Thursday, July 24

Giving stuff away on Craigslist

A guy sat in his truck on the street for literally half an hour waiting for a car to pull into the driveway to signal him that I was home. Rather than, you know, knocking on the door or calling to check whether I was there.

Guy wasn't dumb. Stuff like this actually happens all the time. People are SO CONFUSED by the empty driveway.

Wednesday, July 23

Thought for five seconds

about boycotting the bus until they catch Mr. Dipshit Drano Bomb or at least name a suspect...

...then stepped outside my front door. Ninety-seven percent humidity. Nope, I'll take my chances on the bus.

Sunday, July 20

Housekeeping without a chore chart?

Ever since I started living alone, I've used a chore chart—for me, not for any kids who have lived with me—and it works really well.

But then I think about it occasionally, and I'm like, who does that? A chore chart? For an adult?

I'm sure most people probably don't use a chore chart, but then, most people probably aren't on top of their chores, either.

Is it possible to be a normal person who has a full-time job, or kids, or whatever, and be pretty much caught up on your chores without a chore chart?

By "pretty much caught up," I mean 95 percent of the time you don't freak if someone comes over unexpectedly...

Thursday, July 17

Totally got laughed at on the bus

for reading The Lord of the Rings. Guess some bus-riders share my parents' opinion that fantasy novels are for kids...

Tuesday, July 8

Is it loud?

When I moved into my house, I had the old asphalt shingle replaced with a standing-seam aluminum roof. The idea being that if I had to reroof my house, I wanted to make sure that I'd never, ever have to do it again, no matter how long I end up living here.

Let's just say that the metal roof makes a statement in my older, historic-homes type neighborhood. Even my elderly neighbor now admits that she likes the way it looks, though.

The main question people ask me is whether it's loud when it rains. I wouldn't say the sound is loud—just different from the sound of rain striking asphalt. One time it hailed, and yeah, that was loud. Other than that, I can only think of one day when I noticed rain actually sounding loud on my roof.

Last winter, the top of my neighbor's tree snapped off and fell on my roof. Right over my head, actually, as I sat in the dining room eating breakfast. The roof came through without a dent.

Wednesday, June 18

Parasols go viral?

I really stood out at the bus station today. I mean, I always feel kind of stand-outy at the bus station, but today it was almost comical.

It was full sun and about 96 degrees. I was standing at the gate for the bus, in the sun, parasol up, while most everyone else was backed up into the mulch in order to stay in the shade.

I didn't even notice that I was standing way out in front of the crowd until one guy came up and pointed it out, and told me how smart I am.

The thing is, I'm not smart! I didn't invent UV parasols! I just don't understand why they haven't taken off here in the South. I'm kind of hoping to help start a local trend.

Then again, East Asian woman in Durham/Chapel Hill have been walking around the place with parasols for decades now, and it hasn't spread to white and black women (let alone men of any color).

Why?? It really works, and it would make life soooo much better for so many people.

Wednesday, June 11

I can tell I had caffeine today

because it's long past my bedtime and I'm still awake, trying to figure what the purpose of earning money is.

I think it's so you can deworm tens of thousands of kids, but I'm not totally sure yet.

Thursday, June 5

Blogging and not blogging

R and C's mother used to be a blogger. You guys think I share a lot on my blog—you should see hers. She blogged very openly about herself and her family life, including all about becoming an adoptive family and getting R and C.

And then she stopped blogging. Completely.

The thing is, I get it. Once foster care or foster-care adoption enters your life, it just becomes too private for blogging. Or maybe not private, exactly, because I'm not even really talking about the things you're obliged to keep confidential. It just becomes too personal.

Or maybe she stopped because of R and C's birth family.

Or maybe she stopped because she's just too freakin' busy.

Or maybe she did what I always thought about doing and abandoned her personal blog for a totally anonymous, key-facts-altered-for-privacy, honest truth-telling about foster care/adoption blog. Probably not. But maybe.

I think that's probably the best way to do it. If I had it to do over again, that how I would blog about foster care.

Thursday, May 22

Warm feelings

Maybe it's the car-free lifestyle, but suddenly I REALLY want solar panels.

Not feeling the urge to compost yet, though.

Tuesday, May 20

The driveway fake-out

Last night my neighbor called and asked if her daughter could park in my driveway. I said sure, thinking she meant just for the evening. So I was surprised this morning when I came out and the car was still there.

After I thought about it, though, I realized that this is to my advantage, even if my neighbor ends up parking in my driveway all the time. A couple of months after I got rid of my car, I realized that my empty driveway makes it look like I'm never home. It's been empty long enough now that a smart caser of houses will have realized that I don't own a car and I'm away from home all day.

If anyone's watching, a car suddenly parked in the driveway during the day will confuse them. That's a good thing!

