Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tick tock

Closing out various things, like tabs, but in real life. It's great!

I keep forgetting the existence of my day bed when dithering over the red couch. I have a day bed! It is a couch! A couch where you can sit cross-legged, which is not the case with most couches, in my experience--yet this is what I want a couch for. Tricky, eh?

Also it has those walls on three sides, which is like a medieval box bed. That of course makes me very happy. In addition, it is easily roofed. Aha!

Red couch. It's okaaaaaaay. But inessential.

We'll see.

Hi! I'm working like a crazy thing over here, doing job and school and packing. And I got this awesome extra thing to read and think about this weekend, so that's super fun. It happened to hit a bunch of my favorite ancient and medieval literary tropes, so it was a little like uncorking the volcano around here for a while, in a scholarship sense. Very cool. And gave me MUCH insight for my spring project.

I have to dig in more and work to finish this big rewrite for next week, which is not next week but the week after. I never know what week anything is and always think it's sooner than it is. Which it isn't!

Tried to explain to dog park buddies that I'm hard to help with packing because I'm super uptight about how everything gets loaded into the truck. It has to go a certain way or it won't all fit, because of stacking issues. Some things can go on top of others. Some cannot be underneath. Some cannot be on top. See what I mean? It's a puzzle I've been doing in my head for two months already.

Anyway I don't think I'm super good company when loading the truck, and my dog will be spazzing out. But I suppose it would be handy in case I have a heart attack. Not that I plan to! But oh, my chest and these panic attacks. Very funny, human body, making panic have the same symptoms as a heart attack.

If my doctor wasn't such an awful human being, I'd probably go get it checked. I don't have any cheese or meat 98% of the time! How could I possibly have issues like that? I mean! What?

I started researching treadmills for when I'm stuck inside the house on the ocean for nine months. I seriously think it's a good plan to get one, even if I just walk on it, though I fully plan on running, starting slow and short (of course) and moving up gradually.

It's awesome to knock down this and that last thing every day. Done, done, done. That's a great feeling. I have an actual list on a dry erase board, in case my memory falls out, of course!

I'll be fine once we're on the road. Honestly. And this time I'll make sure to take the batteries out of the alarm clock and the hair clippers so the dog can't set them both off thirty seconds away from home and lose his tiny mind over the noise. Though that was very funny in retrospect.

Right! Time for rice. Mmm, jasmine rice. I'm nearly out, which is great. I love when things run out all at the same time. I made that delicious cold sesame noodle thing and as usual was totally allergic to it, because as usual I forgot that I'm totally allergic to some of the ingredients (sriracha and rice vinegar) so I ended up on benadryl last night with a red and welty face. But the point of that was, the peanut butter is almost gone! Hurray! And the jam! And I ran out of sesame oil! Hurray!

Ideally my last meal here would consume the last of the food, but I don't think it's going to come out quite that neat. If I make a big pan of refried black beans, though, it might. Use up all those cans of beans. I can do that! Today would be ideal. Mmmmmm.

It's going to be amazing to stick just about everything into the basement and forget about it. And then gradually realize that I can get rid of a lot of that stuff, right?

My row of giant fezzes full of stuff: lots of them are kitchen things, two sewing/fabric, three tools and hardware, one stuffed bunnies, one Christmas, one baskets etc., and so on. Like, normal life stuff, only with more bunnies. Oh and I think three or four are clothes. Dude, I got rid of everything in the clothes department! It's amazing.

Rice! Right. Got to eat. Don't you want pumpkin pie right about now? I sure do. I will be unpacking the pie plates soon after I arrive and making myself some pie!

In other words, the usual! Carry on!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Drum solo!

Let me just start by saying I have big anxiety, I know it! I have panic attacks! It's a known thing.

Lately my heart keeps going kerflippity thumpity thump, like hiccuping while falling down the stairs. And although I know perfectly well it's probably just stress and panic and all that, even though actually it just seems to happen when I'm not particularly flipping out, I have this weird conviction that instead of mistaking a panic attack for a heart attack, I'm doing the opposite. What?

I might go get it checked out. But probably not. I think it's just little drum solos. It feels weird, though! I can feel it coming on and then there's a pause and the bumpity bump and then back to normal.

