Author Archives: guestpost12

Live Texting House Hunters Davidson (a guest post by Jordie)

The other day I was flipping t.v. channels when I heard this couple saying they were moving to the “Charlotte suburb of Davidson, NC.” I accidentally threw the remote at the floor in an overzealous attempt to halt my autopilot-like channel surfing. Batteries went everywhere. The show was House Hunters, where couples complain their way through homes saying “Oh wow!” as they enter every single room of every single domicile. Apparently no one in this country respects a good budget anymore.

Anyway, I decided to live-text what was happening to some fellow Davidson College grads. Below is the transcript:

“There’s a House Hunters on in Davidson.”

“The couple likes the ‘downtown area.’ Downtown. Sheesh.”

“I don’t recognize anything.”

“They don’t mention the college at all.”

“I think they might be in the Beatty St. area. The wife hates everything.”

“They just got shakes at the Soda Shop. Chocolate from the looks of it.”

“I think I just saw the registrar.”

“This next house is ‘4 miles from the center of town.’ IN WHAT DIRECTION!!!???”

“They hate how close the houses are but love the new construction.”

“He works in Charlotte and commutes. WHERE IS THIS?!”

“There was a commercial for Michigan. Just Michigan.”

“Bonus room!”

“They chose house number one. The wife hates it.”

“Overall it went well.”

There IS such a thing as a free lunch, and I ate it. (a guest post by Jordie)

It is no surprise that AM and I are cheap frugal. But we’re not the only ones! So is our third half, Jordie. He generously offered to write us a post about… his lunch? Anyway, enjoy!

In the workplace, people tend to get all excited about the littlest things. I am no exception.  For example, I got really excited about getting some free cake last week when co-worker Amy was having a goodbye party. I looked forward to it all day. Hence this gchat:

Click to enlarge

I also got really excited when one of my co-workers accidentally closed her pen in her laptop and it exploded all over the screen.

Imagine my excitement when someone at work told Anna Marie and me that we were going to get free lunch on Wednesday. I talked about it all week.

When I asked our co-worker where this lunch was coming from, she said something about having connections and a  Marriott hotel. I didn’t quite follow, but I knew it was going to be great.

Finally, the big day arrived. Around 11:15 am, a mysterious man and woman with Russian accents came in with boxes of food and then left. The whole thing was pretty confusing and exciting. I called Anna Marie and whispered into the phone, “I see labeled lunch bags! Two boxes of them! One of them is labeled ‘chicken wrap!’ Wait! I see one labeled ‘protein pack!’ What is that?! Omigosh!”

“What I want to know is, are there drinks?” she replied. She was whispering as well even though her office wasn’t anywhere near the action.

“I don’t know.”

“Omigosh!”

Click.

Turns out, there were drinks. 20 FL OZ Pepsi! I was bouncing off the walls.

When I got my bag (it was tuna), I did a jig. I was so happy.

Dances with Tuna

Guys, Anna Marie was really happy too.

Even theater majors can’t fake joy like this.

As you can see, co-worker LRoss wasn’t quite as impressed as we were.

Not as enthused

After we calmed down, we took inventory of our bags. They included:
-A sandwich
-An apple
-Chips
-Some warm coleslaw
-A napkin
-A knife
-A fork

I laid it all out nicely on my desk and we stepped back to admire it.

That’s whole grain bread, son!

Next, it was time to eat it. It didn’t really matter what it tasted like. I was gonna love it.

Highlight of my day

In the end, the only clue I found about where this lunch might have originated was on the napkin.

Eat. Drink. Connect. But where???

Unfortunately, “The Bistro” is about as generic a title as they come.

I am realizing now that I just wrote a post on someone else’s blog about what I ate for lunch on Wednesday.

A sandwich.

An Act of Almost-Kindness by a Really Bad Samaritan (a guest post by Josh)

Shabbat shalom, y’all! We are once again delighted to have Josh back to share with us a story of hope, overcoming adversity, and mangoes. Yay Josh!

