Friday, January 21, 2011

this, that, t'other

A real G-Chat of late, with one of H's co-workers:

She:you made H. a very nice lunch! well-balanced.
me: you think I would give him unhealthy things?
She: no, it's just funny to watch him eat
me: I have to keep him in tip top shape.
She: :) i suggested that you make me a lunch too - and he can bring that in every day! :)
me: Sure, for money!
She: oh.... how much?!
me: Hm, well, I guess it depends on what I make. $15/wk, don't think I ever go more than that per person.
She: $15 a week for 5 meals?!
me: Yeah! I'm pretty good at being economical with the lunches.
She: wow -
me: the most expensive things are the yogurts. They are a whopping $0.79!
She: turkey meatloaf?
me: That was pretty cheap - turkey was $3.99, had the breadcrumbs, the mushrooms were probably a couple dollars - but essentially ten meals since it will be both of our lunches all week. Let's say all the meatloaf ingredients were $10 - that's just $1/day.
She: crazy
me: cereal bars are essentially $0.28 each (when bought in a pack), almonds $0.50/serving. Apples were pricier, I guess. Cheap stuff!
She: look at you!!
im impressed

And with that I pat myself on the back, and take a bow. Thank you, thank you.

I finished #26, and #27, which was The Luck of Ginger Coffey (1960) by Brian Moore. I'm kind of sick of reading about the Irish - but I guess when you're breezing through the CanLit, you can't really complain about that, can you?

So, now I move on to #28, The Lives of Saints (1990) by Nino Ricci. I also discovered that I totally missed that the 2010 winner was announced back in November. How embarrassing to have missed it! Ah well, I'm sure I was at a conference. So instead of --/72, it will be --/73. Fingers crossed I get through the next 45 or so books before the 2011 winner is announced. Eeps!

So, I mentioned before that H. and I have our sights set on buying a home of our own. And I obsessively check real estate websites, think about mortgages, savings, down-payments and furniture. Oh lordy, lord. We're probably 12-18 months away from seriously buying, but I can't stop looking. But here's our dilemma - where to buy? My mind changes every other day about where we should live. The contenders:

Brooklyn! Why leave? We're city folk, we like being close to work (I mean, 45-minutes-on-the-subway close to work), close to museums, close to the liveliness of NYC, close to international airports. As I probably mentioned before, we're both publishing folk and in the grand scheme of the whole world we don't really have a whole lot of options when it comes to the industry. So, Brooklyn, eh? The cons of Brooklyn are that our budget would allow us to buy an apartment in a neighborhood slightly farther out than where we are now. It would most likely be smaller than what we have now. And, of course, we'd have to say good-bye to dreams like a porch, a yard with accompanying dog, the library that I promised H. to convince him that buying a home was what we wanted to do...

Beacon, NY! I have certain friends who want us to move to Beacon because they want to move to Beacon. Beacon is up the Hudson River about 60 miles. It's quaint and quirky, has hip bars and shops along its long main street. Beacon is filling up with refugees from Brooklyn, and it feels like that. Maybe notsomuch in a good way. But it is lovely, and you can buy big, beautiful, old houses for well within our price range. The cons (besides being too Brooklyn-y) is that its about 75 minutes by train, not counting the subway to Grand Central to catch this train. Do I want to spend that much time to and from work? That's a lot of train.

Bethlehem, PA! Is this really a contender? Yes, maybe. I was born in Bethlehem before moving to Toronto. It is lovely, and charming. The houses are giant and gorgeous and so damn cheap! I mean REALLY cheap. And the appeal to me of Bethlehem is that it is small city itself - it has a big university, a college, industry and business of its own, and if one day I chose not to suffer the insufferable publishing world, I could probably find a job in Bethlehem. The cons are plenty. Bethlehem is 75 miles away, and about 80-90 minutes away in no traffic. Traffic? There isn't a train line between Bethlehem and NYC, just a bus. If there was a train line - something that some people seem to think is in the not-so-distant future - those cheap houses would be more expensive houses. Right now, its a little bit too long of a commute for me.

There are other contenders, too, though they are low down and don't pop up in my daydreams as much. Like Metuchen, NJ (45 minute commute), Cold Spring, NY (houses are kind of expensive there), or maybe Long Island. Sigh. I'm already looking at furniture that I would buy if I had my beautiful house. So sad! And I email H. links to houses I like with lists of renovations I would do (ie pull out carpet, paint walls, brand new kitchen). How do you stop yourself when you obsess about something so far away?

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