Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Whirlwind of Life

Life has not slowed down; it has instead gotten more hectic. I think I have been more tired in the last couple of days than I have been my entire life. Sure, in high school and college, I burned the candle at both ends often, but I was also a lot younger and so I think I bounced back more quickly. The past couple of days I was operating on auto-pilot, and not doing well when I had to go off-course. This caused a lot of laughter for those around me, especially when I ended up asking for scrambled pancakes at the IHOP yesterday.

Friday night was the first high school football game, and the Musician's first night in the marching band. The place was absolutely packed, on both sides, since the rival high school directly adjoins our town. I find it interesting the way they have the home team stands set up. One section was for season ticket holders (yes, seriously,) three sections were general admission, one section was for the high schoolers, and one section was for students at the middle school and intermediate school.

We saw quite a few people we knew. Our GP was there, our favorite phlebotomist (who is now a stay-at-home mom and who we called our vampire,) a young man who works at the local grocery store, and of course lots of teachers and students the girls know. Thursday night a young woman who taught the Musician's riding classes came to the marching band preview. She could very well have been in the crowd on Friday night, since the place was so full you couldn't see everyone.

Mr. BTEG worked one of the concession stands Friday night; the profits go to the band, and all band parents have to help with some of the fundraisers. Yes, fundraisers can be a pain. On the other hand, our band room is beautifully appointed, the uniforms are nice, and we don't have a pay-to-play system like some local schools do. Concessions did a booming business; they were pretty much out of everything by the time the game ended. Some other group was doing a Krispy Kreme fundraiser which also seemed very popular. I will have to find out where the donuts are next time!

This was my first Friday night football game! My high school had so little money at the time I attended that our football field did not have lights, so all games were on Saturday afternoon.

It seems to me that people give more readily when there is some sort of incentive. There was a Souper Bowl fundraiser for local food pantries that pitted the two schools competing against each other to see who could raise the most in money and nonperishable food donated. It did spectacularly well. Human nature, I suppose. Our side won the fundraiser, which is just as well, as the football team played poorly and lost the actual game. :)

Friday, August 20, 2010


I have a post brewing, but at the moment I am tuckered out. The Musician is in marching band and had Band Camp this week, so I drove her to and from the high school twice a day, in addition to dropping off and picking up my husband at the bus stop. Then there was an Ice Cream Social for the band tonight, in addition to getting all the parents to sign up for stuff.

We're seriously getting into that time of our lives when we're going to spend our time driving our girls around to activities. We may as well enjoy it, because I'm sure it will speed right by. Mr. BTEG is already working concessions at the high school football game next week. Let the fun begin!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dear Nancy Pelosi

I oppose an Islamic worship center, under whatever name, being built in that particular location in New York City. To make it easier when you investigate me, I am eagerly awaiting my big check from Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated any day now. Now get out of this country, you traitorous, Botoxed hag.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Yes, That's a Cute Dog...

In my continued and determined quest to find us someplace to live, I looked over pictures of a condo which is currently priced too high for us, but I was curious to see what you were getting for the asking price. One of the pictures in the listing is a picture of the owner's dog. It's a cute little dog, to be sure, but unless it comes with the condo, I don't quite see the point. Is this like having fresh-baked cookies on the counter when you tour the house?

Also pictured was one of... the floor. Just the floor. Yes, it's a slate floor. Do we need a picture of it to revel in its wonderfulness? Slate floor is listed in the description. You can marvel at its beauty when you take the house tour.

For that matter, I think with the poor economy, interest in things like slate floors and stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops is going to go way down. We currently have stainless steel appliances; I hate them but they came with the house. They are hard to keep clean. I don't know about slate floors, but granite counter tops are apparently also notoriously hard to keep nice. The place we're currently most interested in has granite counter tops; I'm interested in spite of that. As a matter of fact, there are rust-like stains on the counter top around the sink. So why have all these poncy features that jack up the price of the house but add no true value, and may add more work? When the economy was rocking, maybe, but not now.

