instant gramming

September 30, 2008

The distance

In just a matter of time, A Day in the Good Life has shattered the 2000 mark and is plodding its way towards 2030 visitors. I feel like life has been packed full of eventful happenings and the internet has taken a backseat to more urgent matters. The most massive of these priorities has been Alden's flea problem. Fortunately, it's not a huge infestation-size problem--but it is a persistent one and we're going insane trying to find a remedy.

On a positive note, the fleas have kept our minds off the looming financial crisis. Other than our (fixed-rate) mortgage, we don't hold much (if any) debt and all our other assets are cash. I wish I understood better the pro's and con's of the governmental "bail-out." Supposedly it would be bandage the expanding wound that is the collective of our economic problems. Probably, it would be more of a tourniquet. As little as I make sense of it all, I suspect there is some irony in the whole situation. Capitalism is looking for a socialist solution; Wall Street is the new family on Welfare; stocks are the new food stamps; republican economic solutions are the new democrats' massive government. I know these formulas are over-simplified. I also understand that a lot of Republicans are opposed to the proposed bail-out--but I don't know why. The proposal doesn't appear to be a partisan issue. Why are people opposing the bail-out? Are they holding on to laissez-faires economic ideology? Or is it that they just want the bail-out restructured in some other way? What would that plan look like?

I am resisting the urge to get panicked. Carlyn's car is about to kick the bucket, as they say. I've been wondering if, in the name of simplicity, we should trade-in both of our cars for one new one, and learn to live as a one-car household. The question would be, would we get enough in trade to minimize our cost and save enough by eliminating car insurance, that we could afford a car with little to no debt and in fact save money in the long run? Thoughts?
In other news:
1. The glasses I ordered (pictured below) were too small so will be returned, just as I will return to search for the perfect pair of vintage frames! Wish me luck...
2. Carlyn's parents invited us to join them in Hocking Hills over the weekend. They rented a chalet with a beautiful hilltop view. We hiked the ~6 mile loop between Cedar Falls and Old Man's Cave--which is at least three times longer than the longest walk Alden has ever completed. He made it the whole way with no complaint! I was super excited and proud of him. Overall, the retreat was much needed and really appreciated.
3. This weekend, Carlyn's mom brought down another shipment of plants from her garden to get us started on our lawn-less landscape. Hopefully by this time next year, our front yard will be exploding with biomass/habitat/food/color!

September 24, 2008


Supposedly, this blog is about to burst through the "2000 visits" mark since I first applied the web counting widget months after I started the thing. As of ten seconds ago the count was "1,997." I guarantee an overwhelming majority of those visits were me furiously editing, checking, and re-editing every post I publish. Nonetheless, I feel very satisfied that the page is getting as much traffic as it supposedly is--even if many virtual passers-by are accidental intruders that stay only long enough to realize this wasn't the website they hoped it would be. So, thanks to you, everyone.

I don't have much else to report... My poison ivy is subsiding and I didn't have pink-eye. It's Wednesday, and I'm already getting nervous for my soccer game on Friday. I bought these vintage eyeglass frames on Ebay and hope they fit....

September 23, 2008

Pass the ruckus - Part 2: Brandi Lee Gets Buck

I cannot remain silent any longer: my friend Brandi Lee is running a blog called Get Buck and it is perhaps the most enjoyable website I visit on a daily basis. Brandi is from Brooklyn, she happens to be the coolest person I've ever met, and she's proving it daily. Get Buck is a growing treasure trove of quotes, video clips, thoughts, photos, music, and links. Absorb all of it you possibly can.

On a quick note, I met Brandi in Louisville, KY, back in...1999? 2000? After she moved back to NY, she invited me to travel across the country with her. We drove from Cincy out to LA, then over to Austin, TX. She visited me at Denison a couple times and even came out to our wedding last year. Brandi is the hardest working, most loyal, and most genuine person I've ever met in my life. I'm truly grateful to have met her and to have the honor of keeping in touch with her. Anyways, check out her blog. And go buy some of her art

Say word?

September 19, 2008


I just got home from my first indoor soccer game. Long explanation short, it was a rough ending for a rough week, although hardly cathartic. I was surprised to find out that I really REALLY suck at soccer. I was like a blubbering idiot on the field--but damned if I didn't run the entire stretch, back and forth, back and forth. The guy who organized the team was trying to give me some tips while I was playing. When that apparently didn't help, he asked if I had ever played basketball. I said, "Yeah, and I sucked at that too." Hopefully he enjoyed the laugh he got out of that. If you've ever seen the movie (or read the book), Fight Club, imagine those guys if they formed an indoor soccer team. Then imagine the warehouse where they built two fields to play. That's what the experience is like. I felt like I was thrown into the deep end of a pool... with sharks. And the sharks are all really good at soccer. In fact, the sharks are all obsessed with it. I played as hard as I could and may have contributed with a few steals and blocks and scare-tactics. We have some really good players on our team, The Tools, and they were all generous with their support and compliments. The final score was 5-2, them. Anyways, I hope I improve dramatically over the next eleven games.

In other news, in addition to the spreading poison ivy, I believe I've been cultivating "conjunctivitis" in my right eye throughout this entire day. This means I might be able to justify the $75 co-pay to visit the Urgent Care in the morning to get prescriptions of steroids and whatever it is that clears up pink-eye. It also means I get to schedule an eye exam and maybe treat myself to a new pair of eyeglasses.

