No, you’re not…. starving

My daughter and I recently went to see Trevor Noah, the host of The Daily Show, do his stand up routine at The Wilbur in Boston, MA. We are hooked on his show so we were so excited to be there. He is a half-African, half-German from South Africa. He’s a super interesting person and also very intelligent and hilarious. I recently read his autobiography and it was fascinating.

About half way through the show he was talking about what it was like when he first moved to the U.S. He said he was getting ready to go out for take-out for dinner when his roommate said “Dude, I’m Starving”. He laughed and said “No no no……. you’re aren’t starving my friend, you’re hungry”. Growing up in South Africa in hard times, he knew what “starving” really was, and his friend was not experiencing it.

I find that we (Americans) tend to be overly dramatic, un-self-aware and lack a true gauge on suffering…. in many cases.  Dude I’m Staaaaaarving…. I haven’t eaten since my pancake breakfast at Burger King for $2.99 this morning I might die if I don’t eat.  Eye Roll.

“I’m having the worst day… ever”.  Are you? Is having hard meetings at your white collar job and maybe missing lunch or having a cold at the same time the worst day ever? If it is, I would like to transport into your life immediately because my worst day ever looks like Dante’s 5th Circle of Hell compared to your worst day ever.

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Don’t be confused, this is not a post about “snowflakes”. This is about conservatives, liberals, tea party, green party, catholics, jews, anyone…. this is for people who’ve lost self awareness and have adapted to this American sense of self-entitlement that is my official #1 pet peeve.

I need an SUV. I need 2 bathrooms. I need a bigger kitchen. I need high speed internet.  Seriously?  You NEED 2 bathrooms? I grew up in an environment with 1 bathroom and countless people in and out of the house and somehow we managed to survive! #NeverForget   You want an SUV. You want 2 bathrooms. You want a bigger kitchen. That makes sense.  Reach way back in time and think about your grandparents and parents… and think about need versus want.

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My daughter recently told me that she needs a new backpack because hers had a stain on it. She also needs a new lunchbox because hers broke… but her sister’s old one was at home. Did she NEED a new one? or did she want one that wasn’t her sister’s old one.  Duh, we know.  Could I get her a new lunch box? Of course. Did I? Of course not. I consider it my responsibility to train her to understand want versus need so she doesn’t grow up to be one of these people that drives me up a tree with the “need” …. ahhhhhhhhh.

Let’s move on to my favorite un-self-aware statement…. “I’m broke”.  The last person who said this to me has a house they bought in 1999 that is nearly paid off with a monthly payment of $850/month and they are about to pay off their mortgage. It’s safe to say they have about $350K in equity in this house.  i.e. At any time they can sell this house and make $350K.  Guys… no.  They also have a 401K with about 850K in it and enough money to pay their bills.  That said they have 10K in credit card debt because they like to go out to dinner, play golf and have nice clothes. I’m not judging… you do what you need to do it’s not my problem. BUT someone who had 350K home equity and 850K in a 401K is not “broke”.

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Do you know what “broke” looks like? “Broke” looks like going without lunch for 3 years so you can pay for your daughter’s after school program.  “Broke” looks like stealing underwear from KMart.  “Broke” looks like working at places that sell or serve food so you can skim (aka find a way to get some of that food for yourself).  “Broke” looks like selling blood plasma for pasta money.  “Broke” looks like mixing orange juice with water to make it last longer. “Broke” looks like stealing because you have no other choice. “Broke” looks like going without medication so your kids can have school supplies. If none of this sounds like you, stop saying you’re broke. It’s like a man saying they understand how it feels to be a woman or a regular citizen saying they know what it’s like to be in the military. Just stop. I know, I know, the word broke in itself is not the insult…. but just stop the conversation. You wouldn’t tell someone with diabetes you were just as sick as them if you had a cold… that’s what this is like. Please stop.

Is this what every person born into the working class who ends up working in a white collar environment has to deal with? Maybe. I spend a great deal of time pretending that I can relate to the horrors of white collar life, when secretly inside I’m thinking… this person is weak…. or this person is an idiot…. or this person has no idea about real life. Some of them could probably step up if needed, but you just can’t ever know. #RedneckPolice Am I also being a dick? I have no idea. I probably am. I can be “a bit much” as it were. But that’s ok. This is my fucking blog so… there you have it. I think people who haven’t suffered are weak, as a default. Can you blame me? Probably… I’ve heard I can be a bit much. I’m also on my 4th jager, obviously. But you already knew that.

