Abbie's Real Life Blog

New Home, New Blog

June 7th, 2012 · Endless Blathering, In Summary

Here is the end of this blog!  I didn’t do any packing- I’m just up and leaving for this site over here, a clean fresh start.

I mentioned something about this earlier in the year, about finishing up this blog and moving on to another.  I’ve done this before, but not as cleanly as this.  There was a three-year window between my first blog and this blog, but each one lasted six years.  That plus the fact that this marks 15 years since I started blogging.

I moved in with Justin (Jay’s real name) this week, and we decided to get a domain name together and write a blog.  So we bought Jabbiestan.com (a portmanteau of Abbie & Justin, sorta) and I put up a bare WordPress installation and started writing there this week.  Well, if writing includes posting a lot of pictures.  I finally put some effort into making it easier to post pictures from my phone to the blog, so hopefully that will continue.  It’s much more interesting to look at photos than to read my endless blather.

Technically, it’s Justin’s blog too, and he has his own log-in.  But I will be very surprised if he ever posts there, and I will be very surprised if he reads it much either, especially at the beginning!  We’ll see, though.

It’s been a busy few weeks, but getting the domain up before the move was a bit of a priority for me.  I also hosted a mildly successful high school class reunion (for those who attended it, anyway), and presented at my first librarian conference yesterday (which went really well, I think).  And the move itself went well.  Everything fit into the house, even if it’s not actually put away yet, and now I have weeks and months and years to get it all sorted out and organized.

But next week we will be headed out to San Francisco (my vacation, Justin’s work trip).  At the very least, it might be fun to hop over to Jabbiestan to see pictures from the trip.  So go on!  Do that!

It’s been fun to be here, but it will be fun to be there too.

Thanks for reading!

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Approaching

May 25th, 2012 · Pointless Updates

Bly Moss Chairs The Fridays come and the Fridays go!  Do I only post on Fridays these days?

To the left are my beautiful neutral mid-century modern chairs which are currently listed for sale on Craigslist.  They are lovely, to be sure, but also cat incompatible, and there really isn’t that much room for them at the new place.  I am hoping that I can recoup some of the money I spent on them as they are in fantastic vintage condition, but so far I haven’t had a bite.  We’ll see!

I have some listings on eBay as well, and some stuff to ship, and bags of stuff for Goodwill.  I am trying to get rid of shit, always and forever.

The Big Move is just over a week away, and Closing Day is two weeks from today.  Gah, I can’t really believe I’ll get it all done, but then I start to look around at home and lots of cabinets and shelves are empty.  Things are packed or already moved over to Jay’s house.

It’s not just a Big Move, but also a Big Merge.  We have lots of duplicates of basic things.  I spent Wednesday night going through our spice collections, but we’ll have to decide on plates and bowls and cups and glasses and pots and pans.  I do get a small feeling of accomplishment every time I am able to part with something, either by throwing it out or giving it away or selling it.  Last year was a big year for that, and I am still proud of all I managed to purge from my life, but it doesn’t end.  Every day I could get rid of another box of stuff, if I tried.

I’m glad it’s a holiday weekend, Memorial Day weekend, because I have a lot to do and I’ve already sacrificed tomorrow to organizing and attending a high school class reunion.  I am at the point that I am always at with this kind of thing: regret that I ever got it into my mind to put it together (because it was all my idea) and annoyance at having to attend.  Not that I won’t enjoy going to it, probably, and not that I won’t enjoy having gone to it once it’s over, probably.  It’s the future tense that annoys me right now: picking up supplies, arriving early to make signs to point the way, waiting for people to arrive, the claim on my increasingly precious time to get my move done… I’ll enjoy the drive itself and then I will enjoy being done with it.  I look forward to enjoying being done with it.  Does that sound awful?  Oh well, hello.  It’s a high school class reunion.  Pop culture is pretty much insistent on the terribleness of high school class reunions.

For the rest of the weekend, I’ll have to get serious about packing stuff that I can pack, and moving stuff that can’t be put in a box.  On Monday, my mom is supposed to come down and help me paint my new office at Jay’s house.  It’s currently purple, which makes the room very dark.  I’ve picked out a light gray to play off the wood tones and the bright colors of my office furniture, and I’m looking forward to the result.  I think it will look really great, and I hope we get it done!

