Christmas presents to live in

One week and one day after Kelly and I came to Worshington we got an apartment. We had a little bit of a race with another couple to get the place, but we won out basically because we don’t have pets and because we’re so good-looking. We got to move in yesterday, and by move in I just mean that we’re allowed to sleep here, because we won’t get our stuff for another week. We are really happy with the apartment, and as nice as it would have been to spend Christmas at Motel 6, we’re really grateful to have a new place to live.

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It’s Official

We’ve got some big news. No, Kelly’s not pregnant. We’re moving to Seattle, Washington. Soon.

Kelly’s planning on going into UW’s Physician’s Assistant program. That’s a big change from her Economics undergrad, so she’s got a lot of prereqs to take care of first, but she’s really excited about it. I’m excited that she’s found something she’s excited about. When I told my work that Kelly was going back to school they asked me to stay on with them and to telecommute to work. That’s pretty exciting and flattering, and very stress-relieving that I won’t have to worry about finding a new job when we get up there.

It’s all been happening really fast, and now it’s just over two weeks until we move. In fact, it’s happening so fast that we don’t even know where we’re going to live. We’re basically just packing up all of our stuff and taking off, and we won’t know where we’re going to land until we get there. We don’t even know anything about the area at all to guide us. Kelly’s never been to Seattle and the only time I’ve been there I was 7 years old and too busy finding quartz crystals in my great-grandpa’s yard to notice anything about where we were.

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The Moat

The apartment that Kelly and I live in is really just the basement of a house. We have some concrete steps going down to our basement on the side of the house, and those steps turn into a death trap for everything that dares to go down there (except for us, hopefully).

I think gravity (or witchcraft) sucks everything in the neighborhood down into the landing at the bottom of our steps. It fills up with leaves and snow and rain, and in the winter it’s basically 4 inches of icy water that protects the apartment like a castle’s moat.

Besides simple inanimate things filling up the moat, it seems like every bug in the area decides that our hole is the place it is going to crawl down in order to die. We’ve had spiders, snails, about a million (give or take 3) roly-polys, and most recently a katydid. I don’t know if they’re intentionally choosing the moat as their final resting grounds or if somehow they get trapped down there. It does seem to happen regardless if the moat is wet or dry at the time, so if they’re getting trapped then it is probably some unknown cosmic force that is doing the trapping.

I just hope that no humans coming to visit us ever wait at the bottom of those steps for too long, or I’m afraid they’ll end up like the snails and katydids.

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Linear Algebra meets INTJ

My friend Brooke posted a link to this personality test on her blog. Kelly took the test and liked it, so she got me to take the test and I liked it too. I’m an INTJ and Kelly’s an INFJ. That’s jut a preface for the nerdy things I decided to do next.

So Brooke posted an image of a grid with all of the personality types in it. I noticed that each of the personality types has these little doors to some of the other types (but not all of them). I didn’t figure out what the little doors meant, but it made me imagine a four-dimensional cube with all of the different personality types in it, a dimension for each of the letters you get in the test results. I thought it would be fun to draw the cube (and probably more fun to look at for anyone that reads this), but I don’t know how to draw in 4-D. I know how to do math in 4-D, so that’s what I did instead.

So, the basic idea is that if I have two scores (presumably from two different people), and I consider them as points in four-dimensional space, then I can calculate the difference between the points and that will tell me how similar two personalities are. (Note that I don’t actually think this has any bearing on compatibility. That’s probably very different and more complex than similarity, which is what I’m going for.)

At first I just assigned each letter option a one or a zero, but it turns out that finding distance that way is the same as just counting how many letters are different between two people’s results. It wasn’t very interesting (and it wasn’t very fun for me because counting doesn’t require much math). So next I thought I could use the “strength of the preferences” to get a better distance. So I consider each letter to be either positive or negative, and the strength to be the value, and then calculate distance. The distance would actually be the the dissimilarity between two personalities, but since the strengths are given as a percentage I know there’s a maximum dissimilarity so I can turn that into similarity by inverting it.

I know you probably didn’t care about any of that, but here’s my little calculator to tell you how similar two personality scores are to each other. I hope it’s as fun to play with as it was to make!

