Archive | August, 2010

I love…

26 Aug

…that people who search “china bathrooms pop a squat” are directed to my blog. Just wanted to share that.

TV for sale–original box!

26 Aug

I am trying my hand at Craigslist again and not having much luck.

Craigslist is great, don’t get me wrong. Without it we’d still be paying to list our phone number in the newspaper classified section under “TVs for sale.” And that’s why I like Craigslist–you can communicate with all the crazies via email, so when they ask stupid questions you can just hit delete, no cell phone minutes wasted. I always put “email if interested” in my ads because I’m not a big fan of giving out my phone number and talking to strangers. I like to seal the deal via email and only speak on the phone when the person calls to say they are downstairs and ready for pick up. Yet lately it seems everyone replies to my ad with “I am interested, call me.” Maybe this is just me being weird, but I don’t want to call these people. I don’t want to verbally haggle with them. The phone-happy are not the worst people out there though. What I can’t stand are the people who ask stupid questions. In my TV listing I wrote that we had the original box and could include it. So of course someone wrote, “Do you have the original box?” I’m also trying to sell my microwave for the second time. I had to include “Stand not included” because last time I got more emails for the microwave stand in the picture than for the actual microwave. If I were selling the stand, I would have made a separate listing for it, or titled the listing “Microwave and stand.” I think the worst people, though, are the ones that schedule a time to come pick up the item and then don’t show up. No call, no email. I understand there’s a lot of crap on Craigslist and you may have found a better deal, but don’t leave me hanging.

I had high hopes last night. Within a couple hours of listing my TV I got four responses. I told each of them it was still available and was going to accept whoever could come get it first. I wrote back to each of them asking when they could come get it. No one wrote back.

I guess this is the price we pay for free classifieds.

Electricity

25 Aug

I am learning a lot about electricity lately. Did you know a TV uses three to four times its average wattage when it turns on? So if you want to be more energy efficient, leave the TV on instead of turning it off to run to the bathroom and turning it back on. Last weekend we drove out to the suburbs to visit an international electronics store. I did not know such a place existed. It turns out a lot goes into bringing a TV overseas–not just the physically getting it there part, but you have to make sure it will work once you get it there. We had to buy an expensive TV converter that does something with the hertz, as well as a power transformer. I guess I’m a little ignorant when it comes to electricity and voltage. I just assumed we could plug all of our stuff in using those little travel adapters. But oh no. Those only work for curling irons and computers. If you want to power the big stuff like a TV, stereo and blender, you need a transformer. It’s about the size of a car battery but it weighs a whopping 35 pounds! We bought a 3,000 watt one just to be safe. I do not want to blow any fuses or start a fire trying to watch TV or make a smoothie.

Voltage is a pain in the butt, especially when trying to relocate internationally. I really wish countries could have had a way to contact each other around the time electricity was invented so that they could ask each other questions like, “Hey, we’re thinking about using 220 volts, what about you guys?” But I guess back then no one imagined people would be traveling internationally or Americans would actually want to go back to England–that’s just madness! I can deal with language barriers and different currencies, but this whole voltage thing really grinds my gears.

Purse time capsules

20 Aug

I began the packing process just now by deciding which purses need to come with me to London. I have a bad habit of switching purses without emptying them, leaving me with what are essentially time capsules for 2006 and 2007. Inside I found an abundance of used tissues, pens and mints but also some random things–my plane ticket from when I went to New York in 2006, a train ticket from Rome (also from 2006), as well as a little drawing of myself one of my travelmates drew on a napkin while we were waiting for pasta one night. I also found two Graeter’s ice cream temporary tattoos. When and why did Graeter’s give out tattoos? I have absolutely no memory of ever grabbing them, but it seems I did, and I shoved them in my purse. I also found a bunch of receipts. Apparently I went to Wendy’s in April of 2007 and just got a frosty.

I have a feeling this is going to be the most fun (and easiest) thing to pack. I am not looking forward to deciding which shoes and clothes need to come with me. Just now I counted how many skirts I have– 44. I own 44 skirts. How did that happen? I could wear a different skirt every day for a month and a half. Of course I don’t, I wear the same three. I think packing will remind me of clothes I didn’t know I had as well as encourage me to get rid of the things I haven’t worn in years–as much as that kills me. I really need to work on my attachment to inanimate objects issues.

Update

20 Aug

Stole this from eBay when I thought I might have to replace it

My ring has been found! …in Hong Kong. They are shipping it to my parent’s house and hopefully it gets there by Christmas. Hong Kong mail isn’t exactly the fastest. I’m just happy it’s not lost forever!

Nutmeat

17 Aug

I discovered a glorious thing today at Trade Joe’s. Are you ready for this? –Pistachios. De-shelled. I did not know such a thing existed. Here I was all this time nearly breaking fingernails and chipping teeth trying to get pistachios out of their shells, and Trader Joe’s is selling them shell-less. “Pistachio nutmeat” the package reads. (Hehe…”nutmeat.”) It’s such an odd sensation to be able to put multiple pieces of nutmeat into your mouth at one time. I’m used to struggling to get one nut de-shelled. I almost feel like I’m cheating eat handfuls of pistachio nutmeat. Pistachios aren’t supposed to be enjoyed like this, right?

Losing it

15 Aug

It’s good to be home… for the most part. I guess I got it into my head that returning to my apartment after 25 days would be some glorious moment–you know, running in and collapsing on the bed with a gigantic sigh of relief or something. Instead it was hot. And smelly. It’s hard to describe what my apartment smells like. Well, imagine you had shrimp,  chocolate-covered raspberry ice cream bars, blueberries and meatballs all in your freezer. And then while you are out of the country a flood causes your building to lose power for three weeks and all that stuff in your freezer melts or rots. That’s what my apartment smells like. Actually, now it smells like that mixed with bleach.

Yes, it’s good to be home.

Except I can’t really focus on what it’s like to sleep in my own bed again or have all my clothes in an actual closet. All I can think about is my ring. I am not normally the type that loses things. I’ve had the same cell phone for three years and counting. Yet somehow after living in seven different hotels and one house over the past 25 days I managed to lose my ring. Stephen gave it to me on our first anniversary and I’ve grown quite fond of it. I only wear it on special occasions. The last time I remember wearing it was at Charles’ wedding in Hong Kong, the last stop on our trip. So that means it is either in Hong Kong or in Chicago. That narrow it down, right? Normally when I lose something I retrace my steps or try to remember the last time I saw the thing. But today my mind is mush. Did I wear my ring last week? Did I wear it on the airplane back to the States? I have absolutely no idea. It’s not like me to leave something at a hotel, I always do a thorough inspection before checking out. The ring is not small and I know I would have seen it lying on a counter. But why can’t I find it now? It’s driving me nuts. I’m hoping one of the hotels I’ve called will tell me they found it or it will randomly appear sometime over the next few days.

Misplacing my ring isn’t the only thing that makes me think I’m losing my mind. Yesterday I got gas in my car (for the first time since May…I don’t drive enough). A few blocks after leaving the gas station Stephen informed me that people were pointing at me. Why were they pointing at me? Because I left my gas tank cap open. Not just the gas tank door, the cap too. How is that even possible? How could I forget to do something so obvious? It blows my mind and honestly frightens me a little.

You know what I could use now? A chocolate-covered raspberry ice cream bar.

Crap.