Take Care Of You

This past weekend was exhausting, but so much fun; I decided to head to Iowa City, IA for the APO Section 21 Conference, hosted by the University of Iowa. I had offered to do my theatre workshop, or do one on a different topic. The conference coordinator sent me a list of topics, and the very first one was self-care at service projects, so I decided to switch gears for once and present a workshop session about a completely new subject to me.

At first, I was going to just tell my own stories and strategies. Then, I thought about just turning it into a session where the participants shared their own experiences.

And then, it came to me.

Well, after having lunch on Friday afternoon on the way to the conference, with my friend Brooke, in Muscatine. Brooke is also a Ph.D. candidate in theatre. She does a lot with applied theatre, and I’ve been to several of her workshops at past ATHE conferences. So, I decided to take my experiences, infuse them with applied theatre techniques (with thanks to Brooke, Augusto Boal, and Viola Spolin) and see what would happen.

AKA, true “Jacob style.” (a term I coined back in 2009 in Israel.)

I had 25 participants, according to the sign-in sheet, representing all 4 chapters with members at the conference (Iowa, Iowa State, Coe, and Drake) and I quickly looked over the sheet, taking note of names of people in the room. I started off by nervously introducing myself, then went into a group warm-up to “Sax” by Fleur East, one of my favorite warm-up songs of all time. Then, I started off with some classic misdirection, announcing that I would be talking about self care, but first, tell you about this awesome service project I did as an undergrad. Which led me to:

Scenario 1: Oh, God.

I called for a volunteer from the audience, and got someone from Iowa State to join me in the front of the room. We shook hands, and then I said, “Nice to meet you, [real name of person]. How about I call you Valerie?” which got a lot of laughs. She acquiesced and sat down in the chair next to me. I reintroduced myself to the group as “Craig,” and then broke down the service project to the group: it was Halloween, 10 years ago, before Uber and Lyft existed. “Valerie” and I (“Craig”) handed out business cards to students the day before Halloween with the phone number of a local church (which I called “Sacred Heart”), and instructions to call on Halloween night between the hours of 7 PM and 2 AM, if you were drunk or felt unsafe, and a car would be dispatched to take you safely wherever in town you needed to go, for free. “Valerie” and I were excited to be volunteering as dispatchers on the switchboard.

I set the scene: 6 PM, October 31st, a Friday, the meeting room of Sacred Heart Church, and immediately thrust the two of us into character. I said that Father O’Malley just stood up, and is now asking everyone to stand in a circle, join hands, and pray to Jesus Christ for the safety of our drivers and passengers. As “Craig,” I told “Valerie” that maybe we should leave, because this is strange; not only did I introduce “Craig” as a Jewish student, but also one who didn’t really believe in God, and just felt like getting up and leaving. I asked “Valerie” what she thought, and she said that she’d probably join the circle, but if I didn’t want to, I could just go to the bathroom and come back in a few minutes, and so I did that. I rejoined “Valerie,” thanking her for helping me deal with the situation, ending the scenario.

After a round of applause, I polled the audience on the situation, how “Valerie” handled it, and if she did a good job. There was a general consensus that she did. Several students responded with their own examples; one, who was raised Catholic but is no longer religious, had that same exact experience, and said that “no one even noticed [she] was gone for 5 minutes.” Someone else offered her experience working on mission trips with diverse groups of volunteers with varying relationships with religion. I asked the group what we could learn from this scenario, and the responses I got were: take care of yourself, take care of your brothers, be true to yourself, trust your feelings, and don’t feel pressured to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Which led to:

Scenario 2: Fingers Pointing Every Which Way

This example was a little trickier, but I gave a pretty extreme example just to set the scene. I became “Michael,” and I invited up a volunteer from Iowa, who I dubbed “Sam,” the “president of the [fictional] chapter.” As “Michael,” I called “Sam” to have a one-on-one about yesterday’s service project, which was gardening at an elementary school. At first, I just described what happened, but then I went full-on: it was too hot, I got sweaty, my clothes got dirty, it was boring, I hate lifting heavy things. Then, I went on to say that I asked “Suzanne” for some water, and she just said “grab that shovel and start digging,” and that it was like slave labor, and our Service VP, “Kris” shouldn’t plan projects like this anymore because I can’t do them. As “Sam,” my volunteer responded well to my exceedingly outlandish claims, and even put a twist (and an excellent one) on it, by revealing that he was there too, and it was not that hot outside, nor was it that difficult of a task. “Sam” then went on to politely explain that I should sign up for different events in the future that don’t involve physical labor or being outside, like sorting cans at the food pantry, and that it wasn’t his fault, nor “Suzanne,” nor “Kris,” that all these miserable things happened to me. Problem solved, end of scenario.

