A rundown of recent first-world problems

1. The ants. I guess, technically, they won. I called mercy and brought in reinforcements.

The exterminator arrived on a muggy morning and circled the outside of my house. After commenting on the truly “incredible” number of ants treading on and around its foundation, he scattered little trails of what looked like potato chip crumbs. I squinted at the tiny little assholes – a bit smugly, I’m sure, as these were the outside ants – as they immediately seized the poisonous flakes and began to carry them back to…uh, “where, exactly?”

“Their nests are probably underground,” the exterminator said. “Sometimes they make colonies inside structures, but…well, let’s just assume they’re underground.”

Yes, let’s. I’d prefer not to think of my walls as mass insect graves, thousands of tiny arthropods entombed with their deadly potato chip scraps.

2. The bangs. Surprise: I’m growing them out.

What on earth was I smoking when I decided it would be a good idea to cut a thick fringe of hair atop one of the sweatiest parts of my body on the cusp of the hot/humid season? Why did none of you stop me from doing this? (Oh right…infrequent posting….)

Here’s the thing: they’re quite cute for about an hour after I’ve freshly shampooed and blow-dried them.


Then my forehead starts sweating. Just glistening, just a little bit, but it’s a downward spiral because my then the bangs make my forehead hotter and then my forehead gets even more sweaty. And then this happens.


At which point I locate the nearest pair of bobby pins, which is usually easy because ever since I got these bangs, I’ve noticed, there are little piles of bobby pins stashed all over my house. Clusters of bobby pins constantly poke me from inside my jeans pockets. The bottom of my purse is lined with bobby pins the way a forest floor is lined with pine needles. I would probably die without bobby pins.

So, yeah. They’re pinned back all of the time anyway, so I’m growing them out. High-maintenance hair is too…well, high maintenance.

3. The new toy. In the couple of weeks after the Boston thing, I was without my computer, and therefore I convinced myself that I needed an iPad.


(I just took a picture of my iPad with my iPhone. iHate myself a little bit.)

I got the iPad Mini because it was significantly cheaper and seemed easier to haul around. I also got a little bluetooth keyboard and this combo worked surprisingly well as an interim computer. (I even did a significant amount of writing on it, including that really long Boston post.)

But now I have my computer back and do you want to know what I mostly use my iPad for now? Candy Crush Saga.

I seriously don’t know how I previously managed to clear all of the jelly and bring all of the ingredients* to the bottom on my tiny little phone screen. And thus, I suppose my life has been improved in one miniscule way by this tragedy.

But here’s the issue: I cannot seem to get my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook on the same page. I add things to my calendar on the iPad and they show up on the phone but not the computer. I save a picture on my phone and it shows up on my computer but not the iPad. I feel like my “cloud” has problems and I’m not sure how to fix them, short of hauling all of my devices to the Apple store. Which I could certainly do, but…ugh, the mall.

I know, woe is me. This might be the FWP to end all FWP.

4. The fitness plan. I’ve run a handful of times since the marathon. Mostly easy 3-5 milers, although I did attempt one track workout. We did 400s and it was, um, unpleasant…but I was surprised to consistently come in around 1:33-1:35, which is only about 5-10 seconds off of my “in shape” pace. My confidence swelled.

Then there was last Friday. We were out of town attending a wedding. Right after a late lunch, I tried to squeeze in a quick run before I had to get all prettied up, and…hurk. Three miles felt like six. Eight minute pace felt like an all-out sprint. As I hauled ass back toward our hotel, with turkey club sandwich and kettle chips churning in my belly, I marveled at the fact that I ran a marathon a month ago.

A month ago. How did I get so out of shape so quickly?

No matter, though. I’m not trying to get back in top running shape right now. I have no races** on my calendar. I’d like to burn off a little bit of the weight I’ve gained, and I’m basically going to follow the same formula that I used last summer for the same purpose: a couple of days of boot camp, a couple of days of yoga, and a couple of days of running, maybe one of them at the track.

(And also limiting junk carbs and booze. Which is challenging when we’re in the middle of Wedding Season 2013, and gosh, it’s really impolite to refuse cake and champagne, right?)

5. The house. Okay, let me just say at the outset that I am beyond thankful to have a house that is fucking standing in light of the tornado that tore through OKC this afternoon. What a horrible tradgedy. Tornadoes. They are literally the stuff of nightmares.

I grew up in the mountainous Pacific Northwest in a volatile earthquake zone, and also in a city that sits right in the flow path of an active volcano that most experts think will blow sooner or later. But, to me, for some reason, tornadoes are far more terrifying and surreal than earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.  Even now that I’m a Southerner, living in an area that could theoretically get a twister, it’s still the sort of cinematic thing that I primarily associate with wicked witches and flying monkeys.

And then I watch the news on days like today and that shit is all too real.

Anyway. Our house. It’s not currently under tornado threat, but this thing is a goddamn colander.

When we bought the place a year ago, we knew there were water issues. We had the entire roof drainage system evaluated and reconfigured by a commercial roofing company (we have a flat roof). I have diligently wielded my caulk gun, loaded with a silicon sealant, upon the cracks and crevices that naturally emerge. For a few months, it seemed we’d fixed things. But then, a couple of weeks ago, it rained hard for a couple of days and we ended up with a mixing bowl full of coffee-colored drippings in our dining room. Which is not anywhere near the roof.

dining room

I love our house for so many reasons, but this is aggravating. I’ve had three contractors out so far and have stumped all of them as to the cause of the water intrusion. I suppose there is a reason that flat-roofed, stucco-coated homes are common in places like arid Palm Springs and less so in soggy Northern Georgia.

