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just a sarcastic working mom living life in New England

It’s official. Hell has frozen over. May 14, 2009

Filed under: things i hate — nashsmom @ 7:43 am

For any of you who have been to my house or know where my house is, you know about “The House” across the street.  The House was the bane of our existence even before it was The House.  Way back when it was just The Lot.  See, it wasn’t really even a lot.  There was this fence and below that, a couple of trees and marshland.  Other than that, just the harbor out to our friend the ocean which we had a lovely view of.   Then one day about 10 years ago a “For Sale” sign went up on the fence.  Huh?  Who would buy this worthless land?  You could never build on it….or could you?  Well apparently a man named Ken Gelpy thought he could.  He bought the land and we received the abutter notice that he wanted to build.  We attended city meetings, we objected and went door to door getting neighbors to sign letters.  Mr. Gelpy wanted to build a “little house” with a view of the ocean that he and his sick wife could live out their final days in.  After doing research, we found that he had built this same house with the same sad story about 5 times in the last several years in some of the neighboring cities.  He gets through the red tape, builds and sells.  So we fought.  We learned about wetlands and became advocates for the environment.  We learned about phragmites and their importance to wildlife.  We learned about 100 year storms and water levels.  We had plenty of support.  The city turned him down.  He appealed.  There was a process and he knew it inside and out.  Long story short (too late?) after a couple years of this, the city (or state) missed a deadline on filing some paperwork and he basically got his permit based on that misstep.   

And so he built.  They started by driving pylons or stilts into the marshland.  Then they started on The House.  The modest little house ended up being a 4 story house with a double garage.   All built on stilts.  On marsh.  By the ocean that has been known to flood more frequently than every 100 years.  They finished building The House the year Nash was born.  That was 2002.  The House has been for sale since they started building.  It’s changed hands numerous times.  They tried to convert it to condos.  It’s been basically empty with the exception of one owner that ended up living in the bottom floor with his family (in one room) because he had to sell his other home as he couldn’t keep up the double mortgage payments.  So many people thought they were going to get rich on this one but instead, I’ll bet over a dozen different people have taken a major bath on this one.

The real estate company changes every so often.  We would see the new agent out there that first weekend putting up the sign with a couple balloons looking ever so hopeful.  Then after a few weekends, they would skip the balloons and look a more and more disheartened with each passing week.  Enter another new real estate company’s sign would go up, or even better, the “for sale by owner”.  And there’s the occasional “sale pending” sign that’s usually replaced with the “for sale” sign again within a couple of weeks.  

But yesterday I looked outside across the street and saw something I haven’t seen in the seven years it’s been there:  SOLD.

The original price tag was  –  wait for it  –  $1.3 MILLION dollars.  There was an offer at one point early on for $1 million and they turned it down.  I’m dying to know what it finally sold for in this economy and will research and report back.    I’ll also study the new occupants and try to come up with a name to add to our growing list of neighbor names.  I’m thinking “stupid idiots” but if they got a $1 million house for significantly less, maybe they’re not so stupid.  But they’re still blocking my view of the ocean so I’ll still hate them.  Just sayin’…..
house

 

Back off, Red River! March 30, 2009

Filed under: things i hate,things I love — nashsmom @ 8:03 am

As many of you may know, I’m a midwestern gal.  I grew up 75 miles from Fargo and went to college in Moorhead.  I have plenty of excellent memories from the Fargo/Moorhead area and have family and friends that still live there.  And with my parents visiting from Minnesota, we’ve been pretty glued to the news trying to get updates, keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for the best.  But now there’s a snowstorm coming today with up to 14 inches of snow and gusting winds.  

WTF, Mother Nature?

But here’s the deal, these people will survive.  Even if it does flood and homes are lost, these people will survive.  You know why?  They genuinely care about their community and their neighbors.  The mayor was on CNN last night and said the reason he didn’t call for a mandatory evacuation like some of the federal offices were recommending is because they are not like other communities out there.   They are all in this and they are in it together.  And that might not make sense to an outsider, but I totally understood what he meant and it’s true.  These people are taking shifts with their neighbors to keep each other and their homes safe.  They are all pitching in.  They are sore and tired, but they won’t stop.   The AP photos are all ariel shots of the houses surrounded by water, but I was looking for some more “real” ones and found these on the Facebook group “Fargo Moorhead Flood Information” among over 400 member submitted pics:

fargodomesandbaggers1    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the definition of community and teamwork.  Think of standing outside in single digit temps tossing a frozen turkey sandbag down a line of people this long.  Would you do it?   

And then there’s these guys who define yet another trait of the midwesterner.  No matter what the circumstances, it’s OK to laugh, drink beer……and fish.

go-fish

 

My dad asked me the other day if we knew any of our neighbors.  I was embarrassed that I only knew Hugh (who is only there 4 months in the summer) and Peter & David  (who we refer to as our gaybors).  Otherwise we lovingly refer to the rest of them as “alcoholic”, “serial killer” and our newest neighbor “hillbilly”.   Let’s hope there’s no flood in our town or we are in serious trouble.

**update**

Here are some more great pics on Boston.com.  Thanks for sending them, Paula!

 

 

Waiting to exhale March 6, 2009

Filed under: Me,things i hate — nashsmom @ 8:21 pm

Want to know why I haven’t blogged lately?   It’s because I’ve been holding my breath.  Waiting.   Waiting for spring, waiting for an inkling of good news on the economy, waiting for something brilliant to come to mind but mostly waiting to see if I will soon join the new “it” group of  unemployed Americans.

I’ve known for nearly a month that it was probably going to happen.  Rumors, theories, game plans were all discussed between friends/co-workers.  This week we found out it will definitely happen and that it will be fairly significant.   But these things apparently take time so actual layoffs won’t happen until next week.  So this week has been filled with discussions of why we’re sure we ‘ll be sent packing as well as reasons we think they’ll keep us.  These are discussions with friends. Real friends.   People I spend more time with during the week than my own family.   The thought of any of them leaving is just as devastating to me as the thought of me leaving.

So we wait.  We check the unemployment rates (50% of your salary but maxed at $628 per week), the Cobra rates (65% federal subsidy announced this week – Yeah!), read the blogs (um, bad idea), update our resumes (done), check job postings online (ha!).  

And even if we do survive, there will be “roll backs” to be more clearly defined at a later date.  oh boy!

So I wait.  I try to sleep.  I try not to worry.  I try to have hope.  I try to plan my dignified exit (if necessary).  I try to look at the positive side of suddenly having 50 more hours a week to myself.  (I’ll cook!  I’ll clean!  I’ll exercise!  I’ll get our home movies transferred to DVDs! ).  I try to convince myself that I’ll be fine.  I drive my husband and child crazy with all of the above.  Tonight I was opening my mail and opened an unknown bill and said out loud “What the heck is this?” to which Nash replied “What is it mom, did you get fired?”.  Clearly  I’m thinking out loud a bit too much…..

On the bright side of things, Nash was the high scorer last week in his basketball game (THREE points!!), my father-in-law and his longtime girlfriend called last night and asked us to “save the date” of August 14th… for their wedding!!  I got to take my husband out on a real date for his birthday this week sans child (happy birthday, dodes!).  And had a snow day on Monday (79.5 inches so far this winter).   Oh, and Chris Isaak is following me on Twitter.

So I will be continuing to hold my breath for another week or so and really looking forward to the exhale.  If you suddenly feel a big breeze, it might just be me.

 

Don’t read this post December 1, 2008

Filed under: Me,things i hate — nashsmom @ 6:09 pm
Tags:

Seriously.  You do not want to.   In fact, just scroll down on the right side there and see what Miss Picket is up to or check out Cake Wrecks, OK?

Why are you still reading?  Is it because you are just dying to know what I have been up to this last week? Well,  I’ll tell you what I was doing.  I was at a magic farm filled with puppies and kittens and little fluffy yellow chicks frolicking around.  I slept until noon every day.  I woke when the puppies danced on my head and licked my face.   I had massages, ate at fabulous restaurants and went clubbing each night with the cast of Gossip Girl.

Not buying it?  

OK fine.  I have been home on my ass with a bag of ice on top my knee and 2 pillows underneath it either on my bed or the giant chair in the living room for seven days straight in excruciating pain.  Every couple of hours I do a monkey hobble on my crutches to the bathroom, but that’s pretty much it.  I did manage to get out for a few hours on Thanksgiving to go to my father-in-law and his girlfriend’s place where the guest all took turns showing me the various ways to wrap and ice an injury.  2 glasses of wine and I fell asleep on the couch.  Oh, and I’ve been to the doctor’s office twice.  Once after that last entry.  Apparently there wasn’t supposed to be any blood.  So we went in (seriously, stop reading) and he removed the bandages and I proceeded to ooze.  It was very X-Filesy with this “dark liquid” running down my leg.  Needless to say they bandaged me up and all was well.  Or was it?

Nope.

For the past 3 days it was so swollen I felt like I was carrying a bowling ball on my knee cap.  So today I went back to the doctor and they drained it.  And there was A LOT of “fluid”.  Which I like to think of as clear, clean water – not the bloody gunk that I caught I glimpse of.  So a couple more days off my leg and hopefully I’ll be back in business and can cavort with you all vertically once again.

A big shout out to the hubby and the Nashman for taking excellent care of me.  They’ve both gone above and beyond.  I nearly squeezed Jeff’s hand off today during the never ending fluid extraction.  He’s been an excellent chauffer and drug runner (vicodin kicks percoset’s ass) and constantly makes sure that I have everything I need.  And Nash has been an angel.  One night I was sleeping with him in his room and woke up in the middle of the night in so much pain.  I was crying and he woke up and I asked him to go downstairs and get me the peas from the freezer.  He marched right down the stairs in the dark and got them for me.   We thought it was only going to be a few days, but as it continues to stretch on, they continue to give me all the love and support I need and I can’t thank them enough.  

So if you’ve made it this far, you’re clearly just asking for what’s next.  Here’s the good knee:

 

good-knee

Nothing to brag about.  Pretty average looking as far as knees go, right?  Well here’s the bad one.  Click to enlarge if really you must you twisted little freaks….

bad-knee

 

More things I hate September 15, 2008

Filed under: things i hate — nashsmom @ 9:05 pm

Extra paper at the check-out at the grocery store, Target, etc.   All I want is a simple receipt with the total.  Period.   I don’t need coupon for diapers (thank God) or Chex Party Mix, I don’t care if I’ve earned 2 points towards a Thanksgiving turkey and I don’t want to take your stinkin’ survey for a chance to win a prize.

The up-sell.  I’m sure this started somewhere else a long time ago, but I first remember it at the movie theater.  You order popcorn and a drink and you get “Would you like candy or nachos with that?”  Yes, because clearly this bag of popcorn bigger than my head won’t be enough food for me to  to survive of for the next 2 hours.   But now it’s EVERYWHERE.  You order a coffee and get the “Would you like a scone or muffin with that?”.   One day I was at the post office buying stamps and the guy asked me if I wanted any framed Red Sox memorabiia with that.  WTF?  Like I would come in for a $8.40 book of stamps and decide to throw on a $45 framed photo of David Ortiz?  I actually asked him if he had do it and he said yes.  I gotta think these people hate doing it as much as I hate hearing it so just cut it out already.  

Guys who adjust themselves in public.  I’m not a man (surprise!) so I won’t pretend to know what’s going on with the junk down there, but COME ON.  If we ladies have a wedgie or an itch, we do a little wiggle and try to address the situation sans hands.  And if absolutely requires the use of the hand,  we discretely  back into a corner or go somewhere out of the view of others to address the situation.  Men however just do it anywhere and everywhere.  I’ve stood next to guys on trains doing it, at stores, in meetings  – they just don’t care!  I was walking towards a guy and his girlfriend in a Target parking lot once when I guy just full on put his hand down his pants and did whatever the hell he needed to do while pretty much looking right at me.  They JUST DON’T CARE.   Ick.

Waiters and waitresses that won’t write down my order. If you don’t, I will spend the next 20 minutes worried that you will forget to leave the cheese off my salad or to put the dressing on the side.  And even if you do remember, I won’t be impressed.  If for some reason this little memory game is something you insist on playing with yourself, fine.  But humor me and just pretend to write something down.  Or just draw a picture of me with devil horns.  I don’t mind.

 

Reason #742 John McCain is a tool August 30, 2008

Filed under: Music,things i hate — nashsmom @ 4:10 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve worked in the music business and the advertising industry most of my life.  Music licensing is sort of my speciality and I’ve been involved with it in some way, shape or form for the past two decades.  So it always baffles me we when someone thinks they can use a song for “free” or without getting permission.  John McCain has now done this THREE times during his campaign.  

