I Hope I Didn't Brain My Damage

I installed the Lumosity brain training app weeks ago, then completely forgot about it until last night. That should have been my first clue. To get started with the app, I played three games which tested my "Memory Matrix", "Speed Match", and "Train of Thought" and received a Fit Test score.

 
 Yes! I am a genius. Take that, inferior drolls of society, and bow before my greatness.

Surely even Stephen Hawking gets distracted from time to time. Even so, this score was a disappointment after my victorious Speed Match test and seemed not-at-all geniusy. Further salting the wound, 76 is my most hated number.

Come to think of it, 76 is my only hated number. (It's a long, dragon-related story.)

The Train of Thought test had to be defective. My remaining score would concrete my value to society and elevate me to godlike status. Even better, Sexy Nerd would be super impressed.

I am an idiot.

Overpriced Wedding Flowers

Our 9 year wedding anniversary is almost here already! These photos were taken on January 10th, 2008 on our way from the wedding to the reception. It was the 4 year anniversary of our first date.

So young. So dorky.
For another digital scrapbook page from our wedding album, click here.

Dental Reception: Sometimes It's Like Pulling Teeth

January 2017 will mark twelve years at my job at a children's dental office, which is 99% of the reason Sexy Nerd and I don't have any kids. It's a job I mostly love, unexpected as it started as just an internship-like side gig between college classes and my "real" job. Here's a little taste of what I've been putting up with during that time, with the name of my boss changed for privacy...though any computer-savvy person will be able to figure out the real name without much sleuthing:

Me: Thank you for calling Dr. Simon’s office. This is Kitty. How may I help you?

*Beep*

Me: Hello?

*Boop*

Me: This is Dr. Simon’s office. Can you hear me?

Angry Caller: I WANT TO TALK TO A REAL PERSON (followed by a surprisingly long list of profanities)

Awkward silence

Me: This is Kitty with Dr. Simon’s office…I’m a real person.

Angry Caller: YOU’RE A REAL PERSON?

Me: Yes. Are you trying to reach Dr. Simon’s office?

Angry Caller: WELL IT’S ABOUT TIME! I CAN NEVER GET A REAL PERSON AND I NEED TO GET SOMEONE OUT HERE TO MY HOUSE!

Me: I think you may have the wrong number. Are you trying to reach a pediatric dentist?

Angry Caller: QWEST! THIS IS QWEST, RIGHT?

Me: No, sorry. You have the wrong number. This is Dr. Simon’s office. She’s a dentist.

Awkward silence

Overly-Apologetic Caller: Oh my God, I thought you were a computer. I'm so sorry! I never would have yelled at you had I known!

Me: That's okay! Good luck trying to reach Qwest. I know they can be frustrating. Have a nice day!

Overly-Apologetic Caller Who I Cannot Get Off the Phone: I kept pressing buttons thinking that's what I had to do. Oh, it must have been right in your ear! I'm so sorry! Oh, I feel awful about that. And I've taken so much of your time! Sorry again.

Me: Don't worry about it. Have a great day!

Crazy Woman Who Refuses to Hang Up: You even told me, didn't you. Oh, again I am just so, so sorry. I'm embarrassed. I can't believe I did that. I've taken up so much of your time. I really can't apologize enough.
WHY IS THIS CONVERSATION STILL HAPPENING?!

This is the transcript of an actual phone conversation I had earlier this week, abruptly shortened as I thought my readers would lose their minds reading through the 27 additional back-and-forth exchanges between myself and this woman, all in an attempt to terminate the neverending call.

Career goals for 2017: Be less patient and be less nice. The stereotypical rude receptionist who is sarcastic and puts you on hold forever? Embrace the stereotype.

Construction Photos: It's All in the Details

Another construction-crammed post already?? We're finally building our dream home. It's too exciting not to share!

Unlike my previous post, I'll try to rein in my rambling on this one and just share photos. You can jump to your own conclusion on things, such as whether or not some of the windows appear to be tied with string.

(They totally do. Ack!)


