Farewell, Maria -- We'll Miss You

It's been almost a month since we moved into our cozy little hotel room and, sadly, our stay is coming to an end: We finally found an apartment. Some might hate the transiency of it all, or feel that a hotel room could not possibly ever feel like home, but I beg to differ. Hell, if my husband's company had offered to pay for a longer stay, I would have happily prolonged our search. The bed is big and so comfy, they put out a basket of the best cookies at the front desk in the evenings, and then there's Maria, of course. Maria always makes sure I've got enough coffee, microwave popcorn, and kitchen paper towels. I love kitchen paper towels; I find them incredibly extravagant--not that I go crazy and abuse my unlimited access to the paper towels in an environmentally unfriendly manner, of course.

In any case, my husband's company gave us exactly a month to find a place. Thus, in the end, we were kind of forced to settle. The place we're moving into is way WAAAAAY too expensive. It's one storey above a busy eight-lane thoroughfare. And...there are these weird clouds of flies that permanently hang out in the lobby. My husband mocks me for objecting to the flies. They're just flies, he says. Okay, no, they are not "just flies." Flies are ordinarily drawn to garbage and things like that, right? But these flies--these massive dark thunderclouds of flies--just hover in the air, in a very scene-out-of-a-Stephen-King-novel-made-into-an-HBO-made-for-television-movie kind of way. Seriously. It's ominous and plain freaky. What do they want?

All that aside, really I should be very grateful that we found anything at all. Palo Alto shop people might be nice about dogs but the apartments people are not. And, hey, after the dog pee at Macy's incident, I can't say I blame them for not wanting all the potential hassles.

Also, I had forgotten how crazy Americans are about the whole "credit history" thing. Which is unfortunate--since my husband and I don't have any! We actually had our apartment application rejected initially. Totally humiliating experience. One second, the leasing agent was all but clasping me to her pillowy bosom, crying, "Welcome home!" (seriously), and the next, I was getting ear frostbite after an extremely chilly phone call informing me that our credit check had come back with unsatisfactory results. Duh, woman, we just moved here from Japan.

Not to get into the nitty-gritties, but eventually, we were rescued by a real estate company that will act as a guarantor of sorts--for a small fee, of course. Which we very gratefully agreed to pay. Makes me wonder though how other foreigners deal. AT-&-Bloody-T refused to give me a stinkin' phone line because I didn't have a social security number or a driver's license--one or the other; no substitutes. And Verizon demanded a $400 deposit from my husband for cell phone service, after another of those pesky credit checks came back with not much to show. I'm telling you, I was practically holding my breath when I called the electricity company, wondering if they'd actually grant us impudent aliens a little light in our new home. Thankfully, they were nice, so at least I won't have to head over to Wal-mart for candles.

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This is why everyone says that "building credit" is important. Bah. Even though I can parrot this advice, I have yet to take it myself, so I have also been subject to the same kinds of remonstrations as you regarding the lack of a credit history. And since I don't drive, I don't even have a "gas card" whatever that means, which apparently helps. Nor do I have a television or a cell phone (number), which also causes a lot of suspicion. Come to think of it I find it hard to believe that I live in the US, all that considered. In any case, I got round those problems when renting my current apartment via the equally quaint procedure of "character references." My landlord who is very very old and very old-school (but not old-school enough to forego background checks) asked me for some people he could call to ensure that I was a "good person." I thought that was funny. Evidently (or I should probably say fortunately) I passed. But that was only because the people he called up told all kinds of untruths about my "character." Ha ha.

7/28/2006 04:54:00 PM  

My Mom had the same problem when she got divorced, all the credit was built in my fathers name so when he moved out and she tried to change the name on the phone bill the called back and said that she couldn't because she had no credit. I built my credit history by getting no fee credit cards at weird places - the Bay, Pier 1, Canadian Tire, etc. I never use them but it seems to have worked. I was offered a real life visa card the other day.

7/29/2006 02:03:00 AM  

Hey, cheer up! :) It may be a start of something new for you, though I know you're going to miss some few essential things.

8/31/2006 05:36:00 PM  

So how are things going now? :) Hope you are all doing fine.

9/12/2006 03:30:00 PM  

Hi Constance,
Things are going better now -- thanks for asking! I keep meaning to blog, and I will soon. I'm scared if I don't, Blogger.com is going to shut me down... or whatever it is they do to inactive blogs.

