Sunday, June 28, 2015

On Sunday, We Smile

It has been a stressful, exciting, wild week or so. Between all of the bathroom renovations (more updates to come, I promise), and the Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality, the emotions have been running just below the surface - and frequently bubbling over.

And, with all that in mind, I thought I'd share some things that have made me happy this week.

This Cake Wrecks post about Rainbow Cakes (interestingly, no mention is made of gay marriage - it's just about rainbows on cakes):

This posting from Buzzfeed about a bunch of really big companies that decided to show their support for same-sex marriage by putting their rainbows where their money is:

Seeing all of the happy people posting on social media, or on the news, or pretty much anywhere.

Being able to spend Twin Cities Pride weekend hanging out with Christopher - on Thursday as we went to a one-woman show put on by Lily Tomlin, yesterday while we were shopping for shrubbery, and today as we've been hanging out at home before heading out to dinner with good friends.

And, finally, this photo of our dog (who doesn't really care about politics or rainbows), and who napped over my shoulder while I worked from home on Wednesday:

I hope your Sunday has been smile-y, as well.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Living Life As... Myself

There is a new Mazda ad on TV where a young guy gets a new car, and then we watch him get different Mazdas as the ad goes along. He takes one to college. He drives one away from his wedding. He drives his kids around in one.

Then, at the end, he gets a new car and the voiceover says that he should celebrate feeling a little more like himself.

The ad bothers me every time I see it. I don't know if it did the very first time. I probably thought it was kind of sweet, you know?

But then I started to think about that final line and realized that this guy has apparently lived his whole life not being himself. According to the ad, he was himself when he was young, single, and owned a convertible. Then, after that, he had to become someone else to get married and have kids. Only getting into a new car - alone - and driving away allowed him to feel like himself.

And, yeah, that makes me sad. For him.

It's kind of like the people who are absolute hell to work with for 8 hours every day, but then you get told that they're "totally different - really fun" outside of work. That means that for at least 1/3 of their lives they're... someone else? What is the point in that?

On this Friday of Pride Week in Minneapolis - and on the day that the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is the law of the land - I would have to say that I spend pretty much my whole life being me.

That's how I was raised. I was raised to be myself and to be happy with that. Okay. Yes. I'm also a Gemini, which means that there may or may not be multiple sides of me that not everyone knows, but they are all very much me. I don't need to drive away from my daily life in a new car to find out who I am.

And as much as I would love a new car, I'm perfectly happy with the everyday me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Calendaric Irony

Christopher and I share an online calendar to keep track of what we're doing in our lives. Typically, there's a lot of slightly work-related events. And a dinner or two.

Honestly, we don't feel like an overly social couple. We're almost always at home in the evening - and in bed asleep by around 10. We watch too much TV. We like hanging out with the dog.

Yet... In the past couple of weeks, we've scheduled two events in August (6 or 7 weeks from now), because we simply couldn't coordinate our schedules with the people we're meeting up with. I said to someone today "We should do dinner" and then realized that I have no idea when I can do that.

I usually can't think of anything I'm doing in the next week, yet suddenly I know what I'm doing nearly two months from now.

I have no idea what is going on. I mean... when I look at the calendar I have a very good idea of what is going on, I just don't know where it all came from.

Calendaric irony. It's weird.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Maybe I Could Send Out Cards...?

I have a ton of photos on my camera to document the changes in the bathroom. Seriously. 

But my camera and computer only talk to each other via a cable. 

I went to find that cable Friday night, and found a battery charger and my phone charger. No connecting cable. 

Have I mentioned that - along with the basement bathroom being ripped up, a bunch of my stuff has been kind of re-positioned, lately? 

I have a really good idea where the cable is. I hope to find it tomorrow, and get new photos up. 

Of course, I also hope to win the lottery. 

And reclaim my sanity. 

Honestly? All things considered, I guess I'll bet on the cable. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Basement Bathroom Reno, Part 5 - Dust Starts to Clear

You might remember that in the last post about the renovation I showed you how much of the basement is currently "walled off" by plastic sheeting. Well, we did that for two reasons: concrete dust and drywall dust. 

In the past photos, you've seen how they jackhammered out part of the floor to work on some of the pipes. Well, now you can see why we were worried about the drywall dust. 

(For the record, these photos were taken a little over 2 weeks ago... I'm a little behind on updating you because I was worried about jinxing the process.)

When drywall (sheetrock, technically, I think) goes up, it is a multi-step process. The sheets are screwed into the studs, then there is a "tape" applied to the seams. Then everything is "mudded" to glue it all together. 

So far, that doesn't really cause too much dust - unless the person doing it is mixing it all too fast, and then it does the whole "turning the mixer on too high with flour in it" thing. The dust comes in the next day, when the mud all gets sanded down. Even with all of our precautions, there was still a fine coating of dust on pretty much the entire house by the time all was said and done. 

