Thursday, May 29, 2008

Do-It-Yourself for Daughters

"Hey Dad, how do you install a new door?"
"A new door?"
"Yes. Say I wanted to install a new front door. How do I do that?"
"You go to Lowe's and ask someone to help you. They have contractors that do that."
"Okay. And I also need to... Hey, hold on a sec. Is that the same answer that you would have given [insert little brother's name here] if he had asked you?"
"What would you have told him?"
"Doesn't matter. You're Emily. Go to Lowe's."
"Seriously?! C'mon. I can do things! I'm capable!"

This is the sort of thing I'm facing when asking about various fix-it issues I'm finding in my new home. Since having that conversation with my father, I found out that you don't need a whole new door to put in a doorknob. Live and learn, right? (originally there was no doorknob...just a handle - like a cabinet handle - and two deadbolts. There is now a doorknob and a deadbolt :-)

BTW - don't judge me on my household ignorance. I was/am content to rent for the rest of my life....spare me the lecture please. I would just as soon call someone to come and fix things and not have to worry about how my yard looks, or if my gutters are hanging, or if that crazy dog dug up the carpet and destroyed the door. (I've seen what crazy dogs can do to homes that people actually own. Yes, Ann, I'm looking at you.) Maybe that will change someday, but for now, I do not want the responsibility. Please. I have enough worries trying to get myself to school and to work and to pay my bills and to take care of my dogs. And my cat.

However, in this place I'm also (hold on to your seats everyone) painting various rooms and walls, as well as purchasing curtains. Why is this significant? Well, it's never been done before. Ever. In the various apartments I've inhabited, I've hung various items on the walls to give color, but I have never painted, and I've never purchased curtains - just left the miniblinds.

I got keys on Monday, so I've been through several times, and my list of to-dos looks like this:

1) Purchase and install three new light fixtures
2) Buy new stove things that go beneath the burners (what the hell are they called? You know...the metal things that catch the soup when I boil it over...)
3) Paint the trim in all rooms
4) Paint one wall in living room, entire kitchen and bedroom
5) Scrub everything
6) Replace various missing screws
7) Purchase some sort of bathroom caddy to hold various girl crap

Some of those things are covered by the landlord in a "you-fix-it-and-give-me-recipts" kind of way. Obviously the painting is all me. The cleaning is because I'm OCD.

This should be an interesting journey, no? I'll try to take before and after pictures, but I promise nothing...

Oh yes. I got lost on the way to volleyball from my new house last night. Theoretically, my commute to volleyball should be shortened by 20 minutes. In reality, it took me just as long as usual because I got lost. My house is 7 miles from volleyball and I got lost. It took me 30 minutes to get there. I'm awesome. And capable. Did I mention capable?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dog Lovers...

...are a special breed. I'm a recently hooked YouTube addict and found this. I thought it was a great story so I wanted to share.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Too Many Words

Way way back in the day, when the boy adopted Tyson and we realized that he needed some training (little did we know then... our ignorance was almost cute in retrospect) we took him to doggy training classes at a great facility near our apartment. (K-9 First Friends, if you're interested. I can't recommend them enough. They did what they could.) It was my first experience "owning" a dog (even though he wasn't mine) and I was super interested in the whole "calm, assertive" leader thing. I quickly ascertained that owning dogs isn't much different than child rearing. Some parents are lawmakers, and some parents are just walked all over. Same goes for dog owners. After wrangling with the 80lb Tyson, and actually getting him to heel, I was immensely amused at the couple who couldn't get their 15lb cocker spaniel to walk. "He just doesn't want to" was their explanation when the trainer asked what was wrong.

The trainer gave them a look like they were insane, took the leash, and dragged the unwilling dog onto the track where everyone else was walking peacefully. Within 15 seconds, the dog realized that he could walk or be dragged, and hell, walking wasn't that bad... so he was walking along with the others. It was at this point that I realized that you can love your dog, but you can't LOVE your dog. Your dog should be part of your life, but he/she should never run it. I thought I completely understood.