Hi Everyone Else,
I'm sorry, I'm usually so much better at responding to comments but things have been busy, as I'm sure you guessed! I think writing replies now would probably be too late. Sorry!

from Rachel

9/14/2006 03:28:00 AM  

Hey, Rachel, it's okay. A little update here and there will do.

9/26/2006 11:19:00 AM  

Sounds like quite an ordeal. I know how much of a hassle the credit check thing can be.

9/30/2006 05:55:00 AM  

I felt the same way when I moved to my new place. No lights and everthing. And everybody just so mess up. I hope you and your husband will soon be able to adjust to a new place and environment.

10/10/2006 12:08:00 PM  

My Mom too had the sadme problem when she got divorced, all the credit was built in my dads name so when he moved out. We had a hard time adjusting to it. It gave us all the hassle in the world you can think of.

10/16/2006 03:49:00 PM  

How is it goin this time? Waiting for your new post.

10/23/2006 03:40:00 PM  

Yup bulding a credit is important, having a credit history would let know the banks or services that you can pay or not on the services that you'll be acquiring..

10/25/2006 10:09:00 AM  

No more new posts? How are you? I have been reading your blog entries but my first time to comment because I am eager to know how are things going for you and your husband.
Post soon. Ciao!

1/25/2007 12:52:00 PM  

Hi Shore,

Thanks so much for writing!

I know, I haven't blogged in...almost half a year, or close to that. I don't know what happened. I suddenly found myself with absolutely nothing to write about--indication of my blissfully uneventful life, I guess. But no, if you've read my blog before, you know that I can write about utter non-events quite happily. I do miss writing though. When I get the chance, I'll try to post, I promise.  

from Rachel

1/26/2007 06:11:00 AM  

What a drag! I always find it a mystery that negative things can get on your history in a second (and sometimes unsubstantiated) and yet to get them off takes a minimum of 6 weeks!

6/10/2007 04:50:00 AM  

Hi! I stumbled on your blog a few days ago while searching for tips on starters and quickbreads and got kind of addicted. Love your writing and hope you resume blogging someday. Just wanted to let you know I have been enjoying your blog.

2/14/2008 06:08:00 AM  

Hi Monkey,

Thank you for the kind words. I have been thinking a lot about blogging lately. This blog needs a serious overhaul, though!

2/14/2008 03:33:00 PM  

Yay! Resume blogging! Why does the site need an overhaul?

2/17/2008 02:16:00 AM  


There are lots of weird things going with this blog--due to neglect, most likely--like broken links, hacks that don't work anymore, weird spacing, etc. Took me forever just to figure out how to comment on my own blog! Well, we'll see....

2/18/2008 11:30:00 AM  

For what it's worth, I really didn't notice those things when I read through your archives. Sure some links didn't work anymore, but it's impossible to expect them all to still be functional years later. I wouldn't worry too much about it because it would be crazy and no fun to have to go through all of your old entries periodically and check that kind of thing. I definitely don't plan on doing that kind of maintenance with my own blogging and hope most people understsand. But that is because I am lazy...

2/18/2008 02:17:00 PM  

Sad to hear all about your credit stuff. Hope you'll getting all this mesh behind in the future.

12/19/2008 03:38:00 PM  

Hang on there. It's going to get better over time :)

12/31/2008 02:34:00 PM  

Ciao. Per consulenza in Italia Food Tecnology

4/09/2009 06:10:00 PM  

Just wanted to know if you would be open to selling advertising on your blog to related food stores. If yes, please get in touch with me as I would be interested in buying an ad. I could not find an email address on your blog which is why I am commenting here. Please feel free to delete this comment. Thank you!

6/15/2009 08:01:00 PM  

So if ice cream is made with brown bread then it is super healthy yes? my diet starts tomorrow

8/02/2009 08:15:00 AM  


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3/31/2010 06:05:00 PM  




4/10/2010 05:42:00 PM  

i got the same credit issues too.

4/15/2010 06:03:00 PM  

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7/18/2010 04:27:00 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/15/2011 11:04:00 PM  

I'm trying to reach the writer of this blog but cannot find a way to send a note! I'm new to the blogosphere...How do I submit a private note?

George Tebresco

11/04/2011 04:02:00 AM  

Yeap that's right!She will be missed!

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12/08/2011 01:39:00 PM  

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12/30/2011 06:01:00 AM  

I came across your blog today and enjoyed it. Is it ok if we re-post some of your entries in our newsletter? I just think a lot of the food and beverage people who visit our community would like reading some of your posts, even though they are mainly industry professionals, they are still ‘foodies’. Let me know. :)


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