Excuses Excuses Excuses

No one, including me, likes to hear an excuse.  I’m fairly sure that reading them isn’t much more enjoyable.  Yet, here I sit, poised to write a post which is absolutely littered with them.

After a string of several weeks putting up 4 or 5 posts, I’ve fallen off the radar.

In truth, it’s not for lack of effort.  I’ve actually got a few things in the works, but none of them are quite ready yet.  The last thing anyone out there needs is an under-cooked blog.  They don’t digest well and will leave you readers with a funny taste in your mouths – bad funny, like getting hit in the privates, not good funny, like someone else getting hit in the privates.

Here are a few of the excuses I’ve been kicking around, followed by the reasons they suck:

Excuse  #1 – I’ve been really busy with work.

This excuse sucks because: Everyone gets busy at work, or worse yet, some readers may be among the scores of unemployed or under-employed and resent the hell out of me for having a job (actually, I have 3 jobs, but bringing that up won’t likely endear me to the unemployed)

Would it help if I mentioned that one of my jobs is working at a soup kitchen handing out croutons and extra napkins? (Image from untoldentertainment.com)

Excuse #2 – I’ve been saddled with family obligations.

This excuse sucks because: Everyone gets saddled with family obligations.  Feeling put-upon by the responsibilities of family life is one of the main reasons many of us write in the first place!  Writers in dry spells will envy my having family issues and obligations.  To be honest, my big family obligation was driving my daughter to Pittsburgh to help her move from one college dwelling to another. That’s not exactly like having a painful, dramatic intervention to get Aunt Tilly off the booze and pills.  Sorry Aunt Tilly, but making light of your addictions was for your own good (and it filled a void in my post)

Excuse #3 – I had to drive to Pittsburgh and back.

This excuse sucks because: Pittsburgh is a happening city filled with a delicious mix of culture and kitsch.  Driving there and back actually got me out of New Jersey for 3 days.  By the way, if you ever want to kill your liver and gain 10 pounds all in one weekend, let me know, I have some Pittsburgh attractions you won’t want to miss.

Excuse #4 – I was busy begging people to vote for me to win the “Gluttony” chapter of k8edid’s 7 Deadly Sins Challenge

This excuse sucks because: Even though I was busy begging, and I actually succeeded at winning, I now have 6 more deadly sins to write about and I have to make a good showing or I’ll look like a one-post wonder.  (By the way – Thanks for voting everybody, I’ll try not to let you down)

Excuse #5 – I was busy watching the NCAA men’s lacrosse playoffs.

This excuse sucks because: It’s not entirely true.  While Pittsburgh has no shortage of trendy bars and restaurants, I couldn’t find any bartenders who wanted to change the channel from tractor pulls or the replay of the Penguins most recent Stanley Cup Championship.  Though its popularity is growing by leaps and bounds across all demographics, many people still consider lacrosse the bastion of affluent, snotty rich kids.  With that in mind, maybe you’d enjoy watching the guy who will eventually receive a 7 figure bonus for moving your job to Sri Lanka get cross checked into the turf.

When the dude in the red shorts reorganizes your company and you end up on the soupline, you can look back fondly on this humiliating hit. (Image copyright – Hung Tran Photography)

Excuse #6 – I was expending all my creative efforts writing my rant for the people in my Survivor pool at work.

This excuse sucks because: Writing this blog is the excuse I gave to my work friends for doing such a lackluster job on the Survivor rant!  Let’s be honest, this season pretty much went down the toilet once Colton had to quit with menstrual cramps.

Excuse #7 – The sun was in my eyes.

This excuse sucks because: Everyone knows I do the bulk of  my blogging under cover of darkness.

Excuse #8 – I’m a perfectionist – you just can’t rush true art.

This excuse sucks because: Have you read my blogs?  Perfectionist?  Seriously?!

Ruminations On House Hunters

I can’t help myself.  Despite my intellectual leanings, I have these horribly pedestrian addictions which I simply cannot go without.  One such indulgence is watching House Hunters International on HGTV.  It’s a guilty pleasure; like drinking milk right out of the carton or drawing mustaches on the missing children on the side of the carton (it’s called age-progression, you haters).

