Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Local Politics

I feel uninteresting and boring lately; my days are filled with playing and caring for my new daughter, who certainly fascinates and delights me, but doesn't do anything really blogworthy. We have a healthy, happy baby girl who is about eight weeks old. And that's my main concern right now.

Other than that, I've gotten wrapped up in neighborhood politics. Last Christmas i got myself elected to our condo board, and the work has been frustrating if necessary. Our converted warehouse boarders a nasty urban brownlot full of trash, kudzu, weeds, and a vandalized trailer. The negligent owner of this blighted property says he'll clean up his trash when he gets permission to build on the lot. I, and a lot of other neighbors, are committed to making it as hard as possible for this guy to build because he's such a dishonest and unfriendly person. In addition to being a negligent land owner, he was also successfully prosecuted for fraud in a previous building endevour in our neighborhood.

Fighting the bad landowner means that I have to attend a condo board meeting once a month and keep up with my neighbors and some emails. I and the husband also now attend some meetings of the Inman Park Homeowner's Association. While it's nice to meet the other people whose homes boarder the brownlot, I also find the whole thing to be a giant headache. At least I'm new to the fight; evidently negotiations with this landowner have been going on for nearly a decade. The trash in the lot behind my house has been there for at least five years. It's obscene and absurd and just part of living in the city, I guess.

Our friends Tony and Andrew - Dot's Godparents, in fact - are moving down to Atlanta next month and I couldn't be happier about that. Skeet called this morning and will be visiting over Labor Day weekend. Our friends continue to draw nearer to us, and I am hoping that everyone will continue to settle here in the neighborhood. One of the midwives who helped with Dot lives within walking distance of me. I like walking around and running into my sister, her friends, our friends, the guy from the bank, our neighbors - I like bumping into people I know while just being out. We're lucky to live in a place like that. We're lucky, and I know this is true.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Home Dreaming

The Inman Park yearly festival has come and gone again, and this year was the first year I really got to enjoy it the way I'd always wanted. In the past I had always had family or work comittments that either took away my time or made me too tired to go out to see the parade and peek into the homes on the home tour. This year is different, this year is better. This year the husband and I took Dot out in her baby sling and met our friend Amy for lunch, and then we watched the parade.

I love my neighborhood; along with the local High School bands and politicians up for office, my neighborhood has a parade that highlights all the things that make Atlanta great. Marching alongside the conventional parade regulars were drag queens in masses of feathers, Klingons on custom motorbikes, war protesters of various stripes, a Harry Potter fanclub, a mass of neighborhood people dressed as superheroes just because they like superheroes, the local Youth Pride chapter, a crazy man with a placard informing us we were all going to hell, The Queen of Trash who rode atop the local garbage truck (it had been cleaned), The Queen of Little Five (who was massive and elicited reverential bows from the local punks), the local 'Possum Queen atop her opossum-mobile, The Sweet Potato Queen, and a local Homecoming Queen, who was the youngest of all the Queens by a good 30 years.

The husband took the baby home after that so Amy and I could have an afternoon out peeking inside homes open for the home tour. I had to go on the tour this year as a house on Austin/Lake Avenue near where I first rented was up for looking. When I first moved here one front corner of that house was held up by a car jack, and the rest was all crumbling at the edges. Today the house has been totally rebuilt as a dream home. We also took a look in some of the old mansions around the neighborhood. The husband and I joke all the time that we need to win the lottery so we can move three blocks from our warehouse...

It took me three days to get this posted; between breastfeeding and housework, I'm swamped. Happy, tired, and overwhemled, but in a way very different from how I feel when I'm overloaded in my professional work. Working at home is more difficult than working in an office. There is this dream that we all have, a dream of a lovely perfect house from a home tour, sparking clean. In that dream you stay at home all day helping your family and somehow everything is all relaxed. This is not reality. In reality, professional cleaners come and set the stage for those tours. In reality, I've got baby spit-up on me and my laundry isn't folded. In the dream, there are no clothes on the floor and we are all well rested and dinner is cooked every night. But still, I live in best of all real worlds - and soon we will have even more people I love best living near us.