In our brief reflection, I told the group that while “Michael” was an extreme case, accessibility is important and not all of us are able to do certain physical tasks, and that’s okay, and while we need to take care of our brothers (for example, if someone gets injured, someone should take that person to get medical care), and as a takeaway, we are all college students who should be able to take care of ourselves in normal everyday situations, and also shouldn’t be so quick to whine, point fingers, and place blame on others. In hindsight, “Michael” was not in a place where he needed actual medical help, and it would not have been feasible or appropriate to take “Michael” home at this point, so “Michael” should have either changed his behavior, or reevaluated the situation. I did a bit more talking than listening at this point, mostly because I wanted to get my point about accessibility across, and that just because someone is struggling does not mean that they are a “Michael.” Someone in the audience pointed out that maybe “Michael” had a personal vendetta against “Sam” or “Kris” or “Suzanne,” or that he might have other emotional/academic issues outside of school. And finally:

Scenario 3: Heavy Metal

At this point, I took my yellow bandana from my wrist, put it on my head, and morphed into “Morton” (I was tired and couldn’t think of a decent sounding male name, sorry), the president of another fictional chapter. I arranged eight seats around me in a circle, and called for an “emergency meeting,” and for 8 people from the audience to come and fill the seats. It ended up being 4 guys and 4 ladies, the latter of whom I greeted with a “good of you to show up, Penelope, thanks for coming.” (again, wtf, Jacob?)

As President “Morton,” I told the group that I got a call from “Doris” from Campus Security. I explained that our chapter earned both service hours and a little extra money by stamping hands and guarding fire exits at campus events. However, “Doris” told me that next week, a much bigger event was occurring, and they wanted us to use metal-detecting wands on people as they came in. I voiced that this might not quite be what our organization is all about, and asked the group what they thought we should do.

“Penelope” spoke up first, saying that she had no problem at all with it, and it could be a new skill for us to learn as a group. I thanked her for her perspective, and then said that, in “my” opinion, this was sort of a risky event because what would happen if someone had a weapon, and how could we know that we weren’t going to get shot? I looked around the circle for an agreeing face, and upon making eye contact with another girl, said “Jennifer, what are your thoughts?” The girl I called “Jennifer” said that she agreed with me, and that this prospect scared her a little, and if we were to decide to do it, she wouldn’t feel safe and didn’t want to do the project. Before we could get too much into details, I took a poll: 4 (including myself) did not want to do it, and the other 5 did. So, I told the group that campus security needed a minimum of 10 committed volunteers, and that we are a very small chapter, with only 15 members total. “Jennifer” suggested calling the other six and asking them, but I revealed that it was a weekend, and some of them had gone to visit their families at home, so we might not be able to reach them right away. Doing some quick math, I told the group that we had potentially eleven people, but that would mean that 5 out of 6 people not currently in the room would need to do the event in order for it to happen, and that “Doris” needed to know right away. So I put it to the group, should we do it, or say “thanks but no thanks?” In response, “Penelope” offered up the perfect solution, pointing out that it’s not fair to make decisions for people who aren’t in the room and don’t have a voice, and since we don’t have the numbers in the room currently, we should politely pass on this opportunity as a group, which solved the problem.

This was probably my favorite scenario, because it got super intense and involved, super quickly. In reflection “Penelope” pointed out that while in real life, she had done that before, it’s not for everyone. “Jennifer” revealed that in real life, she, as her character, would absolutely not do it, and no one would convince her otherwise, so it was not a hard stretch to object in this scenario. We quickly wrapped up the reflection, and the workshop as a whole, by talking about how important group self-care is, that it’s important to take peoples’ needs and feelings into consideration when making big decisions, to let people have a say/talk out big things like this, to not make decisions for people who are not in the room, and to look for the big picture of group safety vis a vis things like volunteering and making money.

With that, I concluded the workshop, thanked all my participants and volunteers, and got a hearty round of applause. I’d definitely want to do this again, and I think that it went off without a hitch; the scenarios were bullet-proof, diverse, and provided the students with a lot to think about.