I'm a little bit of a stress bunny lately, too true, too true.

Ooh, I just figured out how to do the latte colored paint thing. See, I have stuff in the way of a lot of the places where I need to dab a dot of latte paint on a spackled up screw hole. But I don't want to wait. And I don't want to do it twice. But I have all these jars! I will stir the paint in its giant bucket, then extract it somehow into a jar, then close up the jar tightly. That way I can do a bunch of it now and the last of it later.

I know! Brilliant! I've been working on this problem in my head since yesterday when I discovered the latte paint is in five gallon buckets. Yowza! I hope I can get that sucker open.

I totally want to bake oatmeal cookies. Or maybe bars. Bars are less work *and* you get lots more inside and less edge. Toothless people like the inside better. I have no earthly idea why I got two pounds of butter last week unless I really was planning ahead to bake cookies without telling myself. Possibly! I may have just forgotten. Oatmeal cookies are perfect to take on the road, see. Mmm.

I'm nearly out of everything, which is awesome. Today I get to take all of the things out of the fezzes so I can wash and then pack the fezzes. So, for instance, rice. Into a ziplock bag.

Two weeks. I'm a little bit of a basket case, but not too bad. For my own personal basket range, I mean. Mostly I just keep wondering whether I can afford to zoom off to Crater Lake before I move. Like, I absolutely want to, but they closed off part of it last weekend and this weekend for bikers and hikers, which is awesome, but I want to drive around and look at everything, not get stuck somewhere. Also, snow! I believe there's snow on the ground there now.

Trying to get myself organized to drive to Crater Lake in the midst of finishing packing and doing all my school work and my job work is a pretty massive undertaking. I always feel like ongoing work is sort of like a fire in the fireplace, like you can't just run off and leave it. You have to stay and take care of it! Which probably needs to be addressed psychologically in some way, heh.

In sum, I could really use a day OUT OF MY HOUSE, which is all full of WORK and SCHOOL and PACKING in every direction I look, especially before my workload doubles next week. So let's try really super hard to make this happen tomorrow, eh? Okay!


Paint

I'm painting the spots I spackled. It seems like I must have had white walls everywhere until now because I don't think I've ever had to deal with this before. And I am a master spackler, an avid spackler, have putty knife, will spackle. But most of this house is a kind of latte color except the rooms I painted blue and the creamy one in the back.

The blue and creamy ones are now touched up. Fantastic! I love how the marks just disappeared. Holes became spackled splotches became smooth sanded spots became nothing whatsoever. Smooooooooth.

I might wait to touch up the latte walls. Or I might not, come to think of it, since they're going to do a walk through at some point. Oh! I pushed the truck. I mean I called and made it official when I'll pick it up, which is to say, that Friday. I was going to push it to Monday but I think I would lose my various marbles if I had to sit around all weekend with no truck to pack. Friday it is!

I'm slowly realizing that my packing is stellar and my ridding myself of stuff has been spectacular and everything should fit just fine. See how laying out tape the size and shape of your truck helps with the stupid OCD? Go, me!

Anyway that's two weeks and two days before I get my truck so I'm going around doing medium last minute things, like washing the dog biscuit cookie jar and the tea ginger jar so I can pack them. Unfortunately, given how utterly associative I am, there was a Fresh Air about the Black Panthers on the radio when I was washing those things, so now every time I take a biscuit out of the jar for the dog, I will think of the Black Panthers, which will make me think of mountain lions, aka panthers.

Though actually the Latin name for mountain lion is puma concolor. Panthera tigris is the tiger.

Let's not think about puma concolor so close to bedtime. I've been sleeping so well!

I actually have two movies that I bought for money dollars and have not even opened yet because I'm quite sure that such an influx of images and sounds will keep me awake for a week. Mad Max Fury Road is one (might save for after road trip!) and Jupiter Ascending is the other. I could maybe watch Jupiter. But who am I kidding, I'm going to read familiar things and watch Leverage a lot until it's time to get in the truck and drive away.