But enough with the words, here are some pictures: 

It's my new shower! Or at least 2 walls of it. Like the bulb hanging from the ceiling? Sadly, that's almost what it was like in the old configuration - a bare floodlight was simply in the ceiling above the shower...
The wall where the toilet and sink will go. The washer and dryer are on the other side of the wall - thankfully no longer visible!
It's my slightly-larger window! And - you can sort of see it in this picture, but you kind of have to know what to look for - there is now a raised section of ceiling, so that there is more window visible. (The old ceiling came about halfway down the window.) If you scroll back up to the first photo, you'll see how much extra height we get.
If I can remind myself to transfer photos from my camera, I'll try to get you a bit more up to speed in the coming days.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

SCOTUS Watch 2015

I had kind of forgotten, for a while, that the Supreme Court is supposed to be delivering its ruling in the "marriage equality" case (Obergefell v Hodges) this month.

Then, a couple of days ago, it started showing up on social media, because there is a chance that the ruling will come down tomorrow.

Here's the thing, though: Minnesota already recognizes gay marriages, so this shouldn't matter, right? I should just keep going on about my life and be fine.

But it does matter, because my home state of South Dakota - right "next door," where my parents still live, and where Christopher and I go for holidays - doesn't allow gay marriage. And they not only don't allow them, but they don't recognize them from other states. So even if we were married (according to Minnesota), if I went home for Christmas with Christopher and got in a car accident and was taken to the hospital, there's a good chance that he could be denied access to me.

So... Okay... I obviously want the Supreme Court to rule in favor of marriage equality tomorrow. If nothing else, it would put our standards in line with Canada and Mexico, and - ironically, considering how many people say it's against their religion - a number of other really religious countries (like Ireland, Brazil, France, and Spain) who have already legalized gay marriage.

And I don't think I'm alone. After all, most of the states in the country have already gone that way. Check out the really cool timeline/infographic on this page:, if you want to see how things have changed in just the past decade.

But, since I wanted to be prepared, I thought I'd look into the other possibilities.

Worst case scenario: The Supreme Court rules in favor of bans. This would mean that the 14 states with bans (including those involved in the lawsuit before the Court) would stand, and that states where marriage equality is the law could see that right jeopardized.

Middle case scenario: The Supreme Court rules that bans are okay, but that those states have to recognize marriages from other states. This would be a step up from my current situation when I travel to South Dakota, because although I would be in a weird kind of limbo, relationship-wise, when I'm there, at least a marriage certificate would be binding.

Best case scenario: The Supreme Court rules that the bans are unconstitutional and that marriage equality should be the law of the land. This would mean that, nationwide, same-sex marriages could take place, and would be recognized from state to state.

That sounds kind of amazing, doesn't it? I mean... Even though a number of the states having issues with gay marriage are already mounting legal battles against it, it would still be pretty great. (After all, state governmental officials who have been quoted as saying things like "The Supreme Court isn't the law of the land" can't maintain that stance for long, can they?)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I know we've come a really long way. And I'm thrilled that we are where we are.

So tomorrow I'll be watching the news and trying to see what's going on. I'll be anxious. I'll be nervous. Hopefully I'll be excited by the outcome. (Let's face it, I'll probably tear up, no matter what.) And then I'll silently thank everyone who came before to work for equality, and consider how far we still need to go - next week, after we celebrate for a bit.


UPDATE: No ruling today (6/18/15), so we'll keep waiting and watching...

Monday, June 15, 2015

Dreaming of Bathrooms

Two of my friends have said, recently, that they occasionally dream of bathrooms.

One of them said she recently dreamed that she was building a bathroom where the privacy walls were made of bookshelves.

The other said that she typically has nightmares about searching for bathrooms, which often seem to be "from hell."

I, on the other hand, dream of a new bathroom when I'm awake these days. Happily, we seem to be getting closer to that dream becoming a reality as the days go by.

More photos to come, soon.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Bad Quote Quotient - A Trio of "Triumph"

I stumbled across these three quotes, today, and realized that I had never shared them. (Please note that they are from three different sources - I can only imagine what the book that could have held all three would have been like...)

1. I think the author of this one kneaded a little help:

His massage was tantamount to a call for a pogrom against the Jews. 

Seriously? He got "pogrom" right, but misspelled "message"? How did that happen? 

2. Apparently the subject of this next one simply wasn't expected to do well with urban planning: 

He would never attain an office higher than senator and would not make any worthwhile conurbation toward saving freedom.

And, honestly, I never knew that working with urban sprawl could lead to the saving of freedom, anyway. 

3. This is why I seldom order shellfish unless they have the FBI seal of approval:

There was no information supporting the CIA clam.

I do feel bad, though... that poor clam had to fend for himself, with no government backing. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I'm Not Overly Superstitious, But...

I was going to talk more about the renovations tonight, but there has actually been some forward motion, and I really don't want to jinx it.

So instead I'll just mention the sad news that the "Last Day of Summer" is coming up this Friday on Phineas and Ferb.

On the plus side, that means that this week is a massive marathon of all of the show's episodes. But it's going to be very strange to have no new episodes in the future.