Which is why I was slightly offended when the trainer said that men generally make better pack leaders and dog trainers than women. To be fair, I usually take umbrage with any "men are better than women at this because..." statement, but in this case, I thought it was particularly unfair. I could be just as hard nosed as any male dog owner. My dogs would most definitely learn to obey. If I wanted them to walk, they would walk.

Then the trainer explained, "Women talk too much. They use too many words, so the dog eventually tunes them out. A woman will use 10 words to say 'sit' and a man will just say 'sit.'" I considered this briefly, then thought about how I didn't ever (EVER) talk to Tyson unless it was to correct him. I certainly didn't find myself ever talking to him to tell him about my day or anything... (that was reserved for Laney) so I dismissed this as a stereotype founded in the trainer's own personal bias. Obviously I would be a great dog owner some day.

Now, while that statement may not be true all the time, I'm going to have to admit that apparently, that does apply to me. I'm faced with this reality after my walk with Casey and Blue this morning. This morning I did not wear my iPod. Usually I wear my iPod, so I can't hear myself say these things. I'm now worried that people who randomly pass me on my walks think I'm insane.

Upon finding goose droppings:
"Drop it! Blu-ue! If you don't drop that right now, I will abandon you right on this sidewalk. Then where will you be? You don't even have a tag with my phone number so you're not really adopted yet. We do NOT eat goose poop!"

Upon being scared of an upcoming trash can:
"Heel. Heel Casey! Would I lead you into danger? Seriously? You're supposed to stay right by me. Ignore the huge blue thing. If mom's not scared, you can't be scared either. Look at Blue! He's just fine."

Upon chasing the umpteenth bird on the walk:
"Ow! Blue! That hurt! You heel right now! You're never going to catch the birds! They FLY you dork!"

Upon ignoring the hyperactive lab going apeshit while walking with it's owner on the opposite side of the road:
"Good Dogs! Good heel. You guys are so awesome. I love when you guys prove that "pit bull" and "good dog" are not mutually exclusive."

Upon tripping over Casey:
"Damnit Case! Go! Not heeling is a gift. If you're going to lead, lead. Don't stop in the middle of the sidewalk."

Upon being bitten by another dog:
"No Blue. Do not bite back. Oh, poor baby. You're okay. C'mon buddy. It's not the dog's fault. It's the stupid owners who built a fence with two inch gaps between fenceposts. I'll take care of you when we get home, and then we'll laugh when they get sued by the parents of the neighborhood child who lost a couple of fingers..."

Along those lines, the last time we went to doggie day care (before the weather turned warmer) I forgot Casey's leash. When we were leaving there were two men in the waiting room, one with a hyperactive lab mix that was being dropped off for boarding, and the other awaiting their dog for pickup. Since I didn't have a leash, I was trying to get out of the waiting room as soon as possible. Casey followed me to the door, miraculously sat upon the first "sit" and then waited patiently while I opened the door and then gave her permission to exit. It was fabulous. There are now two people in Indianapolis who believe my dog is the most well trained dog EVER. So maybe I'm okay at being a dog owner.

Well, when when my dogs choose to listen, right?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Solar Powered

We had a couple of absolutely beautiful days mid-week this week, and I was going to write a post with the title above because I had so much energy and was in such a good mood!!!

And then today came with the rain, and it became even more apparent that I am most definitely solar powered. Rain sucks. Cloudy sucks. Can this day just hurry up and be over, please? Kthxbai.

This morning, I was doing my insubordinate surf-favorite-blogs-instead-of-starting-work-right-away-because-I-may-work-for-you-but-I-don't-have-to-be-happy-to-be-here thing (which only happens on days like today...promise!) and I found this post from one of my favorite bloggers. Um, that may be fundamentally her, but it's also an almost spot on perfect description of me. And since she said it better than I ever could, I'll just link to her blog and do the internet equivalent of "Yeah. What she said."

