REAL ESTATE**This post originally appeared in Under Analysis in September 2014.**

Disclaimer:  I’m not a real estate lawyer.  However, I feel completely qualified to write this post because I’ve purchased a home twice.  It’s kind of like how I’m sure I could compete with professional swimmers because I know how to doggy paddle…and I’m really good at it.

Either way, I’ve deemed myself an expert on real estate transactions, and since I’m picky about who I deem experts, you should feel confident that the rest of this post is completely accurate.

My husband and I recently decided we’d like to move.  We’ve come to the harsh realization that having a bedroom where only one piece of furniture fits, and sharing a very tiny bathroom may not be the best move if we plan to continue our marriage.  It’s become a matter of urgency.

In looking at homes for sale, I’ve noticed there is a certain lingo that comes with navigating the abyss of MLS listings. The jargon isn’t always readily discernable and sometimes you can get duped if you don’t know how to properly read a listing.

Fortunately, I’ve been able to crack the code on real estate listings and I’m ready to share it with you, mostly because I couldn’t come up with anything else to write about this week.

So without any further delay, I present to you a Lisa Newlin original: The real estate translator.

  • Must see inside – The outside is bad and the inside is only slightly better.

  • Fixture – That hideous chandelier is now yours.

  • Quaint home – It’s so small it will only fit half of your furniture.

  • Assumable mortgage – We assume you’re an idiot.

  • Recently reduced! – We can’t give this thing away.

TRANSLATOR

  • Credit report – The document that will remind you that opening 15 credit cards in law school just for the free gifts was a bad idea.

  • New roof – That’s the only thing that’s new.

  • Home inspection – Hold your breath because there’s a ton of stuff wrong with this house.

  • Only one owner – She lived here for 70 years and died in the kitchen.

  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – Your lender isn’t entirely sure you’re good for the money.

  • Warranty included – You’re going to need it.

  • Real estate agent – The person who will try to find you a home just outside of the highest end of your budget.

  • FHA loan – Be prepared to do nearly everything to get this loan.

  • Fixer upper – A licensed contractor needs to buy this house because of all the work it needs.

Fixer Upper!

  • Truth-In-Lending – The government requires all terms of the sale to be disclosed to you in a small novel that you’ll never be able to read or understand.

  • Title company – A company who will charge you a lot of money for something you’re not even sure you need.

  • Foreclosure -They definitely didn’t scrub the baseboards or clean ANYTHING when they moved out.

  • Contingency -They put it on the market before realizing they had to find another place to live.

  • Pre-approval – A company will agree to give you a loan for an obscene interest rate that even a toddler wouldn’t agree to.

  • Quitclaim deed – Buyer beware.  There’s probably a dead body in the basement and you’re going to have to pay to haul it away.

Quitclaim deed - Buyer beware.  There’s

  • Appraised value – A number that’s nowhere near the price you agreed upon and will bring inspection negotiations to a halt.

  • Closing costs – Charges you won’t understand but will feel too stupid to ask about.

  • Contract pending – They might have a deal but are open to even larger offers.

Granted, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but I think it’s a great start for anyone who wants to go through the painful process of buying a new home. If you are interested in purchasing some real estate, might I suggest one tool that will help streamline the process and make it much easier:  wine.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Other places you can find me on the web

8 Reasons It’s Offensive That You Keep Asking Me If I Want Kids

Breaking Bad Saved My Marriage (No, Really)

ninja momChildrens’ books are often annoying and ridiculous; especially when read five times every night. Every.  Fricking.  Night.

So in order to help us to cope with these obnoxious tales, Nicole Leigh Shaw of Ninja Mom Blog has a Character Assassination Carousel over at http://www.ninjamomblog.com/ that makes it all better.  It’s a monthly murder of a children’s book by mockery.  Don’t worry, it’s a clean kill, so there’s no messy clean up.

Each month a new assassin takes his/her best shot at a ridiculous children’s book.  Last month Social Butterfly Mom mocked “Yankee Doodle” and did an excellent job.  You can find it here. http://www.chicagonow.com/social-butterfly-mom/2014/07/character-assassination-carousel-yankee-doodle/

This month, I’m mocking “Whats Up In The Attic?”

Yeah, I know.  There’s a lot of material so let’s get started

 

maybe we don't want to know...We all know Bert and Ernie from their rubber ducky antics in the bathtub. Unfortunately, that’s not the way anyone wants to become famous, but them’s the breaks.  When you’re so obsessed with a rubber toy that you make a song out of it, you’re bound to turn some heads.

Many of those heads simply turn away because they don’t like seeing a puppet in a bathtub.

Looking back through the other assassinated books from The Carousel, I noticed Bert and Ernie and their bathing fetish weren’t represented adequately.

I’ve decided to right that wrong by making this month’s assassinated characters the infamous Bert and Ernie themselves (sans bubbles).

I chose “What’s Up In The Attic?” as the book I’m going to brutally rip apart this week.  There are many reasons I chose this literary wonder, but mostly because it makes it so easy to make this next joke about Bert and Ernie:

Why are you guys looking at what’s in the attic? Shouldn’t you guys be looking in the closet?