Foyer

View from the Foyer

My Office

Hallway

Hallway Bathroom

I know I'm supposed to be skipping the commentary, but it's worth pointing out that, yes, that is a curved floor to go underneath the bathroom vanity. It's a crazy house, so why not?

Master Bedroom

See the fireplace? It's going to look real, but won't actually be functional because YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE HOW MUCH A FIREPLACE COSTS. Seriously, it's disgusting.

My Closet

Sexy Nerd insisted on adding skylights to my closet, though I begged to remove them from the plan for months. He says they will not fade or affect my clothing in any way whatsoever. I'd like to believe him, but then I look at the curtains in our current bedroom, which are high quality and fairly new and are faded/ruined/destroyed by the sun. My clothes are afraid and I'm afraid for them.

Theater Room Ceiling

I couldn't picture this before it was framed and I can't picture it now. Sexy Nerd says I'm going to love it, but it looks like there is a small border around one side that is not duplicated on the other side, which leads me to believe I'm going to hate it. Fingers crossed that I'm wrong on this one.

Hallway Ceiling

It looks asymmetrical to me, but Sexy Nerd insists that's just in my head. You see it too, right?

Sauna

I can't wait to get it out of our current dining room, where it has been taking up space for nearly TWO YEARS!

Looking into the Theater Room

Hallway Skylight

I've bought the perfect 4' carved panel to place in the opening, which I'm hoping will cast a beautiful pattern on the floor below.

Also, I seem to be having trouble with the whole "no commentary" thing on this blog post.

Hallway

Sexy Nerd and the crew at Panorama Homes have affectionately named this "the crapper window".

*Sigh*

(Oh, who am I kidding? That's funny.)

Back of the House

Living Room

Oh, I just can't wait to live in this house!

House Update: We Have Windows!

Five months into construction, the windows were installed.

I had to double check that last sentence after typing it. Has it really been only five months? We're so eager to get into our new home, it feels like Panorama Homes has been building it forever, with no end in sight. We broke ground at the end of June and the windows were installed right before Thanksgiving.

That still doesn't seem right. Also, I am way behind on my blogging.

Sexy Nerd and I went around and around on windows, waging a heated battle between Pella and Amsco. What's that? You've never heard of Amsco windows? Supposedly, if my husband and our builder and our foreman and dozens of Google reviews are to be believed, Amsco is far superior to Pella in every way.

Still, it would have been nice to install just two Pella windows, purely for the sake of being able to say "Our house has Pella windows," without it being a complete lie. According to the Pella salesman though, their windows don't actually say Pella anywhere...so what's the point?

Here are our living room windows, as seen from a windowless room.

My dad doesn't understand why we bothered with the divided light windows at the top. I think they're cute! They add character and they were one of the non-negotiable items on my design wish list.

Which, I suppose, makes it a design demand list.

Can you tell I'm partial to divided light windows?

I do have an Amsco window complaint, although I'm told this is the same for all windows. Fine, I have a complaint about all windows. See those adorable little squares on the right, complete with charming, perfectly proportionate mullions? See that enormous window on the left, the one that appears to be tied to the wall with a cheap piece of string? No matter what size window you purchase, they install the exact same ten-cent mullion between the glass.

BIGGER WINDOWS = BIGGER MULLIONS

I can't be the only person who feels this way. Get it together, window companies.

Ack! When I'm in the dining nook, I'll just stare at the ceiling. This was going to be one of my favorite windows and it looks so awful, especially with the reminder of how it should be just outside, taunting me with its proportionate mullion goodness. 

"Nyah, nyah," it says.

For months I tried to add upper windows to our foyer, but everyone told me not to bother, insisting 8' tall entry doors would be more than enough. I finally got them and I love them. Phooey to you folks who did not share my vision.

Phooey to you, Sexy Nerd.

I also had to battle you-know-who to get these three windows above my kitchen sink. Now, he loves them. LISTEN TO YOUR CLEVER WIFE, SEXY NERD! 

That said...

Here is a view through an interior window in the foyer. Yes, those are especially tall ceilings for a bathroom. The square at the top of the especially tall wall? It was a last minute idea and Sexy Nerd might hang a bell inside. Of course, he will need to somehow build a custom-sized bell for this to work.

