Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Off We Go Again!

Once again, we find ourselves packing. "Another trip?!" you might be thinking, "Do you guys ever stay still?!" There is a simple response to that... it rhymes with Joe. That's right! NO! Apparently we do not stay still, and after this trip, we aren't finished. After all, in only two weeks, we will be heading to New York- permanently for Travis and me! I have to admit, I am nervous. Don't get me wrong, I am also excited as all get out, but I am also kind of nervous for multiple reasons... and here they are! In- you guessed it- LIST form! Yippee!!!

1. We will be so far from family.

2. We will officially be "on our own" for sure (Travis will be bringing in income; I will be fervently searching for a job).

3. We won't constantly have others around who we know.

4. We will have to make new friends.

5. We will have to "plunk" into the realization that the new place is "home".

However, I don't want anyone reading this to think that I am completely nervous about moving or sad about it. Of course not! This is where God has placed us; it is a new adventure! I am definitely up for new adventures... yet with every new adventure comes a little anxiety. For example, imagine you have decided to go skydiving... you are jazzed about your decision, can't wait to experience it, can't wait to tell others that you experienced it, and can't wait to see the awesome footage from your plummet. ....Yet... in the pit of your stomach, something reminds you that there is no certainty that your chute will open... this could be a trip for which you hadn't planned. Get what I mean?

Meh, I am such a stinkin' downer! Let's talk happy once again! I am also extremely excited about the new place. It has a FIREPLACE! How sweet is THAT!? I never thought the first place I lived in would have a fireplace. GET. EXCITED. Our new place also has a gym, pool, activity center, etc.! It seems to have enough stuff to keep us occupied for sure.

Travis sent some needed information to our broker today to pass on to the landlords. Now, all we have to do is wait for a conference call from the landlords. Then hopefully everything will be ready for August 15th!

In other news, I got paid for my first Elance (electronic freelance website) writing job today! Exciting! Hopefully I can get some more jobs on Elance so that I can help bring in some extra income for our small, poor, New York family! ;) Heehee! In all honesty, we have been blessed beyond words, and I cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store for us as we continue our newlywed journey together.

And now that I have completely diverted off topic... let me return to the original point of this post... remember this:

Once again, we find ourselves packing. "Another trip?!" you might be thinking, "Do you guys ever stay still?!"

Well, it was soon after that that I took the wrong off ramp onto the subject of New York (I guess I just have it on the brain! :D )! Let's try again! The trip of which I am speaking is the one to Chicago, Illinois for an old friend's (Alyssa M.) wedding! No... she isn't old. It is just that we have grown apart over the years through my family moving, so I consider her an "old friend". However, she is still dear to me, and I cannot wait to see her walk down the aisle; she will be a positively gorgeous bride- no doubt about it! We used to be the best of friends when I lived in Naperville, Illinois; we did everything together and always had the most spectacular imaginations while playing. I will never forget the wonderful, true friendship we had, and to see her get married is such a beautiful blessing for me. Congratulations, Alyssa!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cosmetic Surgery

In honor of my blog turning "50 posts old", I have done what most people do when they turn 50 years old, MAINTENANCE!- a tuck, a lift, an insertion, a suction, and the list continues. My blog has now experienced what many "over the hill" people experience when they have determined that they "are old", "look old", etc. In short, I have remodeled my blog! ...duh! Now, if you didn't notice that, no offense, but you are not very observant. You may want to work on that... Now, on to some explanation. You may have noticed that some things are missing and other things are new.

The things that may appear to be missing are my list of followers, my profile link, and my blog archive. Well, they
aren't! If you scroll to the very bottom of the site, you will see all of these beloved blog elements. Yay! Phew! I know you were worried, but you can rest well in the knowledge that those parts of my blog are still in existence. Ahhh... all is well. Now then.

In addition to that change, you may notice some new icons next to the "comment" link. I figured that some people don't like to comment, but they do like to share their appreciation for a post. Therefore, I added the "like" and "dislike" buttons. They are an easy way for people to show feedback without having to think of how to comment. There is also a little rectangle full of little (probably recognizable) icons. These icons are for easy sharing. If you find one of my blogs helpful, interesting, or just flat out funny, these buttons enable you to share my post with others via the networking site of your choice. Finally, the last new icon is the mail icon, which you can probably figure out, but I will tell ya anyway! If you like one of my posts enough to share it to someone specific, click that little icon and you will be e-mailing one of my posts in no time!

