That’s What I’m Talking About

E9F8D3BD-AEE5-4E9C-937A-ED4C35A299EAMy wife and I watch a lot of HGTV shows: House Hunters, House Hunters International, Tiny House Hunters, etc. We also like Property Brothers, Love It or List It, Flip or Flop, and Fixer Upper. We enjoy seeing the kinds of houses people look at and buy, especially when they have big budgets.

And we enjoy seeing the people who are being shown these properties. It’s always interesting when the realtor asked the prospective buys what they want.

He wants a two-to-three bedroom, two bathroom condo or townhouse in the city near his job, a low-to-no maintenance yard, a man cave, a three-car garage, great views, near a golf course, and an open concept design. He prefers the clean lines of a mid-century modern ranch-style house.

She wants a single-family home with at least four bedrooms and three bathrooms in the suburbs, a big backyard for the kids, preferably with a swimming pool, a large modern kitchen with new, stainless steel appliances, a master bedroom with an en-suite and a large walk-in closet, and near their kids’ school. She loves the classic craftsman-style home or a Victorian, with a grand staircase and vintage details.

The smiling realtor asks the couple what their budget is and he says “$199,000 max.” She says that she’s “willing to stretch for the perfect house for their family — up to $300 grand.” The still (always) smiling realtor says, “I’m sure we can find something that will meet all of your needs within your budget.”

Then the games begin. The realtor always shows them three homes. One for him, one for her, and one that “may require some compromise.”

And there are three catchphrases that these potential home buyers on the various shows frequently say that just drive me crazy.

The first and the worst, in my opinion, is the buyer, often the male, who sees something he likes and gleefully says, “Now that’s what I’m talking about.” Really? I never heard you talk about “that” before. And the way their spouse or significant other looks at them when they say it leads me to believe that no one else has either.

And then there are those who are looking at houses that are priced maybe between $200,000 to $300,000. One of them gazes out of the living room window or steps onto a deck or a patio in the backyard and says, “Now that is a million dollar view.” No, it isn’t. Because if it really was a million dollar view, the house would cost a million dollars.

Finally, there are the ones who go into the master bedroom of the house they’re considering, point out of the window, and say, “Wouldn’t you love to wake up to that every morning?” No, because when most people first wake up in the morning, their blinds, shades, curtains, drapes, or whatever other kinds of window coverings they have are usually closed.

But still, my wife and I do love to watch these HGTV shows. And when the realtor asks about their budget and they say “a million to 1.2,” I turn to my wife and say, “Now that’s what I’m talking about!”

100WW — Geography Lesson

img_2137Danny looked at the sign and got a puzzled expression on his face. “Daddy,” he asked. “What is Toronto?”

“Toronto is a city in Canada,” Danny’s father said.

“What’s Canada?”

“It’s a country, Danny, next to the United States.

“And what is Lanai?”

“It’s one of the Hawaiian Islands, Danny.”

“But we’re in Hawaii, aren’t we, Daddy?”

“Yes, but we’re on Maui, a different island.”

“And what’s Samoa!”

“That’s another Pacific island, but it’s not one of the Hawaiian Islands.”

“And what’s Indonesia, Daddy?”

“It’s a country made up of many islands.”

“And what is Be….”

“Let’s go swimming, Danny.”

(100 words)

Written for Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday prompt.

Our Proud Cat

Black CatWe have a cat
A black cat
A black cat with yellow eyes
He’s an indoor cat

We live in the city
We have a small backyard
With a privacy fence all around
Our neighbors store their trash bins next to our fence

We sometimes let our cat out in our backyard
Our cat is a hunter
He quietly and patiently waits by the fence
Where there are very small gaps

And then he pounces
And brings us a present
That he drops at our feet

How proud he is of his featDirty Rat

This post was inspired by fellow blogger Jim Adams in his post about cats and rats. His post was inspired by RayNotBradbury.

The Sounds of the City

61B143F3-94F2-4B6D-A450-747572FC3D4BMy wife and I are seriously considering moving out of the city. It’s not that we don’t love living in the heart of a big, bustling city. We do.

But it’s noisy.

There is a city bus that drives by our house dozens of times a day. We live a half block from a police station. There’s a hospital two blocks away. Our local streets are continually under repair and there’s lots of construction all around us.

We hear car horns honking, brakes squealing, engines roaring, and people partying on the streets at all hours.

We hear planes overhead flying to and from the local airport and the ohhhhh-wahhhhh sounds of foghorns in the bay.

We have grown somewhat tired of the noise and are thinking about selling our urban dwelling and moving into a cabin in the mountains, a bungalow by the ocean, or a cottage by a lake.

Someplace quiet. Someplace peaceful. Maybe even someplace off-grid.

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “noise.” Image credit: Brian Timmer at

Back Where I Come From — Playing Catch-up

Suzanne McClendon’s September Challenge is comprised of 30 questions (one per day) regarding your background and history. As an anonymous blogger, I didn’t think I wanted to participate because I thought the questions were somewhat intrusive.

However, after seeing a few other bloggers participating in this challenge and reading their posts, I thought it was fun to learn about of their backgrounds.

But I figured it’s already one-third of the way through the month and I’ve not responded to any of the prompts, so I missed the proverbial boat. Besides, no one cares where I came from.

Then I thought why not? So today I’m going to play catch-up and respond to the first 11 “somewhat intrusive” questions in a single post. Ready?

Day 1: Were you raised in the town in which you were born? Where were you raised?

No, I was born in a Boston suburb, but was raised in the DC area.

Day 2: Were either of your parents raised in your hometown? If not, how did they end up there?

No. My parents were both immigrants who came to the US as young adults. We moved to the DC area from Massachusetts when my father took a job there. I was five.

Day 3: Were you raised in a town/city or in a rural area? Do you live in the same type of place now?

I’ve always lived in or near relatively large cities, as I do now.

Day 4: What were your hobbies as you were growing up?

Collecting baseball cards and comic books, playing baseball, riding my bicycle, and hanging out with my buddies.

Day 5: Where did all the kids “hang” in your hometown?

The mall, of course. Or the recreation center. Or the bowling alley. Or the car hop area at the local Hot Shoppes restaurant. Or the community pool during the summers.

Day 6: Did your town have a river running through or near it? What was its name?

The Potomac River.

Day 7: Did you ever participate in creating graffiti or any type of artwork that would have been confrontational?

I was a doodler. I would often doodle caricatures of my fellow students or teachers. It was only confrontational when I got caught doodling by my teachers, particularly if any of my doodles were of the teachers who caught me.

Day 8: How old were you when you took your first drink of alcohol, if you ever have? What were the circumstances surrounding that moment?

I was probably about 8 or 9. My parents had gone out with a couple from out of town who were visiting us and one of their kids was an older girl about 12 years old. After our parents left the house, she suggested that we taste some of the wine that my parents kept in their dining room buffet. We did. And the two of us got quite snockered after polishing off almost the entire bottle of wine. My parents were not happy about it.

Day 9: Do you plan to move back to your hometown area in your older years? Why or why not?

Nope. If anything, I’ll move to an isolated spot near the ocean where I can sit on my porch and listen to the surf breaking on the rocks.

Day 10: How do you feel about the place that you came from?

The DC area? I now associate DC with politics, hypocrisy, dysfunction, and dishonesty. That said, it is a beautiful city.

Day 11: Were there a lot of churches in your hometown? What about where you live now?

Not nearly as many as there are where I live now. There are more churches than there are Starbucks around here. By an order of magnitude.

Okay, I’m going to try to keep up with Suzanne’s September Challenge prompt going forward. See you tomorrow for Day 12.