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This Blog Is About To Get Even Better. If That’s Possible.

I know, I can’t believe it either.

But as riveting as posts about pet dust bunnies and senseless wine glass violence are, we’re kicking it up a notch, folks.


See how I did that?  That easy.

As Katie revealed earlier, very soon here we’re about to get even less domestic than we were to begin with.  Normally, I’d say the only way that’d be possible is if we moved to rural Arkansas and spent our days on a rickety porch in bare feet and rolled-up overalls blowing mountain songs on whiskey jugs.

But, in this instance, it means we’re blowing off our household duties (ha!  like we did them to begin with) and hitting the road for two whole months.

And this ain’t your grandma’s annual road trip to the Atlantic City slots, either.

All right, we’ve toyed with your emotions enough.

We’ve explained, for the most part, about why and for how long, but it’s finally time to tell you where we’re going–

–And to do so, we’ve arranged a month-long series of events featuring increasingly elaborate tasks our readers must accomplish prior to the “GRAND FINALE REVEAL!” on August 30th at the Molson Amphitheater in Ontario, Canada.  Tickets are on sale now!

–Or I can just tell you that we’re going to Costa Rica.  Hah, how I slay myself!

But, in all seriousness, Costa Rica is, in fact, where we’re going.

And while we’re there from mid-August to mid-October, we’ll be doing some volunteer work for a chili pepper farm, taking a metric ton of photos, sampling fascinating cuisine (for a related topic, see list item #1 below), venturing out on exciting weekend excursions, and generally trying not to contract malaria.

Ok, I’ll admit that was kind of a weak reveal after weeks and weeks of buildup but, in all fairness, we kind of trapped ourselves in a situation where anything short of hearing that we’re launching into outer space was going to be a disappointment to some reader out there.

Plus, it’s not like we’re getting paid to do this blog.  So walk it off.

Besides, going to Costa Rica isn’t even the most exciting news.

In fact, Katie already mentioned the best part in her last post, but you were probably too busy staring at her boobs.  But that’s ok.  I know it’s hard to resist their sweet siren song.

So are you ready to hear the good news (again)?

Cause here it comes…

You’re coming to Costa Rica with us!

 And here’s a little taste of what you’ll be experiencing…

Miravalles Volcano in Guanacaste

Llanos de Cortez, outside Bagaces

Parque Nacional Rincón de la Vieja

Now, before you arm-sweep everything off your desk into your trashcan and start flipping off coworkers while lugging a briefcase full of smuggled office supplies to your car, I feel I should add a caveat here.

We can’t literally take you with us since you probably have families who’d get all weird and start putting up “Missing” posters with your face on them all over town.

Besides, with six hours of direct, unadulterated exposure to Katie, me, and our incessant, senseless chatter on the flight to Costa Rica, the odds are extremely high that you’d be clawing at that emergency door handle somewhere shortly after takeoff, ready for sweet, silent oblivion.

But we can still take you with us in a less “suicide-y” way.  And we intend to — by continuing this here blog from Costa Rica, so that the tales of our shenanigans might be a shining beacon of light in your otherwise crap life.

Or, you know, just a way for you to burn a quick five minutes each day.

Anyhoo, now that the secret’s out, let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we?

Based on my research of the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica in which we’ll be visiting and the opinions of a doctor (or I assume he is… whatever, he wears a lab coat) — as well as the unsolicited advice of a large number of nosy strangers — apparently, Katie and I can look forward to the following:

1.  At least one or more vengeful bouts of “travelers’ diarrhea” that will literally make us wish we’d never been born, let alone left the States.  My doctor gave me the sunny prognosis that there’s about an 85% likelihood that several days of the trip will be spent in agonizing torment in the seventh circle of hell (otherwise known as “the crapper”).  Awesome.  I’m debating whether or not I will subject you guys to this apparently inevitable little incident.  It will largely depend on how bitter and hate-filled I’m feeling after all’s said and done.

2.  Extremely hot, humid conditions.  It will be muggy and steamy and damp.  Also, it will be oppressive and suffocating and moist.  Basically, it will be like living inside someone’s mouth for two months.

3.  Being wet every moment of every day until our skin has absorbed so much water that we look like bloated, Jabba-the-Hut versions of our former selves.  Our little excursion directly coincides with the rainy season, which means fewer tourists (good, cause I hate those people) but also lots of, well,  rain.  Who knew?  So much rain, in fact, that mud becomes a big problem and many roads are impassable during this season.

So that’s the short list of what to expect, for starters.  Rest assured, there will be plenty more related posts to follow as we gain a better understanding of what exactly we’ve gotten ourselves into…

But you know what?

