Monday, June 11, 2018

Moving Day

We've moved to wordpress!

My new blog, The Small House in Charlottesville, is now live, although not all my old posts from this blog have made it over there yet and currently the only new content at the new site is a welcome post.  There are also a few design details that may need refining, but basically, the site is ready to go. The new URL is I hope to see you there!

Monday, June 04, 2018

Slowly but surely

I'm sorry for the long delay at launching my new website. I finally resolved a major technical issue, but now am having trouble importing my posts from this blog into the new one. It seems like a simple enough process. You run a back up utility on blogger that gives you an xml file that contains your blog's entire contents. You then run an importer tool in Wordpress. When I did this, all my blogger content landed in the media library and I have no idea how to configure it so it appears as posts. So I've begun the slow and painful process of reviewing all my blogger posts and manually putting each one into Wordpress (backdated). Of course this stupid method of content transfer means all comments will be lost, although they'll live on in the old site. You probably think I am stupid now, but the fact is, I AM stupid. So no worries.  I enjoy time-wasting, pointless tasks.

At least now the URL is working properly, which was the big technical problem. My plan is to spend this week transferring as much content as possible and I hope for an official move by early next week. My archives will look weird, as I'm adding the oldest and newest content, hoping to meet in the middle some day, so you'll see a bunch of recent stuff and some things from 2006.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Chance Encounter and the Curse of Mother's Day

Early yesterday morning, (05:55 to be exact) I went out for a run. A few blocks from my house, I spotted a man standing on a street corner. I had to decide if I would change my route to avoid him, or run past - a routine decision that all women have to make when they're alone and are approaching a strange man. This man appeared to be weaving on his feet and I can easily outrun a drunk so I decided to proceed. When I got close, he approached me, indeed without any respect for boundaries so I had to hold up my hand and tell him not to come any closer. I wasn't afraid, but I was annoyed. I asked him to tell me what he wanted. He was wearing a baseball cap, glasses, and clothes that, although rumpled, had probably seen a washing machine recently. In an educated voice, he asked me if I could help him. I cut him off, saying I didn't have any money and then went quickly on my way. He didn't try to follow me.

At first, I felt guilty that I had rebuffed this man so brusquely, although truly, I had no means to help him. I don't carry money with me when I run and I didn't even have my phone. But then I realized: He's a white man. No harm will come to him. Had he been non-white, someone might have called the police about a "suspicious" person. Had he been a woman, there might have been offers of help along the lines of "Hey baby, want a ride?" But he was a white male, secure as King Henry II's proverbial virgin with a bag of gold, perfectly safe to stand on a residential street corner at 6:00 am, accosting random women.

My feelings turned in a different direction entirely and I found myself angry with the man rather than with myself. Honestly, how feeble to find yourself stranded and to just expect someone to rescue you. The man had two legs that worked, he could have used them and walked downtown and found help.

Anyway, screw him. I changed my route on the homeward run and didn't see him again, but the whole incident made me realize that I don't like men. Sorry men, but a lot of you really suck. And even the relatively decent men who don't sexually harass or condescend are still standing around basking in their male privilege in a very irritating way.

It must have been a rough night in Charlottesville on Saturday. Two blocks from the man who accosted me, I saw someone sleeping in their car and I also encountered a man passed out on someone's front yard - something you might see in a student neighborhood, but unusual for my neighborhood. The man who approached me, I suspect was a tourist, lost, drunk, and bewildered in an unfamiliar neighborhood.

Yesterday was Mother's Day, which I try not to acknowledge because it's the most angst-filled day of the year. This year was my first Mother's Day without a single child in the house and I was free to do what I wanted - EXCEPT - on this day of all days, Phoebe got sick. When I took her out for a walk, she refused to go into the park and insisted on standing in the vacant lot, munching on the tall grass. Inside again, her stomach made such ominous noises, we had to go straight back out and my sacred morning routine of tea and a book was upset because I had to stay out with her, waiting for her to puke. Classic Mother's Day - even when your kids are all taking care of themselves, you still can't escape being responsible for someone who's about to puke. Jon, of course, slept like a baby through all the events just described.

In other news, my new website is coming along but isn't quite ready to be launched. offers a bewildering array of tools and it's been scolding me because I suck at SEO. Of course I want readers, but maybe it isn't a super high priority for my blog to land near the top of searches. Also, I installed a new theme which undid much of the work I'd already done with one of Wordpress' standard themes. Maybe in another week or two it will be ready. This may be the last post that I write at this site. I intend to migrate all my content here to the new site.