The Apartment Hunt (And Other Reflections On Life)

I used to love apartment hunting. When I first moved to Madison, few things gave me as much joy as plotting my inevitable release from the one bedroom apartment I shared with two other people. I loved touring apartments. I loved spending hours on different websites comparing layouts and designs. It felt so grown up.

But I have to admit, as I contemplate my 17th move in 8 years, I am thoroughly sick of apartment hunting. 

I think it is mostly moving around Madison. For the, like, half a second when I thought I was moving to Texas, the new adventure stirred me with excitement and I probably would have jumped in with enthusiasm. But as I’m fairly committed to Wisconsin for at least the next year, no new adventure exists. I know the housing options in Madison. I’ve studied them carefully. And I know what it will cost to exit student housing into the “real world.” Eek. 

I tried passing off the apartment hunt on Bethany, but she demonstrates extreme indifference towards where we live, so there went that plan. (Actually, I take that back. She is quite opinionated if I suggest a place she considers cheap, sketchy, or somehow uninteresting. But don’t expect her to locate a place on her own. It won’t happen. Sorry. That sounds passive aggressive. She truly is a good roommate. I like living with my sister. But did I mention I’m sick of apartment hunting?) 

So, I’m back to apartment hunting. If I want to torture myself, I sometimes look at townhouses for sale instead and imagine having a place that is mine. A place where I can paint the walls or tear up the carpet or replace the shelving. A place that means permanence and roots. 

It is a weird dichotomy. On the one hand, I crave the adventure that comes with somewhere new. On the other, I’m getting a little tired of new. I’ve done new a lot. I’ve done Tennessee, England, Idaho, Colorado, and Thailand. And Wisconsin. A lot of places in Wisconsin. 

It comes down to impatience, mostly. I’m e-mailing with an apartment complex now. I think the person I am talking to checks their e-mail once a day. At least, that’s the response rate. And I’m impatient. I want to just apply and move forward already. But I also have questions. 

So goes life. I want to know what I am doing post-August. I want to live in a place I won’t move from in a month, or half a year, or a year. I want a job that says permanence. Because I’m impatient and sometimes forget I’m only 26. 

The process of becoming is a challenging one. Whether it means impatience in housing, impatience in education, impatience in social distancing, I just want to move forward. But the becoming is important. Through the angst, I develop the person I am. The person I will become. I learn the lesson I’m supposed to learn. But gosh darn it, sometimes I wish I’d just learn it already. 

I named this blog “fernweh,” meaning homesickness for the abroad. Sometimes, though, I feel the opposite. I feel homesickness for the familiar. I wish I’d just settle, plant roots, and be content. But always in that feeling, I feel the itch. The itch for new. The itch for other. 

And so I apartment hunt. Because maybe tomorrow someone, somewhere, will list something that somehow combines my desire for ‘new’ with my desire for ‘home.’ 

And, wow, does that feel like an angsty way to end this post. But I’m feeling angsty today! I promise to calm down once I’ve settled on a new apartment. 

Wisconsin Votes

What a crazy litigious build-up to Wisconsin’s election today! My sister and I got our absentee ballots out weeks ago so it doesn’t really impact me much when people vote (though I certainly have strong opinions about what the governor tried to do.) But it really has brought to a head a lot of questions about separation of powers and executive orders.

If you haven’t been following, one case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. It involved an order that would have extended absentee voting to six days after the election. Election results wouldn’t be released till the end of the period. The Supreme Court said that would effectively change the election day and that could not happen this last minute. 

Another case went before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, challenging the governor’s executive order delaying the Wisconsin election till June. In a 4-2 decision (Justice Kelly abstaining), the court held Governor Evers could not move the election day via executive order.

Pretty exciting stuff!

Did you vote?

Bob Ross

Bethany has made it her personal mission to introduce me to Bob Ross. (She looks over my shoulder protests that I’m exaggerating.) Okay, so maybe not a personal mission. But she has definitely introduced me to the show (what else is there to watch at 10:41 PM? I need to go to bed) and it is so wholesome! 

