My house didn’t sell. The local newspaper didn’t run the ad, so the auction was rescheduled for January 3. I suppose the good news is that the sale won’t affect this year’s taxes. The bad news is that once again, my hopes were buoyed by the idea of getting the house sold before auction, which is just clearly not possible. So, I’m no better or worse off than I was a couple of days ago.

On the bright side, I finished NaBloPoMo. So that’s something.


When I was an undergrad, one of my favorite professors referred to me as a “reluctant medievalist”. I think she was convinced that one of these days I would come to my senses and follow what was then just a deep curiosity about Anglo-Saxon England. I never went down that road – clearly – but the paper I’m working on right now has allowed me to dig back into my roots as an English major with more than a passing interest in the medieval. I mention this because this article (caution: loooooong) had me all choked up earlier, as I read about all the priceless, absolutely irreplaceable manuscripts that were destroyed in a fire in 1731.

Maybe Colleen was right.

On an actually related note, I came across the following job posting while Googling said favorite professor. It’s very close to exactly the kind of job I imagined for myself, and if I had the requisite experience, I would probably apply:

Director of the Library, January 2007

The director will lead the college in developing and implementing long-range and strategic plans for the broad range of functions associated with the contemporary academic library, including the traditional library functions as well as information literacy and teaching and learning with technology. As a principal representative of the college and essential participant in its teaching and learning mission, the ideal candidate will be an enthusiastic leader, experienced financial manager, and collaborative administrator. Tenure-track status remains to be determined. Requirements include an MLS or MLIS from an ALA accredited institution, with additional degree strongly preferred; a minimum of five years of library experience; experience with and understanding of current and emerging teaching and learning technologies. Send materials to Colleen Page, Ph.D., Chair, Department of English.

living room
The auction for my house is tomorrow. Please send waves of positive energy and many many prayers that it will sell for a reasonable amount, and that the spectre of debt will be at least somewhat lifted.

Shane and I went by the house this last weekend to clear out the last few things we’d left behind – a dazzling array of cleaning products, a few odd pieces of furniture, and beer and water left in the fridge from summer cleaning. Our work there was interrupted by Richard’s call about Basil, so we dropped everything and left town without finishing.

The circumstances surrounding that house are among my biggest regrets. It was a beautiful house, and it represented our shared hopes for happiness and a future together. I stood on the back porch with Shane this weekend and cried as I thought about what my life might be like now had I stayed – and then how happy I am with my life, despite all the frustrations and challenges. Part of me will always wish I would’ve had the opportunity to be happy and enjoy many years in that house, but that wasn’t meant to be. Now I just hope it sells, because then I can close the door on that chapter of my life for good.


I love my parents. I took this picture and a few others when we were home in October. My parents have been together since they were 16, when they met at a picnic. Mom said she saw Pop playing baseball and thought he was so cute. They celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary earlier this year. I’ve always taken after my dad – he and I and his father are the only brown-eyed children our respective generations. I have his coloring and his chin, but as I grow older, I think I look more and more like my mom.

This picture makes me homesick.

good things

Thanksgiving has come and gone, though it has been much celebrated around these parts. My family’s most unique tradition is Turkey Notes, which are small rhyming poems written on each guest’s placecard. The poems are almost always eye-rollingly silly, but my family loves them, so we continue to do them, year after year. This year mine was about Sid, and Shane’s was about Herky. With my friends, however, we usually go around the table and list the things for which we’re thankful. I haven’t had a chance to share that list yet this year, so here, in no particular order, are a handful of things for which I’m thankful:

  • ShaneB and all the joy and good things he’s brought into my life this year
  • a great job that I love, even if some days are very hard
  • my family and an awesome crew of friends
  • the impending end of the semester
  • Project Runway and Tim Gunn
  • veggie breakfast sausage
  • Basil’s safe return, and the advent of Sid
  • We love Katamari
  • yellowbike (and maybe RAGBRAI in the new year??)
  • my healing arm
  • Bonnaroo

What are you thankful for?

Basil came home! We went to bed Friday night feeling sad and dejected and hopeless – our bed felt very empty without Basil trying to squeeze his way between the two of us. We left the screen door propped open, with a dish of food in the entry way and the cat door also open in hopes that Basil would miraculously come home. When I finally got to sleep, I dreamt that we found Basil’s broken collar. A number of our other friends also dreamt about looking for Basil.