Got it? Good! Ahhh, speaking of feedback, what do you think of my new design? Yea or nay? Let me know what YOU think- you know your opinion matters to me (goodness, I sound like a politician!!!). finito!

Over the Hill

Ok friends! I have some ah-mazing news!

The first news item is that this is my 50th blog post! Yay!!! For this post, I would love for you to do the same thing I requested for blog post #20. Choose your five favorite blog posts, and comment on this post numbering your favorite posts (1 being ur ultimate favorite). If that is waaay too much work (I understand it might be a pain in the bootyola), just comment posting a title or two of notable blogs in your opinion. Please and thank you!

The second news item is that Travis and my offer on the Heritage Hills apartment (the one we wanted the most- see New York: Part Deux- it is the third one shown) was accepted!!! We should be moving there around August 16th or 17th. We are, needless to say, PSYCHED! Take a look at the pictures, and let me know what you think. The next month is going to be busy and exciting!

I know this post was short, but I hope you enjoyed it, nevertheless!

the end.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Did Ya Miss Me!? ...don't answer that.

Well, here I am at another Monday, and since Friday, I haven't written on here! Oh no! I know you missed me... it's okay to tear up just a little... okay... that's enough... no really stop before you get nose drippings everywhere!!!


Now then. Where was I? Ah yes- I haven't written on here since the weekend, but I have some accomplishments of which I can brag from this weekend. Yay bragging!

Accomplishment #1: Dad, Mom, Travis, and I finished two biiiiig projects here in Tennessee. The first one finished was staining the entire railing on the deck. We have a big deck. We then busted our booties to finish the landscaping on the area lining the driveway. We had to rake around the bushes, remove massive rocks, put "mulch rings" around each bush, spread grass seed, and cover the grass seed with soil. Doing this to about 26 bushes was in a word... delightful. or death. You know... whichever...

Accomplishment Dos: I wrote my first article for my Elance project (I finished it yesterday). I sent in my time sheet and should be getting paid Friday- yippee!!! Yay for getting paid for doing something you love!

Accomplishment III: I went to the "girlie" doctor for a check up and a prescription fill. Aaaaand that's enough about that!

Accomplishment Quatre: I lost a little more weight... like a pound or less, but still! A pound is a pound!

Accomplishment Fem: Recently, I have gotten into the Word a little more than usual. Travis and I did a couple marriage devotions together, and I read some of Daniel. It wasn't much, but any improvement is still a good thing!

Accomplishment Sei: My next blog will be #50!!! How exciting! ...for me. Ha! I should throw like a virtual blog party thingamajig... yeah!

No-So-Accomplished-Thingie of the Weekend: News back from the broker? No. Fail much?

All righty then! Now that I am done bragging and whining, it's your turn! That's right, I am giving you the freedom to share all of the wonderful things that have been happening to you and the bad things as well (if you so choose to share). It isn't bragging or whining if I ask you about your accomplishments and no-so-accomplished-thingies, right? Right! So WRITE... a comment! kbye!

Friday, July 23, 2010

"Fat bottomed girls you make the rockin' world go round"

Dieting is a pain, let's face it. A-nnoying. Well, I am, once again, in that fantastic dietastical world. I have to say, though, that I am enjoying it! Okay, let me explain before you count me off as a psychopathic freakazoid. Why do I enjoy it?

- I feel better about myself in general- I feel more attractive and appealing even if I still can't fit into that one pair of dream jeans. So what! I feel HOT! Ow OWWWW! Bow chicka... okay that's done.

- I have more of a drive to get things done and do exciting, fun things. For example, I have been feeling really "crafty"! I am going to begin a scrapbook soon of Travis and my first married year together, and, as you have seen (if you have been following... if not, FOR SHAME!!!), I have also been making greeting cards, which has been a lot of fun. Another recent project was doing something with "Shirley Baby". Shirley Baby is a ratty, old doll that I used to play with and bring everywhere. Before I got her, she was my sister's doll; so this doll is old as sin (and I am in no way implying that my sister or I am old by any means!). Well, I decided to put her in a shadow box instead of storing her away where no one would see her and she would be taking up storage space. I added a background and wrote her name on it. I am pretty excited and pleased with the result. What do you think?

- Another reason I enjoy dieting is because it forces me to not be lazy. This kind of goes along with the above bullet. Instead of sitting around on my fat, lazy behind, munching on something while facebooking to make time pass, I have to find something else to do. I am a firm believer in "eating because I'm bored"... why? Because I do it! ALL the time! It is a time-passer. If I don't want to accomplish something, I simply find something to munch on, sit on my booty (which will soon be bigger due to the munching), and watch television or get on facebook. How sad is that?! However, I think a lot more people than would like to admit do the exact same thing. No? ...forget I said anything... that doesn't happen to me either... heh heh... weird...?