The show’s based on a simple formula.  A couple is moving to some exotic location.  Sometimes due to to job transfers, sometimes because people just want to change their lives.  To the best of my knowledge, they’ve never featured anyone from the witness relocation program.  The English speaking realtor shows the couple three potential homes and then they choose one.  The end of the show features a look into their new home some months later to see how well (or how poorly) they’ve decorated and acclimated themselves to their new country.

In this culture, wearing a gold blazer is a badge of great shame

After watching entirely too many episodes, and having bought and renovated a few homes myself, I’ve developed some pet peeves which crop up repeatedly on the show.  If watching H.H.I. is a guilty pleasure, then finding fault with it is surely my way of reconciling having squandered yet another half an hour of my life.

Here then, are some of the recurring annoyances from this addictive show:

  • Twin sinks in the master bathroom – An amazing number of people have a strange fixation with having two sinks in the master bathroom.  It’s as if they have a burning desire to share the bathroom with their spouse.  Residential bathrooms are meant to be private refuges – whether you’re brushing your teeth or dropping a deuce – not a space for marital bonding.
  • Paint color – People often have serious problems with the paint color of interior rooms.  How inept do you have to be as a do-it-yourselfer to be stumped by painting a stinking wall?  Would anyone who is about to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a house really get tripped-up over something they can change for the price of a gallon of paint?  Hell, if it’s that tough to do, hire someone to paint it for you – the labor’s probably cheap there.  You can probably get the whole place repainted for a couple of chickens and a few of those funny octagonal coins with picture of the old woman on them.
  • Will the dog like it? – Again, they’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and these people are worried about whether the dog will be happy there?  The dog?!  I know a fair amount about dogs, if they can sit somewhere and lick their own butts, they’re going to be pretty happy.  If you’re really worried about Fido’s emotional well being, let him up on the furniture.
  • 90% of the shows end with the couple picking house number 2 – This isn’t really the fault of the house hunters themselves, but the producers follow the same pattern far too often – 1st house = flawed, 2nd house = flawed but much better, 3rd house = less flawed still, but too expensive or a 90 minute commute from downtown Reykjavik
  • This closet is fine – for me!  Ha Ha Ha!  The women in these twosomes love to crack this joke.  They find a giant closet and proclaim it will be great for her clothes, the man is relegated to sharing the linen closet with the dog.  Har dee har har!! You’re a laugh riot Alice!   [Author’s note: In the event of a gay male couple, the clothes-horse gets to crack this joke while his partner peers into the linen closet with a look of resignation on his face. In the event of a gay female couple, there is no joking]
  • Price change-aroo – After showing the 3 choices, the couple ends up buying the house which is way beyond their budget by offering substantially less than the asking price.  How was the viewer supposed to know the seller was so spineless on or that the buyers were so shrewd?  Who would have guessed that people who were such wusses about the paint color in the second bedroom could be such sharks in negotiations?
  • Guest room fixation – People are constantly whining about limited guest space for all the visiting relatives who will be dropping everything and flying to Slovenia to stay with them.  Simple answer; there are Motel 6’s all over the place, and if not, Aunt Sophie and Uncle Carl can damn-well stay home in Dayton.
  • Kitchens in the tropics rarely have ovens – Where will they cook the turkey for Thanksgiving?  My question; where do you get an 18 lb Butterball in Fiji?  More importantly still, why celebrate Thanksgiving when you’re living in paradise?   Go snorkeling instead!  Do you need me to explain how to enjoy the South Pacific?  How about I move there and you come stay in Jersey?
  • Not enough room to entertain – Entertain?!  It’s just you two and Mitzee the dachshund moving five thousand miles from home – who the hell are you going to entertain?!  Do you guys think that you’ll be any more popular than you were back in the U.S. of A.?  You don’t even speak the language yet!  It never fails that the entertainers always have guests over for the final scene of the show, and by “guests” I mean the realtor and his strange looking girlfriend.
  • Dwellings in many countries outside the US often have empty, unfurnished kitchens.  Buyers are constantly surprised by the lack of cabinets, appliances or even sinks in kitchens.  I know that this is often the way homes are sold abroad, just from watching TV.  Why aren’t these people aware of this?  They’re the ones who are actually moving to Turkey and they don’t have a clue!  If there’s even a slight chance you could be transferred to the Istanbul office, you should be watching this show and taking notes!  Do a little research, you dolts!  As long as we’re on the topic, why not consider going a little light on the kitchen cabinets so Mitzee has a little more room to run around?