Friday, August 23, 2013


Just a little stressed out over here. Nothing to worry about! Nothing! Just that underemployment is about to turn into major overemployment, but that's totally the way things go with me. I think I do better with over than under, as long as there's a fixed end date.

I don't know. Just lots and lots and lots. It's totally what I signed up for, so I don't know why I'm so thrown by the whole thing, but I kind of am. It's Online Job plus Real World Job, so five different things at once, which I've done before and no sweat, plus this training thing for Online Job that I have to do this coming week, plus showing up at Real World Job a couple of times before I take it on, whenever that is.

Probably it's the unknown start date that's wigging me. It could be literally ANY TIME. Or the scheduled date. I could get a call at, say, nine a.m. and have to go take over at 3:00, all ready to go. Yep. That's probably what's stressing me out, don't you think?

I'm very very very very psyched about all of it, even the five things at once angle. Two of the five are the same! And one is in my standard repertoire! And three (technically four since two are duplicates) are things I've done before! Which makes four out of five repeats. Really, that's low stress. Honestly.

Okay so I worked on my office a lot today, got a lot of things nailed down. And got the wiring ready to be replaced on the lamp that blew out two days ago and knocked out the circuit breaker and apparently killed my UPS unit, but not my computer, so yay for that!

I got a whole lot of paperwork sorted out and filed, stuff that came back from Maine with me. There is an unholy pile of paper to shred.

And I built my basketball hoop! I got it on Monday in a daze of anti-anxiety, along with a surprising number of pairs of pants. Oh, dear. Anyway the hoop is one of those on a black plastic stand thing, except it needs to be filled with water or sand and I don't want to use water because of ice, which will break it, nor do I have any sand. I've been playing anyway because I LOVE shooting baskets. I love it! But it's unsteady and unsafe and I really need to get some rocks or something in there right away.

My plan is to go to Lowe's and see what's cheapest and heaviest for the given volume. It might be sand, or it might be gravel or who knows what. We shall see.

So la la la! I'm all running around, wondering why a rolling or bouncing ball makes it impossible for me not to run after it. I HAVE to. I have to chase the ball. You can tell I was pretty much raised by a dog.

Which reminds me: I figured out who the chupacabra of moles was! And the call was coming from inside the house! I saw my Gawain dog kill a mole and a mouse right in front of me, but it still took me a while to put two and two together and figure out he was the one who killed all those other moles. Doy!

The best part is that when I mentioned this to my mom, she said, "Well, he was raised by a cat." It's totally true! He does many cat things because he was raised by my cat. And me, of course, which is why he does many human things, too.

The two of them were in the bathroom with me today (of course) and heard a mouse behind the shower wall, so they both put their paws up on the edge of the tub and followed the sound, moving their heads in tandem. Awesome!

My dog is a mouser. Who knew?

Also! Harch! Remember Harch? Well! It turns out that Harch is the mama deer and "Harch!" is what she says to get the fawn to heel. I caught them in the act! So that's another mystery solved. The fawn is now pretty big but still spotted, with these gigantic ears and a pretty white flippy tail. The fawn is totally unafraid of me so its mama keeps having to harch at it to get it to scoot.

It stood there yesterday looking at me while its mama was going ballistic and my dog was going equally ballistic. I was yelling, "Run, Bambi!" but my dog squirmed right out of his collar and took off after the fawn, who easily outpaced him, of course. So all was well.

I really think a half-grown deer should run when you yell anything at it, let alone, "Run, Bambi!"

I have never seen Bambi. The movie, I mean. Plenty of real life versions.

Um. What else? The unpacking and sorting STILL isn't done, which makes me bananacakes, but I've found all sorts of fascinating things, like my gun cleaning kit and knife sharpening kit (both uncle-sourced) and my whole bag of hammers (Jen! that song!) and my bear in the Los Angeles hoodie with his little falling down khaki pants and white t-shirt that says City of Angels. I think this bear is actually dressed as a tourist, don't you?

I might have to make the bear suspenders. Or at least little boxer shorts to stick out of the top of his falling-down pants.

They used to be sewed on but that seemed barbaric so I took out the stitches. I mean, they weren't intended to fall down. That was an unintended consequence.

Oh boy, I've been doing so much, I don't even know. Makes my head spin. Yesterday I had to rearrange the bedroom furniture because I hit my shins on the corner of the bed frame way too many times. See, things like that. It took umpteen hours and so much flipping effort and I got all sore and exhausted.

Hee, little niece. I said something when I was up there about how I have to pack the flipping trailer, and she repeated after me sort of dreamily, "Have to pack the flipping trailer." I keep remembering it and getting all swoony niece missing and such.

Also! Warehouse 13! I've been watching it avidly. I think I'm nearly done with season four. This is highly alarming because I want more more more more more, but it has also been fabulous because most of season 4 is new to me. Fantastic! Glorious! Delightful! Alarming! So tense! And Claudia! Fast becoming my very favorite character of the whole run!

Here's why Claudia is awesome: a small selection of the billion possible reasons.

1. She perfectly embodies that thing where you're that age and know better than everyone else, except she really does, which you just never see.

2. Nobody undercuts her. She's just an awesome smart, edgy teenage girl who saves the day all the time.

3. She's incredibly capable, building things, fixing things, solving problems, and of course can do everything with computers.

4. Smart mouth. Yay!

5. Gets along great with everyone. Check the track record of other characters her age--incredibly rare.

6. Loves and loves and loves. So much love! She's snarky but essentially positive.

7. Also musical! Plays guitar, sings, writes her own songs. Has layers!

8. Was institutionalized but now operates fine in the world. Again, totally rare.

9. Has a cute boy as a *sidekick*! Fantastic!

10. Gets to have different boyfriends over time with no narrative negatives from it. In other words, she's not punished for it like you see so often. Also, hot but not sexualized. So rare!

And that's why Claudia is one of my favorite characters not just of this show but of all time. Claudia! Rock!

And now I must go do MORE THINGS before the night overtakes me. Fie! Hustle! Go go go!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

And...shocking jump to cool!

It's just GORGEOUS out these days, all nice and cool, like if you sit still too long, your feet get cold. Well, my feet get cold. They get cold strangely easily. And since it's cool, my dog is on my lap and unavailable for foot-warming duties. 

So I keep on having to wear wool socks. In August! Hurray! 

My mom and sister are arriving tomorrow so I've been racing around tidying up every last possible thing. I got the rotating kitchen cupboard fixed, got all the garage stuff more or less in order (still a lot to do, alas), got all the laundry laundered, the dishes washed, the yard trimmed and cleaned up, the various furniture all where it's supposed to be, and the bathroom even mostly cleaned. Dude!

Today I also found out that Fall Job--have I told you about Fall Job?--moved closer to now by at least two weeks. Which is good! And exciting! But also a bit terrifying and alarming! We're going to meet next week (after all kinds of orientation) and talk about The Plans for the whole thing. I think it'll be awesome. But yet, slight alarm in having it zoom closer all at once like that.

What else? Got all the math done. Math! I like that lovely powerful feeling I get when it's all figured out and nailed down to the last penny. I think it's the scary unknowns that really get to me. So when it's all knowns, I'm on top of things and feeling good about that. 

Of course there are still unknowns because of the unknown length of Fall Job and the moving target start date, which can only move sooner, not later, so that's kind of causing the brain pretzels as I try to stress out over things that I don't really know how to stress out over properly. Ha! How am I supposed to worry right? Am I worrying wrong? What if I'm worrying wrong!

Dude...CHILL. Even I want to say that to myself sometimes. Instead I say: "Take the dog for a walk!" And so I did. He's a very good dog. I was trimming bushes today in my artful invisible make it look totally natural like nothing has been touched kind of way and my wonderful dog was biting pieces of the lower branches off right along with me. He is SO COOL.

In fact Messrs. Puppy and Kitty were all cuddled up with me on the quilt on the bed while I watched the Christmas episode of Warehouse 13 where Claudia brings Artie's dad and his old piano back for him. Oh and that needlessly gorgeous Blackstone person guest starred, but that was kind of an awkward, dorky story and we're pretending we didn't see that part, la la la!

Where was I? Yes! Lovely Artie and his dad story, Claudia and her brother, all kinds of coziness and fun and grouchy old men and Claudia launching into a high-speed Hebrew grace, out of nowhere. Fabulous! With major cuddliness happening over here in reality, also! 

Tomorrow I have to vacuum, get the rug sucker to work on some cat barf (hey, reality!) and then make lasagna and fruit salad. I don't have to make lasagna or fruit salad, actually, but I decided they would be nice for Company, or whatever. Even (especially?) when Company = the homeowner. Ha!

I'm curious to see what they all concocted as far as relocation plans. I suspect that time away from home made my mother much less likely to go anywhere, rather than more likely. But we shall see. 

I kind of want to take down the front and back screen doors and the sliding screen doors and replace all the screening and also (prior to that) sand and prime and paint them properly. Oh and the side door. Criminy there are a lot of doors. 

You know that once I get everything sorted out and put away and out of the way I'm going to shed a bunch of stuff. 

I'm kind of gearing up for the active panic kind of time, where I have to plan everything ahead and get all kinds of supplies laid in (yes, I do that) so that I don't have to try to remember things when I'm going absolutely bonkers with work.

Like I need to get four more kitty litters so that I can have them ready instead of having to go get them when the litter needs to get replaced. Right? And I set up all kinds of mathy stuff in Quicken to happen automatically so I can't forget about it or neglect it. 

Oh and I cut my hair today. Sigh! It's not the best job ever. But it's my hair, so it'll be back where it was in a month. It grows super fast. It's actually okay except there's this weird divot on the right in the front. Not sure what happened there! But if I run a rakish hand through my bangs in the rightward direction, it disappears, so I guess it's okay.

You know what I'd really love? That fauxhawk kind of thing, with a cute tuft in the front. When I am totally able to do whatever without consequences, maybe! Or maybe I'll take a picture of Emma Watson to a haircutter, who will look at me funny and then clipper it long with clippers just like mine, something I could do any day of the week, and charge me forty bucks. 

Hampering my haircutting efforts: my shoulders feel like someone tried to twist my arms off, even though I haven't really done any heaving of things for a couple of days. Except for bringing the giant heavy tv upstairs. That was impossibly hard. I had to lie down after that and listen to my heart go BANG BANG BANG and feel like it was five times its usual size. Okay, so my shoulders have an excuse. But also I kind of can't see lately, probably from reading so much, right? Reading so much so late at night? No doubt. Sure!

I keep catching myself watching tv with my head tilted way over to one side or the other. What the hell is that about?

Dang, I should have gotten some Italian bread. I'll go get some tomorrow. Or bake rolls. I'd rather bake rolls, honestly. And make garlic butter, right? Mmmmmmm!