- Finally, paired with dieting, I have been exercising. Yes, exercise gives you endorphins, blah, blah, blah! Whatever!!! I HATE IT!!!!!!!! However, the more I hate it, the more I am proud of myself for doing it at the end of the day. I mean, I would not be proud of myself for eating a bigbutt piece of chocolate cake. I wonder why... Duh! I LOVE chocolate cake; I love eating it! So if I ate a piece of chocolate cake, I would not sit there and pat myself on the back saying, "Good job, Fatty Fat Fat!" However, after killing myself on the treadmill, I can pat myself on the back and say, "Good job, Aerobic Exerciser Extraordinaire! You made it! You're alive! Congratulations! I didn't think you would live this time!" Ahhh! What an accomplished feeling! :D

So what would this blog be without some dieting tips? A shorter blog! However, knowing me, you have a better chance of enjoying the entire Land Before Time series than getting a short blog out of me, so here we go!

- Keep busy. Go out shopping with your friend, mom, spouse, etc., etc. Get your nails done. Determine to finish a craft project. Whatever you choose, do something because the less time you waste sitting around, napping, doing a "time-waster" such as surfing the web, the less junk food is bound to enter the pie-hole of doom!

- Reminisce. Find an old picture of yourself when you were thinner or more fit, print it, and stick it on your refrigerator. That former, better body will make you rethink that ice cream.

- Exercise! Cardiovascular workout is great because you are burning more calories. The more calories burned, the more fat burned. However, cardio isn't going to cut it. You need some strength workout, too. No, I am not encouraging you to look like one of them naaasty bodybuilders, but you do need some more muscle in order to lose weight more effectively. For the men, perhaps you do want to get some bulky muscle. If you want that, simply use more weight when working out. You may not be able to do as many reps, but the heavier weight is what is going to reshape and build your muscles. For the women, unless you want to look like Bertha, the Russian bodybuilder who will take you DOWN, stick with less weight and more reps. It is very tempting to "move up" a weight level when you technically can, but resist the urge! Remember Bertha... always remember Bertha... except in your dreams- that would be a frightful night.

AHHH!!!!!!! ...sorry about that.

- Pray! God helps us in all of our struggles. Pray that you would be able to stick to your diet, that you would stop when the time is right, that would find contentment when you are at your goal weight, and that you would resist vanity when you are more pleased with your body. Remember that getting in the Word daily can also help. The Bible is a living book, so I guarantee that if you are struggling with your diet, if you open up the Bible and let God speak to you through it, it will somehow, someway apply to your diet! It is strange but true! God is just amazing like that.

- Avoid "mindless eating". Avoid sitting at a Mexican restaurant with friends and grabbing a handful of chips out of habit. Trust me! This happens- I have done it! Before giving in to eating something sweet, think about a healthier option. If you truly think about why you want the snack, what is in the snack, and how it is going to affect your body, you may opt for a bowl of strawberries instead. Oh, and one more thing. Think about the calories in the item on which you have your ravenous eyes... how many berries, apples, pears, oranges, etc. could you consume to make up the same amount of calories? Now that is food for thought! Haha! Get it? It's like a pun!

- Find "replacements". Want something salty? Replace chips/crackers with salted edamame beans or snack-sized dill pickles. Don't like either of those? Find something else- something healthy- that can serve as your "salt fix". Now for the sugar fix!!! Beeeee careful! Fruit can be deceivingly high in calories and sugar. However, I can guarantee that fruit's calories and sugar will be oh-so-much more healthy than the sugar and calories found in a bowl of ice cream or a plate of cookies. Anther great thing I discovered were Werther's Original hard candies. They make sugar free caramel and coffee/caramel flavored candies! Epic score! Each candy is around 4 calories each, so if you need a pick me up during the day, pop in one of those candies and suck the sugar craving right out of your system! Also, do not underestimate the power of diet soda... okay, yes, I know... they are SO bad for you! Do you want to be thin or not!? Just have one every once in awhile when you are really craving something- trust me, it helps.