I’m still insanely, unbelievably, losing-my-mind excited about this trip!

Because, after years of living comfortable, unassuming ordinary lives, we’re embarking on a journey that will be equal parts frustrating, enlightening, scary, freeing, challenging, beautiful, lonely, interesting, and different.

And, well, ain’t that what life’s about?

Our Family’s Newest Addition

(Warning:  This post contains pictures that may not be suitable for readers who are easily grossed out by filthy kitchens.  And if you are one of those easily grossed-out readers… well…  mayhaps this blog is not for you.)

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to announce the newest addition to our family!

I came home from work yesterday evening and imagine my surprise to find this little guy waiting for me…

Well, hi there, lil’ fella! 

Apparently, while I was hard at work earning money to feed their chubby, slacker faces, the cats spent the day working like West Virginia coalminers to excavate what might possibly be the world’s largest dust bunny from under our fridge.

This is all extremely fascinating, I’m hearing you say.  But, tell us, exactly how big is it?

Allow me to defer to the fine folks at Centrum Multivitamins to put “the sitch” into perspective for you, gentle reader.

That is a 100-count bottle, by the way.

For your further elucidation, here are a few other random nearby objects I scrounged up for comparison, so that you may truly appreciate the beastly magnitude of what we are dealing with here.

I keep my high school combination lock handy for just such an occasion.

I must admit, I was a bit overwhelmed at first since we hadn’t really even talked about getting another pet.

But, after spending a little time getting to know each other, the little guy’s just so fluffy and well-behaved that I’ve really come to view it as part of the family.  And, hopefully, in time, the hubs will learn to love it as much as I do.

For the record, I’ve decided on the name McFluffin’ (shout out to Superbad!) and have already made an appointment for next week to get all the necessary shots.

On a side note: Perhaps I should clean under the fridge more often.

I’m going to go scrub myself vigorously with a wire brush now.

Hello, I Quit.

So, I know you guys have had a whole weekend to forget entirely about any of my earlier posts (or possibly the fact that I even exist), but try to keep up with me here…

Remember the job I mentioned here, here, and kinda-sorta here?

The boring one with the great coffee and gross lack of supervision?

The one I just got three weeks ago?

That job?

Well… I quit it yesterday.  Ha!

How could I do that, you ask? 

Well, I’d love to say there was a reason, but I just… I just don’t know what got into me. 

The last thing I remember was sitting at my desk and the woman in the next cubicle over was slurping her soup, and it was just so maddening to listen to the constant sluuurp, sluuurp, sluuurp that I didn’t even notice when my eye started twitching.  And, well, I guess I just sort of lost it after that… 

My memory of the incident’s pretty fuzzy, but the police reports say that I climbed up on my desk, took off one of my high heels and held it like a gun while making bullet noises—pshew pshew pshew!—at coworkers. 

And, for the record, apparently security guards are authorized to use brute force—fortunately, I’m wiggly like a greased piglet, so when they tried to tackle me, they only ended up being able to hold onto my feet.  Which, of course, just ended in an awkward (but kind of fun) situation where they wheelbarrowed me around the office for a minute or two.  Then I think I managed to latch onto the water cooler and pull it over before they dragged me, kicking and screaming, out of the building. 

Haha, kidding. 

But, seriously, how awesome would that have been?

Even if it didn’t happen like that exactly, rest assured, it did still happen.  I just chose to go the far more pathetic route of sweating profusely and groveling for their forgiveness in between repeated apologies.  (I’m easily guilted, which makes me wretched at break-ups of any kind.  Seriously, ask any of my ex-boyfriends. )

Ok, and I didn’t quit on the spot exactly as inform them in stuttering, broken English (I’m like an ESL student when I’m nervous) that I would not, in fact, be making any appearances—special guest or otherwise—in the office after early August.

So maybe it doesn’t make as entertaining a story as going out in a glorious blaze of psychotic, law-enforcement-induced fury, but still.  I did it.

The more pressing question than how I quit is probably why

Well that, dear friends, will be revealed here very, very shortly.   Just bear with us a little bit longer. 

Suffice it to say, after years and years of complaining about mediocre desk jockey jobs, I’m making the conscious choice to try out something different. 

And who knows where it’ll lead?  I may very well end up at a desk job again (and, if so, please disregard this post, potential employer!), but I feel I owe it to myself to try something new and see what happens. 

And maybe I’ll have an adventure or two.  And maybe I’ll learn something about myself.  And maybe by the time I’m back from wherever I end up, I’ll be settled down and ready for that nice, comfy desk job.


