CluelessMe – At a Loss

So my husband sent me a tweet at @nikkiflores yesterday, directing me towards an article that he said he could relate to: 15 Things Men Lose to Relationships. Upon reading said article, I couldn’t resist putting my two cents in…

Alleged Loss No. 1: Games and Toys
My husband has a Nintendo 64, PS3 and an xBox 360…Not to mention all the recording studio “toys” I’ve allowed him to accumulate. And let’s not forget that I was the one who convinced my husband to get a 52-inch HDTV. Hardly a loss at all.

Alleged Loss No. 2: Hanging Out with the Guys
Granted, my hubby checks for scheduling conflicts with me (He so lovingly refers to be as his blackberry), but it’s rare that I prevent him from hanging with the boys. In fact, I prefer to chat up my fav gal pals sans men. So…No loss here.

Alleged Loss No. 3: Your Work Focus
Refer back to my explanation to Alleged Loss No. 1 for this one. Note how I said he has a lot of studio recording toys? Yeah…My husband has excelled more at his work since meeting me. He wouldn’t be able to get all that studio recording and remastering time in if it weren’t for me. In fact, since marrying me, he’s gained in this area.

Alleged Loss No. 4: Keeping Your Own Schedule
Fine…I admit, my hubby’s schedule does have to coincide with mine now that we’re married…But I’d like to point out that this has nothing to do with us being hitched. It does, however, have everything to due with the fact that we only have one car. Next!

Alleged Loss No. 5: No Drama, No Arguments
Oh come on! Anyone who lives with someone is gonna get into arguments and disagreements. Besides…My husband’s lucky cos he has the perfect wife. I never argue. There’s no point. I’m always right. *smiles slyly*

Alleged Loss No. 6: Having Money
This is just wrong. Combining bank accounts made my husband a rich man (well, richer than he was alone). We can afford way more together than we could ever afford apart, i.e. buying a house.

Alleged Loss No. 7: Getting Lucky
Four words on this one: It goes both ways.

Alleged Loss No 8: Random Travel on a Whim
I’d like to just say that this so-called “loss” is more or less a result of growing up and having a job, and not so much related to being attached to a woman at the hip.

Alleged Loss No. 9: Eating Whatever You Want
Yes…I have been known to serve up tofu a time or two, but I swear it’s my husband who insists that we drink Goji berry tea and organic milk! In fact…Nine times out of ten when I suggest pizza and beer, he turns me down…Something about it not being healthy. Sheesh! Who’s loss is it really? Not his, that’s for sure!

Alleged Loss No. 10: Decorating Your Own Place
I’m gonna tell it you straight. My husband is gifted when it comes to interior decorating. He’s good at envisioning things, whereas, I’m not able to “see” things until I literally see them! I fought my husband tooth and nail when he wanted to make our bedroom more zen-like by removing our dressers. After I saw what he did though, I was happy with it. I’m also considerate enough to permit a giant Scarface poster in my living room along with a life-size Master Chief helmet.

Alleged Loss No. 11: Sleeping Whenever and Wherever You Want
Our sleeping arrangements revolved around our neighbors…As in wherever it’s the most quiet, that’s where we will sleep. And for those of you who remember my husband’s post about me flip-flopping in bed…All I have to say is that he has no proof.

Alleged Loss No. 12: Interest in Physical Fitness
I have to be honest here…My husband’s fitness level has gone down since we got hitched, but I don’t think that I’m entirely to blame. I mean, I’m not the one downing beers every single night. And I’m not the one who refuses to walk the puppies either. I’m just saying…Don’t go pointing fingers!

Alleged Loss No. 13: Drinking All Day
So…My hubby doesn’t drink all day, but that’s not my fault either…He lost that option the day he graduated from college and realized that he had bills to pay, which meant he needed to get a job. Moving on…

Alleged Loss No. 14: Dressing Anyway You Want and Still Getting Chicks to Flirt with You
There is only one word I can use to describe my husband’s clothing selection…UNIQUE. He gets tons of comments on what he chooses to wear as he always looks different than everybody else. I don’t mind. Just so long as my husband doesn’t dress like me anymore.

