Friday, February 27, 2009

The Hilarious Story of my Sorority Initiation: Part 2

I had just been kidnapped by five sorority girls and taken to their Alpha Phi sorority house. The women were telling me about belonging to their sisterhood sorority and how great it is to do philanthropy work for their community. I was eighteen, alone, had only one friend and before me were fifty women encouraging me to join them. And at only sixty dollars a month, I too could have access to all of the friends in the Greek community. So I thought about it and then asked myself 'Who needs school books, food or clothes? I had friends.' And then I signed on the Alpha Phi dotted line.

To become apart of Alpha Phi, I committed to paying their monthly dues, attend weekly meetings, keep my grades up, I agreed to wear a pledge pin over my heart for a semester until I was initiated and I needed to learn and be tested on the history of the founding father's of the sorority. There were also some unspoken rules like you couldn't date another sister's guy. But that should be a given right? Well, I quickly learned not always a given for everyone.

There were some unspoken rules too. I would get hazed, but couldn't tell anyone about it, I needed to attend a certain amount of fraternity parties and I had to keep the handshake and knock a secret. (I will carry this to my grave :))

I also became a little sister to a big sister already in the sorority. My big sister looked out for me, helped me study throughout pledging, gave me a sorority nickname and would introduce me at initiation.

After a semester of doing all of this, it was time for me to be initiated. Our initiation was held at a fellow sister's family home. I invited my family to initiation. My father, step-mother, my aunt and uncle and my brother all came. I was so excited to introduce them to my new friends and college life.

During the ceremony our big sister would introduce us to our seated family and friends, hand us a red rose and then take off our pledge pin. The Alpha Phi little sisters wore white dresses and big sisters wore black. Please remember that I was still under the 'I love you Alpha Phi' spell when I noticed that my family was starting to snicker. I waved at them and they tried to hold back their laughter. 'Oh no,' I thought 'I was in trouble.' One by one little and big sisters would go up to get initiated. My family seemed to loose it more and more.

The spell was truly broken when a petite girl went up to introduce her little sister. She opened her mouth to say nice things about her little sister, but the voice that came out of her was the voice of Tweety Bird. My family lost it. I think my brother and uncle fell off of their chair and my father was laughing so hard that he had tears rolling down his face.

After the ceremony was over, I introduced my family to my new friends. Everyone kept saying yes we know who your family is and 'ah yes' with looks of disapproval on their face. I had regained my sanity and depledged a semester later. Ah good times had by all.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Hilarious Story of my Sorority Initiation: Part 1

I had no idea what was in store for me when I left for college. My parent's really didn't know either as they had both come from England and had never been to college. I had only some exposure to college life from my extended family Aunt and Uncle. I hardly knew anything about joining a sorority or what was about to happen to me.

When I left for college I was eighteen, estranged from my mother and all of sudden living in a dorm room with roommates. I was nervous about being able to afford school books, passing my classes and so at the time joining a sorority was furthest from my mind.

Living down the dorm hall to me was Erin a football jock new to California from Southern Illinois. We seemed to hit it off right away after we met at freshman orientation. Erin found out that I had been a cheerleader and he was the footballer so it was a match in high school heaven. (I swear we had more in common.) He was a huge and funny guy that looked like he could rush a football field at any moment. I felt safe around him.

Together we went to some of the fraternity and sorority parties. I think that I told one person other then Erin that I went to high school in Newport Beach and the frat guys seemed very interested in me. The sorority girls encouraged me to Rush. I wasn't interested in rushing (interviewing at different sororities to be picked to join.) I thanked the ladies, but said that I might be interested in joining after I finished my first semester.

After Rush and the parties were over and girls had been picked, there was a late night knock on my dorm room door. My roommates told me that there were five girls wearing Alpha Phi sweatshirts asking to talk to me. I was so confused, so I went to the door and the girls told me that they were kidnapping me and taking me to their sorority house. Only some of the girls looked familiar to me.

I asked if they had made a mistake or maybe if they had the wrong person. Instead they said that they had 'heard" about me and then convinced me to come with them. We left my dorm room and passed my car. It had been covered in Alpha Phi symbols and chalk was written all around my car. 'OK,' I thought 'So they thought they had the right girl.'

