Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring Break Wrap-Up


So I've been on Spring Break. Miss me, didja?

Last weekend was St. Pat's. Now, we're not really Irish, but I did marry a man with red hair, freckles and an Irish last name, so we like to pretend. A week earlier they had handed out Kids Eat Free On St. Pat's coupons from Hometown Buffet at Pie's school, so for the entire week he told everyone he knew that we were going to Hometown Buffet for St. Patrick's Day.

We were thinking about going to the parade downtown, but it was snowing (btw, exactly one week later it was 80 degrees outside), so I said forget it, we'll go to freakin' Hometown Buffet for dinner, R can get corned beef and cabbage and red potatoes and I won't have to cook and the Apes'll be happy.

If you ever want to feel like you're really skinny and gorgeous, hang out at Hometown Buffet. The peoplewatching is phenomenal.
The food, however, tastes like sweat.

Oh, by the way, here's how Pie and Beebie looked:

Tito wanted no part of the haircolor.

Anyway, afterwards R and I thought it would be fun to pick up some Guinness and Smithwicks on the way home, and, as Irish luck would have it, there was a liquor store right across the street from Hometown Buffet. So we all went in.


And thus, a new Karma family tradition was born.
Tune in next year!

And I thought this was eerily appropriate on St. Patrick's Day -

Remember how we've been looking for a house? Sunday afternoon we went to an Open House hosted by Connie, the most obnoxious realtor ever. We walked through the house and absolutely loved it. Four bedrooms, three and a half baths, huge closets, fenced backyard, finished basement, two car oversized garage, cul-de-sac, everything we've been looking for.

We knew it would be a stretch for us financially, but the logic was that we'd apply for special financing based on our current income, and then hopefully within a month or two we'd both have better paying jobs and then we'd be able to manage it. It was a gamble, but a calculated one.

Monday the realtor from the house we liked called our realtor (who was not with us when we went to the Open House) to let her know that she "expected an offer" to come in that afternoon. So Monday evening we had an emergency meeting with our realtor so that we could put an offer in on this house. We made an offer for $5000 less than the asking price. Our realtor, who is awesome, wrote it into our contract that the offer was contingent upon a second walk-through, which we scheduled for Thursday morning. And R invited his parents to attend. Foreshadowing...

Tuesday I spent $70 on haircuts for the Apes, then we cleaned in anticipation of my parents' arrival on Wednesday.

Wednesday my parents were supposed to arrive in the afternoon, and this kids were getting impatient, so we went to the library. Tito was in the backseat giddily informing all of us that he could see the library from his carseat. Repeatedly. Loudly. Like this -

"Look, guys! Look! I see it! There's the Library! Right there! Lookit! There it is!!!"

Then, just to mess with him, as we pulled into the library parking lot, R said,

"Tito! Tito! Where are we?? I'm lost! I don't know where we are!! Where are we??"

And what did Tito say?

"We're at the library, you DUMBASS!!"

I admit, Tito's familiarity with the word Dumbass is entirely my fault. Calm down, I don't call the kids Dumbasses (tempting as it might be at times), but I have been known to occasionally refer to some other random person - such as the Dumbasses who don't know how a 4-way stop sign works, for example - as a Dumbass in front of them. Plus, I've been known to watch That 70's Show from time to time. Anyway, yes, I'm sorry, but damn, it was funny.

Thursday we went to look at the house with my parents and R's. I had tried to talk R into going without me because I really kinda had no desire to put myself in a situation where we knew FIL was going to be critical. We were even inviting him to be critical. But I have to say, kids, in the interest of full disclosure and as testament that God does in fact answer prayer, FIL was pleasant and I was actually glad he was there. He found a LOT wrong with the house (including a rusted-out furnace) that we hadn't seen on our initial visit, despite the seller's agent's assurance that the house was a bargain, and thank God we were able to rescind our offer.

I had really been losing sleep over it, honestly, afraid that they would accept our offer and we'd get stuck with a $1500 a month house payment when we're barely scraping by paying $975 in rent and then something awful would happen - like R somehow not being able to get a better job now that he's almost done with the class he's been taking for the last two years, or that I wouldn't get the job I applied for, or one of the cars would break down or one of the kids would need emergency surgery or something. I hate to be negative, but I'm using our family's history of unforeseen disasters to predict the future.

Oh, but there was a somewhat amusing moment when our realtor was walking through the house with me, R and FIL. FIL pointed out a crack in a wall or something (I forget exactly what), and our realtor (let's call her Taylor, just to simplify things), as is her job to do, mentioned that in a house of that age it really wasn't atypical and we shouldn't be that concerned about it.

She apparently insulted FIL's expertise, because he came back with,

"I really DO understand. Okay? I understand. In fact, for what it's worth, I AM a licensed professional engineer, okay?" in his quiet, yet scathing tone.

And here's why I love Taylor. She could have read it like I did, as "Don't fuck with me, bitch, I'm smarter than you", but instead she said, "Well, great! Glad to have you on board!"

So we almost bought a house, but we didn't, and I'm okay with it. I'm relieved.

Then after that my parents and R and the Apes and I drove almost three hours to Lambert's. It was so awesome. Chicken Fried Steak, Barbecued Pork, Pot Roast... and throwed rolls. What's better? Nuthin. I even got covered in sorghum.

Friday I had my second interview at Vandelay Industries downtown, so I figured R and my parents could take the kids to the City Museum just down the street and I could meet them afterwards. I felt great about the interview. Here's one of the highlights. I'm paraphrasing, of course -

So, tell us a little about yourself, Penny!

