Archive for June, 2009

Marginal Utility

Sometimes a phrase sticks in my head, popping up when my brain starts to fly off at the edges.  Marginal utility is one of these.  It hit me this morning that what I’ve been going through for the past week is the law of diminishing marginal utility.  As I consume more, the utility of the items I consume diminishes.

It’s always nice to realize I’m clinging to a phrase because it has an actual significance.

My apartment is filled with things that have diminished marginal utility.  There are only so many things you can use or look at or wear or play with.  I think the most frustrating thing about the process of clearing things out has been that looking around, on the surface of things, it really hasn’t made much of a difference. I haven’t been getting rid of the right things.

The new plan is to only look at the crap that is atop other things and to get rid of that which is not being used or enjoyed.  This includes magazines, decorative junk, books and toys.  Wish me luck.

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Exhausted by 9 am

Do you ever wake up, drink a half of a cup of coffee, and then decide it’s high time to try to de-stink your couch?  Welcome to my morning.

We’ve been talking recently about the possibility of looking for a new place next spring.  This is imminently exciting and completely terrifying.  It is mostly completely terrifying because I realize that we will have to do a lot of minimizing if we’re going to have anyone in to look at the apartment.  Which, of course, is a painful reminder that we have a shit-ton of stuff.

I like my stuff, but I’m almost ready to admit that I have too much.  I can get rid of books with only a minimum of pain, and I’m cool with sending out bags upon bags of clothing and shoes.  It’s the little, pretty stuff I am totally in love with and purchase quite happily at just about every available moment.

There is also the little matter of project-makings.  This is harder because once projects are completed?  You still have something to make space for.

So in light of my flashes of ‘holy shit what am I going to do?’ I am also hit with the almost unstoppable desire to tackle something tangible.

This morning it is the sofa, which is now in a million pieces with the cushions airing outside and the cushion covers in various stages of defunking (half are halfway defunked, the others are waiting patiently.)  And as with every project of this nature, I am completely and totally over it.

Alas, I have no couch to collapse upon right now.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love a good salad.  It’s just hard to acclimate the tastes to greenery after horking down a dawg.  It was, aside from the buns, carrots and celery, a local feast.  Lettuce mix, kohlrabi, scapes from the CSA plus the aforementioned carrots and celery.  I absolutely adore kohlrabi.  I am even enjoying a local beer.

Earlier today Lucy and I worked our way through several exhibits at the museum of natural history (aka my favorite place on earth) including the Hall of Biodiversity where I would love to live.  I mean, look at that wall.  Tell me you don’t want that in your house?  We split some chicken nuggets and fries in the cafeteria, picked out a birthday present in the gift shop, and headed home.

And then!  C took the kids to the playground, leaving me alone in the apartment.  This is only the third time in a year I’ve been in the apartment without anyone here (apologies to the cats) and it took me twenty minutes to figure out what to do (fold laundry whilst blasting Peter Tosh.)  I also made the salad and went to the grocery.  It was really, really nice.

It feels like summer today and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

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Of the rest of the summer.  And it is pouring.  Not that I bemoan the lack of blistering heat, mind.  I just wanted to get out of the house for a couple of hours today until I woke up to the sound of sloshy-sloshy. Yes, I’m a wimp like that.

We celebrated the last day of school by sending Lucy out onto the balcony with a water gun and some seeds.  Voila!  Marigolds, nasturtiums and cukes planted.  Late, yes.  But in their proper containers so I can check it off of my list.  It was quite fun; we lit some incense and opened a bunch of windows and got ready for the place to be cleaned inside while Lucy did my dirty work outside.  Now let’s hope she remembers to water them this time.

What else…

I am having trouble looking away from the Iran coverage.  Especially Andrew Sullivan’s coverage.  I recommend reading through this piece in particular to get an idea of what is actually going on. It’s frightening and inspiring.

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I’ve had kind of a rough few days.  Knee deep in the self-flagellation and fighting like hell to stop it.  That sort of thing.  Sucks.

I think it’s a by-product of having a fun weekend and then coming back to the real world of laundry and homework coupled with a deeply ingrained notion that I’m not getting anything done if I’m not berating myself while I do it.

Anyway, I woke up this morning before 6 and started in on myself with the woe-is-me mixed with the you’re-so-lazy and then…


Maybe it was the coffee or maybe the fresh bread with honey.  Maybe it’s how lovely it is to be awake before the cars start bustling outside on the street.  Or maybe these spells just aren’t lasting as long as they used to because I have other things to grab onto to pull myself out.


