Friday, April 2, 2010
So, I haven't updated since October? youch. Was considering things that have changed in the last 6 months. I bought the condo. Crazy me decided to get a new job, buy a new condo, paint a new condo, and do it between Thanksgiving and New Years...Not recommended. Wee bit of high stress, but as a side car bonus, I lost a few dress sizes. Whoop! Things that have changed? My hair is now unquestionably red, my teeth are whiter, my waist is smaller, my patience is frazzled, my game face passes muster 75% of the time now, my pool game has improved dramatically...all in all, life is in the plus side of the board.
I realized living in my last city, I was getting lonely. Lonely in a little town and bored. Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored. I moved into downtown Louisville and pretty much love it. I have an amazing bakery across the street. My church is 4 minutes away. My favorite restaurant is 6. I'm within 30 minutes of my family and within 15 minutes of most of my friends. It's lovely. Dinner with live music in 3 blocks, drop in visitors at least twice a week. Friends to cook for and more purpose than I've had in a while. I like this. Two fish, one kitten, and one all at once whacky sweet roommate. It's nice.
Oh, and I started singing. Yep, singing. Somewhere other than in the shower. Five of us have been practicing once a week for about 6 months. Dolly Parton, Foo Fighters, Neil Young, Lit, Guns n'Roses, Mellencamp, Indigo Girls, Rod Stewart, Janis Joplin, Breaking Benjamin, Dixie Chicks, CCR, The Killers, Pearl Jam, Seven Mary Three, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots...you get the idea. I unabashedly love it. I finally told my Mom and her question, "Did I know you wanted to do that?" was genuine. Nope. She likely didn't. It's one of those 'Wow, I really wish I was talented enough to do this, but since I'm not there's no reason to publicize my inadequacies' things. Who knew all I needed was to find an acoustic guitar player that's loud enough to drowned out my unmiked pitchy alto backup voice and I'd be set? lol. Yes, I internally (and on occasion externally or so I've been told) wince when I have to tell someone my plans for the night include 'band practice'. It feels like I'm claiming a competency I don't possess. I love it though and would sincerely miss it if it were gone.
Friday, October 30, 2009
So I’m buying a condo at long last. I’ve been house hungry for so longgggg….I keep looking for the rug to get ripped out from under me. I’ve wanted a house of my own since I was 16. The offer has been accepted, the home inspection is back, and now I just have to make it through underwriting. There are some potential hiccups when trying to convince another person (a banker no less) that purchasing anything that is 110 years old is a grand idea, so please keep your fingers crossed for me.
It’s a 110 year old Victorian duplex with one unit up and one unit down. Pretty small, 900 sf with 12 foot ceilings and dental molding and I have the entire second floor. The kitchen is miniscule, but the master bedroom has two full sized closets just for me. The washer and dryer are front loading high efficiency units. The second bedroom is a logistical puzzle I’m looking forward to figuring out and I can see long hours of pouring over the Ikea catalogue in my future. (If you like Ikea, try http://ikeahacker.blogspot.com , they rule! You buy standard Ikea furniture and they give you ideas and plans on how to make it into something completely different and often much more useful.) There are skylights in the foyer and the bathroom. It’s downtown and is part of the largest still standing Victorian home neighborhood in the United States. There’s a bakery 30 feet from my front door and a jazz club 30 yards beyond that. I have a black jet glass chandelier that has been sitting in storage for 3 years that will be the first thing I put up in my new foyer.