I was enjoying a lovely spring morning on a post-yogalates high when I discovered some random jerk had broken the driver side window on my car. What follows is a story of the most expensive way I’ve ever “cleaned” a window — the rest of my windows are still filthy — and my evaporating masculinity.

What’s the thought process when you discover your window’s broken? First, I immediately took a picture and texted it to my coworker and my sister. Then I struggled with the internal debate of whether or not to put it on Facebook — sympathy points vs. the desperate call for attention and pity. After deciding that the texts were enough of a dissemination of the news, I snapped into actually productive action. I looked up on Yelp the closest auto glass place with high reviews and spoke with a very helpful man. I consulted with him about whether or not to call the police (answer: pointless) and whether to deal with insurance (answer: pointless). He said a glass man would be headed my way soon.

Without hesitation, I grabbed my canvas grocery bag to walk to the store to buy apples, mangoes, oranges, and stamps, and to try to forget about the whole thing. At the grocery store, my neighbor called me to report that my window had been broken. I thanked him excessively for keeping an eye out and letting me know about my window. He added that he had slept with the windows open last night and didn’t hear a thing. He’s either a heavy sleeper, which is probably why me blaring Meek Mill at all hours appears to have no effect on him, or the burglar who broke the window was just that good. We are talking such a good cat burglar that I still cannot find any sign that anything has been stolen from my car. Maybe, weeks later, it will dawn on me that they took that free promotional pen for Bacardi that I got at a bar, featuring a tip that lights up and flashes orange. Oh, or better yet, the cat burglar will be holding up the line in front of me at the grocery store, and I’ll see them slowly signing a check with a flashing orange pen. My stomach will drop out all Keyser Soze Usual Suspects style as I slo-mo spill my canvas bag of mangoes, apples, oranges, and stamps.

Soon enough, after a nice discussion with my checker-outer at the grocery store about the iPhone vs. the Android (answer: iPhone is better), I met my glass man. He had called me while I was at the grocery store to tell me that he was already at the scene of the crime, and I told him I’d have to meet him. I asked him if he could get started on the window, and he asked me if the car’s alarm was activated. I very confidently said, “No,” beginning the decline of me and the glass man’s relationship.

When I arrived to my car, the hood was slightly ajar, and he had begun work. In a paranoid Dateline News, 20/20-esque move, thinking I was the latest in the epidemic of stolen catalytic converters, I asked him if my hood had always been popped . Holding a cigarette like a bad ass, he looked at me and said, “I did that. Your alarm was on.” This led to my nervous, overly complex explanation that I thought my alarm didn’t work because my remote control key doesn’t work, which then led to a confusing conversation to how I open my car door, with me just answering a few times, “the key.” He proceeded to set my alarm off a few more times and generally look pissed.

He then asked me if a plug was nearby to vacuum my car. I said yes, but we would have to move it to the driveway. My door was half-dismantled and glass was everywhere, so I said that I didn’t know how that could be done. He smirked and said, “I can do it. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen something like this.” It was like we were both at a homicide scene, and I’m the rookie detective throwing up in the corner. Nonchalantly, cigarette still festering in one hand, he hopped in my car, sat on a bunch of glass, and backed my car into the driveway. These were three things I wouldn’t do: (1) smoke, (2) sit in glass, and (3) BACK INTO MY DRIVEWAY. We were about 10 minutes into this thing, and he basically had me completely owned. Let’s not get into the fact that I’m pretty sure while I was buying mangoes he dismantled my door with one hand WHILE SMOKING. I get nervous just being around a lit cigarette, worrying that the person will accidentally graze my arm and give me a cigarette burn.

He worked and worked while I sat on my outside stairs, texting, checking Facebook, taking iPhone pictures, essentially knowing that there was no way to salvage myself in this situation. I might as well fall into my natural tendencies, take a few pictures of the beautiful weather, the way the light fell on a nearby tree or the clouds passing overhead. If my glass man saw me do this, I didn’t care. I had already tipped my hand with the alarm incident and fear of driving my own car.

I snapped out of my daydreaming when the glass man firmly said to me, “Do you have any hand soap or dish soap?” I popped up and said yes without questioning why he needed it. I realized that I absolutely could not bring him down my hand soap because it was in a seal-shaped container that I bought at the Japanese $2 store.

Instead, I opted for my Mrs. Meyer’s CLEAN DAY dish soap, which, when price-compared to something like Ajax, is basically liquid gold. I brought it down and hovered around my glass man. He sternly said, “Place it down on the ground.” I set it near him and retreated to my shady stoop. He started indiscriminately squirting the dish soap into the rubber groove that the window slides into to lubricate it. The window was struggling to stay in the groove. He tried to guide it in and would every now and then hit my door really hard. I don’t know if this was functional, out of frustration, or to show me just how hard he could hit something as I flinched and jerked from the loud sound.

He got more and more and pissed and finally seemed to call it a day, proclaiming the job “good enough.” He operated the window in front of me as it creaked and moaned. He said that I should stick some WD-40 in there. I proudly said, “I have some upstairs. Should I get it?” He raised his eyebrows in disbelief and said, “Yeah.” I triumphantly marched upstairs, manhood restored and maybe even inflated. I could see the blue can in my mind with its skinny red straw, and I imagined gruffly handing it to him like a man in an auto shop, maybe throwing in an “Eeer ya go” with a heavy New York accent. Of course when I get upstairs, I can’t find the WD-40 anywhere. I frantically tear my house apart. I text my sister, “Do you have my wd40?” (Answer: Hmmmm…I can’t remember.)

I sheepishly walk back outside to report back that I can’t find it. He looks less than surprised, and gives me a “thought so” look. The payment is made, and I wonder if I should bring up the fact that my window was broken but now is creaky and moaning. I decide that I’d rather just get to work, and even though it is a gorgeous day I’ll drive with my window up. This all works until I get to my fancy parking lot, where I have to find my parking card next to my orange flashy pen, roll down the window, and hold my card up to the lot reader. As I find myself in this moment, the window just squeaks and groans, wondering what the hell happened.

An Above-Average Evening of Mediocrity (a guest post by Josh)

Y’all, AM and I are feeling super-ritzy today because our dear friend Josh called and requested he write a guest post for this blog! Flattery is the way to our hearts, so well-played, Josh! I fear he is severely overestimating our readership, but we are delighted to spotlight his great story nonetheless. Enjoy!

I love Anna Marie and Lee’s hilarious recaps of daily life in Houston, so I asked if I could contribute a post about my trip last night to the Houston Aeros minor leaguer hockey game. I don’t have a blog, but I wanted to write something. Lee said this seemed fine, so here we are. (Just for the record: my first appearance in this blog was Anna Marie’s post about ice sculpting, where a picture of me was included giving a regrettable thumb’s up).

This was my first Houston Aeros game, and I was immediately awed by a showcase of how to do things halfway. As a pro sporting spectacle, it lacks money, sponsors you’ve heard of — unless you’re a “sun spot” fanatic — and the quality of the game is a little sloppy. I expected a ton of fights, but was only teased by a few pushes and shoves. But it was my first hockey game, so just being there and hearing the slap of the puck and people getting slammed against the boards was pretty gratifying.

We arrived at the game and things got off to a rocky start. My sister’s purse was VERY thoroughly searched, and security was not pleased to discover her water bottle. Judging by the fan base, the assumption is that this is filled with straight vodka that she plans to chug and then “get in someone’s face.” (There was one guy wearing a camo-Aeros jersey who banged on the glass every time a player got near it — sort of a reverse zoo gorilla situation if that makes sense.) My sister’s water bottle is very fancy (Fischers LOVE water) and cost more than her ticket, so she had to go back to the car to save it.

After that hurdle, we found our seats, and I had the extreme pleasure of awkwardly asking a woman wearing a thousand Aeros buttons, an Aeros jersey, and an eye patch to move so we could get in. I realized after asking that she was disabled and was having a hard time getting up. I offered that we could go around instead of asking her to move, and she angrily screamed, “I”M ALREADY UP.” I really felt welcomed into the Aeros community.

A child was then sitting in my seat, and I had to ask a string of nearly 9,000,000 children to all move down one seat. Luckily a parent intervened and made it happen because the kids all looked at me with complete befuddlement, as if I had just passed out complex math problems.

