Young New Male Roommate

If you have kept up with me for any length of time, you will not need this refresher. If you are new or have the memory capacity of a gnat, perhaps this will be of use to you.

Refresher:

  1. I have a neighbor, Luke. We have an agreement wherein I use his internet and he eats food I sometimes provide for him. We also have agreements wherein I invite myself over to his house to watch movies and I eat food he provides for me. Also, I have agreed that he will help me with my yard and in return he gets to live next to someone with a nice yard. Really, this whole situation benefits him greatly. Meet Luke.
  2. My cousin came to live with me a few years ago and was my first Roommate. He brought with him his dog, Mini, and she peed on a lot of my stuff. Meet Roommate.
  3. After Roommate left, Kasi Starr moved in. She brought with her Miss Kitty who ticked Murphy off enough that Murphy peed on a lot of my stuff. Meet Kasi Starr.

Fresher:

  1. After Kasi Starr left, I got Roomie who I never told you about I don’t think. She lived with me for two and a half years and brought with her this garbage can. Meet garbage can.master_SHM007
  2. Roomie moved out this summer and for two or three months I lived alone in my house with my two cats. One night I was reading a book in my puffy blue chair and I glanced upstairs. It seemed so dark and lonely up there and my house felt too quiet. I decided I needed a new Roommate.

That brings us to August. It’s always been easy for me to find someone to house share with and this was no different.  I put an ad on a roommate finder website and shared pictures.  In response to that, I got Daniel.

The day that Daniel came to view the house, Luke came over to “get some dinner.” Really I think he came over to make sure I was not going to be ax murdered by some stranger I met online. He would never admit that in a million years so we are going to say that he “came for dinner.”  I discussed with Luke getting my own internet service because two people clinging onto his didn’t seem fair.  Luke said, “Let me meet him first and then we can talk about it.”

Daniel wore a tie to the viewing and exclaimed over all the neat artsy stuff I have in my house. I have a few of the paintings my dad did, a bunch of his pottery, the knife my stepfather made, the wood carvings he made and also my gorgeous, lovely bedroom.  (If you need a refresher on Felix, you can find that here.) Daniel assured me that he was 92% certain he wanted my room but he was going to look at other places first.  Then he left.

Luke and I discussed Daniel after he left and Luke proclaimed him harmless. “He seems like an okay dude,” he said.  “Plus he’s gay. I’ll get him the password to my internet.”

I explained gently to Luke that Daniel was not gay. He was just a year and a half out of his divorce and he’s a total hipster.  Just young and fond of skinny jeans and totally straight.

“Okay,” said Luke.

Daniel moved in. Two weeks after he moved in, we were having some get-to-know-you discussions at my kitchen table and Daniel said, “Oh, I’m gay.”

Dammit.

The next night I texted Luke with the weekly menu:

Serving next week, and please let me know your choices: chili served with beer bread, chicken taco soup with cornbread, and crow with a side of salt. Daniel’s gay.

Luke’s selection:

Told ya.

This here is a bonus picture of Luke sweeping my walk during the Snow-cation. I don’t know how he lucked out getting me for a neighbor but that is one lucky dude, right there.

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My Snow Day(s)

I live in Nashville. This weekend I got snowed in.  Well, Nashville got snowed in. We had eight inches of snow in my neighborhood while other neighborhoods got more like ten inches.  I know all of you Michiganers and Wisconsiners are all, “Really?  Eight inches is child’s play. Amateurs.”  And of course, we are.  We are ill-equipped to deal with this kind of snow.  We are ill-equipped to deal with ice, too, which makes no sense because we get gobs of that mess every year.

Friday morning I awoke early and for a change had a good hair day. I was preening in the mirror, fluffing my coif before I liberally decanted a tin of hairspray onto it when I received a text from my boss.  “You should probably stay home today.  The roads are in rough shape.”  (Everyone knows I don’t watch the weather because: no television.  I have people looking out for me, y’all.)

“But I had a good hair day,” I wailed.

“Take some selfies and then go back to bed.” She is an excellent boss.

I thought about her suggestion but see above: good hair. I hated to waste it. Instead of clambering back in amongst my pillows and two cats, I opted to perch prettily on the sofa with a book until my new young roommate woke up so he could appreciate my fluffy halo of hair. That would have been an excellent plan except for the key words in that above sentence:  “young” and “he.”  Not being young anymore, I forget how they like to sleep:  like the dead and late.    And not being male, I forget that men who are not looking for a chance to sleep with you really don’t give two figs what your hair looks like.  When Daniel finally rolled out of bed, he thundered down the stairs, hollered “good morning” and thundered out the door to rescue a friend who had gotten stuck at work in his ten inches of snow.  As Daniel trundled off in his car for a four-hour rescue trip, I broke my Derek Zoolander pose, sighed, and put my hair up in a ponytail.

Then I got busy.

