RSS Feed

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Guido Life: AZ Shore Style

Smokers: The Only Quitters That Win

Parking: Satan’s Favorite Game Show

Back in Brooklyn my most common source of frustration was getting home to be reminded that I had to search for a parking spot for 20 minutes before I could head upstairs.

So how is it now that I have a guaranteed spot in my driveway I still get frustrated every time I get home and go to park my car?

The quick explanation is that I don’t live alone.

Not one, not two, but three cars in my driveway.

It never really made sense to me back in Brooklyn why people loved parking in the same spot everyday, mainly because my Dad’s car stayed in our one garage spot, but now I get it. There is just something mentally satisfying about leaving your car in the same place every time.

I even noticed this when I go to work and I see somebody parked in “my spot”. No my name isn’t on it, no it isn’t reserved for me, and no I don’t pay for it. But it’s where I like to park and I park there everyday that someone doesn’t steal it from me. But then again who wouldn’t try to steal the best spot? One of my co-workers probably went on this same rant when I started parking there.

At this point I have come to terms with “my spot” at work, but my spot at home is a completely different matter. Notice there are no quotations around my spot when it is at my house.

I always parked in spot on the far left of the driveway because it is right next to our tree and I like having a little bit of shade, that and it’s a nice tree.

Then one day John decides that he’s going to start parking there with his car that hasn’t left the driveway to go anywhere besides the mechanic in 2 months.

John's car (left) in my spot.

I know that this might all seem like a crazy rant but it does apply to the transition from apartment to house.

Back in Brooklyn I was competing against my entire neighborhood for a parking spot, granted even in those days I had “my spot” but the term was used much more loosely. In those days my parking routine was:

  1. Go to “My Spot” and see if it was available. (9 out of 10 times it wasn’t)
  2. Circle the block twice while repeatedly getting fooled by the same “not spots”. (ie. fire-hydrants, driveways, alternate side, ect.)
  3. Get mad that such a thing as “alternate side parking” exists. For those of you who haven’t experienced the devils gift to NYC, alternate side parking is when you can’t park your car on a certain side of the street one day a week for a two hour period so that the street sweeper can clean. (Trying to clean NYC is hopeless, let’s just throw the trash in Jersey.)
  4. Finally find a spot 2 blocks away and walk home. (2 blocks is far for city slickers.)

    The streets of Tempe with plenty of parking available.

Needless to say my routine is much different here:

  1. Pull up to my house.
  2. Pull into my driveway. (even if it isn’t on my side)
  3. Walk 10 feet and go through the front door.

Now honestly I can live without circling the block and alternate side parking. But still I’m not sure where parking is more frustrating, in the city or in the suburb. It almost seems that having to park 10 feet to the right is more annoying than searching for a spot.

Honestly I can’t tell, so I am going to need your help. I need you to tell me what you think about this so that I can decide whether or not I should start yelling at John or not.

There’s my House. Where’s my Home?

Turning a house into a home means something different to everyone.

Some examples are:

  • Home is where your rump rests.
  • Home is where your heart is.
  • Home is somewhere over the rainbow.
  • There’s no place like home.

Personally I could do without all of the clichés that people have contrived to determine what a home is. It just all seems rather unneccessary to tell people what they should think home is, where it is, or how they get there.

As I have mentioned before, this is the first house I have ever lived in. At first I had a hard time distinguishing a house from a home as I had never needed to know the difference before. Also for those of you who don’t know, I am a part of the Jewish faith. (I’m sorry if I misled any of you.)

The hebrew letter shin on the face to the mezuzah.

For me my house became a home last week when Rabbi Schmuel from Chabad at ASU came to my house to perform the Jewish ceremony of placing a mezuzah on the front and back door of the house.

A mezuzah on the front door.

Schmuel said, “When we place the Mezuzah on the house it becomes a Jewish home. Now every time you enter and leave your home you will remember that this is where you belong and this is where your faith lays.”

It was at that moment that my house became a Jewish home.

After the ceremony I took some time to reflect on what Schmuel had said to me. I realized that all of the clichés can’t describe home because home has no clichéd qualities.

