I Bet Princess Kate Doesn’t Have to Deal With Dirty Gutters

I got back from Naples, Italy very late last Wednesday and I’m suffering from carb withdrawals. A pasta depression, if you will.

For example, when I walk downstairs for breakfast in the mornings now, there is no artful display of delicious Italian pastries and nobody brings me a frothy cappuccino. There are no royal apartments to tour and gawk at. No afternoon arancini or cone of misto mare eaten while strolling the quaint little streets and washed down with a Nastro Azzurro. It’s all very, very sad.

My re-introduction into American-style domestic responsibility was a bit bumpy. I had to get up very early on Thursday morning to meet the gutters guy from We Get High Roofing and Gutters. Yes, that’s the company’s name. Which made it an easy name to remember, even though I had gotten the recommendation during a very drinky Thanksgiving event.

Anyway, last Thursday’s meeting was early and it was freezing and I felt bad sending Martin up his ladder to our roof, but our gutters and downspout needed cleaning. And I wasn’t about to do it.

Plus we were particularly interested in getting some of those screens put on the gutters to keep the leaves out so we wouldn’t have to get the gutters cleaned out every fall. Martin quickly burst my bubble.

“You have janky gutters,” he informed me.

“Yes, I know, they’re very dirty. Lot’s of leaves. But if we can put those screens on, I think it will help,” I countered.

“Sure, I can clean them, but you have janky gutters,” he replied.

“OK, I get it. The gutters are janky. That’s why you’re here. So just clean them and install the screens and that will be great,” I reiterate. My man-boss, XFE (who was still in Italy for work) had been pretty adamant about getting the screens installed. I really didn’t want to mess this directive up.

Also, as this point I’m thinking, “dude, you’re being awfully judgmental about my gutters. I mean, I’m sure you’ve seen worse.”

“I cannot put the screens on because you have janky gutters,” Martin informed me.

What the hell? I’m thinking, is this guy trying to upsell me into installing totally new gutters or something? What’s his game?

“Janky gutters are very nice, very authentic, very popular in this area, all the houses have them. They’re historic,” Martin tries to reassure me. “But you can’t put the screens on them because they lay flat. That’s why you can’t see them at the roofline. See?” Martin shows me pictures of our roof that he took on his phone.

Finally, it occurs to me: Martin is explaining that we have YANKEE gutters. Yankee. Not janky. I mean, they were janky, as in dirty and filled with leaves, but they didn’t need to be replaced. And you couldn’t put screens on them.

Martin’s accent and my still-on-Italian-focused ear were not getting along that morning. So, I let Martin get on with his excellent work (I really do recommend them. He did a great job for a reasonable price and provided lots of before and after pictures.)

Meanwhile, I slunk inside, made some non-frothy, non-cappuccino coffee, and wondered if the Royal Palace in Naples had Yankee or janky gutters.

Princess Poe reflecting on chores

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Kwame Harris and I Agree: Soy Sauce is Dangerous

I know from personal experience that soy sauce can ruin walls. And I know from personal experience that soy sauce can lead to bickering that ruins an otherwise nice evening with your loved ones.

Apparently, I’m not the only one to have learned this lesson.

According to the San Mateo Daily Journal, a dispute over soy sauce at Su Hong restaurant in Menlo Park, Calif. last Aug. 21, has landed former NFL player Kwame Harris in court after he assaulted his ex-boyfriend.

Now, I do not know young Kwame Harris, however, I am certainly interested in hearing more about any “assault” that flares up over soy sauce.

The dispute started when Harris got upset at his friend, Dimitri Geier, for pouring soy sauce on a plate of rice.

OK, so not quite the same as tripping on a stair and sending soy sauce flying onto light yellow walls, but still eerily familiar. Also, why would pouring (not flinging) soy sauce get someone so upset? It’s not like the long-suffering boyfriend had to clean it up, or anything.

Kwame Says

According to the paper, which was citing a suit filed in San Mateo County Superior Court, the two argued for seven minutes after the soy sauce was poured, and Harris said he wasn’t going to take Geier to the airport as he had said he would.

Hold up…..seven minutes? Pshaw. I think pouring unwanted soy sauce on someone’s rice is certainly worth at least seven minutes of public arguing. I believe when I (accidentally) flung soy sauce on our dining room walls, XFE and I steamed and pouted for at least an hour. I did not, however, threaten to revoke airport drop-off privileges. That’s just wrong.

When the two went to get Geier’s belongings from Harris’ car, Harris accused Geier of stealing his underwear and tried pulling the man’s pants down.

Best. Argument. Ever. Stealing underwear? And in retaliation, pulling the man’s pants down? To what end? To ascertain whether the accused perpetrator is wearing the purloined underwear? Were you perhaps thinking of entering the underwear into evidence, young Harris?

Maybe they were Harris' special super power underwear?
Maybe they were Harris’ special super power underwear?

Geier tried unsuccessfully to get away, and Harris shook Geier and punched his arms, the paper said. Harris is 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds and Geier is 6-1, 220 pounds. The paper said Geier allegedly struck Harris three times in the face, and then Harris punched Geier several times in the face.