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One of the most common phrases that I suggest people avoid is “Nothing was ever handed to me”. This is legitimately true for some people. But it’s very rare. VERY rare. Did your parents pay for college? Did they help you pay for college? Then THAT was handed to you, ok? Did someone help you with your security deposit on your apartment? Your deposit on your home? THAT is something that was handed to you. There’s nothing wrong with taking it. I hope I can “hand” my children these types of things. But accepting these things excludes you from saying that nothing was ever handed to you. Has your parent/friend given you a recommendation or the name of someone to get your foot in the door somewhere? THAT is something that was handed to you. Yes we get it you are a super hard worker and you are amazing, but you’ve had things handed to you. If you can admit that, you’re on your way to self awareness.

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Saying “nothing was ever handed to me” seems innocent enough right? But saying this is insulting and to anyone who really hasn’t had anything handed to them. There are millions of people on earth who literally have nothing handed to them. They have to start from scratch, or beyond scratch, and fight against all odds to even be in the same room as you or in the same country or in the same meeting. If you had anything handed to you, please stop saying you didn’t, or that you had to work for everything you have.

Say you understand what it’s like to be in the military but you’ve never served? My friend E-GF would like 5 minutes alone with you in a closed room. Trust me, after that you will then gain a full understanding of the difference between you and someone who has served active duty in the military. Nothing compares to being on active duty other than being on active duty.

Say you understand what it’s like to have cancer because your xyz had cancer at some point? You don’t, my friend James would like to speak to you. No, You don’t know. Neither do I.

Oh you can relate to what Muslims in America are going through because someone you know was once an immigrant who is now totally ok? My grandparents and my father dealt with “Italians need not apply”. That was horrible. But a: that was not me it was them. b: It was not the same as religious persecutions. c: Muslims face something we can’t possibly understand unless you are one. If you’re not, shut it.

So…. I was going to write a blog today about some crazy/funny/intresting/depressing/real travel stories because I’m doing more business travel now than ever. But I have so much upcoming travel that I’m afraid I’ll publish and then my next trip will have the best story ever. So I’m going to try my best to wait until the end of the year to post that one.

In the meantime, you get this random rant about me being sick of people who think they are suffering but they aren’t. OR is this a post about me being unsympathetic to people’s perception of their own suffering? Is it me being a dick thinking my suffering makes me more aware than those who haven’t suffered? Probably the latter, but fuck it. This is who I am. And this is my blog so….

This rant has been brought to you by GoldIsFromAliens.com

I’m adding the following meme for no reason other than the fact that I love it so much and jager:

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Postcards from Jager…

I was torn between two blog titles. Option 1: Postcards from Jager, the Diary of a Functioning Alcoholic or Option 2: Postcards from Jager, the Diary of an Alcoholic in Training.

I believe Option 2 is more accurate, but Option 1 is funnier. Then I thought wow these titles could be offensive? If you’re in recovery of some sort, I applaud you and this is not intended to make a joke out of alcoholism, but rather to shed a comic light on the impact of the current state of the world (It’s gone to shit in case you hadn’t heard) and the correlation to increased alcohol usage.

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I *think* people who know me would describe me a serious. I’m not a goofy, fun loving person. I was born serious and will die serious. I take everything seriously. I’m quite pragmatic, to a fault. I work two jobs and give both of them 100%. I’m an involved parent and a good wife. I work on being a better person, a good partner and a good momma on a daily basis. I’m not perfect but I try. But… everyone has their faults. 

As of late, I also drink. Ok, “As of late” is a bit of bullshit but I believe my alcohol intake is proceeding at a an appropriate rate in conjunction with the likelihood that we are all going to die in WW3 and/or the integrity of everything we’ve always known will simply end. Yes, this is one of those inspirational, positive-thinking blogs that you’ll reference on your down days. Hehe.

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Everyone drinks enough Jager to get a rebate check, right? This is an actual rebate check from Jager to me. Now ya feel me?

As a coping mechanism to the current climate (both literal and figurative reference to climate… see what I did there?) I drink and I also make fun of drinking. Both seem to help. I also blog and have hobbies blah blah blah… jager. Remember at the end of a work day when we used to go to happy hour? We were… happy! We went with friends and talked about weird people at work or how we weren’t getting paid enough etc and had fun. Now we go to happy hour to avoid curling up under our desk in the fetal position and ugly crying.