Back in February, John Cougar Mellencamp asked McCain to stop using “Our Country” and “Pink Houses” at his rallies.  Four days after the request, he stopped using them.  Lesson learned, right?  WRONG.

Earlier this month, Jackson Browne – who we in the ad business know as one of the untouchables that WILL NOT license his music for advertising – filed a lawsuit against the Ohio Republican Party, the GOP and McCain himself for using is classic song “Running on Empty” in a commercial.  The lawsuit claims copyright infringement as well damages for creating the false impression that he in any way endorsed John McCain.  

The Tool  MUST have figured it out by now, right? 

Nope.

Yesterday he strutted out on stage in Ohio with Van Halen‘s “Right Now” blaring out over the loudspeakers. And guess who didn’t approved the use and is pissed about it?  That’s right, our friends in Van Halen.

WTF?  It’s like his camp is just picking songs from a vending machine and not even thinking twice about any rights that may be associated with the use of it.  There’s not just the band, but the record label, the publisher, performing rights, singer rights, musician rights, union rights, implied endorsement issues…. the list goes on and on.  How he/they can have no respect for the intellectual property rights of these songs is shocking.  And frankly, as a musician, would you want this guy in the White House having anything to do with copyright issues right now with all the controversy of illegal downloads?  He clearly doesn’t give a shit.  Tool.

***Update***

Officially now a super tool – The Foo Fighters blasted McCain for using their song “My Hero” at rallies without, you guessed it, seeking any sort of permission.  I didn’t think I could hate him any more, but I was wrong.

 

Ouch. August 28, 2008

Filed under: things i hate — nashsmom @ 5:32 pm
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OK, here’s the deal.  For the last two weeks I’ve been in pain.  Like on a scale of 1 to 10, a 7 pain.  Constantly.  And it’s all in my knee.  My left knee, to be exact.  Because as some of you may recall, I spent SIX months in physical therapy last year for my RIGHT knee.  And guess what?  Not related.  So basically this girl has bum knees.  They don’t know what caused it.  Every visit starts with this:

Them: Are you sure you didn’t have some trauma to it?

Me: Yes

Them: Maybe you fell?

Me: Nope

Them: Car accident?

Me: No.  Oh wait – that’s right I was in a car accident and my knee went through the dashboard! (not)

So I had an x-ray last week and it looked like my knee cap was shifted over to the outside and that was probably what was causing the pain, but they ordered up an MRI to get a closer look.  On Friday I spent 45 minutes in a tube getting pics of my knee and yesterday I got to see those pics.  Ladies and gentlemen, it was not pretty.  It looked something like this:

See that pretty heart shaped bone on the bottom?  The one on top of it is supposed to mirror that.  But notice the missing chunk?  That’s what I’ve got.  It’s what my knee guy first called a “shark bite” then later referred to it as a “pot hole”.  Cuz that’s what y’all want in your knee bone.  A big old gouge.  And that black outline around the outside of the bone?  That’s the cartilage.  Also missing.  And if that’s not enough, I have some deterioration on my knee cap.  Two separate injuries causing this girls some massive pain.  I’ve been driving to work as the walk to and from the train station was unbearable.  And don’t get me started on steps.  My biggest nightmare.  And please note I live in a 3 story house and have a 6 year old. A bad combo all around.

Here are some of the highlights from the report:

A large knee joint effusion is present.  There is some prepatellar fluid.  Medial popliteal fossa cyst measures 5-6 cm.  Subcutaneous edema diffusely.  Degenerative subcortical edema in the patella.  Moderately large osteochondral defect.  Anterior aspect of the lateral femoral condyle.

If anyone has any experience with any of these words, please let me know.  I’m currently at the mercy of this guy:

I’m sure he’s taking good care of me, but what do I know?  He did give me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory pill that seems to be working and promised me a cortisone injection if I still hurt in two weeks.   But he also discussed using cadaver parts to fill in my pot hole.  eww.  

Needless to say, I’m cranky.  So if you see my hobbling, don’t laugh.  It freaking hurts.  

But in more exciting news, I got a shout out on my hero Bean’s blog today!   Click here to check it out….