Alleged Loss No. 15: Picking Your Own Music, TV Shows and Movies
For the most part, my husband and I enjoy the exact same kinds of entertainment, and when we can’t agree on what to watch or listen to, we usually take turns. For example, he’ll watch Golden Girls if I agree to watch Scarface. (NOTE: I don’t know why he says he hates the Golden Girls so much because my husband knows more Golden Girl episodes than I do!)

So there you have it…I have single-handedly rebuked every claim that men lose out on things when they get into a committed relationship. That just goes to show you that you can’t trust everything you read on the Internet. 😉

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CluelessMe – Unleashed

My husband and I currently reside in the lower level of a duplex with our Welsh Corgi dogs, Rascal and Bandit. Sadly, we don’t have a fenced in yard, which means my husband and I end up “taking turns”…bringing the dogs out to the backyard to do their business.

Through trial and error, we found out that the easiest way to accomplish this task is by hooking up a retractable leash to each dog. Now, in order to keep track of the leashes, my husband and I utilize a unique wall apparatus. Perhaps you have heard of it? It’s called a ‘hook.’ Anywho…The point is, we hang the leashes on a hook on the inside of our front hall closet to prevent us from leaving it somewhere else by mistake. Now obviously, this concept of not losing the leashes only works if both my husband and I continue to put the leashes back on that hook.

Well, the hook concept failed miserably last week. It was time to take the dogs out, and when I reached into the closet looking for the leashes, I only came up with one.

Annoyed that my husband had not followed the proper leash replacement protocol, I screamed, “Hon! Where’s the other leash?!”

“I dunno,” my husband retorted. “Did you look on the hook?”

Getting even more irritated that he had the chutzpah to ask me this question, I responded, “Um, yeah. It’s not there. You must not have put it back on the hook the last time you took the dogs out.” (Before you ask…Yes, I know that he was the one who didn’t put the leash back on the hook because he’s been the guilty party in the past whenever things go missing in our household.)

Though my husband claimed that he looked for the leash, it had not been found later that day when it was time to take the dogs out again. Nor was it discovered by the next day. In fact…Three whole days went by before the missing leash turned up again…

My husband calmly walked into the dining room, holding up the missing leash. “Found it.” He said.

“Oh? You remembered where you left it, huh?” I responded.

“It was on the hook by the side door.” My husband explained.

“You mean the hook we we walk past every single day, multiple times a day?” I squealed.

He nodded.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” I said. “We walk past that hook at least 15 times a day, and not once in the past three days did either one of us notice a bright red retractable leash?!” (As you can tell, I suspected that my husband was lying to me to save his own ass. It was apparent to me that he must have left it somewhere else, but didn’t want to admit it.)

Later that night, I had a flashback to three days before…It was my “turn” to take out the dogs, and it was raining. Disgruntled that it was my turn to take the dogs out, I attached one retractable leash to one dog at a time and let them out the side door so they could do their business without me having to step outside.

Now, just between you and me…I remembered that the second dog had just finished doing his business right as my favorite show was starting. In a hurry to make it to the TV room in time to see the first few seconds of my show, I quickly placed the leash on the hook next to our side door and ran to the TV.

Shhhhhhh! Don’t tell!

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Sacking Up – CluelessMe’s Husband Strikes Back

So apparently my wife’shonor has come under attack… Let’s make one thing clear, no one attacks mywife and belittles her except for me, which is why I must call out a little prick we had trolling around the Clueless Newlywed Blog last week.  (Seethe comment left by a certain Blue Rauchmann on a recent post here.) For those of you who don’t want to click the links, I’ll save you the hassle. This is what he said:

Does your husband knowyou post this trash online? If my wife had a problem with me and opted to air our dirty laundry over the internet instead of discussing our problems with me, I’d flip out. Her shoe collection, purses, and thousands of dollars worth ofhaircare products would be in the front lawn and her ass would be on the curb,right next to the trash cans–in a conspicuous place where the garbagemen couldpromptly haul the flusey to the dump. This isn’t some realization of a Desperate Housewives’ daydream, lady; this is your life.

