THE COZYHUNTER
// she's only happy in the sun.
29
Feb 08
2 comments

khozouei’s

today i really missed my family…more than usual. i so look forward to seeing mum, roshan and anisa at the end of the month. in other news, my dad’s sideburns are a force to be reckoned with.

29
Feb 08
2 comments

ten times out of ten

my dear friend marabeth has a problem. the problem is that she cannot get away with anything. so much so that it has become a catch phrase for us to say “marabeth gets busted. ten times out of ten”.

the thing is, marabeth rarely does anything that would land her in trouble in the first place. after all, i’m the deviant out of the two of us. she is honest to a fault, ultra considerate and very conscientious. while i, on the other hand, am a bit less so on all three counts. (i’m working on this).

one of the first times i realized how vulnerable maz was to getting ‘caught out’ was when we ‘borrowed’ a new van from the baha’i world center in haifa, israel. these vans are strictly meant for use on the baha’i property, or for work related purposes. marabeth had needed the van earlier in the day for a legitimate reason, and we figured while she had it we would take a quick harmless detour to the store.

our trip went smoothly until we went to park the van later on that evening. there was another car parked very closely to the entrance of the parking lot resulting in marabeth entering the gates to the lot at an awkward angle. suddenly she was inches from scraping the side of the brand new van against the brick wall.

i don’t remember how helpful i was in this situation, but i have a feeling i was probably sitting in the front seat and laughing so hard i couldn’t breathe, while she panicked. there was no going forward, or reversing without doing some damage…and we couldn’t just sit there diagonally blocking part of the street and the entrance way…so she had to pull out and we heard the crunch of metal. no good.

of course a report had to be filled explaining the ‘accident’ and i’m sure eyebrows were raised as to why the van was being returned several hours after it was expected. incident one.

incident two that i recall was even worse because marabeth was busted for something that i encouraged (okay, perhaps bullied) her to do.

once again, this took place in haifa. i’m cringing even thinking about it. so we had a pizza party where we bought small individual pizza bases and people chose their toppings etc. we overestimated and there were about 15 pizza bases left over. one day i was tired of them taking up all the room in our freezer. they were well past the use-by date and all frost bitten. time to dispose. israel doesn’t exactly have the most efficient garbage removal system. in fact, i can’t really recall what we did with our trash (the residue NZer in me wants to write ‘rubbish’).

anyway, i decided, genius as i am – that it would be hilarious to frisbee them out of the window of our apartment (we were on the 3rd floor). i figured they were biodegradable and they’d become compost in a matter of days. i frisbeed the first one out of the window into the night sky and collapsed laughing as it spiraled through the air and landed on the road below. there were some poor pedestrians looking up at the sky examining these mini dough ufo’s and i was on a roll. marabeth watched me with concern and i berrated her for being such a ‘grandma’, for not ever ‘letting go’ and having some fun. i teased her about not being spontaneous until i finally coerced her into throwing one of the pizza bases out the window. she gave in. i died laughing.

the rest of the bases i took care of in the same manner and then happily skipped off to a friday night talk.

i came home to a very steely marabeth. she then explained to me how minutes after i had left, our downstairs israeli neighbor had come up to our door in a rage and furiously demanded that marabeth go downstairs and pick up every last soggy pizza base remnant from the road and the garden below. it had started to rain so as you can imagine how much fun it was clambering through mud in the dark fishing out semi-defrosted dough while a rather scary israeli woman watched on. using a tone i’d never heard before, marabeth quietly but firmly informed me that i was going to march downstairs with flowers that she had bought and apologize to the neighbor and inform her that i was the culprit of this prank-gone-wrong. luckily the woman had calmed down a little bit when i got to her door. still, i felt awful.

there was also the time marabeth tried to be ‘helpful’ by cleaning out the fridge of a friend’s apartment that we were staying in while our flat was being painted. once again, there was the dillema of how to dispose of trash…and so going off the advice of another friend she decided to flush foodstuffs down the toilet. it all seemed to be going well until the last flushing and the random green olive that bobbed around in the water.

a few hours later while marabeth and i were in our room – me on the phone and her trimming her hair, we heard the other flatmate in the bathroom making concerned sounds. we then heard her flush the toilet followed by her exclaiming, ‘uh oh!’.

