Monday, April 21, 2008

Moving on

And so it came to pass that between trees being cut down and drunken 4 am brawls in the street, between lack of kitchen counter space and dirtball next-door neighbors introducing a host of vermin into our lives, the Friedenberg family decided that it was time to close up shop on the quickly-declining block where they had spent almost ten years.

Yes, we're moving. I've had enough. There is much to do to get this house ready to sell, and I understand that right now is not the best time to put a house on the market, but it's time for us to go.

Unless Matt finds a new job (not likely -- he likes where he is), we are required to stay within the city limits, though that's fine with me. There are a zillion different neighborhoods from which to choose, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

If I could afford to buy my dream home, I'd look for an old four-bedroom Victorian with a huge kitchen, wood-burning fireplace, big backyard and laundry room on the main floor. And my own writing room, preferably in the third floor tower room ;)

But I'd settle for something with some kitchen counter space!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The switch to digital

I'm sure by now everyone has heard about the "switch to digital" -- TV stations will be turning off their analog signal and broadcasting only a digital signal after February of 2009 (ostensibly, so that we all get "better" picture and sound quality, but in reality, so that they can make more money.) If you already have digital cable or a digital TV, you won't even notice a difference, but for people like me who don't subscribe to cable and whose TV set was purchased in the early 1990s, it will mean losing our signal unless we purchase a "converter box."

So, if I still want to watch TV after February, I'm going to have to shell out money: either I'll have to replace our perfectly functional TV set, subscribe to digital cable (no way), or buy a converter box (the cheapest ones I've seen run about $46.00). The federal government is offering $40 coupons, for every household in the USA, towards the purchase of converter boxes. I don't know if it's more disturbing that the government has decided we must all watch digital TV, or that they're going to subsidize the switch. The same entity that refuses to provide health care to its citizens will happily assist us in converting our TVs, because as we all know, TV is much more important than our health and well-being. Kids in schools don't have all the supplies they need, there aren't enough police on the streets, the soldiers fighting in Iraq don't have the proper protective gear, but by god, the people will have their TV!

I'm certainly not ready to give up TV completely; I do enjoy watching House and Grey's Anatomy, and I watch the news each night. However, I can get all those programs online, in their entirety, without upgrading anything. I'm perfectly okay if my TV just becomes something on which to watch DVDs and play video games. It's certainly more appealing to me than spending $46 to upgrade my set (or asking the government for TV assistance.)

Matt, on the other hand, says we should just suck it up, get the coupon, and buy the converter box... he doesn't want to miss the Sunday afternoon Phillies games ;)

Monday, April 7, 2008


We finally got our car back today. It's all shiny and new-looking. But while riding home in it, instead of happy, I just felt scared.

I haven't driven at all since my accident on March 20. I didn't feel comfortable driving the rental car, and I was still shaken up from the accident. Every time we went out on the road, I felt my body bracing for impact.

I thought once I got my own car back, I might feel safer. But the rental was a biggol' SUV, and my car is a little Ford Focus station wagon. I'm much closer to the ground, and I feel even more vulnerable.

I've been in four car accidents in the past five and a half years. None of them have been major, but they've all been traumatizing, and three of the four left me with injuries that required physical therapy. This most recent accident was the worst of the four, and I'm pretty much in constant pain on my left side as a result. I'm going to the chiropractor three times a week, and it's helping, but very slowly. And I'm not allowed to box or do yoga, which just SUCKS.

I realize that I should be glad that my accidents have been minor -- Matt and I saw a car that was flipped onto its roof on Saturday night -- and I am grateful that I've been able to walk away from each of the accidents with minor injuries. But at the same time, I just feel like I don't even want to get in the car anymore, much less drive. I don't want to be in another accident.

I wish I could avoid being in moving vehicles altogether. Pathetic, huh? I know that fear is just a manifestation of the ego (been reading "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle -- great book, btw) but I really don't feel like it's unfounded or irrational to be afraid in this case. There are just too many idiots on the road... and I just know one of them is going to crash into me.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Be careful what you wish for

In December, I wrote about how I hadn't yet found a presidential candidate to support, but that it didn't really matter because I live in Pennsylvania: Apolitical.

I'm eating those words now, because the race has gone on a lot longer than usual, and so we Pennsylvanians actually get a chance to help decide the Democratic nominee this year. And, I actually found a candidate to support.

I'm excited that there's actually a race this year. I like that my vote actually counts. But can I just tell you, I'm so tired of the campaign commercials, the op-ed pieces, the endless debates... I really just want it over with so that I know who I'm supporting in November.

Yeah, I know... the grass is always greener...

Friday, April 4, 2008

*Maggie screams like a 14-year-old*

So, who else watched the Today show this morning?! *grin*

I actually taped it, because I had a doctor's appointment @ 8:30 am, but I watched it as soon as I got home. And yes, the rumors are true! Donnie confirmed that they have been recording a new album and there WILL BE A TOUR in the fall!!!! I think they look good, too... they've aged, sure, but who hasn't -- and they've lost the big 80's hair, thank goodness (though I think Donnie's hair needs some work -- maybe shaving his head.) They'll be performing on the Today Show on May 16th. I can't wait.

Here's a few clips from Today, in case you missed it: