5 true confessions of a jaded mind


When I was in high school, I worked the phone bank for the The MDA Show of Strength over a Labor Day weekend. On Tuesday morning, after my alarm went off, I hit the top of the clock and automatically replied, “Jerry Lewis Telethon. How may I help you?”

On the rare occasions that I mix ‘Quik into a glass of milk, I always add an extra scoop. I won’t stir it in, though. I like to eat the gritty bit that doesn’t dissolve.

If you see me in the grocery store, and I’m wearing headphones, it’s likely I’m running from zombies.

My home is far more cluttered than I’d like it to be.

Whenever I start a new novel, I read the first five chapters. Then, I flip to the end to see how many chapters are left. Don’t know why, but I must know this in order to keep reading.

In which we prepare to buy a house

victorian home

For the past year or so, M and I have been saving up to buy a house. Neither of us has ever wanted to be a homeowner — we still don’t relish the thought — but considering our current pet situation and future goals, doing so makes sense.

Ideally, our new house will be in good working order. It will have at least 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, hardwood floors, a decent backyard, a large kitchen and a fireplace. Those requirements are pretty much non-negotiable. Our “wants” list is pretty long, and it seems to be getting longer as time goes by.

Since leaving New York City, we’ve learned that we like to have space to move around so a home larger than 2,000 sq.ft. would be preferred. Additional roominess suits our menagerie of pets as well. Despite the fact that something like half of all homes in New England use oil heating, we’d prefer to have another fuel warm our abode. We also want a place that’s well-sealed against the elements. A laundry room would be nice; a laundry room on the second floor would be even nicer. Speaking of which, we’d like a second floor.

Then there’s the “don’t want” list. We don’t want a house that’s in a flood zone, nor do we want one with a pool or any sort of swing-set in the backyard. We don’t want to be too close to the neighbors, yet living in the boonies doesn’t appeal either. We’d prefer public water to private, central air to window units and tall ceilings over low ones (I like to buy really big Christmas trees). I’m willing to repaint the inside; I’m not willing to rewire the whole place because the wiring was put in before the Internet was invented.

Needless to say, we’ve narrowed our search down to three states and two countries. Hopefully we’ll find a place to love (and one that lands in our price range).

The very thought of applying for a mortgage makes me physically ill, though. Since we’re not independently wealthy, there’s simply no other option. At some point during the coming months, we’re planning to take one of those “first time homebuyers” workshops. Our hope is that doing so will not only demystify the whole buying experience, it’ll help us find additional financing and/or assistance with closing costs.

In the meantime, I spend hours looking at real estate listings, some for houses we can afford and some for houses we can only afford if we won the lottery. I’m also eying my possessions in a new light. As the probability of moving looms, I find myself walking through the rooms of our current home and deciding which items I want to pack and which ones I want to donate. I expect the desire to rid myself of more “stuff” will soar once I begin the packing process.

(Photo is a still from the film “Practical Magick.” I love the look of this house.)

“The dead cannot cry out for justice. It is a duty of the living to do so for them.” –Lois McMaster Bujold

john wick

In general, I’m a nonviolent person. Each day, I choose love over hate, compassion over contempt and words over weapons. It is not in my nature to intentionally harm others or to preemptively strike at those who may seek to hurt me.

I believe in seeking measured and rational ways to deal with conflict. In my mind, violence should always be the last resort. I also think people should be allowed to live in any manner they choose — as long as doing so does not harm others.

However, I will never be a “turn the other cheek” sort of person. Intentionally inflict pain on me or mine and I turn into an avenger. I will not stop until justice has been served and punishment fully dispensed. It is not enough for the perpetrator to pay for the crime he or she has committed against me or those I love, this person must never be able to harm another.

(Photo is a still from the film “John Wick” starring Keanu Reeves. It’s an excellent example of an avenger movie.)