In the meantime, lots to do and less and less time to do it in.  Ahhh!!

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This Might Be Solid Ground

May 18th, 2012 · Endless Blathering, Pointless Updates

Another Friday!  They just seem to come every seven days, don’t they?

This one finally finds me on a little bit of solid ground for the first time in a long time.  We finally, finally made it through inspections, all two full weeks of them with inspector after inspector and days of waiting on negotiations.  It was really excruciatingly slow and painful, but we all made it through to the other side, and I still have a signed contract with a buyer and a closing on June 8.  I booked movers for Monday, June 4.

That is exactly three weeks until closing and just over two weeks until Moving Day.  Wow!  It is going to come sooner than I expect, but I am also feeling appreciative of the amount of time I have between now and then.  Three full weekends, including most of Memorial Day weekend.  That’s a nice amount of time to get a lot done.

Appraisal was on Tuesday, so the house had to stay clean and perfect through that, but I came home from work on Tuesday to start tearing the place apart.  Three days later, and the house is clearly in progress for moving.  Boxes are packed all through the house, fragile items are grouped together, and I’ve started to take pictures down.  I borrowed my dad’s pickup last weekend to move some outdoor stuff (bird feeders, lawn equipment) and I’m borrowing the van this weekend to move some of the pictures, lamps, and other indoor stuff that doesn’t fit into boxes or is too fragile to trust to movers.  Between occasional trips and huge bouts of packing, it will all get done!

I called mowers this week to take care of the lawn between now and closing, which takes at least one chore off my plate.  My sister & mother have suggested that I call cleaners to take care of cleaning the empty house before the buyer does his final walk-through before closing.  I’m hesitant to spend even more money on chores I could easily do myself, but I know from plenty of experience that with all the things to do at the new house after moving, the last thing I want to do is go back and clean the old house.  But I have a couple of weeks to decide about that.  I’m already relieved to not have to mow, so it will probably be worth it to pay for the cleaners, too.

So I am coming to a point of closure on this house situation after more than a year of uncertainty.  In fact, exactly a year ago today was when the house went on the market.  I am very happy that it seems to be all working out well.

In other news, I’m also coming to closure on some uncertainty at work.  My office went through a lot of changes in early 2011, and we haven’t been quite settled since then.  There were several points where I was concerned about job security, which is not an easy thing to face.  However, there has been a lot of movement on this in the last couple of months.  My small office has been transferred, but we remain intact.  And our new location within the organization puts us in a position to be far more involved in the library community.  We weren’t eligible to be part of the librarian career ladder in the old location, for instance, but the new location means that we are eligible.  We recently submitted our CVs as application for that system, and I’m proud to say that not only was I accepted, but I was accepted at a rank commiserate with my experience (as well as education), and I’m on track as well as I could hope to be.  It’s far and away better than I could have hoped for, not even counting the uncertainty of the last year.  I am very proud of myself and excited to be part of this organization in a much more involved way.

If I take a step back, it’s pretty amazing to know that I am a Librarian now, officially.  Not that I haven’t been one even without the real title, but I can’t say it doesn’t mean something to me to have passed whatever test there was in this process.  But I am a real librarian.  And I’m a real librarian at this particular university, the very university where three generations of my family have attended, graduated (some with multiple degrees), and worked in some capacity or other (from student worker to Professor Emeritus).  This isn’t a small thing to me, building a career in this place.  To find myself here now feels sudden, like I fell backwards into it instead of rising to it, but I can’t let myself diminish this in that way.  I have worked to deserve what I have here, and what I have here is what I want, and that’s what counts.

In related news, I was accepted to present at a second conference this year.  My first presentation is just a few weeks away right now (between Moving Day and Closing Day, actually), but this one is in early October.  It turns out that they want me to do a 90-minute presentation when I was really only expecting to do about 45 minutes to an hour.  I don’t know why an extra 30 minutes is so stressful, but it effectively doubles the presentation time (I would have presented for 30-4o minutes, leaving the rest for questions; now I have to present for more than an hour, leaving maximum 20 minutes for questions) and certainly means that I have to do a lot more preparation and research than I really expected to do.  I mean, I have a lot of real experience with the subject, which would have filled 45 minutes easily.  But at 90 minutes I will need to present some actual theory and research augmented by my real world experience.   I’m not quite freaking out, as I have about four or five months to get ready, but it was a big surprise.

