Sunday, October 27, 2013

half way there

At 5am this morning I drove DH to LAX, where he caught his flight to Dublin. He will start work at Brown Bag Films on Tuesday. He will be staying with my dad until I arrive with the kids. We will be leaving Los Angeles on December 18. That is less than two months away. There is so much to be done before we leave that I am feeling a bit queasy. The most important thing is to sell our house, of course. Once that is done, everything else will fall into place. So if you know anyone in L.A. looking to buy a house, send them our way. We have an amazingly beautiful old house, with incredible views, lots of space- 4 bedrooms, 2800 square feet, plus a 1200 square foot apartment. Its on a quarter acre lot, with a vegetable garden, play structure and chickens!
In the meantime, I still have to deal with the contents and though we have been constantly purging, the house is frankly still full. Yay! Luckily DH's vintage video game collection will be going to a video game museum, so that takes care of that. But, all of the little bits and pieces that are still there when you think you have tackled everything have to be taken care of.
I had hoped that I would just spend the next two months painting and writing some music til we leave. I've been waiting 8 years to actually have some real time to devote intensely to my work. Both kids are now in school full time and I have been looking forward to this day for what seems like eternity. With the amount of stuff left here to deal with though, my work may be put on hold yet again. I have two paintings in progress that I want to finish and two paintings that I have not yet started, but would like to both start and finish. Even if I had nothing else on my plate, that's a lot for me to try and accomplish in less than two months. Here's hoping that I can learn to function on less sleep. Ha!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Atari in the attic

I have always maintained that I would rather "do things" than "have things." It is one of those mottos that I smugly think I live by. For instance, I would rather go to a restaurant than buy clothes (and I love clothes!) I would rather take a trip than have a fancy car. That said, I have still accumulated a "small" collection of stuff in my 40 years on this planet. Until a few weeks ago, I had 5 guitars (1 acoustic, 1 acoustic-electric, 2 electric and a bass.) I have had even more than that when I was active in the band (Remember The Renders? http://bitly.com/1bZSeil Probably not. We were not famous. Though we were on the Tyra Banks Show and Gene Simmons' Mr. Romance.... anyway...) I have 4 amps, a PA, mic stands, recording equipment etc... and I consider myself a minimalist. Ugh. I also have a few easels, plenty of paint and other art supplies. I have art. Some that I have painted, some that I have collected (not nearly as much of the latter as I would like.) I have small antique items that my dad has given me. All of which I have carried to the U.S. from Ireland in my suitcases, that I must now bring back. I don't really own much of any monetary value (I am not collecting Picasso's that's for sure), but its all stuff that holds value for me.

My DH, on the other hand, is an aspiring (but until now, failing) minimalist. He is a brilliant human being who can make or fix anything. He is an immensely creative person who sees potential where no one else would. For instance, a ceiling fan will break, he will say "oh, I can use those parts to build a robot." (*NOTE, DH reads this blog and adds "I would not build a robot out of a ceiling fan. Its the wrong type of motor." Well its for illustration purposes, the KIND of thing he would say. Anyway...) And so, said ceiling fan will find its way into our attic. Let me tell you about our attic. It starts with our living room. The living room is a big, glorious, light-filled space. It measures 15'8" x 25'5". Above this living room is a walk-in attic that we can access from the second floor. This attic has been jam-packed with big rubbermaid bins and boxes full of "stuff." Aside from the electronic casualties hoping to be upcycled, there are old clothes, toys (when you work in animation and visual effects, as we both have, there is an endless supply of marketing materials, I mean toys, to be acquired.) etc... As ardent DIYers, there are tools and supplies for just about anything we might want to make. Soap, you say, who needs to buy soap? We have the supplies to make it in the attic. Somewhere, hmmm, where would those be? That is the problem with our state of abundance. It is not organized and we can never find the soap-making supplies when we want to make soap. There is also a two car garage, again full of "stuff." Not sure what, but if we need something we probably have it. We just can't find it!

We also have two kids. Kids get SO many toys! Even though I try to keep it minimal. Its not always within my control. The excess and materialism that is my privileged children's existence really disturbs me. So now, we are being forced to cull the herd and I like it.

We have taken so many trips up and down our three flights of front steps with boxes of "stuff" and our house still seems full. Its like a clown car, the stuff just keeps coming. I think in all its lonely years hiding in the attic and cracks of our house, our "stuff" has figured out how to multiply. Nonetheless, DH leaves in little over a week and he has been putting in such a valiant effort, so I am finally optimistic that we will see the light at the end of the tunnel (or attic, in this case).

I am SOOOOOO excited about this international move, because this big issue of "stuff" that has loomed over our ten years together finally HAS to be dealt with. It can no longer be swept under the rug or avoided. We need to purge this stuff that is often more of a burden than a help. Its that simple. I am so excited to explore the idea of "distribution of labor." We don't really need to DIY everything, do we? We can buy soap!

**NOTE If you want to see an example of what was in our attic- check out my DH's atari (and vintage video game) collection here: http://bitly.com/175ce1n  Make sure you scroll through the whole collection! Yep, he is getting rid of that too. I am so proud.

Drum roll please... We are moving to Ireland!

Yes, you read that correctly. We are moving to Ireland! Dublin to be specific. DH has accepted a job offer from Brown Bag Films in Dublin and I have family that I would like to see more of. So we have decided to pack it in stateside and see what it's like across the pond.

I originally left Ireland in 1982, right before I turned 9. So I will be returning almost 32 years after I originally left. I also lived there in 1986/7 and have returned for many vacations since then but Ireland has changed a lot since I have lived there (and obviously so have I). The kids have had many visits and though DH is American, he has developed a great fondness for Ireland since visiting with me. So, we are not moving to somewhere unfamiliar to any of us, but its an adventure all the same.

Our house has been on the market now for over a week. In the last couple of months we have been manically prepping our house to sell and trying to whittle our possessions down to a more minimal and manageable lot. (We had started this process even before DH got the job offer, as it had started to finally look like a good time to put the house on the market.) Anyway, this has not been an easy task! We have accumulated an inordinate amount of stuff in our not so short (anymore) lifespans. So, with an impending international move and the prospect of tighter quarters on the other end, we have been forced to do what we have been intending to do for many years. Purge!

There are a lot of factors to sort out with any move. Even more with an international one. Not just getting rid of a house, three cars and a ton of stuff. Things like- we have a dog, Pepper, who we are planning to bring with us. We have two kids who will need to go to school in Ireland. DH needs a work visa as I am planning to let him travel ahead of me so that I can take care of so many things on this end. Luckily, I can work on my art and music from anywhere, but I do need to figure out what to bring and what not to bring. Every day is a plethora of details to barrel through in between getting out of the house (with the dog) so that people can view the premises. Though I only updated my blog occasionally before this, I hope to be more diligent about posting now that I have this adventure to chronicle.

Let the adventure begin!