Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Been a while...

Okay, so I'm not the greatest at keeping up a blog. First foray after almost 9 months of silence is a meme, sorry - I'm afraid I don't have much more than that right now.

Here we go! It's the 5-5-5-5-5.

Question 1: Where were you five years ago?

1 - Living in Beaver Dam, still in the apartment we moved into a week before we got married. The building was built the year before I was born, I couldn't blow dry my hair without the kitchen lights flickering, the galley-style kitchen was small and stuffy, the laundry room was clear on the other end of the building and downstairs, and there was a wall of dark paneling in the living room. But our south-facing bedroom window let in an fantastic amount of light and had a great view of the courtyard, the office window had an amazing tree directly outside it that flowered in the spring, and the balcony had an overhang that allowed us to be out there even in the pouring rain. God, I miss that place.

2 - Managing an outside sales office for a small printing company. My boss was a complete tool, but the sales guy was cool.

3 - Hosting weekly open house-type gatherings for our friends. As much as I complained about them sometimes, I kind of miss those, too.

4 - Less than a year into having our first kitty, Snowball.

5 - Still in my 20s.

Question 2: What is on your to-do list today?

1 - Doctor appointment

2 - General straightening and tidying of the living room and kitchen.

3 - Laundry

4 - Clean the office

5 - Make sure my Baboo knows exactly how much I love him.

Question 3: What five snacks do you enjoy?

1 - Cheese and crackers

2 - Pretzels (with ice cold skim milk)

3 - Dove ice cream bars

4 - Hummus and pita chips


Question 4: What five places have you lived?

I'm leaving out my parents' house, since that pretty generic.

1 - My Grandma's house. My Grandma lived in a college town, and when I was trying to figure out where I wanted to go to college, she said "oh, why don't you just go to Stony Brook and come live with me?" My college search stopped right then and there. I had the run of the entire upstairs, with 3 bedrooms (mine being the sunniest), a bright, airy full bathroom and my own thermostat. We'd watch TV together at night (usually Food Network) and on Sunday mornings I'd wake up peacefully to the sound of Grandma playing the piano. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened had I made a different choice, but I wouldn't give up those 4 years with my beloved Grandma for anything.

2 - With my in-laws. During my last semester at college, I met a guy online (12 years ago yesterday, to be exact). Four months later, I moved halfway across the country to be with him. Except that we were both broke, so we lived with his parents.

3 - The aforementioned apartment in Beaver Dam. It only had one bathroom, and we swore that our next apartment would have two.

4 - A 3-bedroom apartment in Fond du Lac. We loved having that extra bedroom, we had a one-car garage, there was definitely enough storage and the laundry room was right outside our apartment door. Our bedroom (the biggest we've had to date) faced a field, where I saw my first mechanical hay baler - I was tickled every time a bale would come flying out the back of it. And at the front of the field was a fundie church that clearly started life as a manufactured home, which we lovingly referred to as "Our Lady of the Holy Double-Wide." It is also where we lived when we welcomed our little Buttercup and where I first took up scrapbooking. But it faced a busy street, so it was challenging in nice weather, because we'd want the cross-ventilation of having all the windows open, but then we'd have all the traffic noise. It was also where we lived when I found out my beloved Grandma had passed away. Still only had one bathroom.

5 - Our current home, a rented condo conversion. Definitely a step up for us at the time we moved in. Private entrance (no more musty hallways!), in-unit washer/dryer (no more quarters!), first floor (no more hauling groceries upstairs!), and - best of all - MADISON!! So full of excitement and promise, great neighbors, great complex manager. But this has also been the scene of much anger and depression over layoffs (both of us, though not at the same time) and money, surviving on unemployment, a marriage crisis and many tears. This city has kicked our asses since 3 months after we moved in. We'll be here 3 years next month. I will have fond memories of this place as the place where we hosted our first Briner gathering, where Bryan discovered his love of mixology, where we may indeed wind up getting our first dog. It's our first place in the Golden City at the "End" of Highway 151, but something tells me there may be some measure of relief when we go. It'll be a while though, we just signed on for another year. Still one bathroom.

Question 5: What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?

1 - Real estate. I'd buy my Grandma's house. After she passed away, my uncle fixed it up and is currently renting to a visiting college professor and his family. Apparently they're staying longer, because they've expressed interest in buying it. My grandparents bought that house brand-spankin' new, before it was even built. It was always the one constant in my life. It kills me that other people are living in it, I don't know how I'll react when my uncle sells it. I'd also buy a brownstone on Central Park, a house here somewhere in Madison (probably in the Vilas neighborhood), an apartment in Paris and maybe one in Hawai'i.

2 - Travel. Travel, travel, travel. First order of business in that regard would be to buy an apartment on The World.

3 - Philanthropy. I don't have any concrete ideas, but there would definitely be something education-related, something about affordable child care, programs to get healthy food into poor communities, caregiver assistance, assistance to humane societies, money to my high school's music program that turns out so many gifted musicians but struggles with budget issues, etc. etc. etc.

4. Pay off the debts of my family and friends and put them all through college if they want to go/go back.

5. Save.

I'm supposed to pick 5 people to do this meme, but after 9 months, I'm not sure 5 people even read this blog anymore, so I'll just put it out there: do it if you want. :)


Jules said...

I'm *sooooo* glad to see you've returned!!! Geez, I stopped checking 'cause I figured you'd look at your status checker and wonder "now why is she looking? I haven't written anything in months"
Nice answers. Automatic Hay Baler, eh? That musta been kinda cool to see.

And, while I know you've written about her before, I feel like I understand your connection to your Grandmother better now. Thank you for that.

~lifedramatic~ said...

I still read too! Waves to Jules and Kat.

Also, I'm stealing your meme... after my morning, I need something fun... Even though I should be I don't know writing one of the 6 papers that are due in the next 3 weeks... sigh....