Saturday, August 22, 2009

Insomnia, thy name is...

So I'm getting ready to take some time off work. So of course, all things go wrong, and by all things, I mean, my washing machine, which had issues a few weeks ago and I alerted my landlord, who cleaned out a ton of lint. Max, Mr. First Floor, did a load after "lint-gate" and had no problem. My mom was in town last weekend, so we went to a laundromat since I had more laundry than one load. But in preparation for stuff n'at, I wanted to do a load tonight.

I checked on it at 9pm, before I left for Whole Foods. I checked on it at 10, after I returned from Whole Foods. (After I put a phone call into my car friend to say, why would there be water dripping from my passenger side foot area? Oh, condensation from my a/c? Oh, okay.) My mom assured me that we could do laundry tomorrow. I assured her, oh, I'm sure it will spin out soon, and promptly forgot about it, went upstairs to watch Numb3rs and finish packing my meds. At a quarter to midnight, after I had done enough of my own spinning, I figured my laundry should be too.

And I was sorely disappointed.

So I unplugged the stupid vile machine (I think it must be a faulty pump) and took my laundry out, put it in the sink to drain overnight. In the morning, I'll take my trash bag out of my kitchen trash can and use the trash can to transport the drained out laundry.

I discovered this unhappy laundry debacle after I had put my laptop to bed but since I'm so wired I brought it back up, wrote an email to my landlord, and started this post.


North Hills Sally, now Michigan Sally, has discovered her local library and has finally taken out Gilead, one of my favorite books. I told her, it's a love letter from a father to a son, do not expect a plot and know that it meanders.

I am so exhausted. Maybe I'll find an online game to play.

mtc (more to come)


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"No more sadness, I kiss it good-bye/The sun is bursting right out of the sky..."

In 1986, M-tv still showed music videos, Madonna's album True Blue had been released, and I was in 8th and 9th grades.

What do I remember? That True Blue was one of the first cassettes I bought (as opposed to vinyl records) and that there was a contest on M-tv for best video for the title track when it was released as a single. I remember spending afternoon(s) watching the entries, some of which used blue casting as part of the visual effects.

So when the song came on the radio the other day, the memories flooded back. I had just arrived at work, but I stayed in the car until the song was over. Funny how memories flood back: I remember the record shop where I bought the tape, in Wheaton Plaza. It was sort of but not really near the Gap store. I remember strolling my siblings along, in their double stroller, and people asking me if they were my kids and me being offended. (They are ten and eleven years younger than me.)

In our split level house in suburban Silver Spring, Maryland, we had bean bag chairs on the floor, that's what we sat on to watch TV. Much more comfortable than my current set-up at home, a bed on top of a box spring, no headboard. I miss my sofa!! Not that there is really room for another piece of furniture, but even sitting against a husband pillow** doesn't quite replicate the comfort of watching TV from a couch.


So you may have noticed that I've been blogging less--that's about to stop, because (drum roll please) my laptop HAS arrived, all shiny and pink. She came on Friday, I opened her on Sunday morning, and we're still getting acquainted. I have yet to install AVG (the computer came with McAffee, yuk, but we'll deal.) Today I installed Firefox, Adobe Flash, and other sundry things. I have a router, but haven't hooked it up, and I still need to get a wireless mouse. And I need to name her.

In the time that I've not been blogging, I've been tweeting more, especially since I can tweet from my non-internet enabled cell phone. And I've been trying to think what I want to do with this blog--what is it for, who is it for, and what should I write here? And I still don't know. So I'll keep writing bits here and there. I hope you'll come back to see what I've written.

In other writing news, I'm now in a women's writing group with some women from church, which is thrilling. We meet every three weeks and have met twice so far. Now, if only I could get started on something to goal is to work really hard for the next two years so that I can be in an MFA Creative Writing program by August 2011. (Eek!) My boss in Children's let out a celebratory whoop when I told her my plans--previous to this, my plans had been plain vanilla: to go back for a doctorate in Library Science. This goal is far more audacious but closer to what I really really want: to write more.

It is super scary, since the dual goals of spending less to reduce debt and writing more so I have a portfolio to submit are both things I have not been successful at since my college years. But then again, I haven't had a goal like this since those years.


*True Blue, Madonna, 1986.
**in 1986, I was a Redskins fan.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

"Shopping is my cardio."

Carrie Bradshaw, on why she doesn't think she'll get into online shopping now that she has Internet. (Baby, Talk is Cheap, Episode 54, Season 4)

I spent 50 minutes in a grocery store today. That is 50 minutes too many, but at least when my therapist asks me tomorrow did I walk this week, I can answer truthfully. I walked from my car to the movie theatre to find out movie times. I walked from the movie theatre to Panera, where I had corn chowder with my sandwich, yum. I walked from Panera to Bed Bath and Beyond. I walked around the kitchen area of Bed Bath and Beyond long enough to find some food storage containers that will come in handy now that I'm determined to cook more and eat out less, which includes taking food to work that isn't in a cardboard box that has plastic wrap around frozen food.

I then walked to Bath and Bodyworks, where I discovered they don't have bath bombs either. NO ONE DOES. They suggested I look online. Shopping online never occurs to me. (I hate paying for shipping.) (And I like stores better.) But I really want some bath bombs.