Sunday, May 18

On foot


It's hard to describe how different our world is on foot.

I'd imagine most people think they already know—I thought I did, before I gave up my car. I went places on the bus. I did errands on foot. But I was really just a tourist in the car-free world. I didn't see as much of the everyday reality.

Today I wanted to count how many steps I took through parking lots. It didn't work—I lost count somewhere between 400 and 500.

At times, it almost feels post-apocalyptic. Like the world has completely changed, but the old structures still remain. I'm traveling on foot through a prior age.

Saturday, May 17

One thing that will have to change to get people on the bus

I'm just gonna say it. The bus is awkward if you are fat. It's also awkward if you're sitting next to someone who is fat.

And heaven help a fat person who has to stand in the aisle between the rows of seats.

Yes, the USA is overweight. But it's gonna be a lot of years until we figure out how to stop obesity, and until then, there needs to be more room on the bus.

I'm guessing buses aren't made deliberately too small. I'm guessing they're optimized pretty well, and the only way to give people more room will be to have fewer seats on the bus.

Which will raise the costs of transit. Which stinks. But it has to happen. I guarantee there are people avoiding the bus in every transit-happy city simply because it is way too awkward if you are fat.

Monday, May 12

What are they doing with our video game music?

I remember flipping out a few years back when I thought I heard some music from Final Fantasy 8 on a yogurt website or something like that. Well, today I heard a track from Chrono Trigger in a YouTube commercial for some informational site created by a conservative think tank. This time I'm absolutely sure--it was definitely music originally created for the game.

I would love to know how the rights to this music get detached from games and sold. Would it be possible for some hardcore fan of old Square RPGs to track down these rights and compile a list of where all the music has been used over the years?

Is it possible that it's being done illegally? Or perhaps no one cares what you do with the music from a 19-year-old SNES RPG, and it's free game (pun)?

If so, I'm appropriating ALL of the FF6 soundtrack for my personal online use...

The UV parasol

I.e, this thing.

Everyone in this part of the country should have one. Nothing makes it possible to walk around comfortably at all times of day in a North Carolina summer (or, heck, spring), but this thing definitely expands the times and temps that are somewhere between comfortable and bearable.

There should be a charity to give these things out to people who are car-free not-by-choice. When I think about the number of people I've seen suffering through hellish sun over the years because they had no other options...

Tuesday, May 6

Atheist foster parenting posts coming... sometime

I've been planning since before day one to someday do a series of posts on being an atheist and a foster parent. It's definitely needed... the foster care world is religiously charged, and there isn't much to be found on the internet about the challenges of entering that world as an atheist.

Turns out it's very difficult to write. When I think through all the experiences I had as an atheist foster parent, I always reach a point where it becomes impossible to imagine writing about it. The questions that linger in my mind today—the decisions I made in foster care that pertain to my atheism—aren't just about me. They're about other people, too, and I don't want to say anything that feels disrespectful, or like gossip.

And yet the issues are there, and they're critically important for atheists who are going to be foster parents to think through. It's times like this when I wish I'd done a completely anonymized foster care blog, where I could have concealed identifying information, changed key details for privacy, talked much more openly about everything having to do with foster care. But I didn't make that choice, so I have to work within the limitations I have.

Probably what I'll do is a three-part series: 1) general advice for atheists who are going to be foster parents; 2) getting licensed for foster care as an atheist, and 3) fostering as an atheist and a non-Christian.

All my advice will be specific to my experience as a foster parent at a county agency in North Carolina—I know atheists in other states may have other issues. I'd love to see posts by an atheist foster parent who's in a state where everything is done through private agencies, and all the local agencies are religiously affiliated.

Sunday, May 4

Trash talk

"It was remarked that the new doctor with his new ways had at least the merit of bringing people back from the brink of death. The trash talked on such occasions was the more vexatious to Lydgate, because it gave precisely the sort of prestige which an incompetent and unscrupulous man would desire." -Middlemarch, George Eliot

Friday, May 2

So, it's this thing...

I was mostly joking... I doubt anyone would have given me this for my birthday.

Turns out the sender (Amazon) doesn't want it back. What should I do with it? Sell it? Attempt to give it to a school? Give it to R and C's family? (It seems kind of advanced for kids C's age and younger...) Keep it and finally attempt to channel the percussion genes my father gave to me that cause me to beat out rhythms on everything, everywhere...?

Wednesday, April 30

Musical birthday present?

Did anyone send me a rather large present from Amazon that you haven't told me about...?

I mean, I'm grateful for it if so, but no one told me it was coming so I feel like maybe it's a mistake and should be sent back...

Tuesday, April 8

You know you get up early

...when the cats have NO freakin' interest in getting up at the same time as you.