- Drink plenty of fluids. Water can become mundane, I know, but it is the most important part of your diet. Your body desperately needs to flush out toxins in order to lose weight and be at its healthiest, so get out that jug of water and CHUG! CHUG! CHUG! CHUG! Wow... the word chug starts to get really weird lookin' after typing it in caps four times.... Anyway! Where was I? Oh! Yes. Your body really needs water, but don't think that you can only get water from, well, plain ol' water. Add some Crystal Light! Make some tea! Have a little bit of coffee! Have a *gasp* soft drink! Be wary of those last two, though, because they also tend to dehydrate some (thus, counteracting themselves a little); therefore, don't live off of them! Just DRINK!!! Ah, ah, ah! Not that kind of drink, ya lush! Alcoholic beverages will not only dehydrate you, they will also add lots of calories and (surprise, surprise) lower your inhibitions so that the fatty inside will "free" itself! I'm not a fan of alcohol as it is, but for those of you who like it, remember that just as drinking and driving don't mix, drinking and dieting don't either!

- Multivitamins! Many times our bodies crave a certain food because they are actually craving the vitamins in that food. Keep the cravings away by taking a multivitamin daily. This is not only good for your weight loss, it is also good for your health in general. I have found that when I take a multivitamin, I am more satisfied during the day. It truly helps me stay on track. Give it a shot!

- Do not eat until you are "full" or try to "clear your plate". Eat until you are still a little bit hungry. What?! The whole point of eating is to make yourself not be hungry, right? True, but you must realize that while you are still eating, your food has not yet had time to settle. Therefore, if you eat until you are full, once your food settles you will be stuffed. If you want to just be "full" (much better than stuffed), eat until you are still a little hungry. Then, once your food settles, you will be full. Problem. solved. Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a WINNER!

- Try desperately to be happy with yourself the way you are. You may be thinking, "Yeah, right! I am going to be happy with the out-of-shape body in which I am living. Yeah... nice thought there... imbecile." First of all, it is not nice to call someone an imbecile... so I will be expecting an apology soon. Second of all, if you are continuously down on how you look, you will only bring yourself down emotionally. And if you are anything like me, you eat your emotions! If you don't... I hate you and am so jealous that I am going to go take down a bacon cheeseburger, but I'll have you know that YOU MAKE ME DO THIS!!!! ... Anyway... it is important to look at yourself in the morning and feel good- be happy with how the Lord created you. Know that you are beautiful and desirable. Once you have a skip in your step, you will feel more like hopping on that treadmill or having the will power to say "No" to that fat-injecting junk food. Just remember this: you are a sizzling, hot-smokin' babe!!!!! :D Feel better? I knew you would.

Well, that's all I have for you today! Join me next time on... "Brittany's"... er... "Bubbling, Bulging Belly Buster"... "!" :D

- P.S. Please feel free to share your opinion, tips, or experiences. You know I love me some comments! :) -

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Proof! Bwahaha!!!

If you were at all suspicious of my "Striker" story, let this video be the proof you need to rid yourself of any doubts whatsoever!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Aha! Thanks to my dad who did a little research, I (and through me, YOU- yay!) have some interesting information regarding Striker's very strange attitude and actions. Check out this link- you won't regret it! The information is extremely... informative. :D Seriously though, it is very interesting. Please check it out and let me know your thoughts. Enjoy!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Now I'm not one for "birdwatching", and I never really have been. After all... I am only 21 years old. I'm pretty sure you have to be at least 60 to qualify for that hobby. That was before I met... Striker. Now, when you hear of a name such as "Striker", you probably visualize a hawk, an eagle, or another bird of prey. I don't blame you! I would as well. However, to be 100% truthful, if you visualized one of those birds, you were dead wrong. I am speaking of Striker-the hummingbird.

At this point you are probably thinking... "Okayyyyy... Striker is one of those little cutesy birds... like the one from Pocahontas?! ...Flit?!" Yes. Indeed. Striker, is one of those cutesy little birds... with one baaaaad attitude.

His nasty attitude started when my parents bought a new, nice hummingbird feeder with little flowers around the base where the birds could sip delicious sugar water whilst all the humans of the Roan Mountain house awwed and smiled adoringly at them. However, It turns out that there haven't been many hummingbirds tranquilly drinking from the feeder, enjoying the summer together peacefully. Why? Well, my dad had told stories for awhile now about one little hummingbird who seemed to "run the roost". He said that every time another bird would come near the feeder, the little hummingbird would attack the intruding bird and then sit on the feeder, a bush nearby, or a branch nearby guarding the feeder... ahem, excuse me... HIS feeder.