September 16, 2008

Pass the ruckus + horse power

You may have noticed that I have set up the navigation bar on the right side of my blog site to be a dashboard filled with all the sites I visit almost daily. In case you've managed to restrain yourself from visiting those sites as much as I do, let me pluck one, whose latest entry deserves more attention:
Only One Manda - Choose? You Can't Make Me
All of Amanda's posts are thought provoking, let alone brilliant. This particular one was inspiring and encapsulated many of the feelings that have stirred in me: the conflict of being an enthusiastic proponent of life, but also considering myself pro-woman's-choice. Anyways, feel free to visit, or not. Either way, I'll rest easy knowing I made an effort to prod you in the direction of this piece of writing. In fact, I recommend bookmarking the blog and reading it often. Amanda is what I would call a Theological Scholar, so take into account the uniqueness of her perspective.
Not only is this a "tip of the hat" to Amanda, but it's also a way of shirking the responsibility of coming up with something better about which to write. Yesterday I made a prediction that small towns in America will experience a resurgence of transportation by horse. I would care to know how expensive a gallon of gasoline will need to be to make it cost-effective for a person in a rural area to ride a horse to town to run errands... Anyways, that's what I whipped up, and didn't feel like it was so inspiring. So, enjoy Amanda's thoughts and then go do something great.

peace - D

September 15, 2008

grumplestiltskin [amended]

Brutal winds pushed through town yesterday. It was a pretty awesome occurrence unlike a wind storm I've ever experienced. Fortunately it seems that our house and yard kept pretty solid, with the exception being most of our tomato plants.

I don't have much else to write about--I'm at the office early this Monday morning, getting prepared for a full week of long, torturous days in the field. As much as I understand how beneficial it could be to be full of positivity [C has been teaching me about The Secret--shhhhh], instead I'm full of resentment.

Part of the reason could be the poison ivy on my right arm, the yellow-jacket sting on my left arm, the fact that both of those things were acquired during the... volunteer work I did on Saturday morning..., or the random rash that has been hangin out on my back side for about a week or so...


[It's now two days later--Wednesday--and the week is going a bit better than I had expected. Today we spent a short bit outside--trying out new equipment for applying herbicides to narrow-leaved cattail--but the rest of the day is to be spent at the office. I was dropped off at home for lunch, took Aldy on a walk/run in the nearby field, and biked to work. Also, the cattail control we're expected to do over the next two days should be easier and faster than we originally anticipated. That said, I'm doing fine--despite the fact that the reaction my body is having to the poison ivy has spread to both my armpits! So, sorry for sounding so desperate and miserable on Monday--but it was apparently just a case of the Mondays... I'm looking forward to Friday: my first indoor soccer game. The rest of the weekend will be spent in Cleveland and will include the celebration of my grandfater-in-law's (Papa's) birthday... Ok, peace f'real.]

September 6, 2008


This is the first weekend in a long time that we didn't have anything planned and it hit me like a car. It's a great feeling to have nothing to do--and it's even better to realize all the things you want to do to fill that time. I spent a lot of Saturday outside, planting some more spinach, kale, cilantro, and a lettuce mix in the garden. Then I performed some heavy-duty overhauling on the cherry tomato plants, pulling off rotten fruit and clipping off spent branches. We were so overwhelmed with cherry tomatoes early in the season that I had been neglecting them over the past few weeks. After that, I plugged in some creeping juniper shrubs and a rhododendron in the front yard. All the while, C painted us a new canvas for our bedroom then painted our front door a refreshing teal color [picture to come].
Sunday morning we met up with J&M for breakfast at North Star downtown. The rest of the afternoon was spent cleaning our house like maniacs. I managed to get down to the bike shop to get a fixed gear cog put on my bike. That ish is ridic.
Tonight I also had my first (and maybe only) practice for the soccer team I just joined. Some people from C's office formed a team for the local, indoor, co-ed, "fun" league. I think we're called "The Tools." That should explain how serious we are. Everybody was super nice and it was painfully clear that I really suck at soccer. I think we have enough experienced players that our team will put up a fight each game. I'm sure there will be a lot more to say about all that after games start--Friday nights, starting September 19th.
Currently, I'm exhausted and am going to be disappointed at the lameness of this post when I re-read it tomorrow...
A la prochain

September 3, 2008

One down

On Monday, C and I celebrated our ONE YEAR wedding anniversary! It's almost hard to believe that one year has already passed. I say "almost" because I'm not completely surprised. C is an amazing person. I never get bored of spending time with her. She has great ideas that keep us doing good things--despite the few times we've hit ruts of boredom, we usually find something to do. For this reason, time slips by us. Also, I believe marriage has afforded a profound sense of security and peace between us. I'm grateful for all thatshe is and all she gives. I'm constantly learning how to be a better person, and hope she feels the same way about me.

And, as if it were a Saturday afternoon infomercial (if you act now you will also receive this free gift!), I married into the best family I never could have imagined. C's parents came down over the weekend to help install a ceiling fan in our bedroom, overhaul our landscaping, and treat us to dinner. The best part was that they had saved the top tier of our wedding cake and brought it. It was AMAZINGLY good--better than I remember. J stopped by on Monday with a gift she crafted, plus a plate of some awesome almond sushi and a sweet card. Terry sent us really beautiful messages of love and congratulations. I never thought I could feel like such a loved member of a new family.

I'm blessed to have met C and knew that we were meant to be together from day one. I'm constantly attracted to her and I know that feeling will never fade. She is the greatest gift I could receive and I hope to provide her with the best life she could want.

As you can see in the picture above, C and I celebrated the first anniversary of our marriage in a very permanent way. Think of it as a metaphor...