It makes me wonder howmuch of a man your husband really is. All of your posts come across as bitchy andunappreciative, under the guise of ‘marital advice’/’cute anecdotes’, and it’s very lame that some guy would end up with that type of broad (I can onlyimagine how much worse it is in person) and the accompanying public emasculation. What is even more pathetic, though, is that this guy allows it to continue. Come on, brother! Sack up and move on, dude; you’ve got to put your foot down sooner or later. This is absolutely an abomination of a marriage, and I hope either your husband comes to his senses, mans up and puts an end to this juvenile nonsense or you realize how incredibly shallow and vile you come across and voluntarily bring about a conclusion to disseminating ‘marital advice’.

-Blue Rauchmann

LOL Seriously man!?

Okay, Okay…I’ll take your advice for a sec and “sack up” here, but it’ll be to defend this blog and put you in your place, not my wife.

You said you would be pissed if your wife “aired your dirty laundry likethis in public.”  I couldn’t help but laugh that you think this siterepresents our “dirty laundry.”  If you think me not knowing the White Album or my repeated habit of leaving empty milk cartons on a counter is“dirty laundry” than you have some pretty damn clean clothes in your house.

Simply put, the Clueless Newlywed Blog is a glimpse into our marriage. Anyone who knows us can personally attest to our quirky, yet loving relationship. Our light-hearted and good-natured jabs at one another are just part of what makes us, as a couple, so fun to be around, and that’s what makes this blog so entertaining to read.  Now, 99.9% of the people who read the CluelessNewlywed Blog get this…How you missed the memo, I don’t understand. Maybe you have relationship issues. Maybe an ex broke up with you on Facebook, and you’re still harboring resentment towards women and the Internet, or maybe you weren’t hugged enough as a kid…Whatever the case may be–Lighten up, man!

Why would I ever be upset at my wife for posting these articles? They represent some of our greatest memories!

Do I do some stupid things from time to time? Yes. Do I have little idiosyncrasies that she struggles to live with? Maybe a few!  But I’m not upset. It’s online for the world to see because every marriage has a story or two like these.  Maybe not starring a husband quite as handsome, sexy and humble as myself, but we’re all just as clueless from time to time.

Here’s a quick lesson, Mr. Rauchmann, and you better pay attention to thishistoric moment in which Clueless Newlywed takes a serious tone–At thebeginning of all relationships, both people involved are excited to be with oneanother 24/7.  They talk, take walks together, they let down their guardand gradually expose their souls to one another, imperfections and all. It is at this most intimate moment that people lose sight of why they fell inlove in the first place.  It’s a bit ironic…You finally find someone you can stand before truly naked, and yet somehow they were more attractive fully clothed (metaphorically of course).  It’s at this point in a relationship that all too often the laughter dies.  People stop being friends and become partners; They stop laughing at each others’ nuances and begin to resent each other for them.  They get caught up in bills, work and life. They come home and see their spouse as nothing more than an extension of themselves instead of a separate and beautiful soul mate.

You are way off if you think my wife is bitching about me here. Rather, she still sees the fun, carefree man she fell in love with all those years ago.  The Clueless Newlywed Blog is a reminder that these personal “annoyances”can be laughed at…They can be the source of happiness in a marriage and not a source of friction.  Does my wife piss me off when she wakes me up flip flopping in bed? Hell yes!  But that same flaw that pisses me off at 3 am also brings a smile to my face as I type this sentence because it’s that flaw that makes her, her–a.k.a. the woman I fell in love with.

Don’t you get it? We’re all uniquely messed up versions of perfection, that’s what makes us who we are. It’s what gives humanity it’s individuality. I’ve known Nikki for seven years now, and we still make each other smile everyday.That’s a blessing, not an abomination, and that’s something I am proud toshare with the world.

