Thursday, June 14, 2007

kate's travels

i am once again away from home for 3 weeks for training for work. again this time in cincinnati. although being away from home and sitting through 8 hours of class every day is stressful, nothing quite compares to the plane rides to and from cincinnati and one hour timezone changes every friday and sunday. good news though - TSA has been kind enough to introduce just enough ridiculousness to the process to make it interesting.
i do not check any luggage when coming to cincinnati. their airport ground crew is extremely slow and i have no interest in standing around the baggage claim for a half hour by myself waiting for my bag. so, i pack light and carry my suitcase on. just as a means of background, i also carry 2 laptops with me, my personal and my work computers. i always wear a hooded sweatshirt and crocs. i have things down to a science.
on my first trip to cincinnati, i completely forgot about the liquid rules. i had packed everything that i needed. let's be honest, especially when i have no need to look good for anyone, i really don't need much to get ready in the morning. unfortunately, i need just about one bottle more than fits in a one quart ziploc. ok, seriously, i had never SEEN a one quart ziploc until i suddenly needed to unpack my bag and try to fit everything in this bag. good thing i got their early.
so, i stuff my things in the bag, throwing away things that aren't necessary. i manage to make the bag look like it might close and wander my way up to the line. thank god there was no one behind me. i put one laptop in a bin, another laptop in a bin, my shoes (which after repeatedly trying to explain to TSA that they're MADE OF FOAM absolutely must be taken off) and sweatshirt and liquids in a 3rd bin, my backpack went through separately, and my carryon separately. i manage to create a 5 item caravan to get through security.
i walk through the metal detector without incident and overhear someone requesting that they perform a bag search on my bag. oh crap.
so, the TSA guy pulls my bag aside as i try to reassemble everything else and pulls out my bathroom bag. apparently he and i differ in terms of the question "what's a liquid". so he tells me i can't take my shaving cream, that toothpaste is a liquid, and that my contact solution is not a liquid. contact solution is not a liquid? how can that be?! because it is medicinal, which makes it not a liquid for purposes of TSA. he then puts the remainder of my things in the weird sized bag and tries to close it. it barely closes and he tells me that i'm lucky that he'll let me through because the bag must "close easily" in order to be allowed and that the next time i travel i should consider bringing less stuff. whatever dude.
so i go to cincinnati. on the way back, there are no problems.
again i return to the milwaukee airport. this time, i'm prepared. i have everything in the baggy and life is good. i unpack my suitcase, take off most of my clothes, say a prayer, and walk through. again, i overhear someone asking for a bag search for my bag. son of a bologna!
so i ask the TSA guy what the problem seems to be. you see, i drink tropical punch koolaid. i purchase the tub stuff that's mixed with the sugar already and i was bringing some back to cincinnati with me. apparently the koolaid in my suitcase required them to check my bag. the TSA man told me that i should probably send the koolaid through separately the next time. in addition to my 2 laptops, sweatshirt, shoes, and liquid items. so everything but my clothes. yeah, i'll get right on that.
the true hilariousness of this story occurred to me this morning as i was taking a shower and shaving my legs. yes, shaving my legs. with a razor that i brought onto the plane 3 separate times without anyone questioning me.
i can't wear foam shoes through the metal detector.
i can only bring a one quart bag full of less than 3oz of each liquid (which apparently includes pastes...)
i should send koolaid through separately.
i had to throw away my shaving cream because it didn't fit.
a razor though, no problem.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

the chronicles of vista ave

on wednesday, may 16th, michael and i became home owners. owners of a home that is 101 years old. our time since may 16th has been filled with home improvement project after home improvement project. some easier than others. the only constant with this process has been that the project is never as easy as it seems!
when we bought the house, we knew the kitchen was not going to meet our needs. it is limited in cabinet space and even more limited in counter space. the appliances are varying colors, including black, white, and avocado green. the countertops were cream colored laminate. the sink was cream colored. the faucet wasn't too bad, but it hadn't been cleaned in awhile and needed some love.
so our first project when we moved in was to paint. the sunroom was originally a neon yellow/green color, the living room was a very loud red, and the kitchen was a combination of blue and green (to tie in the stove of course!). we changed the sunroom to mist yellow, the living room to sage green, and the kitchen to brown. much better!
our house has a lot of character, which i have taken to mean a pain in the ass. we have a lot of beautiful woodwork in our living room, but unfortunately they didn't tape when they painted the last three times, so there is (currently) a red stripe on the edge of the woodwork. my mom showed us how to strip the wood, but that's going to have to stay on hold for awhile.
next up was hanging things on the wall. our walls are plaster. the drywall mounts they give you with everything DO NOT work. in fact, they cause quite the mess. but after a couple of trips to Lowes we're good to go. now i just have to wait for the spackle to dry before i really hang things!
next we began remodeling the kitchen, which was full of more trials and tribulations than i want to bore you with. let's just say that mike was without a kitchen sink for 7 full days (i, of course, left for training in cincinnati for 3 weeks!). we have one new countertop (without edges, those are to come), a new sink (stainless steel!), a garbage disposal (we didn't have one before!), and a brand new faucet - with a soap dispenser! things are coming along quite nicely. now we just have to finish the other two countertops.
we ordered cabinets to make an island and a pantry, those should be in at the end of june. of course, they don't come installed and we have to do the counter for them also!
we're learning a lot and really enjoying working together to solve the ridiculous amount of problems we've run into so far!
for pictures, go to