I listened to the stories, visualizing the humor, but never having solid proof. Now, my dad is not a liar, so I knew something was definitely up with the hummingbirds; I just had never seen it for myself... until Saturday. We were all eating an early dinner when we saw him. Striker was perched on top of the feeder, his red neck bright and his girth a little larger than the other hummingbirds. Like clockwork, another hummingbird tried to get a sip, but alas, this attempt was done in vain because as soon as it came close to the feeder, Striker attacked! Holy junk! Did that really happen?! Not only did it happen, it happened again and again and again!

I officially turned 60 and was sucked into the "bird watching action" (as was everyone else). We sat and watched the birds zoom back and forth fighting over the feeder, and everyone lost to Striker. Or so we thought. See, my dad also told us some stories about the cunning behavior of the hummingbirds. According to my dad, there had been incidences where one hummingbird would distract the "head honcho" hummingbird, while another hummingbird got a sip! "Yeah right!" you must be thinking. Actually... that is right!

We witnessed it! At one point, one hummingbird distracted Striker to the point where he hid in a bush while Striker dive-bombed him repetitively!!! Yes... hummingbirds dive-bomb.

mind. officially. blown.

Now you can see why I named him "Striker". Now that you know about him and his personality, you are probably wondering from where he came. We aren't really sure... nor are we sure why he decided to become "leader of the flock", but my dad has an idea. You see, a few weeks ago, we had a little problem occurring around the house. Literally, around the house- on the deck. Dad and I were out on the deck talking one day, and Dad found something on the ground kind of in the groove of the deck... a hummingbird- dead. :( It was so sad and terrible, but it was clear that he had been there for awhile. We figured that it probably ran into a window or something.

It was too late for that hummingbird, but not too late for another one. My dad found another one lying on the deck, breathing heavily, but not able to get up from his prostrate position. Dad thought he might be a goner as well, but he tried to revive him anyway. My mom retrieved a syringe-type device and filled it with sugar water. Dad sat and fed the little guy until he seemed better. Dad said he was just drinking and drinking and drinking as his little heart pounded out of his chest. Finally, the little trouper took off in a flight of victory!

So... what does the death-defying hummingbird have to do with... anything? Wellll, my dad has a theory; he believes that the little guy decided, since he was saved here and all, to claim the feeder as "his" and live here forever. After all, Striker has a big, red neck (bahaha- a "redneck" hummingbird from Tennessee! Get it?), and Dad remembers the one he saved having a red neck... hmmm...

What do you think? Was Striker the amazing hummingbird who defied death? You tell me...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

-Crafty Creations-

I decided I would try my hand at being "crafty". Instead of spending tons of money on pre-made, mass produced Hallmark cards, I decided I would make my own cards. Not only is it fun for me... I feel like it is more personal for the people receiving the cards. Please check out my cards and give me some feedback. :) I would really appreciate it. Enjoy! <3

-Lindsey's Birthday Card-

-The Envelope for Lindsey's Card-

-Thank You Card for Aunt Ivy-

-Thank You Card for Grandpa and Grandma VanMetre-

Please leave some feedback! :)


We visited my Great Aunt Ivy's ranch on Tuesday. She had a friend similar to this living outside her house.

that is all.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Day We All Jumped onto the Stupid Train

Let's discuss how yesterday after church, we (Dad, Mom, Ivan, Lindsey, Travis, and I) decided to all go to the mall together in the Honda Pilot. No big, right? Welllll, not exactly...

We headed into the mall parking lot around noonish where we looked for a spot to park. Ivan and Lindsey finally said that we needed to park down below, in the underground parking structure. You might be thinking, "" at this point. Well, trust me, it gets far more entertaining from this point onward.

As we entered the parking structure and began to make a right turn to find parking, Mom remembered something crucial: the car top carrier. What triggered her memory? Probably God. What confirmed her memory? The sound of scraping on the ceiling of the parking structure. By that time, my mom was screaming and... well, it all went so fast that I don't even know who else may have been screaming at that point. My dad briefly stopped the car and then continued driving whilst asking, "Is that me?" My mom's response? "YYYYEEEEESSSS!!!!!!!" He stopped the car.

In a flash, Travis, Ivan, and Mom were all outside of the car telling Dad what to do. Lindsey and I stayed in the car... like sane people. Did we stay in the car due to embarrassment? Partially. However, we also decided that since there were already three people + Dad freaking out, we would abstain from partaking in the insanity. But wait! There's one more! A random woman in the parking structure decided to pipe in and "help" Dad... annoying much? Oh well... at least she was trying to be nice I suppose.