This weekend looks to be decent weather, and I'm so glad. I'm pretty against taking the dogs to daycare during the summer when I am perfectly capable of going on walks with them and wearing them out for free. However, this does require less sleeping and a general exercise of that "willpower" thing that, to be honest, has been pretty MIA lately. When it rains my plans are foiled (though I will admit that I enjoy the extra sleep in the mornings) and the dogs are nutso in the evening. So my grand aspirations for this long weekend are A) hike with the dogs, B) begin packing for the big move and C) go see Emily's most anticipated movie of the summer.

I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend and it's as relaxing as I hope mine is.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's my blog and I'll post what I want to

So, I finally got to the good part in Duma Key and couldn't put the book down last night. All Stephen King aficionados realize that his books start out slowly and gradually build until it's 2:00am and you have to get up in four hours but just want to read one more chapter... You would think I could have seen this coming and put the book down at 9:00pm like a good girl. In fact, I did set the alarm for 9:00pm. I just chose to read one more chapter.

Of course, I scared the hell out of myself and couldn't sleep after I turned the lights out. But then, that's what I have dogs for. Something tells me that they don't mind sleeping in the bed every now and then. In fact, I believe they would buy me more scary books if they could. And even though I know that Casey is a big wuss, I am confident that she would at least bark at any ghosts/scary strangers, and Blue would leap to my defense. They make a good team, those two. Between those two, and Laney who patrols the house for tiny threats (i.e. spiders, ants, random other creatures with more than four legs) I think I'm safe. It's a good thing since I've got about 100 more pages to read tonight.

< Side note >: my boss thinks it's HILARIOUS that I love to read scary books, watch scary movies, own pit bulls and am terrified of cockroaches. I tried to explain the definition of phobia to him, but he just kept saying, "If you know it's irrational, can't you just talk yourself out of it?" Well, at this moment, yes. When faced with a cockroach, not so much.

His wife then pointed out, "You know that when living in a house, you're going to have to deal with spiders, roaches, mice, etc. Right?" Hmmm... No, actually, I hadn't thought of that. Mice? Meh. Spiders? Well, Laney's getting older, but she is still the spider killer. (with the unfortunate tendency of leaving her conquests in my shoes....but still, dead spiders are better than live spiders.) But roaches? Um, no one signed me up for roaches. Yeesh. Can't wait until I see my first one of those. Anyone willing to be my emergency contact cockroach killer? < /Side Note >

After a rough period of adjustment, I think I'm okay with summer life sans school. For a while there, I was not doing a damn thing. My body seemed to think that if I didn't take advantage of the free time while I had it, I would never have it again. I think I've now convinced myself that I have a few months, and it's okay to move around some....I do not have to permanently affix myself to the couch. Oh, and I can read books that aren't school related. Yay for books! And movies! Now that I can do irresponsible things like read until 2:00am with no severe repercussions, I can surely go to the first showing of this movie. It's at 12:01am on Thursday, May 22nd. Who's with me?? (Oh, and if you're not super excited about that movie, we can no longer be friends...)

I do find myself more choosy with movies and books now, however. I never claimed that my taste in books was flawless, but I do have some relationships with authors that go way back and have stood the test of time... They're my tried-and-true-buy-the-hardcover-version-when-released relationships. Luckily, they don't demand exclusivity, and I've had the occasional casual dalliance with other authors in the past. If these new authors disappoint me, meh. It's not like we're exclusive. However now - while I am getting used to the free time, part of me also realizes that it's not forever. If I'm going to get involved with an author, it's got to be worth my time. So while I had a casual fling once with Emily Giffin, she burned me once, so now I'm not so sure I'm willing to spend time on her latest endeavor. Does anyone have any sure-fire suggestions that I can spend my precious free time on? I've already got the Chronicles of Narnia on my list (no, I never read them when I was young) as well as the Golden Compass series. I would also like to read the latest by Khaled Hosseini, The Other Boleyn Girl... The list goes on and on, but I'm always open for suggestions. Anyone? I've got this $25 gift certificate to just burning a hole in my pocket.

