Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rough Day at the Office

Photo by jessebezz.
 Answer this for me...

If your husband told you that he was going to be working super hard today while tubing down the Guadalupe River with his co-workers, would you believe him?

Everyone has been wondering how Josh's new job is working out. I think the question above just about sums it up. I swear. He has such a tough life.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Never-Ending Spiral of Needless Paperwork

How I loath me some paperwork. This has to be my pet peeve. How is it possible that utility companies, apartment agencies, banks, etc. etc. can be so over-the-top...what's the word I want?...idiotic, slow, backwards, unbelievably challenged...so bad at their business?? I know we all have had to deal with credit cards not changing your mailing address to the updated, current address you submitted online even after receiving an email confirmation that it was changed or how about when you schedule a time for the cable guy to come and connect your internet, but somehow that paperwork fell through and he never shows up.

I think I could handle this happening once or twice, but when it is coming at you from all directions and from multiple countries...it seriously makes me want to rip my hair out. If I am bald the next time you see me, you will know why.

I thought once the movers had packaged up all our things to ship, our bags had been packed, all cancellation letters had been sent, the apartment had been walked through, and I had boarded the plane to come home, that my Swiss life would pretty much be over besides a few last bills. If only that had been the truth.

We are still dealing with Josh's PENSION not getting paid out to us. Nice of them to notify us that they were missing one final piece of paperwork for the process to go through. I hope you can feel my sarcasm slapping you in the face right now. No one mentioned anything, at any point, until Josh had to track someone down at his old job. And, they were like...hmmm, I wonder why that hadn't gone through??

Then our SECURITY DEPOSIT on the apartment (which was two months of rent -- that could buy you a car) is still in limbo. We had been told that since we didn't owe any money for damages it would be very straight-forward process and the deposit would be refunded in just a few days. It has now been a month. It ended up that we needed to sign a piece of paper at the walk through (which we were told we didn't need to sign) before the deposit could be issued. Oh, and you have to love that everything has to be mailed, not faxed, not scanned and emailed, but snail mailed.

And, all those registered cancellation letters that were sent to the utility companies and then the response letters stating that the service would be cancelled...ugh...well, the cancellation department must not physically talk to the billing department.

And...what exactly would you say you do here?? (best movie ever!)

Now add to the pile that our UBS bank account had to be closed within one month of our moving back to the States. All of this just makes for one big, never-ending headache.

Is anyone feeling my pain? I haven't even talked about the idiocracy happening on this side of the pond. It's the same amount of b.s. You buy a car, but the plates can't get shipped to you in time before the dealer plate expires. The insurance company hasn't received the change of insurance document (that was of course sent) and now they think there is a lapse in coverage. The cell phone service charges you $600 bucks for phones you never received and $300 bucks for service you never used. It is all just so overwhelming and unnecessary.

Where's the fricken silver lining to my gray cloud?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Homemade Raspberry Marshmallows

Continuing to live the hausfrau life...

Here is my first attempt at making homemade marshmallows. I had my first bites of this goodness on my trip to Charleston, SC with my mom back in June. They were to die for! Figured I needed to give it a try.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Another Year Older

In true Peterthal fashion, we ventured out last night for my birthday sampling some of the new local hot spots in our neighborhood. A few things have changed since we've been gone. We started at the High Ball for a quick game of bowling and beers. My granny skills are awesome. I finished with a whooping 126 points (beating Josh by two). Next, we headed over to Sazon for a much needed 1816 marg and some queso. Yum. Nothing has changed about this place. Not even the addition of an air conditioning system. And, then to finish off the birthday loop we ended up at Black Sheep Lodge. Also a bar that was opening right before we left. It feels good to check off a few new places on our must-see list in Austin.

Our European adventurous spirit continues right here in our backyard. It wasn't quite the same as being in Paris like last year, but this birthday included getting to celebrate with our closest friends. Nothing can beat that.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

I remember having to sell our cars before we left for Switzerland. It felt like having to give up my right arm almost. Who cares about selling the furniture or even leasing out the house to some stranger. It was selling my car that got to me. Now mind you, I had a pretty sweet ride.

"Blue". My Mini Cooper S Convertible, hyper-blue with white racing stripes, chrome accents, matching blue dashboard and stick, bought as a semi- getting married gift...my dream car. There is still a part of me that misses that car, probably always will be.

But, it's amazing how quickly you adapt to your surroundings. And, now it's the trains, trams, and buses that I am missing.

These first couple weeks back in Austin have been filled with emptying boxes, scarfing down as much bbq and queso as possible, catching up with friends, and visiting every car dealership in town. Jeep. Subaru. Toyota. Nissan. GMC. Volkswagen. Audi. You name it, we've been there. Talked to more idiot car salesmen than anyone should ever have to do. Test drove about a dozen cars. And, finally...


I decided to go all American-style and get a car that could run over your car (or should I be saying a "truck" that could run over your car). Isn't she a beauty? You should be proud of us. We actually made the sensible, non-sensible choice.