Anyway. Life could certainly be worse if these are the things that plague me: non-poisonous insects, hair frizz, calendar syncing, occasional ceiling leaks.

Le sigh.


*What the fuck are these “ingredients” anyway? Acorns and cherries, always acorns and cherries. Either we are squirrels or this is the worst pie ever.

**Well, I have Peachtree on July 4. But I’m not actually racing it. Last year’s Peachtree 10K consisted of 47 minutes of “racing” followed by three hours of drinking beer in Piedmont Park. That ratio seems about right.

15 responses to “A rundown of recent first-world problems

  1. Glad you’re back. I laughed the whole way through your post.

    Candy crush kills me. I’ve been stuck on level 23 for weeks. I quit playing bc i was getting mad.

    • Haha, I have “quit” at least a dozen times. I keep coming back. I think the game is rigged because every time I “quit” and then return, I beat the level I was stuck on.

  2. Ants are really bad this year! My husband sprayed around our house yesterday with some stuff from Ace Hardware. If it doesn’t work, we will be calling in reinforcements as well!

    We live in Chattanooga and have never run Peachtree–basically due to the crowds and logistics of it…

    Love your writing style! Serious and humorous at the same time! :)

    • Thanks!

      You are just a couple of hours from Atlanta, right? I don’t blame you for not coming down for Peachtree. Who plans a 10K on a completely unshaded course in July in the south??

      Oh right. It’s tradition. :)

  3. A few things:
    1. Yes to growing out bangs. Summer + bangs = literal hot mess. (Although just an fyi, if you keep yourself armed with dry shampoo, they stay pretty at least a few hours longer.)
    2. I think they’re apples, but now I’m going to see acorns.
    3. iLove that you said iHate myself a little bit.

    • DRY SHAMPOO. I swear, this stuff is such a racket.

      I have tried the inexpensive drugstore brands, and they don’t work for shit.
      I have tried the expensive Sephora brands, and they work better, but I swear I go through the entire $22 bottle in a week.
      Most recently I’ve had the Klorane (sp?) and I like it but just can’t stomach the price for how long it lasts.
      Before I had bangs, I just used baby powder on non-wash days and it worked fine. Doesn’t work on the bangs though, makes them gunky.

      Any recommendations??

      • Oscar Blandi really does work, but the price is a little steep. You can find it at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and use one of those 20% off coupons and $5 off $15 or more.

  4. I just started playing candy crush. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and yes, I can’t stop playing. And I think they look like hazelnuts to me, but then when do you eat hazelnut anything with hard candy? So confused. Does it come full circle in some later level that I am not aware of yet?

    Also, if you want to email me about your flat roof problem I might be able to offer some advice….maybe. Almost every commercial building in the US has a flat roof, so it can be done. But things are slightly different down in ya’lls hood.

    • Hazelnuts! That makes more sense. I’m on level 107 and there haven’t been any “new” ingredients yet, I keep waiting for them.

      Yeah, we picked a commercial roofer for some of our initial repairs for that very reason! But obviously it hasn’t really worked for us. I’ll email you, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  5. I am right there with you when it comes to those bangs…gah, worst idea ever!

    Good luck with the ants and water!

  6. Ants are my biggest insect nemesis. Seriously – spiders? Bring it. I’ll squash one with my bare hand if I have to. But ants? No. I squeal like a little girl when I see ants. Probably because of that whole “building colonies” thing. There is power in numbers and they know it. Hope you get your ceiling problems fixed – what a drag!!

  7. Our house has turned against us. We live in a 100+ year old row house in Virginia (also with a flat roof)… And started to get some water damage on the inside. We have had no less than 10 people come by and no less than 10 different evaluations of the problem (one included a $7,000 mold assessment, which made my heart stop). And since the roof/ water/gutter/ mold/ no mold problem, we have also found that we have a raccoon living and shitting in our attic that refuses to go into the trap. Plus, Derby (our 15 pound cat) found a tiny little gray mouse to play with, but not catch… and the mouse seems to be smarter than the average, as it’s been 2 sleepless nights of no traps shutting….so as of now we have 3 pets. Derby, Mickey, and the pooper upstairs.
    Ever seen The Money Pit? I live there.

  8. I was on the brink of getting bangs, but decided they were too high maintenance. I can’t bother to do anything with my hair besides get a trim twice a year as it is, so me + bangs = hot, hot mess for sure. I hope yours grow our quickly! :)

  9. I resisted the tablet game for SO LONG. Did I really need a device to “bridge the gap” between my iPhone and laptop? No. Were the iPhone’s capabilities too limited for on-the-go use? No. Was my laptop really that cumbersome to lug to and fro? No.

    But now? I look at the Kindle Fire HD sitting next to me and I smile fondly, welcoming it home like the new friend I didn’t even know I was missing. Sigh. Technology.

    • Oh, and let’s not forget the FWP that now plagues me as this diehard Mac user struggles to adapt to an Android platform. But like…that screen. Holy shit, it is CRISP.