I tried to do this last year, to buy something of my own, and I’m a little gun shy to get my hopes up again, but I’m really excited. Although I’ve done my homework, I know the market, I can spout off neighborhood statistics like a pro, my family make for great cheerleaders, AND I’ve made a prayerful decision, I still worry. As a side note, today I put in my two weeks notice at my current job to take a position with a new company. Combine these two happenings in the same week and you have a recipe for stomach churning sleeplessness. I’ve really appreciated that I can get down on my knees and that I can ask again and again for peace with my decisions and it’s granted so quickly. If this doesn’t work, I’m resolved that I did everything in my power and it just wasn’t meant to be. On a positive note, if it does work, I’ve already asked the Santas for one of my childhood dreams. A kitten for Christmas. :)
Friday, September 25, 2009
For the last two years I’ve had the same choice raise it’s frustrating head over and over again. I kept making the same decision, giving the same answer, and each time the choice faded into the background for a while. I regretted my decision more and more each time, thinking ‘this is 80% of a good thing’. A good thing I really, really want. Frequently enough to notice, each time I declined, circumstances tended to cough up a concrete example of why it was still not a good idea. Those examples helped, but didn't completely quiet those persistent whispers somewhere behind my eyes that I might be making a mistake. It felt like a duel. I kept standing, with my back to the decision, not walking away, but not turning to face it and take the chance either. I kept telling myself that the 20% that was left was definitely made up of deal breakers, that if I did an about-face and turned around, that the result would be a bullet to the chest. I’d come to the conclusion that all I could do was to walk away from it, completely, and that it is going to hurt to leave it behind…a
Suddenly it looks like the choice will be a non-issue and will likely be closing the door all on its own. I had gotten to the point that I was angry I hadn’t been able to let the idea of ‘maybe’ go. I had also gotten to the point that I wondered if that 20% wasn’t made up more of my fears than real deal breakers. For the last two weeks ‘What might have been’ has kept popping its head in the door and asking if I’m sure… until I want to gag it, weight it with a cinderblock, and walk it off the nearest short pier. I furiously and quite suddenly wanted to think, that if given the choice again, I’d have trussed up that choice right along with my doubts when prepping that cinder block. I wanted to believe that I might have just stood there, reveled in the splash, and gleefully watch for the last bubbles to surface. Instead the last few weeks have hammered home that its more likely that I will stand there all right, still clinging to ‘I think it’s a bad idea’, watching it disappear, and will probably want to sob. Dirt, I hate this feeling.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I remember being little, 3-4-5ish, and loving the smell of my Dad’s suits on Sunday. He was a farmer, there were plenty of other smells throughout the week, but on Sunday he just smelled good. I remember walking into his closet and his suit coats on their wide padded hangers were just long enough to touch the tops of my shoulders. I’d tug open one lapel and step into the space, folding the other lapel around me and just stand there in my self made ‘suit tent’ and sniff. It smelled soooo good. I laugh now because now I know the only things my Dad ever wore were Brutt and he shaved with an old fashioned shaving mug, brush, and an Old Spice lather bar. They may have been cliché, but even now they evoke fond memories and good feelings. Safety, comfort, quiet, wonder.
My Mom, when I was little, wore Lady Vanderbilt. A little powdery, but it was always the smell of her. When I was a teenager and we were living in Alabama she started wearing Tea Rose and even now, I connect the scent not so much to her as to that place and that time. It started me running though my own catalogue of scents.
My first fragrance obsession of my very own, Eternity. Next Baby Soft’s Love, then Alyssa-Ashley Musk (more for the name than the scent), Teen Spirit, Curve, Clinique’s Happy, Cacharel’s Anais Anais, Warm Sugared Vanilla or Apple body spray, and the list goes on. At some point as a teenage I realized I REALLY liked the smells of things. I started buying small samples of scents, to be worn once and only once, for special occasions. An example, I wore Incognito to my senior prom, and even now the smell of it brings back that nervous happy feeling. The first few years of college were filled with the smell of Lucky. There was a 6 month period in there were I loved Cherry Vanilla (which smells a lot like a cherry Swisher Sweets cigar), but I pinky swear, people kept asking if I’d started smoking, so that one went fast. Long standing favorite of my internship in New York, Sonia Kashuk’s Tuberose. My first years back in Kentucky always smelled like Cacharel’s Amor Amor; then to Bath and Body Work’s Japanese Cherry Blossom and finally Victoria Secret’s Mood.
