Going nearly a full year without writing is a really long time. Don't worry, I'll be dusting around here while you're reading. I'm going to have to do the terribly clichéd update in list form here. I'm sorry. I KNOW. It's just... so efficient! And tidy! And requires such little brain power!
Let's see, I've been to Berkeley, CA (2x); Tiburon, CA (2x); Boston (2x); Phoenix; New Orleans; Portland, OR; Austin, TX and Dallas, TX. I don't think I have a favorite place, though Portland and Austin are wonderful, and of course Berkeley is too, but I go there multiple times a year anyway. Not to mention, Portland was awesome because I got to have dinner with Kerrianne and Rhi.
It seems that throughout my travels I developed a little addiction to used book stores. It all starts so innocently, you see a book you've been wanting to read forever (The History of Love by Nicole Krauss) for an irresistible price and it seems silly not to buy it, and others. Before you know it, you've bought twenty new books in the last three months and read three.
I moved! It seemed somewhat miraculous at the time, but it turns out that if you don't live across the street from an Irish pub and a pizza place that's open until 4:00 am, your neighborhood is remarkably quiet. I love my new place. It's quiet and bright and cozy. Also, it has a dishwasher. I will never live anywhere else without one. Now if only I could figure out how to rid my garbage disposal of the stank that lives there. (Spoiler alert: lemons, hot water and vinegar don't touch it!)
The downside to my new place is it's an extra 20 minute walk to work. I didn't mind it in 4 degree weather with whipping winds. Ninety-four degrees with humidity is a different, long, whiny story.
Home Economics 101
Sometimes I have friends over for dinner and cook for them. I'm kind of amazed by how much I like having people over and doing the whole entertaining thing. I've come to adore baking, especially bread products (with the caveat of not really enjoying it when it's 94 degrees and humid, even with air conditioning). And homemade pizza dough? Why didn't anyone tell me it was so easy? And AWESOME?
I have a list in GoogleDocs of recipes I've made recently, but for some reason, it's not allowing me to update it at the moment. Once I win this war (I always win), I will share.
I still hate cleaning.
I've been knitting like a maniac as 2010 seems to be the year of the babies. For the next year of babies I'm going to choose small items to make, like hats, instead of the blankies I'm making this year. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get carpal tunnel syndrome.
The mouse in my kitchen
I have a mouse. He lives in the instrument panel of my stove. I first saw him when he went into my bedroom. Along his route he stopped and stared at me. I called for my imaginary cat but that didn't phase him.
The exterminator came, my landlord investigated. Nooks and crannies were filled and they lined the top of my stove with glue traps. I don't have the heart for glue traps. I would think about them and be reduced to tears because it's just so cruel. They're God's creations too and I can't torture one of God's creations. My tears would then switch to panic because WHAT IF THERE WAS ONE WHEN I GOT HOME? Then my boss scared me because mice are like procreation fiends and she had a mouse family in her stove that got so bad, the only option was to replace the stove. *shudder*
Yeah, I'm really sorry for those nightmares.
I thought he was extremely intelligent and was a bit in awe of him because he ate all of the peanut butter off of the traps. These traps were so sensitive I had to wear shoes in the kitchen all the time because I kept setting them off with my feet. While it may sound high maintenance, I really like my toes and want them to hang around. And yet, this little guy cleaned them off.
We go through phases where I don't see traces of him for a while. I begin to think he's gone to bother my neighbors and start to breathe a sigh of relief, Cloroxing* the kitchen counters thoroughly and giddily. And then he eats the kitchen sponge. That I used with the bleach. He's not that smart after all. And yet, he lives on. I'm pretty sure he's thriving, actually. Meanwhile, the plants that I'm trying to keep alive are dying. I can't win.
*I've switched mainly to all natural, hippie cleaning products, I know, it doesn't sound like me at all, but... I'm a sucker for good marketing? Though I do do try to stay away from companies that are merely greenwashing. Anyway, hippie products or not, the presence of mice necessitates bleach. I'm not apologizing for it.
My job keeps me busy, though it tends to ebb and flow throughout the year. In April and the beginning of May I was so busy I couldn't see straight. In the meantime, I haven't been as busy. I'm now gearing up for a very busy July. If you ask me in the heat of a moment during July, I'll probably spat something out about wishing I was on the beach somewhere, but I assure you, I wouldn't have it any other way. I work best when I'm busy. Well, I would have it another way: If there were a frozen, alcoholic drink machine at the office. And my office were on a nice, sunny beach with gentle waves lapping at the shore.
Really though, I couldn't ask for a better work environment or better coworkers. Trust me, if you're going to travel with the same people for a significant portion of your working time (I travel between 20-30% of my time each year) you would want to travel with them. They eat well, drink well and laugh a lot. They work hard too.
Yeah, I definitely got more religious this past year. I still feel kind of funny talking about it because people who knew me before I became a Christian are kind of weirded out by it. Some think it's a phase. Some think it's a joke. I'm still trying to figure out how to live an integrated life that works for me and is... right. Overall, my life has changed and I'm so. much. happier., my life is richer and I would like to think, I'm a much better person. But it's not easy. I joke fairly regularly that I'm going to run off and become Amish because then I won't have to make pesky decisions and my entire life will be plotted out along a predictable course. I LOVE PREDICTABLE COURSES! Plus, they cook with real butter and you know their food is awesome. I would, however, miss television. This should come as a surprise to no one.
So, is that a year in a nutshell? I think it might be. Of course there is stuff I'm missing. I've laughed. I've cried. I had shingles like a 65-year-old.
My life is good.