I had only said a few words to some of these girls and yet they kept saying that they loved me. Loved me, my clothes, my hair, that I wanted to be child psychologist etc. I could do no wrong. It felt really nice to be accepted because I was new to school. I was also very curious about what it would be like to join a sorority. Would you have encouraged me to go with these girls? Tell me if you joined a fraternity or sorority in school?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Our Love Story: Our First Trip Together

When you first start dating someone you tell each other all of the things that you would like to accomplish in life like have children, go wine tasting or travel. This was my first time in a relationship where we both meant and followed through with what we said. And we were about to take our first trip together...

I was excited and a little nervous when Honey suggested that I come along with him on his business trip to Denver. I wasn't working yet and I had the time so I accepted his offer to go away with my new boyfriend.

I was in my apartment, packing a suitcase for our first getaway and I pulled out layers of clothes to battle Denver's weather. I packed my snow boots, Pea coat, camera, perfume and flat iron. I encouraged Honey to pack his warmest clothes, hat and gloves. As Honey was from Northern California and I was from Toronto, I figured I knew a little more about the snow then he did. He told me that he wouldn't need winter things. So when he wasn't looking, I slipped his hat and gloves into his carryon bag.

Our flight to Denver was uneventful and I had a huge smile on my face. I was so excited and happy to be going away. We held hands and giggled throughout the flight. Honey had never seen the snow or felt winter before so he was shocked when we left the Denver airport while hailing a taxi. "Man this is cold." he said to me. "Well," I responded "I might have packed your hat and gloves for you and there in your carry on."

We were off to a good start...

As I was tagging along on his business trip, we were careful not to bump into anyone when checking into our hotel. I must admit that the sneaking around was fun. The hotel was welcoming and after battling the cold it was nice to be inside. Room service had stopped serving so Honey left the room, found an open steak restaurant and surprised me with dinner.

I was in heaven and wondered if it could get any better then this.

The next day Honey went to his two day conference and that night we had plans to have dinner with his high school friends that lived in Boulder. So during the day I got to explore Denver.

I enjoyed visiting the stores, talking with people and seeing the art at the Denver Art Museum. I surprised Honey with a sculpture that I had bought from the museum and I bought myself lovely Paris perfume stickers.

I remember two things at the end of our first trip together. First that somehow we missed our flight home and had to wait at the Denver airport for the next flight back to San Francisco. The two of us were laughing and talking the entire time while waiting for our flight. And the second thing was on the way to the airport, Honey asked me when did I want to get married and how many children did I want to have?

Instead of feeling scared and overwhelmed by his questions, I felt that this was the person that I was going to be with. We were on the same page. Tell me sweetie, have you ever felt like this so soon into a relationship and did you feel comfortable or scared?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fifth Blogger Award for Under The Sheets-Shhh

Under The Sheets-Shhh was given it's fifth blogger award by Linda at Psyche Connections. Thank you so much Linda for honoring this blog's fabulousness. Before nominating other amazing bloggers, I wanted to write to you about three things which show what being fabulous means to me.

1) I completely agree with the BBC sitcoms Ab Fab's (Absolutely Fabulous) definition in Wikipedia. The plot reads 'Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone are two immature, chain-smoking, alcoholic, prosperous but preposterous substance-abusing fashion and fad-obsessed Londoners who value fame and style over substance (unless they are controlled substances)." Oh come on how fabulous is that?!

2) I wish I could have been Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany's because 'although we never find out what Holly's occupation is, it is implied that she makes money by providing wealthy men with platonic company.' Oh come on how fabulous is it that of a 1961 movie?!

3) Anytime a woman can find her true voice and feel confidant in who she is is complete fabulousness to me.