And Columbia is once more the townies’ town again, since the students have left for the summer and intercession hasn’t started yet.  I do truly love this town in the summer!

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Processing

May 11th, 2012 · Pointless Updates

Wow, what a roller coaster of stress and emotion I am riding these days!  I don’t feel overwhelmed, but there is a lot going on.

We are still in the “inspection” phase of the house-selling process, to my utter disappointment, though I should be happy that the buyer is still interested after the parade of experts that have trampled through my house in the last 10 days.  There have been a total of four inspectors, in fact.  The last one was this morning, and I have heard that it went well.  So I am hoping very much that we hear back from the buyer today and can be through with this part of the process by the end of the weekend.  The appraisal is scheduled for Tuesday.

Meanwhile, I’ve been wrestling with the superstition of calling and getting quotes from movers on weekends when I haven’t cleared the inspection hurdle yet.  Will I jinx it?  I keep mentioning this to people, and I am not the only one who believes that booking a mover now is just asking for the whole thing to fall through.  I find that pretty funny, that so many of us are superstitious like that.

But I did finally fold last night and made a few calls for quotes.  Moving Day is not that far away at this point, and even if it does fall through, it would be better to cancel than to have to scramble to find someone last minute because I believe strongly in superstitions.

Moving Day will be the weekend of June 2, or a weekday near that if the movers don’t do weekends.  That is really not far away- in fact, that leaves me only one full weekend between now and then, though I have two days free on Memorial Day weekend.  That is not a lot to pack a whole house into boxes!  And I can’t start until after the appraisal on Tuesday, because the house needs to be in great shape for that day.  It’s just not a lot of time.

But there is enough time, and I will get it all done.

Today is the last day of finals week and all the students are leaving town, making traffic far lighter.  This time of early May always comes before I know it, and then the same with mid-August when all the students return again.  It is the way of life in this college town.

Oh well, it’s Friday.  Lots of family activities this weekend with my cousin’s college graduation and Mother’s Day.  I have to clean for the appraisal and take a few truckloads of outdoor stuff to Jay’s house, so I won’t have a lot of lazy time this weekend.  Glad I got a lot of lazy done last weekend instead!  Lots to do.

However, it is late spring turning into early summer here, and my musical tastes start to flit back towards surf rock.

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Adam Yauch and Last Weekend

May 7th, 2012 · Entertainment, Pointless Updates, What I Did Last Weekend

Adam Yauch, one of the Beastie Boys, died on Friday after a two-year battle with cancer.  This has been covered plenty by many, but it hit me hard.  Maybe one of the first celebrity deaths for my generation that was not an overdose or accident?  Maybe?  I am not sure if that’s right.  But I would agree with others who said that his death is the equivalent of the passing of a Beatle for the baby boomers.  Certainly George Harrison.  I agree with that.  The Beastie Boys were an important element of my pop cultural and musical landscape starting as early as 1986.  Maybe I didn’t get that into Paul’s Boutique until much later, but Ill Communication practically defined my high school years and I have very specific memories of Hello Nasty and its place in my college years.  Just in the last year I’ve been listening to a lot of The Mix-Up, an instrumental album.

I’ve definitely written about the Beastie Boys before on this blog, noting that just a little bit of a song or video is enough to send me down a rabbit hole where I’ll listen to their music for weeks.  Of course I’ve been listening to the Beasties all weekend plus I watched Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That! with Jay late on Friday night.

I could get more into it, but Nathan Rabin at the AV Club put together a pretty strong obituary and I suggest you go there if you don’t understand this assessment.

What is unspoken in most of the obituaries is the assumption that this is the end of the Beastie Boys.  It’s just not believable that they could continue without him, though of course it’s possible.  If I were a betting woman, though, I would bet this is the end of them as a group.  They’re not the sell-out types, but I think they also know that they were always a three-legged table.  You have to have MCA to have the Beasties, just as you have to have Mike D and you have to have Ad-Rock.  The other players, the DJs and the producers, they’ve come and gone.  But without MCA there is no Beastie Boys, and it’s a big deal to me to lose this group.

