31 August 2014

suitcase

I am becoming an expert at living out of a suitcase. I've been doing it for seven months, after all.

Each time I move, the number of clothing items that I consider essential drops. When I first got back from the Mitten, I had a big suitcase and two little ones that all contained vital items. Now it's down to the two little ones. The big one is in the K.s' barn, full of things that I don't need to see again until winter hits. (I still have a bunch of dresses on hangers, though, of course. I lurve dresses.)

Two and a half months ago, I moved into this little sanctuary of an apartment. I needed some space to myself so very badly, and I found it here in this cozy studio facing west. 

I love it here, but my time is up. The actual renter of this apartment is returning, and I'm moving back into the K.s' spare room, because I have nowhere else to go and no money to pay for it. I could barely afford this place. I managed it, somehow, but I didn't complete enough projects in August, and so I haven't gotten paid in almost a month. I may not get paid for another month. (It is not enough to do the work, the way I am paid right now. I have to finish a chunk of work, and then I can bill. I hate it.)

When first I got into my car and drove toward the Mitten in February, it was my goal to be back in Gone West by this weekend, for the wedding I attended last night. 

When I turned my car around and drove back to Gone West, also in February, I could not have imagined that I would still be homeless six months later. I really couldn't. I thought something would come together, and I would have a job and a little apartment by now.

One of the attorneys I work with keeps telling me that the economy is terrible for this. It isn't me, he keeps telling me, it's the economy.

That may be true, but it's wearing on me.

There are some really, really good things in my life right now, but they aren't enough to stave off the constant anxiety about the bills I cannot pay.

sick feeling

What happens every time I start attempting to write something here lately is that I want to talk about Ebola, and the sick feeling in my stomach when things are going badly in Liberia, a feeling that I felt most of my teenage years and only lost c. 2003 when the war ended.

The sick feeling is back.

Oh, Liberia, Liberia, Liberia. Why does Liberia seem to get the worst end of every tragedy?

That question is basically the reason why I studied community development in undergrad and why I went to law school. I still don't have an answer.

I am fighting the urge to up and go to Liberia and spend my days giving Ebola patients oral rehydration salts and maybe persuading them to try statins? (Have you read the stuff about statins and Ebola? I would try them if I got Ebola.)

It's very strange how life just goes on here. At least now there is the internet, while in 1991 I was cutting out tiny snippets of news about Liberia's civil war from the newspaper and pasting them into a scrapbook.

Now I can read an article about Ebola, shoot it off in an email to interested parties, and go get dressed up for a date with a cute guy. It is very disorienting, and also very sad.

24 August 2014

plenty

It's kind of crazy that one can be unemployed and still be insanely busy. At some point, it just sounds like I am making this up, like someone is going to start asking, "How can you be so busy if you don't have a job, huh? Huh?"

Well, there is the finding work to pay the bills, the doing the work to pay the bills, the constant anxiety about finding enough work to pay the bills, and the constant anxiety about doing enough work to pay the bills. Also the looking for a real job to end the rest of it. It all adds up.

Oh, and did I mention that I will be homeless again in a week? 

There is plenty going on.

Meanwhile, I have driven over the mountains to Sunny Ski Town a time or two. I tried to explain to my mom why this is one of my favorite drives, but it's hard to explain everything that happens in three hours of driving except to say that there is farmland and then forest and then mountain and then forest and then open range with snow-capped peaks off to the side and then suddenly you are descending into a golden-brown canyon and then back out, and then there is more farmland high in the desert, and then there is a canyon so deep that signs warn about letting dogs loose near it, and then there are crazy rocks off to one side with more snowy mountains on the other.

This state, I tell you. It will wrap you up in its beauty and ruin you for anywhere else.


11 August 2014

neck

A couple of times a year, I become convinced that I am dying, due to the fact that my gums get swollen and painful. Isn't this a sign of impending death?

I thought so the first few times anyway, but now I just have a moment or seven of panic before I remember that this is what happens these days when my allergies get bad: my sinuses swell into my gums. Lovely.

That's been going on this last week or so, and then I woke up on Sunday morning unable to move my head. 

I googled about, holding my phone in front of my immobile face, and discovered that the cause of this type of crick in one's neck tends to be either soft tissue or some little bone that gets out of place but would go back if the muscles weren't too tense to let it.

Which is all fine, except that it kept me from sleeping the next night, due to the precision with which I must place my head in order to be free from pain. It turns out that being the sort of person who moves about a lot in my sleep does not bode well for sleeping with my head precisely placed.