I’ll give you credit for one thing, you are right…Marriage and life do havesome very hard and serious topics worth discussing in a much more serioustone.  That is why you will see my wife’s brand soon expand into a morediverse product with serious topics to accompany the more lighter-hearted posts.  So if you want a more well rounded and serious “CluelessNewlywed,” then I can assure you that soon your prayers will be answered.

But until that day comes here are two bits of advice:

First, go ask someone for a hug because it’s clear that you need one; and Second, don’t take life so serious, you’ll never get out of it alive.

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Tofu for Two

One of the best things about being a newlywed is figuring out what I’m going to feed myself and my husband every night for dinner.

Alas, I feel like married life has forced me to grow up a (little) more, so gone are the college days filled with Easy Mac, Ramen Noodles and Pizza. Plainly put, after I’ve had a long day in the office, an unhealthy carb-fest is not always the most appetizing. (Although sometimes it still is, don’t get me wrong!)

In the beginning, I didn’t have a clear sense of what my husband liked to eat for dinner. Although through trial and tribulation, I found out what he does NOT like…As in anything green. Moreover, green beans are a big no-no. I also discovered what he DOES like…Two words–hot sauce. I suppose it makes sense, being that he’s Hispanic and all, but I digress.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to try a new recipe. Knowing that my husband tends to shy away from fruits and vegetables (unless cleverly disguised in hot sauce), I was determined to make a dish that was nutritious and palatable…Sweet and Sour Tofu. (And for all you tofu-haters, don’t knock it. You can do a lot of things with tofu these days!)

I found a recipe in one of my cookbooks and scanned the ingredients briefly:

Sweet and Sour Sauce
Bell Pepper

I didn’t foresee a problem with any of the ingredients so far. True, bell peppers are green, but it was going to be smothered in Sweet and Sour sauce, and that’s practically the same thing as hot sauce, so he wouldn’t notice, right?

Then I got to the last ingredient.


I remember hesitating slightly after reading the word. My mind journeyed back to a time when my husband and I first started dating, and he mentioned casually how he disliked pineapple.

I remember thinking: Eh…It’s just like the bell pepper. The pineapple will be covered in Sweet and Sour sauce, so he’ll never know.

Later that night, I served the Sweet and Sour Tofu up real fancy in our black sushi-esque dishes from Target in order to enact a genuine Asian cuisine dining experience.

I smiled slyly as I handed the steaming bowl to my husband, and watched him take his first  bite.

His usual quick chomps transitioned into slow, drawn out bites.

“Did you put pineapple in this?” He asked, mid-chew.

“Just a tad.” I responded. “You like?”

“Uhhhhhhhh…” He said in a panicky voice, getting up from the table.  I watched him make a quick left turn into the bathroom.

After overhearing some dramatized gagging and gurgling, he re-emerged, and announced: “I can’t eat that. I hate pineapple.”

I wonder what would have happened if I told him that he also ate green pepper…

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Clueless About The Beatles?!

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been obsessed with The Beatles. When most girls were bopping along to Ace of Base and the New Kids on the Block, I had John, Paul, George and Ringo blasting on my Walkman. (Yes, I know this dates me, and I don’t care.) I read tons of Beatles books, saw their whacked out movies, put posters up all over my bedroom walls, and I even got into the whole “Paul is Dead” movement.

So you can imagine my excitement when I first found out that The Beatles were coming to Rock Band. Of course, I had my hubby put a hold on the new video game the same day it was possible to pre-order it.

Oh, and the sun started shining the day I ordered the Limited Edition Beatles Mono Box Set. I checked the mail religiously looking  for the small package which would contain 11 of The Beatles Albums along with a 12th disc that featured all of the mono tracks that appeared on singles, EPs or that never made it onto the 13 albums.

My husband was equally as excited to get The Beatles Rock Band game and the mono editions. I had assumed that he had a similar unhealthy obsession with the Fab Four because he was the one who initially told me about both the video game and the Special Edition Mono Set.