So the people that I know are fabulous and deserve the 'Your Blog is Fabulous' award are:

Bon Don Who Throw's A Cupcake? Honestly?
Jules at Mean Girl Garage
Lipstick Diaries
Girl Meets NYC
This Is Clutch
Pj at It is what it is Sometimes
Poshhh at Babydoll Rage
Chez le laquet!
Tanya at Capitvate Me
Pseudonymous High School Teacher

So, there are a few things you need to do after accepting this award:
1.) Post the logo on your blog.
2.) Pass it on to at least 10 of your blogger friends.
3.) Please link me, Laura at Under The Sheets-Shhh in your post.
4.) Link the awardees as well.
5.) Let your awardees know you have passed this on to them by going to their blog and leaving a comment.

Tell me what is fabulous to you? Congrats to all of you and thank you again Linda for my fab award.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Moving From Canada to America: The New Canadian Girl

After a lot of tearful goodbyes to our friends and family, we sold our house (within weeks), stored our furniture, took our dog and flew to California. Saying that the O.C. was a culture from growing up in Toronto, Ontario was a shock to us would be an understatement. We went from watching Degrassi Junior High to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Health insurance to paid insurance and Bayview Village mall to Fashion Island.

At least my brother and I had each other. We entered the school and found the front office to let them know that we were new student's. I'm sure I ended my every sentence in eh! as I noticed that they kept ending their sentences in dude! My bro was taken to his new 7th grade class and I was escorted by a girl 'Jenny' who was the same age as me, but looked like she was going on thirty. Jenny asked me where was I transferring from. I told her Toronto. "Where?" she asked. "Um, Toronto" I responded. "Wait your Canadian?"
"Yes, we're Canadian eh!" I said.

Jenny then exclaimed "So your the new Canadian girl!"
I smiled from ear to ear and said "I guess I am."

Jenny then took me to my new homeroom class. As I entered the class, I felt all of the students look me up and down and I just about died. I found an empty seat and was glad to have a few moments to sit and catch my breath. I could see Jenny talking in the corner to some other student's and whispering. I wondered if she was talking about me or about my Betty Boop shirt?

Finally, what felt like forever a girl that Jenny was talking to came over and sat next to me. Her name was 'Tamara'. She asked me "Are you the new Canadian girl?" I could see a theme forming "Yes."
"I've never met someone from Canada before can I ask you some questions?"
"Sure eh! (*Please know that within months I never ever said eh again as I couldn't take the strange looks.)

Tamara asked me "What's it like to wear snowshoes, live in an igloo and have you ever felt the warmth of the sun before?"

I thought oh boy, do we have our work cut out for us. I smiled and told Tamara that Toronto is a metropolitan city, a cleaner New York. Filled with the arts, restaurants, sports and freezing in the winter, but hot and humid in the summer. So hot that my friends and I would go to cottages in the summer and swim in the lake.

So throughout my High School experience, I was always known as the friendly Canadian girl. I guess it could have been a lot worse. When I tried out to be on the cheerleading squad or when I tried out for the High School plays they remembered me.

We knew we were in an alternative universe when you walked in the High School parking lot. Why you may ask? Because the students drove nicer cars then the teachers. Imagine how the teachers must have felt when the sixteen year olds drove BMW's and Mercedes as their first cars. This Canadian girl drove a white, convertible Cabriolet Volkswagen which was perfect for taking my cheerleading pompom's and friends surf boards to the beach.

I didn't realize how much I had started to change until picture day. As a squad we took cheerleading pictures to hand out to our family and friends. My picture was of me sitting by a pool, my long hair tied with a white bow, posing and wearing my baby blue cheerleading outfit. I bought extra pictures and decided to send them to my friends in Toronto. I wrote little notes on the back of each note. When my Canadian childhood friends received this picture they had a field day. I looked so much like an American while my friends in Newport kept calling me Canadian.

Now I felt like I didn't really fit in in either Newport Beach or Toronto. And as if being teenager and moving wasn't hard enough :) How do you think you would have handled Tamara's questions? What was your favorite tv show from the '90s?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Moving From Canada to America: The O.C.

