Monday, May 10, 2010

Packing like a mad woman

or re-packing. Opening lots of boxes and getting rid of half the contents which means I have to fill it back up by opening another box and look! I haven't seen that book in ages and then I start reading my old journals and



Can I just say I have the most amazing mind ever? I mean, I'm reading events in these journals and saying to myself, Wow! That was a Big! Upsetting! Event! and I can't remember jack shit about any of it. Sometimes I might remember the feeling I had, but by and large I can't remember bubkiss in the way of details.

Which just goes to show you should update your blogs more often;) Except Z, who is amazing.

Signing off without really updating her own blog in a meaningful way,

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Sandals of Death

I would wander around barefoot all day everywhere if I had my druthers, and flip-flops are the closest thing to my ideal. However, there's something about wearing foam shoes that makes me feel trashy. Then one day I was in to the Salvation Army and found a pair of leather flip-flops. Ah ha! I thought, Here's the ideal shoe in a material that isn't trashy, and the pair costs less than $3! (For me- they're j-crew, so they cost more than that for the original owner, which made the sandals that much happier.)

Round 1- I win.
And then I discovered why they were un-loved. First off, the original owner had stretched them out, and they fell off at every step. No prob, I just cut and sewed the leather straps and Voila! Good as new!

Round 2- The Sandals Strike Back
And as I ran out the house and down the back stairs I discovered the second reason they'd been abandoned- leather soles are slick. I went ass over applecart, bruised my butt, bent my leg all funny and ripped the strap right out of the sole of one sandal.

Round 3 - Minor kerfuffles with no clear winner
So I glued the strap back in and wore them around the house for a while, slipping on the steps now and then when I forgot I was wearing assassin shoes, until the day the glue gave and I was back to square, ummm, two. At which point I left them on the floor in a corner in the kitchen where they prompted me to feel shame that I couldn't fix them. And more shame that I couldn't just throw them away. And sadness that my shoe-love was unrequited.

Round 4 - And then another fixing method dawned on me and I took them to the basement and poked some more holes and sewed some more and have the straps back on and the sole patched. Ready for round 5.

Which is a silly thing to write a whole post about, except that I felt inordinately proud that I had beaten the damn things, and had no one to tell at the moment.

Thanks for listening,

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Getting rid of stuff

There's a hump you have to get over when de-cluttering, but I find that once I'm over it there's almost nothing I want to keep. Especially now that we're moving into a space all our own, I feel like I should get rid of all our furniture and focus my efforts on getting "new" furniture that works there.

I say "new" because I've never bought furniture before. There's enough awesome stuff people put to the curb that I've never needed to. Like our very solid wood couch, or our oak dressers, or our precious little pie safe, or our radio cabinet. Actually, I think I'm going to keep all that stuff, but I'm hoping to change shelving. We've got a lot of books. We used to have crappy particle board shelves, but we left those in MI. We haven't unpacked all our books since we've lived in NY, but we did put up shelves. Crappy steel shelving that my former boss was throwing out. Well, the shelving is nice, the "finish" on the shelving is what's crappy. Anywho, I'm going to relegate it to the basement where it belongs, and make/find something awesome to put our books on. Can't wait.

In the process of packing up to move I'm realizing how wonderful computers are. Music and books and art and recipes, all manner of things can go into the computer and thereby take up much less room than they do in the real world.

I found my old planner that I used to use all the time. Now my addresses, calendars, even book lists and pictures are all on my iPod. The only thing that was in my planner that isn't in my ipod are poems I used to carry around. Apparently I had the annoying habit of writing down poems without bothering to write down the author. Thank goodness for google, because now I know the following was written by Feyyaz Fergar. I don't know who the hell he is or why I was reading Turkish poetry.


I have problems
I know them well
They know me well
We get on nicely together
I let them worry me rent-free
Sometimes when I am reading a book
I lift my head to give them
The look of sustained recognition.
Sometimes when I’m eating my heart out
They lift their heads
To look at me and relax.

One day, during a class on Linear Algebra, I was sitting next to a man who decided to flip through my planner. He did ask first. I think he was keen on me. Anywho... After reading my to-do lists, and my lists of movies to watch, and my lists of groceries, and my lists of life goals, he wrote the following list himself:

My name is Karl!

I am "this many" years old.

I am tall enough.

I like to sleep, but being

awake is nice, too.

I like to eat.

I like to talk, but

listening is better.

If a person is nice to you

but mean to the waiter,

he is not a nice person.

I am cold right now.

Good thing I have clothes.

I park far away because

I can walk.

I take the stairs because

I can walk.

(a + 2, b + 3)

That's not a linear transformation

But I don't care!

Ha, yes I do.

I've kept that in my planner for years. Time for the planner to go, but I just had to put that down somewhere. As poetry goes, it ain't much, but I think it was sweet for him to open himself up and put that down for me. I think it was his payment for looking at all my personal lists.

Having posted that for posterity, I suppose it's time to get back to packing.



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Unprecedented Mayhem

Right now, right this minute, my husband is in Pennsylvania working at his new job. I am still back here in New York. My son is dutifully trying to better his grades at the local High School, and the girls are feeding their toys to our new pet rabbit.