True, we both jumped up and down together on that glorious day the postman delivered my special package. True, both of us couldn’t wait to rip open the contents of said package (OK, so we didn’t “rip” it open, we cut it open ever-so-gently so as not to damage the contents. C’mon people…This is a collector’s item we’re talking about…There were only 10,000 copies made. Do you really think that we would carelessly tear through that package?!?!) And needless to say, we were both dying to sing along to all of our favorite Beatles songs: My Guitar Gently Weeps, Michelle, Strawberry Fields Forever, Fixing a Hole, Blackbird, etc., etc.

As soon as we got in the car together (remember we carpool), we popped in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, (one of my personal favs), and skipped to my all-time favorite track, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

Without thinking, I immediately started belting out, “Picture yourself in a boat on a river with tangerine trees and marmalade skies…!”

I made a cheesy hand-gesture towards my husband insinuating that he should take over the rest of the verse right before it got to the chorus.

He looked at me a little odd, but he does that a lot, so I didn’t think much of it…That is until the chorus hit, and he didn’t sing along. I opened my mouth to ask him why the hell he wasn’t singing along when I realized that he wasn’t singing along BECAUSE HE DIDN’T KNOW THE WORDS!

He claimed that he was a little fuzzy on the Sgt Pepper’s lyrics, so I suggested we listen to the White Album instead. Surely that would jog his lyrical memory, as the White Album is argumentatively the Beatles’ greatest album.

Soon, Back in the USSR, was blaring from our car speakers, while I was singing at the top of my lugs right along with it…I glanced over at my husband, and he was just sitting there with a sheepish look on his face.

I paused the track and asked, “Now what?!”

He looked down at his feet and said in an almost inaudible voice, “I never heard the <White Album before.”

“WHAT?!?!?” I screamed, trying very hard not to get into an accident by swerving to the side of the road.

“I never listened to it before. I don’t know the songs….” He said.

Mind you I got (and still get) plenty of marriage advice on how to handle arguments and the importance of forgiveness and compromise, but….Come on! Never listening to the White Album?! I mean, how do you deal with that kind of absurdity?!

Honestly, I think I need a shrink.

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Married to a Stereo Hog

After almost two years of marriage, I’ve recently come to a very serious conclusion…I’m married to a stereo hog. Similar to it’s cousins, the TV hog or the bed hog, the stereo hog is seldom seen running wild in it’s habitat. Lucky for you, the Clueless Newlywed has insider knowledge to this little hog’s daily routine. Let’s take a look at my most recent observations…

The stereo hog starts his day early…Around 7 am or so. Yawning and rolling out of his den, the hog  turns on the radio and splashes around in the local watering hole (aka The Shower). As he prepares for the long day ahead, his mate who is still fast asleep in the den, is awakened by the hog’s high-pitched, off-key squealing, something the stereo hog refers to as “singing in the shower.”

Once the stereo hog is clean and awake, he rustles his way into his pen, making sure that no more than ten seconds go by before he has fired up the PC, navigated to Pandora and cranked up the  volume. The hog sits contently, surfing the web and eating his morning scraps, and grunts something that resembles a ‘Good morning’ as his mate walks by, rolling her eyes.

The morning commute to the farm (aka Work) can only be described as a cacophony of Sirius Radio, CDs and mp3’s. Regardless of whether he is alone in the car or accompanied by his mate, the stereo hog remains steadfast as the music commander. His hooves are constantly pushing buttons on the dashboard, trying to pinpoint the optimal sound quality for each note that comes out of the speakers.

Once on the Farm, the stereo hog burrows himself in a corner, fastens headphones to his ears and digs into his work. From time to time, one might see the stereo hog leave his post to eat at the trough or do his business. Rarely does the stereo hog interact with other farm animals, as communicating with other species would take away from his listening time.

The ride home is similar to the morning commute, as the stereo hog attempts to drown out his mate’s squeals about her day on the Farm, by tuning into a radio station and turning up the volume. From time to time, he grunts and snorts to give off the impression that he’s listening to his mate rather than the music coming out of the car speakers.

