Friday, December 31, 2010

Shed Collapse! Why are people so Rude?

What a poopy way to end the last year. Record snow fell in Mammoth as we endured the record rain in Long Beach. As we paddle around the area, Chris worries about the new shed we placed on his property up there, a shed containing his prized motorcycles. I optimistically say the shed stands strong and there is nothing to worry about. The snow falls off the slanted roof just fine. Apparently not.
The heavy duty Sierra Cement that passes as snow, sat on the top of the shed until the thing collapsed in on itself. Now normally I would say, fine, dig it out and start putting everything back together but instead I find myself endlessly frustrated with how a roommate tells us. You see we rent out two of the rooms in the house to people in order to make sure the house stays standing over the winter months. Most people would enjoy having absentee roommates/owners of the house because you have free reign, deal with the owners a few times a month at most, sometimes only a few times a year. Unfortunately our tenant and long time friend sees the situation differently. Every time we come to visit she acts like our appearance majorly annoys her, ludicrous given how cheaply she gets to live there, but whatever. Not to mention she thinks we need to tell her when we plan a trip because she might have friends, the rule actually reads you let Chris know when you want to have company so he can let you know if it’s okay. You see the joy of ownership includes the right to come and stay in his room, unannounced if he likes and being greeted at the door of your own house with "you are supposed to call before you come up" sounds not only rude, but particularly arrogant. Not to mention you are storing your crap in our room because you think we won’t know and you want a chance to move it. Did I mention we had to build the shed to have a place to put Chris's gear because the rest of the house, including his storage space became spillover space for her stuff and she never even asked? Apparently since his stuff fills only part of the space, it meant she could put her junk in there at will. Not exactly friendly or polite.
Her one job was to open her window every once in awhile, use the brush and brush the snow off the shed. Apparently that was too much to ask. She did travel for the holidays so maybe she had done it but the snow developed too quickly. But the way she tells us about a major shed collapse (this is a huge shed, one which we laid a foundation for) is to send an email that says "Bad News" in the subject line. An understatement? The body of the email reads, "I was out of town for the holidays and the shed collapsed. The old shed is still standing." No sympathy, no sorry I know how frustrating this must be, nothing remotely human or caring.
Chris is not known for using email and she didn't copy me on that one so I only found out about it because 2 days later when I was questioning something else she throws in a mention of the email neither of us read. She nonchalantly says Chris should read his email. I, of course, can't get her on the phone and have to enlist another friend to drive by the house to survey the damage. Now here's my question...if you were aware that someone's motorcycles were sitting in the snow, under a pile of a collapsed shed, do you not think that warrants a phone call? You have our numbers, all of them, why wouldn't you pick up the freakin phone? So if a tree collapsed on her car, I could just float her a note via email "Bummer, your car has been flattened." Why do people lack common sense and courtesy? I know it is what it is but we should have known about it promptly so we could choose how to take of the problem, preferably as soon as possible. Bottom line is it looks like everything from the shed needs to be stored in the house, so I guess she's gonna need a storage space for her plethora of stuff and no, I don’t feel guilty about that…should I?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Towe Storm

You move into a new place and you find yourself oh so excited to show it to everyone you know. Of course you have to deal with the fact you decided to move right before the holidays so realistically it is a horrible time to plan a party with friends in order for them to see it, but you console yourself with the idea that you family will come.

In our case, we have moved to a perfect walking mecca. Tons of restaurants and things to do all within blocks of our building. Bowling, movies, lighthouse, beach, hotels, the list just goes on and on. And heck, we live in California so it's always nice to walk around. Mom and the fam plan a trip practically immediately, right before Christmas. As the date approaches I fearfully find myself like a sixty year old woman watching the weather. Death, doom, destruction that's all I see in the form of rain.

For those of us who grew up in other places this hardly seems like the end of the world, but for Californians, even an inch of the stuff is enough to send everyone into a tizzy. This is because the roads are not equipped for it, all of our malls are outside, and the walking joy of the area is significantly hindered when it is going to do nothing but rain.

It literally started pouring the day my family arrived and stopped for an hour here or there. Luckily we are a group that makes the best of everything, so we still walked on the beach (in raincoats) and tooled around the area (drenched like sewer rats) but laughing the whole way. There was a sudden break in the storm one evening and we even walked to the lighthouse which as an amazing hill perfect for rolling down. My siblings and I decided to hell with the mud and rolled down anyway arriving at the bottom sopping wet and covered in sloppy mud but smiling.

As I drove them back to the airport two days before Christmas the sun was shining through and it didn't rain again for the rest of the year. I was disappointed they did not get to see our new home in all it's glory, but yet I wouldn't trade the memories, movies, and change of plans for anything. The bad situation turned into a perfectly silly moment, yet again proving my husband's point that sometimes planning is pointless.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Baby Shower or Apartment Ruining Event with Bad Juju?

One thing you don't really think about when you are moving in together is the scheduling of time when it comes to your home. I know I definitely thought about losing my "alone" time and my "guilty TV" time, I even thought about how it affected my time with friends, but I didn't really think about the collective scheduling requirements in order to make my world run yet not step on the toes of my new roommate/husband.