From what I have learned in the transition of apartment to house to home, home is;

  • Where you feel you belong.
  • Where you pay rent.
  • Where your mail goes.
  • Where your faith lays.
  • Where you sleep.
  • And most importantly, where you control the thermostat.

Me touching the mezuzah as I leave the house for good luck.

These are the qualities that describe home. Or at least this is home for me, and my perception of home. Tell me, what you think home is? Where is it? How do you describe it? And should John stop touching my thermostat? What do you think?

The Mystery of Laundry Unfolds

After conquering the dishwasher last week I suddenly remembered that I had to do my laundry. Shortly after that I remembered that I still hadn’t folded my laundry from last week, or the week before. Then I remember that I didn’t have any dryer sheets.

My hamper sits bloated in my room

This isn’t because I am clueless when it comes to laundry, it is due to the fact that laundry in an apartment is much easier.

When you live in an apartment building you have two options of how you want to do your laundry. The first being to use the communal laundry room on the first floor, and the second being that you go to the laundromat down the street.

I was a big fan of the latter back in Brooklyn. Going to the laundromat made everything so easy; if you needed detergent they have it, dryer sheets too, and there was that huge table area to fold all your clothes when you were done.

Needless to say that the biggest obstacle of doing laundry in the house you live in is doing it the whole way through.

This got me thinking so I had Adam and Marcus come up with a list of the reasons why laundry can’t get done:

1. There isn’t enough time to do all of it.

2. Deciding the proper setting on the machines.

3. Lack of dryer sheets.

4. Pairing socks never seems to add up.

5. How did your clothes get in my laundry?

Now of course these are somewhat unique to my home but still I feel that they are all valid.

Personally I feel that the lack of table space put aside for folding is the biggest pain in the butt when it comes to household laundry. Since the washer and dryer are in my bedroom I have developed the fool-proof system of taking the clean clothes out of the dryer and throwing them directly onto my couch. This goes on until I need my couch and then they get folded and put away.

Marcus also has trouble folding his clothes, he said, “On average I probably folder my clothes anywhere from 45 minutes to three days after they’re done drying.”

Meanwhile Adam just leaves his clothes in the dryer until someone throws them on the floor.

Clean unfolded clothes occupy my futon.

I suggest avoiding all of our systems of folding clothes and essentially finishing your laundry, mainly because they’re all horrible. (Take my own advice? I guess I could give it a shot.)

Now the major difference between the house and the laundromat is that at the laundromat the washer and dryer doors are both on the same face of the machines, unlike at home.

Adam expressed his frustration with this lack of convenience saying, “Laundry isn’t sex. You should be able to keep your junk in the same position.”

This was the best way to state this argument because it puts it in terms that every single man on the planet can both understand and agree on. (I’m talking about the laundry of course.)

Anyway it is apparent that an innovation needs to be made in laundry for those of us that just can’t seem to perform the entire task.The obvious solution is a hamper that makes the dirty clothes smell fresh while they sit there, then washes, dries, folds, sorts, and stores them all on its own. Personally I see this coming before the 2016 Olympics, but just in case it doesn’t here are the steps for doing laundry:

(Before step 1 this is what the washer and dryer look like.)

The machines responsible for my confusion.

(Dryer is on the left and washer on the right.)

1. Separate clothes into whites and colors. (Gray is white not a color.)

2. Wash each load separately. (Use detergent for colors and bleach for whites.)

3. Place clothes in the dryer and turn it on. (Colors and whites can dry together.)

4. Take dry clothes and fold them.

5. Put the folded clothes away. (Here’s an example from the last time I did it.)

Nice neat folded clothes in my dresser drawer

I know it’s easier said than done but I guess we all need to learn some time. That hopefully it as far as mechanical washing goes, next week we’re going outside to the backyard. Maybe I’ll even figure out how a garden hose works?

My Dishwasher Doesn’t Have a First Name?

Triumph! As promised I have learned how to use the dishwasher and am ready to share the secrets to defeating that monster.