BOOM!  Yes, I picked this book solely to make that joke, but it was worth it.  Totally.  Worth.  It.

This assassination is done by the mother reading the book to her kids, so it’s told from her point of view.  Fortunately for you, you can enjoy it without the smell of moth balls assaulting your nostrils.

Enjoy!

You guys need to find something to do today because it’s a rainy day and you’re driving me nuts.  Yes, the cable is out because of the storm (or because I forgot to pay the bill.  Both are equally logical explanations).

Regardless, you need to make your own adventure today, but not in a way that destroys my living room.

Because I need to get something from the attic, and because I want to wear you guys out, I’ll take you with me. I know reading this book to you isn’t going to tire you sufficiently, so let’s go up to our attic and see what we can find there.

We’ll read the book as we go.  Just don’t touch anything, and please, for the love of God, don’t put anything in your mouths.  Got it?

“What’s that in this box?” you ask.  It’s a box of mommy’s skimpy bar-hopping clothes from before she had kids…or inhibitions.  These short skirts helped mommy pay for college because she always drank for free at the clubs.

Oddly enough, these clothes directly contributed to your arrival on this earth.

Those?  Those are Daddy’s magazines that Mommy won’t let him look at.  He doesn’t want to part with them so Mommy pretends not to know he has them up here.  Let’s keep that a secret.

Yes, there’s an old crusty t-shirt in with those magazines. Don’t ask and DON’T touch it.

Be careful of what else is up here: Spiders. A shit ton of spiders. Don’t try to befriend them. Some of them are mean and none of them are as nice as Charlotte from “Charlotte’s Web.”

Wait. What are you—did I not just tell you to stay away from them? And those are spider webs not cotton candy. Get down from there. Jesus!

Oh that? That’s mommy’s stash of candy that she keeps away from everyone. Oh shit. Yes, that is cotton candy but it’s not yours.

That pink stuff on the ground?  That’s insulation, at least a little bit of it. Daddy needs to get on this project and add a lot more up here.  Mommy has been telling him to do it for a year.  This fluffy pink stuff that’s super thin is why mommy doesn’t let you open the door during when the air conditioning is on.

Are you—-are you seriously trying to eat the insulation? It’s not cotton candy! NOTHING UP HERE IS COTTON CANDY!

You know what?  Let’s look at the book.  It says Ernie found some of his marbles.  If you ask me, he lost those marbles years ago and finding them in a raccoon’s hat isn’t going to bring them back.  That guy had WAY too much fun with the rubber ducky, with or without his marbles.

photo credit: buckofive via photopin cc

photo credit: buckofive via photopin cc

Plus, I bet that crap is SUPER dusty.

Look.  We have marbles up here just like Ernie.  Are you?  Are you seriously putting those marbles in your mouth?

What are you laughing at?  Those are pictures of mommy when her boobs didn’t look like socks with tennis balls in them and she couldn’t carry a trapper keeper in the crease between her leg and butt.

Yes, her hair looks funny, mostly because she wasn’t trying to pull it out because of kids trying to eat…damnit!

STOP WITH THE COTTON CANDY.

Let’s look back to the book again.  Oh look! Bert found a pigeon feather.

I’m not even going to comment on the disease that probably accompanies that feather or the crazy reason he felt it necessary to save a pigeon feather for years.

Bert may be a little deranged so let’s not pay attention to anything he finds.  I’m afraid there are other dead animal parts.

Let’s look back at our attic.  What are those?  Those are boxes of mommy’s school stuff. Ignore the red writing and all the Cs that are written on the papers. When I was a kid a C was an A and I was an overachiever. Reach for the stars.

Okay, the book is over and Bert and Ernie are dragging all the crap they found down to their house and using it to decorate.  You, however, are not allowed to bring anything downstairs.

Me?  Oh, don’t mind me.  I’m just grabbing one of these old miniskirts.  It’s for Daddy.

neonAs my dear readers know, I had a birthday this week.  Normally I love my birthday because it’s an excuse to eat cookie cake without people passing judgment on me (or at least if they do, they keep it to themselves).

When I was a kid I anxiously counted down the weeks until my dig day, knowing I would finally be a year older and closer to being an adult.

When the day finally arrived, my parents would wake me up singing “Happy Birthday.”  I always pretended to hate it, but secretly I loved the attention, even if my dad was off-key.

In the years leading up to my 20s, I continued to look forward to my birthday.

The 21 birthday is a coveted one because it means you can throw away the fake ID, or at least give it to another deserving soul.

The 25th birthday marked what I believe to be the age when people would start taking me seriously.

They didn’t.

Birthday in VegasOnce I got into my 30s, however, I stopped counting down to birthdays with excitement and started counting down with read.

I began thinking of those final days as the last moments I would be young and I cringed with each passing day as my birthday drew near.

This year I realized that’s not the way I want to live my life.  I turned 34 this year.  Yes, 34.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m in my mid-thirties and am no longer the young woman I used to be, and I’m okay with it.