again she flushed. and that’s probably when it hit us that the whole ‘disposal’ idea was not such a good idea. and we hid in our room and pretended to be asleep. long story short, the toilet overflowed and it was marabeth’s fault for trying to be a good houseguest.

there are countless other incidents. but i was reminded of all this again tonight when i checked my work email to see a message sent out by my boss to the entire marketing department with the subject line ‘missing lamp!’.

today marabeth and i had rearranged our workspaces in the office and she had found a lamp that no one was using – or so she thought. she dusted it off, and placed it on her desk. opening up this email i see that our boss had himself placed this lamp in the newly renovated office and was quite concerned about where it had disappeared to. marabeth had to email him and basically admit she had taken it.

it just reinforced to us that even things that no one else would ever get in trouble for, she manages to get busted for.

ten times out of ten.

28
Feb 08
1 comment

blatant endorsement

if you haven’t yet been introduced to tom’s of maine products consider this your introduction. hello, meet tom’s of maine, it will change your life. i don’t know where i first tried it but their range of products are fantastic. the toothpaste is a staple and i refuse to by any other brand. it leaves your teeth feeling so clean and polished. no weird chalky residue. best of all no artificial ingredients or chemicals. they make 11 flavors of toothpaste including apricot, cinnamint, black currant and orange mango. but without using artificial sweetners of any kind. colgate shmolgate. find some at your nearest health food store today.

28
Feb 08
3 comments

hello, my name is golriz

what’s in a name? that which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet

shakespeare’s romeo and juliet , 1594

*
at least three times i day i spell out my name. the conversation always goes something like this:

sorry, say that again…goal whaah?

gol-riz. i know…it’s unusual. i’ll spell it for you. Gee Oh eL Rrr I Zed

zed?

oops, i mean zee.

zee?

yep, zee as in zebra

long pause. your name is gooorize?

close, but more like goal-reeez

golda-reece?

um, not quite. there is no ‘d’. it doesn’t reallly matter. i mean i don’t even know that i say it right.

okay…pause…gloria. It’s kinda like gloria isn’t it?

not really. no. but that’s fine.

*

the other day i got a piece of mail addressed to Gold Reeves. Someone actually wrote “Dear Marabeth, Leigh and Gold Reeves”.

*

lately names, or more accurately my name has been on my mind a lot. it’s interesting to me the ideas we carry around regarding our names. the interesting relationship we have with them…they are picked for us without our consent and then we live with them or not. sometimes modifying or choosing a nickname or changing the spelling…but our name is part of our identity. my name is…

and there is a reaction that follows. with my name it’s either ‘sorry, can you please repeat that?’, ‘what does it mean?’, ‘where does it come from?’, and almost always – ‘i’ve never met a golriz’ – to which i respond ‘neither have i’.

i was not able to spell my last name (khozouei) until i was about 6 years old. i would always mess up the order of the last few letters. my claim to fame was that my last name had every vowel except for ‘a’. but it was a mouthful. whenever roll call was read out i knew when my name had come up because there would inevtiably be a long pause. and then the poor teacher would try their best to sound out the odd combination of letters…

soon, my last name will be changing and i’ve decided i’m going to choose my own last name. i know that this may seem a little bit radical. actually, i didn’t think it was such a big deal until started talking to people about my idea. the mix of reactions was surprising…who knew that it would result in such consternation? it isn’t as if i’m going to change my name to a symbol or anything – don’t tempt me.

i decided that since my iranian heritage is covered by golriz, i’d like to choose a name that reflects my armenian background. i did some research and i found a name i love. i love the sound of it. i love the meaning. and i really like the idea that it will be my choice. a last name i’ve chosen for me. i’ll share it soon. stay tuned.

*

26
Feb 08
3 comments

title shmitle

I love this artistic collaboration that my friends amy and leila are working on during the 19 days of the baha’i fast. Both have such a wonderful sense for composition and color…I can’t wait to see glimpses of the ‘dawn’ they each experience and share on opposite sides of the planet.