Imagine that you are fourteen years old, living in Toronto, Ontario and really excited to start high school with all of your childhood friends in the Fall. Your parent's sit you and your brother down to tell you that your family is going to be moving away. I thought to myself "OK we're moving neighborhoods again." And then the bomb was dropped. Your family is going to be moving countries. We assumed that it's going to take months to prepare a move like this. We were wrong. My family was moving from metropolitan city Toronto to beach town Newport Beach, California in the next month.

My brother and I knew that my parent's were having marital problems, but we had no idea that they would make the decision for all of us to move Countries. My father was working with his brother at the time on his accounting business software so my father was able to arrange a work visa for himself and try to open up an office in the States. Instead of my parent's separating again they decided that they would give it another try and move us away for a fresh start.

My brother and I were shocked. First we knew were going to miss our childhood friends. Second we couldn't imagine our new home as we had never been to Newport Beach before. We had been to Disneyland and had visited L.A. once, but I had never thought that we would move to California. Third we wondered if our parent's would stay together as they were having many problems. Of course we were willing to try, but we were very scared of the change. My mother told us at least we all have each other.

At the time there were no shows like Laguna Beach or The O.C for us to reference. (Everyone always asks me what was it like going to high school in Newport Beach. And yes it was similar to the shows. Crazy I know.)

After a lot of tearful goodbyes to our friends and family, we sold our house (within weeks), stored our furniture, took our dog and flew to California. Saying that the O.C. was a culture shock to us would be an understatement. We went from Maple Trees to Palm Trees. From boots to sandals and skiing to surfing. I wondered if we would ever fit in.

My family enjoyed a sun filled month on the beach while getting to know our new area. (I know it sounds horrible, but not to worry we managed :) Newport Beach seemed to make their women and teenagers very different to Toronto. They were perfect, with perfect hair and makeup and always wearing workout pants. My mother and I had also noticed that in the magazines there were a lot plastic surgery ads. And this was in 1990.

Our first day of school seemed to come very fast. On my first day of High School, I tried to wear my hippest California outfit which consistent of a Betty Boop top and matching cut off jeans. (Oh the horror!)

Together I remember my brother and I walking up the foreign steps to our new school. This school was completely different to any we had known as it had outside lockers and an Olympic pool for water polo. We took a deep breath and entered the sea of faces that we had never seen before.

I will never forget seeing sandals on the feet of almost all of the students and some of the teachers. To me they looked like Flinestone shoes and they were wearing them with socks. I stopped a student that was younger then me and asked her about the sandals. She told us that they were called Birkenstock's.We had never seen them before so I asked her why would they be worn with shorts and socks. She looked at me like I was crazy and responded " The socks are to keep their feet warm from the sandals. Duh!"

The new Canadians had officially arrived. What was it like when you moved to a new city or Country? Do you think it's harder to move as a child or as an adult? * I took the above photo of Laguna Beach in the midday sun. It's one of my favorites.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head: Inspiration

My head seems to be very foggy today from all of the chocolate and fudge that I/we consumed from this past Valentine's Day weekend.

Plus over the past few days, San Francisco has been getting drenched in rain. This could be the explanation of why my head is not clear :) Yeah maybe no drought. (All we need to have is a drought on top of the crazy spike in unemployment and loss of jobs ) I can now see the sun starting to peek through the clouds so NorCal is getting a well deserved sunny break.

I have some ideas about topics that I can write to you about. But after reading Maegan's blog today she was also in need of a little inspiration. So my lovely readers let me know what you would like me to write next about.

The Ideas for Under The Sheets-Shhh Are:

1. My Favorite Stores to Shop for Your Home
2. The Hilarious Story of my Sorority Initiation
3. Chapter 2 Landlord or Slumlord
4. What It's Like to Relocate to Another Country
(Toronto to Newport Beach)
5. Questions I can Answer For You? (Curious about me?
Now is your chance to ask.)

Happy Monday to you.........

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Winner for the Valentine's Day Contest Is.....

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day. And I thank you so much for your entries to the first ever Under The Sheets-Shhh Valentine's Day contest.

Here were the rules for the contest. Bloggers/contestants entered by commenting about their best or worst Valentine's Day. Some of the comments said that they loved this contest idea and needed to go and think about their V Day memories more, others wrote about when they made their honey a mixed tape, but was pretty sure he was cheating on her.

