Okay, I’m not in school so I don’t get summer vacation anymore, but I’ve been spending some time away from here, partly because my internet is broken all the time, and partly because it’s summer, and screw it, I already spend all day at work looking at a computer, so I’m not doing it when I get home, too. (Of course, once winter comes and I lose all desire to be anyplace where there isn’t heat, that changes.)
When I wrote here last time, I was fairly mopey. It happens. I feel better now. A lot of things have happened over the summer, things that could’ve merited posts on their own, but I never got around to it, so here is a list of updates. Oh, how I love lists. Here we go:
1. Home improvement
Yep. I’m a homeowner now. It’s the same house I’ve lived in forever, but it’s mine now. There’s a long story behind that I won’t get into, though it did, at one point last fall, involve me having a complete meltdown which culminated in me pouring a large bowl of couscous (that I was supposed to be taking to a baby shower/potluck) into the kitchen sink. (And subsequently having to have a plumber come to de-couscous the sink, which was apparently one of the more challenging things he’d ever done. Note: Do not ever dump a bowl of couscous into a sink, no matter how upset you are about the appraiser standing behind you taking photos of your house.) Anyway, it all worked out, and now I have a house. And central air. And new windows and sliding doors that lead out to the new deck where I am currently sitting with my laptop and a cup of coffee, writing this post*. A little later today I’m going to hang curtains. And next month sometime I’m going to successfully coerce my friends into coming over and helping me paint a couple of rooms. They are paneled and I despise paneling, and yet, even though there’s drywall underneath the paneling, I’ve decided to leave it and paint it for a rustic look, instead of removing it and having to fill in about 9 million holes in the drywall with spackle. None of my friends know how delightful it is to paint paneling, but I do (I painted my bedroom about five years ago, and though it’s not a huge room, it still took me an entire week, because holy shit, painting paneling is hard), and muahahahaha, I mean no, guys, it’s going to be SO MUCH FUN. There will be food.
Yep, started doing that.
3. Went to the beach a couple of times
Yes, Michigan! The feeling’s forever.
4. Rode some roller coasters
Went to Cedar Point for the first time in approximately 100 years. I’ve always liked roller coasters, though I’ve noticed now that I’m older, it takes me longer to work up the courage to get on them than it did when I was a teenager. Had a great time, and I’m pretty sure that when I rode this one, everyone in Ohio could hear me scream “OH MY GOD!” when we went down the first hill. My throat was actually sore the next day. (Isn’t it funny how, no matter what you do anymore, there’s a video somewhere on YouTube about someone else’s version of the same experience?)
I could not be convinced to ride this one, however. And then I didn’t have to worry about it, because it rained and they had to shut all the rides down, so I guess that means God didn’t want me to ride it either.
5. Went to a protest
Sorta. You know about the Westboro Baptist Church? (If not, I’ll leave you to Google it, because I don’t want to link.) There was a time in my life when I thought they were a parody of right-wing Christians, but it turns out that they are not a parody. Well, they believe that God hates gay folks so much and he is so angry about the current tolerant atmosphere in the United States toward gay folks that he is willfully killing soldiers who are fighting overseas. They bring this message to the funerals of dead soldiers by standing outside with placards that say charming things like “GOD HATES FAGS.” People in places where the Westboro Baptists are protesting have had some success with lining up in human shields to block the Westboro Baptist protestors and their hateful placards from the view of the mourners. A few weeks ago, they were planning to protest outside the funeral of a Marine from Holland (the one in Michigan) who was killed in Afghanistan, and Missy and I went to be a part of the counter-protest. So many people showed up, but guess who didn’t make it? That’s right, the Westboro Baptist Church. No loss.
6. Helped organize a project
Technically, I’m the project director for the big projects that get published on Utata.org twice a year, though at this point, the Utata staff is a pretty high-functioning team and doesn’t really need much directing from me to get things done. Even so, I make a list of tasks and people volunteer to do them, and I leave them alone to get stuff done and they never fail to make brilliant stuff. And then the people of the Utata group go and make photos and write things and we publish all of it and it never fails to amaze me. This time is no exception — Just One Thing is an incredibly beautiful project and it makes me proud to look at it. (My personal contribution consists of photos of red shoes, because of course.) If you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about with this Utata thing, my friend Greg has explained it (and the project) very well here.
7. Was philanthropic
On Saturday, I went with my friends to a car wash to raise funds for breast cancer research. It was at the strip club. We drove through the rain to get there, and when we arrived, Missy had the following conversation with the proprietor:
Dude: It looks like you just had your car washed.
Missy: Yep, I did.
Dude: Is it raining somewhere?
Missy: Nope, no rain.
That’s pretty good. It’s time to hang curtains now.
* I’m not sitting on my deck anymore because it’s afternoon now and I’ve had to do about 30 other things since I first started writing this post, but when I started, I was indeed sitting outside writing and drinking coffee.