaud à l'Africain from Angelina?;)

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    3. Aaaahhhh.. does my soul good to see Deb and Duch doing the old back-n-forth again. I like to think your friendship was born on my blog.

      Enjoy Paris to the fullest. What a great time of year to be there. Can you eat some almond croissants for me?

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    4. Chocolat chaud à l'africaine... pardon the typo!;)

      Yes, you brought us together, Mindy;) Uniting Canadians from coast to coast (or in our case, from Ontario to... Ontario!;)) Funny how we've both met you in Paris separately, but have never met each other;) We'll need to have a proper reunion once all three of us are on the same continent!;)

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  3. And I will be here, in my Paris exile, waiting to read about life back in the U.S.A.!

    Good luck on the housing and glad to hear you are jumping right back into the American Dream.

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    1. American goddamn house buying nightmare, more like it. Who does a girl have to eff around here to get a house?

      Enjoy Paris exile. Not too shabby, not too shabby at all.

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  4. Squeeze us in when you can. It's always a hoot, and we wonder what you're up to.

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    1. Hi Lee. You got it -- I'll be here when I'll be here. And I am usually up to either no good, or nothing interesting at all.

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  5. OK I guess I have to give up on waiting for that bestseller I thought you were probably working on as a surprise for all of us!! Kathy

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    1. Right. I need to get on that. Seriously. Bye, Kathy!

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  6. I don't get the short sale thing either, Bec, but the Golden Girls on the elliptical machine is pure genius.

    I predict that the goddam house will be available the second you outlay vast sums of money on another house...

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    1. Hi Jenn. Yep, that's what we think, too. As soon as we buy something else, The Goddamn House will be tied up in a neat little bow. Then we'll have to throw rocks at the people whoh live there when we go visit our friends on the street. Damn it all.

      Watched The Golden Girls at the gym again over the weekend. It was the episode where Sophia marries Max. Pure comedy gold.

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  7. MJ, you can never, ever be a failure! Come on ~ You survived Paris for 3 years with kids (even birthing your precious Coco there), you survived a trans-Atlantic move with said kids (and hunky Alex ~ yes, this is twice I've used hunky to describe your husband ~ What can I say, I call 'em as I see 'em), you survived re-entry into North American culture, your kids have adapted, your hubby is hunky (don't worry, I'm a 51 year old grandma), you guys are going for your dreams with all the gusto you can muster and you've kept your posse (even those who post very sporadically (sp?) entertained, laughing (sometimes very loudly), and following around with you for years. That, my internet friend, is NOT failure, but resounding success. Your adventures will keep us coming back and we will be lucky and grateful if you can tear yourself away from this warp speed life that is yours to blog one a week, once a month, heck even when the seasons change! Don't every feel guilty for living your life and not being stuck to your computer ~ your talent will always lead you back to us and we will gulp it in whenever we can.
    Jo (who is not stalking Alex, promise!)

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    1. Thanks, Jo. Hey... you after my husband? That will make Alex very happy.

      I love the posse. I feel so grateful to all of you for following me these years, or months, or minutes, or however long you've been around, and I don't say it often enough. If a blogger doesn't have a posse and falls down in the woods, does she make a sound? I think not.

      Thanks, Jo, you're the best, but please don't stalk Alex.

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  8. Asshat!! too funny

    you blog whenever you damn well please missy...you have a life..we'll just have to adjust ....

    bon weekend.

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    1. Asshats everywhere, Deb. And thank you.

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  9. Don't give up on your dream house, you have a whole posse rooting for you so I think the universe will listen. The movers had already put all our belongings on a ship and we were two weeks from moving to France and we still didn't have an apartment. Then one that we really liked finally lowered their price from completely outrageous, to just mildly outrageous, and we swooped in and got it. Plus who would want to live on a street with mean neighbors who know they don't belong in The Goddamn House. I'm sure you can think of something to scare perspective house stealers away. Just sic Coco on them. Bonne Chance!

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    1. Hi eMerly. Stupid house. Is it still a "dream house" if you're kind of starting to hate it and everything it stands for? No matter -- we're still going to buy that damn thing.