Oh snap. Sounds like things got pretty ugly.

Geier was taken to an emergency room, and had surgery to repair broken orbital bones and required a metal plate to fix the damage, the paper said. The Daily Journal said Geier has filed a civil suit against Harris for assault, battery, false imprisonment, negligence and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Harris could also face up to seven years in prison if convicted, Guidotti told the paper.

Yep, things definitely spiraled out of control here.

OK, so the lesson I think we can all glean from this is: soy sauce is incredibly dangerous and as far as condiments go, is probably the most likely to provoke an argument. But, in all fairness, so is stealing someone’s underwear.

soy_sauce_attitude_boxer_shorts (1)

Banjo Lovers Need Not Apply

Scene: 7 am on a Friday, getting ready for work. Television is on and tuned to a music video station in the master bedroom. I am in the bathroom putting on makeup.

My gangsta-thug-sucka-free-rap-star boyfriend XFE walks into the master bedroom and snorts definitively.

Me: What’s up?

XFE: Banjo lovers.

Me: What? Oh, Mumford & Sons? I actually like this song.

XFE: There aren’t any big booty girls in this video.

Me: That is true. There are not any big booty girls in this video.

XFE (changing channel to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It.”): Now we’re talking.

sexy and I know it

Thankfully, I Don’t Have to Live in a Shoe

We bought a house this past weekend. Well, one of us did. The partner in this relationship who earns twice as much as the other party. And has been saving his money since the day he started working.  And works very hard in a very stressful job and gets very nice bonuses.

Meanwhile, I have a very nice shoe collection (including several expensive pairs purchased by the ever-generous and more prosperous partner I spoke of in the first paragraph).

To be fair, we frequently run into this issue – the issue of our huge income disparity. One of us is the 99% and the other is not. I kid, but we are definitely not equal partners, which used to frustrate me to no end.

Once upon a time, I used to insist that we only purchase items or go on vacations that I could afford. That lasted for a fairly short time. My luxury prince/boyfriend XFE and I both agreed that staying in hostels and riding on buses with livestock was not something we wanted to explore (or, in my case, revisit).

The same issue came up as well when purchasing a house. We’re not equal partners. There’s simply no way we could have gone halfsies. And I don’t expect a free ride on XFE’s smart financial prowess and discipline. I’m very proud of him for being able to do it on his own.

Remember on the first season when Teresa said living in a pre-owned house was gross and that’s why she had to have a new construction? I totally agree, Teresa.

But for those who are worried about me (and judging by Facebook, there are a few), there will be some sort of legal-y, document-y type thing outlining my (non)substantial contributions to this latest life-project.

I’ll probably do a future blog post on how to buy a house while continuing to live in sin.

At the end of the day, XFE bought us a lovely house.

By the way, we bought our lovely house in a week. That’s seven days from the time that we first met our wonderful, amazing realtor, and the time that XFE had an offer accepted. That’s slightly shorter than the typical Kardashian courtship.

Hold on: I’m buying a house I just saw on the way to this appointment. And breaking up with someone.

If I didn’t know us, I would think we must not have been a very picky couple to have chosen a place so quickly. The house we settled on was the fourth of a total 10 houses we looked at.

But I do know us. We have very particular tastes (needs to have that Old Town character, but also needs to be completely renovated and under $1 million, please. And be decorated by Jeff Lewis).

Listen, Poe. I’m not telling you again. You cannot afford me. Now quit following me.

So when we found something that ticked off almost everything on our list, we jumped on it. Plus, my bathroom has a sparkly crushed glass sink surround and a skylight. Which wasn’t even on my list, but should have been. I don’t know how I’ve lived without a skylight for so long. It’s shameful.

Our friends are a bit….er, overly excited for us. We’ve already had two friends/coworkers say that they’ve creeped by the new place and looked in the large front window. One was XFE’s co-worker who’s child is enrolled at the Catholic school/day care across the street. The other person is my friend and current neighbor Katie, who’s on maternity leave right now and obviously in need of something to do.

Maybe I’ll put her on a certain project called “find us some non-creeper window treatments.” (Just kidding, Katie.)

This is our new house. Only, much, much larger.

Going Forward, Toons Will Be Named ‘Speckled Oak’

Hello there my little kitty cats. Yes, I did steal that from Brandi Granville of RHoBH fame. She’s fantastic. Although, I don’t think it would hurt her to put a bra on once in a while, but that’s just me. (I hear Victoria’s Secret is having a sale right now, Brandi. Might wanna look into that.)

We had a very productive and fun weekend at the Poe House.

We celebrated the birth of, if not the name of (Blue Ivy? Blech. Sounds like some sort of skin condition), the newest member of hip hop royalty.

This trip is coming up incredibly close and extremely fast. So we did some trip planning. While enjoying the daisies.

Cue the “holy crap we have a trip coming up” insomnia. Not for Toons though. She’s getting plenty of sleep.

There was ironing, of course. Per usual, Petunia was less than helpful.