He says he'll run a rope down the wall so that people can ding the bell when they're done using the toilet.

He's joking...I think.

Whenever a contractor steps unsuspectingly into this bathroom, they look up.
And.They.Laugh. 

It might turn out to be the most amazing bathroom in the history of bathrooms, starting a long-lasting trend of mega-ceilinged, super-bathrooms. Anything is possible.

Perhaps Sexy Nerd should have reined in my insanity creativity on this one. He picked his battles.

He may have picked wrong.

From inside the elegant funhouse bathroom, I thought you'd be able to see the sky through the kitchen windows. You almost see a sliver, but the curved ceiling of the hallway takes up the entire view.

Which is sort of neat too.

Behold, another window with insufficiently scaled mullions.

We debated and ultimately opted for tempered privacy glass here, which still seems ugly to me. It's a shower window. If I could go back, I would do away with the lower window altogether and just go with the upper squares, which are high enough that privacy isn't a concern. The trouble with designing a home from scratch (well, one of many troubles) is that windows look great on paper. It's just $200 here and another $300 there, which feels like it's in the noise when your budget is hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When you look at the resulting ugly window every day, knowing well that it cost more than a 5-night cruise, your soul dies a little and you curse your younger, idiot self. 

Complaining aside, most of the windows turned out exactly as we'd hoped and we can't wait to move in.

These windows, which are in the kitchen, turned out great. I've been toying with the idea of having identical mirrors cut to hang on the opposite, windowless wall. Do they make mirrors that large?

If they do, will the price knock me over?

Other than mirrors, I have no idea what to place in the wall triangle. Decorating experts recommend not drawing attention to it by simply leaving it blank.

Could it really be that simple?

Visualize this with the word "Eight" spelled out in fancy cursive letters above the entryway. 
I wasn't going to type that, thinking it would give away our address, but it's not like I would have a house with fancy cursive letters and not share a photo of it online. Heck, I'm so excited about the fancy cursive letters that I'm telling you about them before I've even figured out how to make them happen! They will be large and they will be cursive and they will be the epitome of fancy.

I love this house.

Mattress Coupons: Save Money on Your New Mattress (Leesa, Casper, Amerisleep, Etc.)

A friend recently purchased a new mattress for her son, who is attending college in New York and relies solely on public transportation. I'd recommended Amerisleep to her, which was perfect because it could be shipped directly to his door, but after discussing it, we decided that investing in an Amerisleep twin mattress might not be the best choice. He would be leaving school in less than two years and needed a cheap, temporary solution.

We spent some time comparison shopping online. Based on cost alone, our top choice was a Sleep Number bed, which was on sale for $399. My friend said, "Two hundred a year is nothing compared to tuition. Sold!" We'd read some iffy reviews online about Sleep Number mattresses not lasting, an opinion reinforced by their abysmally short warranty, but hoped it would at least make it two years. I helped her navigate the checkout process, entering all of her son's delivery information, and felt confident in our choice. Then, Sleep Number demanded an extra $90 for delivery.

Back to square one. The next cheapest mattress on our list was the Leesa bed, which was on sale for $450 and included the ever-important free delivery. Granted, this was only $50 less than my beloved and highly-recommended Amerisleep mattress. With no options, no frills, and no track record (they'd been selling mattresses for only a year), Leesa is the poster child of dorm room living. We didn't need the mattress to last, though.

Out of time, my friend had to go but said she could handle placing the order on her own later. She's not at all computer-savvy, but was insistant. I should have known better. When we met up the next day, she had ordered her son a new Leesa mattress, but confessed the order process had taken absolutely forever. 

"I kept trying to get the memory foam mattress discount through your blog," she said, "but it wouldn't work." (For the record, this is not the same friend who thought my mattress was filled with straw. I may need to expand my circle of friends.) I explained that the memory foam mattress discount through my blog is specifically for only one kind of memory foam mattress, Amerisleep. "But there was an ad for Leesa right there on your site," she said. I explained that Google showed her that ad on my site because she'd been researching Leesa mattresses and that I have no control over what ad is displayed. (Actually, I have a funny story about this. Silly Google.) You can't just go through the Amerisleep link to get a discount on any mattress!