Finally, to wrap up the randomness, it's confirmed that Blue is here to stay.
I can officially no longer foster, dogsit, adopt, or even LOOK at another dog. I am full. I am officially the crazy lady with all the animals. Sigh. But in my defense, here's a picture of Blue's "piggy face." This is how he looks when he's completely content and curled up on your lap. How could I resist?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Reality Bites

A couple of days ago, the head of the pit bull rescue that I work/volunteer for received an email that read like this (obviously, names have been removed to protect the innocent):

"I have a staffordshire terrier I need to go to a good home. We have a young child, new home and are unable to take good care of him. He is 6 years old, white with tan spots, one brown-one blue eye. Billy is energetic and loving.

Please let me konw what my next steps would be, or where I can take him."

The head of the rescue responded like this:

"I am sorry to say that your next step should be to ask yourself why you are considering getting rid of him. I am here to tell you that there is not a home for him, and his alternative to your keeping him is euthanasia. There are simply too many dogs flooding the shelters, 30% of them being Pit Bulls, and there are not enough people. People move and have kids every day and do not dispose of their animals because of it. Yes, the pets may get less attention, and yes, they may be a bit put out by it at times, but there are worse fates in life for a dog. Everyone I know who has kids say that their pets get less attention, but so what? They still have a great life compared to most dogs in the world, and surely better than dying in a shelter. That's certainly what will happen to him if taken to one. Most people who adopt from shelters want younger dogs so that they have more time with the dog. Besides, if taken to a shelter, Billy will more than likely be shellshocked because he has been in a home for so long. Won't you reconsider? Is there training help that you need? Sorry to be the bearer of such bad news, but these are the cold hard facts, and I must believe that your situation can be remedied to provide a happy ending for everyone. Since we are currently full, the only other thing that I can offer is for my rescue to do a courtesy post for him online and see if we can find someone who wants to adopt an older dog. It does happen, but can sometimes take up to a year or more. Can you keep him while he's posted?

Again, sorry to be so blunt, but I have been doing Pit Bull rescue for 12 years, and this is the hard truth."

The response from Billy's owner was less than friendly:

"In no way did I read your entire email. I am unable to take Billy with us at this time and feel bad enough about it already. I AM A DOG/ANIMAL LOVER which is why I am seeking alternative means. I did not need a lecture on pet owning and responsibilities. In your and other's positions, it would be best to do what you do...HELP, not put on a guilt trip hoping situations would change.

Thanks for creating an even more anxiety ridden event."

Honestly, I'm torn on this one. If you had asked me six months ago, I would have 100% been on the dog's side, and thought the email from the rescue, while harsh, was absolutely true and necessary. I wouldn't have seen the owner's side at all. I would only see that the owner was trying to get rid of the dog in the easiest manner possible.

Now? Well, there are different levels of what people can handle, right? I've seen this firsthand. Maybe this person really couldn't handle a dog, a young child, and a new home, even though I can't imagine what they're thinking. Maybe they really do think that this is the only way out.

Then again, with the Humane Society no longer accepting strays, and only accepting surrenders after counseling (and even that is conditional), the reality really is that harsh. Maybe pet owners need to know that information instead of believing that Fluffy is going to find a great new home. Maybe she could do some searching on her own to see if someone she knows will take the dog. I've heard of plenty of people going that route instad of a shelter/rescue route. And the courtesy post? I mean, you've been housing the dog for this long....why not hold on to him a little longer if you think he might get adopted. It's certainly better than life at a shelter, right?


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Concept: Extraordinary, Implementation: Lackluster*

I hate mornings. I'm horrible at mornings. It's usually anger at the whole world that makes me a horrible person to be around first thing in the morning. I mean, why on earth would I want to be up, walking around, and on my way to work when I could be warm, snuggly and in bed? Hmmm??

