I want to make a post about all of my fabulous and inspired New Year’s resolutions, but I am sure they are just like everybody else’s: No more kicking old ladies or driving over dogs while they cross the street.
Ugh. I can’t think of any real resolutions, which means I am totally deluded in my near-perfectness or have just gotten old enough to know the real me.
Brian, from years ago, doesn’t know how he feels about this post:
I keep going back and forth about buying a house right now. My mom keeps reminding me that we are on the hook for the mortgage for the Va house. We have renters, but what if they bug out? What if we can’t get new ones? If we are simply renting here, and things go south, we can at least downsize more easily. At the same time though, we might as well take advantage of the low interest rates and lower home prices, right?
Then there is the issue of what size and cost of house we should we go for. I have no idea how much we can actually afford. We pay our bills fine and buy stuff we want, like shoes and books and just this week a new tv- wheeee, if there is money in the checking account. (Money going into savings, etc is not to be touched.) Bigger sometimes means just more to clean, which is totally uncool, but I don’t want to underestimate how much we can afford and be in an uncomfortably smaller or older house.
My dream house is the white fancy one I posted before, with the awesome kitchen (and awesome everything else):
But it is a two-story house, so it isn’t really my dream house, but it is really darn close. Like, 95% close.
There are other options, like the smaller, newer, less expensive house with the fabulous sun room.
Or the least expensive house that is almost exactly like the house we are in right now, except with only a one-car garage and no pantry:
How much is it worth to me for a two-car garage? The house is kind of boxy and not as open and airy as some of the others we’ve seen. For that reason, it isn’t as appealing to me. On the other hand, it would be easier to separate and keep the noise down as we do different activities in the house, like dish washing vs video games vs tv watching vs working on the computer.
The things all of these houses have in common: right school area, formal living room and casual living room, and at least 3 bedrooms plus a bonus room (and have kitchens, bathrooms, etc, heh).
So, yea. Someone make the decision for me.
Above all, I am really thankful we can afford a house, any house, in an area with such a good school because that is the most important thing of all. Of course, having such a good school improves the chances that my kids will get into an Ivy League school, which means I need to double the contributions into their college funds. Oy. And I am back to square one.
Christmas with my fam was FAB! We ate, shopped, played, and basically just goofed off. YAY! We also watched this wacky show called Whale Wars. How is airing this show a good idea? Crazy! Anyway, since we were in Mississippi, I made sure we got lots of local flavor: ribs, catfish, shrimp creole, fried pecan pie (yes, Tim, fried). Brian stuck with chicken fingers, though Max tried fried oysters and frog legs.
Here are some pics from earlier visits.
My folks and Buddy. Wow, my mom is smiling. It’s a Christmas miracle!
My dad and the boys:
Aunt Edna and Brian. As soon as she walked in the door this year, Brian made a beeline for her. No wonder since he’s been talking about visiting with her for the last few weeks.
Max and Buddy. And, hey! Look at the floors. Aren’t they gorgeous? I am wicked jealous.
This is one of my favorites of my mom. She is always in the kitchen, cooking for us. Thanks for the great care, Mom!
It’s only been a day and I already miss my fam like WHOA. They live too far away. Boo.
Eventually I will post this year’s pictures and write about the death-defying feat of pyromania (aka fireworks that should be illegal) that came over Kevin. Until then, enjoy the older pics.
We’re back. I survived another Christmas. My in-laws got two new dogs, little shitzus named Dixie and Dolly who supposedly don’t shed. Well, they had something (or I’m allergic to the entire state of Mississippi, which is entirely possible). So, I’m returning with what I’m pretty sure is a sinus infection. But, I only gained 2 pounds while eating all kinds of amazing food.
We had a good Christmas – much more laid back and sedate than Christmas usually is.
Yeah, I’m still drowning in sinus pain right now, so I don’t have anything else to say right now except “ouch”. Maybe Jen will write something more comprehensive…
(oh, and until Jim pointed it out, comments were broken. They should be fixed now… oops!)