It was a pretty good weekend.  I am still in suspense over the inspection report from the series of inspections last week, and an appraisal hasn’t been scheduled, so I had no pressing concerns around the house.  Nothing to fix or clean yet.  I hope to hear back about the inspection tonight or tomorrow or just soon, because it’s definitely the biggest hurdle of the whole process and it frankly terrifies me.  But I have been good about not letting the worry get to me too much as I wait.  I’m taking the opportunity to be lazy and not do much.

So I spent the weekend not doing a whole lot of much!  Well, I mowed the lawn.  And it was a hot, humid day on Saturday so that lawn-mowing was not pleasant.  But I beat the rain.  It also looks pretty good since I dumped two big bags of fertilizer all over the lawn last weekend.  I’m not usually into fertilizing, but I found the bags at the bottom of a pile in the garage and felt it would be better to put it out than throw it out.

But, yep, other than the lawn, I didn’t do much this weekend at all.  Do I feel a little guilty?  Maybe, since it’s been awhile that I haven’t had to worry about something in particular, but it felt great.  Yet I didn’t really sit around all that much except on Friday night when we watched TV and the Beastie Boys concert documentary.

Friday was Stop Day so this is finals week at the University of Missouri, with summer break coming soon!  As always, I love seeing the kids leave town, providing me with ample parking and virtually no waiting at restaurants.

The Blue Note, a local concert venue, held its first outdoor concert of the year on Thursday night, and downtown Columbia was kinda crazy with people looking to party at the end of the semester.  Primus was the act on stage at the outdoor concert.  I don’t know anything about Primus, even though apparently they were all over MTV during the exact years that I was watching a lot of MTV.  I still don’t remember them.  But Jay and my friends liked them a lot, and we all have a bit of a tradition where we go hang out downtown listening to the music.  We don’t pay for tickets, you understand, but we just stand outside the barriers and enjoy the people-watching and the ability to come and go as we please, paying reasonable prices for drinks.  Yes, we’re a bunch of no-goodniks (in our 30s and 40s) loitering around street corners.

Saturday was Cinco de Mayo and still Party Time College Town USA.  Jay’s regular gig is a salsa band and his other band is blues/flamenco, so he was booked solid on Saturday night with three different shows and more if he’d wanted them.  I went out to see two of the shows (the other was a private party) on Saturday night and it was a pretty good time.  They get a great audience every week, but this week was pretty special for Cinco de Mayo.  The crowd was big and fun and having a great time even though they started off the show with the blues numbers and not the salsa numbers.  I’ve seen the crowd be less than impressed with those songs, but they were willing to dance anyway on Saturday.  It was pretty cool.

I’d like to blame the late night on Saturday for the fact that I slept in until almost noon on Sunday, but I don’t really have that much of an excuse.  After a late brunch at Broadway Brewery, we went to see The Avengers with some friends, and it was the perfect movie for a hot weekend afternoon.  Dumb and loud and fun, starring Robert Downey, Jr.  I do love Robert Downey, Jr. in that Tony Stark role.  That was some brilliant casting at the time, and his presence more than makes up for the rest of the dull pretty boys & girls that fill the rest of the roles (Mark Ruffalo excluded- I always love Mark Ruffalo, too).

Yeah, it was a pretty good weekend, all told.  I scuttled some plans that involved painting one of the rooms at Jay’s house in preparation for moving.  It is currently very purple, and I am hoping to paint it gray.  The paint was on sale this weekend, but I didn’t get over to buy it.  I am thinking now that waiting might be a better move.  Jay hasn’t cleaned out that room yet, and although I am all ready to start redecorating his house (or just decorating it, actually; there’s not much there there), I really need to get finished with this current house first.  Redecorating can take years; it doesn’t need to happen before I move.  But it’s much easier to be decorating his place than to be cleaning out and moving my place.

The next three videos are songs that appear in a row on Ill Communication. I’ve been known to just listen to these over and over and over again.

