Part-time Laborer

January 31, 2008

It’s becoming clear to me that the longer you live with something, the less inlined you are to change it. Is it that my job is hectic right now? Is it the apathy of mid-winter? You’d think that with the continuation of the writer’s strike and the dearth of good TV, I’d just get off my butt and strip that bathroom floor. I mean, really, is there ever going to be another time of such lackluster drivel? It’s a golden opportunity for takin’ care of business. Even Kiefer took advantage of this downtime to do his jail stint.

But not me.

In fact, a few months ago I was talking big about heat guns and the like. Now I don’t even notice the fading linoleum, the off-centered medicine chest, or the odd plaster holes near the toilet base. So the sink isn’t exactly plumbed in and the fake gold wall sconces are drooping–oh well! I used to be a regular at the Home Depot, but I haven’t been there in weeks.  The prospect of wrapping the water heater used to get me excited, but now I’d rather read my New Yorker.

Is this decline in house energy normal? Where did all my initial enthusiasm and spirit go? Is the honeymoon of home-ownership over? Are the house and I settling into some kind of middle-aged routine?I think that the house and I need a romantic weekend together with some new house magazines and that coupon form Bed, Bath, and Beyond to restoke the fires of inspiration and renovation.

And, if that doesn’t work, I guess there’s always American Gladiator.



January 26, 2008

Given that last weekend was filled with teaching and new students, I’m luxuriating in a free weekend. Last night we invited Rhoda and her hubby over for spicy chili and molasses cornbread. With a crackling fire and good chocolate cake, it was pretty perfect.

Saturday morning finds me curled on the couch in my bathrobe with a mug of cafe au lait next to me, my Mac on my lap, my man at my feet, and a loud purring cat between us. It feels like we’re explorers in a new territory: what do we want to do today? Where do we want to go? The sense of open possibility combined with dedication to a date-day is delicious. Knowing me, I could spend the morning checking out options and let the day slip through my fingers. Yes, there’s tons of house stuff to do (we’ve been making lists like crazy), but today we’re shirking our duties and heading to a matinee and then here for tacos and then…who knows! There’s been talk of a Scrabble challenge.

P.S.  Pierre just read my post and said: “Don’t forget the gym.” Right. The gym! Here’s to hampsters everywhere:)

On Lighting

January 22, 2008

So this morning before I crack the books, I’m pondering lighting fixtures.  It’s pretty dark around here at night in the dining room and the staircase. (On the stairs in the dark, I can appreciate my mother’s concern that I ripped out the old-person railing. Oh well.)  The string of xmas lights are now my favorite source of light, so I think it’s time to figure out some kind of chandelier-type lighting fixture. Funny how I’ve never really thought about such things. It’s been like–uh, flip the switch on.  But now the switch flips on nothing and we are bathed in darkness.

I’ve checked the Depot and  scoped our local architectural salvage place for possible dining room lights, but so far I’ve struck out. I’ve also stalked all my fave cheap places–Target, Marshalls, TjMaxx.  But finding interesting small lamps is hard. And they’ve got zilch for big game like hanging lights.  So this morning I came across this cool site and am loving it.  You know, like, if money wasn’t an issue.

Two of Us

January 18, 2008

It’s been a hectic week here at my house.  It was the first week of the spring semester so there was the usual flurry of last-minute xeroxing, syllabus-tweaking, emailing panicked advisees, and getting back in the groove of things.

In the midst of all this, Pierre and Pasha moved down and added a lot of warmth and energy to my solitary space.  We thought the cat would spend the first week in the basement–traumatized and mewing–but lo and behold, within 20 minutes he was lolling around and loving us up.  We think he loves all the people, attention, music, and good cooking smells.

Pierre is still holding strong with the massive sling and his one-armed existence. Right now, in fact, I do believe he’s outside shoveling.

The one who’s been a bit traumatized is me. I hadn’t realized how much I’d grown accustomed to my own space, time, and way of living.  So I’ll be learning a lot about change, adapting and growing.   The man is amazing–he makes me breakfast, does my laundry, and folds my clothes in a manner they’ve never known before.  He’s also fixed the broken front door, gotten a bigger coffee maker, and bought a matching sweatsuit on sale at Target for our new gym membership. Life is good.

Rethinking Procrastination

January 13, 2008

Around here, it’s been all about syllabus construction.  This means that nothing has happened on the house front. Nada. Every once in a while I’ll glance up from my computer and take note of the dust bunnies or remind myself to buy the thingy to wrap the hot water heater or wonder how long the garage roof will hold out, but these are only brief thoughts devoid of any real action.

But the best thing about being a homeowner is that procrastination in one area of my life (ie: school) can become productive and meaningful labor in another (ie: managing the house).  So, later today when I need a break from prepping for classes, I’ll look forward to unleashing the sweet purring power of my new Kenmore and maybe even hit the grocery store.

Balmy temperatures=no heat!

January 10, 2008

The week of warmish weather is really throwing me off my winter game.

I can walk outside again and the boiler hasn’t kicked on in ages. I threw away the wreath, opened up the backdoor, and began eyeing my cotton cardigans.

Those of us in the Northeast are getting lulled into a false sense of weather and this is not good. It means our snow-shoveling muscles are getting slack, our skin is adjusting to exposed air, our monthly heating bills are returning to normal, our driveways are bare. We’re in danger of going soft and losing our hard-won winter edge. Hold on, fellow citizens of the North, keep your shovels sharp and your mittens warm. This is but a brief reprieve before we are thrust once again into the bowels of old man winter.

On the streets

January 6, 2008

On my walk around our dripping city today, I was thrilled by how clear the sidewalks are. They’re mostly ice-free and rather dry too.  I did encounter, however, one section of sidewalk still covered in snow and slush.  This required careful stepping and slow moving for all pedestrians, runners, and dogs.  And then I couldn’t help but notice the big fat Hummer parked in the driveway.

Is it just me or do you see a connection between conspicuous consumption and negligent shoveling?

Random, I know.