Once back home, the stereo hog secludes himself in his pen again, and he spends the rest of the night assembling his play list for the next day. Sometimes, the stereo hog can be seen creating his own melodies, and playing them again and again until he’s satisfied with the sound.

As the night winds down, the stereo hog sets down his earphones, trudges into his den and nestles close to his mate. Visions of musical notes dance in his head as the stereo hog drifts off to sleep.

Such is a day in the life of a stereo hog.

Ladies…What kind of hog are you married to?

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The Ex Files and Then Some

I knew that it was going to be an interesting weekend the very moment my husband turned to me and asked, “Honey, how would you like to meet my old high school sweetheart?”

Although I was a bit put off by the request at first, my husband eventually explained how he really just wanted to get his old high school friends together for a mini-reunion. I resisted for a bit, but he assured me that it wouldn’t be awkward.

After all, meeting my hubby’s high school sweetheart couldn’t possibly be any more awkward than the time I agreed to go to my husband’s ex-girlfriend’s wedding, only to find out when I got there that it was an orthodox Jewish wedding. (Translation: I got to sit with bunch of girls I didn’t know, who were speaking a Yiddush-Hebrew-English slang that I couldn’t comprehend, while my husband hung out on the “men’s side” getting drunk the whole night.

“Sure, honey.” I responded, forcing a smile.

Meeting the Ex
I suppose meeting my hubby’s old flame wasn’t <em>that </em>bad. Aside from having to force conversation, being squeezed to death in what she considered to be a hug,  and feeling left out of old high school jokes…Oh, and did I mention how my husband insisted on building a fort with his ex’s daughter? Oh yeah, and while he was reliving his childhood days with his ex’s daughter, I was left to fend for myself making small talk with the ex. Believe me, it was a blast. (Yeah, no, not really.)

Death March

Because we all got together on Shabbat, my hubby and I had to walk from the house where we all met to the house where we were staying for the night. After we said our goodbyes (and I had to endure another too-tight hug), my husband and I set out for what we planned would be a two-mile walk back to the house. Three hours later, we arrived at the house. Yep…Apparently, my husband (who refused to ask for directions and kept insisting the whole time that he knew exactly where he was going) didn’t have a clue about where he was going. We literally walked in a giant three-mile circle…In the dark…At 2 am in the morning!

Jail Break
Most of you may not know this, but my hubby’s mother has a borderline unhealthy obsession with taking in stray cats. (I’m telling you, I really shouldn’t have been so surprised when my hubby rescued a baby skunk.) At any rate, these cats are my mother-in-law’s pride and joy. And guess who lost one this weekend? Yep…It was me. I left the front door open, and one of them slipped out…Or so I thought. For an hour and a half, I walked aimlessly around the neighborhood in my pajamas, frantically calling out for this missing cat, while holding an open can of wet cat food. All the while, I was systematically thinking about the nearest hotel where my husband and I could sleep for the night because I knew there was no way in hell that his mom would let us stay in her house if we lost one of her cats…As I graciously tried explaining to neighbors why I was in their yard peaking in their bushes, my husband flagged me down to tell me that the cat had been hiding in a cupboard inside the house the whole time. Apparently, this particular cat does a “cute” trick. He opens up the cupboard, slides in, then closes it again. All together now…Awwwww!

Itchy and Scratchy

And when I thought that the weekend couldn’t get any worse…My husband and I agreed to meet up with his high school friends again at a park. Only problem with that was it had just rained, and we were sitting near a river infested with mosquitoes. Let me tell you, I experienced a new level of torture that day. As if hanging out with my hubby’s ex wasn’t bad enough, the visit ended with one last big bear hug and 16 mosquito bites on my body.

So looking back, what my husband really should have asked me was: “Honey, how would you like to meet up with my old high school sweetheart, get lost in the middle of the night and have to trek six miles on foot, lose one of my mom’s cats and then get eaten alive by mosquitoes?”

Clearly, if he had been upfront and honest with me from the beginning, my answer would have been a tad different.