So yesterday, when I was flipping through channels for background noise while getting ready, and I found this, I thought I had just stumbled upon the greatest invention ever. I seriously sat, mesmerized, in front of the TV for a good minute and a half before I made myself go take a shower. (My timetable in the mornings is tight enough as it is...I didn't need to be any later to work than I usually am.) Every time I came back into my room from the bathroom, I was greeted with tranquil views, crickets chirping, birds singing...the sun slowly rising. It was heaven. I had found my new favorite thing.

I did a little research, found out when it started, and last night, before going to sleep, I set the TV to Animal Planet and set the TV to turn on at 7:01am.

It was everything I had dreamed it would be. I awoke slowly to the sound of waves lapping on the shore, crickets and other insects chirping, the occasional bird call... It was fabulous. I was so happy. And then,


Um, yeah. So I forgot that there would be commercials. Not to mention commercials that would be at decibels TEN TIMES that of the programming they were interrupting. I almost threw my alarm clock at the TV. Actually, I DID throw my alarm clock at the TV. However, the alarm clock is plugged into the wall, and thus didn't really go where intended, which, now that I'm fully awake and not as angry, is a good thing.

So now there's this that has been added to my future Christmas/Birthday/Random Holiday wish list.

*Special thanks to bsj for the title of this post, and calling me out for watching reality TV. I believe he compared it to huffing glue...which is ironic, because that's exactly what I have to do to get through an episode with this man.

Wait, don't want to click the link? Okay. Here's the video for you.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Hello, my love

Now, I'm a recovered reality TV junkie. Let me just get that out of the way. Gone are days when I would just DIE if I missed the latest Survivor, or Amazing Race. Now, if it's on and I'm home - great! If not, meh. Part of that was school, part of that was the urge to get outside more often with my dogs... I even thought part of it was growing up.

I was wrong.

So, when things have been especially stressful lately with school and finals and moving and stuff, I have taken to catching up on my favorite TV shows during my lunch hour at work. (I need to say a quick 'thank you' to the Gods at NBC, CBS and ABC who stream entire episodes for me to watch when I've got a moment. I don't even mind the 30 second commercials. I can still watch the entire show and even have time left over to check my email. On the other hand, CW4? You suck. I'm not even going to link to you. Dropping the episode streaming because you think it will increase your ratings is backward thinking that should have gone out with the nineties. Welcome to the 21st century and way to take a step backwards. Not that I watch any of your shows anyway....especially not Gossip Girl. Ahem. I mean jeeze...even MTV streams the Hills for me! Um, not that I watch that either.)

But I digress.

I was bored one day and decided to catch up on an old favorite - Survivor. Survivor and I had broken up sometime around the time I left my last job from hell. I think that years ago? Same ole' same ole', and I got bored. This season, well, it's online, I had free lunch hours when I could be studying. Done.

Ohmigod. Best. Season. Ever.

Seriously. I know reality TV is all about stereotypes. I get that. But I'm the kind of girl who watches Jerry Springer when she's home sick. It's just not that hard to entertain me. So this season? When there are evil women living up to every single stereotype about black widows that you can think of? Awesome. When they're preying on the innocent boys and ruthlessly backstabbing them while they continue o fall for the same plot over and over and over? Priceless. (Seriously, boys! You saw it happen to others, why would you be ANY different?!) Way to cast, CBS. Kudos to you. Even though I've watched every single episode online this season, I'll sure as hell be tuning into the finale on Sunday. I guess you get what you want after all.

So if you're interested in partaking a little Survivor drama, visit and have fun. You only have to start at Episode 10 to enjoy the bulk of the drama.

PS. To all of you Lost fans, I've still not seen an episode. Not now, and not ever. They even have all the seasons up online. No thanks. It takes place on an island, people!! (ha ha...get the irony? no? nothing??)