Once situated, we realized that a 7:30 starting time had been inexplicably delayed to 8:15 or so, and we watched the zambonis go around and around. When the game was finally underway, the Aeros appeared to be in control with the Bulldogs on their heels. A goal was scored fairly quickly, and we all went completely nuts. It was also an introduction to the fact that jock jams are basically a form of crack for children. As soon as something like “Whoomp There It Is” goes on, kids in the stands gyrated and convulsed uncontrollably. I imagine they’ve had to outlaw any jock jams ever being played over elementary or middle school PA systems because it would cause pandemonium. Also, the biggest moment of applause and uproar throughout the night, including goals, was when they played Justin Bieber’s “Baby.”

My friend with the eye patch seemed to be the only real fan, and during slow moments of play would just shout in a groaning tone, “BORING.” Also, during bad calls, she would hold a small voodoo doll-like ref puppet hanging from a noose. It was disturbing. She also had some kind of zebra thing hanging from her seat that I don’t really want to know the significance of or how it might relate to the dark arts. She also liked to hold really small signs with lettering on them that were maybe visible from no more than 5 or 10 feet, like an eye test for fans. Because I was (thankfully) so close to her, I did catch one directed at the ref that said, “ARE YOU PREGNANT? BECAUSE YOU’VE MISSED 2 PERIODS.” This was not only inappropriate for the number of children in the audience, but also unnecessarily limited to use during the third period. I did not see if maybe she had a series that fixed the number to match just how many periods the pregnant ref had missed.

Speaking of refs, this appears to be the most horrifying job choice that one can make. Players and pucks fly at you with reckless abandon, and you have to hop up onto the bench like a rodeo clown trying to get away from the bull. I have no idea how they can concentrate on the game. I would be so concerned for my own safety that I don’t think I would ever make a call during a game, and if I ever blew my whistle, it would probably just be out of random fear and panic. Luckily, I was seated next to my friend Kat who could explain hockey’s rules, some of which seem kind of subjective, probably because they realize most are arbitrarily made in a life or death situation.

Eventually the Bulldogs tied up the score, and the game reached a stalemate. The Bulldogs appeared to be faster on the ice and better passers, but our mighty Aeros did not flinch. As the periods ended, we were treated to what can best be summarized as a bad high school talent show. They isolated a grouping of children from different schools in an unused section of stands (of which there was no shortage), and these children would perform a song or “talent.” One consisted of them banging bright, orange buckets probably purchased that morning from home depot. It was like a DJ Screwed version of Stomp as they slowly moved buckets around and eventually used drum sticks to create a very unintentionally syncopated abstract beat.

When we weren’t watching cobbled together high school or middle school renditions of songs, they tried to get fan interaction going to get us all completely pumped. One of these was a very literal form of pumping — fist pumping. It was gratuitously long, over two minutes, and people fatigued as soon as they realized all they were doing was fist pumping toward no specific aim or goal — remember, there’s no money or significant sponsors so free trinkets aren’t given away; everything’s for the love. I tried to capture this fist pumping in a video. They could not let a child win a free tan from sun spot, so they gave away a seat upgrade. The jumbotron camera laboriously tracked the lucky family as they slowly made the journey down multiple rows to their new and improved seats. It was excruciatingly long and felt like some piece of experimental film.

They also did a giveaway where everyone tries to throw a puck in a very small basket to win money from a casino. It was awesome to see all the pucks fly from the crowd onto the ice — imagine thousands of black pebbles skipping and slipping on a pure white canvas. The contest itself was like a bad carny game and appeared to be basically impossible. 1. To actually land it in from the stands, you’d have to be able to throw a puck a significant distance that would require professional baseball skills. 2. The basket was not much larger than a puck.

Between these halftime/timeout oddities, the game was a nail biter. The Bulldogs tied it 2-2, and it went into sudden death overtime. The Bulldogs won on an uncontested slapshot. As we walked out a man angrily summed it up best, yelling to no one in particular, “SHIT SHOT. THAT WAS A SHIT SHOT.”