Can you imagine?

So I have chosen these three bloggers as the winners of the contest. Congrats to your all!

Third place goes to: Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...I'm not much for Valentine's Day.... so this year's present is far and away the best one I've ever gotten. My husband left today WITH THE THREE CHILDREN IN TOW. HE won't be back until Saturday!!! So my gift from him is 48 hours of peace, quiet and solitude. And I couldn't be happier about it. :)))

Second Place and runner up goes to Miss Anne because I laughed out loud when I read her comment: Miss Anne said... How fun! My best Valentines... I would have to say has been the last 3 with my J. We have a tradition to go see the Vagina Monologues performed at the University here, then out for dinner and a romantic movie at home. :)
And the winner is....drum roll please.... please give a round of applause to Rachel. I just love Rachel's positivity and I am a romantic at heart so I loved her comment about her two favorite Valentine's Day memories.
Rachel's winning comment was... What a great idea!!! My favorite Valentines Day is a toss up but both very very special. The first would be when my husband proposed to me...and the 2nd would be when my little girl was born on this very special day!!! I love the month of February!!!
Rachel I will link to your blog on the right handside badge named 'I love your blog'. Now as the winner, all you have to do is send me the topic of your choice that you would like me next to write about. Either comment on this post with your topic or email me at Yippeee and congratulations Rachel!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Contest: Is Valentine's Day A Made-Up Day by Hallmark?

My good friend, La Belette Rouge inspired me by her "I love my bloggers contest " to create my own. I must confess to you that I love Valentine's Day. I love it. I have never felt that it was a made-up holiday to remind people that they were in love. I just appreciate that one day out of the year is devoted to couples. It can take a lot of work to be in a relationship. So on Valentine's Day turn your cell phone off, cards should be given whether they are made or bought and some kind of alcohol consumption should be had. Phew! I feel better for getting that off of my chest. FYI if you were wondering I love Hersey's kisses.

Here are the rules for you to enter the Under the Sheets-Shhh Valentine's Day contest. Tell me by commenting on this post about your best or worst Valentine's Day. Come on you can do it. Was it when you were in fourth grade and brought Disney Valentine cards for everyone, but forgot one boy in the class? Or was it when you were single and out on the town with your single ladies. Could it have been a special Valentine's Day when you were surprised with the unexpected? The lucky winner (that will be chosen on Saturday February 14th) will get to pick a topic for me to write a post about. And I will link back to your site.

Doesn't this sound like fun?

In the spirit of being fair let me tell you about my worst Valentine's Day! I was dating this guy ('Aaron') long distance for only a couple of months when it came time for Valentine's. He was living in Los Angeles and I was in San Francisco. We were just starting to date and it wasn't serious so I wasn't sure if I should bring up getting together for V Day. One day when we were talking on the phone he asked me if I would fly to L.A. to spend V Day with him. I agreed as I had a free credit to fly on Southwest and my family lives in L.A. so I could stay with them.

Please remember that I luv love, have a very romantic heart and knew that this way too soon to fly to spend the weekend with him. Did I listen to my inner voice? No, of course not.

Aaron picked me up at the airport on Valentine's Day. While we were driving in the car he told me that he had made some dinner plans for us, but needed to stop off somewhere first. He drove us to his manager's house in the Hollywood Hills for some drinks before dinner. When we were standing at the front door he turned to me and said 'I hope you don't feel awkward as my manager is having some people over'. Once I was inside I realized that there was a girl there that he didn't want me to meet. Making this long story short, basically the two of them were talking in a corner for the rest of the evening. Aaron and I missed dinner and I called a cab, took my luggage out of his car and spent the rest of the weekend and Valentine's Day with my family.

OK now it's your can do it. Wouldn't you like me to write a post about the topic of your choice? I wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Valentine's Day. I hope you are showered in cards, love and Hersey's Kisses.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Our Love Story: Which Holiday Will We Celebrate?