Yes, I’m starting to see sun spots on my face and my chest is starting to show signs of years sunbathing with baby oil.  My feet are starting to ache when I stand too long and my stomach is far more sensitive than it used to be.

matt and lisa on mopedThe scars from my gallbladder surgery hurt when I eat too much and I know that sitting on bleachers will irritate my sciatica.

I know all of this, and yet I’m not sad.  I”m happy about it.

Why?  Because those sun spots on my face and chest are from vacations with my loved ones and afternoons at the pool with friends.

My aching feet are from years of exploring the world, hiking a mountain, walking across The Brooklyn Bridge and running a 5k.

My sensitive stomach is from years of drinking beer at the bar and eating at five-star restaurants in Beverly Hills (all the while wondering if we were going to be kicked out for being “commoners”).

Matt and Lisa Family Mexico 2011My gallbladder scars are from when I was hospitalized and became friends with my roommate.

My sciatica acts up when I sit on bleachers because of all the years of basketball games, World Series games, tailgating and college bowl games.

Yes, my body may be more achy than I’d like for it to be.  Yes, my skin may not be as resilient as it once was.

But my soul?  My soul is enriched more each year because of the life experiences I’ve had.

I’m not the person I was when I was 25 and for that I’m grateful.  I don’t want to be that person. It’s not that she was a bad woman; I liked her when I was 25.

But now, I’m the new and improved model.  I may have signs of wear and tear, but I think I’m better than ever.

Matt and Lisa on Beach-dark hairSo this year, I’m celebrating turning 34.  I don’t mean just that I’m having some cake and a day at the spa, although I certainly will do those things.

Rather, I’m talking about celebrating the 33 years I’ve been on this planet, creating memories and enjoying those people I love.

I’m going to look back over my years and take note of my accomplishments and my failures, because both have made me who I am.

I will also look forward to getting older instead of dreading it.  I will embrace each coming year, knowing I’m a better person each year because of the life I’m living.

Lisa with iceeSo when people wish me happy birthday, I won’t roll my eyes, mostly because the shingles on my eye won’t let me roll them.  But I also won’t roll my eyes and complain about getting older.

I will thank the well-wishers and remind myself that my birthday truly is a happy time.  It’s a time to celebrate life and making it through this crazy world one more year.

I will definitely drink to that (and then wash it down with cake).

 

_____________________________________________________________

Love my stuff?  Of course you do!  Then please share it everywhere!  Then you can say you knew me when…

what every couple gets but doesn't ask forAnyone who got married and had a gift registry knows that not all wedding gifts are welcome.  Sure, it’s nice to get a gift, but not when it’s a used decorative plate with a rooster on it that’s painted like a zebra.

True story.  I got that for a wedding gift…and the outside of the plate was painted like a snake.

The most puzzling thing to me about gift giving for wedding couples is they’ve done all of the work for you, so why not take advantage of that?

I love the wedding registry, especially when I can order a gift from the comfort of my couch.  I’m not required to wear a bra there.

photo credit: fensterbme via photopin cc

photo credit: fensterbme via photopin cc

Why every wedding guest doesn’t buy off the registry blows my mind.  The happy couple equips guests with everything they need to know to buy them exactly what they want.

From the exact store to the precise aisle to the actual SKU number, couples go to a lot of trouble to tell guests exactly what they want to see wrapped up in a bow on their special day.

Could it get any easier?  Apparently so.

I’m amazed how many people give gifts that aren’t included on the registry.  I can’t imagine why Great Aunt Nell would know what a 30-year-old woman she hasn’t seen in 25 years would want, but apparently it’s a cross-stitched pillow with her name spelled wrong.

photo credit: Katsunojiri via photopin cc

photo credit: Katsunojiri via photopin cc

I also can’t fathom why the groom’s boss thinks he needs a shaving kit instead of those gardening shears he asked for.

Because I’ve experienced these issues first hand, I’ve made a list of items I received that weren’t on my registry.  I have a feeling these items are universally received by couples everywhere.

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

1.  Vases

I’m not sure why newlyweds would need the amount of vases that come from gift-giving wedding guests.

Don’t they know that giving flowers occurs before the marriage and the wedding effectively stops that from occurring regularly in the future?

If my husband decides to give me flowers, and he really does, he  buys a bouquet at the grocery store when he’s picking up a gallon of milk.  It’s where financially prudent men purchase flowers.

Granted those don’t come with a vase; just rubber bands and plastic wrap.  However, when that happens I only need just one vase; not the 17 that I received as wedding gifts that are currently in my basement.

Those 17 vases will go unused, most likely until I can come up with an occasion to re-gift them.

MP9003416872.  Picnic baskets

Who goes on a picnic anymore?  They’re only done in romantic comedies, and even then Sandra Bullock seems reluctant.

What couple decides to prepare finger foods, package them up, gather silverware, cups, napkins, a blanket, sunscreen, bug spray and wine, and then trek across town to a park to sit on the same grass that’s in their backyard?

No one I know.

