We've been spending some time each weekend for the past couple of months trying to make the garage usable and more efficient. Essentially trying to make it something other than a repository for junk and things that we don't know where else to put. We're almost done, and one of the last things we have to do is to take down the things that the previous owner, Jeff, had stored up on plywood sheets in the rafters. Bryan took down a box today with some surprising magazines. There were several stacks of Playboy magazines from the 80s, a bunch of Life magazines from the later 70s (these we're keeping temporarily until I can check and se if they'd go for anything on Ebay), and a few old Rolling Stones. These aren't abnormal to me. Instead, what surprised me that at the bottom of the box contained what looked like a year's worth of Soviet Life magazines, as well as a small book entitled something like "Socialism: the Philosophy of the New World Order." Um, yeah. Right.

I'm half tempted to ring him up and tell him we found his stash of Playboys, and did he want them back? Just to see what he would say.

*

Oh, and those Sorel snow boots I'm selling on Ebay? They've now got 20 watchers and 8 bids, and there's still a little over 3 days to go. 20 watchers? Seriously? We've never sold anything that had 20 watchers before. You'd think with that much interest in the boots they'd be going for more than $15.50 right now. Gah.
No bedding, no blinds, no closet door yet, but we're getting there. We still need all the little touches and artwork and such, but I'm just thrilled we made it this far on the weekend. Just a few short weeks ago the room had vinyl flooring, old marred-up ugly almond walls, and a layer of dust so thick we needed to keep a rug outside the room to wipe our feet on.


 Not bad, yes?
RE: BLOGGING I'm really surprised that so many people did not consider themselves bloggers in my last post. I wonder if my having posted that blurb about the lecture I'm going to above the question skewed the results. Because occasionally people ask me if I have a blog or if I'm a blogger, and I always answer yes. Probably it just means that I'm full of myself. 

*

RE: THE SHOWER: I knew that having my mom and my mother-in-law jointly throw our shower would be interesting, and I sort of thought neither of them knew what they were getting into, but I had no idea how the friction would manifest itself. Well, this morning my MIL called Bryan to say how frustrated she was - and this was after the first real planning conversation. To put it bluntly, my MIL is all about casual entertaining for large crowds, and my mom feels that traditional is better, and though my mom means well, she tends to shoot down ideas if she hasn't had personal experience with them - for example she told my MIL that no one plays games at a baby shower. Oh, okay. If you say so. She also said no to every food idea my MIL presented other than cold cuts and rolls and whatnot, saying that people wouldn't like it. Oy. Unless someone point blank asks me to get involved I'm staying out of it and letting the two of them work it out on their own. I had enough of the negotiations with the wedding, and I just don't really care anymore.

Also, I wanted to check the dimensions of the changing pad we registered for last night so I hopped on line and imagine my surprise to find that even though inivtations haven't been sent out yet and something like six things have already been purchased from the registry. Could have bowled me over with a feather. If anyone is inclined, I'd love a critique of our registry (think we selected stupid stuff? too much practical, not enough fun things? are we just waaaaay off with thinking what we need?) at Target. It's under my name and we're in CA. If you don't know my full first/last name please let me know via email and I'll send you the info (ves.heill at gmail dot com). *ETA- In a response below I indicated the "big" things we were already given by various people.

*

RE: THE HOUSE: The room we need to complete to finish the interior of the house is the nursery. We'll be done with that as of next weekend, when we'll lay down the FLOR carpet tiles and put up the closet structure. It has been almost three and a half years of planning, purchasing, and physical work. We're not officially done with the house (we've still got to replace almost all of the doors in the house, each of which takes almost a full weekend, and a couple of things need paint touch-ups), but we're so incredibly close that I can taste it. We're finally putting together furniture that we've been storing for the last three or so years, and going through boxes that contain things we haven't seen since we packed them up in the apartment back in July of 2003. It's like sorting through treasure - books I'd forgotten about, decor items that I've been missing, old files and paperwork that I can shred due to obsoleteness... Soon. Soon we'll be done with this massive undertaking. And then I'm vowing to never, never rennovate again for as long as I live. Or at least for another year. Which ever comes first.

*

RE: HOW I'M FEELING: I know in reality I'm actually a tad-bit on the small side for being over 30 weeks pregnant, but I feel like a whale. Which is why I haven't posted any pictures for a long while. I look in the mirror, and the face looking back at me isn't mine. It's someone who looks sort of like me, but has acne and fat cheeks, and it wearing sort of funny clothes because nothing really fits right any more. Ah, well. Just over 9 weeks left.
Sitting here cozily under a blanket on the couch with the wind ripping through the trees outside the windows and with Scout sleeping peacefully on my lap reminds me that life is good. It really is.

Spent yesterday doing house stuff all day - raked leaves for 2 hours and filled up two HUGE cans, trip to the hardware store for varnish so we can start on the doors today, and cleaned and conditioned the leather couch again. While I was doing those things that amazing husband of mine was doing ductwork in the attic and installing a new super-quiet fan for our master bath. He really is incredible.

Last night he went off to go to a concert with his friend and I went over to Darci's place to hang with her and some of her swing dance friends. They refer to themselves as swingers, which made me internally grin several times throughout the evening. There was much mirth and many pop-culture references to Labyrinth (The babe with the power. What power? The power of voodoo. Who do? You do.) and The Princess Bride and all Ramstein. Best not to ask, really. When I left at around 11-ish I went home and turned on the beginning of LA Confidential and waited for B to get home.

And now Bryan's come out to sit on the couch with me and is playing with the cat trying to intice her to paw at his toes by wiggling them under the blanket (Ha! she just tryed to bite his feet! The joke's on him). Oh, yes, life is good.
I am positively giddy, GIDDY, I TELL YOU, over the fact that as of last night at around 6 pm we officially have a carpeted master bedroom complete with nightstands. Aaiiiiieeeeeeee!!!

I've been looking forward to this since the first week we moved into the house, back in the summer of 2003, and to have it finally come to fruition makes me thrilled. Granted, we still have a couple of corners and the master bed's closet without carpeting, we still need to adjust the furniture locations a bit, and we still need to assemble and place our new freestanding wardrobe pieces (PAX from Ikea). I don't care, though. Everytime I enter the room from the hallway I have a split second realization that my memory of that room is now changed - there's carpet! baseboards! painted walls! FURNITURE!! It's divine.
I haven't been getting on as much as I would have liked, lately. Grump.

In a nutshell:

Work is good. Very, very busy, though. We're implementing some new strategies to aid with student recruitment and it's taking up a large portion of my time these days. All I can say is thank god I hired a work study who knows her stuff. I need to start hiring some more part-time work study students, and if I could clone mine I'd do it in a heartbeat.

We went to Bryan's company party on Saturday night, where I spent the majority of the time hanging out with two of the partners' wives, because they're just so darn fun. I used to hate his company gatherings because I didn't know anyone. It still don't know the vast majority of the poeple he works with (obviously - it's a 75 person firm), but I know ten or so along with their spouses. So when it came time to go gamble at the party (it was sort of a monte carlo-esq night) I could just walk up to a table and feel fairly confident that there would be at least one person I could talk to. And we won stuff at the raffle! Hit diggity dog - we NEVER win stuff. :) We got $100 in gift certificates to various restaurants. Oh, and we got a $25 gift card to Old Navy... which we weren't technically supposed to get, but there are times that it's good to have friends in high places, and this was one of those times.

We painted one of our master bedroom walls with our accent color - a gorgeous rich greyish-brown. Picture a cross between a Hershey bar and a very foggy morning. It's absolutely luscious and I adore it. The other walls are trimmed (but not rolled with paint) and the baseboards are cut, which means next weekend we could theoretically install our carpet. BE STILL MY BEATING HEART. After two and a half years we'll actually have carpet rather than concrete floors in the bedroom. And you know what that means, right? We'll actually get to put our furniture in there! In case my excitement over this isn't clearly evident let me just say that I've been using a fucking DAIRY CRATE FOR A NIGHTSTAND FOR OVER TWO YEARS. Soon our room will contain it's intended nightstands along with their intended bedside lamps. It was also contain much, much joy. So excited, so excited, so excited.

All Harry Potter fans should download and listen to PotterCast Episode #14 on iTunes (it's in the podcast section and it's free). Those are so my peeps.

I met with my broker last week. (I still can hardly fathom the fact that I have a broker, but whatever, I do.) I was exceedingly pleased that what he recommended we do is the exact conclusion we had come to on our own after doing our research. Makes me feel somewhat vindicated, and I fully plan on throwing it in the faces of whomever doubts our financial planning in the future.

I spent the day at Cal State Northridge today meeting with some faculty. Makes me doubt the days of just being a student with nothing but a part-time job as my other responsibility. When I'm at the university I work for it's different since I associate it so much with ongoing work issues- that building ver there? I have a meeting there on Monday. This pathway over here? That's where I got into a conversation with the dean about faculty member X who's being a problem. This building is where the other members of that committee I'm on all have their offices... But a foreign campus thrusts into focus the students who populate it. What are they studying? Do they enjoy it? Do they have grand plans to go out and change the world, change some lives? I hope so. We need people like that around us to make us re-examine our own issues.

We're in the midst of trying to select a new cell phone plan since our old two-year contract is about to run out. It's looking like we'll be taking the Pay As You Go option from T-mobile, since that seems to match our needs most closely. Anyone have any experiences with that? Yea or Nay? (please say Yea. I've don't too damn much research on this already and I'm ready to just buy the stupid thing and get it over with.)
I arranged to take a day off work today because we've hired a guy from a landscaping servive to take care of some projects in our front yard. He's going to trim our HUGE Russian Olive tree (my So Cal LJ friends are all silently saying "It's about time!"), our enormous Juniper bush, and our wierd, wierd plants on the side of the house that grow somehow both horizintally and vertically, and are next to our house but are actually touching our neighbor's roof. Whoops. Oh, and he's also going to haul a bunch of wood in our backyard from when we trimmed the oleander two or three times ago.

For all that he's charging us $400, which sounds like (and is) a lot of money, but considering it would easily take the two of us working together 20 hours to do the work? I'm happy to pay the guy and wash my hands of it.

But what that really means, of course, is that I have the day to myself to pad around my house. A day to myself! And I'm not even sick. Hot diggity dog!

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June 2010

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