Honey and I were about to battle years of tradition, culture and acceptance. I wondered if we would get stronger from this or if it would ultimately break us apart. How can two people brought up from the opposite ends of the world live a wonderful life? Was I being naive to think that because we had found each other and were in love that everything was going to be OK?

Call me a romantic, but I believe when people say that once you stop looking for that special someone then that special someone appears. I think, once you've done the work on yourself and have come to the right place in your life, you are open to sharing it with someone else.

When I was a little girl growing up in Thornhill Ontario to Jewish English parents and you had told me that my Honey was going to be an Indian, Hindu man seven years my junior, born near Bangalore, India and then raised in Marin, California I would have never believed you. But every time Honey and I were together, we would connect, be happy and laugh. We had wonderful banter and a deep trust.

Now that Honey and I were together, I started thinking about the reality of what it all meant. My religion had always meant a lot to me. I had never considered myself religious, but had loved the tradition and sense of family that religion brought. The neighborhood that I grew up in was 90% Jewish, I was a camp counselor at a Jewish day camp, had a Bat Mitzvah and celebrated the high holidays. Honey was brought up with a traditional upbringing along with a tight community of Hindu friends and family. It was rare that a non-Indian entered into his community.

How would the Canadian girl and Marin guy mesh our two worlds together?

I remember seeing in my Honey's apartment a photo of Ganesha placed on a silver patter ready to offer goods to the gods for good luck. Could my menorah or mezuzah
still be put in my home along with his gods? How would Honey and I spend the holidays. Yes, our life was a little different from other couples, but we loved each other. I asked myself 'Was I prepared to give up my Jewish identity? Would he ever ask me to?' Honey accepted me as I was, just as I accepted him.

Everything seemed to fall into place like pieces to a puzzle.

We did live in the right city for acceptance. Although when we traveled to other cities, we were reminded that not everyone was as accepting of us. We hardly noticed if someone looked at us that way as we only had eyes for one another. I did however get some strange looks from some Indian women. Once they realized that we were together and not just friends we seemed to get looks.

All I knew was how happy I was. Our future looked so bright. I was even more excited when Honey suggested that I come along with him on a business trip to Denver. It was January and Denver had been getting so much snow that year that their airport was sometimes closed. I wasn't working full time yet and I had the time to spare. Should I go away with my new boyfriend? What was it like the first time you traveled with your Honey?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Mushroom Chicken Piccata Recipe

How may times have you gone out to eat at a restaurant, ordered something that seemed like a lot of money and then thought to yourself 'I think I could have made this'. Try this Mushroom Chicken Piccata recipe for your next dinner.

I love Italian food. It's one of my weaknesses. All of the yummy pasta and sauces makes me feel warm and happy. This recipe will show you that you can recreate that Italian restaurant feel at home. So break out the red and white checked table cloths, light a candle and start cooking.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika (hint:or you can use rosemary in the flour)
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
Makes 6 servings

In a bowl, mix together flour, salt and paprika. In another bowl mix together egg and milk. Dip chicken pieces in egg mixture, then in seasoned flour. In a large shallow pan, heat butter or margarine over medium high heat. Saute chicken pieces until golden brown. (Hint: You can use oil instead of butter, but this adds a lot of time in the browning.)

Add mushrooms and onion to the pan and saute for 5 minutes. (Hint: place the onion in the freezer before you cut which can reduce the onion crying.) Then in a medium bowl combine the broth, wine, lemon juice and cornstarch. Mix together and pour mixture over chicken and mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium low and let chicken mixture simmer for 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Some great side dishes suggestions are: serve can be pink cream sauce pasta, salad, potato's au gratin and a salad. I made this for my family this week. We all loved it. Have you ever tried to turn your kitchen into a restaurant? What is your favorite Italian dish to make?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fourth Blogger Award for Under The Sheets-Shhh

Under The Sheets-Shhh was given it's fourth Lemonade blogger award from the very thoughtful George who writes LostNight's Scribblings. George's poems always touch me and seem to inspire me to write some of my memories into posts. He must think that Under The Sheets-Shhh shows great attitude and or gratitude. I hope a little of both. Thank you George, you're the best.

