Friday, June 27, 2008

Why I have lost faith in humanity...

Okay, I won't base my entire judgment of the human race on one Web site, but this is certainly not helping:


Thursday, June 26, 2008


I've been contemplating what to write about in a new post, and something that has been a running theme in the past week or so in my life is: STUFF. Recently, George Carlin passed away, and the radio station that we listen to in the mornings played one of his jokes to help remind everyone of the treasure that has been lost. His comedy was hilarious, yet startlingly true and simple. He spoke about all of the "stuff" that humans collect over a lifetime and how our entire lives are simply based on getting more "stuff" to pile in our stuff receptacles (i.e. houses). Many people, it seems, just can't get enough "stuff" to satisfy their happiness or justify their existence.

Meanwhile, my mother has finally decided, exasperated and concerned for my grandmother's sanity, that she will spend the remainder of this summer cleaning up the land surrounding my grandparents' home. Over his lifetime, my grandfather has accumulated an incomprehensible amount of "stuff" and the piles grow daily - only to sit forgotten, rotting and rusting, under a collapsing barn roof. He has so much "stuff" he can't even remember what he owns or where anything is located. The majority of the "stuff" has fallen into disrepair: cars that no longer run and are infested by mice, tractors that have rusted into one solid block of metal with trees growing through the crevices, lumber, tools, the list goes on and on. According to him, he'll get around to fixing it soon. He's 80-years-old. Not going to happen. For some reason, unknown also to myself, I have offered to help my mother clear out this "stuff," tote it to the nearest junk dealer, and eradicate the thigh-high grass and weeds that probably haven't been cut in decades. It's going to be a hoot.

Finally, Kyle and I have been diligently searching for a home in which to store and showcase all of our "stuff" - clothes, books, electronics, and wedding gifts currently spread between our two sets of parents' houses. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about having a "stuff receptacle" of our very own, but I shudder to think how long it will take us to unpack, sort, and file away all of our "stuff," although I know that it will be done...someday. Then, I suppose, we will begin the accumulating process anew. *Sighs*

I know that some "stuff" is essential to life, but so many of us have such an abundance of "stuff" that everything feels like a necessity: the newest high-resolution television set, the best leather handbag to match an outfit, the most up-to-date car with just-released technology. I can't say I know exactly where I'm going with this post - perhaps I'm simply tired of thinking about all of the "stuff" clouding our lives and need a mental break. You take one too.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Houses, Houses Everywhere

It's a buyer's market. Everyone keeps repeating this as more and more houses come available with a smaller pool of buyers interested and able to take on 15-30 years worth of debt. My husband and I have been out looking at a variety of homes for the past several weeks, but have yet to find anything that meets all of our needs. We wouldn't mind flipping a place (aside from the fact that neither of us have any tangible - or imagined - home improvement skills). However, as we shuffle through subdivision after dying subdivision, I have noticed that all of the contemporary houses are low-quality and low-character.

"Stick built homes," as my mother would call them, at least 70-years-old, or older, have ample character, but we are wary of the wear-and-tear of time. One of the nicest homes we have seen thus far was built in 1897 and successfully flipped - with slate in the shower and stainless steel appliances - all of the conveniences of a modern home with the turn of the century charm still intact. However, the (nicely finished) basement ceiling barely cleared my husband's head and he thought the neighborhood appeared dubious. So we passed.

Perhaps my expectations are too high and my budget too low. Perhaps, instead of continuing the search for a new home, I should instead start my search for a second job (as my husband so kindly suggested I do when I complained about the cookie-cutter houses we were inspecting). I am still keeping my fingers crossed that we will run across a home that is comfortable, conveniently located, and meets all (or most!) of our needs. Maybe even one with just a little bit of character. Because, really, is that too much to ask?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Feelin' fine

I began a new job this week at a Big, Fancy University. I am the new Editorial Associate for the Big, Fancy University's Press, and will be working on book-length projects. The position seems daunting due to the workload and need for a detailed understanding of how the publishing process works, as well as a solid familiarity with all of the current and future projects the Press is undertaking. In addition, the boss who hired me will be moving on to another Bigger, Fancier University in just six weeks, so I will need to learn very fast.

After three years of education and one year of work (or compensated servitude) at my alma mater, leaving has dredged up all kinds of wonderful feelings of inadequacy. In my mind, I'm not smart enough, talented enough, or determined enough. I guess I'm just not enough. However, I'm clinging to a phrase a former co-worker mentioned several times: I'm going to "fake it 'til I make it!" Maybe in the process of faking it, I'll become enough!

On a more positive note, I am working just two blocks from my hubby, so we can carpool to work and have lunch together each and every day! For me, that is the best part of my new job. Our first anniversary will be next month and I still can't get enough of him! I must have some kind of addiction... We are eating better ("better"meaning like normal people - previously, we were on a strict diet of lunch meat and fast food) and taking walks almost every day. We are also living with my in-laws, which seems to be working out fine for both sides, although I realize our boxes can be a bit annoying. Our search for a house goes on and on. However, in general things are looking up since we left our former residence (a.k.a. dorm room) and we're excited to start living our lives more fully (and with a kitchen...)

Obviously, I'm a failure...

My first (and in all honesty last) blog post was in April. It is now the middle of June and I seem to have failed at blogging. I check several other blogs daily and moan internally when there are no new postings. So let us consider this a new beginning. I will try not to fail again.