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God Bless Suburbia

After dinner last night, right before we headed upstairs to get ready for bed, we realized we’d forgotten to run the errands we needed to run. We were supposed to pick up coffee, sugar, a GFCI electrical socket, and the required black pants/black shirt Mike needs for his new part-time job. (Yay for the part-time job!)

Luckily, it was only seven-thirty, so we tucked the dogs in for the night, grabbed sweaters to protect against the freezing sixty-degree weather, and hopped in the car.

Yes, we get ready for bed at seven-thirty. What can I say? We’re an old married couple.

By eight-thirty we were brushing our teeth and marveling at how we’d just run three hours worth of errands in one. It was because of the strip mall. And the trunk of the car.

You see, most people who live in suburbia take for granted their ability to run multiple errands in a short period of time. I know, because I used to be one of those people. And then I moved to New York and figured out how the rest of the world works. Or at least the part of the world situated in Manhattan.

If we were still living in Manhattan, we’d have had to make three separate stops, instead of the one we were able to make last night. First we’d have gone to K-Mart for black Dickies and a generic black button-up. It would have taken us thirty minutes to get there, plus a ten minute walk off the train, and it would’ve been a miserable experience because that K-Mart was never fully stocked and it was always so full of people there ought to be signs out front warning shoppers not to enter if they fear large crowds. Next we’d spend another twenty minutes on the subway, another fifteen minutes walking, and then we’d be at Home Depot, also terribly crowded, with checkout lines thirty people deep. Fifteen more minutes walking and an hour on the subway before we got to our neighborhood market, all while carrying everything we’d purchased elsewhere. By the time we finally got home we’d have spent at least three hours, probably four, and we’d be exhausted, sweaty, and praying for an early death.

Instead we hopped in a car, drove to a strip mall, purchased everything we needed at a Target and a Home Depot sitting back-to-back, and were home in sixty minutes. Yes, it’s a little freaky that we can buy groceries and clothing in one location, I’ll be honest. Target’s new grocery section makes me feel a little bit dirty, I don’t know why, but still. I do not miss the city at all.

P.S. There’s a wiener in the lantana.

wiener in the lantana

Behind Bethesda


Three and a half years in NYC and I finally got my boat ride in Central Park. Adam did all the rowing. I tried rowing, but I couldn’t make the boat move hardly at all. And certainly not in a forwardly direction. Adam, however, did great.


And while he was rowing, I kept an eye out for sea monsters. I spotted one, too!

sea monster

Ok, it wasn’t a sea monster, it was another boat. We were so focused on taking a picture of ourselves that we forgot to pay attention to where we were drifting, and right as the camera snapped was when I realized we were bow-to-stern with a boat-full of tourists and that’s why my face looks like that.


Bethesda Fountain. My favorite place in all of NYC.

August 12, 2010

(Are we home yet?)


A Serious Photog

Saturday before last, Adam and I swapped cameras.

Now I see the world through his eyes…

Thunder Storm

T with T and tea

Yesterday we had another huge thunder storm, so huge that for about seven minutes Trouble and I were huddled on the floor in the middle of this beautiful glass house wondering if the wind was going to blow all the windows in. I call this house a “glass house” because most of the walls are windows. I love that about the house, love that no matter which room I’m in the woods and lake are all around me, but in the middle of a fierce thunder storm, with rain pounding the glass and the trees bent by the wind, it’s a little terrifying. Mike took the picture above on his BlackBerry moments before the rain started, when the rolling thunder had first made itself known. Twenty minutes later all the power went out. The wind didn’t blow the house down, but it did blow over several trees, which knocked several power lines across the roads, which meant that we couldn’t leave the house, which meant I wasn’t going to make it back to the train station in Poughkeepsie, which meant I’d be spending another night in Esopus. Which was fine with me!

However, the downed power lines also meant we couldn’t turn on any lights or watch TV or get online or flush the toilets or wash our hands.  The water for this house comes from a well and is pumped through the pipes with electric pumps, so when the power goes out, so does the water. We had about a dozen gallons of bottled water in the basement, a bottle of wine, a lot of food, and a grill, so we decided the rest of the night would be kind of like camping in a super luxurious three-story tent.

We grilled meat and vegetables on the outdoor grill, in the rain, and we drank wine and when the sun started to set we lit candles and curled up with the dogs and whispered about the TV we would be watching if we could turn on the TV. And it was all fine and dandy until the sun completely set and the house was pitch-dark and suddenly I couldn’t relax. I was totally on edge.

“What was that?”

“What was what?”

“That sound.”

“I don’t hear anything.”

“I think there’s someone upstairs.”

“There’s no one upstairs.”

“THAT! You didn’t hear that? That scraping sound?”

“It was probably one of the dogs.”

“Shhhh. Listen.”

“… …. …. …. … …”

“Ok, so it stopped. But I definitely heard something.”

I’m always afraid that with the loss of electricity will come the loss of civilization and before you know it, we’ll be attacked on all sides by brain-hungry zombies with gnashing teeth and rotting flesh. Even while Mike was roasting marshmallows for s’mores I was a nervous wreck. Even with chocolate and graham cracker crumbs dribbling down my chin, my hands were shaking.

Around ten o’clock we put all the dogs to bed and crawled in ourselves, a flashlight between us so we could both read. I was too jumpy to sleep, too jumpy to lay in the dark, but burying myself in a nice fictional romance was just the ticket. Then, at ten forty-five, I heard a strange sound. I froze, held my breath to listen. It was a low buzzing sound, so low it was barely audible. Was it a swarm of flies? The sound of a car coming up the road? When you’re in a glass house on the middle of eighty acres, the last thing you want to hear late at night during a power outage is a car coming up the road. I sat up and looked over at Mike, who’d fallen asleep with his face in his book. I was about to shake him awake when I realized what I was hearing: the gentle hum of central air. I reached over and flicked a light switch and the unnatural, gorgeous glow of electric light filled the room. I shook Mike awake anyway.


I turned the light off. Turned it on again.

“The lights are on! Great! Now will you turn them off and go to sleep?”

He smiled at me and pet my hair and I felt like I could breathe again. So we turned off all the lights, made the house pitch-dark again, and I fell fast asleep. I do love my first-world trimmings.

And speaking of first-world trimmings, I suggest you head over to Kim’s Kitchen Sink and enter to win a $30 CSN gift certificate giveaway!

I love you, but

Me: Do these need to go in the laundry?

Him: I don’t know.  Sniff ’em.

Me: … I love you, but I’m not going to sniff your shorts.

Him: You know you want to.

Me: If you wanted me to want to you’d have married a gal with one of those fetishes.

Overheard at our table

Me: If I had a blood clot in my leg, would it hurt really bad?

Him: It would be the worst pain you’d ever felt in your entire life.

Me: Really?

Him: Take the worst pain you’ve ever felt in your life, and multiply it by ten.

Me: Because I’m having this little shooting pain in my leg and I was worried it was a blood clot.

Him: It’s not a blood clot.

Me: You’re handy to have around.  I think I’ll keep you.



Me: We should rent that new movie about Darwin  You’ll love it.  Your girlfriend’s in it.
Him: My girlfriend?
Me: That actress you’re so in love with.
Him: Cate Blanchett?
Me: Wait.  I thought you had a thing for Jennifer Connelly?
Him: Yeah. I’d marry ’em both.
Me: Fine.  Whatever.  I’ll still be the youngest.