**

on our walk to our cars after work (when our brains no longer compute effectively) the strangest conversations between Maz and I occur. Usually we are laughing so much we can’t breathe…which is a feat in itself since we are both so tired we are barely vertical. Yesterday’s conversation has to be recorded for posterity:

“He is a little odd looking”

“Yeah…he has that ‘I’m going to kidnap you, take you home and chop you up and put you in my freezer’ look about him doesn’t he?”

“No…I meant something else”

“Really? Like what?”

“Um, he looks like he has no equilibrium”

“Equilibrium?!”

“Yeah. like he might have an inner ear problem or something”

Pause.

“Did you really just describe someone has having no equilibrium?”

“Yep”

“Why can’t you just say ‘balance’?”

“If you hang out with me you have to be down with five syllable words”

**

I love thrift stores. In NZ they are called ‘op shops’ (short for ‘opportunity shop’). I have many fond memories of my mum and I checking them out after school sometimes. I would rummage through all the stuff and find a little vase, or a piece of costume jewelry…it was like a treasure hunt. It cultivated a real love for second hand objects…I’d wonder what the story was behind my little finds…how far they had travelled, whose hands had held them. It’s amazing how many things we amass only to one day belong to someone else. It all transfers and journeys through homes and lives. Once loved, and now found and loved again.

This weekend Marabeth and I were on a mission to find a dining table. We drove down to Murfreesboro and looked at a couple of stores.

We came to a few conclusions really quickly:

- dining tables are expensive

- the comfort of a chair cannot be determined by how ‘cool’ it looks

- we have no tolerance for uncomfortable chairs

- furniture made for outdoor use sometimes looks much better than furniture created for indoors

- poppy red enamel tables are hard to find

- Nashville needs an IKEA

We were getting a little defeated by the process and as we walked through a thrift store that had slim pickings I saw ‘her’ – the most perfect table ever. My favorite style – mid century modern, hand made in the 60’s…and still in beautiful condition. Complete with 8 chairs. Oh the dinner parties that will be had around her lovely curves. The woman working at the thrift store overheard our glee and informed us that the table was to be marked down 25% that same day. I had to restrain myself from leaping up and kissing her. But that would have also meant leaving the table for a second, and that was too risky. I basically pulled up a chair and sat there, in the window of the Salvation Army store…as if I was waiting for someone to bring me my dinner. We promptly bought the table and then went on and on and on, like proud parents about her every feature. How well she was made. How we had eight chairs to work with. How comfortable the chairs were. And so on. You are cordially invited to a dinner party at our new house, around our new table. Date to be confirmed.

**

22
Feb 08
3 comments

Important Lesson of the Day

1. Proof reading is not overrated.

I found out this morning that a tag line that a radio station had been running for weeks for an upcoming show I’m marketing had the wrong number listed for tickets. This error is pretty damaging, especially as sales are struggling for this show and so directing people to a number that isn’t the box office number is not at all helpful.

So I decided to call the wrong number just to see where we had in fact directed people to.

And let’s add more awfulness to this situation by having the number that has been in every advertisement I’ve placed be for an adults only xxx party line.

Yeah. Panic stations ensued. I called my rep and the tag will be changed today. It just makes me cringe thinking of all the people that called this number innocently to get tickets to Camelot and instead were given the option to have an ‘exciting’ talk (that is actually what the recording said when I called).

21
Feb 08
2 comments

my apartment is freezing…

but we are refusing to turn on the heat. it has something to do with the fact that we are leaving and we don’t care about making the last weeks we have in this apartment liveable…there is this sense that being comfortable here is a big waste since we are going to our wonderful new home soon. it’s like we want to experience the real extremes.

i know. it makes no sense whatsoever. i thought if i wrote it out it would clarify the situation, but no. it just serves to point out how truly nonsensical it is. as nonsensical as me sitting inside and wearing three layers covered by a puffy down jacket.

want to know what else makes very little sense? we are refusing to buy any groceries because we are determined not to move any food stuffs from one abode to another. which made COMPLETE sense at the time the stance was taken. but now, when i open a pantry that offers sesame seeds, seaweed wraps for sushi, oatmeal, half a box of cereal and three cans of beets i’m a little concerned.

and it brings up the question of why did i ever buy canned beetroot? and not just one can but THREE. i don’t even like it. i like fresh steamed beetroot drizzled with olive oil, with feta cheese and walnuts crumbled all over it. but canned? not a fan. i can assure you that these cans will still be there in the pantry on moving day. i might leave them here as a welcome home present to the new residents.

because the first thing you crave when you move into a new place is a can of beets. or three.