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

3. Candlesticks

Unless it’s the 1600s, there’s no reason the modern couple would need candlesticks.  If the power goes out, there’s these new things called flashlights.  They provide light without dripping wax on your carpet.

If a guest really wants to give a good gift, they should consider a flashlight with an extra set of batteries.

Even there is a time when the power goes out and the happy couple’s flashlight doesn’t work for some reason, there’s a good chance the bride has several scented candles in varying shapes, sizes and scents; all of which come in a glass jar.

If someone is dead set on giving the gift of light, might I suggest lightbulbs?

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

\

4.  Picture frames

Although every couple needs picture frames to fill their house, sometimes that “house” is a studio apartment that barely fits a couch and a dirty recliner.

Fifty picture frames just aren’t necessary.

Granted, The Dollar Store has a wide array of picture frames for only a buck, but since those frames don’t come in a box and each one has a $1 sticker on the front of it, the couple is most likely going to figure out the guest spent $7.00 on their wedding gift….while the couple spent $27 on his food and at least $50 on beer for him at the reception.

\

\

5.  Champagne flutes

I don’t know many couples who regularly drink champagne.  Then again, I’m not that fancy.  In my experience, if a couple is entertaining guests, they’re usually serving PBR or whatever beer was on sale that week.

Although I like to think people are sophisticated, I suspect the only time most people drink champagne at home is when they have mimosas.  Even then, the champagne flutes are far too small.  They should drink out of plastic cups they got from the local pizza joint…just like the rest of us.

Hopefully this list will help those gift givers present the couple with things they actually want.

For any of you needing to buy a wedding gift, might I suggest sticking to the registry?

If you can’t do that, and you know if you go to the store  you’ll buy them the “perfect” item from the clearance bin, consider this: Do you know what makes newlyweds happier than getting a gift?

Cash.

WHY ARE THEY IN RED RAIN COATS?! photo credit: PNG's e etc... via photopin cc

WHY ARE THEY IN RED RAIN COATS?!
photo credit: PNG’s e etc… via photopin cc

I’ve got an addiction and it’s super embarrassing.  No, it’s not an addiction to Fro Yo.  You already know about that.  Plus, it’s written all over my hips.

I’m talking about a television show addiction.  Before I tell you about it, please don’t judge.  Please keep in mind I’ve been home sick and not able to do much, so I’ve turned to the only thing I can to keep me occupied:  Netflix.

I’ve tried other programming.  I really have.  I’ve watched “big girl” shows like “Scandal” and “House of Cards” but those were only the beginning…a gateway if you will.  And now?  Now it might be too late.

I’ve gone off the television deep end.  I can’t stop watching “Pretty Little Liars.”

I’ll give you a moment to let this news sink in.  It’s a bit of a bomb I’ve dropped and I’ll allow time for the dust to settle for you to continue on.  I realize I’m normally sophisticated and regal, which is what makes this especially difficult to absorb.

Believe me, no one is more shocked or embarrassed about this than me.  It’s not at all what I expected.  Maybe in retrospect the signs of addiction were there and I just missed them.

photo credit: paulaenamarie via photopin cc

photo credit: paulaenamarie via photopin cc

Maybe I should have known that an addiction to “Gossip Girl” would lead to other shows.  I don’t know.  Maybe I just didn’t want to see it.

I didn’t stumble upon this addiction without some help from my friend.  Or maybe she isn’t my friend at all.  Pajama Jeans (not her real name) has been trying to get me to watch this for years.  She’s such a pusher.

Just try it once and see if you like it,” she said.  Isn’t that always how they get you?  The first taste is free…or in this case, the whole meal is free because I subscribe to Netflix streaming.

photo credit: nordhofsweden via photopin cc

photo credit: nordhofsweden via photopin cc

Either way, here I am, in the middle of season 1 and wanting more.  I can’t get enough.

Before you judge me too much, remember that this is a show that’s on ABC Family.  You know, the channel that’s brought you other television greats like….well….nothing.

You’re probably wondering if the acting is good.  Not really.  You’re wondering if there are celebrities in it that make it worth while.  Not unless you count that C-list actor Chad Lowe, who hasn’t produced any good acting since he played Becca’s HIV positive boyfriend on “Life Goes On.

photo credit: PNG's e etc... via photopin cc

photo credit: PNG’s e etc… via photopin cc

Yes, I just worked that show into this post.

Maybe it’s the theme song that sucked me in.  It’s catchy and it sticks with me all day long (mostly because I hear it every 45 minutes when a new episode plays).

So judge me if you must, but I can’t help my addiction and I can’t turn back now.  I’ve got too much at stake and I don’t have any other shows to watch.  I’ve got to stick with it.  I need to stick with it.

But don’t even think about confronting me about addiction in public.  I won’t talk about it and I’ll deny the whole thing.  I don’t want to be associated with this ugly addiction.  I will lie, and I will lie convincingly.

Come to think of it, I guess this makes me a pretty little liar too.

___________________________________________________________________________

Wanna read more of my stuff?  I’m in these books.  They’re hilarious.

