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The Good Place

We’re coming on the end of a full month-long visit with Esteban’s parents, Ward and June. We never adult very well and they teach us to become better adults. As houseguests go, they basically are like boy scouts — they taken only memories, they pack out their garbage and try to leave the land better than they found it. As such, I haven’t had to do laundry in a month because June claims that folding laundry relaxes here and they always take out the trash, so basically they are the best house guests ever. We were on top of each other a little more while we only had to share one vehicle between the four of us — and that single vehicle was a pickup truck, so a great way to transport lawn waste but not the best way to transport four grown adult human beings.

Sharing a living space with septuagenarians is basically my speed. They have projects, they go for a walk every morning, they make plans, they run to the grocery store for things and then they chill out in recliners under blankets and nap. My kind of party people!

I managed to find a decent replacement for my beloved Murano. I had to make a pretty big compromise — I really really loved my Murano. But on the second to the last day of the year, a very extremely reasonable low mileage used vehicle kind of fell in my lap and it had seat cooling, so I was basically convinced. To be honest, I’ve been really super hating the impending doom of Las Vegas summer coming again so soon. I actually got a second degree burn in September when I left my car parked outside in full afternoon sun for two hours without a sunshade in the front window — and the second degree burn was from metal on the INSIDE of the car. Each perfect and affordable used car I found happened to also be black with a black interior, like my Murano, which gave me serious pause. However, my new-to-me Chrysler 300 is silver — with a black interior. Since I don’t anticipate much snow action, it really didn’t make sense to pay another 10K for essentially the same car only in SUV, plus this Chrysler is basically the desert beast — it has built in seat cooling! An automatic sun shade! Long distance start, so I can hit the button while I’m waiting for the elevator at the parking garage and the AC should start helping the car coast down from 135 by the time I get to my usual parking spot on the 4th floor. Plus, parking won’t be traumatic. I expect that it will never see Wisconsin and that will be just fine with me. It was affordable enough that selling it before we move back will be a better idea than putting it on a trailer and hauling it back. It seems to be the ideal desert car — I see a lot of these around town, almost as many as I see Jeeps. Although I do have to say that the Jeep Renegade made a strong run for my heart!

I’m also getting ready to dive into the new semester! I have spent this week getting my class in order and starting to read my coursework. Did I mention I have THIRTY books on my book list this semester? How will I ever keep track? I also just ordered the NERDIEST Amazon order ever — 1000 Oxford notecards. Apparently 200 notecards last semester was not nearly enough and when I purchased them I thought it would last me for a year! Ha! In other alarming news, I now have strong feelings about notecards.

It has been so weird having an entire month off. While I’ve also been going on excursions with Ward and June and sometimes Esteban (we went to a cactus garden! Fern was in town so we went to Red Rocks! We went to Fremont Street, which was terrifying and will never happen again!), I’ve also been doing creative work. I put together my short story collection and sent it out to a few contests. I worked on my novel. I read literary submissions for the literary journal that is my day job. I did charity work for the book festival I help throw. Basically I lived my days like a trust fund baby, except without the discretionary income.

It’s so weird after working full time since, well, I was 25. When you have a job, your vacation days are squirreled away. You dole them out strategically and usually crush more projects and errands into even staycation days than a typical work day. But having a “winter break” in graduate school? Shit, guys. This is the kind of luxury I’ve completely forgotten. My stress level was pretty low in school but now? Non-existent. The only stressful thing in my life was looking for a car, and then we solved that problem and then I had another two weeks of NOTHING CRUCIAL. Sometimes I watched The Crown. Sometimes when I got bored I helped June with her puzzle. Like… that is my life now, I guess? I’m totally down with that to be honest.

But all of that is about to change — after Monday, I’m back in the shit again, shoveling, to paraphrase Mulligan in “Hamilton.” Thirty books, you guys. Thirty freaking books.

I am so lucky. I don’t know how I got this lucky. For real.

 

 

 

 

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