Well, for the last six years I've been a stay-at-home mom, but I'd always planned to go back to work when my youngest started Kindergarten. So this opportunity has come up a year earlier than I'd expected to go back to work, but I decided that I'd rather pursue it now rather than wait until it was the ideal time and hope that there was a good job available, cuz I'd really prefer not to go back to retail... I mean, there's nothing wrong with retail, but I'm 36 years old and I'm kinda too old to be folding jeans for a living... I did my time at The Gap ten years ago... I mean, if there's a Jean-Folding Emergency, I'm your man. Just a little sumthin' extra I'm bringin' to the table...

I assure you, if I hadn't gotten the inside information that what was keeping me in the running for this job was not so much my work experience but rather my youthful exuberance, I probably wouldn't have said all that, but I opted to just go ballz out and be my lil ol' effervescent self. And I think it went well. The interviewers laughed at my jokes this time. When I arrived, the girl I'd be working with actually told me that this interview would be informal and that they just wanted some more people in the office to meet me. I took it as a good sign.

Anyway, after the interview I was to walk to The City Museum to meet R, my parents, and the Apes. On the map, it doesn't look it was that far from where my interview was. In reality, it's about fifteen city blocks. Not a big deal, I've walked farther than that, I wasn't worried about it. But then it started to rain. No problem, I had an umbrella.

Cut to a shot of me walking down the street in the rain with a broken umbrella. In heels. For fifteen blocks. The good news? I was wearing my Power Panties.

And I should also mention two things here.

The first being, on the advice of The Incomparable Domestic Overlord, I hauled my fat ass to Torrid and invested in not one, but two pairs of Wonder Woman panties.

And the second? I will now reveal my Power Anthem, which I crank up in the car whenever I'm on my way to some event where I have to kick ass, such as a job interview. Kinda like how Ally McBeal had "Tell Him" as her theme song, remember? Anyway, here's a hint:

Don't ever compare me to the rest that'll all get sliced and diced, competition's payin' the price...

I KNOW my girl Carmen knows it.

Yes, I played Mama Said Knock You Out! over and over on the way to my first interview. I couldn't play it on the way to the second because I was in a minivan with my entire family and my dad was driving, so I sang it to myself in my head instead. Don't call it a comeback, I been here for years, rockin' my peers, puttin' suckahs in fear, makin' the tears rain down like a monsoon, listen to the bass go BOOM, explosion overpowerin' over the competition I'm towerin'...
Ah, yes, Cool James, the Ladies Love ya.

Sad thing, though, if I do get this job, I won't write about it much here because my former boyfriend Rick's wife works there and they read this blog and I just would never want to look like an ungrateful ass after Mrs. Rick was the one who told me about the job in the first place. Don't fret, though, kids - I haven't had a job prior to now and I've always found plenty of amusing shit to write about, right?

Of course, I cringed a bit when I saw THIS article in the news.

But I digress. Saturday we walked across the Mississippi River via the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. It started to get a little warm, so my dad, who has no sense of propriety whatsoever (which, in fairness, isn't always a bad thing) took off his t-shirt so as to remove the undershirt beneath it, rendering him shirtless for about thirty seconds until he put his San Antonio Spurs T-shirt back on.

Pie observed my dad during that aforementioned thirty-second period, and yelled to everyone on the bridge,

What the HECK??!??

I have
NO idea why SOME people have to take their SHIRTS off in the MIDDLE of PUBLIC!!!! That's just CRAZY talk!

Here's a pic of Pie claiming victory as the first one to the Illinois Side.

Tito was first back to the Missouri Side. And no, the shirtless dude in the background is NOT my dad. I guess shirts are optional on the Old Chain Of Rocks Bridge. Duly noted.

Then we went to my parents' hotel so the Apes could swim in the pool. We saw an ugly, buck-toothed, hugely pregnant woman wearing a Got Milk? t-shirt and I just about threw up.

Sunday we ran into the Aldis plus Mrs. Aldi's parents at brunch. And I was able to confirm that Aldigirl had herself some bacon.

Two weeks till Easter Brunch, Loves. You'll be impressed that I had the foresight to schedule a trip to Therapenny (my therapist, whose name is actually Penny) the Monday morning after.


Not just another said...

Glad you're back Penny! I missed you.

Buying a house can be really alarming business. We came pretty close on some steamingly bad piles of crap ourselves. Hang in there! The right house is waiting for you.

cpurl17 said...

Oh Dear Lawd, I'm MOTHER THERESA. I need a re-do on that leader test.

I remember the stress of home buying. You see a millions houses and then if you DON'T GET THAT ONE HOUSE you like you feel like you'll never get one. But then you do. Oh, and the mortgage thing? I nearly tripled my rent to mortgage payment and thought nowayinhell but somehow it happens. Trust me. Would Mother Theresa steer you wrong?

Anonymous said...

Vandelay is right down the street from my office, Pendant Publishing! We're in the Met Square building - we should do lunch if you get the job!

Bezzie said...

Hhahaahahah! I am laughing at that bridge scene because I have the added bonus of having met your dad and Pie. Your parents are the sweetest peeps I've met in a long while, well you know once they found out I wasn't going to go all Dateline on your ass.

Don't worry about that study. For every study like that there's one out there that says kids are socially inept if raised at home. So you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. As long as we don't feed them to the wolves, I think we're coming out on top.

ZantiMissKnit said...

>>>We saw an ugly, buck-toothed, hugely pregnant woman wearing a Got Milk? t-shirt and I just about threw up.<<<

dammit, woman, don't be so funny when I'm at work!

I used to have a therapist named Penny, too, but as far as I know she is still in Louisiana (yes, I looked her up -- how many therapists named Penny can there be???). She was awesome.

Ferris Family said...

We braved the parade, I was thisclose to calling you guys to come with!
I'm over here snorting I'm laughing so hard, you took the kids into Dirt Cheap!!!! That's funny.