Through the years I’ve often bought scents in small quantities as my tastes change, I move on, or my mood shifts and I want to make new memories. After all that thinking about good smelling things I was feeling a little inspired. I reasoned, I’m an adult now, I don’t have to keep my fragrance purchases under $20 any more, and I kid you not a smile lit my face. I trolled the isles of Ulta and Sephora picking up every pretty bottle that caught my fancy. There were things I liked, but once they were on me for more than 10 minutes, nothing that I loved. I decide to branch out. I went online looking for niche perfumeries that wouldn’t be caught dead selling to a boutique in Kentucky. I ordered inexpensive grab bag samples of scents I could never afford to purchase ($495 for .75 ounce, shudder) and my nose was in heaven, but I hadn’t found anything that fit.
I had just 45 minutes last night between leaving work and picking up a friend for softball and I stopped to check my mail which included an envelope of perfume samples I’d forgotten I’d ordered. Eureka. This year’s new scent? A company name that makes me laugh, Juliet Has Got a Gun, and the scent is Lady Vengeance. It’s a side company for the fashion designer Romano Ricci, whose mother was perfumer and fashion designer Nina Ricci of L'Air Du Temps acclaim. Something that smells so good to me, I’m channeling my cat with catnip, and the urge to roll in it came out of left field. Something that dredges up food words like – Yummmm. Is my head saying this was a ridiculous amount of time spent on something really trivial? Oh yeah. My nose is telling me it was totally worth it.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I’m so excited for Kristen, Adam, & Connor. Connor got his first electric wheelchair this week. It was a kind of telescoping seat that leans forward and can get just a few inches off the ground. This is close enough that Connor can crawl onto the seat and then return to the normal position and take off! From all reports he’s a speed demon. J
I was considering the other day how my perceptions have changed since Connor’s diagnosis. I was reading my cousin Carrie’s description of something similar and then Kristen’s too, and I though I’d add my two cheap cents. I catch myself noticing someone in a chair and I look at the brand name. What started last year as, to be blunt, ‘Smile uncomfortably because you just got caught potentially staring’ is now a heck of a lot more natural. I catch myself smiling and am much better at actually saying hello. I was walking next to a really cute little girl this spring that had a ‘Jazzy brand’ chair that was electric purple. It just so happened that it’s a favorite color of mine, we struck up a conversation, and I just so happened to have the matching nail polish in my purse. So before last year I likely wouldn’t have struck up a conversation, but this year she zoomed away with a new bottle of nail polish. ‘Cause as we discussed, ‘a girl’s toes should always match her chair’, lol.
In the last year or so I’ve read up on all kinds of random things like actual helper monkeys, handicapped horseback riding, and the guide dog etiquette. (This was new information for me: don’t commonly approach a guide dog and pet them or ask if they can be petted. When they’re in harness they’re ‘on the clock’ and know that they need to be alert, attentive, and working. Strangers petting them can be confusing as this is a ‘fun time’ activity and not a ‘working time’ activity.) I’ve been working on my attitude (I worry about us loosing him). I know I’ll always be on the periphery of Connor’s life and not the main stage, but I never want my thinking to get in his way. I want him to know that he can do anything! He can be anything! Maybe the order of operations might not be the same as you or I do something, but that just means he gets to be creative like it’s goin’ out of style.
Wow, do I love that kid. I discovered a new skill this month. If I tell him a long enough, boring enough story AND tell him I won’t keep telling the story unless his eyes are closed, he falls asleep for me. I’m covertly campaigning to give Jenna a run for her money for the title of “Most Useful Aunt”. I’d love to make the world sit down, roll over, and beg to make him happy. Since, however, that would make for a rather spoiled ‘almost three year old’, I’ll go with just getting out of his way and improving my jogging skills to keep up with him. I think it’s either that, or be mowed down. He’s already noticed that I make fun squawking noises when he runs into me with his manual mobile stander, I can only imagine what will happen now with something with some actual horsepower.