From the Archive – January 2009

Jan. 5th, 2009 – Because I can’t convey originally thought-of commentary right now, here is a meme:

What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? – I ate these pepper poppers… the sort that are stuffed with procuitto and provalone. I’m trying to eat more spicy food. That this is the only the new thing I remember that I’ve tried might be a indicator that I have become incredibly boring and/or lame.

Did anyone close to you give birth? – A old family friend and my step-sister-in-law, I think. Maybe a neighbor or two as well…

Did anyone close to you die? – Thankfully no.

What countries did you visit? – Heck, I didn’t even get out of the Mid-Atlantic region. Can anyone say “substantial debt to income ratio?” However, every year that Zoë gets older we get closer to planning bigger trips. Oh goodness… we did go to Florida. Heh… have totally blocked out that.

What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? – Fiscal sense and budgetary discipline.

What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? – This is asking a lot because nothing stays in my memory for very long… which is why I write things down. I like to think we’re treading water now. This is not the time for momentious things to happen.

What was your biggest achievement of the year? – Not losing the house.

What was your biggest failure? – Losing my temper with the Pumpkin and messing up the checking account several times.

Did you suffer illness or injury? – Nothing tramatic.

What was the best thing you bought? – I think the most responsible thing I bought was work clothing since it helped my review. Also dental work. Damn, that really is lame.

Whose behavior merited celebration? – All our friends and family who have helped us over the year. I am forever indebted for the kindnesses and generousity we have recieved.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? – I am totally disguested with all the greedy people who only care about themselves and don’t realize that being an exective means you are personally responsible for every employee at your company. Also people who don’t understand that their behaviour has far reaching effects. Also all the people who gladly spent more money than they had or could reasonably earn for a lifestyle they didn’t really need to have and are now dragging the entire planet down with them, all
because they think a 4,000 square foot home with 8 bathrooms and several 50-inch flatscreen TVs is a neccessity.

Where did most of your money go? – Our house.

What events did you get really, really, really excited about? – Paying the mortgage on time. Hmmm, that’s lame but true. How about pumpkin carving and gingerbread house constructing with Shadowborne? I think befriending some very cool people in Philly has been a major turning point for us. Frank hasn’t been complaining too much about living here since we’ve gotten to know our new friends. I also really enjoyed how the row house site has been picking up and every time I get to meet another row house obsessed person.

What song will always remind you of 2008? – I have no idea. This is the sort of thinking that has gone completely out of the window lately.

Compared to this time last year, are you: i.happier or sadder: – Hmmm… I’m neither. I am infinitely more stressed out but not sad exactly.

ii.thinner or fatter: Thankfully the same and for me, the same is good.

iii.richer or poorer: Depends. I have less actual money but the equity in the house went up. We own more of our car.

What do you wish you’d done more of? – I really wish I had more time for my music.

What do you wish you’d done less of? – Buying things I don’t really need.

How did you spend Christmas? – With the fam in NY. I wasn’t going to go – so upset about the budget – but I’m very glad I did. Was one of the nicest Christmases in a long time. This time we all spent Christmas eve in Jersey with all the kids. Was so cool.

Who did you spend the most time on the phone with? – Frank, of course. I don’t really talk much on the phone.

Did you fall in love in 2008? – Well, Frank did some cute things which reminded me why I love him.

How many one-night stands? – Does with a pair of shoes count? Because I bought these shoes and could only wear them once because they hurt so horribly but only after three hours or I wouldn’t have bought them to begin with – bad shoes…

What was your favorite TV program? – True Blood, Dexter, Weeds, Top Gear…

What was the best book you read? – I am so embarrassed to say I didn’t really read much this year in the way of actual books. Now articles on architecture, yup. A whole lot of that going on. I think my favorite article was this one about a couple who had renovated a lovely 1700’s house and they were talking about its imperfections and how that gives it character. It made me learn to let go, come to terms with old and love my house for what it is.

What was your greatest musical discovery or rediscovery? – Mind in a Box and Seabound. It was fun learning that the Pumpkin absolutely loves Funker Vogt.