I went for my first run in 2012. Actually, my first run since the Las Vegas Rock N Roll extravaganza. And man, it’s amazing to me how quickly you lose any type of conditioning whatsoever. Needless to say, it was not a pretty run. No land speed records were broken during my three-mile jaunt (I refuse to call it a run). Petunia got her workout on later in the evening on her scratching board. Actually, she just lays on it. She and I have very similar workout philosophies.

The weekend was capped off with football and XFE’s amazingly awesome Old Bay wings. Senorita Fluff-N-Stuff was there, but was just too tired to watch football. All that running and Tebowing and repeated challenges just wore her out. I agree. I miss the RedZone too.

Anyone else do anything fun this weekend? Didn’t it feel like it just flew by?

My Other, Other Job

After speaking to a few co-workers, I’m feeling a bit sheepish about my blog post for today.

You see, today’s post is not nearly as weird and exciting as hunting down bridesmaids dresses in some teeny tiny stranger’s apartment in Northwest Washington like my friend over at www.cardigansandcouture.blogspot.com did this weekend. It all turned out well (the dresses are, of course, perfect and darling). But there is a random, oddly over-dressed mannequin in the background of a couple of the pictures she showed me today. Kinda creepy.

This post also isn’t going to live up to the weirdness experienced by another coworker who came home from a trip to find that her landlord (who is showing the apartment to potential new renters) had hidden or thrown away certain items, including her contact lense solution! WTF?? Who does that?

Anyway, as I said, nothing that fascinating happened to me this weekend (maybe because of my own personal effort at Carmageddon).

No, today rather, I’m about to bore you by talking about my other job. Because in addition to working a normal 40 hour week, and devoting a couple of hours a day to this awesome blog (you’re welcome), I have another job: laundry maven.

"I don't actually wash clothes. We just throw them away. Being rich is awesome!"

For two people and a cat, we create, in my opinion, an enormous amount of laundry. Now, don’t get all crazy. I know that people with kids create a butt-tonnage of laundry. That’s what makes this all so unbelievable. We don’t have kids and yet, I do laundry pretty much every day.

As it stands, I probably do a load of laundry every single day. And that’s just to keep up. There are usually a couple of loads on the weekend as well. Please keep in mind that most of our work items (suits, jackets, dresses, my blouses) goes to the drycleaners. Which my manservant-for-life XFE takes care of. Along with pretty much all the other household responsibilities. My only responsibility, for the most part, is the laundry.

I was recently speaking with someone with two growing girls who informed me that they do laundry once a week, and it involves about four-to-five loads. This boggled my mind. I can’t even comprehend how that is possible. I actually blurted out, “do you have an industrial machine?”

"Laundry is so glamorous and fun when you have a newborn. And a puppy."

Lemme walk you through a day of dressing at Chez Poe. There’s the workout gear for me and XFE. That’s really what contributes to the load of the day. Because, believe me, with my high stench factor, you do not want those sweaty workout clothes lying around. And at times, I’ve even been known to run in the morning and strength train in the evening, which means, double the stinky clothes.

Then there’s the work wear. As I said, most of that goes to the drycleaners, except XFE’s shirts. He doesn’t like the way they do collars at traditional drycleaners, so I wash and iron those, which is one of the weekend loads.

After work, there’s the hanging-around-the-house, doing-chores wear, mostly shorts and t-shirts, but since they’re worn while doing chores (washing the car, gardening, cleaning the grill), they get pretty dirty. If they’re just straight hanging-around-the-house clothes, they might get a couple of wears. And since I get cold if the household temperature drops below 80 (which it frequently does), I layer up. Creating more laundry.

Then there are the clothes for running around doing errands or meeting up with friends. These are cuter than the shorts and t-shirt combos mentioned about. And they also pile up in the hamper. Some weeks, there’s going out clothes, like for dinner or some other event.

Finally, the last costume change of the day is pajamas. Again, these are different from the hanging-around-the-house clothes, obviously. Then, there are all the various undergarments, which include tons of undershirts for XFE and camisoles or tank tops for me.

When you add in towels (including gym towels) and sheets, you get to a laundry load every day. Or at least, we do.

Oh, and don’t think for a minute that Petunia Potpie doesn’t contribute to the workload. Thanks to her profuse shedding, we cover a couple of pieces of furniture with sheets that we can toss into the laundry every once in a while. She also likes to sleep on the guest bed, which has a nice dark comforter that shows her cat hair quite nicely.

Then there’s the folding and putting away. I’m kinda obsessive about that. I do not have clean clothes “piles” lying around anywhere. We have one laundry basket and it’s always empty.

Don’t get me wrong, I am super grateful that we have a washing machine and dryer in our house. If I had to lug all that laundry around, I would probably start throwing stuff away. It would just disappear.

Growing up, we had to go to the laundry mat, which is an entire subculture in and of itself, with its own regulars’ hierarchy. I have seen grown women fight over a “good” washing machine, or a rolling cart where all the wheels actually work. So, at least we have that going for us.   

"Get away from my cart TMZ. I'm Eric Clapton. After Midnight, I'm gonna let it all hang out."

Annnnd, there you go. 800 words on laundry. Better go put a load in.