Wednesday, September 24, 2008

ACP- Huh?

I need to either read or listen to something nice before going to bed. Listening to national news – especially politics – makes me angry. Listening to local news – usually about horrific accidents or murders – makes me sad. So, in order to have pleasant dreams, I record various shows that are usually on the light side. Hopefully, they will be so light that they will lull me to sleep.

The other night, as I was drifting off to dreamland, I was listening to a group of ladies discussing the old rule that a man is supposed to walk on the outside when with a woman. One of the woman stated she hated the custom because when she walks near the apartment buildings, she is hit with ACP. This comment startled me. ACP? I think one or two of the other woman agreed with her about disliking ACP. But no one gave me a contextual clue to help me determine the meaning of ACP – I had no idea what they were talking about.

I finally fell asleep dreaming of things ACP could be. While I brushed my teeth the next morning, I started to laugh. The show is out of NY. Many older apartment buildings are not wired for central air-conditioning. People still use the window air-conditioners of my pre-Floridian days. Window air-conditioners drip. Have you figured it out yet?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

For Sale

We’ve made the big decision – I think. After 35 years in South Florida, hubby and I – transplanted New Yorkers – might be moving to a retirement community in Georgia. We will become what the locals in the Deep South call “halfbacks.” That’s the native southerners’ nickname for Floridians who were born “up North” and are now moving to eastern states located on the map below the Mason-Dixon line and above Florida. Exactly when halfbacks are to complete their journey north, I prefer not to speculate – but I have an idea.

Anyway, to get back to our probable move - Experts have given us much advice on how to ready our home to be appealing to others. First, we had to rid our home of anything personal so the potential buyers can visualize themselves in what we hope will be their future home. This means we had to remove family pictures from every nook, cranny, and wall – even the refrigerator! All but basic essentials – like lamps – were removed from tabletops. Then we dragged any non-essential furniture into the garage to give the illusion our rooms are massive. After we did this, I quickly realized my dusting was cut by 90%. If we ever sell, the pictures, the bric-a-brac, extra chairs, and étagère may never again see the light of day.

Other experts gave great advice on what to say in the ads: We’re within walking distance to all schools, the little league field, food shopping and even a major mall - if you like to hike in 95 degrees. Since my area is what I call a city-suburbia, large lots like mine are highly unusual, so that is also a big selling feature. (I won’t mention to any prospective buyers that gardeners charge more to mow large lots, and in Florida, mowing a lawn is not seasonal.)

We have had two prospective buyers so far – unusual in this real estate market. What’s the attraction? Next to the little league field there is a dog park – a feature that dog-less me, and my dog-less realtor didn’t even put in the ad! In fact people are spotting my For Sale sign on the way to and fro the park. If one of them makes an acceptable offer, I’ll leave some meat bones in my freezer!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Over the River and Through the Tunnel

Once upon a time when I traveled, I would call the people I was visiting to ask them for specific driving directions. If I were going to tour the country, I would rely on AAA Trip Tics. I rarely got lost. Then someone invented the computer and someone else invented the internet. That begot Map Quest. Map Quest has been superseded by the GPS.

Thus, last week when my husband and I arrived at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, I carried our portable GPS and a ream of directions from Map Quest in my tote bag. I knew how to get to almost every place we were going with my eyes closed, but my husband insisted we needed them, “just in case.”

We picked up our rental car, plugged in the GPS, and I read the directions on the screen. Then I compared them to Map Quest’s. “They’re both wrong,” I informed my husband.

Please realize that we both grew up in a neighborhood in Queens midway between LaGuardia Airport and JFK Airport. I know the area where both major NY airports are located. So does my husband – well enough to know I was right. The shortest route via neighborhood streets, which they were sending us on, was far from fastest one to take. The car rental agency’s directions to the Williamsburg Bridge - we were headed to New Jersey - were also incorrect. They told us to take one highway until we reached another. Neither of the highways intersects.

We decided to ignore all the directions until we got to New Jersey – the only partially unknown territory to us. For those that know NY, you can appreciate our amazement when we exited the Grand Central Parkway– the first of five highways we needed - onto the Long Island Expressway and our GPS informed us that we had reached our destination. For those that don’t, let me explain that we were on a highway an hour from our destination – without traffic – and still needed to go over one river, through the island of Manhattan, under another river and then over various highways until we would arrive at our destination.

I miss my AAA Trip Tics. They were so much lighter than the GPS and took up so little room. Even better, they indicated to me where public restrooms were located!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Assumptions: Dangerous for the Assumer

When you have gray hair people – usually much younger – look at you and make certain assumptions. The first time it happened to my premature gray husband, he had yet to reach his fortieth birthday. Hubby and a friend had gone to the movies.

“That’ll be $1,” the teen behind the glass said to my husband.

His friend, who had a full head of black hair, did not stop laughing. When they sat down, my husband said, “I don’t know why you’re laughing. I paid a dollar and you paid three!”

Now, 35 years later, Hubby is still blessed with a full head of hair, only it is no longer gray, – it is pure white. When we went to check our bags at the airport last week, the young skycap glanced at my husband’s hair as he asked for our boarding passes. “I see you checked in on-line,” he said. “You’re lucky you have grandkids that can do it for you otherwise you’d have to pay $3 per bag!”

The skycap turned redder than the red cap the skycaps of yesteryear wore when Hubby informed him he did it all by himself. Since our bags were the first two to appear on the luggage carousel in New York, I decided to forgive the skycap for assuming everyone with white hair is demented.