Friday, June 29, 2007

Looking for Mr. Goodbar

I have been out house hunting almost every day (or night) this week. Looking at potential new homes is fun, but it's also exhausting.

Saturday, Todd and I looked at three places listed with one realty agency here in town. Two of the listings were in a good location. I kind of really liked one place, but it was (brace yourself) a fixer upper. But, it was a manufactured home (that looked like a real house) with a garage! And a backyard! And a garden tub! So, I looked past the cosmetic fixes and fell in love.

I must be a fickle girl, because I fell in love again on Wednesday night with two more places. Both are basically turn-key, so good-bye fixer upper (but I'll miss you, Garage!).

One place is small...the smallest place I've been shown so far. It was 1,024 square feet. Well, that's 200 more square feet than my place was in Milpitas, but it seemed smaller. Probably because it had less storage.

My place in Milpitas had two walk-in closets, lots of storage (deep storage) in the bathroom, built-ins (hutch, cabinetry in the bathroom, pantry) and a shed. This place that I fell in love with had a regular closet in both bedrooms, however it had two full baths AND A GARDEN. A real garden. With a fence and everything.

I loved the whole house, but the garden sold me. The current owner really made the backyard cute. She painted "blessed be" on the fence, added a chiminia, made a path to the backyard outlined in big rocks, and sprinkled the yard with statues and whatnots.

The house itself is painted really nicely, and has a luxurious master bath off the bedroom with a deep garden tub. However, since there isn't much storage, and the floor layout is kind of...odd, there isn't much choice in how one places furniture, nor a lot of room to be a clutter bug (which, unfortunately, I am).

My mom's solution sounds simple: put out what you really love, and sell the rest. But how will I ever be able to part with all my stuff?

And that question brings me to the next place I fell in love with. It's a three bedroom home (THREE - a bedroom for me, a bedroom for an office, and a bedroom for...stuff!). The kitchen is lovely, with beautiful cabinetry. The most attractive selling point is the covered deck with built-in benches. I could see myself drinking coffee out there in the morning, looking out over McCarran. Okay, so maybe McCarran isn't the most lovely sight in Reno, but my point is there is a view! I can see the Atlantis from my backyard. Oops. Her backyard. Mine if I buy it.

The drawbacks: one of the park's main sewer lines is in the backyard, there are no trees or greenery on the property (it's all xeriscaped) and there are at least two neighbors with kids.

I saw another place last night which I could have fallen in love with, if it weren't for a couple of odd things about the place. But let's start with the selling points first. It was huge...three bedrooms, and the master bedroom was the biggest I've seen so far, with two walk in closets JUST IN ONE BEDROOM. The bathroom had a garden tub AND a walk-in shower. The laundry room was HUGE, with more than enough space for shelves and a table for folding, and litter pans. The kitchen was open, and there was a gorgeous bay window in the living room.

And now for the oddities. The guy was obviously doing work on the place, and decided to give up and move away. He had replaced the carpet with berber carpeting...simply beautiful. New linoleum in the kitchen. But there was a huge gash on the kitchen counter, doors missing on some cabinetry, door knobs missing on all the doors, the front door needed to either be re-hung or replaced (or maybe the place just needed some basic leveling), and that gorgeous bay window? Ruined because that's where he decided to plop the swamp cooler. Plus, he had torn out the sink in the master bathroom, and replaced it with a smaller one, which left the eye to settle on the blotchy dry wall on either side of it. Oh, and get this: no door to the bathroom. Okay for a single person, I guess, but if you were married and had to take a poop while your partner was in the bedroom, well...that would be very unpleasant.

Tomorrow I am meeting two realtors. One I haven't met before, but he has more properties in Sun Villa, the place I've decided I'd like to live. Then I'm meeting the realtor I like in the afternoon to visit a park I haven't seen yet. And the home with the deck? It's Open House tomorrow on that one, so if I want it, I guess I better make up my mind quickly.

If I had to make an offer tomorrow one of the three houses I really like (the fixer upper, the witch's lair, and the scenic home), I'd probably go against convention and get the witch's lair. Why go small? No idea why, except the energy is good there, and the backyard sold me.

My sensibilities tell me to go with the scenic home...but who knows what I'll fall in love with tomorrow?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Packing My Bags

Guess who's going to move?

That's right. Me.

I don't know when. And I don't know where. But I'm moving.

I spent part of Saturday looking at potential homes. I have an appointment tomorrow night to look at more. And another appointment on Wednesday to look at one in particular.

It's weird. Todd and I are getting along better than we have in quite awhile. And he hired two girls to get the place in shape. It looks good. We look good. So, why am I thinking about moving?

It's time. We're not getting married. He's still dating. And I'm...waiting? Stuck? Something, anyway.