You see, on days off we often have similar interests and desires. Since we are both avid football fans, we don't even have the weekend issues other couples might. But when you want to use the apartment for something like a baby shower, this is pretty much the same as announcing you are using the place for a mass suicide. Boys and baby showers are like cats and water, I felt as thought Chris thought the place would need a complete disinfection post a bunch of girls spending time in our home. You would think he thought pregnancy was contagious.

To top it off the baby shower was scheduled for a big football weekend. At first it all seemed like things would be perfect as he was going on boys weekend up in the mountains at the same time. Then when the work schedule did not allow for such an adventure I had a husband who wanted nothing more than to watch the Army/Navy game on our new big screen TV but I had 25 girls heading to our place. Luckily, the weather decided to cooperate and I have never seen Chris work so fast. We were able to relocate the entire shower in a matter of minutes to outside by the pool, which left the apartment as the perfect man-cave for football viewing. While he did have to put up with the giggling girls as they entered and exited it was not nearly the imposing force he thought it would be.

This time it worked out...but what about next time? I realize it is always a balance, but what is the magical formula? You see I am the guilt ridden one so I feel badly for taking over the space. He is the wanting to please one so he would never intentionally make me feel badly and he wants me happy so he will likely say yes to just about anything. Does this make the perfect balance because I won't abuse the privilege and he will always say yes? Only time will tell for sure, but I think I might have lucked into one of the most easy compromises in our marriage...we shall see.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Dreaded Name Change

There are probably very few men on the planet who can understand the torture of deciding what to do with your name once married. For many women this is a simple issue, one that does not even merit a second thought. For other women, like myself, it is an identity thing that required reflection and careful choosing. Lucky for me, I come from a multi-divorced family so very few people I associate with have my last name at all. Changing my name to reflect oneness with my new husband was an easy choice despite the fact it is better suited for a boy and not all attractive for a girl...Hacker. It does lend itself to a good fantasy football team name though, so I will focus on the positive.
Making the choice was the easy part and I even get to decide how to hyphenate because I can do whatever I want in the age of the "Equality of Names Act 2007," thank you California. This actually hugely worked to my benefit as I did not have to become a Witt Hacker and could do it the other way around. Now begins the arduous process of contacting every credit card company, every social networking site, changing the cell phone voicemail, the home voicemail, the email, the list goes on and on and on. Now all of these freaking things have different rules as to how you can change your name. For some you must wait until you have a photo ID, for others show your marriage certificate and for others still just write a letter. Believe it or not, the ones that I still have yet to change are the ones that require I write a letter. What is this, the prairie days? All the things keeping us connected and saving us time make any small change to your life a monumental undertaking.
In thinking ahead I decided to do everything at once. We were planning on moving, so I would do my big name change in conjunction with my, "guess what we moved announcement." Instead of making things simple, this apparently sends up multiple red flags of massive identity theft threats. Next thing you know all my alerts are letting me know someone must be stealing my name as we speak, not only the new one but the old one too. Sorting through that stack of mail took eons. Needless to say I think I am pretty close to fully transitioning to the Hacker-Witt of it all and I do think it was worth it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What is it about the TV Running

I am a background noise junky, don't get me wrong. From childhood I was known to have the stereo blaring while I did my homework (no TV in my room, good call, Mom). I fell asleep to music. Of course I set the sleep timer because I used the same system to wake me up in the morning. But oh, my goodness, can there never be a moment of quiet in the house? Why is that so offensive? I know mothers the world over are giving me the finger right now because I have it easy, just one man making noise, but still! How mothers keep there sanity is beyond me.
Let's use the very simple example of right this very second. I decided to come out on our deck to do my work for the day. I had the TV on in the den while I was working, but thought I would rather be outside. I turned OFF the TV and came out here and settled in. Chris just worked the night shift and was unwinding with a little "Wii Time" (he cheats, by the way) and then he came out to say "good night" or "good morning" whichever you prefer. I hardly notice the little noise coming from the TV until it switches from the morning news to JERRRY SPRINGER. Seriously, you cannot possibly ignore that trauma drama in the background. Why when you are going to sleep and you have to make it as dark as night would you possibly leave on such garbage? Not only that but obnoxiously LOUD garbage.
This is one area where I NEVER thought I would have something in common with my Dad. He is hyper-sensitive when it comes to sound and noise. He has turned off the television on me at least once in every trip I have ever taken home because he finds it wholly undoable in the morning. TV is only a nighttime thing in his house. I swear, I am becoming him.
To top it off, Chris likes to fall asleep to the TV. Fine by me, I do too. But the guy who is oh so sensitive about his sleep pattern, sometimes takes hours to fall asleep, insomnia boy, can sleep through a nuclear war once he's out. I consistently wake up to some DVD music on repeat or a really loud preview to a tragically expensive movie. Now, I can sleep anytime, anywhere, so I am not wakes me up and I roll right back over after I silence it. I just do not comprehend how this noise does not even disturb him. How it is possible that the "Friends" theme for the millionth time in a row does not permeate his brain and say, "must stop the noise." All in all, I have an entirely new respect for quiet. One I never thought I would have. I guess I am still capable of changing and in good ways :) Thank you, Chris, for making me appreciate my new outside writing experience where I simply hear the fountain and the little bird that keeps popping up to the side of the bushes. Now I sound like Snow White (ugh).