So what do you think? Let me know in the comments below.


Hey, Is This Heaven? No, It’s Iowa.

I know it’s been a few days since I’ve posted, but the parental units are in town for the first time since October so I’ve been spending just about every waking moment with them since they arrived Friday morning. We went to Art Fair on the Square yesterday, and today, we got in the car and drove two hours to visit the setting of my dad’s all-time favorite film, Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa, and some other places.

We set out from Madison at about 11:30 AM, bound for Galena, Illinois, which doubled in the movie as Chisholm, Minnesota. There was an art festival going on so the town was full of people. Galena is basically one long strip of cute little shops and old storefronts. It was very quaint and decked-out for a town that small. There, we saw the DeSoto House, which doubled as the “Welcome to Chisholm” sign; the Logan House, which was also a bar in the film; and a local doctor’s office which was also the front door of Moonlight Graham’s office in the movie. The weather was not looking promising, and we needed to press on to Dyersville, so we left.

An hour later, after crossing the Mississippi River into Iowa, we ambled down the dirt road that led to Field of Dreams. It was an actual baseball field built for the 1988 movie of the same name, on the Lansing Farm. The families who owned the farm bought the rights to the name, and they make money off of merchandise. Though the farmhouse where the Kinsella family lived is a private residence and closed to the public, everything outdoors is free and open to the public. It’s all still there: the baseball field, the lights, the cornfield, the bleachers where Karin fell, the spot where Archie transformed into Doc Graham, and of course, the Kinsella house. I learned that when they made the film, they actually had to build a platform in the cornfield so that Kevin Costner could be seen above the cornstalks. There was a family there playing baseball, but Dad and I were able to walk around the bases together. I even walked down a few trails to find some geocaches and took funny pictures with the corn. Everyone visiting and working there seemed happy and chatty; true “Midwest nice.”

Other than that, there’s not much to Dyersville. We stopped at a McDonalds, and then went straight back to Madison, which was a little over two hours. All in all, it was a good day trip; Galena is adorable and the movie site is still as it was.

Thanks for reading; I’ve got a few fun blog posts in the works for this week, including reviews of the two books I finished on the ride to and from Dyersville, for which I did not have to drive, thankfully.


Nine Thousand Miles

This weekend was a whirlwind, almost lost to history and memory, but I’ll see how much I can resurrect out of it.

Friday: After our final school show, it was officially time for spring break and for hitting the road to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the Iowa DanceSport Classic, my first away competition. I could not find a partner, so I decided to go TBA, and dance at Bronze level rather than newcomer for the first time. I needed some extra time to veg out, so I ended up leaving Madison at 4 PM with exactly 8600 miles on the car. It was a relatively uneventful trip, and my first time ever seeing eastern Iowa in the daylight. I made it to Iowa City at sunset and almost got into an accident; there’s a road there with two lines going the same direction, yet there’s a divider in between them. So, I thought I could turn left from the right lane. The car in front of me did that about 5 minutes before, and got hit; fortunately, the person in the left lane slowed down so the same didn’t happen to me. I still decided to be the good Samaritan and see if the people who did get into the accident were okay. After a quick sandwich and cappuccino, I met up with Sophia, Dillon, Nicole, and Tim (the first three are from team, Tim is Sophia’s friend) in downtown Iowa City. Sophia, who graduated from Iowa, led us around the campus, and we went to a fun dance club and saw the old state capitol building before heading over to Cedar Rapids to check into the hotel. There were 8 of us in the room; me, Sophia, Dillon, Nicole, Sergio, Ciara, Raunak, and Jameson, and it was like a giant slumber party, complete with attempting to throw popcorn in Jameson’s mouth and making a giant mess, but we did actually get some sleep. Of course, I ended up in between Jameson and Raunak in the king-size bed, so it is debatable as to how much sleep I actually got.

Saturday: Wake-up, get dressed, and make-up by 8:30 for registration only to find out that the events most of us are competing in aren’t happening until 2:30 PM.


At least we were ready early.

The first activity of the day was lunch with Sophia, Dillon, Nicole, and Sergio, and meeting my partner for the day, Heather from the Iowa team. Our practice went pretty well, and she and her pre-champ friends taught me how to do a reverse turn in samba, which I always wanted to know how to do. Then, at 2:45 (they were running a bit late) it was showtime. I wasn’t too happy with the cha-cha and rumba we did, but I thought our samba and jive were pretty good for only having known each other for 2 hours. I was much happier with our standard, we did a lovely waltz despite starting off time, and our quickstep was not bad. Overall, not the greatest for my first away competition, but next time will be better.

Oh, and I saw the announcer in the bathroom afterwards while taking off my makeup, and he said that he saw me and was wondering if I had my eye makeup tattooed on, to which I chuckled “I wish.” At least my eye-makeup game was totally on fleek.

After getting gas and finding some geocaches, dinner was at Jersey’s Pub in downtown Cedar Rapids with Raunak, Jameson, and Ciara. We watched the nail-biting game between Wisconsin and Arizona, and thankfully Wisconsin was around 8 points ahead most of the time, so elite eight, here come the Badgers.

I left Cedar Rapids at about 9 PM, and got home a few minutes before midnight with exactly 8995 miles on my car, and next morning’s trip to the grocery store got me to 9000.

Now, time to get as much work done as I possibly can before heading home on Thursday.


Welcome to the Dead Zone

So here I am, jollily making my way through several new counties (Ozaukee, Sheboygan, and Washington, to be precise), and racking up geocaches (admittedly, fewer than I would have wanted; I left too late and spent too long looking for a few). Most of the time, I have no problems with the geocaching app on my phone, or my phone in general.

Driving home, however, something happened around Horicon that I noticed on the way over, too.

I had entered…The Dead Zone.


A dead zone is an area where even though calls and texts may go through and the maps function may still work, other apps requiring GPS/network (Facebook, Email, Weather, Safari, Geocaching) are completely unusable.

And that sucks.

Since I’ve had a cell phone, I don’t recall ever being in an area without any service. On the East Coast, you’re never far from a large city, and in Texas, there are so many people and cell phone towers that even in nowheresvilles like Schulenberg and Flatonia, service is usually pretty top-notch. This is not the case, however, here in Wisconsin.


I first noticed it when I went to Perrot State Park. I can’t remember when I lost it, but I went through entire counties with no service at all. I got it sporadically across the border in Minnesota, but once we reentered Wisconsin, nothing until La Crosse. I didn’t stop in Horicon, but I checked online and there are plenty of geocaches in all of those places, and I wonder how people get to them without bars. I have AT&T; it’s quite possible that U.S. Cellular and Verizon are better, but probably not by much. Still…do geocachers in those places still do old-school geocaching with GPS units and packets of paper? Or is there something I’m missing?

Further research through att.com resulted in this lovely map:



Above is the map of Wisconsin. You can see that there is, indeed, a humongous dead zone that stretches across the southwestern part of the state and into Iowa and Minnesota. That’s a lot of dead air space; several counties’ worth. Oddly, even when I zoomed in on Horicon, there was no dead zone.

Call me a First-World-er, but being somewhere without cell phone service is scary. Suppose your car were to break down or veer off the road outside Richland Center or Prairie du Chien; how would you get help? Would you wait for someone to come find you? Would you hitchhike somewhere? Would you just walk somewhere? There are good reasons for being without cell phone service; if you’re camping, for instance, in a national park or something and want to be left alone, or if you’re with other people, but to be alone, in an unfamiliar place, without cell phone service is kind of freaky.

The 21st century may have crippled society, but cell phone service is a crutch that could potentially be life-saving.

I promise I’ll have a real entry about something relevant and not superficial tomorrow.

I hope.


How I Got Into Graduate School – Round 1, Part 1

I’ve been trying all day to think up a good and interesting story, but I couldn’t, so I’ll just tell you how I got into graduate school.

But first, how I didn’t get into graduate school.

When I got back from Israel in 2010, I started looking at options for graduate schools, since that was clearly the way to go. I found several programs that I liked, and applied to three of them for admission: University of Iowa, University of Colorado-Boulder, and Yale School of Drama. Yes, I know, Yale School of Drama. My advisors advised against it, but a guy can dream, can’t he? And what’s the worst that could happen? Oh yeah, a rejection letter. But if you’re willing to face that as an option, then hey, go for it, I guess. Which I did.

While working on and sending off the applications, I got an invite from UC-Boulder to come out for the weekend and attend a Prospective Grad Students’ Weekend there. They offered free food, activities, and the normal grad-school-visit stuff. The only big expenses would be flight/hotel, and when I presented my parents with this option, they said, “why not?” So off I was to Colorado for the weekend, a state I’d never been to before and haven’t been to since. It was early spring, so it was gorgeous up there in the mountains – I had a great time, made good friends with some of the professors and students, and generally enjoyed myself. I even pictured myself living in Colorado. Upon leaving, I was taking a walk with a professor when I asked her (kind of bluntly) if she thought I could get in, and she seemed pretty positive about it, so I left Boulder with a good taste in my mouth.

