Smallhouse Log

Monday, Fourteenth Week in Garfield Park "Arts District"

It's been a busy weekend. Both grandpas were in town for double birthday, starting with dinner at the restaurant. It was really cool to learn that all the things my dad liked best on the menu were the same things I like best. It made me feel connected with him in a way that's not as easy to obtain as it used to be.

Of course, our fathers get along beautifully, and all I had to do, during the one awkward pause in conversation, was to mention that the Cards were the best team in baseball right now, huh? and we were off to the races for the next four days.

The low point of the weekend was having a bullet fly past my shoulder on the way back from the community garden. I thought it was fireworks at first, until all the yelling started. I didn't want to think it could be otherwise, and as a result my reaction time, even with Claire yelling at me, was not ideal. I don't want to say, "Next time it will be better," because I don't want there to be a next time.

I wasn't particularly upset at the time, and as traumas go, it's certainly not the worst I've suffered this past year. But it was the most impersonal, the one hardest to see coming. And, of course, it could have been the most fatal. If I had been hit? If one of our dads had? The babies? Hours and days later, these scenarios play through my mind in idle moments. I'm not scared, exactly, not nervous, but I am upset. Disappointed, distraught that the neighborhood I chose to live in is not as safe as I want it to be. Embarrassed that it happened in front of our parents. Angry that someone could be so cavalier with a deadly weapon, bullets flying and striking buildings a block away.

Weary from thinking about it, replaying those alternate futures in my mind, trying to not let this one event color my perceptions of my neighbors.

Monday, forty-third week in Garfield Park and first week in the "East Garfield Park Arts District" aka. "South Humboldt Park"
"I could live in this bathtub." -Margot, 2015-04-26

Whew! Yesterday, while Claire was busy with the board meeting of the community garden, I loaded all our livingrooom furniture, and most of our other furniture, into a UHaul, drove it half a mile, and unloaded it again by myself. This was a ten foot truck, and I can truly say that all my time spent playing Tetris in my youth has paid off. I know you didn't see it, but let me tell you, it was a thing of beauty. Not only was it packed to the brim, it was rock-solid steady to boot. I should have taken pictures.

Of course now my biceps are full of lactic acid and my heels are sore from jumping down out of the back under load, but I can't argue with the results. One more load in the truck this morning to get books and cookpots and I dare say the rest could go over by hand if need be.

Not that we won't still borrow a car, mind. We're not masochists.


Spent my day off working on a Javascript-based roguelike. Well, the beginnings thereof, anyway. Very refreshing. But it's a six-day workweek, nine hours a day. Oh well! They promise they'll be hiring soon. We'll see. At least I'm making money!

I'm supposed to be working on a portfolio, of which the JSRL is only a part, but let's be honest... it's the interesting project right now. I'm also helping the garden ladies make a website for the community garden, and teaching them how it works so they can maintain it. To that end, we looked at the source for this blog, and let me say, I knew I needed to update it, but.... whew. So that's another project.

Now if only I had some actual free time.

Monday, thirty-second week in Garfield Park
"Am I going to have a Jameson and High Life night, or am I going to have a Jameson and High Life night with tears?" -Linh, 2015-02-07

Garfield Park has not worked out well for us, sad to say. It's just not a neighborhood for those without an automobile. The architecture is lovely, and we will cherish the friends we've made here, but, well, a park within walking distance trumps all that, so. Plus our landlord/neighbor is nigh insufferable: paternalistic, controlling, and rude. And he hates living with us as much as we hate living with him, so we're dissolving the lease. Yay!.

It's time to move. I'm also working, more than full time, at a new (brand new) restaurant. And trying to find time for both my family and creative projects.

Friday, seventh week in East Garfield Park
"What's the expression? 'When God opens a door... he brings a truckload of donuts... through that door.'" -Claire, 2011-07-04

So, feeling depressed and hungover, I return to my cave of introspection for some cathartic word-typin's. Why am I depressed and hungover? I'm hungover because I was depressed and forgot to eat yesterday after breakfast, and then drank a beer. Why am I depressed? Well, I should have gotten a job by now, and didn't, sooo... scratch that, that doesn't bother me that much. I don't have a job yet, so I have to look for one, and the very thought depresses me. Plus, we all got colds we're just recovering from. I'll say it again: We all got colds. We're still not all unpacked yet, and Claire is still in her post-move funk, which will last another four to seven months. There's a lot of distractions and a lot of stress and not a lot of resources in the arenas of time, focus, and solitude.

That's not what I came here today to talk about, but I guess that's what I needed to type about.

And while I'm being as productive as I may be capable of right now, let's go ahead and calculate a life plan. Well, more like a week or month plan. Things I need to do:

  • Get a job, any job.
  • Get Claire a job she would enjoy.
  • Plan meals and cook them, to prove that I can and will run the household while Claire is at work, so she will feel comfortable taking a job.
  • Play more poppy, peppy music.
  • Put tires, and seat on Claire's bike, Lolita.
  • Move our ridiculously huge new fridge to the boot room.
  • Get a worthwhile job with good pay that I would enjoy.
  • Laundry.

You know, I could do laundry right now, and it would make me feel better. If I'm feeling saucy, maybe I can get Mike to wash the dishes, which I'd like to have done. Here, let's add it:

  • Get Mike to do the dishes.
  • He's not great at it, but enh. I can rewash the third of them that need it later, right now I just want them out of the sink.

    Alright, feeling better, here we go. Manipulation and a basketful of cloth diapers will lead me to salvation.

    Tuesday, Eighth Week
    "You have this fancy quantum-polynomial-time algorithm, what are you going to do with it? ... Many people have gotten tenures out of it, so I guess it helps." -Pf. Mulmuley, 2014-05-15

    Found the following jotted on the back of an order pad while cleaning the pantry. Dates from my time at FEED.

    Claire has complained of this before, but tonight I had it happen to me for the first time. So can someone explain to me why a woman would say to me, "Really? Do I look like a 'Ma'am'?"

    After this, I switched to using exclusively either 'Madam' or 'Miss'. So much for folksey charm.

    Monday, Fifth Week

    Work to do, indeed. That work has been put on hold for another, oh, five months, because I am teaching full time and going back to school as well. It's crazy, a dream come true. All the details are not worked out yet, even though I've been doing it for a month. My head is full of lesson plans and graphs and groups and Turing machines. I haven't played any video games that weren't written in Scratch in a month, and any projects I had, such as the chromosome simulator, are on hold.

    And I'm incredibly happy. I owe this happiness to many good friends who believe in me. Thank you all.