Sunday, November 21, 2010

Buying a House

Yeah, we're thinking about buying a house.

Is that sort of scary or what?

The reasons are these:
1. We'll be here for 2-3 more years for SURE.
2. We'll need a place to live for those 2-3 years.
3. Interest rates are at a great, all-time low
4. Houe prices are at a great, all-time low
5. We're going to be paying a few hundred a month to live in an apartment, anyway, so why not pay a few hundred to a mortgage and live in a place where we can make changes/paint/do whatever we want.

Yep. Pretty good reasons, if you ask me.

I've looked at maybeeee 10 houses give or take?

These are the two standing out to us:


This one has updated lots of things. New paint, new floors, new carpet, new kitchen (upstairs.) It's got a ton of storage space, and it's on a huge lot. There are driveways on either side of the house (it's a corner lot.) Really cool.  Downside: the floorplan is a little maze-like. The downstairs bathroom and kitchen are a little outdated and the downstairs kitchen doesn't have a range or a refrigerator. Or a garbage disposal. And it doesn't have a washer or dryer.

This one is proving to be our favorite. It's very clean and breezy feeling. It's a little smaller than the first one. But it is cozy and charming. It's got a dishwasher for both upstairs and downstairs kitchens. It's got a garbage disposal for both, too! And it has a washer and dryer. And it's got a fairly big yard.  Downside: no garage, less storage space, a little less space in general, and the heating/cooling system (while totally new and clean) connects between the upstairs and downstairs in such a way that (from our experience) you can hear 100% of downstairs discussions upstairs, and vise versa.

Decisions, decisions.

They're in relatively the same location. Just both very different. 
But very cool for all those very different reasons.

But it's hard to make a decision! Let alone think about the process of signing and closing and moving and getting our contract sold (which I feel will be NO problem, but will still take a bit of effort,) and all that jazz. 

The idea of it is just so appealing. I wish it would just happen in the blink of an eye so I wouldn't have to deal with all that goes into the process :) 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

When the crazy wheel slows down, where will you be?

I've been thinking a lot lately. And you know what's frustrating about thinking a  lot is that oftentimes, I don't come up with specific ideas or conclusions.  Sometimes I make new goals, sometimes I have small realizations, but thinking - for me - typically just leads to a stupor of thought, more questioning or more thinking.

But I've seen a lot these past few weeks. And I think, for once, I do have something to say about it.

I've seen friends rise and fall and succeed and fail. And I have done all of those things, too.

It's been a crazy few weeks.

And here's what I've come to find:

Religion is like weight loss.  You have to do it for yourself, because you want to, and because it makes you feel good. You don't have to prove anything to anyone and if you believe you DO have something to prove, you're likely not going to be as successful.

Truth is everywhere, and it's okay to accept that and embrace it.

Families are good. It's okay to be patient with them. They need it the most, anyway.

Thinking about where you want to be and who you want to be when you're 65 years old really really really puts things into perspective.

Sometimes you make choices just because. And they may not be the "right" choice or the "wrong" choice - but because it's a choice you already made, you can MAKE IT the right choice. Accept that. And move on.

People matter more than grades. And if I'm ever an employer, I will believe and accept that with all my heart, and hire you even if you didn't graduate college with a 4.0.

There's no reason you can't do what you love. And if you're worried about someone loving you for doing what you love - don't. If someone doesn't love YOU (the you that's doing what you love) you shouldn't be with them anyway. 

You should be happy first, and then worry about making money. Because the first option is typically more in your control than the second. And it's more important, too.


And - as my dear friend has been singing in my voice coaching classes from "Chess" - when the crazy wheel slows down, where will I be?

Think about it. When all that is hectic and "important" goes away, what will remain? Who will you be? Is it good? Do you like that person?

I think I'm still trying to figure that out, myself. But it's certainly helped me put things into perspective the last few weeks....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Making my Heart Break

I had a good friend post about a poem. I read the poem. I hope you take some time to read it, too.

You know - I've been thinking a lot about love and life, and regret and heart break lately. My thoughts aren't totally together about it all, but this poem certainly taps into something deep. And, if you ask me, it's the perfect poem of longing to compliment a chilly fall day. Don't you think?

MAUD MULLER, on a summer's day,
Raked the meadow sweet with hay.

Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth 
Of simple beauty and rustic health.

Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee
The mock-bird echoed from his tree.