*

i took marabeth to zumba. it was supposed to be hilariously funny and a total disaster. but no, turns out the girl is a zumba savant. a total natural. she took to it with grace and poise. and while i was doubled over in laughter she was salsa-ing and shimmying and sashaying effortlessly.

this happened once before…i was telling marabeth about this very difficult yoga pose. a pose that it had taken me a whole YEAR to accomplish…and i was still a long way off from mastering it. i described how difficult it was and how even my instructor had difficulty with it. the next thing you know she jumps up and does the pose…she looks at me and asks innocently ‘you mean, this?’. it was as if she was placed on this earth for the sole purpose of doing the pose perfectly. on command. with not a hint of difficulty.

yeah. moral of the story – i’m going to leave her behind next time.

*

a friend asked for my mega muffin recipe. i would share it if there was a recipe but there isn’t one. it basically is a combination of everything in my kitchen that you could potentially put in muffins. and it is everchanging. i usually start out with three eggs and then it’s anyone’s guess from there. somehow even though they contain no oil and no sugar they always turn out delicious. i think the secret is lots of mashed up bananas and grated apples/pears or carrot and berries so they are moist.

anusce – when you visit me in nashville i’ll make you your very own batch. reason three hundred and seventy four why you need to come to nashville soon!

*
the bad hair i’m rocking is outweighed by the coolness of the sunbursts in our sunglasses.

20
Feb 08
1 comment

lots of text doesn’t always equate to having anything to say.

i keep finding stuff that i don’t need at all but i still want. like this tea stick, this simple but beautiful hour glass and this chandelier wall decal.

what i do need with a needing like i haven’t encountered since the days i just-HAD-to-have(!) a gocco print (remember?) is this adorable dining table for our new house. is it not so perfect? see how it fits together like a puzzle? tell me that you don’t want to just run over and HUG this table. see. it’s actually huggable. there are not many tables you can say that about, what with their hard edges and glass tops. in fact i am not a fan of glass topped tables. i hate the sound of putting plates on them and the constant smudges of fingerprints that you can’t avoid. i would actually love an old farm table that has stains from years of use. one that you could place your hot steaming mug of tea on without worrying about it marking the table. in fact, the marks are what would make it more beautiful. and it would fit 4 or 14 easily. and none of the tableware would match. and there would always be wildflowers in some jar in the center. oh and outside the sun is always shining and fresh organic produce is brought to my doorstep every sunday. yes, in that reality i’d want a sturdy wooden farm table. but in current reality, this ikea gem will do just fine.

*

so this blog i stumbled across is just made up of beautiful photographs of the dinner this person eats every night. i checked it out and now i have dinner envy.

i love this foodie blog too, but it might have a lot to do with its name: smitten kitchen. because let’s face it, the word ‘smitten’ is just great. it’s up there with greatest all time words. i’m not sure why it has so much appeal to me. it might have something to do with its proximity to mittens and kittens, but i think it’s more about what it means to be ‘smitten’.

dictionary.com tells us that it means:
1. struck, as with a hard blow.
2. grievously or disastrously stricken or afflicted.
3. very much in love.

also

4. to afflict or attack with deadly or disastrous effect: smitten by polio.
5. to affect mentally or morally with a sudden pang: His conscience smote him.
6. to affect suddenly and strongly with a specified feeling: They were smitten with terror.

okay so i guess i never thought about definition 1 or 2. or 4, 5 or 6.

um…’his conscious SMOTE him’? that is a little severe.

the word is rapidly losing it’s endearing quality.