I am not into my classes this semester.  My grades are fine but I’ll be damned if I can get myself interested in marginal utility and/or Neolithic Society.  We’re moving on to the origins of patriarchal society though so maybe I’ll snap out of this as well.


Today is Lucy’s last day of school for the summer.  I’m excited to have her around for museum trips and other fun outings but I’m going to miss having an excuse to take a walk in the afternoon and how much fun it is to see her little face come popping out of the door all beaming and stuff.  To make up for this, I think I’m going to take her to the Museum of Natural History on Friday.  Just Because I Can.


I Love CSA!  We are almost overwhelmed with greens but not quite.  I’ve been eating a salad the size of my head every day, which is quite lovely, and last night I doctored some cheapo Newman’s Own spaghetti sauce with scapes and spinach and Romano cheese and it was so good.  Especially the remains that I scooped up with my 8 grain bread from upstate.  Nom Nom Nom, as the kids say.


I want to make something today.  I think I might want to draw, although writing that is the surest way to keep myself from actually doing it.  I think this is something I need to do every day–have some sort of creative outlet just for myself.  I’ll have to decide if projects done with the kids count 😛


Why is it that on the mornings when I can sleep in the kids are up at the crack of dawn but when I get up early, they sleep in or can easily amuse themselves?

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Curled up in the Haze

After spending the better part of Saturday night awake awake AWAKE due to my littlest’s desperation to nurse all the damn time (believed to be caused by a combination of teeth and absence), I was tucked into bed with the baby at 8:00 last night.  I was well asleep by 9, and rolled out of bed about twenty minutes ago.

I feel like I got hit by a bus.  In a good way, I think.

We spent around 8 hours at various festivals this week.  Saturday Lucy and I met up with Cousin Nicole for the Festival of India, which Lucy and I caught a bit of in Baltimore.  First we went out to lunch for a rare one-on-one over grilled cheese, our first lunch without the baby in months.  Then we headed back to the park where we did japa for the first time.  After some walking around we caught up with Nicole and headed up to meet the chariots and then walk back down.

It was lovely.

Then yesterday was the local street fair.  We were there for close to 4 hours, with the baby in the stroller.  He did wonderfully.  Lucy had a ball.  My feet hurt and somehow the left side of my face got sunburnt.

Ok, so I’m just peeved about the sunburn.  We had a good time.  I am still marveling, in my first time as the “grown-up” in attending one of these things, at how freaking much money everything costs.  I had every intention of getting a treat per kid and maybe something for my troubles and came home with a rather light wallet.  Rides, hotdogs, smoothies and a million laps full of ‘Mommy can I have…?’  We ran into a friend of hers from school as the threat of leaving at one more mention of an occassion to spend money and this turned into the grand finale–at least half an hour divided between two moon bounces.  On the way home, we stopped into the bookstore to spend the $10 they were charging for face painting on something more practical.  I still can’t get over $10 to have some teeny pause her texting long enough to slather some pink crap on your kid’s face that will get washed off three hours later.

And then we came home and did laundry.

All in all, we made a good haul.  Lucy got two kid’s books, a princess marionette, and a book on yoga and vegetarianism that she picked out.  The baby got a touch-and-feel book and a stress ball decorated like a soccer ball.  We got C a Father’s Day present (shhhhh, don’t tell) and I got a dress what requires instructions to tie it on and I signed up for a free yoga class at the local studio which I have been meaning to check out for at least a year.  Plus I’m a sucker for watching my kid play with other kids.  I spent enough time totally awkward and shy that her ease of making friends is inspiring to me.

I am so glad I don’t have to spend another four hours on my feet today.  I am seriously wiped out despite my marathon sleep session.

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  • My God, kids *need* all the time.  I think my head would explode if I got to change a diaper without the baby demanding to nurse while his sister calls me from the other room.
  • I currently have enough lettuce in my fridge to choke a rabbit and neither kid eats the stuff.  I’m going to overdose on salad.
  • Today I walked 2.3 miles and am more tired than I should be.  I need to start doing this more often before it gets stupid hot.
  • Strawberries!  One pint is already gone.  I’m going to have some more with the homemade flan once C gets home.
  • I think my new favorite thing is when people agree with me.  How sad is that?

That’s all I got, folks.  Pleas for attention, a fridge full of lettuce, sore calves and an inflated ego.  And flan.  Can’t forget the flan.

Oh also?  I have bok choy I need to prepare ASAP and no clue what to do with it.  Any ideas?

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