Monday, June 28, 2010

Desk Project Update

Because I haven't found the words for a post on the passing of Senator Byrd, I thought I'd let you all see the finished desk project:

Pretty cool, huh? The $12.99 desk turned out pretty well. Now if I could just manage to put all my desk stuff in it...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Senator Byrd Hospitalized Again

My thoughts are with Senator Byrd, his two children, and his staff today as Washington-based news outlets are reporting he has been admitted to a D.C. hospital. The 92 year old senior senator from West Virginia was apparently admitted late last week with what is being described as "heat exhaustion and severe dehydration as a result of the extreme temperatures," but since his admission has developed some other condition that has been listed as serious. As you may remember, Senator Byrd was hospitalized three times last year. Prior to returning to the Senate for late night votes on health care and other progressive causes, Senator Byrd survived a hospital-contracted infection during one of those 2009 hospitalizations. Unfortunately, the Washington Post is already discussing special elections and whatnot should Byrd die. Ah, never underestimate stubbornness...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Desk Project

When I moved, I left two desks -- the desk I'd used at work for four years and the desk I had stuffed full at home. The desk at home was on loan to me and apparently when they moved it out of my apartment it fell apart. So, I ended up in my new digs without a desk.

Why do I need a desk? I'm one of those people who needs a desk. I've had a desk at home, with or without a computer, for the past ten years. I like having a place I can sit down and work on my laptop, scrawl notes, write papers, read, or simply stack things that I might need out for future reference. I'm just one of those people.

Now, setting out to find a desk isn't an easy task. Sure, I could go buy another cheap laminate desk at any of the big box stores, but chances are, I would have had to go with an option that didn't exactly fit my needs and would, like my old desk, fall apart if moved too frequently. I'd been checking the thrift stores pretty frequently for a real wood desk that I could possibly restore and I finally found something:

One of the drawers of this desk had a warped side and they'd decided to sell it for the whopping price of $12.99 due to the defect. The drawer is fixable. The hardware, not so much:

Is that not the ugliest hardware you've ever seen? It was removed posthaste and I've picked out some new hardware that will look good with the brushed nickel hardware on my file cabinet. I also picked out some stain to make this desk more modern and more acceptable alongside the file cabinet.

Soon I'll have a desk, file cabinet and my office boxes unpacked. That's my weekend project, anyway. We shall see if I can accomplish it. Then there will be the issue of a chair. I have a chair, but it is currently sitting in the living room and maybe I need a real office-type chair. That's a decision for another day...

And if any of you were wondering what has taken me so long to write something this week, my computer charger bit the dust and I've been without my laptop. Talk about being lost without electronics!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

My grandfather has dementia. At eighty-three years old, he doesn't recognize his wife, his wife of nearly sixty years. His children and grandchildren are a mess of names and faces, many of which he will never again remember. For whatever reason, his youngest grandchild, my brother, is the light of his life. He speaks of my brother in a way I've never heard a father, or grandfather, speak of their child. There is excitement in his voice for the potential he recognizes in the kid and a love in his tone that I can't put into words. When you visit with my grandfather, no matter who you are, you will definitely hear about his grandson. His doting on my kid brother is something I greatly admire about him--it is something I appreciate more than he will ever know. My kid brother has been my best friend for nearly eighteen years and my love for him makes me ever appreciative of those who love him as much as I do.

I mention my grandfather today, as I did last year on Father's Day, because for the majority of my twenty-five years he was the real father in my life. He taught me to drive stick, he went along to daddy/daughter night when my own father was absent from my life, he took me to see the Harlem Globetrotters, and sat through more softball games than I can possibly count. Just as he now is with my kid brother, he once was with me and I will forever be grateful to him for that.

Growing up doesn't necessarily mean you need your parents any less. This is a truth I've discovered in the last few years of my life as I've struggled through one health obstacle after another. I may be twenty-five years old, but I can still recognize my need for help from those around me. As a kid that help would come, more often than not, from my grandparents. As an adult, that help has come from amazing friends.

One particular friend comes to mind as I sit watching baseball on this Father's Day. He has been an ally, an advocate, a springboard for many an idea, an adviser, and a defacto father. As I think about the past several years, I can't think of a single instance when I really needed any of those things and he wasn't there. We once had a conversation about how the older you get the less patience you have for youth and the boredom their conversations with you often cause; I've never felt he was bored with me and I've always thought he was listening. This Father's Day I recognize, perhaps more than all those that have come before, that those who choose to be part of our lives are often much more sincere and well-meaning than those who are in our lives simply because they feel a familial obligation.

Hopefully this Father's Day we've all taken the opportunity to thank the fathers in our lives. This is my attempt, however lame, to really thank the guy in my life who has been there for me in so many ways over the past few years. My appreciation is boundless.

Friday, June 18, 2010

TGIF Tunes

Editor's Note: What started out as a six week blogcation to finish a professional project turned into an absence of nearly three months. I've relocated, refocused and am hoping to be back in the blogging world full-time. Thanks for sticking around!

Here's Hanson, one of my guilty pleasures, performing "Thinking 'Bout Somethin'" on the Letterman Show.

The trio of brothers took a break between this June-released album, Shout It Out, and their previous album, The Walk, while middle brother Taylor formed another group. Taylor's group, Tinted Windows, is the bizarre team-up of Hanson and former members of Cheap Trick, Smashing Pumpkins, The Candles, and Fountains of Wayne. While Hanson is touring, something they've been in the news for, I'm not sure what is happening with Tinted Windows.

Another song (video here) from the new album that I love is "Kiss Me When You Come Home."