Sunday, January 15, 2012

Movin' on...over

So when I wrote my New Year's Eve post, I closed it with the line that I hoped "For 2012 to be a year of new beginnings and of joy, with opportunities that surprise even myself."

Well, color me surprised. I hardly imagined that within the month I'd be preparing to pack up my apartment. Now, I'm not moving to a new city or for a new job -- despite the fact that for years I said I wouldn't move unless I had a new job or new city to go to -- but into a new place about five minutes away from my current apartment, where I've lived for the past six years. And I only just got around to hanging that long-framed art on the wall two months ago. Go figure.

Anyway, my friend Pam told me her current housemate was moving out this month, and she asked me if I'd be interested in moving in. It took me several days to think about it and make a decision. See, I can talk a good game about being spontaneous, but I'm really a prototypical eldest child, with the need to be responsible and a propensity to over-think things. I have a serious lack of daring, generally, and like many (and not just eldest children, I imagine), both a desire for, and a fear of, change.

But at the same time, I realized that I've grown too comfortable. While the thought of packing and culling these next couple of weeks is more than just a little daunting, it needs to be done. I'm looking forward to being free of some of my stuff. Plus, I have this strange notion that if I don't make this smaller change now, I might be unwilling to make any sort of larger move in the future (worst cast scenario: 12 years from now, I'm still living in this apartment, crammed with even more stuff, and sharing the space with multiple cats...ok, maybe not the cats, but you get the idea).

Plus, moving will enable me to save significantly every month and, almost more importantly, I will never have to truck my dirty laundry to the laundromat (thereby avoiding being hit on by creepy men old enough to be my father) ever, ever again. It's the little things, really. 

Like any transition, there will be some things to get used to (it has, after all, been a good nine years since I've shared living space with anyone besides an immediate family member), but Pam and I get along really well, and I already have a key to the place (from occasionally dog-sitting her pooch, Trustee), so I can gradually take boxes over as I pack them, saving the big items for last (this is the plan, at any rate). I'm sure there will be some adjustments, but I've been saying for a while that I need to be organized and more neat as a general rule, which Pam most certainly is, so hopefully a little of that will rub off. She is also fully prepared for (and excited about) the onslaught of books I'll be bringing with me.

And it looks like, if nothing else, I'll be able to put a check mark next to my New Year's Resolution to "clean out my refrigerator" sooner rather than later. :-)
I'm going to be needing more of these!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Books for 2012

On New Year's Eve Day, a high school friend of mine (Kristen lives out in L.A., writes TV show reviews for an entertainment website and is working on a romance novel) wrote a blog post about books she'd read in 2011 and others she hopes to read this year.

I thought it was a fun idea. Well, the later portion, at any rate. With as fast as I read, I honestly can't remember how many books I read in 2011. But that contributed to this post, too, and I thought perhaps I should keep track in 2012. I'm not going to blog about all of them (that would be silly), but there are occasional books that I find myself wanting to write a term paper (for lack of a better, um, term) on and may deserve note. But I think I will use one of the many journals I've received as a gift to record them...that way at the end of 2012, I will know what and how many books I read this year. It should be interesting to look back on.

I received several books for Christmas, along with a Barnes & Noble gift card that enabled me to buy a few more. :) Plus, there's that giant bin underneath my bed, a few stacks scattered around the house and several books I'd like to reread.

Anyway, five days in, I've read one and started another. The one I've completed, "The House of Silk," which I finished yesterday, is one of the books I got for Christmas. It's a Sherlock Holmes novel, but the first one that was actually authorized by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's estate. I'm always up for a good mystery novel, and this one was entertaining.

I started the second book, Bill Bryson's "At Home," (which I also got for Christmas) last night before bed. The problem (if you can call it that) with Bryson is that A) he's an incredibly witty writer and B) there's so much fascinating information in this book (all kinds of crazy facts about the Crystal Palace, for instance), so I spent a fair amount of time laughing and really didn't want to put it down and go to sleep last night (or this afternoon while reading during lunch). I've found several topics/ facts that I want to know more about (Skara Brae in Scotland, for example. I'd never heard of the archaeological site. Reading about it also almost immediately triggered a time-travel novel idea, but that's another story). And I've only just made it into chapter 2.

But I digress. In addition to finishing "At Home," there are a few other books that I know I want to read this year. They include, in no particular order: "The History of the World in 100 Objects," written by the director of the British Museum; P.D. James' "Death Comes to Pemberley," a mystery that takes place about six years after the events described in "Pride and Prejudice;" then there's "Hedy's Folly: the life and breakthrough inventions of Hedy Lamarr," (no, that's not Hedley) which should be fascinating, since she was an incredibly beautiful and talented actress in old Hollywood, but she also was remarkably intelligent and helped create technology that aided the war effort in WWII and now makes our cell phones possible. Then there's "A Canticle for Leibowitz," by Walter M. Miller Jr. My friend Rebecca sent me a review of it written by Peter Kreeft in Dappled Things several months ago (sadly, I can't track it down now, even with Googling--whatever happened to things staying on the Internet forever?) which fascinated me, and so I ordered it off Amazon. It arrived just after Christmas.

Plus, I also want to reread "The Screwtape Letters." I haven't read it since I was in seventh or eighth grade, when I was required to read it in Theology class. I'm sure I will see parts of it differently, now that I'm an adult. For the same reason, I also want to reread "War and Peace."

Time to go read!