We had a nice, long, heart-felt conversation on Saturday. We shared "I love yous." We didn't blame anyone. For anything. It's just...well, I've said it before. I'm not entirely what he wants or what he thinks he wants. And, I'm not what he needs.

He said he believes I'm not happy with him, either. That's not true. I wasn't happy with the house. But now it's clean and we can walk and play and breathe...and I am happy again. And I am happy with him. That doesn't mean I don't get frustrated when he doesn't listen to me sometimes, or when he's focused on a computer program nothing short of sticking my butt in his face will get him to refocus on me.

I'm definitely not happy with the status quo, which is he's dating and I'm not and let's face it: I don't share well. Especially my men man.

I don't think that moving will be the end of us. If anything, I believe it will renew and refresh our relationship. We'll actually choose to be together, instead of just being together because we live under the same roof.

As for how I feel about this potential move (and I do say potential, because of course I not only have to find a place, but it has to be a place I can afford), well, I'm both excited and sad. I look around the house when he's not here and I think "These are the things I'll miss..." Then I realize that what I'll miss aren't really the things, but the memories. The time we spent picking out a couch. The laughter we share in the bedroom. The meals we've shared in the dining room.

I'll miss living with him. And the dogs. Yet, it's a brave new world out there...and Todd won't be too far away.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


So. Things aren't really good here at the Snuggle Ranch. The hunkster and I have been fussing and fighting and arguing. He's unhappy. I'm unhappy. And neither of us comes right out and tells the other one we're unhappy, but we send signals of distress hoping that something will come and fix it.

The signals go unnoticed and the smoke surrounds us, trapping us in its thick, gray blanket, smothering the life out of us both.

I sometimes wonder about this relationship. How we made it this far (in years). How we haven't really gone far at all (in our journey together). How we'll ever make it another nine years. Or even one year.

In the beginning of our relationship, I did what I despise in other women: I changed to make him happy. Oh, sure I haven't changed my personality. But, I knew he was unhappy with certain things in our relationship, so I changed those things. He still wasn't happy, so I changed a bit more. I made a few concessions. I loosened up my (gulp) standards.

I'm a pushover for love. What can I say?

However, all that change happened and he still wasn't happy. Yet, he constantly asked me to run away and get married. My answer? A little laugh. A playful nudge. A kiss on the lips. But no real commitment, because I wasn't ready or willing to change even more.

Then one day he really proposed. And I accepted. I accepted, even though I knew our relationship still had problems. I accepted because I loved him, and saw the goodness and strength of character, despite the personality idiosyncrasies that is part and parcel with Asperger's. I accepted because I don't believe in fairy tales and perfect love and soul mates. I accepted because he is the best partner and best friend I've ever had.

And when I started to plan the wedding, he panicked, and before I knew it, we were no longer engaged.

He still wanted me to join him in Reno, and I dragged my feet for a full year, and finally moved. It's a move I often regret.

I don't belong here. I don't fit in. I have had a hard time finding friends. I have a hard time entertaining myself, because it's a cultural wasteland. So, I spend my spare time at Savers and Goodwill and buy things that are cheap and give me a thrill, until they clutter up my office so much that I can't walk, so I purge it all. Then I start over again.

My life has stalled here. Heck, maybe it would have stalled in Milpitas as well, but at least there I had a home. And friends. And I felt like I had a future. Here, everything is brown. The landscape. The houses. My future.

Todd has many complaints about me, but there are two that are huge and, in his words, deal breakers. One is financial. The other is sexual.

The state of the house has become a bone of contention between us. He told me he would take care of me if I moved here, and I have really dug my feet in on that issue. So, I haven't contributed much to the household. I buy groceries, and try to buy other things I notice he needs. When he mentioned he needed new slippers, I got them. When he has a cold, I buy him cold medicines and Kleenex and mentholated-rub. If he's on the road, I buy the dogs their food (which can be expensive). And yet...I know that my contributions are a mere drop in the bucket compared to what he puts in financially to the relationship. He pays the mortgage. And the cable bill. And the electric and water and sewage.

So, when he noticed that one of the cats had been peeing in corners (we think it was Lucy when she was so sick she didn't know what she was doing) he had a conniption fit. Last week he put his foot down and demanded that I start paying him 25% of my pay to help alleviate the cost of repairs.

I was offended.

He said that if I asked any of my friends who lived with guys, I'd discover that I actually had it good. He hadn't asked me for money up until now. He still will pay for the bulk of everything. But he wants me to contribute towards what he believes is the damage caused by the cat pee (which, btw, there is dog pee all around, too, but he doesn't seem to get upset about that).