I Just Want to Be Alone

You’ve Got Lipstick on Your Teeth

I’m also on NickMom with these new pieces

What a Phrase Means in Your 20s Versus What it Means In Your 30s

Schedule for Flossing

photo credit: Gage Skidmore via photopin cc

photo credit: Gage Skidmore via photopin cc

I just finished watching the entire series of “Breaking Bad.”  Coincidentally, I also began my life-long love of all things that are Aaron Paul.

The two are most definitely related.

Aaron Paul plays one of the main “Breaking Bad” characters, Jesse Pinkman.  Jesse is an aimless druggie who can’t find his way to anything other than a one-hitter box.  Although, I’m sure he could find himself to another kind of box..if you know what I’m saying. <wink wink.>

Yes, that was a crass joke.  I’m writing a post about why a guy who plays a drug dealer is an ideal boyfriend.  I’m not sure why you’d be surprised with a little play on the word “box.”

With every season of “Breaking Bad,” my love for Aaron Paul grew.  The show was amazing and brilliant, as were the double entendres I made during each episode.  Some of those were just downright fantastic.

photo credit: Gage Skidmore via photopin <a

photo credit: Gage Skidmore via photopin <a

What drew me back to the show each time was not only the plot twists, but the amazingly attractive meth-cook, Jesse Pinkman (played by Aaron Paul).

What is it about him that makes him so dreamy? It’s not just that he’s extremely good looking.  That helps, although that’s not the only reason I’d buy whatever Aaron was selling…even if it was blue crystal meth.

It’s that he has so many other qualities that make him so appealing.

He plays a bad boy, which isn’t something I’m normally into, but I found myself wanting to be bad just because it felt so good.

For those reasons, I made a list of why Aaron Paul would be the perfect boyfriend.  One glance at him tells you he’s crazy good looking, so that’s not even going to make the list of reasons he’s perfect.  Duh.  That’s too obvious.

1.  He’s supportive

http://instagram.com/p/etMqL9uIDT/

http://instagram.com/p/etMqL9uIDT/

There are so many times over the years he has yelled out “Yeah, bitch!”  In fact, when the show won the Golden Globe in 2014 for Best Drama, he accepted the award by yelling this endearing phrase.

What better way to support someone than to yell “Yeah bitch!” when they do something great?

Empty the dishwasher?  “Yeah bitch!

Get a promotion?  “Yeah bitch!

Want to order pizza for dinner instead of cooking?  “Yeah bitch!

Are you sensing a theme?  You should.  It’s support.

2.  He’s a good cook

is the perfect boyfriendI can’t say this for sure, but the meth addicts seem to think he makes good $hit, and I hear they’re pretty picky when it comes to their smack.

He’s also meticulous about having his cooking utensils cleaned properly, which is good, as mama likes a clean kitchen.

I’m not sure if his specialty is just moon juice, or if  he has other signature dishes, but I’d be willing to find out.

That guy knows his way around a kitchen, and by “kitchen” I mean “my lady parts.”

I’d let him heat things up any day.

3.  He’s good with kids

Aaron Paul with baby

http://youtu.be/Hq-gl0N3kxY

Look at how happy he is with this kid…and it’s a kid he doesn’t even know!  I can only imagine how he would nuzzle a kid when it was his own.  (I can also imagine how he would nuzzle me to make that kid.  I imagine that a lot.)

Not only does he seem comfortable around the kid, the kid seems comfortable around him as well. The kid is practically burying itself into his face.

Actually, I would do the same thing. That beard is just asking for nuzzling.

I’ve never wanted kids but I’d be willing to have them if they were with Aaron Paul.  I think we would have to start trying immediately. We’d practice a lot.

4.  He looks good in a uniform

photo credit: InstantColor via photopin cc

photo credit: InstantColor via photopin cc

Everyone loves a man in uniform, and once again, Aaron Paul delivers.

No one wears a haz-mat suit quite like he does.  Look at the way that yellow makes his face glisten.  He’s positively radiant.

And what else?  HE’S HOLDING A DIFFERENT FRICKING BABY!  (See #3 above for why that’s so awesome).

I never thought haz-mat suits were sexy until Aaron Paul came along.  Why would I?  How many times do you look at your local sewer worker knee-high in waste and think “I’d like to rip that suit off of him and get him really dirty.”

Hopefully not often, but if you do, I’m not here to judge.

Now, however, I see that yellow haz-mat suit in a whole new light…and it’s not just light from the radioactive materials.

5.  He smells really good

photo credit: gdcgraphics via photopin cc

photo credit: gdcgraphics via photopin cc

Okay, I don’t know about this one, but I’d love to find out personally.  (HINT: Aaron Paul….let me sniff you.)  He just looks like someone who would smell good.  Right?

I imagine he smells like a forest on a spring day, with just the right mix of pine needles, musk, and Axe body spray.  I’ve tried to recreate the smell with car air fresheners, but I haven’t been able to get it just right.

Maybe I should get the air fresheners from Walt’s car wash.  They probably have a Pinkman scent.  I bet it would be in the shape of a beaker.