With that in mind, I'm going to watch another episode and then head for bed.

And dream of a finished bathroom.

Monday, June 8, 2015

BFFs - At Least For a Day

I'm okay with pretty much every holiday. Which is not to say that I like all of them, but that I'm okay with them existing. I mean... There are a lot of holidays that I know exist but I don't take advantage of - some on purpose, some because they're not relevant to me.

For instance, I know about a lot of Jewish holidays, but I'm Roman Catholic, so they really don't apply to me. I also know about a lot of Roman Catholic holidays, but the Church and I don't see each other very often, so most of those holidays don't really make it onto my engagement calendar, either.

Father's Day? Sure. Easter? Got it. Arbor Day? I've planted a tree or two. Valentine's Day? Yeah... Okay... I admit that aside from the candy it never really mattered to me until I had someone to celebrate it with, but I didn't dislike it or pour black paint on anyone celebrating.

New Year's Eve I'm not sure I understand. I mean... Sure, we get to buy and hang a new calendar once each year. That's cool. But why does everyone make such a big deal about an arbitrary day, which - around here - is usually FRIGID and really not a great evening to leave the house?

And Halloween is one that I really wish would just go away. I'm not a fan of kids begging at my door. I'm also not a fan of people going out and being crazy and wreaking "sanctioned" drunken havoc. (See also "St. Patrick's Day.")

These days, though, in the world of social media, I'm constantly reminded of other "holidays." Last week we had "National Donut Day" (which, although I talked about it the day before, I completely forgot). There's a "National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day" and a "Sweetest Day" and a "Secretaries' Day" (sorry... that's now "Administrative Professionals' Day").

Today, I was informed by my Internet, is "Best Friend Day." I'm sure someone thought it was a great idea. But how many people really have a singular best friend? Or - better yet - how many people have a best friend, but are not that friend's best friend? (In other words, Abe's best friend is Ben, but Ben's best friend is not Abe, it's Caleb.) How awkward is that conversation going to be when it shows up for all to see on social media?

How many best friends do you suppose are re-evaluating their relationships today?

Personally, I think we need to leave the relationship "holidays" off the calendar. Celebrate the donuts, and the administrative professionals, and even the Halloweenies, but let us all keep our friendships - best or otherwise - in the personal realm where they belong.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Where, Oh Where...?

There are moments when I realize that I have no idea where things are.

I'm not talking about my keys, or my glasses (I'm one of those people who has had glasses since he was a little kid, so I always know where my glasses are).

I'm talking about geographical things.

I mean... I do pretty darned well with maps, and when faced with map quizzes (or while watching The Amazing Race), I usually know where things are. But I sometimes get things confused.

Yesterday, for instance, I was talking about Cancun, and said that I thought there was an imminent tropical storm. But as soon as I said that, I thought "I'm pretty sure that's wrong."

When I finally got to look at a map, I realized that Cancun is on the Yucatan Peninsula (the piece of Mexico that separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Atlantic Ocean on most maps). The tropical storm, on the other hand, is on the western side of Mexico, near Cabo San Lucas and Baja California.

Yeah... Nowhere near where I was thinking.

What frustrates me the most is that I really should have known this. After all, I watched enough Love Boat when I was growing up to know that the ports of call from Los Angeles were Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, and Acapulco... Captain Steubing would have been so disappointed in me.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Basement Bathroom Reno, Part 4 - Resurfacing (inside and out)

I'd love to say that this post was going to be all about the final surfaces, like paint and tile, but we're so not to that point, yet. And so - obviously - we weren't there 2 weeks ago.

But, we got new, leveler, concrete for the floor. The whole in the utility room got filled in. The walls got insulated. And - we got a new window!

New bathroom subfloor.
This is where that hole in the floor used to be.
New insulation - and new window!
At the same time, I thought you might like to see what we've been living with downstairs. I am not a fan of concrete and drywall dust, so before they even started, we kind of walled off the bathroom area with plastic sheeting. The pup hates it (which is kind of okay, since she's not supposed to be downstairs running around these days). But, frankly, so do the rest of us.

It's a little like the strips that hang in front of a professional freezer...
It's hard to see it, but on the other side of the dryer is a kind of two-layer protection.
I'm happy to say that we've got some forward movement going on this week. I'll get some pictures up soon.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Basement Bathroom Reno, Part 3 - Anchoring

I didn't mean to leave you hanging for so long about the renovations in the downstairs bathroom. But, then, I didn't expect that we'd still have it going on in June.

So here are some photos from the re-anchoring of the room. You know, the stuff that kind of makes it at least look like a bathroom again.

The wall where the sink/toilet used to be... 

Look! A shower form!

The board was being used to keep the shower base flat.

Looking in from the utility room, you can see all the new pipes. (You can also see why I'm not getting a flush-mount mirror in the new layout, since we obviously can't cut through the studs, there...)
In case you were wondering... this was about the 17th of May. In other words, about when we thought we might be done, until we found out that some pieces had been backordered.

More updates next time. (I promise.)