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Time for Play

May 4th, 2012 · Photography, Pointless Updates

Devil's Tower National MonumentThe house is still under contract for now, though the inspections happened this week.  There were three whole days of inspections, in fact!  Three days of strangers crawling all over and under and through every nook and cranny of my house, and I am still waiting to hear what they found.  I have already heard the rumor of one potentially awful fix, but I don’t know yet whether it’s a dealbreaker or whether it will cost me a lot of money.

But the house is still under contract for now!

And that means no showings, so the house is starting to get a little lived-in.  I left my bowl in the sink today and didn’t make my bed, and there are plenty of dog-hair-tumbleweeds blowing up and down the halls.  I will have to clean it up big-time for the appraisal, if there is one (knock on wood), but for now it’s nice to just live in my house.

I even took time on Wednesday to work on photos that I took of a friend, and finished them with enough time to work on some of my own stuff, though I am a little rusty as it’s been awhile since I put much time or effort into photo processing.

I like this one to the left, though.  That was taken on a morning walk around Devil’s Tower in Wyoming.  It was really beautiful.

I do miss having time to work on photos.  I blame it all on the house, which does eat up a lot of time and effort, but it’s also being involved with Jay and the time that we spend together.  I used to have most evenings free, and now I rarely have more than one evening free a week.  It does make for very little time to spend on hobbies.  But, at the same time, when I jump on Pinterest and look at art and photographs, I just get slightly depressed and antsy to work on my own stuff.  So I really need to make time for it.

I’ve started making trips with carloads of stuff when I go back and forth to Jay’s house, but I refuse to call movers until after the results of the inspection and subsequent negotiations take place.  Hopefully I can start calling for quotes by next week.

Meanwhile, I am in the mood for an avocado sandwich and it is lunchtime.  Nice!

Have a great weekend!

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Hooray! (Knock on Wood.)

April 27th, 2012 · Pointless Updates, Rants/Raves, Travel

I have some crow to eat, because the area around my hotel in downtown Denver was quite nice.  Shops, restaurants, even a movie theater down the street.  And I still didn’t take much advantage of it, except a nice meal out on Tuesday night at a modern Mexican restaurant.  It was long days of meetings, and I was tired at the end of them, so I mostly stayed around the hotel at night.  But it was a nice area and I’d happily attend more meetings there.

I’m burying the lede, which is that we had an offer on the house on Wednesday!  There’s nothing I like better than when things happen in accordance with Murphy’s Law, such as getting the first bite on the house on a day when I am out of town at a conference and about five days after I spent a few hundred dollars on a new dishwasher.  So I had to duck out of meetings to talk with the realtor and make decisions during my meeting, although I was only too happy to have the reason to do so.

Right now, we have a countersigned contract with a buyer and an inspection scheduled for this coming Tuesday.  It can all definitely go pear-shaped after the inspection and subsequent negotiations (I have no reason to believe there’s anything to find wrong with the house, but as a firm believer in Murphy and his Laws, I assume something will be found and it will be awful), and then there will be a will be plenty more time for bumps and snags and issues and problems before it’s all said and done.  It can all go very badly wrong from here, and I know it.

But for right now, I am very happy to finally have a contract with a buyer.  The house is not open to showings while it is under contract, which is a nice respite as well.  It’s been pretty much nonstop for the past few weeks.  But this weekend I can tear the house apart cleaning and mowing, and then patch it up again at the end of the weekend without worrying that I will have to run through the house pulling everything together for a last-minute showing.  That is just a big relief!  There are a list of things to do, and it’s hard to get them done while keeping the house perfectly clean.

I refuse to make any moving plans until after the inspection has passed, but if things go well (knock on wood), closing will be on June 8 (fingers crossed).  That’s about six weeks, which seems like a nice lengthy amount of time until I remember that I do indeed have to move between now and then.  Ugh, moving.  I swore I would hire movers this time around, and I will definitely try to look into that, cost-wise.  But, no, stop.  I’m not talking seriously about this until after the inspection.  If I believe it will happen, Murphy will see to it that it doesn’t.  I believe in you, Murphy!

