Tuesday, May 31, 2011

can i be a renter again, please?

New research shows over 60% of the financial collapse's toxic assets were created by power drills.

Sometimes I think owning things, like a house or a car is great - you can drill holes, plant a garden, paint, whatever.  Sometimes, though, it totally sucks. 
I had a really great Memorial Day weekend.  It was our first Fire Island weekend of the season, as well as Kathy's college reunion.  I got my first really weird sunburn from inadequate sunscreen application (one-inch square in the middle of my chest and a sunburned armpit), which sounds terrible but is actually a fun reminder of lying on the beach, and happens every year anyway. 
In preparation for the college reunion/Fire Island driving, we had to get our '99 Jetta fixed.  It was running okay, but didn't sound all that great, so we thought we would take it in.  $656 later, the car ran exactly the same.  For real, no discernible difference.  We drove it out to Fire Island on Saturday afternoon, and, sitting at a stoplight, it stalled.  "Weird," Kathy said.  "I haven't stalled a car in years."  (dun dun dun, ominous foreshadowing). 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

kinda soon

So, all in all, I consider myself a pretty smart person.  But there is one thing I cannot manage to keep in my head.  A schedule.  Kathy has told me at least 1,000 times what we are doing this weekend, and how all the logistics are going to work out.  I do know that tomorrow we are headed to Kathy's college reunion (no, I won't tell you what year) and that we are going out to Fire Island Saturday through Monday.  That's it.  Those are all the details I can remember.

Today, I went down to the garage to drop off our car to see if we can get it fixed before we leave for our weekend plans.  When the garage guy asked me when we needed it back, I was completely stymied.  Were we supposed to drive somewhere to meet her college roommates (a.k.a. our carpool buddies) tomorrow?  Don't know.  If so, what time are we leaving?  I think in the morning, sometime, sorta early.  Could we pick it up Saturday in between Providence and Fire Island?  Are we even coming home on Saturday?  Beats me.

Kathy, understandably, gets really frustrated by this.  I can keep song lyrics in my head after hearing a song once.  I remember everything she has EVER said in a fight (usually a direct quote).  I can rattle off all of her passwords after hearing them once, and probably her social security number.  But I cannot, for the life of me, keep our plans straight. 


In the end, I just had to tell the garage man that I had no idea when we needed the car back, but I was sure it was "kinda soon."  I'm sure he appreciated all the helpful guidance and will push us right on up to the top of the list.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Hi.  Have you scrolled through my blogroll lately?  If not, please do.  I promise you won't be disappointed.  Although if you are, I take no responsibility.  Also, if you know of interesting blogs/other crap you think I should read daily, please do send them my way (no promises though, k? I am very busy and important).  You can comment with a link, or email me at taupeandlime at gmail dot com if you are feeling shy. 


I tend to think of this blog in terms of taupe posts and lime posts.  The Taupes being about serious or heavy topics, the Limes being lighthearted and short.  I try to keep it rather even between the two.  You know, balance, what have you.

Anyway, I have been feeling a bit taupe, over here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

surprise party

Last night, Kathy and I went into the city for our birthday date.  First we had to stop by a bar and grab her briefcase, which she left there on Thursday. (Don't ask why her briefcase was at a bar.  It was a really long, convoluted story, which I completely believed.)  And then it was a surprise party!  For me!  I was even more surprised than I otherwise would have been, because I wasn't wearing my glasses, and therefore did not recognize my own sister or about 20 of my good friends until I was standing right in front of them and they were yelling "surprise" at me.  And even then I was a little confused until I saw my sister LITERALLY a foot in front of me and she said "Happy Birthday."