PPS. I get no money from CBS for posting this. I just wanted to share my happiness with the Survivor brilliance this season. Even my happiness that Grey's Anatomy is back on the air can't equal my happiness about Survivor. (maybe it's because Grey's is slipping for me. Seriously. What's up with this McDreamy with another chick crap??)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Voting Blue in a Red State

So since the Indiana primary actually seems to matter this year, there was a really long line at my polling place yesterday morning. This lead me to decide to vote after work instead. I left work a little early, noted the beautiful weather, and decided that, since the polling place was only a little over a mile from my apartment, I would combine voting with walking the dogs.

I initially contemplated making a shirt for Blue that read "Vote for Hillary... or else" but then decided that A) I was the only one who would find that funny and B) Blue's too cute to be threatening.

(Side note: I received another request from someone about adopting Blue... and it would make sense if it's a good home. But then...I love Blue. So if you wouldn't mind, any reminders about why I'm not crazy to move into a teeny tiny house with two pit bulls would be appreciated...)

Right - so I go vote. (You should have seen those people with candidate signs scatter as I approached...tee hee hee...) Afterwards, noting the beautiful weather and the energy of my dogs, I decided to take a longer walk than usual. So I headed towards a neighborhood that I had never seen before near the polling place.

Two hours later, we got home.

I got lost.

For those of you who know me (and remember that I got lost on a circular path before) this is not a surprise. But, in an effort to highlight the absurdity of it all, let me point out here that the new neighborhood was MAYBE a mile away from where I live. Maybe. And it was off of a major street. (Which I could HEAR but COULD NOT GET BACK TO. It was all very stressful.) In my defense, I kept turning right in an effort to go in a big loop, but then I hit a dead end and my plan went to hell. Then it became, "well, this looks familiar...maybe this way?" and "I definitely recognize that house. Let's go that way."

Damn those curvy streets. Who deviates from the basic grid system when setting up a neighborhood?? And who puts PONDS in the middle of neighborhoods with no path to get around them?

(Let us all keep this little trait of Emily's in mind the next time she wants to live a block away from ghetto hell, shall we? Emily tends to forget little details like this when she is enamored with 2500 square feet and a finished basement.)

The walk was before dinner, so the dogs were understandably pissed when we got home - pulling me the entire way once they saw the apartment complex. (I think they got the most angry when I realized that I did not have my cell phone with me and could not call their I was on my own to get us home. Since I speak these random thoughts out loud, I'm sure they understood me.) The bonus was that everyone had a very relaxed evening on the couch with the Cubs game.

When it was time to walk this morning, Blue came out, had a nice big stretch, and looked at me as though to say, "Seriously?" He then proceeded to roll over to have his belly scratched instead of walking to the door. When I explained that he needed to go out and he would thank me later, he heaved a HUGE sigh and rolled onto his side with the most pathetic expression...until Casey walked over and bit his ear. Then he got up and came to the door with her. True story.

Anyway, the purpose of this post was to put a cute little story before actually stating the obvious that, yes, the boy and I are moving into separate residences in June, yes, it's a breakup, but yes we are on friendly terms, and yes, it was my decision. No, I'm not ruling out the idea of possibly dating once we live in separate residences, no, this is not an easy decision and no, I'm not 100% convinced I'm doing the right thing. For now, we won't call an end to the cohabitation experiment....just a hiatus. (Don't tell my mom.)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Things I worry about

Sleeping alone for the first time in two years
Whether or not I'm making a horrible mistake
How I'm going to pay off the nice little credit card debt I accumulated from Machu Picchu.
What grade I got in Chemistry this semester.
How I'm going to find it in my tired soul to play nice with my new sister-in-law at future family functions.
The divine Ms. Em.
How Casey hasn't had a seizure in almost three months, and how the move might trigger one.
Where I'm going to find the motivation to lose weight this year
How many times I'll have to visit my hometown this summer to make up for the semester when I didn't have to go once.
How I can go and see all of my friends and family in every corner of the US and still afford food.
What my parents think about the path my life is taking
What a B means to my future
Whether or not I'm making a horrible mistake. (yes, I know that's on there twice.)