But when she glanced to the far-off town,
White from its hill-slope looking down,

The sweet song died, and a vague unrest
And a nameless longing filled her breast,

A wish, that she hardly dared to own, 
For something better than she had known.

The Judge rode slowly down the lane, 
Smoothing his horse's chestnut mane.

He drew his bridle in the shade
Of the apple-trees, to greet the maid,

And ask a draught from the spring that flowed 
Through the meadow across the road.

She stooped where the cool spring bubbled up,
And filled for him her small tin cup,

And blushed as she gave it, looking down 
On her feet so bare, and her tattered gown.

"Thanks!" said the Judge; "a sweeter draught 
From a fairer hand was never quaffed."

He spoke of the grass and flowers and trees, 
Of the singing birds and the humming bees;

Then talked of the haying, and wondered whether 
The cloud in the west would bring foul weather.

And Maud forgot her brier-torn gown, 
And her graceful ankles bare and brown;

And listened, while a pleased surprise 
Looked from her long-lashed hazel eyes.

At last, like one who for delay 
Seeks a vain excuse, he rode away.

Maud Muller looked and sighed: "Ah me!
That I the Judge's bride might be!

"He would dress me up in silks so fine,
And praise and toast me at his wine.

"My father should wear a broadcloth coat;
My brother should sail a painted boat.

"I'd dress my mother so grand and gay,
And the baby should have a new toy each day.

"And I'd feed the hungry and clothe the poor
And all should bless me who left our door."

The Judge looked back as he climbed the hill,
And saw Maud Muller standing still.

"A form more fair, a face more sweet 
Ne'er hath it been my lot to meet.

"And her modest answer and graceful air 
Show her wise and good as she is fair.

"Would she were mine, and I to-day, 
Like her, a harvester of hay

"No doubtful balance of rights and wrongs, 
Nor weary lawyers with endless tongues,

"But low of cattle and song of birds,
And health and quiet and loving words."

But he thought of his sisters, proud and cold,
And his mother, vain of her rank and gold.

So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on,
And Maud was left in the field alone.

But the lawyers smiled that afternoon, 
When he hummed in court an old love-tune;

And the young girl mused beside the well, 
Till the rain on the unraked clover,

He wedded a wife of richest dower, 
Who lived for fashion, as he for power.

Yet oft, in his marble hearth's bright glow, 
He watched a picture come and go

And sweet Maud Muller's hazel eyes 
Looked out in their innocent surprise.

Oft, when the wine in his glass was red, 
He longed for the wayside well instead;

And closed his eyes on his garnished rooms 
To dream of meadows and clover-blooms.

And the proud man sighed, with a secret pain,
"Ah, that I were free again!

"Free as when I rode that day, 
Where the barefoot maiden raked her hay."

She wedded a man unlearned and poor,
And many children played round her door.

But care and sorrow, and childbirth pain, 
Left their traces on heart and brain.

And oft, when the summer sun shone hot
On the new-mown hay in the meadow lot,

And she heard the little spring brook fall 
Over the roadside, through the wall;

In the shade of the apple-tree again 
She saw a rider draw his rein.

And gazing down with timid grace 
She felt his pleased eyes read her face.

Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls 
Stretched away into stately halls;

The weary wheel to a spinnet turned,
The tallow candle an astral burned,

And for him who sat by the chimney lug,
Dozing and grumbling o'er pipe and mug,

A manly form at her side she saw, 
And joy was duty and love was law.

Then she took up her burden of life again,
Saying only, "it might have been."

Alas for maiden, alas for Judge, 
For rich repiner and household drudge!

God pity them both! and pity us all, 

Who vainly the dreams of youth recall.

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: "It might have been!"

Ah, well! for us all some sweet hope lies
Deeply buried from human eyes;

And, in the hereafter, angels may
Roll the stone from its grave away!

John Greenleaf Whittier's poem: Maud Muller

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Deep Dark Secrets

Have you ever thought about what you would do with your life if EVERY option were available, regardless of time, talent, education or money?

I have.

Do you know what I would choose to do?

I would make music videos.

Not sleezy semi-pornographic videos, no no.

Neat ones.:

Why? Because they're beautiful and creative and fun. And I want to make things that are beautiful, and sometimes I feel like I'm creative and it would be fun to do.

Will I ever do it?

Probably not.

So sad.

But if I did, I think I might make one like this for kicks: