myurbandream: (zeguenerin=ich)
@jasperskywalker on tumblr asked to hear my opinion on the impacts and implications of single-family homes. This is the answer, and it got LONG.


Housing 101: the “single-family home” is generally defined as “a free-standing structure that is meant solely for the residential occupation (no business activities) of a nuclear family (two adults and their children), and that is located on a piece of land also owned by the same people and which has no other structures on it (except a garage/shed).”

The concept of single-family housing is not particularly new, and it isn't inherently evil or anything either. There are plenty of great perks to living in a single-family home, and for many people it is perfectly suited to their lifestyle. *I* live in a suburban single-family home, and as much as I hate some aspects of that, I admit it does have some benefits that I enjoy. So please don’t take my rant here as if I’m saying single-family housing is bad and needs to be bulldozed entirely. That’s not my intent.

However, everything needs to have a balance. The dominance of the single-family home in the modern housing market is historically very new, and that dominance is destroying our cities and our economies, expanding the income gap, dividing us socially, increasing stress and general unhealthy lifestyles, and reinforcing the cycle of poverty in our society. Click here for the rest of my rant. )
myurbandream: (zeguenerin=ich)
After a period of several months in which my normal work has been at an all-time low - days on end of doing mostly office paperwork and very few actual client projects to work on - my boss called me into his office last Friday and handed me a whole new set of responsibilities, and I am suddenly incredibly busy. It's a nice change, and very exciting - I feel challenged again, instead of feeling like my skills are being wasted on something a reasonably attentive high school student could do part-time.

The new work is something that was previously the sole responsibility of one of my co-workers - but he handles way more than any one person should, so I'm lightening his load considerably by taking this on. I'll be handling between a quarter to a half of his work - it depends on the week, really, and what projects we have running at any given time. Even at full capacity it shouldn't take up all day every day for me, so I'll still be doing some of the same projects I have been until now - but these new responsibilities are my priority from now on. At the moment I'm still learning the ropes - I have some limited experience with this kind of task from my last job, and more familiarity by exposure with the work I've been doing for my company in the past few years, but it's one thing to be peripherally aware of something and another to be the primary person responsible for it. So I have a few weeks of getting up to speed before they'll cut me loose. Day one was pretty easy, day two was busier but not very complex, and now day three has been a total avalanche of new work! Some things that came up today are things we've never even done before as a company, and instead of taking the reigns and guiding me through it, they left it to me to make the first drafts! It's intimidating, but I'm already loving it!
myurbandream: (zeguenerin=ich)
Yesterday I was riding high on the epic awesomeness of my parenting-fu: while home alone with Sam, I ran three loads of laundry and two loads of dishes, also hand-washed the pots and pans, re-organised several cabinets in the kitchen, stacked up the random boxes in the craft room to make a space for my new crafting table, got the new car to the shop to get checked out, made long phone calls to get the new car added to our insurance and get the loan refinanced, ate when I was hungry, napped when I was tired, read some fanfiction, and took a shower at exactly the time I needed to. I was BOSS. Parenting Win!!!

And then 7pm rolled around, Sam started yawning since that's his bedtime, and I hadn't eaten dinner yet but I figured once I put him down for the night I could get up and accomplish those little last-minute things (which is often how my weeknights work)... but Sam would not go to sleep. He was gassy, and lying on his back was apparently a big no-no, so from about 7pm to nearly 1am I had to hold him upright, sitting up in bed with him up against my chest, or he would go from dozing to screaming in about three seconds. Needless to say I did not get dinner, or fold the hang-dry laundry, or clean the humidifier, or anything else I had wanted to do afterwards. Parenting Fail.

So apparently my ability to get shit done depends entirely on Sam's benevolence in allowing me the free hands to do so.
myurbandream: (zeguenerin=ich)
so i'm a parent now, and it's time to retire my trusty little pick-up truck (which loyally took me all over texas and once to north carolina) and get a car with a back seat for sam's carseat and interior storage for his stroller. i really love driving stick in my truck, so my only other starting requirement was to get something with a manual transmission in it.

i thought about getting a full-cab truck at first, but i do need that inside storage space for the stroller if nothing else. my second thought was to get a hatchback - which is very different than a truck, i admit, but they have roomy rear storage and i think they're super cute. they also get far better gas mileage than trucks, which are built for hauling heavy loads, something i don't need to do much of now that we've bought a house and are no longer moving our entire household every year or so.

i looked at some hatchbacks and really liked the mazda 3, but then i started contemplating crossovers as well - a crossover is higher off the ground like a truck and has more seating and storage than a hatchback. the mazda cx-5/-7/-9 all look pretty great, imho, and there are some other crossovers i like the look of as well as the mazdas, and i found some on carmax that were in our price-range too. but then, before i got a chance to test-drive anything, we had a conversation with my dad-in-law about car-shopping, and he urged us to get a minivan.

a minivan.

kill me now.

my dear hubby, of course, bought that argument hook, line, and sinker, and he's now pushing me towards a minivan as well. so i did some research. beyond the sliding doors (which i hate for multiple reasons), it might seem to the casual observer (me) that crossovers and minivans are very comparable vehicles. this turns out to be true in some cases but not in others. minivans and crossovers have roughly equivalent gas mileage - a criterion i'm very conscious of, though it's not a deal-breaker for me. but they differ in a lot of other ways:

