We’re (almost) homeowners!

I’m up early for a Sunday. Braddy, my orange fuzzy cat who bears a striking resemblance to Star Fox, was being a little asshole because he wanted to eat breakfast. So here I am, awake, sipping coffee and enjoying the sunshine coming in our huge living room window.

star fox

I remember walking into this apartment the first time. It was empty, and our future landlord walked us up the stairs, asking us questions the whole way.

“What do you do?” he asked me. “Where did you go to school? You look like an athlete. What sport do you play?”

And then the hilariously typical response after telling somebody new that I play hockey: “Oh man! Don’t body check me!” (Pro tip: it’s really not that funny.)

Anyway, Sean and I have been living here since March 1, 2012. And while I am desperate to leave, to have our own home, to mow our own lawn, to cook watch Sean cook in a kitchen that holds more than one person at a time – I am going to miss this place. Our first place together. Our picture window. Our goddamn cranberry accent wall (there will not be a single bit of cranberry in our new home). The bar that’s practically in our backyard.

But we’re leaving. It’s not a 100% done deal yet, but it’s close. I was approved for the loan, the house we’re trying to buy appraised for the exact amount we’re trying to buy it for, and I have homeowners insurance effective August 14. That’s in less than two weeks, people. TWO WEEKS.

Crazy. With that, I will leave you with pictures of our new house. If it all falls through suddenly, I’ll delete this blog post and we’ll all pretend this never happened. Deal?

living-room

 

Our future kitchen.

 

Our future deck.

 

backyard

I’m fine without you.

I keep finding myself tacking the word “brother” onto the end of my sentences, like:

“You can get two roasted chickens at Giant Eagle for $6.99, brother.”

And even when I catch myself before actually saying it out loud, I’m still thinking it. Doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman or transgendered or somewhere else on the complex gender spectrum, I’m gonna call you brother. At least in my head. And it’s all my boss’s fault. He says it all the time, in a cool California way that I could never possibly mimic no matter how much I practice in front of a mirror. Because that’s my boss. He’s this smooth laid back dude with piercings and tattoos and thick glasses who calls everybody “brother.” And, like those four years in college when I somehow started speaking Canadian, I have begun emulating this manner of speech without realizing it.

And that’s my new work life. My boss accidentally calls me “brother” and gives me a fist bump before heading home every day. My other co-worker scrawls tiny pictures of dinosaurs onto the pages of proposals before passing them my way for further proofreading. And my other boss, and the owner of our little agency, had a set of turntables delivered to the office the other day. You know, so he could DJ some hoppin’ tunes while we designed websites and shit. Turntables.

Just another day.

So all that’s happening. I’m writing stuff. Lots of stuff. Blog posts and website content and tweets and newsletters and save-the-dates and email blasts. And these people actually trust me to do my job. They say, “Hey, go write this thing,” and I say, “Alright, brother,” and off I go to my freshly-painted blue and yellow office with the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind movie poster hanging on my wall and I write stuff. And then they read it, and they laugh at my stupid jokes that nobody else finds funny, and they publish it or send it to our client or, you know, give me another fist bump. We’re big on fist bumps.

eternal_sunshine_of_the_spotless_mind_ver1

This is my job. I mean, I would do this shit for fun, but somebody has actually agreed to pay me for this.

And then Sean and I decided it was time to go look at houses. And we’re having these conversations, these fucking adult conversations about how we need at least three bedrooms so we have room for the kids (THE KIDS!), and how we need a nice high fence around our yard so the little munchkins don’t run out into the street (THE MUNCHKINS!) and how we need a kitchen with ample counter space so we can cook meals for the children (THE CHILDREN!). Counter space. I’m having conversations about counter space.

My life, man.

So that’s happening. And other stuff is happening, too. Stuff with some of my best friends, life-changing stuff. Big milestone type stuff. And it all feels really good, like we’re all growing up and figuring out how to fit into our skin and create our own joy or something. And it all makes me really, really happy.

So that’s my update, brother. What’s up with you?

A gender-confused child.

Today’s prompt: Do you resemble anybody in your family of origin? How do you feel about that?

This will shock nobody, but I was a serious tomboy growing up. I lived in over-sized t-shirts, knee-length soccer shorts and dirty Sambas.

I remember staring at my own chubby little face in the mirror at the hair salon, a Velcro smock fastened tight around my neck, restricting my airways. I begged the stylist to cut my hair shorter.

The stylist glanced over at my mother, silently asking her permission, scissors frozen in the air above my head. I watched my mother’s reflection shake its head sternly. No.

There’s a fine line between adorable bob and gender-confused child.

I contemplated jerking my head suddenly, forcing the stylist to make a mistake. The kind of mistake only clippers could fix.

“I’m so sorry,” she would say to my sobbing mother as she buzzed my head clean. “You poor, poor thing, having a little girl with no hair. It must be so difficult for you.”

I didn’t jerk my head.

I looked exactly like her. I still do, I guess. Dark hair, dark eyes, a complexion that transforms ultraviolet rays into a pretty reddish-brown color. The color of clay. If only I were made of clay, she could have molded me into whatever she wanted. I could have been her living doll, pinched and twisted into a beautiful girl with pouty lips, a tiny waist and an adorable bob that framed her face just right.

My dad is Swedish, and what one might refer to as a towhead. Freckles and blue eyes and freckles and two thick yellow caterpillar eyebrows and a few more freckles. My sisters both took after him, with heavy blankets of blonde hair, light eyes and light skin.

I stand between them, the middle sister, and look like I don’t quite belong. They are matching bookends and I am the old novel in between, with pages ripped and the cover missing.

The ultimate tomboy.

Whistling, winking and writin’ good.

Today’s prompt: Which of your parents’/grandparents’ behavioral traits did you inherit?

Did you know that I can’t wink? I know it sounds crazy, but I just can’t do it. I can wink with both eyes simultaneously, but I think at that point it’s just called blinking so it’s not all that special. My little sister can’t wink, either. We both somehow missed the winking gene. It is just hysterical* watching us try.

I have very little no discernible musical ability. I love music, and obviously I have superior taste (ha), but I can’t whistle or sing or dance or do anything really that requires sounding pleasant or moving rhythmically. I tried to learn guitar once, but that didn’t really stick. My dad says I’m tone deaf. Sometimes I’ll say to Sean, “You know that one song? The one that goes do-do-do doo-doo wop-wop do-do?” and he looks at me like I have seven heads because the sounds coming out of my mouth are meaningless. I can’t really whistle, either. This is all despite the fact that my dad plays guitar pretty well, as does my older sister. My aunt plays the piano (and god knows what other instruments) and has an amazing singing voice. I have a cousin who went to Berklee College of Music and is out in LA making it big as we speak. I guess I missed that elusive musical gene, too.

I hit the jackpot on the depression gene, though. I also have one of those addictive personalities, the kind that drives me to do everything in excess. I’m really good at getting drunk. I excel at eating far more than any human should. I am also a champion chain smoker.

And I’m pretty skilled at blaming genetics for my own issues! Shirking responsibility is my Number One Talent. Well, that and writin’ good.

*It’s really not that hysterical, so stop asking me to demonstrate.