      Congratulations on the "mildly outrageous!" True -- if anyone else moves in that house our friends are going to be outrageously awful to them until they move back out. They're good friends like that.

      Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the pep talk.

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    2. It's just like marriage, you don't know how much you like something until you hate it with the heat of a thousand suns. Then you get over it and think, meh, it's pretty ok. I am in the middle of moving again and I hate the outrageous apartment. But the new one is great!

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    3. Not that the outrageous apartment was bad, but we had to move because the owners are coming back from China. The outrageous apartment just can't compete with the new one because the new one is in Paris, not the boring suburbs.

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  10. There is something very comforting about the Golden Girls and aspire to be just like Sophia when I'm 80, much to my childrens horror.

    Keep living that whirlwind life of yours, blog when you can, we'll be here. Who would want to miss a moment of your wildly funny, exciting, sometimes sweet adventures?

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    1. Hi Tara. Sophia is the best. A real firecracker.

      It is a bit of a whirlwind at present. I look forward to slower pace, more blog.

      Bye, Tara!

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  11. Holy crap, the pic of the kids laid out on the Y gym floor had me laughing. Only you, MJ, only you...

    I watch 30 Rock, and exert more calories laughing than running. But what would really be good would be a Sophia/Alec Baldwin slap-down.

    My bet is on Sophia.

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    1. Thanks, ADoC. I love that picture, too, and will tell the kids all about it when they're grown. I'm sure they'll laugh, too.

      Sophia, hands down.

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  12. MJ
    You and Alex are my kind of people. Dividing up the dodgeball teams
    the way you did is exactly how I would have handled it. It also
    is a good way to see how well they hold up under intense fire.
    Good to know in case they ever assault a machine gun nest.
    Hope their bruises have cleared up by now.

    And debbie in toronto is correct. Blog whenever you get around to it.
    Keeping a set schedule creates too much pressure. It would diminish
    your quality of life.

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    1. Hi Bill. Our kids are resilient little things. We're just toughening them up for when they have to play real dodgeball in school -- best to toughen their hides before they have to experience that kind of humiliation and pain.

      I'll be here soon. Really. Lots to write about and none of it good. Yee-haw!

      Bye, Bill.

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  13. Failure? You? No way, madame.... through your blog, you make me (and a zillion others) smile, you encourage me to get off my ass and go do something productive, and you remind me to cherish my friends. I enjoy your blog so much... reminds me of me when I was working, mothering, wifeing and a much more active part of the community. I miss my old life, but am thoroughly enjoying yours!

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    1. Thanks, Anonymous. I just always thought I'd be one of those bloggers who blogs all the time. Turns out it takes a lot of time, focus, and solitude. I don't have any of those things right now. Sucks!

      But thanks, really, you are fantastic, Anonymous!

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  14. This is my fave. FBed it, baby.
    "When I wandered over to visit Alex at the free weights, he made fun of me. "The Golden Girls? Really? At the gym?" I replied, "You can only dream of knowing friendship like theirs, Al," It was a total Golden Girls burn, and he felt it, and cried for hours."

    I will miss you, only seeing you once a week, but I understand. :(

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    1. Thanks, Elle Casey a.k.a DaV,

      I hope to go back to blogging twice a week, at least, whenever my life calms the eff down. This is not cool, life, not cool.

      Bye, DaV, Elle C.!

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  15. Hee! The Golden Girls at the gym is fantastic.

    I dropped a friend off at the train station so that she could journey to Vancouver, and I circled for 15 minutes trying to figure out where the entrance was - it was pretty ridiculous. (But it was 6am, in January, and she's from the east coast. I wasn't just going to pitch her onto the curb and then drive off cackling into the pitch black morning.)

    Other friends have been trying to buy a house here for the past couple of months and have (FINALLY) had an offer accepted. Let's hope it all goes well, because if it falls through at this point, heads may roll. They put in so many, many offers, and lost out on all of 'em. Crazy pants. It seems insane that there aren't enough houses on the market here given that there are ghost sub-divisions in other areas.

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    1. Hi EMC. Hey, do I know you?