What did you want and get? – These blue Fleur dishes. I do not regret getting those for one minute. I am debating going back to the store and buying more because lately everything is just breaking.

What did you want and not get? – A new corset… heck, a new steampunky outfit. But I haven’t designed it yet so nothing to be upset about.

What was your favorite film of this year? – I really can’t remember… am I too young for senility? I sort of really liked Transformers and Ironman.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? – I think there were crepes involved. Oh yes. My sister was visiting, I think, and we had crepes. I want to say I am in the mid-thirties range, maybe 33. I don’t think I’m 35 yet. I don’t know… what is 2008 minus 1974? Let’s see, carry the one… Ok, I’m 34. Frank is 33.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? – Money… because it would be really nice not to stay up nights worrying about money. I just want a good night’s sleep… because I know if I could get a solid week of good night’s sleep, I would be a new person. Ok, never mind money. I could have used many good night’s sleep.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? – Abducted by lawyers…

What kept you sane? – Knowing my mom is right there to help… even though I hate to ask.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most/least? – I think the Obama family is sort of neat.

What political issue stirred you the most? – It was an election year so that was exciting. I feel like most political issues are dead horses and waste valuable time. For example, I don’t care who marries whom. Make marriage a strictly religious institution separate from state civil unions – I mean we have two papers for our marriage, one from New York and one from my church – and be done with it. I bet many couples would like to be able to have the church wedding thing but don’t want to be legally married since you pay more taxes
when you’re married, likewise maybe people don’t want religion involved in their relationships. Anyway, maybe more people should have been thinking about the economy and shady business practices or working on sensible personal budgets, not to mention the environment…

Whom did you miss?

I can’t think of anyone, of couse there is a chance I don’t realize I’m missing someone because I can’t remember. Maybe my friend Sharon who is very hard to tie down. I should have called quite a few people more often. I think I will write people down in the organizer to call this month.

Who was the best new person you met?

We’ve been lucky to meet a few very awesome people indeed this year. It’s changed our entire outlook of having relocated to Philly.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:

Let’s see. I identified that I am a great deal more sensitive than I thought. In doing so, I realized that I was sponging in Frank’s negativity – which doesn’t bother him since he likes being pissed off, you know how those rivetheads like their angst and whatnot. However, it doesn’t work for me and I was getting into such a horrible place of gloom. So I learned how to put up a little bubble shield when he is ranting about whatever, lately the people who drive cars in PA, and all
that negativity just bounces right off. A month or so of that and I find I am much happier. Since I am happier and more relaxed, Frank seems less angsty too because he sees me closing my eyes and breathing and bubbling and he sort of notices that he’s ranting and usually knocks it off. Emotion is certainly contagious, goes for positive or negative, but it’s not a given as to which emotion is going to take prevelance in a relationship so you have to work at it.

Quote a song that sums up your year:

Um… I have no idea. There is this song about having a bad day but getting through it… It’s a mainsteam song. Maybe that one.


Jan. 6th, 2009 – Some really cool things I saw on a site I went to because it said Jello.

The following is proof that I do like some art that has been produced by people who are still living. I’m not entirely sure it counts as art, although the spool piece was shown at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. I went to that show and thought it was the coolest thing ever, followed by the thought of why I didn’t think of it myself after all these years of playing with spools of thread…

Anyway, initially I was drawn to the Jello. I really like things that are made out of things that weren’t originally intended to create those things, done in a clever way.

The following come from http://neatorama.cachefly.net/YB/cityscape-art.htm

San Francisco Jello - http://neatorama.cachefly.net/YB/cityscape-art.htm
San Francisco Jello – http://neatorama.cachefly.net/YB/cityscape-art.htm
Color Block City - http://neatorama.cachefly.net/YB/cityscape-art.htm
Color Block City – http://neatorama.cachefly.net/YB/cityscape-art.htm

I really want one of these.