There's this great pan they have here from aaaaaages ago. It's about two feet long, made of two long ditches. So if you looked at the end of it, you'd see a big curvy UU. Exactly like that. You use it to bake French or Italian bread. I totally have to use that tomorrow! I bet I can find it. Cornmeal on the bottom, slice the top and put garlic butter in it. 

I was the family bread baker for a lot of high school. Also tortilla maker. Also pizza crust maker. Also sauce maker, come to think of it. Huh! All from scratch, gosh. We had pizza one weekend and tacos the next, alternating all year long. Historical baker origins! So anyway point being: I have history with that pan. Yes!

Gosh, I'm actually really tired right now, pretty awesome considering I've been staying up until 4 or 5 (not on purpose--reading) and sleeping super late also. 

Oh man, I have to do a whole bunch of Online Job before they show up tomorrow, too, or it won't get done in time. Tomorrow's going to be the last of the hideously hard-working hectic days, though, right? You PROMISE??? Because OOF. And I have a cold in my breathing apparatus which I'm pretending is totally not happening but it's happening nonetheless!

Maybe I'll find the tv remote along the way here somewhere, too. Hey, it could happen!

Have I mentioned just how much I ADORE having my bed and my tv and my ziggurat and shoes and hammers and dog beds and everything else back with me again? Sitting on the bed is possible and comfortable again! Yowza! And hurray!

Oof, thunk, falling asleep. Happy weekend, peoples!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Oh my giddy aunt!

The beauty of this: although I was raised saying ANT and not ONT, my big nephew is from New Hampshire and my little niece and nephew are from Maine, which means they all say ONT. So I'm allowed to be their giddy aunt with the proper pronunciation, without which it sounds idiotic. 

I don't even know why, but it does. Try it. Oh my giddy ant! No.

I was trying to figure out how to write "Raleigh" in some kind of transliterated way that would sound like Raleigh but would be spelled like it sounds. Not Rolly or Rally. Rahly? Maybe. I don't know, it bugs me to have sounds that we can't write out the way they sound. Such as, oh, AUNT.

Aunt looks like it might be a rude word when it's all lower case. Call someone an aunt in print and surreptitiously monitor their blood pressure and whatnot. See what I'm saying?

Hi! So I'm changing the name suddenly. I don't even know what brought this on.


--am quite giddy quite often
--am an aunt
--enjoy aunting very much
--unpacked bootstrap boots today, so sad and fallen apart
--if I pulled on my bootstraps right now I'd totally fall on my head
--plus then I'd be all giddy again, so there we go

I have to go find a leatherworker who does not suck. The one in this nearby town utterly sucks. Maybe I can plan an OUTING to the town of grad school doom (DOOM) where I steadfastly refuse to go and go to Trader Joe's, since I hear there is one, and also find someone who can work on the leather and fix it up.

Things that need to get fixed up leatherally:

1. bootstrap boots
2. professor bag
3. gorgeous black bag/purse

The purse/backpack thing has been busted so long, I can't even remember when I might have used it last. But maybe 2003 or so. See? And then I took it to the horrendous leatherworkers and instead of fixing what I asked them to fix, they cut pieces off (holy crap) and then put in this horrible unworking new zipper. Though they did demoldify it. Probably it was the vacuum effect of all the SUCKING.

Needless to say, I'm feeling demoniacally minimalist after wrestling with all that stuff over and over and over. Ugh! Stuff! Hate it!

So I'm also feeling very strongly about USE IT OR LOSE IT. I'm not kidding. Stuff I'm not using has to go.

I got the garage whacked into shape today, surprising myself quite a lot. I didn't mean to do it. But I wanted the big tv out of my mom's car, which meant sorting out the rest of it to make a path, and then it kind of all fell into place. 

What's left to do? Put things on those excellent blue/yellow/red shelves with green legs. And put some more stuff down in the basement, including tools.

I still have to fix that rotating shelf thing in the kitchen cabinet. It's making the kitchen kind of hard to use, actually, since it's out of its cabinet and in the middle of the floor. All I need to do is drill maybe two or three holes in this support bar, attach it to the cabinet by screws, and then put the rotating part back in by putting the screws back into its hinge.

I'm just a little bit hesitant because it's the cabinets, even though it'll be totally invisible. Still. You know.

Then there's the clothes to deal with, the ones I brought back. They're safely sealed into space bags and those are stacked in fezzes and the fezzes are all neatly stacked up. So no rush. Except for the USE IT OR LOSE IT rule going into effect. Also, anything I'm going to use needs to be washed, which adds another whole layer of joyous effort to the process.

My friend D. remembers clearly when I was in college and had only two shirts, plus a couple of t-shirts. I was always like that. I'd have one pair of shorts for summer. I'd have sneakers and boots, a winter coat, a raincoat. And like a sweater. I had no cluttery stuff and no redundancy. No appliances of any kind, not even a hair dryer or a toaster. No furniture. 

I'm just going to keep on thinking about that. And if I forget, I'll have my aching arms and knees to remind me. And all those bruises on my shins.

My friend G. told me that when she hit a certain age in her 40s, she started just letting all kinds of STUFF go, just gave it away or sold it in a yard sale. It just stopped being important. I think that's awesome. I'm obviously not there yet (ha ha) but it's a lovely thing to contemplate.

Here's a great start: beloved ipad! You know what broke my professor bag? Carrying a laptop around. Ipad is so utterly light and small! Even with the teeny keyboard it's just a little scrap of a thing. I AM IN LOVE.