We're trying to buy a house. We always always rented. This is big and scary and wonderful, and I thought it suitable to note on the blog.

The house is currently occupied by three men who are either developmentally disabled, or mentally ill. Not my business really. All I know is that they all have caseworkers. Also, they all have a lot of stuff. Also, they aren't that great at keeping house. The upshot of the whole thing is that we will be purchasing a lot of house for a little price in the best neighborhood we've ever lived in.

I'm all excited about guest bedrooms and paint colors and who knows what all. Simon is looking forward to a garden. The Boy is looking forward to picking a bedroom.

Of course, Simon and I worry about his future job security. If you rent, it doesn't take that much to pull up stakes and move to where the new jobs are. This house is supposed to be worth more than we're paying for it, and (unlike here) it's in an area that has many diverse job markets, so if something happens to his company we should theoretically be able to sell and leave rather quickly. Just makes us nervous.

Now all I have to do is pack.

When we moved out here it took the largest truck that Uhaul had. Since then we've had another kid. I'm trying to be ruthless whilst packing- my goal is to get rid of half our stuff- but I don't know if I can fit back into that truck.

I should go get back to it now.
Heigh ho, heigh ho,

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Reading books for children.

I am a fast reader. I think most people, most Americans anyway, feed their families, wash the dishes, then settle down for a couple of hours of TV. In the same amount of time that the average bear takes to catch up on 30 Rock and American Idol, I can finish a book. If it's terribly thick, maybe it'll take me a night and a half. I know the librarian thinks I'm nuts for checking out 10 books at a time, but if I only checked them out one at a time I'd have to come back everyday.
Have you heard of Goodreads? It's a site that lets you keep track of what you've read, and then you friends your friends and you can see what they're reading too. Slightly Orwellian, but honestly very handy. I can't count the times I've known I read a book on a subject but couldn't remember what the hell the book was called. Our library system refuses to keep a list of what you've checked out in the past, so Goodreads is what I've been using.

Yesterday Laurie King friends-ded* me. I know this is a marketing move, that her publisher or agent said, "Hey, you should join Goodreads and friends your fans", but a little part of me squeed with delight all the same.

Then, right after the woot, I realized if I friends-ded her she'd be able to see what I read. I read a lot of books meant for children: young adult, juvenile and picture books. True, the picture books I usually check out for the girls, but not always. Young adult fiction is my favorite. It's heavy on the story, easy on the introspection. You rarely have to wonder what the hell the author's point is.

Modern adult literature, on the other hand, wears me out. I get seriously annoyed when the author obscures their point in flowery or random language. Is not the point of writing to communicate? Dear James Joyce, if it takes a group of people 13 years to read your book, doesn't that indicate you've failed? There's a difference between tickling someone's brain with the possibilities inherent in a subtle grouping of words and bludgeoning their lobes with a purposefully obtuse tangle of them.

Adult novels also wear me out with their grimosity. How does fiction serve as an escape when it's some fun-house view of your own troubles and angst? When I read The Story of Edgar Sawtell the ending broke my heart. I had come to the book prepared, because everyone compared it to Hamlet, and we all know how that ended, but since it was an American author** I expected him to pull out the happy in the end. Nope. I still get angry when I think of that book. I'll readily admit the value of such things, and credit the artistry involved, but when it's all over it doesn't matter how masterfully the piece rendered me to despair, I'm still despairing. Yuch.

This is one of those areas in which I'm trying to grow. I try to check out at least one grup book when I get my weekly stack o books, but the truth is it's always the last book to be read. I also frequently cheat by reading adult fiction that possesses my fave qualities: a good yarn and a happy ending. Baby steps, I suppose. Appropriate for one who delights in reading baby books.

Send me an email if you're on Goodreads too,

*This post is full of made-up words. That's how I roll, especially with the problems I'm having word-finding. Be glad you don't live with me, as the requests for "things" and "thingies" are driving my family mad.
**ephelba's law of movie endings goes like this: If the movie was made in America, the ending will be happy. If the movie was made in France, the movie will end in tragedy for all. If the movie was made in China everyone will die except for one character, who is left to contemplate the balance of tragedy and justice. If the movie was made in England the ending is a crap shoot. I fully credit Loon and Simon for contributing to the discovery of these laws. Haven't watched enough Italian, German or Spanish movies to be able to offer an opinion there, and although I have enough data to come up with a Japanese law, I haven't yet synthesized it. And yes, I realize I was talking about books, but in the example given I was hoping the law could be expanded to include movies.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Why I don't post

I remember this blog. It is important to me. I've spoken about its purpose in several other posts, so I won't carry on about it again. My point is that I don't want this blog to turn into a place where all I post about is how tired I am and how messy my house is. It's been said, and since my life is so small and mean right now I have little else to say.

I have high hopes though. I keep hoping I can beat this Thing and get on with my life. Treatment options are on their way. In the meantime I'm still learning to get a handle on how much I can get done without it being too much. Focusing on living life in small bites.

So, I guess I'll be back when I've got more to say.

Hope it's soon,