Then the rejection letter came a few weeks later. For some reason, it wasn’t that upsetting – at least I had a great time there, and I had bigger fish to fry. Speaking of…

One day in March, THE EMAIL CAME. It was THE YALE EMAIL. To summarize, it basically summoned me up to New Haven for a day for a round of interviews. My dad said “whoopee!” and off to New Haven we went. I was so nervous about it I actually called up a professor of mine a few days before to ask some preliminary questions, and even practiced some jokes and read-up on early American theatre, for some odd reason. Of course, the day we were supposed to go, an electrical storm knocked out Philadelphia and our train got canceled, so instead, we took a later train. We still got there, but with barely a moment to breathe before I had to head out to get interviewed by SEVEN PEOPLE. At the SAME TIME. And of course, me being a clumsy idiot, about a block before the building, I slipped and fell on the ice, resulting in a bloodied right hand. What hurt even more was I was talking to my friend DeDe at the time, planning to meet up later for dinner, and then WHOMP.

Fortunately, the building had a first-aid kit, so with minor bandaging, I entered the interview room and got pelted with questions. I had them laughing a few times, and I thought that I did an OK job. While I was in the room, Dad found out that out of about 50 applicants, they’d only summoned the top 15 to New Haven for a mere 5 spots, so that made him (and me) feel pretty special. Later that night, we met up with DeDe, Yaakov, and their adorable baby (who is a big brother as of last week – congrats guys!) during which DeDe had an awesome spit take with her hot chocolate where she almost died. Then, Dad and I saw The Piano Lesson at the University Theatre, then I went out with DeDe once again for a trivia night, which we won (because my team ALWAYS wins), and then went home the next day. Still no word from Iowa.

The next email I got from Yale was…a rejection letter. Boo. But hey, at least I can tell my grandchildren that I almost got into Yale.

Never mind that not one but TWO of my cousins applied, got in, and actually went to Yale…but that’s beside the point.

And then, there was Iowa. I know they only had 2 spots available in their program, and I hadn’t heard, so I called to see what was up. They apologized for waiting so long to get back to me, but then I got the shocking news that they had made two offers…but that I was still in the running.



Apparently, they’d had a lot of applicants and a really tough time making decisions, and I made it through the final round of cuts to be put on the waiting list, and in fact, was the top alternate on the wait list, and they’d already sent rejections to everyone else but me. I don’t know how true this was or if they were just saying this to make me feel better, but we did speak about it by phone and email, so I’m pretty sure it was sincere. They told me to wait just one more week, because if one of the two offers declined, the spot would be mine, and they said that that situation has occurred before.

So I waited a week…

And it didn’t happen. REJECTION. They did, however, tell me to reapply and that I’d probably get in, but due to funding, they weren’t sure if they were going to accept a new class until Fall 2013, if I was willing to wait. DOUBLE REJECTION.

And that’s how I didn’t get into graduate school.

But wait…what? The title of this post is how I GOT into graduate school, not how I DIDN’T GET into graduate school!

That’s a story for another time, possibly tomorrow, or possibly in a few days. But it has a (sort of?) happy ending, so don’t despair, Pooh Bear. I just made that up, and I’m totally using it in conversation tomorrow.

Will the Brady Bunch get out of that old west prison? Will Rachel marry Joey instead of Ross? Will we ever find out who shot J. R.?




Ah, the joys of moving. A shiny, clean apartment that you get to mess up with boxes and bags of stuff, only to clean it up again. In order to set yourself a new schedule, you have to mess up your schedule and your routine, running out to replace things and spending excess money on things just because you need them now. The worst part of all that is you probably had those items before the move, and then they got tossed in a box that you can’t locate or, in fact, tossed in the trash.

