A Heck of a Thing

Knowing that I am unlikely to produce a blog post in the next two days, allow me to the opportunity to say, now, that 2012, was, for me, a heck of a thing.  Highlights included:
  • First full year as a home-owning home-living-in-er.  See also: new fence, new porch, new frickin' kitchen, and as of two days ago, big tree in back yard cut down.
  • The year that Plan C transformed from post-baby to late-toddler, now featuring complete sentences and a razor wit!
  • The band went from basically nothing to show-ready.
  • Super-intense IT / project management.
  • Simultaneously, super-intense academic job-getting process.
  • Academic job secured!
  • A whole damn month off.
  • Learned to drink whiskey.
  • Term one of the rest of my life.
  • Another almost whole damn month off.
It's very hard to stop and appreciate things.  This is a banal comment, and I know it's applicable to just about everyone thanks to what psychologists call "hedonic adaptation" (read: grass-always-greener), but it's still true.   As the dust settles and we get used to living in the house, and as we have fewer urgent house-related jobs to line up, B and I are both hoping there's a little less insanity and a little more of us noticing and appreciating in 2013.


Merry Xmas at 5:30am!

...'cuz that's when the kid has been waking up lately!

I'll be over here nursing my holiday cordial.



Holiday Traditions: Insomnia and Illness

Yes, it's the most magical time of the year once again, and as ever I choose to celebrate by not sleeping and getting a cold.  My colds always start with a nice piercing agony that shoots through my tonsils for about 36 hours then morphs into a mucous surplus that lasts about a week.  Some people bust out the eggnog, others sing carols (I think this still happens in retirement villages, anyway), and I lie sleepless, twitching convulsively and annoying poor B, who has to sleep with me until I give up and go curl up on the couch in the basement.

The added bonus to these traditions is that this year I managed to give myself some kind of weird, low-grade seasonal affective thing by spending too much time working in my (cold, dark) basement on the latest textbook editing gig.  Now that my in-laws are here to visit through Xmas, and the editing is done, I will spend less time down here and more time in the relatively warm-and-bright upstairs.

I just recalculated budgets for 2013 and...damn.  Try running a family of 3 on a starting CC instructor's salary.  You will probably find it kind of daunting.  Thankfully, I've been scraping together a little extra work (again: textbooks) and I'm signed up to teach in the summer, which is just bonus money on top of the annual salary.  Either way, the whole "we need to buy a new car thing" is still out there, and it looks like we'll be just barely breaking even every month with the added cost of car payments.  C'est la usual shit, I suppose.

Anyway, everyone have a nice Mayan end of the world tomorrow.



Of the various responses to the shooting in Connecticut, I think The Onion's about sums it up: fuck everything.

It's been a rough week.  The shooting here, the one just outside of Portland, was already a lot to bear, then the one yesterday just made everything seem pretty absurd.  I've never actually been a big gun-control guy, given my general left-of-Lenin political outlook, but I SURE FUCKING AM NOW.

Anyway, there's nothing I can say that could possibly matter about this, so some notes on things infinitely more trivial:
  • I'm kind of sick of Facebook.  I know everyone says that.  In my case, I made a "this is ridiculous, outlaw guns, etc." comment and, sure enough, two people needed to pipe up with "guns don't kill people, etc."  It's kind of iconic as to why FB sucks: your real friends don't need it, and the people you know from middle school don't have any business weighing in on your opinions, when it comes down to it.  I'm just going to tune out (not that I was particularly tuned-in in the first place.)
  • What happens when you get a nail through your tire?  You end up buying four new ones!  This is why I pick up textbook editing gigs, still.
  • There is an inverse relationship between how much whiskey we've had to drink and how late we've stayed up and the hour at which Plan C decides to wake up in the morning.  E.g., a fair bit + 11pm = 6:00am.
  • The term's over, anyway, so that's a relief.
  • The self-clean function of modern ovens is kind of scary.


Re: Guns: Hey, Guess What?

...the US should have sane gun control laws!  Like, guns that are designed to kill many people quickly should be illegal!  What a fucking concept!


Life Imitating Art Imitating Oregon

Here's a textual snapshot of some of yesterday on my end:

  • B went to the gigantic indie craft show.
  • I installed Linux on the old laptop I inherited from my stepdad.
  • I did another chapter of the textbook editing gig.
  • We ran errands in the rain.
  • We drank bourbon and watched Portlandia.
Somehow, watching Portlandia almost seemed too self-referential for once.

In other news, 2.75 is a hell of an age.  Plan C has been systematically assaulting our sanity of late.

Also: next week is finals week!  My first term as a full-time guy just about completed.  Then, it's on to three weeks off.  Dope.


New Kitchen

Not that anybody asked, but here it is:

  • The countertops are cesarstone, which is a sealed quartz composite.  Basically indestructible and we think it works a lot better in our 1910 house than granite would have.
  •  The cabinets are Ikea.  They're really nice, solid wood...think "high-end Ikea" rather than "falls apart particleboard Ikea."
  • The sink is a Kohler farmhouse-style sink.  This was a big deal for B.
  • The faucet is a fairly cheap (about $250, which is cheap, apparently) random one we got when we got the sink.
  • The dishwasher is a Bosch, about $600 from Sears.
  • We're stoked.