Tuesday, August 06, 2019

My Dream House

Do you ever imagine what your dream house would be like? Me neither, but I do have a recurring dream about a house (which belongs to me in the dream). It’s like a sitcom of the continuing misadventures in Megan’s Nightmare House.

[P.S. I don't own any property IRL, especially not a house.]

The first thing you should know about this house is that it isn’t even located in the city where I live. I just go there occasionally to check on it and make sure no disasters have befallen it (spoiler: disaster zone is its natural state). And every time, I wonder why I haven’t gotten rid of it yet.

One of the house’s primary distinguishing features is that the doors don't quite latch properly—and definitely don't lock—so they frequently creak open of their own volition, admitting all kinds of inclement weather, rodents, and burglars. (Why haven't I gotten this fixed yet?) For some reason, there's always a passageway that connects it to other housing units, or occasionally to a college dorm (I don’t even know… terrible design if you ask me). So at any given time, random strangers might flow through the creaky self-opening doors—but mostly it’s just a looming, unrealized threat. The interior is usually pretty barren, with moldy carpet that is particularly weather-worn around the wide open window (which is flanked by tattered gauzy curtains billowing in the stormy breeze).

At some point during the dream, I inevitably recall with horror that I have a cat, which I have forgotten to feed or provide litter for. [P.S. I don’t have any pets IRL.] Usually the next phase is for me to foray into a shadowy basement that is one enormous room filled with boxes and old housewares—basically it looks like if you tipped a Value Village on its side so that all the contents accumulated in a giant heap. Then it's a matter of tentatively poking around and discovering that the single cat somehow multiplied into about a dozen cats, all in a gaunt and rabid white walker-esque form. On one occasion, the cats were in a crawlspace above the ceiling (in the absence of a basement). Then, at least some of the cats escape out of a self-opening door, and I spend the rest of the dream trying to chase them down.

I don’t read too much into dreams, but my takeaway from this one is Never Own A House.

Monday, February 25, 2019

What I Have Been Doing This Decade

1. Slowly Purchasing a Home
What feels like forever ago but is probably about 2 years, I signed an Agreement of Sale for a condo in one of the many new developments that were underway at the time. Progress has been very slow going with painfully few [near-zero] updates, but they're currently claiming fall 2019 occupancy (that's this year!). Becoming one of the landed gentry is a huge leap for someone who's happily skipped through life without any kind of debt. I get nervous even talking to friends about it because almost everybody I know (of my wage bracket) scoffs at the idea of being able to buy in this city. Although I've been pretty settled for some years, there's always been at least the possibility of nomadism. So, I'm plagued with the kind of anxieties that probably all new home-owners suffer: can I actually afford it without cutting every non-essential expenditure out of my life? will I like living in a non-residential area? will I be happy with a downgrade in size, however slight? will the sales pitch—e.g. rooftop gardens, sauna, amenities—live up to its promise? will I like the condo itself once I see it finally constructed? will it even be well-built and free of hassles/repairs for a while? is this a huge mistake that I'll be trying to recover from until the distant future? Presumably, this year will resolve most of these.

2. Music
A couple weeks ago, I finally bought a new recorder to replace the defective Zoom H4N that died on me years ago. After an aggravating exchange with a few service reps that started with "well we can sell you a new one, would that work for you?" and ultimately ended in "oh, you're in Canada... forget everything we said, and try talking to our Far North Outpost—let me google their email address," I let the whole thing sit for about a year. But now, armed with a new computer that doesn't sound like a wind tunnel, I'm hoping to do some more recording in future (possibly not until after I move... Upstairs Guy has stepped up his noise game). If nothing else, I hope it will motivate me to play more now, as I went at least a year without so much as uncovering my piano.

3. Work
Since my last post, I've been working at a different office on campus in a temporary capacity, first covering a maternity leave, and then a second secondment (a thirdment?) in the same position. I had to return to my "permanent" job in between, and in fact I had intended to go back (and stay back) after the first stint. But a concatenation of many factors made me realize that it was a toxic place for me, and the new office was working hard to serenade me back. With the combined push from Old Office and pull from New Office, I felt cornered—albeit serendipitously—into a decision. This week I officially locked in my permanent stake in New Office position, so that's a load off my mind.

Things I Am Totally Into These days:
  • The Boghouse Podcast about my favourite composer (and all-around inspiring human)'s epic adventure in buying a theatre. Beyond epic.

  • Bullet journalling. Let's see if I can turn myself into a productive (and economical—gonna have a mortgage to pay after all) human through writing lists.

  • Not that I'm particularly into it these days, but for some reason a couple years ago I found it necessary to start an Etsy shop and sell things made out of paper scraps. It never really seemed like a good idea, even at the time. Really all it's accomplished is fill most of my living space with crafting stuff.

  • I've also been pretty into MOOCS on edX, specifically some nutrition courses and one on the science of happiness. Highly recommend!