Today I found out they changed things so that I can use my cell phone as a wireless hotspot without having to request whatever blah blah blah. This is awesome! This enables early leaving! Because I can then do my work anywhere. Amazing! Powerful! Terrific!

I just have to change to more data before I go. I can do that! I need Pandora for the road anyway. That's Pandora, not panthera. Stop it. (Same Greek root in the first half of the words. Guess what panthera means? Predator of everything. Everything includes me! I know!!!)

Anyway ahem things are fine, it's all fine here now, how are you?

I have stuff to give away but I might stick it out on the curb. Does that work here? You know where that works super well? Philadelphia!

I'm excited to do my 3D puzzle of a truck. It's going to be awesome. It's going to be a RELIEF.

I read a flipping awesome book today and yesterday that was so utterly full of misery that I'm agog. Why are you so in love with misery, literary fiction? No one will ever be able to convince me that there's a good reason for it. It's just how we do things. Isabel Allende is the only one I can think of who is able to be joyful and full of life while still writing lusciously literary fiction and she's a magical realist, so maybe she doesn't count. I don't know, does she count? She's awesome.

Misery: characters trapped in their miserable lives, lots of stupid rape and sexual abuse, lots of stupid controlling sadistic awful people, people with no interest in anything whatsoever, boring lives, squalor, wealth, stultifyingly boring social occasions, lies, deception, concealment, and then finally vengeance. I liked the vengeance part. But the rest of it, holy yikes, people. If you think life is that boring and awful, DO SOMETHING. Like, learn to parasail, or learn French, or knit some hats for the homeless, dang!

Honestly. If you're bored and miserable, change a variable, man. It's not that hard to figure out. Public libraries, full of knowledge, free of charge. Charities, always willing to put you to work. Or maybe just go watch people for thirty seconds and you'll realizing people are mostly having a pretty good time, or else they're looking forward to something great, even if it's just a tv show and a beer. Or football or hockey or something. People are defined by what they love, madame misery! We love stuff! I don't even think it's possible to be a person and not love something. It's like swimming to a shark.

Anyway I'm all full of indignation because nobody cared about anybody else in this book and everyone was utterly blind to the suffering of others around them and it was ridiculous and stupid and annoying. And gorgeously written. Why oh why? Why the cult of misery? Stop it!

The modernists have a LOT to answer for.

I'm on deadline and everything but I might have to read a Jenny Crusie book to clear the palate. I did the most tremendous amount of work this weekend, holy goodness me. I mean, school work. I have much more to do, of course, but I really tackled a lot of it early. Hurray!

Also, I washed the kayak. And then had to pump it out with the kayak pump. You cannot dump water out of that thing. It doesn't dump. It's not shaped that way. There's an edge that comes down in the cockpit. Anyway, pumping out the kayak is always weirdly fun. It's odd to have a self-contained waterproof object bigger than a bathtub. Two. I did not wash the canoe because it's been living in the back room, not outside.

I packed all my shoes in gym bags, those kinds of things, like a bag you'd take on a two day trip. Shoes are so heavy and unwieldy and bulky. I have too many. Etc. Take the rest as read.

Gosh I'm thrilled to have the truck moved and finalized. I still have to call the utilities to get stuff turned off. How odd that I moved here without ever seeing the place, and I'm moving there without ever seeing the place, and when I moved from L.A. I went without ever seeing the place. What the hell, man? What's this new habit I have of moving 3400-3700 miles without ever seeing the place I'm moving into? I mean, pictures, sure. But we are as a species INCAPABLE of portraying the feeling of a house via pictures. It can't be done. Apparently we can't even convey the layout, or the number of rooms. Come on, people!

I don't know how many bedrooms are in the new house, even. Like, I think more than one? Maybe three, but one is tiny? I DON'T KNOW. So weird.

Are there closets? Who can tell???

I'm pretty vague on the timetable given that I'm not even sure which day I'm leaving. I'll have to vacuum and stuff after everything is out. And sleep. And wake up. And have a shower. And then drive for a very long time relatively slowly.

I hope my busted shoulder gets through this okay. Torn rotator cuff or whatever. Eeeeeesh. It hurts like fire right now already. Doing essentially anything hurts. So I'm sure moving 30 rubbermaid bins and 30 boxes of books and all this furniture will be fiiiiiiine. Well, I intend to use a hand truck, so it's not nearly as bad as it sounds.