"Well, maybe you should fix that," she said.

So, 447 words into this post, I am finally getting to the point. You're welcome, Carol.

Mattress Coupons: Save Extra Money on Your New Mattress
(Even if it's not Amerisleep...but you really should buy an Amerisleep mattress! Here's why.)

The best thing about most of these discount links is that the extra savings are applied at the end of the checkout process, even if you purchase a mattress that's on sale or use a coupon from the mattress website. That's double the savings! Yours truly will also receive a bonus if you go through my link. Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)

Nectar Mattress coupon - save $100 with promo code "Kitty100".

Leesa Mattress coupon - save $75 on your Leesa mattress through this link.

Casper Mattress coupon - save $50 on your Casper mattress through this link.

Sapira Mattress coupon - save $75 on your Sapira mattress through this link.

Amerisleep Mattress coupon - save $50 on your Amerisleep mattress through this link. (It's much better than Tempurpedic but less than half the cost!)

HIBR Mattress coupon - save $50 on your HIBR mattress through this link.

Brooklyn Bedding Mattress coupon - save $50 on your Brooklyn Bedding mattress through this link.

Zotto Mattress coupon - save $50 on your Zotto mattress through this link.

Oh my goodness, I can't believe this list is still going. Who knew there were so many different mattress options?!

Helix Sleep Mattress coupon - save $50 on your Helix Sleep mattress through this link.

GhostBed Mattress coupon - save $50 on your GhostBed mattress through this link.

Saintly Mattress coupon - save $50 on your Saintly mattress through this link.

Bear Mattress coupon - save $50 on your Bear mattress through this link.

Nolah Mattress coupon - save $50 on your Nolah mattress through this link.


Whew! When I started this coupon list, I never expected there to be so many mail-order mattress companies to include. Hooray for Google, right? I'd be interested in learning where each of these mattresses is built, as I have a strong suspicion several of them are actually the exact same company/same factory/same mattress masquerading under different names. I'm also curious how long each mattress brand has been around. While there are certainly reputable ones, I'm worried some of these newcomers may just be latching onto Amerisleep's success in the hope of making a quick buck, quality be darned.

I can't offer much help if you're set on a GhostBed or Zotto mattress (I chose those two examples because they're fun to say. Zotto! Ghostbed!) but please feel free to send me an email with any questions about our Amerisleep Liberty Bed mattress. We've had it since 2012 and could not be happier.
Leesa mattress coupon
Sexy Nerd smoked us a turkey yesterday and was glad to have a comfy mattress where he could wait out his tryptophan-induced sleepiness.

Experts say the tryptophan food coma is just a myth, Sexy Nerd. You hit the mattress due to overeating!

Oh, one more thing. I am a rambler. One more, more thing, I'd like to share a nifty email I recently received, which I've been wanting to post to my blog but wasn't sure how to tie it into anything. This mattress post is my perfect opportunity:


Hi, Kitty –

I emailed you in early December about considering an Amerisleep mattress. You kindly replied, and I wanted to give you an update.

We did order a King bed, and I was surprised that it arrived so quickly. In fact, we weren’t ready for it so we had to scramble to get things ready. (New paint, leading to new carpet, leading to re-arranging the bedroom.) Anyway, we finally were able to start sleeping on it and we are absolutely thrilled! Thank you for posting your honest evaluation.

We got a nice $250 discount when we ordered, and since I used your link I hope you received your bonus. If you didn’t, please let me know what I can do to make that happen for you.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

My blog readers are awesome. When we were chatting via email last month, this same reader wrote:

Thanks for your help. I hope you and your Sexy Nerd have a great Christmas season. (I would call Janet my Sexy Grandma but that just sounds creepy -- even though she is a grandma and is very sexy.) We have shared a bed for 38 years now and have had a great marriage. It's even greater now with four grandangels and one more on the way.

How sweet is that? I love my blog readers!
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