At 5:30, we woke to Basil jumping into our bed. I have never seen Shane so excited or relieved. It was like the best Christmas ever multiplied by the best birthday ever for him. He hugged Basil so closely, and Basil was just like, what?. Basil’s a little dirty and smells like oil and leaves, but other than a little cut on his belly, he seems fine.

Even better, he’s interacting relatively nicely with Sid! We let the two of them meet yesterday, and Basil, while still hissy, has been very good with the baby. He’s mainly been acting like a grumpy babysitter, following her around and occasionally playing with her. We’re sooooo relieved and happy that they’re getting along.

In addition, and as Shane mentioned, many thanks to all of our friends who helped us search for Basil when he was lost – and to those who extended positive thoughts and prayers. Basil’s absence would have been much more worrying had we not had an awesome group of people helping out.

I wanted to post my list of things for which I am thankful today – but instead, and with many worries, I am cross-posting this:

At some point between yesterday (Thanksgiving) afternoon and this morning, our cat escaped. He is a 3 1/2 year old male tuxedo cat with traditional tuxedo markings. He has all his claws, and weighs about 12 pounds. He is an indoor cat and has very little experience being outside. We live at 512 W Clark St #1 in Champaign and have canvassed the neighborhood from Church to Healey and State to Prospect since noon with no luck.

Pictures of Basil are here:

It is Thanksgiving, and in the spirit of things, I really should make a list of everything for which I’m thankful. There have been many blessings – and many challenges – this year, and I have many things to list here. Right now, though, I’m too tired to think, and so I will instead retire to my parents’ couch. I hope your holiday, if you celebrate it, was full of the things that really matter – peace and quiet, friends and family, memories of the past and memories for the future. Many blessings and great love to you, my friends.

this post is about mustaches

So remember a few months ago when Shane and Ryan had a bad beard contest? Shane has kept the beard, though Ryan lost his, and the promised night of drinking has yet to happen.

That is not the point of this story.

The point of this story is that in Chicago, an organization is sponsoring Mustaches for Kids, which appears to be a bad mustache contest for a cause. I think their cause may be a more worthwhile one than the night of drinking, but who am I to judge? So if you’re in Chicago and you’re thinking about growing a seedy mustache and are also wanting to give a little back during this holiday season, Chicago’s M4K site might just be the place to start.


A couple of months ago, SB lamented the fact that we rarely get to go do awesome spontaneous fun things because we’re so busy with school, work, and other obligations. We did a lot of fun, awesome things this summer, but once school started, we got back into a rut of staying in on the weekends, doing homework, and watching Law & Order (not that there’s anything wrong with that. We ❤ Lennie.). I asked Shane if he trusted me enough to commit to going away for a weekend with me without any knowledge of where we were going or what we’d be doing. He said yes, and the Top Secret Weekend Adventure was marked down on our calendars.

For weeks, I dropped hints (mostly false) about our destination, some more obvious than others. I told him a number of times that we were going to trapeze camp, though my broken arm made that less believable. Shane was pretty convinced that we were going to Madison – or at least Wisconsin. He was wrong!

On Friday, I took a half day off work, and we left mid-afternoon, en route to Iowa City, though Shane was still in the dark on our destination. After about 15 minutes, I couldn’t stand it any longer and handed over a map of the Herkys on Parade. I think he was initially disappointed, but when I told him about all the Herkys, as well as the other things we could do, he perked up a bit.

We spent three nights at the Mission House Bed and Breakfast – a Mission-style house with original Arts and Crafts interiors relatively undamaged after a long history of use as grad student rental property. The owners were courteous, thoughtful, and polite – and made killer breakfasts. We were within walking distance of the downtown area, so we spent most of the weekend walking around, shopping, eating, taking pictures, and visiting family. We had really amazing tapas, tried on $800 glasses, sampled beer in the Amanas, shopped at a fantastic co-op, and fell in love with a kittem, who caused our return home to be delayed by half a day as we waited for the adoption paperwork to be approved.

Shane didn’t see as many Herkys as he would’ve liked, but we had a wonderful weekend, and completely fell in love with the town. It’s a lot more cosmopolitan – and hilly – than I’d remembered – all of which are good things. My family has been trying to get me (and my siblings) to move there for years, and after this weekend, I can definitely say I’d consider it. Most of all, though, it was wonderful to just get away together without having to worry about school, work, or responsibility – to simply be able to enjoy each other’s company, whether it was during a drawn-out meal, a chilly walk, or a late afternoon nap.