I’ve been here in Madison for just over a week. The day I made my last post, we were planning on stopping at the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa, until our trip came to a grinding halt somewhere between the towns of Adair and Casey, about halfway between Omaha and Des Moines. A blown tire caused a full-blown meltdown from my dad, but for some reason, I wasn’t too bothered by it – it was just a tire, something easily fixable. Also, we were able to safely pull off the highway and into a rest stop which had water, vending machines, and bathrooms. Neither of us got hurt, and we had a car full of food and clothing. That, and the fact that there were three geocaches in the immediate area. After the first hour with no tow truck, I started to get a little worried, especially with my paranoid father lamenting the fact that it was Sunday, and we might have to sleep in the car if we couldn’t get a tow. Fortunately, we got the call that they located a tow in nearby Atlantic and two hours or so after the incident, we were in the back seat of a tow truck on our way to Des Moines, where we got four new tires, even though I had just replaced the tires about two years prior. It was quite a boring hour, but once back on the road, Dad decided that we would get into Madison that night rather than spend another night on the road in Iowa. I was secretly happy, as it meant that I got to see my new apartment. But that happiness faded rather quickly when we got in at 9:45 that night and I realized I had to sleep on the hard wood floor. Ouch.

The apartment is actually a little bigger than we remembered, and it got the Mom seal-of-approval when she arrived a few days later. In terms of furniture, for the second night, I borrowed some chairs, a table, and a teeny, mildly uncomfortable mattress from some storage area downstairs. Coupled with my Target chair and the last of Mimi’s tables (I gave the rest to Najeeb, who lived two floors up from me in Houston), it’s an odd agglomeration of stuff. All my clothes are here, but I’m a few hangers short.  The bathroom is pretty much stocked, except paper goods and some shampoo/conditioner we bought here. The second bedroom is pretty much empty, though currently my clothes are drying in a pile on the floor because the dryers here kind of suck. All my stuffed animals are hanging out with some spare linens in the closet. My living room is a few piles of papers and crap, my winter coat (again, no hanger for it), and a few things lying around like pens and water bottles and my master’s diploma. Whoops. At least the massive amounts of trash and recycling left today, courtesy of me (no trash removal service here). The kitchen is probably the area that’s the most set up, with toaster oven, microwave, can opener, and general kitchen supplies. I bought new dishes yesterday at Kohl’s. All my mugs and glasses survived this move (generally, I lose at least one) and much to my mother’s relief, Mimi’s wine goblets, as well as her wooden salad bowl and tongs, and all her cutlery. The counter space, what little there is, is occupied by appliances, random stuff like cereal and room spray, and this laptop, which was previously in the corner near the router where I sat on the floor using it, not realizing that the ethernet cable was actually quite long, so now I’m in a chair in front of the dishwasher. Behind me are some cabinets with food and supplies and a disgusting little drop-leaf table that is stacked with – you guessed it – more random papers and crap. And some books, three of which I bought at a used bookstore here on State Street. The floor is currently decorated with plastic bags from Target and the stuff I bought tonight. The walls are all just about bare, except for my hamsah that Neta gave me, which I like for some odd reason.

The building itself is pretty nice, if not hot, with fans in each room not really doing the trick. The lake is gorgeous, but I could do with less music and singing from the sorority girls next door. I have cable included (but the TV is with the movers), and cable internet access, although I get my wireless router tomorrow. I’ll probably feel more at home once the furniture arrives, which I thought (or at least hoped) would be this week, until I got the call this morning that it’ll be here Sunday, meaning I have to endure another six days of camping out in a sleeping bag atop a mattress. There is a gym in the building, but the equipment’s not great and some of it was very dirty, so I think that until it gets too cold to walk outside after a shower, I’ll probably just go to the campus gym.

I just went to the Super Target in Verona, where I got about $150 worth of stuff, some which I already know I’ll be returning. I found everything on my list except for matches. Why would a Super Target, which carries literally EVERYTHING, not have a single box of matches?There’s not much storage room left in the kitchen area, although there’s a weird little closet with little shelves by the front door that I haven’t a clue what to do with, so for now it’s got a box of DVDs and my new Chefmate dish set and kitchen utensil set, still in their boxes.

In the past week, I’ve been trying hard to make this place my home, but with my furniture and 14 boxes of books and other supplies, I feel like I’m just squatting in a big cardboard box in the sky. The previous occupants left a microwave oven, which was nice, but then…no food to cook in it. So, we get some food…but there’s no dishes to put the food in. Also, no tongs or oven mitts (though I think I stuck a potholder or two in a box somewhere). It’s a continual game of dog-chases-tail, just kind of spinning in circles until I pass a certain point of progress that will make it feel like a home. Probably when my furniture decides to show up.