If you follow these easy yet somewhat inconvenient steps you will have clean dishes in no time:

Step 1 – Take the clean dishes that are in the dishwasher and put them away. If you don’t you will have no room to put the dirty dishes.

Step 2 – Take the dirty dishes and wash them by hand. I know this sounds completely outrageous because if you wash the dishes, why do need the dish washer? The answer is only minimally wash them to reduce grease build up, a heavy rinse should suffice.

Step 3 – Put the rinsed dishes and load them into the dishwasher. Put plates, pans and silverware on the bottom tray, while putting pots, bowls, and cups on the top tray.

Step 4 – The the washer detergent type thing into the compartment on the inside of the door and close the compartment. (Sorry I don’t know what the actual name is.)

Step 5 – This is by far the most important step, CLOSE THE MACHINE DOOR. If you don’t you and your floor will be very unhappy.

Step 6 – Push the buttons on the door that say “pots and pans”, “big load”, “extra dry”, and “start wash”.

Step 7 – Repeat steps 1 through 6 when the sink gets full again.

That is the full proof way to conquer the dishwasher. Also if you would like visual aide, they are located at the top of the page  in “Household Comics”.

While Marcus was teaching me how to do all of this Adam said, “Let’s just push all the buttons and see what happens.”

Sadly this is actually a good idea. I know this because me and Adam tried it one time while Marcus wasn’t home and the dishes came out spotless.

Remember I was also the guy who couldn’t properly put out the recycling (Which I did correctly this week!) so don’t exactly take my word on that last bit of advice.

Now as the house continues to be explored I am continuously finding new things that I do not recognize and I will post about them. However, in order for this to be a forum I need to post what you want to read about.

That being said, if there is anything I have yet to discuss that you would like to hear an apartment dwellers perception of please post it in a comment.

And as all ways keep wandering through that maze, just don’t touch anything that looks like it could cause you harm (ie. can opener).

To Infinity and the Bedroom

Just a heads up to everyone before you start reading this, the dishwasher will not be discussed in this post. The main reason being that I have yet to figure out its mysterious ways.

However, due to this weekends events I have been reminded of the biggest transition of going from an apartment to a house, the space. I ended up in a room this weekend about the same size as my old bed room in Brooklyn, 6 feet by 9 feet, and that’s when it came to mind that this had to be posted.

When you live in an apartment, especially one with only two bedrooms and six people, the little amount of walking space you have seems tremendous. It’s almost as though that Manhattan thought of “build up” gets ingrained into your brain when you design any room.

It isn’t until you upsize to a room double the size of what you had that you realize, “Wow, I have a lot of stuff.” Then again George Carlin always said, “A house is just a place to keep your stuff, while you go out and get more stuff.” Notice he never once said apartment, only house. Believe it or not its true.

While living in an apartment you don’t care about your things because the hottest commodity is empty square footage, well that and a door with a lock.

However, in this house I have sacrificed windows, current bedroom count at zero, for an extra 100 square feet. Then like that “build up” mentality suggests, after the queen sized bed, futon, four dressers, closet, washer, dryer, coffee table, and computer desk; the widest walkway is two feet wide, and it feels huge.

Where was all this stuff going in that tiny 6×9 room? How did  it all in an Elantra? Why is there still so much room in this bedroom? Why is there a yard in the front and back of this place that aren’t made of cement? (Yes I am a veteran of the sidewalk backyard.)

These are all questions that anyone who has, is, or will ever go through this transition will ask themselves at one point or another. The answers can only be found after you’ve gone back to that 6×9 bedroom with a bunk-bed for a night and then they become clear:

1. It was stacked to the ceiling.

2. You didn’t buy the bed until after you moved here. (D’oh)

3.  There is an extra 100 square feet.

4. It’s called a backyard and frontyard. Stop complaining and go play tag.

Those are the simple answers and simple is always better. That’s where I’ll leave you until next week, and Adam is starting to get mad about my lack of dish cleaning so hopefully I can get that dishwasher down for you soon. Until next time keep roaming around that four bedroom maze.