So far the most fun part of moving has been setting up my new “living room.” There’s just something about getting a fresh start with organizing my bookshelves that leaves me feeling all giggly and excited!
If we’ve been friends for any significant amount of time you are most likely already familiar with my love of organizing and list-making. If we haven’t known each other long, or we have but you were too distracted by my ferrets to notice, no worries; consider this your crash course.
Living Room, View 1: Desk
- Red: Philosophy
- Pink: Education
- Orange: Writing
- Yellow: Crossword Puzzles
- Green: Journals, notebooks, stationary
- Dark Blue: Dream dictionaries and theory
- Light Blue: Dictionaries
- Dark Purple: Language, style guides
- Light Purple: Grammar textbooks, poetry/ prose collections/ reviews
White Circles (L to R)
- A picture of Jenny K. and me after a performance of The Actor’s Nightmare at Carroll University. We played Sarah and Ellen, though Lord knows I can’t remember who was who any more.
- A ceramic piggy bank I got at an Irish fair with my high school boyfriend; Susan, the talking Aflac duck I got from one of their reps peddling their wares at a former job. I got her for answering a question correctly. When I answered a second question correctly the rep offered me a larger duck. *pfft* As if I could part with Susan!
- A seashell my friend Sarah M. brought back for me in high school from her family’s vacation to Florida, during which her appendix burst. Whoops!
- The Orrefors candle holders my great-grandma Ruth brought over with her from Sweden. My parents passed them down to me last Christmas.
- A picture of the ladies of The Actor’s Nightmare: Jenny K. (Sarah? Ellen?), Mariya G. (director), Kate G. (Meg), me.
- A flower-covered woven thing I wore on my head for the Ophelia costume I wore to a party at Corey R.’s house in high school.
Living Room, View 2: Bookshelves
- Red: Fiction, literature study
- Pink: Poets and poetry
- Orange: Sociology, miscellaneous non-fiction, politics
- Yellow: Gender studies; CDs
- Dark Green: Remodeling, house styles, interior decorating; a gigantic dictionary
- Light Green: DVDs
- Dark Blue: Fiction
- Light Blue: Arty things
- Purple: Videos (The rest are inside the cabinet below.)
White Circles (L to R)
- Votive candle holders I got from my Uncle Steve years ago. He also gave me a decorative bag of scented, orange votives to go with them, which I’ve hesitated to burn since he passed away last December. I know they’re just candles, but it feels strange to think of using up something that cannot be replaced.
- A baby walrus on its mother’s back. This ceramic beauty has been in my collection for over twenty years now. It set me back a whole buck at the local dollar store on a shopping trip with my Mimi when I was about seven years old. I don’t know what prompted me to buy it, though the interest I would later develop in The Beatles certainly made room for it.
- A long dead lighting instrument I grabbed (with Scott B.’s permission!) from the upper storage space at Carroll University during a work day. I have two of them, actually. I like to think about all the exciting moments they lit up, all the stories that are never retold the same way twice, all the effort and laughter and tears. I won’t keep them forever, but I’ll keep them for now. They’ve seen so much. More than you or I ever will.
- A stuffed pig my mom received from a student ten or so years ago. Somehow I ended up with it.
- My senior year of high school our theatre department attended a theatre workshop at Wisconsin Lutheran College. One of the available sessions dealt with mask-making and masked performance. I hadn’t planned to take that class, so my attendance turned out to be one of those “happy accidents.” I believe Deborah Solomon-Phillips led that session. Every part of the exercise taught me something. I settle the mask onto my face every couple of years to see if it still fits. It does, but only on the outside.
- A light saber from a friend and former employer, Jennifer C. Yes, everyone at work had one. Yes, we had battles with them when we were done having Koosh wars and playing hide and seek.
Living Room, View 3: Couches
- Red: Miscellaneous books
- Pink: Photo albums
- Orange: Records
White Circles (L to R)
- A picture of Jenny K. and I at the Carroll Players’ annual Theatre Banquet her junior and my senior year. She has always been just the cutest stinkin’ thing. Love that girl.