Below is my list of what I accomplished in 2.5 days of being snowbound:

I cooked:

  • Fried pork chops (Luke and Daniel ate them.)
  • Mashed potatoes (Luke and Daniel ate them.)
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts (Luke and Daniel ate them.)
  • Chocolate peppermint cake (Still sitting on the counter, getting stale – smells good, tho.)
  • Pizza, from scratch (A bust – yeast has an expiration date, did you know that?)
  • Pork roast with potatoes, carrots and mushrooms (I got to eat some of this! But Luke and Daniel ate it.)
  • Roasted garlic and shallots (Luke ate these.)
  • Hard boiled eggs (Still in fridge. Not sure what to do with them.  Suggestions?)

Also, I cooked:

  • Broccoli (Only I ate this.)
  • Brown rice (No one wanted any but me.)

Later, I dug out all the skin care and hair care samples I have accumulated over the years and tried them all. My skin has experienced:

  • Algae face scrub (Rendered my skin green. Despite not caring a whit about my perfect hair, new young male roommates will notice when you emerge from the bathroom with green skin, so much so that they will choke on the pork roast and wheeze, “My God!  Are you okay?”)
  • Something del Sol face wash (Made me oily.)
  • Philoposhy volumizing serum (Belatedly realized this was meant for hair.)
  • Black Pine Tar face lotion (Smells like grandma which is strangely comforting.)
  • Origins brightening under eye cream (Eyes still puffy – check!)
  • Fake tan (Rendered me streaky orange.)

My teeth were brushed with:

  • Crest Whitening toothpaste (Normal use but approximately five times more than usual.)
  • Coconut oil (Did you know that stuff is thick? Gag.)
  • Mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda (Foamy!)
  • Hairspray (Liberal use too near my toothbrush.)

My hair was doused with:

  • Ion (Promised to make it Soft! Strong! Healthy! But actually made it look like straw.)
  • No other items because I felt like making it look like straw was trauma enough, plus I used up the Philosophy in one go on my face.

Also, I organized the following:

  • Sock drawer (Pristine!)
  • Hoodie shelf (I’m down to 16 hoodies. From 35.  I call this miraculous.)
  • Cat food cabinet (They had a lot of treats. Seamus ate them.)

I read three books, cover to cover. Here are my favorite quotes:

  • “People mostly have it backward. They think they live by what they want.  But really what guides them is what they’re afraid of. What they don’t want.” ~ Odelia, And the Mountains Echoed (Khaled Hosseini)
  • “Daniel Craig is James Bond. He wouldn’t have a limp little wiener floating around like that.” ~ Lula, Tricky Twenty-Two (Janet Evanovich)

You understand I had to balance out the classy with the trashy. No one can read three emotionally wrenching books in a row.  No one.

Also, I vacuumed twice, did two very strenuous and vomit-inducing workouts, crunched my abs 420 times, shaved my legs and greased up every inch of my skin with some real deal cocoa butter. This last bit rendered me unable to sit on surfaces of any sort for a few hours as I’d slide off to the floor with a thunk.  It takes a while for that stuff to soak in but when it does, your skin is soft for about six whole hours!

When the roads finally cleared enough for me to leave the house, I sped over to Kroger and walked the aisles for twenty minutes. I didn’t need a thing but it was such a glorious luxury to move around outside my home.  Went to the library, too.

All in all, it was a pretty eventful weekend. What did you do?

Let’s Talk About Money

You guys want to talk about money? We aren’t dating so I think it’s safe.

There was a time when I would tell you that I was good at saving money. I had some moolah in the bank set aside for emergencies, and I had a nice 401(k) going. I felt pretty good about things. The day after I felt good about things, I lost my job. Then right after that, I got a new job but I made signficantly less money which was okay because it was around that time that I gave up wearing glitter eyeliner* which can get pretty expensive. I felt good about that because the day after I gave up glitter eyeliner, I paid off my car. I felt exceptionally good about that and the day after that, my car fell spectacularly apart. Nine times.

I don’t know about you but I can often feel very discouraged about money, especially when I think I’m ahead and then later in the day I find myself underneath my car on one of those rolling scooter things looking  up at the new break in my bushings. Just last week I was preening over the small amount of money in my savings account when I got a call from my doctor asking me to come in for a biopsy because she found some questionable cells on my person.** This biopsy will fall into the category of “stuff I have to pay for out of pocket because insurance sucks anymore and I have a very large deductible I have to meet,” which means the money in the bank will be sent to a medical professional very soon and I’ll be back to square one. I’m thankful I have a square one because a lot of people don’t even have a square. They have negative squares.

While I’m talking about saving, I’ll also discuss spending. That goes a lot like this:

Madre: Jimmie, I found these great boots that would fit over your gladiator calves. You should look at them. You’ve been wanting some for years.

Jimmie: I don’t have the money for boots that fit over my gladiator calves. They are expensive. That is a lot of leather.

Madre: But you had money last week. Where did it go?

Jimmie: No, I didn’t have any money. You misheard me.

Madre: Is that a TJ Maxx bag?

Jimmie, as I kick the bag under the bed: No.

Also while I’m talking about spending, I will tell you that I took two trips last year I didn’t tell you about, one with Phranke and one with Daisy. And I’m booked for a cruise with My Girls in about seven weeks. After that I have a trip planned to Key West and another planned for New Year’s Eve, and then in 2017 Woney and I are going to Spain. “No money!” I whine. Well why the hell not?