Anywho, finally it was time for Ivan to stop "directing traffic" and help get the smushed car top carrier off the car. At that point, my dad said the dreaded words, "One of the girls needs to get out there to direct traffic while Ivan helps!" Oh poopsicle. Of course, I popped out of the car and joined the "Stupid People Who Drove Into the Parking Structure With a Flippin' Car Top Carrier Still on Their Car" Circus. Joy to the world.

Soooo, long story short (well, as short as I can write it- hee hee!) , we removed the car top carrier, which survived! Sure, it had a couple of embarrassing scratches (after all, it is kind of obvious what happened when you have scratches on the top of a CAR TOP CARRIER!!!), but, overall, we were blessed to be able to remove it before it hurt the car.

We then carried the car top carrier out of the parking structure... that isn't humiliating at all. Once Dad drove out and parked (in public, of course), the car top carrier was returned to its proper home on top of the car. We were happy that the car top carrier was not damaged because otherwise, some of us would have had a joyous, big-butt plastic car top carrier on our laps for the ride home. delightful. Once it was secure, we drove away, abandoning the mall with our tails between our legs.

Here's an exaggerated version of what we went through to help you... sympathize... with us on what we went through. Enjoy! :)

Well, there you have it! We'll really laugh about this incident someday... Oh, who am I kidding? We're laughin' now!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

P.S. Almost Forgot! (New York Bonus Info)

My loving husband who has the memory of an elephant reminded me that I didn't mention Angelo or the weird, naked hoarder man in my final New York post! *gasp* I know... how could I forget THEM?! I am so sorry! Hopefully this post will redeem that terrible mistake. By the way, there will be no pictures. Trust me, you will thank me.

Come one! Come all! To the New York Circus! See the amazing "Angelo" in all of his glory! Welcome:

Angelo could not have been more sitcom typical of a landlord. Now, realtors also call landlords "superintendents" shortened as "supers". Let me give this to you straight: super would be the
last word I would use to describe Angelo. In all of the other apartments we visited, the "super" was not there at the time. Well, we came to this apartment, and who did we meet? Angelo. He was in the kitchen complaining in an Italian accent about the previous tenant and how he/she left the place a mess.

Now, from that, you have already gathered that Angelo was Italian; if you didn't already gather it from the name, then you may need to be a little more perceptive to survive this world... anywho! He was an Italian man of impressive girth. Now, if you
do happen to be "girthful", no big deal (Ha! A pun!), but please, for the love of all retinas, don't share it with the world by wearing a deliciously hugging white tank top. my. eyes. are. still. burning.

Let's discuss how Italians usually have a significant amount of body hair, especially as they get older. Wait, no... let's
not discuss that because it's NAAAAASTY!!!! Well, Angelo... he... to put it nicely... he was not in need of body Rogaine. Hey, I have a joke: what do you get when you have a fat, hairy, Italian man working inside a hot apartment? A sweaty, fat, hairy Italian man! You don't think it's funny? None of us did either.

So now that we have discussed in excruciating detail this scrumptious hunk of man, I will now briefly describe his scrumptious apartment. It was a duplexy kind of place- except that there would be three tenants sharing (three floors). The apartment was awkward in that it had random small rooms that didn't make much sense, but, oh me oh my, the winning feature of the house was by far the bathroom. If you didn't go blind from looking at Angelo, you sure as anything had another chance with this bathroom. In short, it was... blue. Blue highlights? An attractive blue? Why don't
you guess the answers to these questions? I have a hint... the answers are the same and both rhyme with "go". You know it is bad when a bathroom reminds you of the inside of a giant Tupperware container. Oh yeah. It was gouge-your-eyes-out-tastical.

So... we signed the lease.


Okay folks, move on! Move on to the next exhibit! Come all to see "Weird Naked Hoarder Man" in all his glory- and we DO mean all his glory! Tickets, please:

One word: yum. The very first apartment we viewed with Lori was a duplex. She knew it was supposed to be unlocked, so we walked up the stairs, and she opened the door to find... holy junkamoly. Literally... junkamoly. There was junk, dirt, grime, etc.
all over the place! PILES! We could barely walk into the place at all. One of the rooms was blocked off by a sheet (but you could see enough into the room to tell that it was filled to the brim with junk as well). We couldn't walk into the kitchen; I honestly don't know how one could even get food from his kitchen! The place was overall, disgusting, and that is not exaggerating.

