The garage is finally clean!  After 4 hours Saturday and another 5 Sunday of sorting, trashing, sweeping, hosing and deck brushing, our garage is ready for a party!  I can't believe how much stuff we have accumulated in our garage alone (and we cleaned it out last year too).  Luckily for us, our neighbor took most of our gardening materials off our hands, and after a truckload to Goodwill and another truckload to the dumpster, we only have a few things left to get rid of, all of which are listed on Craigslist.  One of which was our grill - last year, our neighbor, Jake, bought a new grill and gave us his old one - a really nice stainless steel Amana grill.  It worked fabulously until one fateful day I grilled some chicken and then left the burners on high on a full tank of propane...all night.  Yes, I realize we are lucky the siding wasn't burnt, let alone the house, but the poor grill was toast.  So we listed it on Craigslist as free yesterday at 1:40 pm.  Within 2 hours literally 30 people had emailed about it.  Anyway, we called the first guy to come get it and this hillbilly in cowboy boots rolls up in this twenty year old beat up rusted out compact car.  He told Joey to just put it in the trunk, tied it up with some twine and away he went!  Now we just have to sell an electric trimmer, lawn mower, circular saw, lawn spreader, and 2 pink doors (I don't even know), and a vacuum.  If anybody's interested...


St. Jude

I decided that I needed something constant to keep me balanced during this process, and on the same token, something to look forward to.  So I've been running.  Dam2Dam is only 2 weeks away (ahhh!), then I'm running the Twin Cities 1/2 Marathon on the 4th of July.  And, since I had such a great experience with the Des Moines half-marathon last October, I decided to run the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) in Washington, D.C. this October.  I'm really excited about it as we will be living right there for one of the top marathons in the world!  Not to mention it's my first marathon and it goes right by all the inspiring monuments.  And, with the pace I've been setting lately, my ultimate goal is to use it as a qualifier for Boston.

So the only problem is, since the MCM is such a popular race, when I went to register on April 16th (registration opened April 7th), it was full!  I couldn't believe that 30,000 spots had already been sold.  It said on their website that a limited number of charity registrations were available, so I found one through St. Jude.  Now I just have to raise some money for them, which is actually kind of cool because I feel like it gives my running a more selfless purpose.  For more information on the St. Jude's Heroes program, here's the link:



We finally got our hotel for New Orleans booked!  After hours (seriously) of searching haunted hotels and B&Bs and then looking at their reviews on TripAdvisor and then going back and forth with Joey, I finally found a place in the French Quarter that is haunted, not overly floral, and not overly expensive: the Omni Royal Orleans.  We got a room through hotels.com for half of the rate on Omni's own website! 

I also finally got another item crossed off my list today.  After one exam (including a urinalysis), three separate blood draws, a second urinalysis, an attempted pick up of incomplete paperwork and finally today's pickup of actually completed paperwork - yes that is 7 visits to the Iowa Clinic in the last 3 weeks - I can finally fax in my medical clearance forms to the government.  So is the government really that particular?  Well, yes, but really, the Iowa Clinic is just that incompetent.  My first visit I brought the paperwork in with me and explained that every test had to be performed and every blank filled out and apparently even though the doctor is considered capable of assessing my health, she is not capable of reading and filling out forms.   First they called me back for a second urinalysis because the first one didn't come out right (even though this was not actually something the government asked for), then they called me back for a second blood draw because they forgot a test, then when Joey went to pick up the paperwork half the blanks were still not filled in and the doctor had written in the margins about my urinalysis (again, even though this information was not requested by the government).  So yesterday I went in for my third blood draw (and we all know how much I love needles) and today they finally had the paperwork completed.  R -EE - diculous.  According to one of the books we bought, Realities of Foreign Service Life, this process is tame compared to the process for medical clearance when leaving some third-world countries.  They call it a "shit kit."  Oh the ways my life is going to change...