Also, need I say? It's blue. Well, it's wearing a blue suit. Some smart case kind of thing? It's sort of suede or microfiber or something, anyway it's pleasant to the touch. And, as mentioned, blue.

So I'm writing A THING, which is very exciting for me. I got all inspired. When, Monday morning? Sunday? I have no idea what day it is anymore. It's the kind of idea that fills up my brain all day long. I'll be washing the dishes or moving fezzes of stuff around and I keep on thinking about it, the way my brain likes to come up with new episodes of tv after I've watched a whole bunch from one show. 

And I started thinking about conflict and how seeing the world totally different ways can be just infuriating to everyone involved. Like say one person wants to do a good job and the other person wants to slack off as much as possible and only straighten up if someone's looking. Each one thinks they're doing it the right way and the other one is an idiot and ruining it for everyone. 

I really feel like getting out action figures and using them for scenes like I used to do. Am dork! But it works ridiculously well.

See, I'd have to keep them if I really have a stuff pogrom because clearly I'm using them. Ha!

Oh boy oh boy, I'm having so much fun with this project. It's a complete blast. Hurray!

It's fabulous. I'm delighted. I'm writing. All is well. And now I have to go wrangle some more stuff.

With kind regards,

Your Giddy Aunt

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My new old best friend

Intriguing, no? I have no idea what that file contains. I'm facing a stack of nearly 200 documents in the Ideas folder and it's sort of flooring me. That title caught my eye, though. I like it.

This new Final Draft is mighty particular. Also the ipad one won't open any older formats, I think to keep the app really small, or else to make me crazycakes bananapants. Or both. Or to make money. Probably that one, isn't it?

I'm an educator so I got an educator discount, which makes me happy.

I actually wrote "very happy" but I just finished reading Harry Potter #4, aka The One With The Bad Writing. It's not the only one, but it's one of the worst offenders. Everything is "very" or "large" and people are all full of adverbs until you want to scream. Frustratedly. Anyway so I deleted the "very" because of the HP#4 Flinch.

And speaking of flinching, though parenthetically (aha!) Flinch would be a great name, Mr. Filch, some older writing makes me cringe a whole boatload of cringes. My boat runneth over. Oh boy. Man the bilges, Mr. Flinch!

Like, why would you tie something to a large rock when you could tie it to a boulder? Or a chunk of mountain? Or something. Know what I mean?

Oh my goodness. Here's how embarrassing I am today. I put a miniature soccer goal on my desk. A goal! Because of...goals! Oh dear.

Hey, I have to look up the soccer schedule for the fall. I wonder if that awesome old coach is still here? I think I saw the old assistant coach downtown the other day but I could not be sure. I keep on being confused about a lot of things there due to the nine years elapsed since I've been around that place.

Dude, though, I was IN LOVE with how great that team was. How they played. They were amazing. If the old coach is gone I hope the old assistant coach (who got tossed out of the stands at that finals game, remember?) is the coach now, because he would be fantastic.

I still have my old team jersey that the coach gave me. You know it!

Anyway the only way to get your files into the ipad Final Draft is to email them to yourself and then open them from the email. That is just...okay, it's exactly how I do things all the time anyway. There's no "in" jack on the ipad. No USB port. So everything has to go in wirelessly. And like I said I do that all the time anyway, email everything to myself, but something about it gives me pause.


So my office is coming along nicely. Moved the desk over (oh holy ow), tidied it all up again, vacuumed the mouse poo off my bookcase that's been in the garage, did this, did that, got the ziggurat up here and put into one possible new location (awkward) and now you can walk through the room, as well as sit here and work at the computer, which I've been doing for hours and hours to the point where the dog is impatient with me and my tailbone hurts. So yay! Or ack? Both!

Also I'm not entirely sure 100g of chocolate and a bowl of frosted flakes with half and half was the best dinner ever. Oooooh. Probably it's the crazy lunch of cucumber sandwiches and Mythbusters that did me in, though.

Here is my favorite thing about Mythbusters: when the guys jump and flinch and cringe at the big explosions. Because you know they've been there a million times, but they still jolt. Well, maybe my favorite thing is the absolute glee they have in blowing things up. They get so excited beforehand and then they get so excited after, too. Basically I just love how excited they get about everything. Yay!

Here's hoping the heaving and hauling portion of the program (mine, not theirs--stuff brought from Maine, I mean) is going to be over soon. I have Things To Do. Things! To do! Enough household jigsaw!

I need some wood filler to fix the plank where the middle bed legs go, because the ribby things stripped out of the cheapo wood. Or just hammer them into new legs made out of my homemade couch leftovers? Or just build it with new legs made out of those leftovers. It's such a bad design. Maybe I should rethink the whole middle bed legs concept and work out a better solution.

And I need to find a way to get the swively wheels out of the old washstand. Chisel? Crowbar? I went at it with the channel locks for a while but it was a high-labor day and I attacked bigger fish.

Hello! I have started speaking in tongues, or at least in code decipherable only to me. That's my cue to knock off for the night and go do relaxing things! Like carry that flipping 70 lb tv through two doors and up the stairs and through another door and onto the top of the dresser, where I'll immediately freak out because it's too big and topheavy and unwieldy, even though it's been there before, pretty sure.

Also, must find lamps for in here. My lamps are, I think, somewhere. Many lamps. Some a lovely yellow ceramic ginger jar design! Must find.