His talent is incredible. I look away and then bam. Stunning scenery in only a few brush strokes. 

I now understand her generation’s weird fixation with happy little trees. 

Happy Palm Sunday!

Happy Palm Sunday, everyone! Even with my church’s online service, it feels weird celebrating from my apartment. I suspect it will only feel weirder as Easter approaches. I have spent many Easters away from home, including the last one. But all those times I simply lived far away. Now I live near my family, but I still will not get to celebrate with them in person. 

But that doesn’t make this season any less precious. Gathered together or far apart, Holy Week is still one of my favorite seasons of the year. I love Christmas, but I prefer Easter because on Easter we truly celebrate the culmination of God becoming man and the sacrifice that saved us. It is the ultimate day for rejoicing, no matter our present circumstances. We know what came. And we know what is coming.

As David proclaimed so long ago, “The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”

May you feel the joy of the Lord this week, whatever your circumstances look like and whatever season you are in.

Zechariah 9:9

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”


Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (2020)

If you have followed this blog long at all, you will know I am a huge fan of the TV show Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. So, you can guess at how excited I was when I heard they decided to make a movie. Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (2020) released on Acorn TV last month and I talked Bethany into watching it with me last night. It was…okay.

The adventure leaves behind Australia and occurs primarily in London and Palestine. Between rescuing damsels in distress and solving several murders, Miss Fisher uncovers hidden tombs, dodges ancient curses, and spends a considerable amount of time looking fabulous in the desert. The movie basically turns her into a female Indiana Jones. Though Dot and Aunt Prudence get their cameo moments, the only other character from the TV show with any amount of screen time is Chief Inspector Jack Robinson. 

It is a fun, action packed movie and well-acted. Essie Davis (Miss Fisher) and Nathan Page (Jack Robinson) are always great and their natural chemistry shines despite quite a lot of unnecessarily plot angst. The costuming remains as fabulous as ever. And though several scenes tried way too hard to come across artsy, I thought even the filming did a good job. 

The problem is really the plot. It is something of a mess. You don’t have time to think much about it while watching because every five minutes presents another action/chase/shooting/fighting scene. But it tries so hard to keep the viewer constantly entertained that it makes it hard to focus. And once you think you finally understand the mystery, someone starts shooting and Miss Fisher heads off to a different country on a rabbit trail that feels out of nowhere but apparently ties in somewhere. 

And did anyone ever tell poor Dot that Miss Fisher didn’t actually die?? 

Overall, I would say if you enjoy the world of Miss Fisher, definitely give it a watch. And if you don’t but the idea of a female Indiana Jones intrigues you, also give it a try. I would absolutely watch more Miss Fisher movies if they came out. The ingredients are all there for something good…it just needs a more cohesive plot.

Pride and Prejudice the Musical

Pride and Prejudice the Musical “premiers” next Friday via this website. Despite some hesitation over the cosutuming, I was soooo excited…until I found the songs on YouTube. 

Y’all, Pride and Prejudice the Musical is the most boring, weak-tea soundtrack I think I’ve ever sat through. I kept listening in hopes that at least one gem would emerge. Nada. 

Bethany overheard me playing it and asked why I was “listening to a bad soap opera.” 

My friend Sara listened and called it, “a weird Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast, Rigoletto musical mash up.” 

It isn’t that the songs are bad, necessarily. They are just enormously boring. They take no risks. They do nothing fun. It is just…melodramatic angst. 

You can listen for yourself here:

A New Library App

My local library announced access to a new app to help people get through social distancing…Hoopla!

Upside: it has more than ebooks and audio books. It includes TV shows, movies, and music! Including a lot of the shows on Acorn TV (like Miss Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries.) 

Downside: you can only check out 4 things a month.

I am excited to play around with it some more. It has already won my heart by having an ebook copy of Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen (I could not find a copy anywhere!!!) and several Bonhoeffer books in audio format. 

If you’re part of the CAFE system, definitely give it a download. (You can do it via a phone, tablet, Roku, and several other devices!) 

Mwahahaha….I now have 8 different ways to read books on my phone.