It’s supposed to get to 74 today!
I’ve been trying to write this post for almost a week now, and just couldn’t decide how to pick my “favorite” albums of the year, since there are a bunch of them. But, iTunes has rescued me and taken any and all opinion out of it, and given me a way to empirically prove which albums I consider my favorites this year. How? I created a Smart Playlist in iTunes where Year was 2008 and then sorted by Play Count. I then picked the albums from the list with the songs with the most plays and ta-da, I’m done.
So, in order of plays, here are my favorite albums of 2008:
# Kensington Heights by The Constantines – This is their best album yet, solid throughout with two or three songs that are destined to be all-time classics (*New King* and Time Can Be Overcome in particular).
# Everything That Can Happen Will Happen Today by David Byrne and Brian Eno – This album is just plain gorgeous. In fact, I’ve already declared it the best album of the year. Of course, my formula has proven me wrong, but that’s OK.
# Accelerate by R.E.M. – I haven’t listened to it much in the past couple months, but it was on constant repeat for a while there, hence its position at the top of the list.
# Earth to the Dandy Warhols by The Dandy Warhols (duh) – I love this band without guilt or any shame at all. Yes, they’re kind of poppy and weird, but they’re also full of awesome. They fly all over the spectrum and their latest album is just more of it, but better. Love Song is my favorite track on the album, followed quickly by Talk Radio.
# Parallel Play by Sloan – A full-on rocker, there’s no guesswork involved in this album. It’s just good ass-kicking rock and roll.
# These are the Good Times People by The Presidents of the United States of America – This one sort of rocketed up the charts, seeing as I only bought it this week, but two songs are already on my empirical list. The playlist doesn’t lie, people. Sharpen Up Those Fangs may be a perfect pop song.
# The Odd Couple by Gnarls Barkley – Three songs put this album in the top ten: Going On, Run and Blind Mary
# Med sud I eyrum vid spilum endalaust by Sigur Ros – It’s not my favorite album by the band, but it’s more good stuff from them, and that’s fine with me.
# Parc Avenue by Plants and Animals – Another great band discovered through the CBC Radio 3 podcast.
# Anything by DJ Earworm – Really. He’s the best mashup artist around and doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Girl Talk gets all the press, but Earworm’s the real thing.
2008 was a great musical year. There are albums released last year that I listened to a lot this year are LP by Holy Fuck (yes, mom, that’s really their name), Challengers by The New Pornographers, Live from Austin, TX by The Polyphonic Spree, anything by The Shins and recently rediscovering The Wrens. Now that I work for a music company, I’m listening to a lot of stuff and always on the look out for new music to sink my ears into.
I can’t wait to see what comes out next year.
Even though I am WICKED old, I am waaaay too young to have my dream house now. True story. So Kevin and I are going to look at less-fancy houses. All of the ones I have seen so far, though, have been sad-in-the-face-making. I am hoping that after the holidays, something perfect will turn up. Keep your fingers crossed for us. When we eventually get a place of our own, my second act will be to enlarge, frame and actually hang (omg, radical, right?) some of Kevin’s funky urban pictures. Wheee. Oh, speaking of Kevin’s funky pictures, he recently won a local contest for one of them. My husband is awesomer than yours. I bet you want to know which picture won.
After months of living with a tv that whines and screeches, has a green tint on the whole left side, and randomly just doesn’t work at all, Kevin bought a new tv. It arrived super duper broken though. The boys were depressed for days.
The last three or four books I’ve read have been really bad. What’s up with that? My book mojo seems to have left me. And how come I don’t just choose a different book instead of torturing myself by finishing them?
Our stove isn’t working again. I think it just hates me, since it seems to work for Kevin. Booo. The upside, though, is less cooking! Peanut butter and jelly: it’s not just for kids’ lunches anymore.
The family room has a wet bar and two of the bedrooms have built-in bookshelves?
The fancy house we could rent is actually for sale!!