My friends have been kind enough to go along for the ride with me on my attempt to ride a comedic roller coaster of referencing alcohol use as a distraction and diversion from having real daily conversations about actual goings on. We can save those for weekly, at best, at this point, lest we don’t run through the streets screaming.

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People I know text me “Jager Sighting” shots from around the world and no one ever even includes a statement other than where it is. I call these my “Postcards from Jager”. This one is courtesy of Walking-Dead-loving lawyer from PA who has seen me at my “best” in several conference settings.  Thanks Georgia-lawyer-lady for always helping me find Jager at the conferences.  #Priorities You’re my favorite even though you’re prettier than me! #Andrea 

The amount of completely horrifying incoming reality is so overwhelming that it’s hard to figure out where to start. At times it feels like the very fiber of our world might be in jeopardy, and for once that’s not an exaggeration but maybe even an understatement?

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This morning, for example, the first thing I read was about cutting aid to Palestine. Apparently this is supposed to force other people to pay “their share” since we “get nothing out of it.” I almost couldn’t read the article, but given that I teach classes about both Palestine and Economics I needed to read it. The logic behind this cut is well, not logical. It’s completely counter intuitive. So even if you’re in the “take care of our own first!” school of nationalism this cut will not end with your desired outcome. But it makes that group feel good so who cares about real outcomes? I do. Legitimately this one, inaccurately executed and inhumane act is going to haunt me heavily for days, maybe longer… Jager. My shock and grief over that decision prompted my first world-news related post in quite some time. Buckle up!

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Here is a grossly understated list of only the first general items that come to mind that are increasing alcohol sales (and will soon boost the Massachusetts economy with recreational marijuana sales):

Job creation: Coal is gone. It’s gone. Learn a new trade, or you will soon be on welfare (which you may have supported eliminating so you’ll be homeless). #RealTalk You are betting on the wrong horse, trust me on this one.

AI: Artificial intelligence is already here folks. They can tell us it won’t take any jobs for 50 years but it’s already taken thousands. You can’t stop progress.  Teach your kids STEM or Chinese or Healthcare or strategic thinking. (hint: Not coal) When we no longer needed blacksmiths it was ok because they transferred their physical skills into something else physical. Physical skills do not transfer to intellectual skills, this is different do not ignore reality. I listened to an AI specialist recently demonstrate that 2/3 of claims adjuster tasks can be replaced by cheap AI within 3 years. THREE YEARS. This is not the future, this is now! We are currently unpreparing our country… I don’t even think unpreparing is a word.. but it will be now. #COAL-FTW!

The new tax bill: If you don’t get how this is hurting you and your country too bad… I don’t feel like explaining it until I have to for my students.

Climate Change: Fuck it, this will impact my grandchildren but not me so YOLO!  (I wonder if that’s the defense behind doing nothing or if we are still going with the Chinese conspiracy thing?). #IceInTexas #HurricaneSeasonNeverEnds

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Recommended dinner combo after watching a documentary on climate change. #HeyMotherNature—Bye

Immigration: There’s enough room for everyone. No one is stealing your job. Math shows us that immigrants have improved the economy. I know, math is hard! What would Jesus do? Seriously STFU you know what Jesus would do. But hey, fuck logic AND math AND Jesus, right?… if you’re anti-immigration, we all know why. WE. ALL. KNOW. WHY.

Russia: What the fuck?

North Korea: When the most insane dictator in the world, hands down, decides to have diplomatic peace talks with his enemy… then another insane dictator-in-training moves into first place #MakeNorthKoreaGreatAgain

Did I mention that Jager also often comes with free gifts? It keeps on giving! This is a fish eye lens for a smartphone and a smartphone speaker. Jager, Not just for blacking out anymore.  

Gun Control: Are we honestly arguing about this? We have a right to guns. Guns ok for people who aren’t violent or insane. Anybody? Beuller? #NRAStartsPretendArguments

Journalism: Journalism is what keeps us out of dictatorships. History proves that anti-journalist investments are a critical step on the path to dictatorship and eventually genocide and/or world wars. Yet here we are basking in it. History is about to repeat itself, except this time it will include red hats, Kentucky fried chicken, American flag tank tops, mayonnaise, as we slowly lose all of our rights and products/services we need to survive. JAGER

Nationalism: Nationalism is the leading cause of world wars and mass destruction. Try to pry your Dorito-filled ass out of your recliner, limp over to your laptop and do some research that doesn’t involve Facebook or memes. If something says “Truth” or “Anti-Veterans” this is a definitive sign that you are not doing actual research. But you already know that… real research is hard and might result in someone else having access to elite items that only you deserve like healthcare or food. Now run out to Costco and grab as much as you can before the immigrants try to take it from you! #DefineDeserve #INeed3GiantSUVs

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Minimum Wage: I say increase it as much as you want. It will accelerate AI and eliminate a shit ton of jobs that don’t require education. We might as well accelerate the inevitable right? Won’t affect me, other than making my life easier, will it affect you? I don’t like interacting with people in transactional situations, so dealing with a kiosk and a drone works for me. The gap between the haves and the have-nots will get bigger, and the have-nots will have nowhere to turn since they, ironically, voted to eliminate social programs for losers. So it’s only a matter of time before there are only “haves” and the pesky have-nots don’t exist. Real enough for you yet? Enjoy… JAGER.  “Alexa, Send Crab Legs via Drone. Thank you.”

Mental Health: If the president doesn’t have to worry about it, why should we? #StableGenius

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Hotel fridge from a business trip in Orlando. The TSA in Boston had a good laugh about this one. “Are you having a party?” Sure… let’s go with that.

Military Families and Veterans: Everyone please stop using them as a tool for your arguments. All sides. Stop exploiting them. It’s disgusting. It’s also very transparent and indicative to a lack of substance or intelligence.

So what have we learned today? Cliff Notes:

  • Marie Christine has waited too long to comment on the world and clearly her anger has built up because of that.
  • Jager helps.
  • The world has gone to shit and people only seem to care about incendiary buzz phrases like “take care of our own” or “hurting military families”. #IRememberWhenFactsMattered
  • Just when you think it won’t get any worse it does.
  • That awkward moment when you couldn’t care less that the president paid off a porn star to silence her because it’s the least immoral thing in the news today. I’ll take 4 porn stars in exchange for some UN funding for Palestine. Ok 10 porn stars. Please?
  • We learned that if you say something is true over and over, people will believe it even if it’s not. Especially if they say exercise is bad for you and immigrants are stealing your KFC money.

My one hope is that all of this will be as symbolic as past nationalism has been. We will be over-taken by stronger, more ethical, countries that have global visions and will be forced to transform and evolve, rather than devolve. It’s just too bad that our lifetimes are the ones impacted by the transition. Extra points from St. Peter if you’re on the right side of history! Are you ready to tell him what you said/did? I am… Until then… JAGER

Let’s end this with a fun one…

This is Not-Tom-Brady at a bar in 1999 with the “Jager Girls”. Awwww NTB!

#GoldIsFromAliens

 

Dave’s Not Here, Man

If this title doesn’t mean anything to you, I suggest you hit up Google, YouTube or Siri then come back (although technically you can still follow along unaware).

You might be thinking to yourself, Marie Christine, where the heck have you been? OR you might be thinking… hey Marie Christine, I didn’t even notice you were gone so get over yourself.  Either way, here’s the story of the long strange trip that was the last 7-ish weeks.

A very intuitive person told me that this entire process would be a flume ride… with anxiety inducing moments weekly, sometimes daily.  He was right.   Here is the story of my flume ride.

I put my house up for sale. Not-Tom-Brady and I are very different people.  I handle moving by putting everything I haven’t touched in the last six months out on the sidewalk for anyone who wants it to take…. I’m surprised I moved with anything at all.  I even sold our living room furniture on Craigslist before we even sold our house. When they showed up to pick it up I just started handing them random items like a serving tray and an ottoman… everything must go!!!!

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This is where most of my stuff went… gone within hours.

Not-Tom-Brady, on the other hand, sifted through what seemed like hundreds of boxes of odds and ends, cherishing the memory attached to each one.  The process took a long time.  Being the anti-clutter queen of the universe, the process almost drove me over the edge.  But for Not-Tom-Brady, I stayed strong. Number of my “boxes of memories” = 1.  Number of Not-Tom-Brady’s boxes of memories = I have no idea.. a LOT y’all… a lot.

 Ohhhh Not-Tom-Brady!

We also handle stress in very different ways.  Not-Tom-Brady is an optimist with an everything-will-work-out-like-it’s-supposed-to attitude. Not fair. With the knowledge that a flume ride could be imminent, I turned to my 2 saving graces in times of high-stress… productivity and booze.  Yes, these two options can happily co-exist.

house 6Jager Nips I packed for my business trip to San Diego.  This is about 20% of what I packed.  Airlines allow these in carry on AND checked bags, especially if you have TSA pre-check.  For those of you that were unaware of this, you’re welcome. 

Stay busy, stay productive, then drink…. and repeat.  My realtor, and friend, is Dave. During these 7-ish weeks Dave has been reassuring and always available. I, on the other hand, have been overwhelmed, busy and moderately drunk.

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Me overwhelmed, busy and moderately drunk when Dave would stop by…

I have two jobs, so staying busy usually isn’t a problem.  Between the two I work anywhere from 40-70 hours a week.  BUT during this time I pretty much needed to be busy 24/7 to avoid having a complete nervous breakdown.  I was living in a difficult-to-sell home.  We had 13 showings and NO offers.  During the 14th showing we got bored and decided to go to an open house for a small ranch that didn’t appear to be a good fit for us.  We opened the door and saw a sprawling open floor plan with a SUNKEN LIVING ROOM.  I LOVE SUNKEN LIVING ROOMS!  Then there was a finished basement.  A partially fenced yard.  Privacy.  A two car garage and landscaping like I’ve never seen. We all knew… THIS IS OUR HOME.

As it would turn out, the 14th showing was the charm and an offer was made on our house the same day as we made an offer on the new home.  Let the joy (I mean flume ride) begin!

First, our buyers were first time home buyers.  No problem!  Except that their realtor was also a first time realtor.  Awesome!  She can’t fill out basic forms and asks ridiculous questions like.. Can the buyers come in and clean the week before they buy the house? Um no, it’s not their house so… no.

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We decided on closing dates. My purchase the day before my sale.. easy peasy! NOPE.

I did a home inspection on the new house, the seller refused to make any of the updates I requested, basically stating that they didn’t need to be done.  One was replacing a cable leading into the circuit breaker box (I’m using the wrong lingo I’m sure)… I won’t spoil the surprise on how this turned out, we will get there.  Fine asshole.. have it your way… don’t make the repairs.

Then, I realize that we are only a week away from closing and the seller still hasn’t signed the P&S agreement.  It turns out he was on vacation and didn’t think it was a big deal.  Guess who DID think it was a big deal? My mortgage company.  He ended up going into the lawyer’s office on a Saturday and we got it signed within about 4 hours of the timeframe necessary to close on our closing date. Awesome!

As I’m reading the P&S, when it’s eventually sent to me, I notice that it’s missing an entire parcel of land attached to the property… yep… true story.  At least we have 3 whole hours to fix it… lucky us!

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Thanks to a very cool cast of characters on my end (Dave, Mortgage-Guy and Lawyer-Lady) they got shit done.  Literally at the 11th hour.  High five team-Dave.

Finally my title is clear and the P&S is good.  Just call Fidelity to get the 401K loan right? NOPE, I need the money for the mortgage within 7 days and the best they can do is get it in 14 days in the form of a check, and it will take 7 days to clear.  Perfect!  I spent 7 hours on the phone with Fidelity.  Eventually they agreed to wire me the money.  I can’t even tell you how I did it. Let’s just say manipulation and negotiation skills are key in life, and I probably also owe the director there a kidney, but it was worth it. Jager.

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch, all is peachy keen with the buyer!  Oh wait no that’s the story of another person that I’ve never met.  Since the buyer is inexperienced, and their realtor is new, no one noticed that their mortgage broker went on vacation and forgot to process their paperwork.  The bank appraisal on my sale home was never ordered, and the closing was in 4 days.  But it’s all good right? Nope, it’s not all good.  Even with a rush appraisal the house would not sell/close as planned.  They order a rush appraisal.. I stay busy, and wait, and drink. Oh and I also attend Dead & Company’s show at Fenway Park with Not-Tom-Brady because I got him VIP Tickets for his birthday.

Yea that’s right. When you aren’t sure if you’re about to have a great year, or if you’re about to lose everything, you might as well go big right?

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Dear John, I forgive you for what you did to Taylor Swift and/or Jennifer Love Hewitt. Thank you VIP heaven. 