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Tales from the (House Hunting) Crypt

So…My husband and I have been diligently house-hunting over the past few weeks, and we’ve had a number of unpleasant experiences thus far in the process. I thought I might humor the Clueless Newlywed Blog readers with some brief descriptions of some of the more crazy things we’ve gone through recently…

This is NOT a buyer’s market.
That’s right. Contrary to popular belief, fellow house-hunters, this really isn’t a “buyer’s market” at all. At least…It wasn’t a couple of weeks ago when we found what we thought would be our perfect house. Together, my husband and I put a lot of thought and conducted gobs of research before we decided to put a logical bid on this house. And you know what happened afterward? Nothing. Zilch. Nada. In fact, we were about to retract our bid after five days had gone by without an answer when finally, the current home owners responded. Too bad their counter offer was just plain ridiculous, which leads me into my next absurdity…

Negotiating Sucks
Now, I would consider myself to be a pretty decent negotiator. Hell, I did a fine job getting the exact price I wanted (plus all the ad-ins) when my husband and I bought our Kia Soul a couple of months ago. Believe me, my husband and I did PLENTY of extensive research before we put down two offers on a house. We had spreadsheets galore, and we asked about a gazillion questions before coming to the final figure. Only…The people we were negotiating with were in no mood to discuss prices. The house was for sale for one price, and one price only. Period.

Stenches Galore

Frustrated by the fact that we weren’t able to get one house, my husband and I quickly regrouped and moved on to other options…One of which was going to see “fixer-uppers.” We were prepared for paint jobs, refinishing floors, pulling up carpet, etc., etc, but what we were not prepared for was some of the utterly disgusting odors. Honestly, it boggles my mind how houses can get that stinky. Lesson learned: Bring a nose plug when house hunting…Just in case.

Steep Drops
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever be put in a position where I was scared to death to drive down a driveway. There was one house that my hubby and I went to see that had the steepest driveway I had ever seen. Thank goodness, he was driving, because even though I’m much more comfortable driving a stick shift these days, I would not have been able to master getting out of that driveway again!

Now, I know what you’re thinking…I can’t believe that Nikki Flores is really gonna sit here and complain about neighbors again…Well, yes, I am. Given our past experiences with bad neighbors, and our current living arrangements with more bad neighbors, it’s something that I’ve got to take into consideration when purchasing a home! And boy have we seen some doozies! I’m talking using newspapers for curtains, having paint on front windows, hanging “Dragon crossing” signs on the front door, and incessant yapping dogs. No, no, no, no, no.

Still, our house-hunting experiences haven’t been all bad. In fact, we’re close to putting another bid on a home…I’ll keep ya posted when we really do find the perfect fit!

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Sleepless in Cleveland

Remember how excited my hubby and I were when the neighbors who lived above us finally moved out?

After they left, we were convinced that whoever our landlord found to replace them couldn’t possibly be worse! And I suppose our new neighbors aren’t that bad…Unless you are one of those types of people who view sleep a necessary part of life…

No, if catching some Zzz’s between the hours of 11pm and 7am is not a big deal, then I doubt if you would care if there was a 2-year-old living above you who enjoyed running around the house banging on things at 3am.

If you are a true night owl, it probably wouldn’t bother you when that same 2-year-old starts screaming and crying at 4am. To be honest, you were probably planning on getting up in another hour or three later anyway, right?

And if you enjoy cheesy infomercials, then you will actually look forward to hearing the television in the room above you…all…night…long. Because hey, I’m sure that you’ll want to hear every last detail about the ShamWow and how it holds 12x its weight in water.

Oh, and don’t worry…If you are one of those types of people who enjoys a good night sleep, there’s still hope. Just follow this simple process, and you’ll be nodding off in no time:

1. Purchase earplugs.
I’m not talking about those cheap 99-cent ones either…I’m talking about the top of the line brands like Macks Ultra SafeSound Earplugs for $8.

2. Invest in a good nature sounds radio.
Then crank that bad boy up as loud as it will go before retiring for the night.

3.  Position your head so that it’s as close as humanly possible to a large fan turned on high. (WARNING: Shivering all night is a very probable side effect of this tactic.)

