Thursday, January 7, 2010

Say No to Mancaves

Quick New Year's Resolution Update:

At this point my cussing jar only has $1.25 in it, which I think is a pretty good start.  The first two quarters were honest-to-goodness slip-ups.  The third quarter I was aware that I was cussing, but I didn't think the kids could hear me.  Clint and I were playfully bantering, and I called him an ass.  Then Trinity hollered from her bedroom in her best tattle voice, "Mooooooom!  You just said the 'a' word!"  Still bantering with Clint, I said, "See, you just cost me another damn quarter, but it was fucking worth it."  Hence quarter #4 and quarter #5.  

As far as my writing resolution, I went through and edited my Watermelon Tree manuscript, although many more revisions still need to be made before I will consider sending it in.  I also hunted down all of my older written work from our ancient home computer and moved all of it into a new folder on my laptop, in case I decide I want to play around with any of it later.  I'm still reading the children's publishing guide--unfortunately, I didn't reach my goal of finishing the whole book before I started back to work (work started back up this Monday), but I'm about half way through.  I got side-tracked by the book Kite Runner, the novel one of my honor's students had asked me to read.

One major thing I did toward my writing resolution was I talked Clint into creating a space for me to work in.  In my publishing guide, it stated that it is absolutely essential for aspiring writers to have a quiet work space of their own.  This was bad news for me, because up until this point, I had been doing all of my grading, etc., at my dining room table.  We have a fourth bedroom that was "supposed" to be designated as an office, but I made the mistake of letting Clint claim that room for himself when we first moved in, and he pretty much turned it into a crammed area full of kickboxing and karate paraphernalia.  There was a desk in there, but it was way too small, with the majority of it eaten up by our home computer, which ironically, never gets used.

So the day after Christmas, I went on Craig's List and looked up loft beds with built in work stations.  I found a perfect one in Victorville for $100: a full-sized pine loft bed with a huge workstation underneath (I'll post a pic as soon as I take one).  Talking Clint into it was easy.  I opted not to tell him my real reasons for wanting the loft bed (until later), because I'm not going to lie, I have always gotten a vibe from Clint that he doesn't take the whole writing thing seriously (he wouldn't even read my True Story article until it was actually published....I've already told him that if I do ever get a book published, "don't expect to find your name on the dedication page," but this is a whole different topic so let me get back on track).  I simply told Clint that as a teacher, I really needed a quiet, more isolated place to grade uninterrupted.  Also, having the loft bed would be such an asset for us, because not only would we have a place for my sister to sleep when she's snowed out of the mountains or evacuated due to fires, but Clint would no longer have to sleep in the closet on the weekends anymore.  He was immediately convinced; 100 bucks was a small price to pay to gain an entire sleeping/working space. 

We drove to the seller's house that night and picked up the bed.  It was in a gazillion pieces, so it took Clinton about half of a day to put it together.  It is a ridiculous monstrosity that takes up over half of the room, but I love it.  I've already put my writing resource books on the shelves, along with two reading lamps.  I'm going to bring home some essentials from my classroom (pens, post-its, paperclips, etc.) to make it a true home office. 

Sometime after Clint put the bed together, I figured it was safe to tell him my true motive for wanting the loft bed.  I showed him the line in my book where it states that I need to get my own workspace, "and if you don't insist on it, you won't get it!"  (so claims the book).  He just rolled his eyes and smirked.

One lesson I've learned is to NEVER give men the spare room.  In the few homes we've lived in that actually have had an extra room, I've forked it over to Clint every time.  He always just automatically claims it, as if just because he has balls he is entitled to his own man cave (I work my ass off.  Where's my damn cave?  Where is my hide-out where I can get away from the world?).  No more.  He has no concept of how to lay out his own space, and it turns into a worthless storage area crammed with crap.  The era of "personal space for hubby" is gone forever...good riddance.