It gets better during the day - a hot shower this morning was the best thing for it - but I am very afraid of trying to sleep again, and even more afraid of my red-eye flight to the Mitten tomorrow. Why am I so frequently damaged when getting on planes?

10 August 2014

cupcake

*discussion of gluten-free products to follow*

Last night, I needed a cupcake. I mean, look. Sometimes you just need a cupcake. I needed a cupcake.

I picked up some groceries at Trader Joe's and W@lm@rt. (I was talking to someone later who started laughing and said, "That may be the only time in history that someone has mentioned those two places in the same sentence like that.") Sitting in the W@lm@rt parking lot, I started googling cupcakes.

All the gluten-free cupcakes were either far across town or closed, so I just started driving down a street with a lot of interesting restaurants on it.

I briefly considered getting ice cream instead - there is a good ice cream store on that street - but the line was out the door and down the block, and waiting in it alone seemed boring.

At the last minute before the turn to go back to my house, I remembered the natural foods store. They would have something. Gluten-free cookies, or something.

But lo! They actually had gluten-free cupcakes from a bakery in town (one of the places that closes early).

I got a chocolate one with chocolate icing, and I brought it home.

Then I ate a bunch of watermelon and raspberries and I almost wasn't hungry for it, but I soldiered on. I wasn't letting the cupcake go. 

It was delicious.

07 August 2014

summer

This has felt like a weird summer. 

Maybe every summer feels weird once you are no longer in school, I don't know. There isn't the change in schedule that we grow up expecting to have. Life just goes on, warmer weather notwithstanding.

Sometimes I forget all-together that it is summer. I mean, I forgot about watermelon until my dad mentioned it the other day as a hydration technique. Summer was specifically designed for the eating of watermelon, and I just forgot about it? This is ridiculous.

Admittedly, the size of an average watermelon is such that trying to go through one on my own can be a little daunting. I have thrown out a great deal of festering watermelon over the last seven summers.

But I bought one a couple of days ago, and I have been gorging myself nightly. Summer is here.

That and the raspberries. Oh, the raspberries.

06 August 2014

failure at naps, vegetarianism

Today was one of those days where I only managed to get up after five hours of sleep by promising myself that I would take a nap.

Famous last words.

Of course a bunch of things suddenly became urgent, and I spent my allotted nap time working frantically to download a finicky program and to try to open files that required the program.

I miss that nap I never had.

...

Over the weekend, I went out to the coast. It is summer now, so the glorious power of the weather that rules the coast in the winter was missing. The coast in the summer is more like a beach with water too cold for swimming. (Meaning: pretty but useless.)

I joke. I love the coast in any season.

You pretty much just have to mention the word "coast" and I will be in the car with my seatbelt on before you can turn your head to figure out where I've gone.

I ate bacon.

I remember the last time I ate bacon. It was when we helped my sister move to Mountain State in 2010. "I'm going to eat BACON!" I kept saying, but then when we got it at the restaurant, it wasn't that good and I only made it through one slice.

This bacon was amazing. I didn't even set out to eat it, but there it was for breakfast and it had pepper on the edge of it and what can I say? It was amazing. I want more of it. More bacon.

I fail as a vegetarian.

Other vegetarian failures in the last few weeks: other pork, chicken (I always cheat with chicken).

29 July 2014

dress

My friend and I looked at each other over her ancient, crusty car battery after we discovered that neither of us had jumper cables.

"Maybe the guys at the shop will come over here to install the new battery," she said.

"You'd better put on a short skirt," I said. I was already wearing a dress. (White. Not the best move when working on a car.)

"That is exactly what I was thinking," she said.

"Heels?" she asked.

"Always a good idea."

"I'll put on the bright lipstick, too," she said.

Thus attired for battle, we set out for the tire store. (Look, the sexism is there. We were merely acknowledging it.)

We* were not successful in flirting our way into getting the guy at the counter to offer someone to come out to her house to replace the battery for us (not our fault; it is a big chain and I suspect they have policies), but he did put the battery in my trunk so we could try to swap them out ourselves.

"Is that a sword?" he asked.

"Yes, but it's not sharp," I said. "It's a practice sword."

"Right..." he said, dubious.

We utterly failed at switching out the batteries, due to the mysterious disappearance of the correct size wrench from her tool kit.

Instead, we ran to the nearest big box store and bought a cheap set of jumper cables.

My wee little beastie did a right good job of getting a newer, more expensive car back on the road. And I didn't even get my dress dirty.

* She did all the work, really. I was distracted by a phone call that I had to deal with immediately.