The first reaction from all of us,
including the realtor, was "Oh my gosh!" Lori called out "Hello?" a few times to see if anyone was there. I mean, we figured that someone was still living there, despite the unlivable conditions. No one answered, but we heard some noises... oh well. We proceeded to verbally trash the place because it was disgusting.

Lori hesitated and sheepishly ensured us that the place would be totally cleaned out before we would ever move in. (Yes, preposition... cease the judging!!!!) As she was "ensuring" us, she was interrupted. Interrupted by... none other than the second star of this circus! We heard a confused and perturbed "Hello?" followed by a (from what I could see- the rest was hidden by the piles of junk) naked man popping his body out of a door and telling Lori that she was in the wrong place and needed to go downstairs. thank. goodness.

Needless to say, we were all extremely relieved! The man in question was
clearly a hoarder. Like... a hoarder in need of psychological assistance. It was unbelievable. It was like one of those houses that you see in those shows where the people stage an intervention! This is not a hyperbole, I promise! There were other witnesses besides me- ask!!! Now, about the "nude" factor... he was topless (it seemed like he had recently been in the shower), but he could have been wearing a towel for all I know. However, I didn't see his bottom half due to the large piles of useless junk. Thank you large piles of useless junk.

All righty, ladies and gentlemen! Show's over! Thank you for visiting the New York Circus! I hope you enjoyed the show! Please leave a comment!

(Btw, I realized mid-writing that we had actually seen hoarder man first, but I left it in the order it was already falling into because I can. And because I'm lazy. kbye!)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tres Parto del Nuevo Yorko, Amigos :D

For the final part of our New York experience, we woke up in the Mt. Kisco Holiday Inn on Monday after once again sleeping for what felt like two shakes of a lambs tail. Ha! That is the first time I have used that phrase... I feel empowered. Anywho, we headed out after leisurely getting ready and packing for our evening flights. Once cramming everything into the car, we headed out for some healthy breakfast. While ordering at Dunkin' Donuts, we realized that the people working there were as successful at their jobs as watermelons doing yoga. How do you work in a place that serves so much coffee and not understand what a MOCHA is?! They also could not comprehend what Dad E. wanted; if you have ever met my father-in-law, you know that he is
very good at thoroughly explaining what he wants. In addition, he has an admirable amount of patience... and patients... yuk yuk yuk! was worth a shot. Ignoring my corntastical joke, he really does have incredible patience... these people managed to annoy him. That takes an epic amount of fail.

After our deliciously healthy meal, we voyaged to Irvington where we met up with Lori, the realtor for that area. She brought us to a junkload of places. They were all
nice; however, it was during Monday's "viewings", that I discovered I wished I would have never seen the Heritage Hills apartment. It set the bar high, high enough to make me disappointed in the other places we viewed. I know, I sound prissy, but think about this with me for a moment: if you have eaten gelato, straight from Italy, Breyers just won't seem to cut it back in the States. Ya know what I mean? No? oh. right then... moving on!

We checked out a tooooonnnssss of places before our time was through. After hunting, we hunted down a decent restaurant= Dobbs Diner. Yumacious! Especially the chocolate cake! Yes... we had more chocolate cake. don't judge me.

Finally, it was time to head to the airport. *sniff* Travis and I had a flight at 6:59pm (oddly specific?) and Dad E. and Mom E. had a flight out 8:30pm (or... was it 8:29? I can't remember...). Let me just tell you... we left around 8:30ish and the parents left around 9:00ish. Oh yeah. The experience was pure joy- like a beautiful frosted cupcake in the summer... a poo-encrusted cupcake with a rotting cherry on top in a summer HURRICANE! ...but I'm not bitter.

We finally arrived in Charlotte, NC; by that time we had decided to grab a hotel that night so that we didn't end our trip with a bang- literally. If we had driven the two and a half hours home that night (the drive included dark, windy roads), the car may have gone, "Bang!", then maybe, "Crunch!", and perhaps a "Boom!" thrown in there? Needless to say, we were tired and decided it was better to be safe than sorry.

The next morning, after much-needed rest, we headed back to Tennessee where we arrived safely- I think...? Thus ends Trav's and my New York adventure. But wait! There's
more! :D I said thus ended Trav's and my adventure, but you simply cannot miss out on the ending touch of joyousness that descended upon Dad E. and Mom E. Read on, friend, read on!!!

