Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What I've Been Doing

So, I've been pretty busy for someone without any real responsibilities, so here's a list of some of the shit I've been up to.

We are moving into Baltimore City! Not only that, it's to the best apartment in the world! This apartment is really huge, at least 1.5 times bigger than everything else we saw. The living room is painted the exact same color of mint green that I would have painted it, if I'd chosen the colors of my walls. The dining room is bright blue, and the bedroom is reddish fuchsia! The kitchen is a yellow which I can only describe as "kitcheny," which is apropos. There is a dogwood tree in the backyard (yes! in the city!) and a small plot of land which I might use for a garden. There are tomato cages which I'd like to use because tomatoes are one of the few vegetables I actually like and the only one that would grow well in a backyard garden. There is a basement where I can park my bike and where we can store excess books. We are almost certainly inheriting a fourth cat from our landlord for convoluted reasons to be explained later.

Needless to say, I am stoked. The last year has taught me a very valuable lesson: don't live in the suburbs. As a non-driver (and one who is increasingly uninterested in getting her license), I can't handle it: the monotony of only being able to shop at chain stores and eat at chain restaurants, the utter meanness of townies who assume you're a student, the impossibility of getting a job because interviewers assume you're unreliable simply because you don't drive. (I've never had to call into work because I had to take my legs into the shop. Just sayin'.) When we moved to Towson, we thought it would be a lot like State College, PA, which is also a college town of approximately 50,000 people. Except that it's a lot easier to get to a big city from Towson vs. State College. But State College is very walkable/bikeable, and to some extent so are smaller PA college towns like Indiana or, hell, even California (which is where I went to college), and I don't think I would have had a lot of problems making friends or getting a job there. Towson is more like Monroeville, except with two colleges lodged in its bowels like nuclear bombs in a mixed-metaphor word salad. Also that reference will not make sense to you if you're not from Pennsylvania. Sorry about that.

Working on short stories! I have two in the pipeline right now: one about evil cars, the other a Machine of Death story. I had been working on a novel in progress, but sort of abandoned it when my computer crashed and I lost the last five pages of writing. Maybe that doesn't sound too tragic, but it was only eleven pages overall. Perhaps it's for the best, I don't really have the attention span for novels. I've said it before: if I only ever write one novel in my life, that is totally fine with me.

One of our cats was turned into a lamp by an evil sorcerer:

Rob wouldn't let me put the sweater on her. "It's too hot, she'll roast."
So you can blame him for this picture not being as awesome as it
might have been. It would have been on for ONE MINUTE
and cats are hardy little critters. Simply elucidatin'.

Selling shit on Amazon. Now, it will be no surprise to people who have been to our house that we own A LOT OF BOOKS. (Although not an alot made out of books.) But we've been practicing Discardia, which means getting rid of many hundreds of our books. In the past, we'd always take the books to a used bookstore, which would maybe give us thirty bucks for four bags of books, if we were lucky. But then I had a brainstorm: why not Amazon? I've bought things off Amazon Marketplace in the past, because used CDs are usually much cheaper than new or digital download. Probably because hardly anyone keeps CDs anymore (although I do!). And yes, putting up hundreds of superfluous books is sometimes tedious, and sending them out is definitely tedious, but I've made several hundred dollars on there already, including over a hundred bucks for an out-of-print expansion board for Arkham Horror, the game of mind-numbingly banal Lovecraftian terror. While I don't want to bad-mouth my "customers," it constantly shocks me what people will buy, and for what prices. Granted, I am not into the mangas that the kids are reading right now, but $40 for a comic book? However, as this is the closest thing I have to a paying job right now, I am going to continue doing it until all the books are sold, or I get a real job doing something exactly as tedious for slightly more money.

(Aside: before beginning my extended period of unemployment, I don't think I realized how utterly useless I'd feel. I am someone who crashes and burns without a schedule, and while I do try to write lists to structure my days, it's easier to follow a schedule when it's imposed from without by someone who's paying you. I feel guilty for doing things that I don't consider my "job," i.e. putting items up on Amazon, going shopping for basic necessities, cleaning the house like a motherfuckin' adult. I don't consider writing my job even though I've been paid for it. It's hard for me to talk about this because it's such a first world problem; we can get along fine on Rob's income and I don't NEED to work. But I've realized that I WANT to, especially if I can get back into the only jobby thing I've ever been good at, medical research. Hello, Johns Hopkins University, soon to be within my reach/clutches.)

Riding my bike, natch. As cycling has turned out to be the loose focus of this blog, I feel obligated to mention that, yeah, still at it. Last night I abandoned my old, broken BSO in my front yard for the first taker, because even though I did have plans to fix it up and teach Rob to ride on it, we all know I wasn't going to do that before moving and it would have just become more moving clutter. Also, it would have been way too small for him, and also a girl's bike. I feel guilty about this, even though I know that's dumb. I'll probably feel better when I see a lady riding around on my old bike, all fixed up shiny and newish. But right now I feel like a consumerist jerk.


  1. I love Baltimore! I think it is one of the most underrated cities in the country and am thrilled you're moving there. Good luck with the move!

  2. Thanks! I am hoping Baltimore grows on me. I really, really haven't liked living in the Bmore suburbs, but I don't know how much of it is the area, and how much of it is because it's freaking suburbs. Like, I never lived in them, but I don't think the Pittsburgh suburbs would have been any better. Every time I've gone into Hampden (where we'll be living) I feel way more at home, it's very arty and bikey. I plan to post many pictures!

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