Friday, February 12, 2010

Our house in the middle of our street . . .

Hey, remember when I used to blog? And I don't mean just flinging my brain drippings here in this virtual space for people to wander by and gawk at. "Whoa. Look at that spatter. If you squint, doesn't that kind of look like--"

"An epileptic rooster? Totally."

No, I  mean blogging in the complete sense, like when I used to wander by your blogs and read them. And then sometimes say stuff. Remember that?

Me, either. I've been elbow deep in an editing project and since I'm very prone to procrastination, distraction, and other assorted slothfulness, I had to put blogging on hold for a few days to meet a deadline. But, I AM BACK. You have been warned.

I started catching up today. Even subtracting the approximately 4,327 news feeds in my blog reader, I still had 172 blogs to get to and I'm only at half that. By tomorrow, those remaining 86 unread items will have mated like bunnies on Viagra and become close to an even half million or so, but I'll get to them, too.

Anyway, even though for all intents and purposes my absence (yeah, I know, you totally didn't notice. It's fine) would suggest I'm in no way interested in your lives, I'm going to tell you about mine. Because there's a certain narcissism to a blog like mine and instead of rationalizing that, today I'm embracing it.

As to what we've been  up to. . .

House hunting.

Oh, my.

We don't plan to buy until this summer but we live in So Cal where the majority of homes are distressed sales, mainly of the short sale variety, and these can take their own sweet time to close. So you have to give yourself a 4-6 month window on any offers you make for those. We'd be happy to go with a more straight forward equity sale, but they're actually really hard to find. So we're doing what we gotta, which is wandering in and out of houses, my husband bouncing with excitement and me waddling gamely behind him. Based on the toddler's behavior today, we can expect him to find the largest room in the house and just run circles around it until we leave as if he's trying to outdistance the unholy stank of living in 1100 square feet when there are almost five of us.

Or else he's just burning off the energy he stores up while sitting stoned in his car seat. One or the other.

But the house hunting is interesting.

I'd like to take an unofficial poll here. How many of you think I'd be a picky house hunter? Raise your hand in the poll on the side bar. Here, I'll insert a random picture here so you don't skim down one line to cheat and see the answer.

That's Grant at about two weeks old. I know. We seriously make cute babies.

Uh-huh. I bet most of you think I'll be picky.

You're wrong. So wrong. It's partly due to having a real estate agent in his mid-twenties who plays guitar in my husband's band and says "Dude" a lot. You spend time with a guy like Tyler, you kind of just mellow about everything. It's a strange narcotic effect. But also it's partly because I'm just not super picky about most things. Shoes, yes. How finely my vegetables are chopped when I'm cooking, yes. Everything else? Not so much.

These initial house gawking trips have been about establishing a point of reference between Kenny and I in terms of what is acceptable to me and what isn't. That way he can pretty much do all the house hunting by himself with full confidence that he knows my tastes and I can sit at home and eat waxy Hostess chocolate donuts and watch The Biggest Loser and not even feel bad about the hypocrisy because I'm going to go on the END ALL crash diet and lose like like fifteen pounds overnight in about six weeks. Or in four weeks if I'm lucky and this baby loves her mama and comes early to see me.

So, yeah. I'm going to mull over what I'm figuring out about how what you value in a house reflects who you are (because I'm realizing that although there aren't many dealbreakers house-wise for me, my absolute insistence on a room large enough to house a small Filipino house boy says quite a bit about me. Or maybe a really old English butler).

Let's see . . . there was something else I was supposed to do today. Hmmm.

OH, YEAH! Someone won something. Like the awesome book My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions and a Vosges Barcelona chocolate bar. And I need to announce it!

That person (per is:  STEPHANIE FARIS!

I'm actually super excited about that because I know she LOVES young adult fiction, and Stephanie, I must tell you. . . this is really, really good. So make sure I get your address and I'll get it out to you.

If you ever cook Rachel Ray's 30 minute recipes, check out my sidebar. I try a couple every week and grade them. You can click to get the details and see if there are any you want to try. But I don't post the recipe so you'll need to own the book already. This week's new entries: Dily of a Quesadilla and Mix and Match Enchiladas.


Amber said...

I DID notice, thankyouverymuch. But, you recently commented so I'm not too upset.

Drat. I totally voted wrong (and I even cheated).

I think my toddler and your toddler should compete. I bet it would be one exhausting competition to watch.

Wonder Woman said...

I wasn't picky when it came to buying our house, and I kinda regret it now. Though we bought at the very peak of the market and the pickins were pretty slim. But as long as you've got your list of essentials, you'll be okay.

I'm also looking forward to that massive weight loss!

Kelly O. said...

I voted right! I would not call my house a dream house or what I would have designed myself, but I believe firmly, for the time being, that I belong where I am and in order to stay we have no choice but to live in our house. I am very eclectic in my decorating and don't really care what people think, because if I am surrounded by the things that make me happy (not the guests) I am a nicer person. They don't have to live here and can go home when are done visiting to their own taste. I am sad I didn't win the chocolate, but I ordered the book from Amazon for Erica and her friend. Love ya. Oh yeah and the song you quoted, by Madness, one of my all time favs.

CaJoh said...

You are one of the bloggers who show up at the bottom of my reader listing. I did wonder why I didn't see the Stuff, but considering I myself have not posted or perused as much either, I just wrote it off as common place.

Good luck in your house hunting.

Becca said...

I have no room to complain that you haven't been visiting, since you're advertising me and whatnot. Not that I'd complain anyway. You go where you want to go, sista.
Picky? I guessed not. Because why stress? My Husband is the picky one here, so I just smile and nod, as long as there's a mudroom and a place for lockers and enough toilets to stave off disaster. But next house? Will have wide enough stairways to walk down together, side by side. That's all I demand... oh, and the double wall-oven.

Kazzy said...

I say just hit "mark all as read" in your reader, and start over.

And as far as the house goes, it is amazing how far more space will take you. When we moved here from SoCal I was giddy with excitement over having open space, more rooms, etc.

Sarah M Eden said...

Darn. I wanted to win. *frown*

Best of luck with the house hunting. We're on the opposite end, desperately hoping to sell our house, which is not distressed, in a market that is overwhelmed with properties selling well below market value. It's been an experience.

Kimberly said...

You know, I would figure you for the See the Potential Most People Wouldn't type. Not necessarily picky in the sense of cosmetic details, but looking for something with "good bones" you can work with.

Just a guess though.

Happy hunting!

And Dude. Seriously. Skip my blog this month. Bore. Ing.

Linda said...

PLEASE don't move until I come visit...I love the walk to the beach and the coffee shops!!!!!!!
love you!

Kaylie said...

Brain drippings. Just had to say that I love it.

DeNae said...

Well, I'm glad to see you back in the game. Although I was one of the lucky ones who actually heard from you during your hiatus.

That's right, people. Neener neener.

Terresa said...

Mmm, not sure what sounds more tempting, the waxy Hostess chocolate donuts, the mellow Real Estate Agent, or the quesadillas.

Happy house hunting, mama!

Carolyn V. said...

Melanie, I hope you get the best house out there! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. =)

Jami said...

I noticed that you had thirteen comments and had to come and rescue you. Fourteen now.

I'll cross my fingers for you on a great house. Then I'll cross my arms and pray for you all to find the perfect place.

Happy Birth Day! Wanted to be on the safe side just in case I didn't get a chance before the beautiful new one arrives.

Annette Lyon said...

I think I had a eerily similar deadline . . . so maybe you didn't notice my lack of going around commenting either. :D

Eowyn said...

I'm going to have to start looking at houses soon. I'm not sure I'm ready for that. . .