They were doing waaay better than us as their flight was
on time (what a shocker!), until... the attack of the prima donna and her knight in lame, dull armor. When asked to place a purse-sized bag under her seat in order to create space in the overhead for... oh I don't know... the other TONS of people on the flight, this chick... we'll call her Doofus... Doofus decided that she would just refuse. When the flight attendant said something to her about it, the "knight"... we'll call him Imbecile... Imbecile decided to tell off the flight attendant, explaining that what the attendant said was unnecessary, etc., etc. Annnnddddd... boot.

Yep. They were both thrown off the plane. Good for you, airline... good for you. I am Brittany Engebretsen, and I approve this booting of stupid passengers. After that annoying waste of thirty minutes, the parents departed as well! They, too, arrived safely (obviously... or I wouldn't be writing this blog... I would be mourning, duh). Thus, ended their New York adventure.

Adios! (I don't get the Spanish theme either. It's okay- we're in this together.)

Friday, July 2, 2010

New York: Part Deux

Sunday morning, we woke up with a purpose. We met with the realtor in the morning to prepare for “the hunt”. Don, the realtor was friendly and ready to help us. He showed us four places. When we saw the first place in Diplomat Towers, we thought it was relatively nice and spacious… except for the kitchen. I love to bake and cook, so the closet-sized kitchen didn’t particularly appeal to me. Plus, as limited as the counter-space was, the kitchen lacked a built-in microwave. This means that a good chunk of the tiny counter would need to be taken up by our large microwave. Where would I cut things? Where would my mixer, toaster oven, and coffee maker go? Well… hmm… that would pose a problem. But it was still nice, so who knew? Maybe it would work out somehow.

The next apartment we checked out was in the same building but on the bottom floor and furnished. It looked really nice furnished and painted. The kitchen was just as small, but much nicer because it had wood cabinets, a granite counter top, and- whaddayaknow- a built-in microwave! It was still teensy, though. We figured that if we were to live in Diplomat Towers, we would choose the latter. However, we did need to consider the danger of being on the bottom floor. Oh well, they both were pretty nice… we thought. We just didn’t know what we were missing...

After Diplomat Towers, Don brought us to Heritage Hills- a beautiful community of duplex apartments in Somers. The first one that we viewed was pricey for us yet magnificent. It was painted, had hardwood floors, and included modifications that were rare for a small place. For example, the bathroom included a shower with glass doors and a separate bathtub- a Jacuzzi brand bathtub. Oh yes. We instantly fell in love.

Why haven’t we booked it yet?

1. We visited this place in late June when we need to move in in early September.

2. It is pricey.

3. The commute is 1 hour and ten minutes! Ouch.

We ventured onward. The next one we viewed was also in Heritage Hills, was pricier, and less appealing to us. It didn’t contain the interesting modifications, it wasn’t painted, and it looked overall… sterile. Now, clean we want- doctor’s office we don’t want. We then took a short visit to the “club” of Heritage Hills where there are many activities. You must be a member to use the private golf course, but there were many things one could do for free such as billiards, swimming, exercising in the gym, ping pong, classes, etc., etc. Needless to say, we were impressed.

It was then time to get some grub, and consider the options we had just viewed. We ventured to a local restaurant where I inhaled a huuuuge burger because I realized during our expedition that I hadn’t had anything to eat that day. I was living on 90 Calories of Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks. That’ll keep you going, not. Ahhh, we were done with all of the exhaustion and ready to turn in, right? Ha! As I passed out on Travis’s lap in the back seat, we traveled to Irvington, Tarrytown, and Dobbs Ferry to check out more possibilities. Obviously we couldn’t go into any apartment because we weren’t with a broker, but we wanted to see the areas. Sure enough, Dad E. found a realtor in Irvington who set up a meeting with us for Monday.

We finally made it to our Holiday Inn in Mt. Kisco, which was in better shape than the ridiculously expensive hotels in Manhattan! We relaxed until finally going downstairs to partake in cookies and conversation- it was actually a “tea time” kind of thing… or liqueur, if you were a drinker. The hotel lady lead the conversation and trivia! Dad E. won a big chocolate bar thingamajig. Trav and I didn’t answer any questions. We went up to the room for a little while before heading back down to talk to the hotel lady about the train system and the commute in general. She was definitely knowledgeable and helped us gain a better understanding of the commuting system. Finally, it was time for bed after a busy day. We already felt the decision making pressure descending upon us, and we weren’t even finished looking. Ohhhh boy.

***Tune in next time for the final episode of our New York journey to hear all about the next realtor; the nice places; the junkers; Angelo- the landlord straight out of a sitcom; and weird, naked hoarder man.***