Person 1
Person 2


Residential territory war

I found this letter on my windshield this morning:

As homeowners, we tend to park on, or in front of, our own properties. We aren’t legally required to do so; we do it as a courtesy to each other. Obviously, there are times when this is simply not possible, but it is generally practiced. You, as renters in a residential neighborhood, may be unaware of this convention. You might also be unaware that an owner of rental properties is required to provide adequate parking for renters. Certainly you are free to park wherever you wish. Just as we are free to request that our local authorities contact your landlord regarding possible zoning violations. We feel that this is probably not necessary. You decide.

I was so mad when I got this. I can’t believe how arrogant a person must be to think that they have some terrirtorial right to the street in front of their house. After all, it is the street. Sorry, “homeowners”, but the street isn’t part of your property, and anyone can park on it just like any other city road, even us lowly “renters”.

The letter was anonymous, but I’m pretty sure which neighbor left it, based on previous comments that they’ve made and (more obviously) the house in front of which I had been parked. I wanted to go bang on their door and yell at them, but instead I took the letter (which was wet because of all of the morning rain/dew/melted snow on my windshield) and pushed it against their front window so that it stuck, letter facing in.

By the time I got to work they had brought the letter back and placed it in front of our door, with a hand-written note denying that they wrote it. (As if the location of my car and their knowledge that the letter was intended for me wasn’t enough to show otherwise.)


We be pirates!

My pirate name is:
Bloody Davy Bonney

Every pirate lives for something different. For some, it’s the open sea. For others (the masochists), it’s the food. For you, it’s definitely the fighting. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate’s life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

My pirate name is:
Mad Jenny Bonney

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate’s life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

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Our New Vacuum

We used a chunk of the gift money from our wedding to buy a vacuum cleaner. At Meridith‘s suggestion, we sprung for a really nice one: the Dyson DC07. Kelly has been really excited to have such a nice vacuum, but it’s taken me a little longer to warm up to having spent so much money on the thing. Last night, however, I realized the benefit of having a nice vacuum: It’s means I’m allowed to make messes! We whittled on the carpet last night. It was awesome.

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Tonight we were getting things organized in our new apartment. I had a rag that I was using to wipe the dust off some things, and Kelly asked me in a very concerned tone, “Do you think you’re going to ruin that rag?”

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Marriage adjustment

Kelly and I are married now.

I know that it hasn’t been that long, and it’s all still new to me, but I am surprised at how much has changed since we’ve been married: Nothing.

Ok, well, maybe “nothing” is a bit of an exaggeration, but I am surprised at how normal it feels. Every now and then we get a shock by reminding ourselves that we’re married. It’s like we need to remind ourselves that this is something new and strange for us.

The biggest change in our lives is vocabulary. I constantly catch myself referring to Kelly as my “girlfriend” (or to myself as her “boyfriend”), only to remember (or to be reminded) that we have new words that we’re supposed to use now.

Other than the words, life is going on for us the same as it had before: We were already completely committed to each other, and we were already used to spending all of our time with each other. We heard Bob Millet say at a fireside that marriage doesn’t change the internal status of the couple, but rather changes their status to others. I probably didn’t explain that well, but it makes sense to me.

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Wedding prep 101

People have it backwards teaching “marriage prep” classes. I think I could have used a wedding prep class. I had no idea how many things there were to do in order to get ready for a wedding. I mean, I knew it was a big event, but I had no idea about all of the little details.

I was surprised as we started planning to learn that there is a whole wedding culture. There are a billion little aspects to it that I would have never thought of, and some that, as far as I know, I’ve never even heard of.

One of these is a wedding favor. That was a mystery to me. Another is the whole wedding registry. I mean, I knew that people registered for gifts, but it seems like there are tons of unspoken rules about it, about where and when for what people are supposed to register. It’s not the same as telling Santa what you want for Christmas.

And probably the most mind-boggling is all of the traditions about who pays for what. Did you know that there’s a “rehearsal dinner” that the groom’s family puts on for the wedding party? I have no idea why it’s called that, because apparently it’s not a rehearsal of anything. Also, there’s this whole thing about how you’re supposed to split up the bill for the flowers. Who came up with this stuff?

And, as if it wasn’t confusing enough, there’s several different versions of each tradition, so everyone thinks that there’s a certain way that it’s supposed to be done, even though they might have different stories about the way it’s supposed to be (and no one has any idea about where those ideas came from.)

It’s like learning about Greek mythology all over again.

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