Friday 5 for March 22, 2013: Lasts

I wish I didn’t feel all the time that I was using home-buying as an excuse for everything. Didn’t get my laundry done? Sorry: buying a house! Didn’t return your email? Sorry: buying a house! Didn’t put on pants today? Sorry: buying a house!

So, that said, I haven’t been updating or doing any sort of website staging, because – and I don’t know if you’re aware of this – but I’m buying a house. By the way, here’s my sage wisdom on the topic, from all of my experience. Do you like shitloads of paperwork, and near-diarrhea-inducing amounts of stress? In that case, might I suggest buying a house?

On the upside, in a short bit of reprieve from the mortgage madness, I’m bringing Charlie as my date to a marrieds-type get-together at a high school friend’s house with some other high school friends and their respective husband-types. This is the kind of thing I’ve been looking forward to since I graduated high school; I’m just starting 10 years late….

Please, sit, have a glass of iced tea and enjoy some Friday5 while I wish for Springtime for Cleveland (and Germany)/Winter for Poland and France.

  1. At a gathering of your usual social group, who’s almost certain to show up last?
    Despite the fact that it makes me insane that I am this way, I can usually be counted on to be the last if we are meeting at a restaurant. I have bad Get-Together Fu that way.
  2. Of chores that must be done this weekend, which will you probably complete last, and why?
    Probably packing for our move. I’ve been putting it off all year. Why stop now?
  3. Some TV remote controls have a “last” button. If you were to turn your TV on now and hit the “last” button on the remote, which channel would you be taken to?
    The TV is usually set to “3” so I can run the PS3 to stream Netflix/AMZ Prime. Before that, I was watching Bravo (about the only channel I watch anymore).
  4. Your task is to try one scoop of ice cream per day until every one of thirty-one flavors is consumed. Which do you save for last?
    Either strawberry or chocolate, because they are both friggin’ gross.  …Unless it’s Queen City Cayenne, in which case, I save it for last because it’s brutal to get through something so cold and so, so hot.
  5. When did you last have an awful meal in a restaurant?
    Sunday morning, March 17, 2013. The restaurant was disgusting, the service rotten, the clientele repulsive, and my hangover unrelenting. But, the company was wonderful, the whole evening magnificent, and the hot, buttery grits I ordered to soothe my drunk were glorious.

If I Die Before I Wake (or in a Tragic Jazzy Accident…)

K and I have an “if I die, you delete my phone” pact. Like any Will, you need to update it from time to time. I needed a little help with my wording, so K, who has been the executor on an estate or two in real life, took the time to craft me this beautiful letter that I will send to her when I die:

Dear Kara,

If you’re reading this, I’m ded [sic]. Yes, that kind of ded. Poke me with a stick. I won’t budge.

First things first, destroy my FrostIron smut. Then destroy all browsing history from my iPad, smart phone, laptop, etc.

Bury me face down in a pair of your Lulu yoga pants and molest me silly if you’d like. (But don’t bury me in some cheap imitation. I want to meet my maker in something that hugs my curves. Trust me: I know the difference, and I will haunt the shit out of you if you try to pull a fast one.)

I’m sorry that we didn’t get to go over the Grand Canyon in our Jazzies. I’ve left you a pair of my prized roller blades from 1998 to make up for it. Because I know you don’t know how to roller blade, I’m certain you’ll be joining me soon.

In closing, thank you for being such a good friend to me and always looking out for my best interests. I’ll ask Satan — err, I mean Santa — to bring you a pny [sic].

Love always,
Mean Bitch

K made sure to add as an addendum for the letter:​

Make sure to mention that I will be throwing myself on your grave for extra effect. Can’t have anyone suspecting I was the one who pushed you down the stairs and blamed the cats.

Lean Systems Nerd

​As a lean-systems nerd, if you asked, I would tell you that I have streamlined my get-ready process to 1.5 hours, from shower to out-the-door. This includes shower, moisturizing, makeup, blow-drying, flat-ironing, wardrobe assemblage, lunch assemblage. I set my alarm for 5:40 every morning.

​I forgot to set my alarm last night and woke up an hour late at 6:30. On top of that, I realized shortly after getting out of the shower that something at work got FUBAR’ed and I had to hustle my ass​ to get in early to dry to do damage control.

I went from awake to pulling out of the driveway in one hour. I left the house 30 minutes earlier than I do when I don’t miss the alarm. I still had a full face of makeup on, my hair blown dry and flat-ironed, and I promise I remembered to put pants on.

​I’m thinking that there’s is some more leaning I can do in my process.

How to Travel for Business When You Are Bad at Traveling for Business

Two Weeks Before:​

One Week Before:​

  • Pick out the four outfits you will wear for the trip.
  • Order two pairs of new shoes that go with all of the outfits (you will be in a state of panic the Wednesday before you leave, because you will think they didn’t get delivered, even though UPS says they have. Don’t worry, the wind picked them up and blew them halfway down the backyard.)​

Friday Before You Leave:​

  • Take the day off of work so you can prepare.
  • Spend all morning doing laundry.​
  • Practice-roll all of your outfits into your Packing Cubes.
  • Set out all of your toiletries (travel size, of course), to see what you have. Pack them in separate Ziplock baggies grouped by body part to make sure they don’t spill.​
  • Consider that maybe, just maybe, you’re over-thinking this whole packing-for-a-four-day-trip thing.​
  • ​Have lunch with your brother.
  • Have early fish fry dinner at Charlie’s alma mater, DocuSign mortgage paperwork together.​
  • Head home and smash all of your overloaded Packing Cubes into your carry on (by God, you are going to fly with just a carry on).
  • Go to bed early, because your flight takes off at 7:30 the next morning.

Saturday of the Trip

  • ​Wake up to use the bathroom at 2:00 in the morning. Toss and turn until 3:00 (when the alarm goes off).
  • ​Shower, put makeup on, and dress in record time.
  • Leave for the airport at 4:45, even though you thought you’d wait until 5:30.​
  • Get to the airport in record time, breeze through security (they left the express TSA checkpoints open).​
  • Wait at your gate for your co-workers for an hour and a half. You’re the only one in your gate area for an hour and a half.​
  • Take a Xanax for the flight and fall asleep on the plane for the first time you’ve ever traveled. Wake up with cotton mouth and a bloody nose from the dry air.​
  • Have lunch with colleagues you only see once a year.​
  • Check into your room and realize that due to a clerical error, you have it to yourself for the night.​

  • Sit through conferences.​
  • Change clothes and enjoy cocktail hour. Catch up with everyone else you only see once a year.​
  • Nerd out with one of the Tech Support team and close down the cocktail reception.​
  • Pass the heck out because you got up at 2:00 in the morning.​

Sunday of the Trip

  • Eat like a horse on the best breakfast food you’ve had in years (muesli, ftw!).
  • Sit through conferences.​
  • Eat like a horse at lunch; this seriously has to be the best food at a conference you’ve ever had.​
  • Sit through more conferences.​
  • Shuffle rooms around so you end up with the roommate you were supposed to have ​on Night 1.
  • Go to the Trade Show, eat like a horse, drink free drinks. Be bummed that the tshotchkes aren’t nearly as awesome as they were in years past.​
  • Head up to the hotel bar and have quiet drinks with your favorite DP, whom you made plans with two weeks ago.​
  • Get through 50% of those drinks before other people crash the party.​
  • Talk to a wholesaler who lives in Cleveland about how awesome Cleveland is, exchange business cards.​
  • Wobble back to your room, drink a liter of water, wash your face, and pass out.​

Monday of the Trip

  • Eat like a horse at breakfast again. There’s no muesli this time, so settle on some fruit and oatmeal loaded​ with honey to make it palatable.
  • Sit through conferences.​
  • Meet up with a good friend that lives in Pittsburgh for lunch, gab about all the stuff you’ve been meaning to catch up on.​
  • Eat like a horse at lunch. Realize that you’re probably going to be flying home with extra weight, and we’re not talking about the luggage here, either.​
  • Learn that the bank you’re buying your foreclosed house on doesn’t accept DocuSign. Find this out via frantic texts/calls from Charlie.​
  • Try not to lose your shit while waiting for the fax to come from Ashland to Boston at a glacial pace. Think you could drive to Ashland and back in the time it takes 19 pages of a fax to arrive.
  • Sign all hojillion lines on the document, fax it to your realtor’s Strongsville office.​
  • Catch up with an old friend, try to plan to meet up for dinner.​
  • Sit through more conferences.​
  • Get a text from your realtor that you missed a line on the documents. Have him fax the single page to you. Tell him you’ll sign it after dinner.​
  • Learn that dinner plans are going to fall through with your friend. Work other plans.​

  • Lose track of how many drinks you had with dinner. Have conversations with everyone in your department. Talk way too much about the damn mortgage paper debacle.
  • Have one of the lawyers in your department walk you back to the hotel. Vaguely remember the conversation you had with him.​
  • Aggressively hug the friend with whom your original dinner plans fell through. Vaguely remember that interaction.​
  • Get to the front desk and collect your fax. Run into another colleague in your department at the front desk. (He will corroborate the story your text message string tells you that you did, in fact, sign the mortgage paperwork and fax it back to Strongsville. Have no real recollection of this happening).​
  • Allow colleague to walk you back to your hotel room. Vaguely remember that conversation.​
  • Change into your jammies and feel ill. Vomiting provides little relief. Remember to take your medication and pass out.​

Tuesday Morning, Heading Home

  • ​Wake up and wish for death as compared to your hangover.
  • Get ready in record time, remember makeup, forego hair; opt for French braid instead.​
  • Have only a cup of muesli for ​breakfast. Cling to your water like grim death.
  • Worry that the storm blowing through will delay your flight,
  • Take prescription-strength Advil.​
  • Sit through final round of conferences. Consider death again.​
  • Check out of your hotel and take a cab to the airport. Pass through security in good time and try to find your gate.​ The flight takes off at 1:30pm.
  • Buy souvenirs: shotglass for you, chocolate lobsters for Binkles; and magnet for the MomZ and the DadZ.​
  • Realize your gate is next to a Panda Express. Consider death again.​
  • Pass out upright in a chair with your headphones in. Surely, they won’t take off without you, right?
  • Wake up 30 minutes before boarding. Wander to the Wendy’s near the gate and get a large French fry. Weep with joy because a) you’re able to hold it down and b) it feels like the best damn batch of fries you’ve ever had.
  • Board without incident, take another Rx-strength Advil and a Xanax for the flight home.
  • Pass out on a plane for the second time in your life.
  • Disembark from the plane at 3:30; send all requisite text messages to those most concerned about your safety.
  • Enjoy the sunshine, appreciate that the winter storm totally missed Cleveland.
  • Drop everything at the door when you get home. Shower and change into your jammies. Have some soup for dinner.
  • Pass out watching Supernatural​ at 8:30pm.