-minivans are lower and closer to the ground than crossovers, for ease of loading both children and stuff, and for being limited by curbs wherever you go
-minivans typically have more legroom, and often have one more seat than crossovers
-minivans have somewhere between 1.5x to 2x the maximum storage volume of crossovers (75cuft to 100cuft in crossovers, compared to a typical 150cuft in minivans, as measured when all the rear seats are down); i'm not sure why that is, but i'd guess it's due to the full-size rear-end of minivans that i personally think is ugly
-minivans flat-out do not have manual transmission as an option
-crossovers typically have better traction than minivans, since they typically come with all-wheel-drive, being therefore slightly safer in poor weather conditions

so if i'm getting a vehicle that makes the most sense for our lifestyle, given the fact that we're planning to have at least one more kid and i want to foster as well, then the minivan is clearly the most sensible choice.

the trouble is, i think minivans are ugly, and they don't come with manual transmissions, aka they aren't as fun for me to drive. on top of all that: sliding doors. do not even get me started.

so do i get a vehicle that i don't like - not just that it isn't my favorite, but i actively do not like them - just because it is the most logical choice for my future needs? i feel like if i do, i will hate myself every time i drive it, even when it's being as useful and practical as advertised. is there room for compromise here?
myurbandream: (zeguenerin=ich)
two weeks post-partum: woohoo!!!

although not really, because my body is a disaster zone. D:

but my baby boy is the sweetest. <3
myurbandream: (zeguenerin=ich)
So I may have spoken too soon with my last entry, on the subject of being tired of pregnancy.

I had a my routine weekly check-up today, with some interesting results... )

Meanwhile, my bills with the doctor's office are still all screwed up - I finally received the bill from the office to match the notice my insurance sent me from a billing in August, but now the office manager is saying that the bill is wrong - which really I think is just that they billed me (and my insurance) for the total amount, but should have since deducted what I have meanwhile been paying to them visit by visit: my co-pays and the "global care" payment they asked me for. The paperwork is a nightmare, let me tell you. And I haven't even got to my delivery yet, for which there will be separate bills for the doctor's office, the hospital, the anesthesiologist, and any other services that are rendered. Thank God I have copies of almost everything I've done for this pregnancy, and that it's all in one calendar year.

(I'm kicking myself that I forgot to ask for copies of my paperwork for the lab work and the ultrasound today. Also I have no photos or stats from my ultrasound, which I thought they were going to give me at the end on a disk like last time, but apparently not! And I don't have copies of my and Critter's consent forms either. Grr....)

So, we'll see how this goes.


ETA 2013.10.26 - Well, gentle readers, I still have a baby in me. No preeclampsia! (Yet.) My doctor called to let me know that all the tests came back clean and she would see me at my normal appointment time next week. Back to waiting...
myurbandream: (sanzo's happiness)
Dear Everyone Who Is Hounding Me About Unimportant Shit:
(Yes, dear aunties, this includes you.)

I am:

a) nine months pregnant, with all the physical exhaustion and discomfort that entails.

b) dealing with all the last-minute planning and details that are part of being nine months pregnant.

c) two days and counting of being the last one out of the office after a twelve-hour work day.

I'm sorry that I haven't met whatever expectations you have for proper behavior or things you think I ought to be doing or spending money on right now. But frankly, I have no more fucks to give. There are only so many days in a row I can put off things like buying groceries or washing my clothes or (not that this is important) calling my health insurance provider to find out how exactly to add my future child to our insurance plan if he is without a Social Security Number. (Thank you, U.S. legislature, for making my life just that teensie bit more complicated.)

So yes, I'm sorry that I didn't hand-wash my glass when the break room dish washer was running last night. I'm sorry I haven't yet written and mailed thank-you cards for all the gifts I got at my baby shower three weeks ago. I'm sorry I'm not dressed up to your standards because my size-too-big flip flops are the only shoes I own that still fit my feet. I'm sorry for whatever other things I have done or not done that may offend your sensibilities.

Go build a bridge and get the fuck over it.


myurbandream: (zeguenerin=ich)
found on pinterest:

I'm not dead!!!! I've just been reading a lot of fan fiction lately... <<---this!

except for me it's more like, "sorry fanfic, i'm not dead, i'm just having a baby!!"
myurbandream: (zeguenerin=ich)
let me tell you of our recent adventures in home-ownership!

our lawn is dead. )
myurbandream: (sanzo's happiness)
Make a note for future reference: I am never ever getting a flu shot ever again. Like, ever. )
myurbandream: (Default)
i voted today!!! i didn't get as much time as i really wanted to research all the candidates and propositions on the ballot, but today was probably my only chance to vote at all, so it's better than nothing i guess.

thursday night we carved pumpkins! mine is BMO (from Adventure Time) and jim's is Captain America's shield. the third one ended up as a big heart, although it started life as something else. :P

also i did a zombie walk last night and it was SO MUCH FUN. we had ripped-up zombie costumes and gruesome bloody dead-looking makeup, and when we went to get drinks afterward, a bunch of people at the pub (mostly dressed as scantily-clad-all-in-black or clever-or-ironic-political-statement things) were very freaked out. my life is complete.
myurbandream: (sanzo's happiness)
now i know why the fashion-self-conscious spend so much time, money, effort, and discussion on shopping.

that shit is difficult.

unreasonably so, imho.

stupidly lame lj-cut is stupid. )

how the hell am i supposed to look nice at work without breaking the bank on bespoke clothes? seriously, internet, i am asking you.
myurbandream: (the geek shall inherit the earth)
After the movie came out last week, I finally started reading the Hunger Games series.