I have found a sort of solution for this problem of mine. This will sound like I am selling something in an infomercial and I totally am but not in the way you think. I’m telling you about it, trying to sell you on it, because if you are like me even a weensy bit, you could do far better with your finances and you require someone being sneaky to make you do it.

Go out to the Google and type in the word Digit. It should be the first web page to pop up. Basically you just connect your bank account to Digit and they take care of the rest. I stole this wording from their website: Every few days, Digit checks your spending habits and removes a few dollars from your checking account if you can afford it. Easily withdraw your money any time, quickly and with no fees. Bank-level security.

It sounds scary, I know. I read a thousand reviews before I did it. With a squinched up digestive tract, I got out my checkbook and connected the two. Ten months later I have saved almost $500. $500! Do you know how many car repairs that would cover? (Answer: one.)

Initially Digit tiptoed around in my checking account and said, “Perhaps she won’t miss 92 cents. I think we can safely take that and she will be okay.”   Then they got slightly more aggressive and took amounts like $1.19 and $2.52. After a time I asked them to be even more aggressive and amounts like $33.04 were deducted. Not once have I missed that money. I’m of a mind, apparently, that if the money is where I can see it, I can spend it. If I don’t see it, I don’t spend it.

I know that this whole post sounds like I have become a sponsored blogger, a brand ambassador, but I have not. Once someone asked if they could share my Christmas post with their church and once someone asked if she could use a comment of mine to help a friend, but that is the extent of my fame with this here blog. Those two things. I’m just really excited about Digit because it works for me.

Every so often Digit sends a link attached to my balance text message letting me know that I can boost my savings by $5 for every friend I refer. While that $5 would be great (it would go towards the fund for repairing my broken air conditioner which I know is broken because the WINTER WEATHER we are supposed to be having is not cooperating and my house was 85 degrees the other day and it only got hotter when I turned the a/c on), I am not attaching that link here. I get nothing if you sign up except the satisfaction of knowing I recommended something that has worked for me and the hope that it will work for you, too.

Visit if you like. Let me know if you liked/hated it. Digit.

Also, feel free to give me advice about my money. Budgets are kind of sexy, but creating one is not and I suck at that it seems.

*Martie got me some glitter eyeliner for Christmas so I’m back in business!

** We are not worrying about this biopsy. I am totally fine. I just have to prove it is all.

I Can Totally Quit You, Facebook

Are we friends on Facebook? Rather, were we?  Because now we aren’t.

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On New Year’s Day, I deactivated my Facebook account for good. It wasn’t a resolution really, but more of a nice round date on which to make decision.  My finger hovered over the “close” button for some truly anxious moments and I felt a little sick.  I wondered how I would keep up with everyone.  How would I know what was going on the world?  Or with my friends?  But after those first panicky thoughts, I pushed the button and felt an enormous sense of relief.  It was done.  No more would I voluntarily read things like this:

Obama, most excellent President, hated by white Christians simply because he’s black. (Not true)

You can’t take away my Second Amendment rights! Ima holster up my pistols and swagger on over to Wal-Mart and just let somebuddy try to tell me I cain’t come in.  Just let ‘em.  Swing through McDonald’s afterwards.  This is necessary, y’all!  I’ve got to prove this point right here right now! (Not true)

God took your loved one because He needed another angel! (Not true)

God took your loved one because He needed another angle! (Also not true)

This keeps happening to me! Only me! Why?! (Not true, whatever “this” is)

Jesus is weeping because you haven’t shared this on your wall nor have you typed Amen. Heathen. You’ll burn in hell, oh ye of little faith. (Most definitely not true)

Honestly, it was this coming election is what really did it for me. I know where I sit and no matter how many vitriolic memes or pictures or opinions you post about where you sit, whether I’m aligned with you or not, I’ll not change my mind or think you are a genius.  No one will, really.  You say you want to educate people but what you really want is for someone to validate your opinion (collective you, not specific you).  So instead of being annoyed about it, I changed it.  Besides, I want to continue to like the 346 people that I love and the easiest way to do that is to hold our interactions to a standard of “in person” or “a phone call away.”  And now I’m happy all the time.

Also, as a white Christian, I’d like to share this picture that I love because it tickles me all the way down to my toes. I love the man in this picture and I don’t give two shits if his skin is black or white or a saucy caramel macchiato.  This man, right here on the floor, is just lovely.

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This man, too.

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*speaking of that “I escaped” up there, Phranke and I played the Escape Game with four strangers on New Year’s Eve. At 11:55 pm the clock started its one hour countdown and we frantically rushed around our tiny little room trying to figure out clues to get us out of there.  At midnight one of the strangers said, “Oh. Happy New Year,” and we all said, “Oh, sure, happy new year,” and then continued to tear the room apart for clues.  My stealthy-ness won the game for us!  It totally did!  (not true – I suck at that game.  I stood around and looked pretty and occasionally got to hold the flash light.)

It was way fun! (True)

The Escape Game