You may think, because of my introvert-ness, that I would not want a surprise party.  You would be wrong; it  was really fun and I loved it.  One of the best things about a surprise party is that I did not have a chance to do any worrying about whether anyone would actually show up -- Kathy got to do all that worrying for me.  Although there was a little moment of humiliation toward the beginning of the night when everyone was singing Happy Birthday to me, where I buried my face in Kathy's shoulder and could not come out.  Anyway, in case you are getting any ideas, how about a list of suggestions for throwing a surprise party for an introvert (or really anyone, I think).  AKA, why my party rocked, and ways that it could have gone seriously awry.
  • DO make sure the person wants a party.  Kathy did this by asking if I wanted a party on the following night.  Since I did, there was a pretty good chance that I wasn't going to be super-irritated by the party last night.
  • DO NOT forget your camera.  Otherwise, you might make it through the whole night with only one picture from someone's phone, in which I look like this:
(I have cropped out friends who might not want internet fame,
including the one who appears to be strangling me)

Friday, May 20, 2011

falling out of windows

Bella the Cat is afraid of pretty much everything.  For ages, she would not allow anyone other than me or Kathy to see her, let alone touch her.  This all changed last summer when she fell out the second-story window.

(Bella, on high alert, like usual)

We had been away for the weekend, and about an hour after we got back, I noticed I hadn't seen Bella.  I started looking for her.  Eventually, the whole family joined in.  We looked everywhere -- under beds, in closets, upstairs, downstairs, behind the couch, etc.  Finally, Kathy said, "Uh oh," and pulled back the curtain of a window that Bella likes to sleep on the sill of.  The screen was partially popped out.  Right in the corner where Bella likes to sleep.  I immediately started crying.  This caused the kids to cling to me, sobbing in fear.  The four of us were a mess.  Kathy sucked in a deep breath, and stuck her head out the window to look at the ground below, anticipating a mangled Bella carcass.  "Oh thank god.  She's not there," Kathy said.  We all let out a sigh of relief, and moved our search party outside.  In the wet grass, in the dark, with flashlights. 

After about 20 minutes of crawling around in the wet grass looking under hedges, Kathy finally located Bella underneath a hedge, about 5 feet from where she would have landed when she fell out the window.  She was cowering against the house, on high alert.  I was poised to grab her as Kathy nudged her out from under the hedge with a baseball bat.  She suddenly shot past me like an arrow, and bounded off into the darkness.  The kids and I began bawling with renewed vigor.  "SHE'S GOING TO DIE OUT HERE! SHE'LL GET HIT BY A CAR!" I wailed.  "WHERE IS BELLA? WHAT IF SOMETHING EATS HER?" the kids wept.  "Don't worry, we'll find her," the only rational person replied.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

rain, rain

I looked at the weather report recently,

and thought, "GREAT!  The vegetables will really take off!" Some things really are all about perspective. 

I have pretty consistently maintained over the years that I've lived in New York that I do. not. like. seasons.  Well, specifically, I have always rather stubbornly said that I don't like seasons that aren't summer.  I feel like, finally, I have to soften this position.  I am really, really liking this spring.  And I was actually ready for last year's suffocatingly hot summer to come to a close (of course, it helped that the malfunction of the air conditioner in our car coincided with one last heat wave).  So, sorry Winter, although I have had a lifetime to inure myself to soggy socks and freezing temperatures, you have yet to earn my favor.  But I am really getting into the other three seasons.

By the way, am I the only one who is consistently confounded when the iPhone weather picture is a sun that is dripping rain?

P.S.  In other news, I re-took that GRE practice test that I took last week, and I'm just saying that I am firmly above the eightieth percentile in both verbal and math.  I did not re-do the writing part yet, but I am no longer living in fear of not getting accepted into a single graduate program.  Whew.

Monday, May 16, 2011

the point

Lately it seems like I can't be bothered to write anything.  Strictly speaking, that is not true.  I have written loads of posts.  I just haven't finished any of them.  I keep writing paragraphs and deleting them, over and over again.

Kathy was kind of blue last night, and when I asked her why, she said she had Sunday Night Feeling.  I realized rather suddenly that I did not.  Not at all.  She also asked me, at one point over the weekend, why I was being so nice to her.  I did not even realize that I was being particularly nice, but I observed that, possibly, I had just been so rancorous for my last six months of BigLaw employment that my "normal" state seemed extra nice.

So, what have I been doing with myself?  I've been gardening, baking, and painting A and B's bedroom. I started studying for the GRE. I've been reading. I've been vacuuming more frequently and doing my own grocery shopping, both of which make my inner control freak smile. I am content, for now.