*
moving on…went to yoga after work and had a lovely evening with dear holley, baby luca, simon, randy, paula and the contestants of project runway. ate macaroons with tea. it was the perfect dinner. perhaps lacking in vital nutrients but what it lacked in vitamins and minerals it made up for in sweet coconutty goodness and caffiene.
*

have i ever mentioned before that the security guard at my work is an elvis impersonator? he is also a little too ‘friendly’ for my liking, and INSITS on looking at my ID card everytime I walk by him. so now, even though he has seen me daily for almost six months, he still checks my card as if it is the first time he’s laid eyes on me. well all this combined to make me a little uncomfortable around him…i try to walk by as quickly as i can and keep communication to a minimum.

and yes, i know i live in nashville. and perhaps i should just accept it. but i have to draw the line somehere…he even has elvis memorabilia decorating his security stand. like an actual mini shrine to elvis! you would also be a little wierded out.

recently i found he not only does impersonations but he is also a stripper. yep. he goes from clothed fake elvis to nude fake elvis. you probably didn’t need me to break it down for you. but i want you to know that this is the first person i see every morning when i go to work. this, THIS is how my day begins.

chances of me being able to look him in the eye ever again = zero.

*
i made another batch of mega muffins last night. they have 8 grains in them but no flour. they are so dense that eating one for breakfast tides you over for three days. well not three days, but a long time. they also have bananas, dates, flax seed, oats and berries in them. the baha’i fast will begin soon (march 2nd) and for 19 days we abstain from eating/drinking between sunrise and sunset. these mega muffins will be my best friend during that time.

*
tomorrow i’m taking maz to ‘zumba’. it’s a class at the Y that is basically one hour of non stop latin-american-funk-fusion-dance. although if you were watching me it would not look anything like that. i laugh throughout the entire class, my left and right are muddled, i have tried to figure out the difference between samba, rhumba and mambo but still need some clarification. and i’m also really distracted by the wall to wall mirrors that PRESENT me with my uncoordination – incase I had any doubts about just how OUT of sync with everyone else. i’m also perturbed by the fact that every set ends with our instructor yelling ‘strike your unique pose!’ and i don’t have a ‘pose’ yet so i usually put my legs and arms out like a stranded starfish. it’s pretty much as ridiculous as it sounds.

i know you want to be there.

*

10
Feb 08
3 comments

le petit maison



i have always dreamed of living in a little house in a lovely neighborhood. i’ve done the apartment thing for 8 years and i’m tired of it. i wanted a place with a front door that just belonged to me. and a back garden. and a real mailbox. in maine our apartment had a view of a the ocean. it was spectacular. you know what was NOT spectacular? climbing 4 flights of stairs with groceries every week.

in melbourne we lived on the ninth floor of a brand new apartment highrise. it was swanky and it was located on the main street of melbourne. central to everything. downstairs there was a cafe, a few steps away my yoga studio and a beautiful park i would take henry to every day. i loved being in the middle of my favorite city. but i still craved a little plot of earth that was just ours. being suspended in the air eventually lost its novelty. especially once we got a puppy that had to use a cat litter on the balcony. f taught him to ‘ring a bell’ when he wanted to go out. no dog should have to be that smart.

today marabeth and i got the news that the house in east nashville we fell in love with is OURS! we endeared ourselves to the owner and she chose us over the other applicants! and so dear friends, here it is! our lovely new home…two years old, hard wood floors, accent walls, a vaulted ceiling in the living room, lots of natural light flooding in, a HUGE back garden perfect for summer night soirees. oh! and the kitchen has one whole wall that is a chalkboard. how fun is that?!

best of all it is in a neighborhood we adore. minutes from an independent health food store, and my favorite cafe for brunch. it is also a measly three miles from work. i could WALK to work. and anyone who knows how much i love to walk will know how happy this makes me.

goodbye zillapedes.
goodbye not-enough-parking-spaces
goodbye woman upstairs who ‘shh-es’ us when we laugh too loud.
goodbye annoying 30 minute commute to work.

housewarming party. april 12. be there.

10
Feb 08
2 comments

a distraction from being ravenous.

since friday morning marabeth and i have been on the ‘ph miracle’ cleanse.

the main premise of the ‘pH miracle’ is that our health depends on the pH balance of our blood. the optimum balance is 80% alkaline, 20% acidic. with all the sugar/chemically altered/processed foods we eat, these levels are often messed up resulting in all kinds of health problems. sticking to this diet supposedly changes the chemistry of your blood and balances the pH levels…thus resulting in a healthier, happier you. could i sound more like an infomercial? probably not.

the back cover of the book says the cleanse ‘reduces impurities, normalizes digestion and metabolism.’ what it fails to mention is that you become so hungry you are willing to gnaw off your own arm. that you never want to see another cucumber again. and that celery is really overrated.