I could go on with more reasons why Aaron Paul would be the best boyfriend ever, but I don’t want to convince any of you to go after him.  He’s mine, so hands off.

And what about the fact I’m already married?  No worries.  Matt is cool with my relationship with Aaron Paul, as he knows love knows no bounds (or in the case, it knows nothing based in reality).

Pssst!  Aaron!  Call me.

the (1)It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Actually, that’s totally not true.  The most wonderful time of the year is summer, when it’s 100 degrees and I’m sporting a glowing tan (and a margarita).

I’m not sure why people think Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but I’ll go with it.  It’s an excuse to go to a bunch of holiday parties and stuff copious amounts of desserts from the buffet in my purse.

Don’t think I also don’t do that with liquor.  I totally do.  A flask works nicely to accomplish that task and it’s unassuming when shoved inside your coat pocket.

How did I learn this trick?  My parents.  Duh.  You recall what I found in their pantry.  If you don’t, please read about it.  I’m still chuckling.

Anywhoo…

I know you’ve been fretting about the holidays and what you should buy your favorite blogger.

Me, a-hole.  I’m talking about me.

Because I’m so selfless, I’m going to tell you all the things you should buy me.  I’m  so caring like that.

photo credit: Daniel*1977 via photopin cc

photo credit: Daniel*1977 via photopin cc

Before I give you my list, you’re probably wondering what I’m going to give you in return.

Um, this blog isn’t enough?  A few times a week I write random posts about absolutely nothing.  Isn’t that enough?

It should be.

Without further babbling, here’s a few things I’m demanding requesting for Christmas.  Note:  You don’t have to get just one thing.

Go crazy and get the whole list. The joy it will bring me will be worth it.

A book deal

Lipstick_Co-Author

Okay, so I’m IN this book, but I want a book all to myself! But seriously. You should still buy this one.

Yeah, I’m shocked I don’t have a book deal either.  It isn’t for lack of trying.  I’ve been writing sub-par content for two years now.  You’d think publishers and book agents would be knocking down my door.

If book agents and publishers are pretending to be people putting Chinese take-out menus on my door, then they’re definitely knocking down my door. Otherwise, not so much.

Pajama work pants

Why can’t I dress up yet still be comfortable?  They’ve somehow managed to do this with jeans yet I can’t get a pair of wool blend pants that don’t dig into my belly button?

Someone needs to make that happen.  That someone is you.

Vodka

This is a no-brainer and I’m sure you’ve already purchased this for me.  Good work.  Now go buy another bottle for me.  You know one won’t be enough.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups eggs

Yeah, it’s Christmas.  I know, but that’s why I want these eggs so badly.

A sweater for Jerry and his Gangsta Gnome Boyz

gangstas in the snowAs you know, I have a gang of gnomes protecting my house and running illegal activities from behind my hydrangia bushes.  It’s the middle of winter now and those thugs are cold.

Jerry, the head gangsta, told me he’d like a hand-knitted sweater for him and his boyz.  Even though they’re dealing hot merchandise, they still get cold at night.

Wow.  I just asked for something that wasn’t even for me.  I’m so thoughtful.  This is yet another reason you should get me everything I want on my list.

What are you waiting for? Get on it.

Until then, I will continue to entertain you with my antics.  Isn’t that the best gift of all?

 

I’m not a huge hockey fan, but what I am a fan of is dimples and a sexy butt. (This is one of the primary reasons I married my husband.) I don’t follow hockey regularly.  If I want to watch two people beat each other up, I’ll just watch my neighbors get into it across the street.

Plus, the hot dogs and beer are cheaper at my house.

However, as a St. Louis resident, I know I should at least be able to identify the regular players on the St. Louis Blues hockey team. It’s not so much to talk to them about hockey, but to reserve judgment if they talk to me and (1) sound hoosier and (2) are missing teeth.

One of the most dreamy of the St. Louis Blues is the assistant captain, Alex Steen. Yummy.

I feel like I should insert some lame joke here about how I wouldn’t mind melting the ice with that hottie, or make some inappropriate comment about a word that rhymes with puck.

But I’m classy, and you expect more from me out of a blog post, so I won’t stoop to that level.

steen.pngI don’t mean to brag, but last week I went on a date with Alex Steen.

Okay, maybe he didn’t see it as a date, but I did.

I talked to my husband about it, so don’t think you need to keep this dirty little secret for me (although that would be a great way to find out if he reads my blog).

The date occurred last Monday night. I realize Monday night isn’t a typical date night, but I’m no typical girl.

It started out as a meeting for an animal rescue group where I volunteer.

The location was at a restaurant/bar and after our meeting a handful of people (the dedicated ones), stayed to drink more. We’re really good volunteers.

Later in the evening is when my date, Alex Steen, stopped by. Although I was a few drinks in, I can assure you it was him. Other people saw us together and they can corroborate.

I promise.