But I have been writing blog posts that I can't seem to finish because I can't really put my finger on the point of what I've written.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

seventeenth percentile

The time has come for me to start studying for the GRE.  I started reading through my GRE book yesterday, and discovered (to my horror) that they are changing the test in August of 2011.  I would rather NOT do some crazy new test that I can't prepare for, so I am going to have to take it by July.  Which actually is pretty good timing, IF I start studying now.  Good thing I looked at the book, huh?

In case you have not applied to grad school recently, the GRE has three sections: writing, math, and verbal.  The math and verbal are basically like harder versions of the SAT.  The writing is some kind of crap like nothing I have ever seen before.  The writing prompts are not really writing prompts at all, it's just some crazy statement, and then you are supposed to "discuss."  I am sure there is some kind of formula for scoring well on them, like there were for the issue spotting essays when I took the bar, I just have to learn the system.

Anyway, I took the practice test today, and holy crap.  I scored in the 43rd percentile for math and verbal, and in the SEVENTEENTH percentile on the writing.  Apparently, my gut feeling was correct and I have no idea what they are looking for when they tell me to "discuss" a statement.  But the seventeenth percentile for writing is not so great for someone who wants to get into an English program, is it?  This is the percentage of GRE test takers that scored higher on the writing section than I did:


Just in case the full impact of being in the seventeenth percentile didn't hit you the first time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

things I secretly do when Kathy isn't paying attention

  1. Put pieces of citrus fruit down the garbage disposal so it smells nice.
  2. Water the lawn.
  3. Sit in front of my google reader for 2 hours, drinking 3 cups of coffee.
  4. Nap.
  5. Plan and sometimes execute hyper-domestic tasks, like baking bread.
I have done all of these things except nap already today.  She busted me doing number 2, so I figure that I might as well come clean.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Springtime in New York

Yesterday, Kathy and I got a chance to experience what Spring is about in the city (for us, anyway).

Sitting outside for happy hour!  Kathy actually hates sitting on the street (she thinks it's weird how everyone keeps walking by you all the time, and looking at you -- she would prefer a roof deck or something) but I love it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I come from a "car family."  My dad believed in teaching us to do small fixes ourselves, whenever we were too broke to get our cars fixed showed the slightest interest.  One of the principle lessons I learned during childhood is that when something is wrong with your car, it will not just go away.  A car is not a living thing.  It is non-organic.  It will not heal itself.  You need to fix it, before it gets worse.  And yet, throughout my life, I have tried very had to ignore this important lesson.  Case in point:

I mentioned before that I glued some PVC pipes together in an effort to repair the sprinkler pipe that burst over the winter.  I did not mention that I inserted a metal threaded portion of pipe into the plastic threaded portion of pipe without any sealant on it, then proceeded to screw the two pieces together so tightly I could not get them apart, in spite of damage to my hand in the attempt.

sex on the beach

Kathy:  Do you want to go see "Sex on the Beach" for $23?
Me:  What's that?
Kathy: '...The English-language debut of the acclaimed Spanish play about the sex tourist industry in the Spanish Caribbean features three characters... who confront their demons in a hilarious and dramatic fashion, shining a light on the other side of paradise...'
Me:  No thanks.
Kathy:  They've paired it with a Brazilian wax!

The marketing people for whatever list she is subscribed to could use a lesson in subtlety.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

housewifery for boys

Yesterday, I was super housewifey.  Kathy needed to run an errand on the Upper West Side on her way to work, which I recalled at the last minute was not actually on the way to work anymore, now that she has to take the train instead of driving.  So I drove her in, waited while she did her errand, and then drove her to work.  I got home, and straightened up the whole, entire house (which mostly involved picking up the most random assortment of toys and stuff I would consider garbage but have been told is not, and putting it on the bed of the appropriate child, for him or her to take care of after school).  I then drove to the grocery store, realized I forgot my purse, drove home, drove back to the grocery store, and bought food for a family of five for an entire week for just over $100 (that is cheap, for those of you who do not regularly shop for five people).  After that, I drank wine and made this fancy Food Network dinner (resisting the urge to cut down on the heavy cream and butter).  While wearing an apron.  With chickens on it.