the highlight of the past three days have been the almonds that i’ve been eating. which is ‘cheating’ since we are only supposed to have certain vegetables and that’s it. we are also supposed to liquify everything but both Maz and I agree that a meal is NOT a meal if you can’t chew it.

in case you want to live through the past three days vicariously through me (i wouldn’t really recommend it), here is a brief synopsis:

day one:
7am woke up very excited about the cleanse
bounced into the kitchen and drank my lemon juice/cayenne pepper concoction
felt better already

9am drank the ‘healing soup’ (basically a broth of cucumber/celery/cilantro/garlic/ginger)
9.05am i am so hungry. my stomach starts eating itself. asks me where the regular breakfast of tea and cookie is.

12pm lunch was more ‘healing soup’ and a salad with no dressing. the salad does have half an avocado on it.
i decide avodados are my best friend.
BIM eats hot steaming bbq ribs in the cubicle next to me. i shoot daggers at him through the cubicle partition.
i want to curl up under my desk and sleep.

REST. OF. THE. DAY: cannot concentrate. lemon water and cayenne is being consumed in large quantities. my eyes are bloodshot. i am shivering with cold and aching all over. i want caffienne and I NEED sugar. i realize i’m addicted to both and feel a bit like the poor people on ‘interventions’ when they are going through withdrawals. I’d read in the book that you feel worse before you feel better. the book wasn’t lying.

day two:
wake up feeling apathetic about breakfast (more healing soup) so i don’t bother.
spend all morning deciding what i’m going to eat as soon as i’m off the ‘dumb’ cleanse
decide that the author of the dumb cleanse had stocks in celery and tomatoes since that is all i can eat.
11am eat a bowl of gazpacho (pureed cucumber/fresh tomato with celery, garlic and cilantro) topped with avocado
11.05am feel immense gratitude for avocados
11.09am finished my bowl of gazpacho but i don’t feel like i’ve eaten anything for weeks.
11.10am eat a handful of almonds
11.11am eat another handful of almonds
11.12am go for my third handful of almonds and decide to leave the house
stay busy running errands, treking around the mall, go to a movie and try to ignore the smell of popcorn.
7pm go to holley’s place and raid her ‘nut’ jar for as many almonds as I can pluck out. accidentally eat a few peanuts. they taste AMAZING.
11pm come home and crawl into bed

day three:
wake up and actually feel refereshed and energized
sun is shining (this helps my mood too)
9am gazpacho for breakfast with half an avocado. also added some flax seeds. it tastes really good. for a minute i wonder if i should do the cleanse for the full week (that is what the book recommends)
10am work on common ground stuff, super productive, run more errands. feeling good.
3pm hit a wall of fatigue and hunger
3.10pm driving home i call maz and ask her one good reason why i shouldn’t pick us up a large pizza. she reminds me this is the final day of this madness.
3.30pm come home and eat a huge salad. more almonds. and some steamed edamame. these are not technically on the cleanse but it was either that or start to whimper.
5.23pm write on my blog as a distraction. decide to go for a walk and make the most of the first hints of spring in nashville.

02
Feb 08
2 comments

he no longer has a blog…

but since i store things i love here, here is something i love.

I wonder about stars almost constantly. How far they really are from us. Their silence. Their stability. Their modesty- just one twinkle every now and then… and yet, from up close… how loud they could be. How they’d scream and scream. How hot and… the very mouth of fire. And yet, when you take some few steps away from them, from earth, they seem so sad. So lonely. I often wonder how hard it must be for them to stand in their place. To stand still like that. To fight gravity with soo much persistence. What does it take? How many men must be born and turn to sand and be born out of sand and return to it yet again before just one star gives up its pride to hug another? What does it take for two stars to hug?

QMN.