The carpet in here is this dead grass yellow, quite vile, very old and faded and grayish and nasty. I might have to put a rug on top of it just to cheer it up and put it out of sight.

So. Yes? Writing! That's what! Oh boy oh boy! FINISHING THINGS. That is my mission. Whatever, dramatic renewal of purpose, it's because I feel so infinitely better after that big baby-snuggling road trip, getting out of the house/town/state, getting hugged by cute kids, playing in the lake, gathering up my stuff again, lots of extreme exercise heaving and hauling, long drives, and so on. It has refurbished my skull's interior design! Hence feeling so much better in every way (at least until my poor dinner choices) and having the dramatic renewal of purpose. Awesome!

Maybe I'll just bring up those three boxes of books first, though.

Friday, August 9, 2013

What is this "rest" of which you speak?

It's elusive! And mysterious! And I'm not really good at it!

Once I'm at rest, I suppose I'll tend to stay at rest? Or not, because I'm not really at rest, just sort of at a traffic slowdown on the high speed interstate of this week. And next week. OH MAN.

I'm doing okay at not doing things today, sort of. Here is what I've done, a reasonably shortish list:

--collected and took in all the hazmat for disposal. GACK. Yucky. Gross. Poisonous. Eeewwwwww.
--got my prescriptions, phew
--got some ludicrous liqueurs, like blueberry
--finally broke down and got the Harry Potter movies all in one not expensive set
--and lots of cleaning supplies, though I forgot strong vinegar
--and some pizza toppings. Okay, pepperoni.
--did some wash
--started pizza dough

It's very weird to be resisting doing stuff. Normally I have to resist sitting around like a donut and have to energize myself to do stuff.

However! I'm all excited about various things and that really helps.

Here are some things I'm excited about:

--talked to little niece on the phone, awesome
--little niece keeps calling things awesome now, which is awesome
--finding all my various stuff, you have no idea
--those ridiculously brightly colored shoes which I just discovered are the $9.95 Kmart version of some super expensive, super hip shoes, or something? Anyway, I love them and wore them today.
--tomato sandwich with those beautiful farm stand tomatoes
--gjetost on toast, man, the best thing evah
--Mr. Kitty is policing my stuff in the garage, enjoying himself no end and keeping it mouse-free
--this pack of socks that come with one pair each of: strawberries, cherries, apples, ice cream cones, donuts, cupcakes, and I think something else but I forget
--making pizza tonight, you guys! I want to do it every Friday again! Fabulous! Delicious! Awesome!
--I'm about to get my BED back in all its beddy glory!
--I'm about to get the ziggurat back in all its zigguratty glory!
--Harry Potter, all of it, on DVD, oh boy!
--great big tv, though it's still down in Grandma's car, so...eventually
--watching all the bunnies in the yard

So I'm hoping/pretty sure I managed not to get poisoned or otherwise toxified by taking all that nasty foul old chemicals and paint and pesticide and everything down to the recycling place. They had one guy directing traffic who kept calling me "girl," as in, "Go ahead and pull around there, girl," except in middle aged white rural guy way. It was just weird. And then prisoners doing all the hauling of stuff. They wouldn't meet my eye AT ALL which is a big prisoner thing, did you know? It's true. I suppose it's a survival skill.

I've turned into one of those people who looks everyone in the eye and has friendly chat and banter even if you're the bored Walmart checkout person or the guy at the waffle shop or whatever.

I used to be the kid who would not look anyone in the eye or even respond when spoken to, turning invisible so that people would go away, so it kind of struck me today, out and about in my neon sneakers and chatty mode. Hmm, I thought. Hmm.

Anyway I'm all frolicking about today in between collapsing on the bed with the dog. We are nap buddies. Well, we're everything buddies, aren't we? A dog and his person! A person and her dog!

I'm pretty much exceedingly excited to watch those movies and partake of a ludicrous liqueur and maybe do something productive but low impact like...okay, I don't even know. If I tried to say that I would sit around peacefully reading or watching movies without doing anything else, I'd be totally lying like a lying liar, so I won't. But maybe I can watch movies and build the bed, or get my dad's old desk ready to move two feet to the right, which is such a huge undertaking I can't even express. It's LARGE. And HEAVY. And up on 2x4s to raise it two (or rather 1.5) inches, which makes it even more complicated, because if I slide it off them unevenly, it might bust apart, being feeble particle board and also old and also did I mention large and heavy?

It warrants some consideration is all I'm saying. It has to get done because it's right up against this wall on my left and gives me wicked claustrophobia being jammed in here, and also no elbow room at all, which is kind of the same thing but not really. I cannot stand being smack up against a wall. No! So this needs to change. Just oh so effortfully, is all.

So much to do! So little of it interesting! So much of it physical! Such a limited time frame!

Anyway I'm going to go do stuff now, ha ha. And also: whee!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Too much, too many, too all at once!

Overwhelmedness follows. Be aware!

I got that whole trailer unloaded yesterday, into a big mess. But today, today! I got a lot of it sorted out. That was wretched and I think my left arm might come off at the shoulder. And I'm nowhere near done.

I did find the bed legs, though, which will put me much further along my path to organized and settled. Oh my golly. That's going to be brutal also. Just tipping my great big comfy cushy pillowtop mattress off the ancient rusty legs (belonging originally to my bed in the mid-90s) is going to wreck me. Never mind putting that big old frame together and then discovering it won't fit where I want it to fit.

I mean, I don't know for sure, but I strongly suspect. It's tricky to measure because the headboard curves back. 

Is it the Apple fonts or what? I keep seeing letters upside down. Also whole words. What's so bad about serifs, huh? 


Today I also hauled a whole lot of things down to the barn in the trailer. In the trailer, down to the barn, which the trailer is now in. There isn't a barn in my trailer. That I know of.

That was highly effortful, but also tremendously awesome because it instantly (er, not instantly) reduced the amount of stuff to deal with by a third. There went the homemade couch frame, the garden and yard tools, a fez of tarps, a fez of roofrack bags, and so on. Anything built out of scrap lumber and/or not needed until the next stuff-hauling roadtrip.

I really need to learn how to back a trailer. I'm going about it wrong, obviously. I can back it up straight, but I can't back up around a corner or it jackknifes. Not only that, but the whole time I'm muttering about how it keeps on fishtailing, which is the wrong word, but I would say equally appropriate.

I still really like the demystifier instead of the dehumidifier in the car. Nice one, brain!

Goodness, I was already plenty absent-minded and professorial and now it's just multiplied by a whole lot. You should have seen me try to articulate to my mom and brother what was wrong with the innards of the faucet. There's a little black plastic jobbie with a pressure-sensitive seal and release so that if the back-pressure is too much, it pops out, and then water pours out of the swively part of your kitchen faucet. There were sticks stuck in this one from back when the reservoir was Larry's bathwater and now it's BROKE.

Sure, that was clear, but I couldn't articulate it AT ALL the other day. Finally I did just say IT'S BROKEN and we went out and got a new faucet. But I'm slightly alarmed by the whole thing.

I feel like sugar isn't getting to my brain or something. Like if you're fasting, you know how you get kind of dumb? Like that. Except boy am I not fasting, but I have been eating healthy food, at least up until today's chocolate and Fritos freakout, mmmm. Anyway I'm not any smarter yet and I could not find half the words I wanted just when I was telling the dog what I was doing, which I do all the time because he needs to know, right? Sure!

Gawain dog is so utterly awesome. I don't know if I've expressed that lately, but he really is the most glorious pup. Oh oh oh! And Siegfried the cat, seriously, he is phenomenal. I sure got the good furry animals, I tell you what.

Somebody wrote somewhere that English doesn't have a proper past tense and I got all up in arms because of course it does! And then I remembered that's the perfect and we mostly use past progressive, except for when we don't. Lots of imperfect. 

What else got done today besides mulling over tenses?

Emptied the ziggurat, which somehow I moved FULL. I don't get that. But I can't get it up the stairs full, especially if my left arm is about to detach and go hide under the bed (that is a very creepy image but I just ran across my axe-having Buffy action figure and her right arm was detached so cut me some slack) so I emptied it all into a laundry basket. 

I cleaned off the antique washstand thing, which has suffered a bit from being in the garage for ten months or whatever. 

I hauled and moved and sorted and searched and long story long, I'm about to hit the showers and then collapse for a very long time, or possibly ten minutes, since there's so much to do that my eyes boing open and then I boing right out of the chair or off the bed and start doing stuff again.

Gawain and I went for a walk down the path to the barn so I could trim it back, except there was a huge and close and deafening shotgun blast so I got all freaked out and started yelling "Hey, there are people here! A person and a dog, anyway!" and so on, basically just so they'd know I was there, not to be mad. Anyway it was the fourth or fifth son across the street, out in the chicken yard, shooting at who knows what, foxes I presume. Once we got down the driveway and I saw him over there, of course I was fine. It's mysterious nameless faceless gunfire that alarms me, not normal daily farm life in the 1800s gunfire.

I'm kind of wrecked. And I'm going to have to do so much more of this. I've been eating jasmine rice for the simple carbohydrates so I suppose I'm just tired out from all the driving and heaving and hauling and visiting and sleeping on a comfortable but too small bed with a too large dog and heating bath water in electric kettles and playing with kids and swimming and fixing/installing kitchen faucets and cleaning and sorting and storing and oh yeah Online Job this whole time.

So really wrecked is about all I could expect. Plus it's hot and humid, ha ha! Whee!

Oooh, that skunk is going by again. You know what skunks like? Watermelon rind in the compost pile. They get in over the bent part of the fence in the back, where the raccoons made an entry way. As long as the dog stays out of the compost pile, I don't actually care. Well, and as long as the dog and skunks don't meet. 

I don't know when I've ever felt like I had SO MUCH to do! But I have another week and a half. I just want to get it all done and be, you know, done. Now that I have Awesome Writing Tablet iPad and all! Gosh it's easy and comfortable to write on this thing. Wireless keyboard, and so on.

Crikey, did a bear just go past? That is some heinous carrion-type stenchy animal smell en passant.

I bet they like watermelon too. I am bananas for the watermelon and good thing, because nobody else ate any and I got a big one. It was the size of a watermelon! Yes! Now it is the size of 1/3 of a watermelon, because nothing is better when you're hot and thirsty.

My brother was thinking about having some but demurring due to the mess involved and I said, "You don't have to eat it with your face." By which I meant: you can use a spoon, like any other melon, instead of biting into big hunks and getting it everywhere. But I really like how that came out. 

All this stuff, it's like a massive 3D puzzle that I've had to do a couple of times in a couple of permutations now, but this time it's integrating the puzzle into another 3D puzzle already in progress. It uses up the thinkery is what I'm saying.

I want some quiet goofy doom-laden down time with Myka and Pete and Artie and Claudia and Steve and Mrs. Fredericks. Sadly Mr. Valda has perished. Or fortunately, given the "drink when you see someone you've met" rule of tv-watching. Though in my case these dehydrating days where I soak my shirt down to my elbows, and I'm not exaggerating, that probably means water. Mmmm, water.


In my toy collection, Aragorn and Number Six ended up next to each other, which really gave me pause. Imagine a conversation between those two, huh? 

Here was the scary moment of the day. Besides thinking about Six and Aragorn meeting, which kind of tilted my processors. I took the trailer off the car after about seventeen jackknifing failed attempts to back it down to the barn. It was still full of all that stuff but you know, AM STRONG, and also on a slight downward slope, so I started rolling it down to the barn except suddenly I didn't know where Gawain was and at the same time I realized I could not stop that thing if I had to, so I screamed his name and he of course was nowhere near the trailer, just out of my sight down by the barn, and all was well. But oh man. I think that's when I wrenched my shoulder, trying to stop that thing.

Physics. A 350 lb trailer on two wheels is light enough to move with one hand when empty. Add maybe 250 lb of stuff and a slight downward slope and moving it is still easy, if you don't have to lift the tongue off the ground, because the weight is on the wheels. But stopping it, that's another story entirely.

Actually my brother and I were both outrageously impractical when I was trying to back up to the full trailer the other day. It needed to go back like TWO INCHES which is very hard to do, so he said, Put it in neutral and I'll push it. So I did, and he tried, but of course he was pushing my whole entire car up a hill with me and the dog and all kinds of stuff in it, and anyway the amazing thing is that either one of us, never mind both, thought that would work for even one single second. 

Now that all my stuff (except the books) is here, there's talk of my mom considering moving us both up to (you guessed it) Maine. Like, into a duplex or something. That's such a hilarious idea, I don't even know what to think. She said to my brother, "Tell me good things about Maine." Yowza, huh? I sure would like to be around little niece and nephew and brother and sister and sister-in-law again but someone definitely has to keep an eye on Grandma, you know. So I don't know what they're deciding up there but presumably they'll have some kind of summit on the lake and figure stuff out. Stay tuned!

And don't let me forget I put the huge tv in the back of my mom's car because there was no more floor space, okay?

I'm counting on you!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Toast and tea

It's not toast, though. I like plain soft bread with jam on it. Why make nice soft bread all hard and crunchy? The tea, however, is tea.

Hello, big job to do! The trailer. Oh man. The trailer into the house, garage, and barn. And integrated with the things already there, complicated by everything from the car unpacked haphazardly and dropped pretty much anywhere. Dear oh dear.

I got too scared of the trailer (for good reasons) to unpack it. It's on a steepish slope right outside the garage, where I put it, duh, but I didn't realize how unstable it would feel, resting on a jack stand and a jack on a steepish slope. VERY is how unstable. 

Because of the angle, see? The jack meets the angled ground of the slope so it holds up the trailer with an acute angle between it and the hitch on the trailer side, which means it's much less able to prevent the trailer from collapsing that angle and whooshing down the driveway to my doom.

So yesterday I got my brother to stand back there (out of doom range) and give me the Army hand signals for backing up so that I could put the trailer back on the hitch without, oh, knocking over the jack and having the trailer fall onto my car and crush it.

Success, too! Whee!

So now I can unpack it. Why, even last night I took off two shelves and two canvases and the pan for the dog crate! Progress! Teeny tiny invisible progress!

It's going to be brutal. And today looks like rain. Dear oh dear.

Yesterday brother and I replaced the leaky kitchen faucet, but first of course I got to disassemble it and remove large sticks from the insides and then reassemble it and discover that didn't help. He installed the new one. I don't really plumb. I'm quite good at scraping a million years of limestone deposits off brushed stainless steel without scratching it, though. 

I'm torn between the delightful prospect of doing Absolutely Nothing and hurling myself at the unpacking with mad abandon. Which do you think will win? Oh and I have to coordinate the food bank tomorrow. I know! Coordinating heavy objects for elderly Lutherans now! I think I get to go lift them tomorrow, too. Whee! Also oof, given how I'm going to spend the rest of today. 

Look out, Goodwill. I know I just hauled this stuff down from Maine, but I'm not moving now, so I can give away anything I want. You don't make smart choices about giving things away when moving.

One day I'll have to tell you about my tediously on the nose nightmare/self-actualization dream. It's totally cringe-worthy. I was pregnant and found on a shelf my tiny neglected mutant baby twin that I had to hug and cuddle and love despite how gross she was and then of course she blossomed into this gorgeous kid and I kept telling her I loved her. Yes. See? And when she turned out awesome, I realized I'd been living in this horrible moldy basement and we moved out and I had the new baby and we lived happily ever after. 

I KNOW!!! What the hell, brains? Be more creative (but just as vivid, holy frakamole) when I'm writing if you don't mind. But I do like the essential archetypes and all that, I guess. Right?

Creeeeeepy nightmares though. Brrrrr. Ack. Need subconscious palate cleanser, like a mighty international soccer game or something. Or sorting out my actual muddle of my actual stuff, speaking of obvious metaphors. Okay! I'm on it. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

What? How?

Oh hi!

Weird week. Lots of brutal heavy lifting, heaving and shoving, and getting revoltingly filthy in this garage where the dust is a quarter inch thick and consists of ancient grass and mice. It really is the dirtiest place ever. Actual dirt would be infinitely cleaner. Blech!

And the baths, oh man! I'm in love with the baths, but it does take an hour of heating kettles to get one ready and that's just a lot of kettle heating for me. I'm seriously looking forward to the preheated water back at the EF! Where I will be heading as soon as I recover from getting ready to go.

I finished TODAY. Totally finished, even vacuumed the little house. All I have to do is shove my dirty laundry and a box of poptarts in the car (and eight million things that will be larger and more unwieldy than I think they will) and I'm off. Maybe Saturday? Though my sense of it is that it's completely insane to drive down the east coast on a weekend. Or up it, obviously. Up would be worse on a Saturday, but down is also very bad. So maybe a couple more days, I dunno.

I sort of don't know what to do with myself now that I'm down to just Online Job and heating up kettles of water. Well, I'm going to mow the rest of the grass tomorrow. I only did the front. The back has patches that are easily a foot high. But this is my mower from before and I know it can handle it. The question is: can I?

Because I am a DOPE about resting. It's like I just don't have it in me. Day off? Let's mow the monstrous grass! In the hot hot sun! And then bathe medievally!

Maybe I'll cut up the cheese into cubes for ease of consuming while traveling, rather than gnawing at the edges of a big old block. Charming though that is.

Of course I'm using my big blue box knife to cut food since I neglected to bring any type of food-specific knife, but you know me, I have several knives on me at all times for no clear reason. Sheath knife in backpack, jackknife in purse, multi-tool with wicked blade in backpack, another in the car, box knife generally hanging from the neck of my t-shirt. What does it all mean? Besides that I like to Be Prepared. (Yes, my father was a Scoutmaster, how did you know?)

I have packed up all my stuff. And the couch frame fit right on top like a lid, which is how I originally envisaged the trailer working.

The trailer. I have a trailer problem. I do! I have on MULTIPLE occasions planned to set off with a trailer only to discover the following with amazing regularity:

1) my stuff won't all fit
2) what does fit makes it too heavy
3) the packing process just about kills me
4) it's impossible to waterproof it properly despite many tarps
5) the cargo net is utterly possessed

Though I did think yesterday that the reason it's impossible to wrestle with that thing is that I left the hooks on it. Yes! A giant elastic net with hooks all around the edges! No matter what you do, it snags on itself and fights you at every turn! Of course, the hooks come off very easily, so presumably a SANE person takes them off, puts the net where it needs to go, and puts them back on. Or assembles a couple of kids to take a side each, all around the pickup truck, probably.

I might be miscast in this role that I keep on being determined to play. Am I miscast? Hmmm.

I keep getting this amazing white line around my shirt where the sweat salt ends up, like spreading around my neck on the way down. I have sweated so much this past week, I think I'm going to call it the Packing Cleanse or something.

This app just went completely bonkers on me, dang it. It won't let me see what I'm typing. Why you go bonkers, app?

In general I'm a bit mystified with the iPad, though I'm also IN LOVE with it. But I can't figure some stuff out, despite reading the entire manual cover to cover. Not that it has covers because it's a strictly digital document, but you know.

My favorite mysterious habit is when it's in my bag and suddenly starts playing Landslide at me when no one is even touching it AND it's in that case thing that auto-locks it so it shouldn't be able to do anything at all. Which is why I read the manual today. After that it switched to George Strait, so I think I misphrased my query to the world. "Help! My iPad keeps playing Fleetwood Mac at me when no one is touching it!" And lo! Now my iPad plays George Strait at me when no one is touching it. Problem solved!

Just not the one I had in mind is all.

Also I didn't realize you had to turn the external keyboard off, which is probably what makes the music play, so there we go.

I had fun playing with the bunnies today. Little nephew kept climbing on my head and then sliding down my whole front like I was a slide. He was on the couch and I was sitting on the floor, see. It was like he was crowd-surfing and I was the crowd.

Also he called me Grandma at one point, which is awesome. He has two grandmas visiting this week in rapid succession, preceded by two aunts and an uncle, so I cut the kid some slack.

Though come to think of it, I did just notice that all the sun I've been in for the past week (and this is brilliant, hard, burning Maine sun--no pollution to speak of) has lightened my hair by about sixteen shades. It's all my normal red again and nearly blonde in kind of highlighty streaks on top.

Anyway that makes no sense because his mom's hair is way grayer than mine and even more anyway it's not the kind of thing that little kids notice at all.

So the trailer is all full and wrapped in many tarps and tied down eighteen ways and cargo-netted and bungeed and blockaded and everything. I really hope a shovel or hoe doesn't come shooting out through the tarp. Physics! Remember that commercial where the little kid on someone's lap turned into a sumo wrestler when the car stopped short?

Also I missed some large and unwieldy items--the side boards for my bed frame--even though they were right in my face the whole time, so had to wrap them in my sleeping bag and tie them down on top of the couch frame on top of everything else.

Sure, the trailer is a nice big rectilinear blue cube, but it covers an insane muddle and I'm kind of worried about the whole thing. As usual. Like every other time I've moved by trailer EVER. ALWAYS.

I kind of want to take the couch arms and back out but then I think AAAAARRRGH about the repacking that would ensue, all the replacing of zip ties and all that. If I end up staying here all weekend I'll do it, but otherwise, nope. In sum: making decisions based on other than the primary criteria, which is a recipe for borscht. I mean, disaster. A recipe for disaster!

Ugh, I hate disaster. Let's have borscht instead.