4. Map out your alternate sleeping plans for the night.
Start out in the master bedroom, and when the 2-year-old throws his 3am temper tantrum in the room above you an hour later, migrate into the guest bedroom.  Then at 4am, when an infomercial for Snuggies (The Blanket with Sleeves) wakes you up, you’ll be able to grab your pillow and head for the couch. Keep your options open…Don’t overlook sleeping in the car either. The more options, the better.

5. Separate and conquer.
As in, you sleep in one room, and your spouse sleeps in another. Chances are that if you split up at nighttime, at least one of you will be able to get one solid hour of sleep a night. (WARNING: This tactic could put a damper on your sex life.)

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering…My husband and I happen to be the type of people who value sleep.

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So Not a Best Buy

Those of you who know my husband might say that he has a slight addiction to technology. I use the term, slight, very loosely because in all honesty, my husband has a severe addiction to technology. I knew about this quirk long before our married days…But I didn’t really understand the severity of it until he purchased “The HDTV.” Oh yes, I will be elaborating…

Two and a half years ago on a somewhat rainy evening, my husband (then fiance) shows up on my doorstep and tells me that he wants to introduce me to his new baby. (Mind you, most women would have freaked out upon hearing that the love of their life had a baby, but I knew better.) My husband’s so-called “baby” was actually a brand new 46-inch  Samsung LCD HDTV. I knew all too well that he had been eying this television for years, and now that he had it, he was ready and willing to introduce it to anyone and everyone. In fact, to give you an idea how long he had dreamt of this HDTV…He literally purchased the very first one available in the city of Cleveland.  Best Buy didn’t even have time to put it on display before he bought it.

Trying not to let my then fiance see me roll my eyes (because after all, it was just a TV), I helped carry the flat-screen into my house, and then watched him gleefully set the whole thing up on my puny entertainment stand. After about 15 minutes of tinkering around, the two of us sat down on the couch ready to watch the new high def TV.

Five minutes into the beginning of our movie, the screen started flickering in and out, and then it went to a glowing green screen. Thus began our immersion into HDTV hell…

With tears in his eyes, my husband was ready to return his precious baby for a full refund, that is until Best Buy talked him out of it.  “Don’t worry!” They said. “With your extended warranty, we will cover all your problems and repairs for four years.  We will fix this issue and if for some reason we can’t, we’ll give you your money back to replace it with whatever you want.”

In the 912 days since, we have had to document and video tape hours of problems, drop it off for repairs for weeks (missing my favorite show, Grey’s Anatomy, mind you) and taken off NUMEROUS hours of work which equaled to lord knows how much of our paychecks.  There is one glimmer of hope though.  Our new friend, Fred, (the Geek Squad TV repair guy) who has come to our house four times to try to “fix” the problem, finally told us this week “I give up! Start shopping for a new TV because I’m going to write you guys up for a refund.”


My husband and I stopped by Best Buy this weekend and began the brand new process of picking a “baby” replacement.  Everyone was super nice as we talked their ears off about the lemon we purchased two and half years earlier.  They calmed our concerns by letting us know that in the end, we will have a bigger better HDTV come sometime this week.

But here’s the kicker, my husband and I can’t agree on something. (Go figure.)  See, the salesmen said we have a hard choice with our extended warranty. Apparently, we have one of two choices. We get either (1) A 52-inch or larger and more up to date version of our current HDTV complete with 240hz refresh rate (whatever that means), or (2) A smaller 46-inch LED HDTV which has a slightly better picture and only 120hz rate. (Side note: My husband insisted that I include all that TV mumbo-jumbo in this post…I have no idea what it means, but apparently, it’s important.)

Ironically, my husband wants the smaller one.  He says the 46-inch is the perfect size for video games…Something about the need to keep all the important video-game stats in his peripheral vision. Blah, blah, blah. I say, and I know the ladies will back me up on this one, SIZE MATTERS! We should definitely get the bigger one.

What’s your take?

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