The other thing that happened on Wednesday was that they finally announced WWDC, an Apple developer’s conference.  This is always announced as a big surprise, which I find pretty obnoxious.  They don’t even tell you the dates- it’s announced and open for registration at the same time.  It was announced with just six weeks’ of lead time and sold out within two hours.  But Jay got a ticket to the conference, and I am tagging along.  I am going to get to spend nearly a week in San Francisco, just wandering around while Jay is at his conference.  This will be right after closing (if it happens- knock on wood) and after moving house.  It should be great fun.  I loved loved loved San Francisco when I visited there in 2008, and I can’t wait to go back and see some things in the city and in the Bay Area that I missed the first time around, when I had much less time in the city due to meetings.  (The same meeting I was at earlier this week in Denver, as a matter of fact!)  Anyway, that’s exciting news as well!

But not as exciting as finally getting an offer on the house after 11 months on the market.  If I wasn’t so concerned with the ways this could go very wrong before it’s over, I’d celebrate!  But I will wait and truly celebrate in June after closing (knock on wood).

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Busy with House Showings and Off to Denver

April 20th, 2012 · Pointless Updates, Travel

Friday!  The weekend is packed, but there’s nothing on the schedule tonight.  So it’s not immediately crazy.

But I need to buy & install a new dishwasher, mow the lawn, pack, attend some fun activities out on the town on Saturday night, and get up early to spend all day Sunday traveling to Colorado.  So, despite a free night tonight, I have way more than enough to do.

It’s been a busy week as well with house showings every day- six this week, so far, and probably more tomorrow at exactly the time when the lawn is half-mowed and the dishwasher half-installed.  It’s hard enough to live in a house with infrequent showings, but it’s extremely frustrating to have a showing every day when you’re trying to just stay on top of regular chores.  I mowed the front yard on Tuesday but I didn’t have enough time to do the backyard.  Since then, between the house showings and established plans and rain, I haven’t had any time to finish the job, and it’s starting to look really long back there.  I know I’ll have time to do it tomorrow with the weather cooperating, and then I’ll return from my Colorado trip in time to mow it again!

I’m not necessarily looking forward to the Colorado trip, mostly because it will be difficult to schedule the showings while relying on other people to pick up my dog, plus traveling is just tiring.  I am interested in the conference itself, so that is good, and it won’t be as exhausting as some conferences I attend (which involve tons of appointments and lots of walking).  It’s all in the same hotel, too.  Easy.

I used to be far more excited about taking work trips, but not anymore.  I think it’s a lack of novelty overall after a certain amount of time in a career and a certain number of work trips.  More work responsibility, the pressure to network-  it’s not a vacation, it’s all work.  And it’s work in an unfamiliar place where it can be hard to find food, plus you don’t get to go home at the end of the day.  And, again, it’s not a vacation.  The best views I’ll see in Colorado will be the ones out of the plane window as we come up on the mountains.  Then it will be airport, shuttles, and another nondescript downtown area and another mid-range hotel (far nicer than I would stay on my own).  These conferences are always held in downtown areas or near a conference center, and it’s probably the least interesting area of the city.  Everything cool will be closed by 5pm, especially the vegetarian-friendly ethnic restaurants.  All that will be left is empty streets, loud bar & grills, and chain restaurants.  No shopping, no movie theaters nearby.  Museums will be closed.  Parks will be… unsafe.  Which leaves either figuring out the local transportation system to go to the interesting neighborhood filled with cool late-night dining & art movies, or just staying in the hotel room.  I usually pick the latter: sitting around watching terrible television, painting my toenails, and eating candy from the nearby Rite Aid.  That is the best thing to say about these areas, that there is always a late-night convenience store or pharmacy within a couple of blocks, and always a Starbucks or other large coffeeshop open bright & early.  I do appreciate that.

I say this, and Denver will turn out to be the exception to the rule.  Dallas was not, and I’m really not at all looking forward to returning to Anaheim in June, which is an absolute wasteland for anything non-Disney-related.  But then New Orleans last summer was certainly fun and full of life, and San Diego might not have been so terrible if I hadn’t been so very sick at the time.  Anyway, I’m generalizing about these cities.  But it would be the same if I was stuck without a car in certain areas of Kansas City or St. Louis or even in Columbia (because the hotels in Columbia are miles away from downtown, at least until the new Doubletree is built downtown), so I’m not picking and choosing.