I put my foot down as well, and said he'll get 20% and that's all. I reiterated that he promised me he would take care of me, and while I understand that the cats have caused some damage (and they have) and that I should pay for that, I would never have moved here if he hadn't promised he would take care of me.

And I know that sounds like a whiny, gold-diggerish thing to say. But it's true. I left everything I had to move here. Stability. A fairly decent job with decent benefits. My own house. Friends.

So. I thought it was settled. And then not even two full days later he aked "When do you get paid?" I got mad. He couldn't understand why, and I said it's because he acts as if he doesn't trust me. That he thinks I'll hide my paydays from him, and not pay him the money we settled on. We ended up in another argument about money, and while he admitted he probably did want some reassurance that he would get paid, therefore he nagged me, he still didn't think he was wrong.

Maybe he wasn't.

I don't know any more.

Of course, then there's sex. My libido flat lined about two years ago. Perimenopause. Lovely. I had absolutely NO desire for sex. None. And because I didn't want sex, I kept putting it off. "Maybe later." "After dinner." "Tomorrow afternoon...I promise." And the more I put it off, the more resentful he became. He didn't feel wanted. Or loved.

I felt guilty, and so would sometimes try to muster up some sort of sexual feelings so I could indulge him. And usually once we got started, I was okay, and sometimes even really got into it. But the moment it was over, I would think to myself "Well, that was a lot of fuss and bother, and now I'm hot and sweaty and I have sticky stuff all over me and I need to take a shower and get errands done and..."

Not romantic, right?

He has bugged me for years to see a doctor for hormone replacement. I did not want synthetic hormones in my body. I believe they cause far more problems then they cure. Then I heard about bio-identical hormones, so I tried them.

And you know what? They work.

For the last week (since I increased the amount of testosterone I was supposed to take), my libido has been on fire. I've surprised him a couple of times...pleasantly. But is it enough to fix the resentment, the hurt feelings, the rejection?

Maybe not.

So where does that leave me? And where does that leave us? What happens next?

I have no idea, but the cards tell me to move.

I think I'm telling the cards that I'm not ready yet. I don't know if cards listen, though.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Fall down, go boom!

Last Friday, I had a hair appointment. My stylist had moved to a new location, closer to my old place of work (Acme Consulting). I parked in the back, took notice of how close I was to my old stomping grounds, got out of the car, and headed towards the front of the building. All of a sudden, I was splayed out on the ground.

I don't even remember it happening. I had no idea how I got from an upright, walking position to prone on the ground, with my belongings all around me.

I picked myself up and noticed my arm hurt like an emmer-effer. I looked, and it was all bloody and scraped, and my elbow was bleeding. All of a sudden, a guy appeared and asked if I was okay. I was embarrassed and said "Yeah, I'm fine for someone who doesn't know how to walk!" I shrugged it off, and went inside for my hair appointment.

I ignored the pain, but it got worse. I soon noticed my arm started to swell. I couldn't wait to get out of there and go home, but as my luck would have it, Shannon messed up my hair color...three times, so my hour and a half appointment turned into three. By the time I got home, my arm was extremely swollen, and I noticed my hip and leg hurt as well.

Pain and embarrassment aside, the one thing that I kept thinking about was how I did not remember falling. Why, just the week before I fell down the stairs and I remember the sensation quite clearly: my foot slipped, I thought "hey, my foot slipped, I'm going to fall," and then I put my arms out, braced myself on the railing, and only hurt my butt in the process (and there's a lotta cushion back there, so no biggie!). In other words, I think we know when we're falling; we're conscious of it. While we may not be able to stop ourselves, we know what's about to hit.

In this case, I had no warning or no remembrance of how it happened, so I became quite suspicious.

See, as I mentioned, it happened near my old stomping grounds. And as I've droned on about before, I am convinced that Michelle put some sort of spell on me or prepared some sort of spell that propelled me out of the office quickly. I mean, there was literally no warning; one day I was getting praise for a job well done, and the next day I was in the conference room, facing both my bosses and being told I was on probation.

However paranoid I sounded to myself, I just knew Michelle had something to do with my fall. I didn't quite know how, but just as the climate at work changed so quickly, so did the onset of this fall. No warning; just boom.

Finally, I talked about it with two different witchy-type friends I have: one friend whom is also in the Risting, and another who is a Druid. I asked them both separately if I was just being paranoid, or did they think something from the spell still remained in that area. They not only agreed, but both had their own ideas on what I should do about it. I am, a week later with bruises still remaining on my arm and the knowledge that I've really let this go on for far too long. I guess I thought that since I was away from it all, it wouldn't affect me anymore, but apparently it still is. Now I have to decide what sort of protection to use, or some sort of way to send it back.

All suggestions welcome!

Until I figure this out, though, I think I better stay away from the area around Acme. The next fall might be fatal!