01
Feb 08
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east side story

so my lease runs out at the end of april and marabeth and i have decided to relocate to the east side. whenever we talk about this move we definitely incorporate the dorky ‘east side’/'west side’ gang hand gestures. of course we have no idea what symbol we are doing, or who we are representing. or fronting. or whatever it is. but we think we are very cool talking about our new ‘hood’ and you would just cringe. in fact you are probably cringing right now. sorry.

anyway, with both of us working at TPAC it just makes sense to be closer to downtown – currently the commute is about 20 minutes either way. and frankly, i don’t like filing up my car with petrol so often and polluting the poor earth so much. there are other bonus points for east nashville. it appears to me that it is more crunchy hipster cool…more like melbourne’s smith street with it’s health food stores, little coffee shops and boutique restaurants. i like the feel of the neighbourhood. i like the fact that i could have breakfast at marche every morning if i wanted to. it could finally be the cafe i walk into and the barrista knows me. and asks ‘the usual?’ and it is just like the movies where i have a certain spot by the window i sit and drink my morning latte and ravage my chocolate croissant. or almond croissant since chocolate is still supposedly the enemy.

well tonight i decided to start hunting for some places. it’s early to be looking but i just wanted an idea of what was available. unfortunately the people are right. ‘the people’ are the people that tell me stuff i don’t want to hear. the people told marabeth and i that finding a place in east nashville was a rarity. the location has become a hot commodity and so apartments are few and far between.





i searched and found some dismal options. so step two is befriending east nashvillians and working the insider contacts.

while searching i learned a few very important things:

1. ‘charming bungalow’ often means ‘this place is one rotting floorboard away from being condemned but as it is still standing…albeit with a lean to the left…so you should rent it’

2. if the sole picture of the property is a picture of the sink, then the property is probably not that attractive. unless your fears are abated by seeing a sink. i was really baffled by this actually because so many of the listings had pictures of the kitchen sink or bathroom sink. like someone would see that and go ‘aha! i must rent this place because it actually has running water! out of a tap! into a sink! wowee. what more does a tenant really need?’

3. if you are trying to market your apartment successfully perhaps do not use a picture that looks like it was taken at the scene of a crime.

4. same thing with sepia toned, out of focus shots. artsy when taken of your loved one. annoying when taken of the place you are trying to sell me on.

5. how about you take the industrial size bottle of carpet cleaner OUT of the frame when you take the shot of the living room?

6. people have scary looking bedrooms. what is with all the velvet drapery? and then the shot of the vast living area with the one sad chair. why leave that chair there? why not take it out?

7. i have also come to the conclusion that wallpaper was never a good idea.

8. and in case you were looking…need a place for you AND your horse?
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tomorrow is going to be a busy day.

first i’ll start the morning off with a yoga class followed by a pilates class. (i’m making up for the fact that this week the most exercise i did was ‘exercising’ restraint in not flinging my body against the rack of organic chocolate at the health food store.

a hot stone massage which i won because of marabeth’s powers of visualisation. (i have to insert this story for jenjackrabbit’s reading pleasure – so maz and i went to this health empowerment class with double P’s and i was dragging my feet because it was a thursday night and i could think of a hundred better things to do, like sleep or floss my teeth. anyway she used her best plea voice and told me how i’d get a ‘glimpse’ into her world and that she would even drive and that they had door prizes. so she convinced me and we get there. it was uhm…let’s call it ‘interesting’. double P’s has been watching a few too many infomercials perhaps and was very enthusiastic. if not a little over the top. there was lots of ‘turn to your neighbor and high five’ them and a few too many outbursts of ‘am i right? or am i right?’. and if we failed to respond we’d get prompted to repeat ‘Yeah, Pete you are RIGHT!’. he could have been selling the ginsu knife set. it was that awkward in parts. the premise of the class is great. intelligent and holistic. but the delivery. well it needs work. anyway…not the point. at the end of the hour they pulled a name out of the basket. mare leaned over to me and chanted my name three times and tah-dah the universe obliged. i won the door prize – a half hour hot stone massage. marabeth’s mouth dropped open in surprise and she was instantly swept with all-consuming door prize envy. she basically faceplanted the cliche of ‘careful what you wish for’. it was priceless and tragic.

back to my saturday. next i am going to watch a basketball game at vanderbilt.

fido’s for supper/coffee with friends followed by ‘the bell and the butterfly’ at the belcourt.

at some point i’m also going to bundle up. sit in the tree house and journal. read. reflect.

hope you have a wonderful weekend. oh and if you find us place in east nashville in your spare time i’d really appreciate it.

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