Sunday, September 26, 2010

I Can Caulk!

Ok, so I consider myself an independent woman.  Those who know me can attest to this fact.  This independence has cost me occasionally over the years because I frequently learn things the hard way.  However, it has been beneficial in many ways as well.  For example I found myself yesterday stripping old caulking from the shower in my apartment, which was mold infested, and re-caulking thereafter.  One of the challenges of being independent and “doing things myself” is that I frequently find myself jumping blindly into ventures to which I’m unfamiliar.  Like caulking.  For example I’d never used caulk in my life until I moved into this apartment last month.  I’ve learned that caulk is the fix-all right after duct tape.  You can use it to patch holes in the wall (as long as it’s the kind you can paint over), you can use it to glue things (such as bathroom tile), and well you can use it traditionally to keep water out of places it doesn’t belong.  The hole-plugging I adapted to just fine.  I haven’t tried gluing anything just yet.  And as far as keeping water from going places it shouldn’t? We’ll see.

One of the challenges of my caulking adventure was the application.  You see I have some distinct OCD tendencies.  We got it all taped off so initially I had nice—straight—lines when I pulled the tape up last night just before bed.  This morning I got up to see how it looked and determined that it was too thin in some spots.  Of course I thought to myself “I won’t need to re-tape” because I was just gonna fill in some of the thin spots.  Well sure shit my nice pretty lines aren’t so pretty and as far as deterring water?  Like I said we’ll see.  However, I can say I caulked my own shower and it’s something I can add to the list of things I’m capable of doing myself even if it isn’t pretty. I’ll get over it.  Though my OCD self and I did think about starting over until my roommate practically pushed me out the door at the mention of such an idea.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Autumn Always Makes Me Giddy

Cope Park—Juneau, AK    (c) TBug

I’ve noticed as the years rapidly go by my moments of nostalgia have altered and grown.  Most anyone can attest to that moment when they were transported back in time, thanks to the absurd thought that it’d be a good idea to sing karaoke at a co-worker’s going away party last month, to that high school dance where they busted out Macarena moves with their closest friends.  No? Just me then? Ok, so I’ve already dated myself.  Whatever, you get the point.  We’re all capable of pseudo time travel via one or more of our senses.  This isn’t a profound revelation.  One of the greatest triggers for time travel in my world is the onset of autumn.  I love autumn!  In fact its presence makes me simply giddy.  Those that know me understand this isn't a common emotion for me.

As I was driving home from work a couple evenings ago, wearing what I’m sure was an absurd grin, I realized over the years that the autumn triggers that feed my enjoyment have transformed.  I imagine the accumulation of memories has something to do with my enduring and expanding enjoyment of this season, but as I drove along admiring the color bleeding from tree to tree I began to understand that the roots of my pleasure haven't simply changed, but instead have spread out in various directions in order to absorb a broader spectrum of emotional nourishment. 
I’ve always liked change.  My whole life I’ve enjoyed change.  I used to rearrange my room as a way to invite change.  I did this frequently. Much to my mother’s annoyance.  I changed the pictures, posters, and various other decorations on my walls constantly as well.  Much to my mother’s annoyance.  I didn’t see what the big deal was.  So what if there were enough holes in the wall for it to pass as a colander.        
As I got older I explored the options for “change”  on a larger scale  For example, I moved. A LOT!  Much to my mother’s annoyance.  Are you noticing a trend?  Anyway, like my avenues of change my relationship with autumn has changed, evolved, and deepened over time.  Part of what I liked about autumn as a kid was the precursor for change it represented.  September meant a new school year, new teachers, new clothes, new crap to learn, new everything. 
As time progressed the season began to represent other experiences as well.  Appropriately, the first time I ever truly fell in love was in the fall. To this day I reminisce over our experiences during the autumn months despite the chaos that ensued as the seasons progressed with him. 

It has also traditionally been a season for family.  Despite my uncanny ability to annoy my mom in a variety of ways, we happen to be very close.  In fact my entire immediate family are so close Thanksgiving has always been a family hangout holiday.  So much in fact I haven’t celebrated it since I moved away from them because my entire association with Turkey Day is rooted in them.  

Autumn also instigates the indulgence of warm cozy clothes, hot chocolate (or coffee as I got older), and all things comforting.  A warm wool sweater, my toasty Uggs, a cup of Raven's Brew and a good book beckon me even now.  

And the colors!  Dear god the colors.  They display divine truths in this humble, mortal’s realm.  Oh, and the smell of wood burning in stoves fills my lungs with home.  Mmmmm.  And I love the chill that lunges out at you as though it had been lurking behind a corner waiting to catch you off guard as you walk out your door distracted by the sight of sun.  It is truly the best time of year.  And though autumn is required to fulfill its respite role in the transition from summer to winter, in my world autumn has instead always meant new beginnings.  I can’t help but feel each year as though I may burst with excitement much like that little girl who rushed up the stairs the first day of school with her hair in pigtails, knee socks pulled up to the hem of her denim skirt, and her new My Little Pony lunchbox held tightly in hand.