This house hunting is frustrating, but I'm certainly getting an education!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Things You See When You're Looking

House hunting has brought out some interesting things that make me go "Hmm." For example, the people describing their listed home as a bungalow. I was pretty sure I knew what a bungalow was, but I went and looked around on the internet a bit to update my knowledge. The only thing I had wrong is that the bungalow terms I saw described them as one or one-and-a-half stories. Although I did see pictures that looked like they were two stories. Still, I had the general idea right. A long, sloping front roof, with a porch at the front of the house. Long lines. What today would be called an open floor plan. Built-in cabinets.

However, when I see somebody list their house as a bungalow, I'm pretty sure by now what I'll see, and it's not a bungalow. It's more akin to what I would describe as a cottage. No front porch. No long lines. No built-ins. Just a small square house. People also seem to have forgotten the description of Cape Cod, a cottage with an extra bedroom or two on the second floor. Even realtors are not immune to not knowing how to describe a house properly, and it's their job, for goodness' sake!

I'm also seeing a huge difference in prices asked for homes. For example, two condos are listed in the same condo development. One is an end unit, with a basement. One is a middle unit, with no basement. Same number of bedrooms and baths. Yet the one without a basement is asking $500 more to rent! The only guess Mr. BTEG and I have is that those whose asking price is high either did not put enough down initially, or took out an extra loan on their property. Still, when housing prices have dropped dramatically, it's difficult to ask someone else to make up for your shortfall, when there are lower priced homes that are about equal. Of course, this also belies the idea that a drop in house values automatically translates into lower prices for the renter. People who bought high, or did something else like I described, may still be trying to make up the difference on their homes. It doesn't mean they'll get it, but it's one less home out there to interest you.

Oh, and if your home is "just listed," your realtor really ought to have a picture up that doesn't show snow on the front lawn. That just screams, "We tried to sell the house earlier this year, and didn't get any takers." Which in turn smells of desperation.

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Modern Church

Incense kicks off people's asthma (among them, my husband.) Recovering alcoholics would like grape juice instead of wine for the Eucharist. Others need gluten-free wafers for the host. Me, I have OCD, and as I have said before, using the common cup for the Eucharist, for me, is liking kissing everyone in church on the mouth. Fortunately, our church allows dipping the host in the cup. I see the arguments for a common cup, but I personally wouldn't mind individual being an option, because of my own frailties. Obviously things that affect health are more important than OCD.

Where am I going with this? Just thinking how many things are happening in the life of the church that St. Paul and Luther and probably even Walther would never have dreamed of. I wonder what kind of human idiosyncrasies affected the church in their days?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Look at It This Way

I'm kind of glad I have a good excuse not to run for public office. Being mentally ill is a huge negative factor that I don't think I could overcome. Not to mention I think the added stress would push me over the edge. So I wouldn't want to overcome it.

Of course, being unhappy with the current state of politics from every politician at just about every level, I feel like I ought to being doing something to represent my ideas. Maybe if my life ever settles down in other ways (yeah, I know) I might at least get involved with helping local politicians whom I support. Who knows?

Monday, August 02, 2010

Self Improvement

In conjunction with my previous post, I am on a quest to shake up my life a little. I get this way periodically. This time, it's because Mr. Evil Genius was ill for so long, and since then we have been going through a period of not much cash flow. Plus just when Mr. Evil Genius got a new job and things were looking up, we found that we have to move. That was a serious blow which took me a while to overcome.

I will also bring up here, that though my bipolar medicine has done a good job of taking out the bad parts, or the bottom of my moods, it also seems to have taken out the top part of my moods as well. Was the most active and productive part of me the manic part? Can I achieve without that high? Time will tell.

I'm starting to feel like I'm ready to tackle life head-on again, instead of just going through the motions. I hope it will last, even if where we end up moving is not ideal. I miss the old me.