I do feel guilty about traveling somewhere new and not taking advantage of it at all, especially since I don’t travel that much.  It’s hard to shake that guilt.  If the house wasn’t on the market and if I wasn’t trying to save money for moving expenses and maybe a little trip this summer with Jay, I would have liked three days with a rental car in the Rockies in the spring.  Flowers in the lower elevations, snow probably still blocking most of the passes in the parks, and waterfalls and streams heavy with runoff.  But then I remember that I still have not ever finished the pictures from Yellowstone (will be two years ago in June!), and I also have some photos waiting that are a favor to a friend.  So the Rockies vacation that I want to take will just have to wait for another year, another trip, another time.

Life isn’t all busy and stress and guilt and work trips, though.  Or is it?  I was going to try to end on a light note, but I can’t really think of what else is going on in my life.  It’s been a long week with all the house showings, though, so that’s clouding out everything else.  I’ve been making Jay watch The IT Crowd on Netflix lately, and he’s really into it though the show already feels dated and it’s only six years old.  It’s been fun to watch Chris O’Dowd pop up in some American movies in the past couple of years, and it was just wrong that Jay didn’t know where that actor started out when it’s a really geeky fun British TV show (one that doesn’t even need captions).  And we spent last weekend getting Jay caught up with the Twilight movies with Rifftrax commentary.  I was just going to make him watch the first one, which is still hilarious even on my third or fourth viewing, but he wanted to watch the second one and then the third one before we met up with friends to watch part 1 of the fourth one.  So Jay had a crazy debauched Twilight weekend.  I felt pretty sorry for him that he went that far overboard on all that mind-numbing stupidity, but I guess I’m the one who started him down that dark path in the first place.

It’s supposed to be beautiful weather this weekend, both here and in Denver, and the conference will be the type where I can sit in one place with a laptop all day, and I’m looking forward to the material in addition to the chance to kind of fade in and out when necessary.  We’ll see how it goes, though.

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The State of My Kitchen

April 11th, 2012 · Endless Blathering

It’s one of those days where I have all sorts of PLANS and GOALS for the evening.  I don’t have anything scheduled external to the house and yard, and I could get all kinds of things crossed off my lists tonight.  So many things!

But it’s been kind of a rollercoaster of a day and I just want to go home and lie down.  I know if I do that, though, I won’t get back up again.  It’ll just be TV all night.

That’s when I start negotiating on the checklist.

“Just get X, Y, and Z done, then lay down.”  I say to myself.

“Just get X and Y done.  Just get X done.  X!  At least do X!”

X tonight is washing the dishes.  I have a lot of dirty dishes.  A lot.  A broken dishwasher full of them, in fact!  Because my dishwasher is officially broken, says the nice repairman.  Whew, that’s a relief!  I thought I might get out of this house sale with some of my dignity intact, but nope, now I have to buy a new dishwasher.  That’s fun.  Anyway, the dishwasher is full of dishes and I am almost out of dishes, and that’s when you have to decide to do some dishes.  Or buy new dishes!  And put the new dirty ones in the oven.  It’s empty, after all!  There’s so much space in the house to store dirty dishes.  I could not wash dishes tonight.  I could not wash dishes forever!

This is just getting absurd.  I will not be filling the closets with dirty dishes.  It’s expensive.

Anyway, I’m not cooking at home anymore.  I finally had enough of wanting to cook for various occasions and social functions and then messing up the kitchen and having to clean it thoroughly.  It was bad enough when I had a dishwasher, and now I am definitely not doing any cooking if I have to wash all those pots myself.  I mean, what am I?  Ms Dishwater Hands over here?  Please.

Not that I have stopped cooking- I’m cooking at Jay’s house now.  I still clean things up, but I don’t have to have the kitchen spotless the next day because he doesn’t care that much.  It’s not a bad kitchen either, though it’s smaller and darker and has much less counter space than my place.  He also doesn’t have anything that a person needs for regular cooking in a kitchen, so I have to make sure I bring over everything that I need because otherwise I will be sorry.  There have already been massive hunts for a can opener and measuring cups, and I was very irritated with myself for not bring a hand mixer to make devilled eggs last weekend for Easter.  It was not easy to mix up the hard egg yolks with a whisk, but I kept at it until I discovered that Jay did, in fact, have a blender.  So it all went into the blender.  But I will not forget to bring the hand mixer next time.

It’ll be annoying to be split over two houses with some of the basic cooking implements, but there are definitely things that one needs for regular cooking and things that one needs for occasion/social function cooking.  My cooking mostly splits easily between those two things, and once I’d brought the oven thermometer over to Jay’s place, it was pretty much decided.  I mean, I tried to cook at my place after that, but I really needed that oven thermometer.  It’s much easier to bring all of my kitchen to his place than to either replace or take back my oven thermometer, after all.

That’s a lot of paragraphs on the state of my kitchen.  Next time, I’ll ruminate on how much I fret over the smell of my house.  Yeah!  You can’t wait, can you?

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Weeds and Roses

April 2nd, 2012 · Pointless Updates, What I Did Last Weekend

It’s finally April, though from the look of my yard, you’d think it was the middle of May.  I have roses blooming!  Small tea roses, but still.

I spent all weekend working in the yard again for the second weekend in a row.  The backyard is now weeded and mulched, though the whole yard needs to be trimmed around the edges.  I still don’t have a working weedeater, though Jay supposedly has one.  I may borrow his and see whether I can get it to work.  I am the killer of weedeaters!  I have never owned one that worked consistently.  Mostly, I just want to throw them under the nearest bus.

Anyway, the new mulch and the weeding should help to tamp down on weeds for the next few weeks, and I’m getting a little casual about the use of Round-Up for controlling weeds in annoying places (like the stubborn ones that come up in the cracks of the driveway) despite my overall irritation with pesticides and poisons.  I even had to spray some wasp nests that were too close to the doors of the house.  That made me sad, especially since they’d been so diligent about building those nests all weekend, but with house showings this week, I can’t have prospective buyers running from wasps.

Anyway, two full weekends and my lawn looks pretty good.  I have already mowed twice, too, and now that we’re deep into dandelion season, I’ll have to keep up with it.  The church next door has a zillion dandelions that seed my lawn at this time of year, and it doesn’t take much dandelion seed before the lawn looks weedy and unkempt.  So I’ll probably be back out there before the weekend to take care of errant dandelions.

We made the decision to lower the price on the house this weekend, and maybe lower it further if it’s not sold in a month or two.  House sales have a season, and we’re in the middle of it, but it will come to an end soon.  So we have to make tough decisions if I want to be out of this house before next year.  And I do, but it’s rough.  It’s really, really rough.  I have regretted buying this house from the day we closed on it, and I know I will feel nothing but relief when it’s finally sold, but it will always have been a poor decision, always.  I am angry with myself and angry with the professionals who were involved with the deal who did not do their jobs.  The only upside is that it will eventually sell, and it won’t be my problem anymore.  But I’ll still have to live with it.

I’m talking like the deal is done, and we haven’t even got an offer.  But I do have more hopes for it than I have had in a few weeks.  It’s a big deal to us, and I hope it translates to traction on the market.  All I can do is hope and wait, though.  And keep the house in perfect condition.

The rest of the weekend was fine.  Jay and I went to see Friends with Kids on Friday night, and it was okay.  It was pretty depressing and overwrought for what was ostensibly a comedy.  And though I love a lot of the actors that were involved, it was disappointing to watch them play such melodramatic roles.  But I’d still give it about an 8 out of 10.  I didn’t hate it.

I also finally finished my taxes!  Yay for that.  Started them a couple of weeks ago, though I wanted to have started them a couple of months ago.  I was sick for awhile there, plus the house stuff… it all just feels like I have less time for this stuff.

It’s hot!  I turned the air conditioning on yesterday, which might sound ridiculous because it’s not actually humid yet.  I had to have it on today for a showing.  But we’re supposed to get rain tomorrow and it will bring cooler weather.  Next week will be almost chilly!  I’ll get a chance to wear my boots again before summer, which is good.  I love wearing boots!  But I’m also feeling very aware of the summer approaching, and currently stalking some sandals online.  I feel like they’d be a good purchase as it appears I will be wearing them from now until October!

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