A Scary (Sponge) Story

So I might as well tell you now – because, Lord knows, you guys will find out soon enough – that I have a lot of quirks.

A lot.

Like, for instance, I’m a gum addict who chews at least two pieces at a time.  At least.  I’ve cut back from my pack-a-day habit, but I could still easily fritter away hours a day contentedly gnawing, like a golden retriever, on a massive wad of gum until I have sucked every last flavor crystal out of it.  And I’ll even mix flavors, too.

Peppermint and bubblegum?  I ain’t skerred.

Anyhoo, somewhere near the top of my long, long list of neurotic quirks are sponges.

More specifically, gross sponges.

I think it has to do with being somewhat of a germophobe, but I have what can only be described as a “thing” about them.  So much so that I even listed it in my “Who the heck is Erin?” section off to the right of this post.

Seriously, take a look.  I’ll wait…

See?  It’s right there.  And why?  Because it’s something I feel you should know about me before we go any further in this relationship.

And it’s sponges specifically — I don’t even mind germs in most other forms really.  But, for some reason, if there’s a two-day-old sponge lurking around that smells even slightly funky, game over.

And what is that old sponge smell anyway?  It’s like a combination of mildew, wet dog and the inside of an old Civil War trunk all in one.  I guarantee you we eat nothing in our house that might ever potentially produce that smell.  So where does it magically come from?

Ok, I feel you’ve been appropriately briefed on my deep-seated sponge issues.   Moving on…

So, ladies and gentlemen, imagine my complete and utter horror when I innocently stop by the office breakroom to wash a coffee cup and come face-to-face with…


What IS that??

Going against every natural instinct for self-preservation, I chance a closer look.

I know it’s blurry.  But I wasn’t sticking around for a second shot.

I immediately whip my palms to my face in self-defense, shut my eyes tight and turn my head away with my mouth frozen in a silent scream like you see every female victim do in Hitchcock movies.

Do people in the office actually use this?  And how, in this modern-day era of advanced health awareness and disease prevention, is this moldy, bacteria-infested zombie-sponge acceptable??

This will haunt every fiber of my being for a long, long time.

Oh, and then I saw a ghost.

The end.

(Phew!  I hope I didn’t scare you guys too much…)

Just a Typical Wednesday Morning…

6:45-8:30:  Commute is especially heinous due to a lane closure.  Creep… ever… so… slowly… past three tanned, smiling construction workers who appear to be joking with one other.   Briefly consider pulling over to the shoulder, kicking off my heels as I leap over the concrete barricade, and slapping on a hard hat.

8:30:  Arrive at work.  Le sigh.

8:31-8:40:  Start day with a cup of coffee and Facebook.   Hello, notifications!

8:40-8:45:  Officially all caught up on Facebook.  Time for second cup of coffee.

8:45-8:48:  Eat banana after carefully inspecting suspicious-looking bruised spot on it for several minutes.  Throw offending part in the trash.

8:48-10:00:  Surf the Interwebs while intermittently texting Katie.  Google “Three’s Company TV theme lyrics”.  Ahhh, so that’s what they’re singing.

10:00-10:02:  Third cup of coffee.  Starting to sweat profusely.

10:02-10:03:  Am asked to do actual work.  How rude is that?

10:03-10:20:  Do work.  Grudgingly.

10:20-10:22:  Man, is it lunchtime yet?  Start rummaging through my lunch bag.  Eat carrot sticks.  So not satisfying.

10:22-10:24:  Google “Maryland state song” out of curiosity.  Wow, there’s about 20 stanzas and I don’t understand any of it except “Maryland! My Maryland!”.  Come up with a pretty rockin’ tune for the lyrics.  If the real song isn’t close to my version, it should be.

10:24-10:25:  Check Facebook.  Comment on a few posts.  “Like” a few others.  Yadda, yadda.

10:25-10:26:  Am asked to “jazz up” a technical article about health care program management.

10:26-10:32:  Stare blankly at open Word document.  They can’t be serious.  There is literally no amount of sorcery or dark witchcraft I could conjure up that would make this topic any less boring.

10:32:10:  Start to typ—

10:32:12:  Lord a-mercy!  Bathroom break.  NOW.

10:38:  Return from bathroom.  Man, I really had to pee after three cups of coffee.  Kinda sneaks up on you all of a sudden, doesn’t it?

10:38-10:39:  Have awkward stand-off in lobby when office door doesn’t open while sour-faced receptionist watches.  You’re quite the jokester, defunct key fob.