Granted, we were sitting around with a group of about five of us, but I’m pretty sure this evening counted as a date with Alex Steen. Here’s why:

1. He paid for my dinner and drinks

photo credit: sarah_connors via photopin cc

photo credit: sarah_connors via photopin cc

Okay, so he paid for everyone’s dinner and drinks, but whatever. That’s just the kind of guy he is. I secretly think he paid the tab because he heard about the kind of girl I used to be, and was hoping to get some over-the-shirt boob action. (He totally could have).

Why does this make it a date? How many dates do you go on where the guy pays for the meal and drinks? If you’re a smart dater, (and I am), those are the only dates you go on.

If a guy doesn’t pay on the first date, then I don’t return his call for the second. Any guy I go out with needs to learn early that I like to eat, and he has to support that habit.

Picking up the tab on a first date is customary when the guy is interested in the woman. This is obviously what happened here.

steen and dog

2. He touched my leg more than once

Yeah, that’s right. He touched my leg.

I shall never wash those pants again…if only they were my Pajama Jeans! Several times throughout the night his hand and arm brushed upon my leg.

I’m sure he will say it was an accident, and we were sitting so close that it was inevitable that he would brush up against me. But we both know the truth.

He sooo wanted me.

3. We talked about our common interests

Here he is rescuing a puppy with the rescue I work with.

I love dogs. Shocking, right? Guess who else loves dogs? Alex Steen!

We are a perfect match! I mean, how many people on this planet share a love of dogs?

Wait…um…that might be a lot…but he shares my love of this particular rescue. Doesn’t that equal a love connection?

Sure, many of my friends also love this same organization and I’m not planning our weekend getaway together (it would be at a Four Seasons resort and spa), but Alex and I share a true bond.

Just ask him.

4. He laughed at my jokes

Isn’t that another sign of a good first date? He regularly laughed at my jokes and even engaged in discussion with me.

Okay, maybe they weren’t so much jokes, as just sentences I made; and maybe they weren’t so much sentences as incoherent comments with a string of conjunctions strewn inbetween.

Whatever the reason, he was laughing at the same time I was, which is fine with me. Whomever said “as long as they are laughing with you and not at you” is an idiot and has clearly never laid eyes on Alex Steen.

5. He looked longingly into my eyes

photo credit: sarah_connors via photopin cc

photo credit: sarah_connors via photopin cc

Yes, he looked longingly. Okay, maybe it wasn’t longingly so much as he was looking into my eyes to see if I was sober enough to drive home, but either way, he looked into my eyes.

Can you say that about the dreamy Steenster?

He obviously cares about me if he didn’t want me to drive home if I wasn’t sober. He has my back because he obviously wanted to see me again. I’m sure it didn’t have anything to do with the fact he’s training for the season and didn’t want to be associated with scandal that would result in his “girlfriend” getting in a car accident.

He probably just didn’t want the stress of worrying about me. He’s such a caring guy.

So there you have it; all the reasons why last Monday I had a date with Alex Steen. Don’t be too jealous, as you can watch him on TV as you root for The St. Louis Blues in the playoffs.

But hands off the Steenster. He’s mine.

NKOTBI’ve always loved New Kids On The Block (or NKOTB for those of you into abbreviations).  But then again, who doesn’t?

An all American boy band who wears t-shirts with cartoon strips and Bill Cosby inspired sweaters?  <swoon>

Five boys who know how to hit a high C like they’re making sweet love to it?  <swoon again>

Throw in some lightly feathered mullets and the dream weavers perched on a precariously low traffic light only to randomly pose for a photo for their album cover?

<triple swoon>

The album cover on the right is my favorite, and not just because it highlights the fact Jordan has enough eyebrow hair to weave a blanket for the homeless.  That’s just an added bonus.

Rather, this cover perfectly captures why I break for NKOTB.  I mean, what’s not to love about this?! (Aside from Joey McIntyre’s high waisted mom jeans.  Really Jo Jo?)

photo credit: marcia.furman via photopin cc

photo credit: marcia.furman via photopin cc

This photo demands respect. I challenge anyone not to give props to Donnie with that sassy hand on his hip. Those geometric patterns on his sweet cotton sweater says he’s good in art class but he also knows how to unhook a girl’s training bra with the flip of his Swatch-adorned arm.

<swoon again>

Let’s not forget about Jordan.  In this picture he looks like he was being goosed by someone passing by.  Perhaps he was.  If so, it was most likely a pedestrian who actually wanted to use the traffic signal to cross the street and didn’t appreciate 5 pubescent boys mounting it for the camera.

What about Jonathan Knight?  He barely made it into the photo, but that’s okay.  His boldly striped t-shirt/sweatshirt combo made him halfway visible, which is all he ever wanted.

The biggest question I have about this cover, aside from why the police didn’t shut down the photo shoot that was undoubtedly interfering with traffic, is why Danny in the center of this photo.

Seriously, why?

This is me and one of my besties at the NKOTB concert this year.  I swooned (and sweated) a lot.

This is me and one of my besties at the NKOTB concert this year. I swooned (and sweated) a lot.

That’s one mystery I’ve never solved, and I’ve spent countless hours drooling staring at this cassette tape.