      We just found out we didn't get the Victorian. Another one bites the dust. We will prevail, someday, somehow.

      Good luck to those friends of yours -- I'm feeling their pain for sure.

      Bye!

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  16. I LOVE a little Golden Girls at the gym! While everyone else is watching ESPN or MSNBC, I watch the Golden Girls or a Lifetime movie in my old t-shirts from Lux. Keep it up!

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    1. Crouse...you have a t-shirt from Lux? Jealous. I don't think I have anything left from those good ole days.

      Golden Girls at the gym all the way. We're soulmates, woman...

      Bye, C!

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  17. Loved this post, the chaos becomes you! We believe we would be bored to death should normal ever invade our lives, I suspect you feel the same. We are remodeling the house we live in and searching for another fixer-upper {crazy} and through the trial of house searching I am potty training our 3 & 2 year olds. It gives me lots of good reasons to check out the plumbing in the prospective houses. I know a little bit about chaos and I tip my hat to you for finding time to blog at all. Once a week is amazing, keep up the good work!
    Best wishes ~Melanie
    PS - I believe playing dodgeball with your kids would be very therapeutic. I must try it soon.

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    1. Melanie, you sound as batshit crazy when it comes to your housing choices as we are. I like that about you. Now go play some Dodgeball!

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    2. It's one of the MANY reasons we drink. Hang in there!

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  18. Yes, blogging or making sure the kids eat - it's a tough choice! Thought of you today as we took our kids on their first Bateau Mouche ride. Paris misses you!

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    1. Ohhhh.... les Bateaux Mouches. Love. I especially loved the garbled commentary, don't think I ever did hear the entire tour.

      But enjoy. Springtime in Paris is fantastic (but Fall still wins in my book)

      Bye, Nicola!

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  19. SOOOOO glad you are OK. That is super scary. Go buy a lottery ticket. And some wine.

    StayingPositive

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    1. Hi Staying Positive! Thanks, I'm glad I'm OK too, that would have added some complexity to an already somewhat complex existence.

      Hey, you been back to see my boyfriend at Chez F lately?

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  20. You are not a failure if you blog only once a week, promise. I know because I only blog once a month and I am rather a blog failure, lol!! ;-) I think once a week when busy is just about right. It's just about right for me to read, too. I think there is a good rhythm in that pace! At least while life is being life, so crazy and all.

    What a great set of comments, too! I think they have just about everything I wanted to say covered! (but of course, I shall say more... :D)

    As I was reading, I kept thinking "I swear, you all live in a David Lynch film." Hemingway guy and all those keys?! LMAO!! :D

    Y'all hiding dead bodies in there or something?

    Thanks for the pics of the kids. They grow, they GROW!! You know, I still imagine you as ghosts living in your apt on rue Dauphine. You have not left: your parallel-world alternate selves are just living there, I'm sure of it. ;-)

    Good luck with all the real estate issues and MAJOR PROPS for avoiding the asshat!! You go, Moxie Girl!

    Big hugs and kisses for you all,
    Karin

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    1. Karin, always does my heart good to see you here. You kinda made me sad with that comment about our ghosts still haunting rue Dauphine. I feel that way sometimes, too, can still feel the wood floors beneath my feet, hear the traffic -- unfortunately I can no longer smell the boulangerie smells down below, which was the best part!

      I think there's furniture in the storage unit, but after seeing Hemingway Guy, who the hell knows what he's put in the thing. David Lynch indeed.

      Lucien saw your profile pic and said, "Nanny Karin!" Awesome. Did he ever call you that in the moment, or has he just heard me say it a million times? Whatever, you are remembered, and quite fondly.

      Bye, Karin. Hugs, kisses. Hi to Paris Paul for me!

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  21. Don't you dare beat yourself up. A once a week blogger is better than no blogging. Shit happens in life and you'll have time later. Just deal with what needs to be done. Love your blog, btw.

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    1. Thanks, Country Girl. I will do what I can. I sure do love writing this stuff, wish I had more calm time in which to do so. Things are really crazy weird right now, hoping it will settle down soon! It will, right? Right?

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