10:39-10:40:  Google “how electronic key fobs work” out of curiosity.  Turns out I wasn’t really all that interested in knowing.

10:40-10:42:  Now is it lunchtime?  Again rummage through my lunch bag.  Break down and buy bag of pretzels out of the vending machine, which ends up breaking down to roughly 75 cents per pretzel.

10:42-10:43:  Pass by coffee machine and consider fourth cup, then decide against it.  Already have visible sweat rings around my armpits.  Best not to tempt fate.

10:43:  Notice that my right shoe squeaks audibly.  Get embarrassed and try to hobble awkwardly without squeaking back to my cubicle.  Mission: Failed.

10:43-10:47:  Overhear someone quietly say my name but can’t hear the context.  Wait, what are they saying?  Was it good?  Bad?  Ponder that obsessively for a while.

10:47:  Hear the rustlings of a candy wrapper opening.  Sounds like chocolate.  Wait, a Hershey’s Kiss, maybe?  Are there more where it came from?  And if so, where?  For the love o’ God, WHERE??

10:47-10:49:  Take a victory lap around the office out of sheer boredom and somehow end up back at bathroom.  Oops, someone’s in a stall.  Hang around uncomfortably while acting like I’m checking my makeup and then hightail it out of there as soon as an appropriate amount of time has passed.  I’m not a communal bathroom dweller.

10:49-10:50:  Check Facebook.  Then e-mail.  Then Facebook again.  Seriously, where is everyone??

10:50-11:00:  Break down and eat my lunch — but quietly, so that no one else can overhear, and hence judge, me.

11:00:  Decide to post about my morning on

Here I Am (Rock You Like a Hurricane)

Since Katie’s agreed to let me horn in on her labor of love here (which, I guess, is now our labor of love) and bask in the reflected glory of her hard work, I feel I should at least introduce myself and make everyone’s acquaintance before I start cranking out posts about how much I love garlic, hate ‘chick lit’, yadda, yadda.  ‘Cause my mama raised me right…

So, greetings, new friends!

My name’s Erin, I’m 28, a Scorpio (if you’re into that sort of thing) and, while I’d love to divulge all the juicy details of my incredibly fascinating career, I don’t really have one to speak of just yet.  For the most part, my “career path” has been more of a loose term to describe the random assortment of desk chairs I’ve warmed when I wasn’t pillaging unsupervised candy dishes and daydreaming about what I really want to be when I grow up.

In fact, I’m writing this at work right now.  Don’t narc on me, eh?

Here is my work phone.  It has many complicated buttons that frighten and confuse me.  This concludes the tour of my cubicle.

Granted, my status as a professional benchwarmer might be changing here soon, but we’ll save that for a later post…

Where was I?

Oh, right.

I live with my husband of two years, Elliot (or, as I lovingly call him, “Chuckles”), and two neurotic cats.

The hubs has a ridiculous number of hobbies, including being a private pilot, and travels a lot for work, so I have lots of free time to revel in all sorts of shameful single behavior — hello, four hour Millionaire Matchmaker marathon! — and dream up home improvement projects for him to do when he gets back.

Our military background – me growing up an Air Force brat and the hubs serving 10 years in the Army – has saddled us with a nasty case of location ADD.  Which might explain why, about two months ago, we traded in a three-year-old mortgage on a nice, cozy 3 BR/2 BA rancher in the Dirty South…

…for a 700 square-foot, one-bedroom apartment above a noisy bar in downtown Frederick, MD.

Bold?  Daring?  Entirely ill-conceived?

All of the above.  But that’s all part of the fun, isn’t it?

I enjoy good food, good books, good wine (and even mediocre wine), writing, being outdoors, 1930s slang, snarky celebrity gossip, and many other things that I’m sure will reveal themselves in due time.

But, even more so, I love, love, love new experiences – whether it’s tasting unpronounce-able foreign cuisine, trying my hand at potentially disastrous DIY crafts, or traveling to new places (hmm, foreshadowing, mayhaps?).

And now I love you guys, too.  But be warned, I’m a jealous, vindictive lover when scorned.

So, if you’re a kindred soul who craves a little adventure in life, is willing to try new things and capable of laughing off failures (and sharing them with us so we can laugh at you, too), and can appreciate – or at least tolerate – cheesy movie and song references, we’re going to get along just swimmingly.

And that’s me in a nutshell.

Help!  I’m in a nutshell!  How did I get into this bloody great big nutshell?

Hello, Austin Powers?  Anyone?

Better buckle up, folks,  ’cause outdated pop culture cliches are what I’m all about.