This album cover is what made me first fall in love with these wacky kids, and 25 years later, I still want to kick it with the New Kids.  If only I could. As one of the greatest bands of all time, NKOTB still knows how to put a skip in my step and a throb in my loins.  (Well, all of them but Danny.)

Naturally, when I found out there was a NKOTB cruise, I knew I had to get in on it.  Or just physically get on it.  On the boat.  Not on the guys.  (Unless they’re into that sort of thing.)

Unfortunately, my dream of sailing the high seas while hitting high Cs (and drinking Hi-C) was not to be.  Cruising with the New Kids sold out in 3 minutes flat, and I’m not talking about a B flat.

Sadly, I wasn’t one of the lucky girls to get a ticket.  I can’t say I’m not devastated.  I could, but I’d be lying.

photo credit: Corey Ann via photopin cc

photo credit: Corey Ann via photopin cc

What was so perfect about the cruise was it was in “Summertime” which is my favorite time of year.  That, coupled with the fact those boys have “The Right Stuff” to get a “Block Party” going, makes me a sad girl.

I guess I shouldn’t be too upset about missing it.  I’m sure it’s just a bunch of “Cover Girl“(s) going, and I don’t want to be a part of that.

However, I’m considering approaching one of the lucky ticket holders and asking her to sell me her ticket.  Maybe I should be upfront and just ask her to “Please Don’t Go Girl.” Who knows?  It might work.  Stranger things have happened.

After all, Danny got married.

I’ve always been such a super fan of theirs, and I’ve supported their entire career.  “Didn’t I?” I know if I went on the cruise they’d “Treat Me Right” and we’d have a great time.  I’m probably even become their “Favorite Girl.”

Maybe they’ll have another cruise and I can get tickets for that one.  I will remain optimistic.

Until then, I will take it “Step by Step” and stay “Hangin’ Tough” until the new cruise date is announced.  I’m hoping I can go the next time around, as “I like the remix (baby).

I’m sad I can’t go, but “Whatcha Gonna Do About It?”

To my dearest New Kids, please plan another cruise.  I promise “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever).

This is me drinking beer at the NKOTB concert in June 2013. I've dreamed of this moment since the 6th grade.

This is me drinking beer at the NKOTB concert in June 2013. I’ve dreamed of this moment since the 6th grade.

small_3622334673 (1)

No dog ingested beer or alcohol in conjunction with this photo or this post.
photo credit: Amarand Agasi via photopin cc

Dear beer,

I know I ‘m the last person you’re expecting to hear from.  Normally, my heart (and my liver) belong to vodka.  He’s always been my one true love and I’ve never hidden that fact from you.

I’ve passed you up a million times before last night.  I’ve walked right by you at bars, at parties, and even at BBQs.

I feel a little guilty about that but you’ve never been what I needed and I’ve never felt a desire to stray from my betrothed…until now.

Maybe it’s your curves, or maybe it’s your intoxicating smell, but something changed.  I’m finding myself drawn to you and I’m not sure why.

Maybe I’m getting tired of vodka.  He’s never been a cruel mistress (or mister), but perhaps I’m bored with him.

The alcohol is always colder on the other side of the bar.”

Isn’t that what they always say?

Maybe it’s true.  I’m not sure, but what I do know is I’m finding myself wondering what it would be like to spend more time with you and I’m wondering why we haven’t been closer before.

Sure, it’s most likely my fault.  You’re more than available.  I never have a hard time finding you at a sporting event, a wedding reception, or even the grocery store.

You’re not elusive like my dear vodka.  You’re everywhere.  I suspect that’s what pushed me away from you before.

But now…now it’s different.

beerI had a temporary moment of weakness last night and I gave into my urges and I just wanted to tell you thank you.  Thank you for last night. I had such an amazing time.

You were incredible.

Especially now that I know what we can be together, I’m sorry I initially resisted the urge to see you, but I’m glad I caved to peer pressure.

I had a long day yesterday and needed to relax. All the other beverages told me not to turn to you, which was mostly the cause for my hesitation.

They said you wouldn’t treat me right.

My stomach even chimed in, saying you were too rough on her sometimes.  She’s finicky so I didn’t take her pleas too seriously.

Dear beerVodka screamed the loudest.  He can be a needy sonofabitch.

Like the ever controlling paramour, he tried to point out that sometimes you make me feel like I hit my head repeatedly against the wall.

I promptly reminded him that feeling doesn’t come until the morning after we hang out, and it’s only if I spend a lot of time with you.  I told him I wouldn’t do that.

Just a taste.  That was all.  We both knew I was lying, but it was a lie I was willing to make.

Don’t get me wrong. Vodka has his faults too.  He can be bitter at times, and he doesn’t always get along with my stomach.

Then again, no one does, especially since my evil gallbladder Stan tried to kill me.

Either way, I knew I didn’t need bitter last night.  I just needed you.

I practically ran to your cold embrace, holding you ever-so-tightly by the neck.  I know that’s how you like to be held.

Don’t deny it.

Our time together was perfect, and although we had to part too soon, I want you to know I will cherish what we shared.

I’m looking forward to our next get-together.

Love Lisa