Cityscape Coat Hanger - http://neatorama.cachefly.net/YB/cityscape-art.htm
Cityscape Coat Hanger – http://neatorama.cachefly.net/YB/cityscape-art.htm

This is the spool art. There are more on the website – http://www.devorahsperber.com/thread_works_index_html_and_2x2s/index.html

Spool Art Last Supper- http://www.devorahsperber.com/thread_works_index_html_and_2x2s/index.html
Spool Art Last Supper- http://www.devorahsperber.com/thread_works_index_html_and_2x2s/index.html

Jan. 7th, 2009 – These days I can’t pass up a free dinner.

Tomorrow evening I have my department’s holiday dinner outting to go to. Last year I didn’t go because I already spend way too much time with my coworkers and not enough with my family. However, this year I am going because a) my gothy coworker is going and b) if I don’t watch out, I am going to be a complete social outcast. Plus, we’re broke and it’s free food. I hope the portions are big so I can bring home half for Frank.

Otherwise I am just nibbling on Conversation Hearts, because I actually like them, and looking forward to going to bed at 10:30 since going to bed at 10:00 seems to induce nightmares.

Projects on the agenda include a haircut – just deciding which bangs to go with now and what color. Megan, if you’re out there somewhere, let me know if you can print out one of those photos you did of Frank and me by the bridge eons ago, since I would like to bring it to my hairdresser for an example of how not to mess up my hair. Meanwhile I still have the mini’s here I can always use. I’ve been putting it off because I have a co-worker who has nearly the same haircut and I
really don’t want to be a mimic but I have had it with my hair. The only thing is the cost of keeping up short hair.

Also need to work on my steampunk outfit. Must collect inspiration photos.


Jan. 8th, 2009 – Free dinner update… and a back up plan.

Dinner was very nice. Tasty food, although it’s nearly guarenteed that dinner in Philly will be good since this city is very serious about its food. I did bring home leftovers but ruined being good by eating all my dessert, which was devine. I paid for it with a wicked tummyache that I am just recovering from now.

I have no idea what sort of things are going on in LJ blogger land but everything I write is backed up on http://www.philafleur.com – sometimes I think the site is sort of a luxury and in other regards, I am glad I have it. There are some things out of whack with it since I’ve let it go recently but I’m getting back to keeping it updated and working, slowly. I think weekend I might pop in a movie for Zoe and seriously get it all completed.

I hope tomorrow goes really fast, as I think it will, I have a steady flow of work to do which makes the days just purr. I have no less than 8 loads of laundry, thank God for the uber-washer, and a dirty house to clean.

I want to say it was probably just a matter of time, but I can’t breathe out of my nose and I feel like the ick may be decending upon me… crap.


Jan. 11th, 2009 – Because it’s morning in Asia.

That’s why I am up, having just finished a piece for my freelance client’s Asian office.

I realized this weekend that I can’t remember what book I read last. That’s just pathetic. Sure I read plenty but not actual books. I will need something to cope with the new time clock process at work that I am going to really screw up. Of course I have so many articles in the hopper for rowHouse that I don’t think I’ll have time to do anything but interview and write. This is a good thing. Why oh why can’t I do this for my job? I need a fairy godmother at
HGTV to give me a job or possibly the city of Philadelphia.

Frank got signed up to Facebook this weekend. Quite stuck to it he was and now he can’t make fun of me any more. I am dwindling… just so much on my plate right now.

I think my keyboard is on the fritz… letters just stick. I cannot have broken machine now. Not good.

Otherwise it’s all been about laundry and recycling the tree which the disposal of has made our living room look enormous. We had to drop it off in the most charming area of North Philly. We even saw a log cabin. I know… improbable but there is was. I must learn more about that! Not a row house though but I am still intrigued.

It’s an hour past my bedtime. Tomorrow morning isn’t going to be pleasant but along with work for Asia, I just wanted to put some more work into an article about a semi-attached in Parkside. It’s just a wild place. I’m waiting for just a few more comments from the developer and voila done. Mom says she sent back the questionnaire for her article too so that’s nearly done as well. Then it’s on to some new people to interview and the article about the zen of row house cleaning. Who-hoo!!!

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