Today was made up of several layers of awesome:

  1. New President!

  2. Donuts for the office in honor of the new President! In fact, my office mates and I gathered together in the middle of the day to watch Obama take the oath of office. We had boxes of tissues at the ready, too.

  3. I finally solved the mystery of who wrote the awesome song that I heard a year ago at Silk City and desperately wanted to download, but couldn’t… not knowing the band name and all. The only lyric I could understand was “trees.” Try googling “popular hipster dance music” and “trees”. Doesn’t get you very far.

    You should have seen my eyes light up when I wandered past a coworker’s desk this morning and heard a chorus of “treeeeeees” coming from her speakers. Turns out it was MGMT. Duh — I own one of their singles. Note to self: buy full albums, dummy.

  4. After living for six months on a table top in my dining room, Phineas is back in his real home. This calls for a first here at this blog; a video post!

[flickr video=3214229110 show_info=true secret=29e08b1e86 w=400 h=300]

New in ’09

I’m a little iffy on the resolution thing. Instead of making a list of things I plan to force myself to do this year, I think I’ll list the things I hope to learn:

  1. How to be less broke. I don’t have a plan of attack for this one yet. Moving on!

  2. Cooking. I hope to start a recipe journal to scrapbook together what I’m learning on that front.

  3. Gardening. I have modest goals, here: keep some tomato and pepper plants alive long enough to get an edible product. Maybe set up an area in the back “yard” for container gardening. I’d like to compost some old leaves, too…

  4. Some new artsy techniques. I just bought a book on mosaic tiling and I’d like to pick up some info on upholstery and sewing soon. The craft projects I do for the house are my most enjoyable hobby at the moment. In fact, I just made a Flickr tag for the crafty things I’ve accomplished in the last year.

That reminds me: I upgraded to Flickr’s pro account, so all of my photos are properly organized now. Photos of the home improvement projects are tagged by room, in sets by season/year, and sets are grouped together in a collection. (I made one for Jack, too, as a Christmas surprise!)

My house: A Flickr Collection

I also have collections of images from trips I’ve taken and of photos from different Philly neighborhoods. Pictures of people, though rare, will probaby go to Facebook.

Accomplished yesterday:

Woke up at 7:00. Answered a work email or two. Yes, I’m lame.

Made it to the gym.

Set up an appointment with a chimney contractor for tomorrow.

Swept and bagged all the leaves in front of my house. Saved some for composting.

Covered two walls of the living room in primer. I haven’t settled on a top color yet, but at least I won’t have to wade through this murky blue-green lagoon of a room much longer.

Took the rest of the unpacked boxes and disassembled furniture down to the basement. Yeah, none of that stuff’s going to see any use this month. Might as well get it out of the way.

Vacuumed. This never happens.

Did the dishes. Not as rare, but still an accomplishment.

Discovered that my mustard lettuce plant is being attacked by what I can only assume are cabbage butterfly caterpillars. A thorough rinsing and some googling of Mike McGrath followed, I’m sad to say.

Sorted, filed, and shred all of the incoming mail. Dear credit card provider who shall remain nameless: if you’d like to extend me extra credit, please apply it to the account I already have with you and stop sending me offers for new cards. Besides, aren’t you guys supposed to be more careful about granting credit to people who don’t have any money? Dear AMEX: thanks for my two new magnets.

Shortened the closure on a new bracelet.

Hung up and de-tagged new clothing purchases from earlier in the week.

Put on real clothes (read: jeans) for a run to Home Depot. Shot down some guy looking for a date in the lighting department. The “I have a boyfriend” line didn’t mean much to him, though. Apparently, I’m not off the market until some other guy comes up behind me and verifies my story and/or threatens violence.

Started basement pot farm:

Really, just trying to extend the growing season for my sad little lettuce/mint plants.

Finished the behind-the-scenes Newsweek article on the election. If you haven’t read it, it’s worth a look. Did you know that the ringtone David Axelrod set for Obama’s calls was “Signed, Sealed, Delivered?” Now you do. Awww.


The time: Saturday, October 19th, 6:00 pm.

The scene: Johnny Brenda’s, Philly.

The event: I’m catching a beer with John. We’re watching the bartender sell tickets for the night’s musical event — a band with a lineup that boasts “members of Interpol.” Interpol was my favorite band through most of college, so this is a pleasant surprise. I must have seen them play three times by now. I had an Interpol ringtone for a while!

“Are they here? Which members…? I bet it’s Sam, I think he’s from Philly.” I’m scanning the crowd. And, sure enough, I spot him. Not only that, but Sam pulls up a seat next to John! My eyes go wide. John laughs, and then he gets up and goes to the bathroom.

Sam looks over. “Hey,” he says.

“Uhh, hey. You’re Sam, right?”

“I’m Sam!”

And we have a little conversation about his side project, his last Philly show, and his mother. Then his drink comes, John gets back, and we leave.


The enormous party on my street that attracted four squad cars and a police wagon at 2:00 am last Saturday… well, that lost Philly a couple of points in my eyes. But the city won me back this week when I found myself face to face, completely by accident, with a guy who helped create the soundtrack to my college career. It’s a trade off, but I think it’s a good one.

I’m feeling a little disheartened at the moment. Instead of focusing solely on the things I worry I’ve forgotten how to do — like sculpt, or scrape together a few bucks and a few friends for fun & frivolous stuff — I’m going to try to think of what I’ve gained in the last year.

If I’m something of a shut-in, I’m a shut-in who can make a decent slow-cooked chicken corn chowder. Most of my possession are still in boxes, I admit, but they’re cluttering the living room of a house that I can call my own. And my tiny cement back yard gets just enough direct light a day to grow me a mini vegetable garden.

I’m broke, but I can tell you what a credit default swap is. I’ve learned how to hardwire a lighting fixture. Hey — I get to travel all over the country, and all I have to do is work 13 hour days once I’m off the plane!

There are moments, like this one, when it’s depressing to think of how I’ve wandered off the path that a lot of my friends managed to stay on after college; I haven’t made a single piece of art in months (unless any of the crazy craft projects meant to improve the house count). And I miss having that topic of conversation available to me. I haven’t figured out how to define myself outside of it, maybe, and I end up at a loss for words.

But I guess if I feel lonely — or plain old weird — now, I’m betting there will be a bigger plus side to this experience down the road than my new corn chowder recipe. I can’t seem to articulate what that might be for this closing sentence, but for now, that’s fine.