After it's all over I can unpack and slump all relieved and then move on to worrying about my usual suspects:

1) perishing of the cold or starving from a massive ice storm that knocks out the power for a month
2) finding a longer term place to move into in June
3) school in January, aaaaaah! flying, boarding the animals, aaaaaah! being around humans, aaaaaah!
4) general human interaction stuff in new places, i.e., where is the dog park? what about knitting group?
5) writing! though that's not a worry anymore because I have gained essential skills in the management of material department, infinitely more manageable now, seriously

By the way yesterday was my one year work anniversary, in my new position, hurray!!!!! I love my job. Here's to many more!

And since I'm inexplicably waking up at 6:00 all the time now, I'm going to assemble my dog and cat and conclusively hit the hay.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Many is how many

Oh yes, nearly done, nearly done. I'm proving that infinity exists once again by ever approaching done but never quite getting to done. Or is that something else I'm proving? A paradox, maybe. Achilles and the tortoise. Zeno's paradox. All that.

For example, I could not believe how many rubbermaid fezzes I had in the shed. I will never need all these fezzes, I thought! How could I ever have needed so many fezzes? Now I'm pretty well out of fezzes and resorting to using (gasp) cardboard boxes for all the things that still remain. Shock! Horror! Awe!

I know!

Then I remember that a) I have gotten rid of at least four fezzes, because they broke or whatnot. At least four. Maybe more. And also I recycled nearly all of the cardboard boxes I brought out here. So actually I'm ending up with far less stuff. But also furniture.

I would sleep better if a master of three dimensional measurement would come over and assess my items and their ability to fit into a given three dimensional space. I'm super good at that but the things are all over the house and although I'm positive it'll be fine, I'm also in an agony of indecision and constantly on the verge of abandoning the couch.

Dang this couch! It's too low. It's too shallow, as in, you can't sit far back enough. And it's the color of tomato soup. Maybe St. Vincent de Paul or someone can come pick it up and take it away.

I was sitting on it earlier (as every day) and writing, but the dog keeps squishing right up against me and making me extremely hot and crowded. So now he's stretched out in the whole middle of the couch and I'm in the comfy chair. I've also been writing on the dragon bench because nobody bothers me much there. On the couch it's all United Housepet Writing Prevention League all the time. Jiminy. Let me walk on your chest while you're trying to write that!

I'm super irritable today because yesterday I had a panic attack (psycho neighbor came up behind me when I was on the deck--I mean, on the other side of a fence, on their property, but STILL) and took a .5 mg xanax, which knocked me flat and overdrew my allotment of calm for today. Which is why I only take it if I'm actually utterly freaking out, like, can't breathe properly. Panic attack, like I said. Breath whooshing, shaking all over, and so on.

Panic attacks can't hurt you. They really can't. But when they're happening it feels like YOU'RE GONNA DIE. A grizzly bear is standing behind you, drooling on the top of your head. There's a time bomb with seconds left on it, under your chair.

I'm working on better things to do than race around trying to do normal activities to distract myself. Like, it should be the rule that I have to play Bach on the piano or something. Or I have to walk around the block. That's a bad idea, actually. Going outside while in a panic attack is a terrible idea. Never mind. But if I had a treadmill or something, do x amount of time or distance. Jump rope. Anything to focus.

Ugh, I feel so uninspired with my writing lately, but I'm sure it's not possible to tell from looking at it which parts are inspired and which uninspired. I realize this. This is one of those super cool secrets. Also: you only have to make *this* work. This part, right here. Worry about the rest later.

I'm in love with the dragon bench, seriously. It's been in the back room until about a month ago. It's such a great medieval looking thing. And it's insanely comfortable for sitting, oddly enough. Yay, dragon bench!

I saw the most fantastic couch for sale used for $1800 or something, all kinds of twined wood carving and crazy lush upholstery and these wonderful slopey arms. It was a couch you could live in. Good thing I hadn't been to the dentist, huh? I don't think I'd spend that amount on anything that didn't come with either an operating system or an engine, though. Or a front door!

