Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Five

Last weekend, A. and I worked on the little brick patio we are putting in the front yard to accommodate a small fire pit. 
I learned I hate any kind of DIY-project related to home maintenance. I would love to spend my time and money on just about anything else. Removing an old washer and installing a new one? Positively a pain in the ass. Painting? Painting? Quite possibly the worst way to spend one's time. Yard work? For the love, I'd rather work on the household budget. Which is, you know, icky.

Seems, for me, that household cleaning has become a permanent item on that list of hated past-times. I cannot, for the life of me, work up the energy to give a shit about cleaning the house. I want the house to be clean, I just don't want to do it. I would much rather read. I really need to do something about this. Tips? What motivates you to lift yourself out of a state of filth? Christ.

It is not that A. is not willing to help. In fact, if it weren't' for him, we truly would be buried in dirty clothes and dishes. And that isn't fair.

I don't think this total apathy toward my household is depression related. I think I am just being a lazy turd.

However, in a total contradiction, I really enjoy doing the maintenance stuff on my car myself. Perhaps this is because I know I am saving myself a few hundred dollars. Before our recent trip to California, I changed my own spark plugs, checked and maintained all fluids, replaced my air filter and cabin air filter. (A. helped me.) I also rooted around and checked all my hoses and belts. Take that, dealer mechanic! I am using you for your lift, bud, and that is it. In fact, I am planning on flushing and replacing the transmission and radiator fluids myself.  I bought a copy of the Haynes auto manual that shows how to do everything to maintain and repair the car. My dad always had these manuals for his trucks, and boy they are awesome. I've been reading it as a recreational book, for Pete's sake.

I should be honest. The savings are only part of why I don't mind putting my time into maintaining my car. The smug sense of virtue I get wrapped up in also has something to do with it. My goal is to own this car FOREVER. Well, at least for 300,000 miles or 15 years. I've owned it for about 5 years and already have 103,000 miles on it. I get pretty full of myself when working toward this goal. I will not be caught up in ridiculous, wasteful, unnecessary consumerism. No way. I am way too smart and disciplined for that, yes siree. I will be resourceful and responsible and frugal. 

Feel free to slap me.

Both A. and I are job-hunting with renewed vigor, now that I don't have the masters hanging over me. Boy, talk about activities that suck up time and totally suck. Any tips and words of encouragement would sure be appreciated. Job hunting is totally demeaning. 

We are headed up to A.'s folks' place in northern Wyoming for a family reunion-y gathering. All aunts and uncles and nearly all cousins on his mom's side will be there, about 30 people. We will be camping on their large lawn. I am really excited to see everyone. It should be fun. I hope the dogs don't lose their shit with all the people and kids. They may have to hang out in our tent more than they'd like. 

Happy Friday, and Happy 4th!


  1. i am SO! IMPRESSED! by your ability to fix & maintain your own vehicles. i SWORE i'd never own a car before learning how to care for it, but.. uh.. yeah. i have one, AND i take it to other people and pay them exorbitant amounts of money to do every teensy little thing to it. bah. you SHOULD feel self-satisfied & smug about it!

  2. HATE house painting. I spent last weekend stain blocking and painting some of the ceilings in my parents' house. And they have textured ceilings, which makes it all the more fun. HATE.

    I keep saying that I'm going to learn to do more of my own car maintenance. Or at least learn enough to know when the repair guy is ripping me off (I pretty much assume that he is at all times). Maybe after grad school . . .

  3. No tips of the job-hunting sort. I'm no good at it either. When I look back at my own job history, I wonder )a that I ever got a job at all and b) that it managed to happen more than once. My job-hunting skills came of age in the time of newspaper classifieds and haven't really matured since then.

    The car maintenance stuff, though--I'm totally impressed. And I don't think it's all about smugness either--I bet it's a little bit about feeling competent and independent. Cars are so cursedly important to everyday life, so being able to do your own car work--well, it's practically like being able to grow your own gas, or something. Or earn your own money. It's awesome.

  4. Man, good for you on the car maintenance stuff! I'm jealous of your skills. Driving home with our popup yesterday, a light came on in Jason's vehicle that was simply a bright orange exclamation point, but we both flipped the hell out until we realized it only meant low tire presure. (Thankfully, Sears Auto was open on the 4th, and the fix was $24 for a new valve or something.)

    P.S. Our garbage disposal/sink backed up yesterday and I took apart all of the pipes (by myself because J. was too busy telling me it must've been my fault - ha!) to try to figure it out. I didn't find any clogs and it seemed to fix itself, but I still think something's wrong with the disposal. (My point it, I love DIY home maintenance, and Internet tutorials are awesome.)

    As far as the job hunt goes: Don't get sucked into applying for a job simply because you can DO it. Make sure it's something you WANT to do. I fell into that trap with my current job (the one I'm leaving in 2 weeks) and it was a disaster. Yes, I could do the job and was good at it, but I hated it.

    When I started searching for a new job, I listed everything I wanted, no matter how small: job duties (no more proposals!), commute, pay, hours...everything. And when I was looking at jobs, anything that didn't meet EVERY requirement was axed. And that's why I'm so jazzed for my new job - it's everything I wanted (and I hope it stays that way).

    Also, customize your resume (in addition to your cover letter) for every position. A total PITA, but well worth it, in my opinion. I applied for only 6 positions and got three interviews, and I'm convinced it's because I took the extra time to rearrange my resume to each job.

  5. I am in a slump re: housecleaning too. Other than the very basic and necessary, like dishes, laundry, and tidying enough that we don't trip and kill ourselves in the dark, I feel no motivation to run around dusting or vacuuming or whatevs. Maybe it's just the summer? Too much better to do outside?

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