['Scuse me while I look for them, and the first ones I find are $9 a piece! WHAT? The last one I bought was $1 at Giant Eagle and I didn't have to pay shipping!!!!!!!]

[The next two places are $4 and $5, but look, you can MAKE THEM HERE.] Now I'll be looking to procure a "dome shaped mold." Yes, I think that means more shopping. Unless I could use Styrofoam egg cartons...I digress.

So back to my afternoon exercise routine. (Are you tired yet?) I walk from Bath and Bodyworks (where I bought a compact that has one side regular mirror and one side magnified, for $4, and it's PINK) back to the movie theatre. During the previews I try to finish the Red Dress Ink book that I've been working on for the past day or so, because I've invested too much time to not finish it, and I know she gets the guy because I cheated, but I just want it to be DONE, and at this point, it seems really confusing why she would want the guy or why, for that matter, he would want her. Be forewarned: Loves me, Loves me not, is not a lovable book. Though the graphic design for the chapter headings is clever--a Gerber daisy that loses more petals as you work through the book. (You know, like pulling the petals out, "he loves me, he loves me not." Cute. But you don't need to read the book to enjoy that detail.)

Since I've already seen Harry Potter and the HBP once, I'm so bored the first 15 minutes (and I want to finish the blasted stupid RDI book) I almost walk out. But I don't, and I finally settle in and enjoy myself, catch a lot of the little things I missed the first time I watched it, but generally wish I was with someone. Chick flicks, I can see alone. But for me, Harry Potter movies are about my sister and where the heck was she?? In DC, as usual. (Well, she lives there, so that's no big surprise.)

After the movie ends, I walk back to the car, deposit my book and walk to the grocery store. And I proceed to walk around the store for the next 50 minutes, without a list, and though I used to shop at this Giant Eagle back in the day, I'm somewhat unfamiliar and did I mention no list? I don't get out under $50, which I'm sure my mom readers are saying what, that's a bargain, but remember, I'm feeding one person, not three to five. If I spent $50 for what should turn out to be 30 meals (including breakfast cereal), how much is that per meal? About $1.66, so not so bad. I need to keep shopping. Eat out less.

The thing is awareness. I'm actually spending less than I was a year ago. But I'm more aware of my financial situation and I actually REALLY THIS TIME DO want to get out AND STAY OUT of debt and I've given up the dream of getting a higher paying job and I'm looking at grad school in two years, so...the awareness makes my anxiety level higher and by the time I get $60 fast cash out of the ATM and see my balance, which has gone significantly down since payday, (was that only four days ago?) I am on High Anxiety.

So from the grocery store, I walk back to the car (thankfully I didn't buy any heavy things like, say, a whole turkey or a case of canned beets) and drive home. At which point, I walk downstairs one flight to the basement, put my laundry in the dryer (walk up one flight to the foyer) and walk the three flights to my garret apartment with my groceries. I put away my food, immediately open a 100 calorie Pringles container, and make myself a rum and Coke. Anxiety levels drop as I chow on a second 100 calorie Pringles container, fix a Lean Cuisine (I can't cook every day!) and finish the RDI book. And immediately turn the TV on as I work my way through Season Three of SATC.

Today would have been a great day to have worn my pedometer. I may not have walked to church (it's a goal) but please observe that I didn't move my car from 1:30 pm to 7pm while I did all that walking around the Waterworks Shopping Center.

When I finally am at a low enough anxiety level that I can actually call my mother, she confesses that although she doesn't like getting her hair cut on Sundays, she did today. It makes sense, they're leaving tomorrow for a road trip that culminates next weekend in a wedding. And it hits me WHY my grocery/money/ shopping anxiety was so high! I don't actually hit my hand on my forehead, but it's that kind of a moment. We're "no shopping on Sunday" people! We do movies, we do restaurants, but we do not do laundry or shopping unless absolutely necessary. As I have developed from a wee Louise to an almost 40 year old Louise, Sunday has become my day to zone out, my day to FORGET that I even have a checking account. The money anxiety? Was only part of the fact that I hate grocery shopping and a lot of the part that I feel it is my God-given gift to NOT GROCERY SHOP on Sunday. That's what Monday is for. (Monday is also wash day...) Sunday is for movies. Sunday is for chillin' in the crib. Sunday is for church. Sunday is NOT for worrying about bank balances.

And finally, this particular Sunday is for Sarah Louise to spend ten minutes turning her computer on and off, hitting F8 till finally she gets the "do you want to try safe mode with networking" screen. It is 11 pm and I have spent the past hour WRITING A BLOG POST. Life, my friends, is good. Dear reader, there is joy in Mudville. And I didn't have to turn on my air conditioning at all.

And so, as I realize I should probably start to get ready for bed so that I can greet tomorrow with at least a half-hearted desire to find laundry detergent,* I bid thee adieu.

*did Wisk go off the market? And why are there so many different kinds of Tide? And is it really worth it to spend $8 for the kind that is good for the environment and and and... this is why I didn't buy laundry detergent. Which is also why my groceries were light and easy to carry back to the car, parked by the movie theatre.