Before passing this award onto other well deserving bloggers, I would like to share with you five attitude and five gratitude things that you didn't know about me.

So attitude should be very easy for me......Try not judge that:

1) I can snap at you very quickly if after repeating myself three times you still haven't heard me.

2) I need about 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Without it I can be very cranky. This would be the perfect time for you to see my attitude in full force.

3) I will give you attitude if you are sitting behind me in the movies and kick my seat. Once by mistake is OK. Twice is another story.

4) Please say bless you after someone sneezes. If you don't I might correct you.

5) If I am left on hold for too long and that horrible phone wait music is playing, watch out to the people around me.

And now for my gratitude list:

1) I am thankful for each and every day of learning and growing.

2) I thank whoever is responsible for creating cotton candy, palm trees, wet noses on dogs, hugs and Tonka trucks.

3) I still write my gratitude down weekly in a gratitude journal so I can realize all of the good that is happening in my life. (This also helps me when I am having a bad day.)

4) I am grateful for this new year and a new President.

5) I am thankful for recently finding R$40 real in my jean pocket. I took those jeans with me to Brazil.

My lucky nominees for the lemonade blog award are:

Medicated and Motivated (Such a great name for a blog.)

Three Bay B Chicks (These Bay Area ladies are so creative.)

Psyche Connections( Linda makes me feel like dancin')

Suburb Sanity (I feel like I am with you in the trenches :)

Thinking Out Loud (Insightful thoughts out loud.)

Pacing The Panic Room (Transitions can be easier with humor and insight.)

Vintage Lollipops (Bella is a gem!)

French Kiss (For their amazing love story.)

Fifi Flowers Design Decor (Fifi is such a talent.)

Clever Girl Goes Blog (Sarcasm in pink heels!)

Monday, February 2, 2009

San Francisco Landlord or Sumlord? Chapter 1

Is the definition of a slumlord when your roof falls in and your landlords tell you to put a bucket under the hole? Then if this is true then I lived with landlords/slumlords in San Francisco for 5 years. Since there are very strict rental laws in the city tenants are protected from slumlords, but dealing with them can be another story. Rent control can be found in San Francisco, but you have to search high and low for these deals. I totally agree with my friend saying to me "Finding an apartment is like looking for a new pair of jeans."

When I moved to San Francisco, I planned to stay for only 6 months. I started looking for apartments off of while I was still living in Los Angeles. It was difficult knowing what a good neighborhood or deal was. I started to schedule weekend open houses of the places that looked interesting and drove up to San Francisco from Los Angeles on the weekends to see them.

I started to learn the renting/roommate game. Looking for an apartment was like going on a job interview. You need to have the right paperwork, look the right way and be ready to apply on the spot. I decided to rent a room from a woman for 6 months and store my furniture so I could get to know the city and secure a job.

After 6 months, I started to again look for an apartment. I started to get so frustrated by the process that I posted an ad on Craigslist asking if anyone else was having a hard time looking for a roommate. I received a hundred emails. I replied to five and then met with three woman for coffee and "Sarah" became my roommate.

Now all we needed was a place.

The hunt began. Sarah and I looked for apartment. I would set up open houses and appointments for us to go to and so would she. On one sunny afternoon, she called me to say that she thought she had found the place. The apartment was in a centrally, located, neighborhood and on a cable car line. It had 3 1/2 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, a kitchen, laundry room and the back bedrooms looked onto a garden. (I could hear the angels singing my head.) There was one catch. The apartment hadn't been looked after, was run down and needed a lot of work.

We decided to take a look. I first noticed that the apartment was apart of a two unit building and up two flights of stairs. I remember entering the front door to see shag Brady Bunch carpeting. I walked slowly up the stairs to see orange shag carpeting, dust filled, run down place with a '70's sparkly ceiling and funky caged skylight.

The landlord was waiting for us in the kitchen to show us around. She explained that this was her childhood home and after her mother had died the place had been left to her. She currently had a man living in the apartment for the past 7 years. It seemed that he had never cleaned the San Francisco apartment. I mean ever. Could this be my home sweet home? Have you ever dealt with a slumlord?