My new driver's license came today. It's way flimsier than the old one. What a gyp! I wonder if I can keep on using it until I have a permanent home? I mean, longer than this short-term place? I'm certainly going to consider waiting to register the car and all. It's hundreds of dollars in Maine.

I just realized I know exactly where to go, because I've lived in this county before. Gosh.

Well, I keep reconfiguring my rental/leaving/travel/arrival schedule to try to make it make more sense. I've overestimated the gas by about four hundred dollars, I realized yesterday. That's awesome. I don't know, everything seems kind of ludicrous and absurd and unreal. But I'm doing all of the nuts and bolts stuff, hard at work every day. Then again, preparing for the ludicrously unlikely is exactly my cup of tea. So there you go. Obviously I AM going. It's for sure. All I keep picturing is the boring long drive, the stuffy/cold nights sleeping in the truck, lots of physical labor at both ends of the trip, and sitting there bewildered in the new house, looking out at the terrifying ocean right outside the windows.

The Atlantic tends to stay put in its bed, at least, unlike the Pacific, which is having earthquakes and tsunami RIGHT NOW in Chile and Hawaii and all around the shop. Burns, Burns, Burns. Ring of fire! Complicated joke. Never mind. But the Ring of Fire is acting up and the sooner I get away from it and the regular on-land wildfires, hoo boy, the happier I'll be. MORTAL PERIL. I mean, not really. But KINDA.

Like I actually do have to consult the USGS wildfire maps to determine my route out of the west. I mean, it's a thing I have to do. They close roads for wildfires, plus, hello, you don't want to drive in all that smoke anyway.

Let us consider events and objects that are not in any way connected to MORAL PERIL. I made an awesome salad out of artichokes, garbanzos, and garden tomatoes. Yum! The whole idea was to use up these cans of olives, but once I looked at them, they were actually black beans. Whoops! We have no olives. Three cans of pineapple chunks, though, inexplicably. Must eat.

I made a list of emergency supplies to keep in my basement at the ocean house in case of getting totally snowed in and frozen out and trapped by winter's MORTAL PERIL. Oh heck, I'm back there again. It's a good list, though. It has olives on it. Also pineapple. And peaches! I'm going to have SUPPLIES.

Today I even used my roll of shrink wrap imported from Bangor, Maine to wrap up things that come in multiples, like those little shelves, or the three doors from the drawers for the day bed. Things that need to be protected and also need to be one thing, not three loose slithery things that will get dinged up. That was fun. Still have a lot of shrink wrap left. I used to get to wrap whole pallets in this stuff. That was a lot easier because you could walk around them. Yep.

I think I've arranged it so I can drive through horrible Illinois and Indiana during the weekend. I hope that's better. Yuck, I hate that part worst of the whole trip. Oh, must remember to have eighty dollars for tolls, too. I think that's what it is. So many axles, see. Truck plus trailer. It'll cost a lot in tolls through Illinois and Indiana and Ohio and New York. And Maine.

And then it'll be snow and muck and hard work and then sharp crisp beauty and quiet and blue blue blue. And sitting by the gas fireplace. And playing with the kids.

I watched a video today of cars sliding around in the snow and people falling on ice and laughed my head off, my goodness, what a sucker for a pratfall I am! Turn into the slide, drivers. A whole city bus went sliding, though. Jeepers.

I've been staying home and walking the dog in the park instead of driving the stupid detour roundabout route to the dog park. It's easily eight to ten times farther by the detour and it just drives my OCD self crazy. So incredibly peaceful not to be driving every day, I can't even tell you. I love it. I'm out and about, but I'm not driving. So great. Look forward to lots more of that, heh heh.

And I've been up at dawn every day, which is bananas, until today, when I slept until noon. I mean, I woke up at dawn, of course, but then went back to sleep for another six hours, which is hilarious. It's already half past midnight so I'd better conk out soon or I'll be backwards diurnal again, which sucks. I liked waking up at dawn, even if it was tremendously weird for me. We shall see.

Keep your life jackets handy and stock up on supplies, bunnies. Don't you feel like this winter might be a tricky one? I sure do!