Monday, May 05, 2008

Isn't it, like, Mexican Thanksgiving or Something?*

Oh my God I'm done with finals.

Oh my GOD I'm done with the semester.

I'm done with school for three and a half blessed months.

I couldn't be happier, obviously. I don't even have my final grades yet, and I don't even care. As my wise friend Jess stated, "It's in God's hands now." I agree. I am done. Done done.

So yesterday, I parked myself on the couch with MTV's usual ANTM marathon (season 7 which I actually hadn't seen yet - BONUS!) and a dog. It was a gorgeous day outside and I didn't see any of it. I've got the rest of the summer to enjoy the weather. Sunday was all about relaxing, cheese, bread and wine. Lots and lots of wine. (It would have been beer, but I didn't think ahead. Thanks Indiana. Your laws regarding alcoholic sales blow.)

Now I focus on finding a new abode. I believe that when I last touched on this subject, I had House #5 and #6 as possibilities. Of course, I'm moving into neither of them.

So when I went to see House #5 for real (as opposed to just pictures) I realized that the owner of House #5 really REALLY loved her house. I was with my friend Dave, and about 5 minutes into her tour of the house, I could have very easily said something along the lines of, "It's been nice meeting you, but I'm not interested. Thank you for your time." Her tour was all about crown moldings, carriage lights above the fireplace, the $10,000 she had just spent to put in new windows, or the "eight five zero zero - that's eighty five HUNDRED dollars" that her property taxes had risen in the last year. She was also quick to tell me about the trust fund babies who had rented her house in the past. The word "pretentious" comes to mind. The house WAS beautiful. And Dave did agree that it was $200 better than any house we had seen previously with the garage and the finished basement.... But still. All I could see were the future "surprise" stop bys when the house wouldn't be up to her levels of cleanliness. No thank you. It wasn't a problem though. When she asked about my dogs, and I said the words "pit bulls" she SHUT DOWN. Apparently those dogs do not fit into her framework for an ideal tenant. Meh. I definitely broke up with her first.

I was all set on House #6. I called the maintenance guy to find out exactly what date it would be available, and to confirm the final rent which was exactly what I budgeted to spend on rent.

And then one of my boss's tenants called and gave notice. He was going to be out at the end of May. The half double that he was renting is in an okay neighborhood (about a mile from my old sorority house, if you can believe it) and the rent was $265 less than House #6. Emily again has a dilemma. A dilemma she chose to put off until after finals. She failed.

I went to see it and it's small. SMALL. Much of my furniture (dining room table, bookcase, chest of drawers) will have to be put in the basement for storage since there's just not room for it on the main level. And it's an old house. OLD. Old with no air conditioning. But let's talk about the pros.

Um, I'm saving $265/month. That's the biggie. There's a fenced in yard. (Sure, the fence looks like it will blow over any minute, but my dogs won't charge's more symbolic for them and me. I just need somewhere to throw a tennis ball sometimes.) It's got a garage. (Detached, sure, but a detached garage is better than no garage.) I can still ride my bike to work. (I don't know how much of a pro that will be about halfway into the summer...but for now, let's go with it.) I also happen to be well acquainted with the landlord. And with some TLC, it could go from an old house to a cute little house. We'll see what I can do.

When push came to shove, I just couldn't get over saving $265/month when tuition is costing me ~$200/credit hour. So even though I'm really bad at making places seem "homey" or "cozy" I've got great friends who are good at that kind of stuff, and they say they'll help me out. I may have to purchase curtains for the first time in my life. And maybe I'll even paint. For now, though - does anyone have any creative ideas for where to put the cat's litterbox? (No - there's not enough room in the bathroom, and the dogs are already going to have daytime residence in the basement.)

I'll post pictures eventually. Or maybe not. Depends on how well I do on the "homey" part.

*A friend of mine actually asked me that when I suggested we go get chips and queso (with a margarita) for lunch because it's Cinco de Mayo.