Today was a big day - we got rid of the last of our furniture. Our friends Kate and Matt bought our living room set, kitchen table and chairs and our bedroom set today. They were nice enough to leave us our mattress, box spring and bed frame so we don't have to sleep on the floor for the next month, but they took everything else! First we sold the patio furniture last week, then we sold the office furniture, then we sold the futon and now it's all gone. Thank God Mom and Dad were nice enough to loan us a few folding tables so we've got one in the kitchen on which to eat, one in the family room as our "staging area" (Joey suggested we clean out the garage and use that until I reminded him our house is empty) and one in the office. Joey's getting out the old lawn chairs now for the family room and he said "It's like 4 years ago when we bought these things" when we were waiting for our furniture to arrive in the townhouse! Kinda crazy how it's all come full circle.  Moe is totally confused. He really seems at a loss without the furniture. George and Max are loving all the extra room to play. I think I'm really going to miss my dresser tomorrow morning at 5:30 am when I'm scrambling to get to work on time and can't find my underwear.
It really does make things seem a lot more final. When we got home tonight from David's drum show and my cute counter table and chairs were gone it did make me a little sad but it is kind of cathartic and cleansing too - we are no longer going to be defined by our possessions I guess! The only piece of furniture we haven't sold is our settees/banquettes (whatever you want to call them). I can't decide what to do with them. I love them but I know I can't take them with me and I know I can store them but who knows if I'll want them when/if we are done with this adventure. Then there's the little things that I can't decide whether or not to take with me or store, like the art we bought on our honeymoon. If we leave it here and store it, we won't get to enjoy it but then we don't risk it being lost or damaged in transit. Lots of hard decisions!  Every time I move I'm reminded how much crap I accumulate.  Even after selling all the furniture and my parent's garage sale this weekend in which I sold a ton of crap, we still have so much stuff that we need to sort through.  I think learning to live with less is going to be a very valuable experience.


Happy Margarita Day! I asked a woman at the Starbucks drive through today if she'd be celebrating Cinco De Mayo and she replied, "I don't drink. I'm allergic to alcohol." I decided to keep trying and so I said, "Well are you going to have some chips and salsa and maybe some guacamole?" To which I received the terse reply, "No, I will be working all night." Whoa. Sorry, apparently you're allergic to fun too.

Not all the people who come through the Starbucks drive-through are jerks. Some are very giving, like the guy today who handed me a five and told me he'd like to pay for the car behind him and to keep whatever change was left. The girl behind him ended up owing 19 cents so she gave me her card and asked to pay for the car behind her, which was almost $7. So when I informed the woman in the next car her that she had just received her breakfast for free, she didn't even bother to ask how much it would cost to pay for the car behind her! Sometimes the pay-it-forward lasts for twenty or more cars in a row, but then you get the selfish idiots like that girl. Oh well.

Joey and I are selling almost everything we own. Family room furniture, kitchen table and chairs, bedroom furniture, office furniture, patio furniture, loads of books, a punching bag and that's just the beginning. The majority we've listed on Craigslist, and wow, are those people fun to deal with. Today I get an email from a guy about the punching bag. "Do you have gloves?" he asks. We do. I tell him we'll sell him the bag (listed for $45) and the gloves for $50. He writes back and says that all he has is $40. So I told him that we'd happily sell him the bag for that. So then he writes back again and says "How about both for $45?" Now where did you get that other $5, dude? I thought you only had $40? Ugh!


Starbucks rant

Okay I can't seem to get over this and so I'm hoping that writing it down will make me feel better.

Yesterday an order came through the drive-through for 2 Venti (24 oz) Caramel Frappucinos with extra caramel sauce.  I made the chemically ridden, fattening monstrosities with extra caramel and went to the window to hand them out.  Sure enough, waiting, practically drooling, was an enormously fat couple.  The woman was so fat she barely fit in the seat of her minivan.  Seriously.  So I give them their drinks, shut the window, scoff, and move on with my day.

Two hours later, the drive-through dings, and we get another order for 2 Venti Extra Caramel Frappucinos.  Lots of people order this crap, so not thinking anything of it, I make them and go to the window to hand them out.  It's the same people!   Their 1500 calorie drinks weren't enough to tide them over for more than 2 hours and they shamelessly came back for more!  I couldn't hide my surprise and said "You're back!"  And they glared at me like I was the one with the problem!  You'd think they'd at least go to a different drive-through! 

So glad that my taxes are going to subsidize those people's healthcare.  Because they can afford $20 in Frappucinos a day but not their health premiums.

I really think that if they come through twice today I'm going to tell them that since bartenders are allowed to use their discretion as to when to stop serving their customers, as a barista, I'm using my professional discretion to stop serving their fat asses.