My appraisal on my purchase comes back $3,800 under the asking price.  We all know that the bank home appraisers have some subjectivity here.  Probably in the 10K range. Mine, nope… she decides to prove some sort of point during my flume ride.  Let’s just say I don’t want her to have any sort of tragic event, but if she were to get the worst sunburn of her entire life this week I would be ok with that. So, I got to pay $3,800 to the buyer that I wasn’t expecting because some lady decided it was her day to shine in I-Have-Self-Declared-Power land.  Perfect!  Why not right?  p.s. My sale is now completely up in the air at this point.

My sale house finally gets appraised and I’m told we will close in about 10 days. Ok scary. I’m going to own 2 homes for at least 10 days and don’t have the resources to support it past that… deep breaths. The house will sell.  We will be ok… it’s all fine. Nothing to see here. Jager.

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I finally close on my new home and move in. YES!  Sunken LIVING ROOM!  The movers are awesome.  Life is good.  Not-Tom-Brady and the kids are thrilled.  There is still drama with the sale but hey at least we are in Shangri-La right?   Waiiiit for it..  wait for it…. What is this water leaking into my finished basement?

I call a long list of plumbers in an unfamiliar town in a house I’ve lived in for just a few hours.  One finally comes over.  I can’t figure out where the water is coming from.  I assume a broken pipe is my worst case scenario.  Ya know what? A broken pipe is NOT a worst case scenario.  It turns out that a sewage drain back up IS.  And you guessed it… it was a sewage drain back up.  There  is a stand up shower in the finished basement, full of…. well full of shit… Literally.  I call a restoration company and a drain specialist.  The next thing I know I’m writing thousands of dollars in checks to get the drain unplugged at the street level and to have my finished basement sanitized.  Yay! Jager.

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Two days later the sewage is removed from the house.  They tell me it was a single paper towel flushed down the toilet that caused the problem. I have no idea if that’s even a thing but it’s all very calming (hint: It’s not).

The very same day I get a call from lawyer-lady.  Great news!  The closing on your sale is going through.  OMG that’s great news wow!  So they pushed it ahead to the day after tomorrow instead of next week isn’t that great?  They will be coming tomorrow night for the walk through. Insert visual of me picturing my old house with a basement full of junk that needs to be hauled away and 11 years of grime in every crevice of the 100 year old house… Remember… at this moment I have sewage in my new home and men wearing masks working. I thought I had at least 7 more days.  No rest for the wicked.  Jager.

The next day Dave swoops in with the number of a cleaning lady that turns out to be some sort of magic sorceress.  I’m so exhausted from the past 7 weeks plus the sewage back up that my 45 year old body can barely manage.  The magical cleaning wizard asks if I want her to start in the downstairs.  I nod.. sure.  15 minutes later I walk downstairs and she has transformed the house of horrors into a beautiful home full of rainbows and glitter happiness.  Meanwhile, Unicus, the Junk Master General, shows up and hauls away every bit of junk from the entire house.  He makes all of the bad disappear. #Unicus The buyers are on their way for the walk through.  We finish with 23 minutes to spare.  They could probably see us driving away.

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Now that things are “calm” I call an electrician. Remember that silly cable that the prior homeowner insisted didn’t need to be replaced? It wasn’t just susceptible to leaking into the circuit box, it has been leaking for a while.  So this Saturday I get to pay to have the entire thing replaced.  Isn’t that exciting? Who doesn’t love an unexpected 2K expense for something you thought you already had (working electricity)?  Side note: I knew this in advance but I also need to replace the furnace.. yea!  Do people still offer money for blood plasma donations?

Did anything go right?  Well, we love the house.  The fence guy showed up on time today to install a fence so that my dogs can run free, unsupervised, for the first time in their entire lives.  My teenager has her own hang-out area for her and her friends in the finished basement. I have a garage.  I don’t have a sidewalk to maintain. I can hear birds outside.  People here smile and say hello. My kids can walk to DQ from the new house. Did I mention the sunken living room?  I have a front porch and neighbors who wave to me.  I have a kitchen with enough counter space to prepare food on without using the stovetop.  My backyard has plants and flowers I’ve never even seen before.  There is a breeze in my back yard 24/7.  The people who bought my old house are over the moon happy to be there. I have EIGHT parking spaces, 2 in a garage.  At my old house I didn’t even have enough room to invite more than one person over at a time… and even with one person one of us would have to move our cars to a side street.  My family is HAPPY.  The redneck police did not show up, they are letting me have this one.  Stay tuned.

E X H A L E

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Gigi dancing in the sunken living room the day we moved in. 

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How to handle a flume ride.