Sunday, March 22, 2009

Holy moly: two years

Two years ago yesterday, Steve and I closed on our house(s). Seems sort of unbelievable but at the same time, not really.

For me the biggest change over the past year is that I've grown into my role as a homeowner. I've become more comfortable with the ins and outs of maintaining a house and with all the drama associated with being a landlord. I've relaxed a bit, to put it simply.

Being a homeowner is no longer the defining part of who I am or what I do, like it was when I was 23 and had just made an investment bigger than I could even imagine. Don't get me wrong, I'm still naive and learning at 25 but I'm happy to say that I'm no longer freaked out by the fact that I have a mortgage.

The first couple years of living in our house and on our block were really about orientating myself: to the West Side, to the way a house works, to what would eventually become our system of managing household finances (ok, still trying to figure that out), even to working full time. It seemed crazy to me that I would ever have the time or energy to start a garden or a block club--two things that I plan on doing in earnest this spring and summer. This next year will be a Year of Getting Out More.

Of course the biggest change of all is the addition of two lovely people named Sara and Sean. They've both embraced the house and neighborhood in fresh and different ways, which has helped me do the same. I'd be lying if I said the household wasn't occasionally challenged the question of what's their/my role in this whole house-owning adventure, particularly because Steve and I, well, bought the houses together. But we're learning how and when to make decisions, and I feel blessed to live with three people as thoughtful and loving as them.

This blog is also over two years old by now. Many thanks to everyone that's read and commented, and (please) keep it coming. I'd love to hear your suggestions on the blog's content, especially if there's something related our house or experience about which you'd like to know more. Let me know in the comments of this post and again, thanks for reading.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Boo/Hiss board + a contest

The Boo/Hiss board is located inside our kitchen and was one of the first things I put up when we moved in. It's really a "Boo/Hiss" and "Thumbs Up" bulletin board but whatever. Here's how it looked a couple weeks ago:

Because I'm a pack rat I like to save scraps of paper that have virtually no value. The Boo/Hiss board disguises my hoarding tendencies as fun, snarky and maybe even worthwhile.

Seen below on the Boo/Hiss side of life, going clockwise: (1) a photo and interview excerpt with Janet Snyder from Kiss 98.5 in which the morning radio show host basically calls Mia Farrow a bitch because she had the gall to bring up genocide in Darfur, (2) Impossibly snide-looking boys in expensive suits on a yacht, being groomed for a life of priviledge and J. Crew trouser socks, (3) An article from the Buffalo News about Amherst residents rejecting a ballot measure that would protect a certain amount of green space from commerical and residential development, (4) Family Planning Advocates button which shouldn't be there because I heart FPA, (5) An article about the legacy of the Vietnam War in Vietnam.

As you can see, I've also included the all-white, all-male "Best News Team on Television" from a CNN ad in the New York Times. Also there's a business card from some weirdo Sean and I met in Puerto Rico. Not really Boo/Hiss material but we don't have a designated "Sketchy" portion of the board. Oh, and there's Janet Snyder again. If you can't read the Q&A that's ok, it's basically all about shopping and finding "the perfect outfit."

And now, some Thumbs Up, clockwise again: (1) Boss's Day card from Sean's secretary, sort of surreal for both of us that he's a boss and that he has a secretary, (2) Invite from a Mike LoCurto Rocky-themed fundraiser, (3) Article on Danny Glover's arrest in Niagara Falls, Ontario, resulting from a protest in support of Unite Here!, (4) Thank you note from CEJ, (5) Letter to Steve from a near-stranger who gave him his DMX and insisted that he pass it along to another young man when he no longer needed it.

The board might be coming down or changing focus soon so I wanted to make sure I honored all the snark and love. Speaking of prostitutes, check out our frozen-in-time Eliot Spitzer caption contest:

Add a new caption in the comments of this post and I will give the author of the best comment a yet-to-be-identified prize. And by "best" I mean that one that makes me laugh the most.

More Boo/Hiss photos and explanations up on Flickr.