I teared up half-way through the fourth chapter of book one.

Hunger Games, why are you so kriffing awesome?

ETA 2012.03.27: book one complete after three days, about 5-6 hours reading time. I cried so much during chapter eighteen that i had to stop to wash my face and drink some water. Currently on chapter eight of book two, Catching Fire.

This series lives up to its rep as an anti-drug, I literally cannot describe how difficult it was to stop reading for things like dinner and hygiene and, dammit, sleep.

ETA 2012.03.28: finished Catching Fire. Why do my favorite characters always get killed?

ETA 2012.04.01: watched the movie with Cait, Bri, Sav, Travis and Matt. Cried again, even though I knew it was coming.

ETA 2012.04.09: finished Mockingjay. Cried again. Damnit.
myurbandream: (Default)
my kidsitting kids are adorable.

about a month ago they started watching Avatar: The Last Airbender on netflix, at which point i explained to them that this was a wise decision on their part, as the show is fantastic and no one's life is complete without having watched it. i also warned them off the movie. and when i was over last night they were watching the four-part series finale - which is pretty impressive progress for a couple of busy elementary-school kids, imho.

watching the show with them has reminded me how much of avatar was really a kid's show at heart, despite the often serious plot twists and character development that happened throughout the series. as much as i really loved almost all of the show - the world-building, my god - it did have its childish moments, and there were some plot decisions that were really based on the fact that, no, actually, you can't have the main protagonist kill the main antagonist in the climactic finale battle royale when your target audience is the 6-13 age group.

but that aside. show is awesome. kids rock. :D


ETA: the Force. was totally made canon in the second-to-last episode. the Lion-Turtle-Ex-Machina tells aang that 'before the time of the avatar, people did not bend the elements, they bent the energies within themselves', or something along those lines. THE FORCE, I TELL YOU.
myurbandream: (sanzo's happiness)
Why did it have to be fluffy and cute and cry when stuck in the trap?
myurbandream: (sanzo's happiness)
So, remember the rats? (

We called up the apartment management office and filed a work order saying we had rats living under the dishwasher. Well, someone came by yesterday while we were at work, but nothing was visibly done about said rats, and there was nothing written on the work order slip other than "Think they have rats." and the date. Obviously, they think we're making this up. Perhaps I should have not cleaned up the dusty footprints? In light of this, last night I laid down a sifting of flour on the kitchen floor, to track their movements and prove that they exist - sure enough, little footprints appeared and made tracks from under the dishwasher over to the kitchen entry.

And remember how I was feeling content not to bother the rats, so long as they weren't bothering me? Well, as of this morning that's officially changed. The rats have declared war, and I shall destroy them with extreme prejudice.

They ate my chocolate.

ETA: Management sent someone by to lay down sticky traps and poison in the kitchen. Finally.
myurbandream: (Default)
We have rats in our apartment.

Little vagrants. )

I have mixed emotions about our friend Allison's adventures in apartment pests - she, too, had a rat problem in her old apartment, which she discovered when one of them got caught on a bit of splintered baseboard and killed itself in messy glory on her bedroom floor. She went through various tricks and traps to catch them or kill them, with results in varying degrees of gruesome. It all makes a hilarious story, but I don't really want to add my own chapter to that book, you know? I'd just as soon buy a pet cage and transfer them from living under our dishwasher to living on my desk in the office, but I don't think Jim (or the rats, for that matter) will be pleased with that idea.


And also, why are lj tags now at the bottom of the post instead of the top? Hugely annoying.
myurbandream: (Default)

*stomp stomp stomp* so we have new stomping grounds now, a little ways across the city, in a better neighborhood. also i got a job! well, internship, really, and unpaid, but it will be great experience - i am two days in right now and i've learned a ton of stuff already.

new apartment, new job... and we bought a new mattress! it's been an expensive month. i need to get another job, though, to pay for the gas i burn on my HALF-HOUR COMMUTE to my internship. yuck.

thus is life.
myurbandream: (i'm smart! (honestly))
So I haven't done a post of just-life things in a while, and maybe it's time for that.

I dunno, let's try it. )


Jun. 27th, 2006 10:15 am
myurbandream: (smart but socially inept-stupid icon)
so, at the oasis on sunday night, i was commenting that no part of me was currently wounded. jinx. i now have fifteen stitches in the right side of my face, and in a month i'll have some absolutely awesome scars. here's the scoop: )the moral of the story is: 'don't jinx yourself!'


myurbandream: (Default)

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