- Somehow I ended up with two of Jennifer’s light sabers…
- A wire basket of dried flowers from Donna D. Ah, but from which show, which show…
- A purple Ao Po’i table runner I bought with Christie H. at a shop in Itauguá (though it may’ve been elsewhere; those last few days are a bit of a blur!) during my trip to Paraguay this past January.
- A picture of Amanda H., Brent J., and me at the Blood Center on September 11, 2001. Everyone wanted to do something helpful, something positive, something proactive… but what? The lines at the center were long. We were put on a waiting list and told to come back hours later, which we did. They couldn’t tap my first elbow, so they bandaged it up and moved on to the other one. After drawing a pint of my spaghetti sauce blood they bandaged up that elbow, too, leaving me unable to bend my arms. You can’t see it in this zoomed out image, but in the picture Amanda is holding up my juice for me so I can drink from the straw.
- A turtle candle Jessica C. gave me for my birthday some time during high school; a Speech Meet trophy for first place in Humorous Interpretation.
Is there anything one can possibly do on a computer that feels more mentally fulfilling than completing a detailed list?! Ahh… Refreshing as an ice-cold lemonade after a summertime lawn mowing!
I, uh– I haven’t ever actually mowed an entire lawn…
The bedroom still looks like it was attacked by sea monsters despondent over their banishment to land. But never fear, Nerdfighters: Further bookshelf pictures will make their way up here as soon as I’m done hanging up all my clothes and sorting my non-fiction!
If you’ve tried getting in touch with me over the past couple weeks via email, texts, Facebook messages, voice mail, game requests, or showing up and banging on my door, there’s a fair chance I’ve pushed your patience to the limit with my lengthy reply times.
Sorry about that. See the thing is: I was busy moving.
Back into my parents’ house.
I wasn’t working, things were tight, and it was downright painful watching one carefully saved dollar after another get sucked up into rent payments. I gave my landlord my notice and spent the next two weeks in manic “cleaning/ packing/ hauling/ unloading/ dragging upstairs/ taking the empty boxes back to my apartment/ repacking them” mode, day in and day out until by the end I was ready to set up a dumpster under my balcony and shovel everything into it just to be done.
When you’re limited to a set number of packable containers and the back of a Toyota Matrix, moving can be a bit of a slow process. But thanks to the help of the fam and my boyfriend (who brought along a rental truck for my furniture; aww baby you get me the nicest things!) I was able to get everything moved out, and moved in, in the span of about ten days.
Mom even helped with the post-packing clean-up.
And wouldn’t you know this is the sight that greeted us as she and I drove the absolute last carload of stuff to the house:
I have to say I’m pretty happy about the whole thing. My folks and I get along well so that’s not an issue, and I can’t even finish the sentence “Don’t wait up” without them interrupting to remind me they don’t care and to have a nice time.
I’ve moved my bedroom and half my books into my old bedroom in their upstairs, and my living room and the other half of my books into my brother’s old bedroom next door, while the upstairs bathroom now houses the 47,000 bottles of shampoos, lotions, creams, and solutions I’m currently working my way through. I get a spot in the garage, a dog to nap on my stuff, a yard to run around in, a patio to read on in the sun, a kitchen that fits more than one grown adult at a time, my parents’ company (I like ‘em, what can I say?), a sizable living space in the basement for the ferrets, and a decided lack of drunk people passing out just inside the front door.
While I certainly miss the feeling of autonomy that accompanied having my own place, and while I am more than just a little broken up about not having the ferrets thieving their way in and out of our shared personal space throughout the day any more, I have to say this move seems to have been a GREAT thing for me to do right now and I’m really happy about it.
There’s been plenty more keeping me busy now that I’m moved in and mostly unpacked, but that’s best left for another post as it’s already almost midnight and something about living here makes me ready for bed at awkwardly early hours. (Case in point: I paused to yawn at least five times while writing that sentence.) I’m even taking naps again. It’s like my body realizes my brain feels safe and is ready to get healthy. And I like that.
I like it all.