In Which We're Hacking Through the Chore Jungle

16 July 2003

Should anyone have lost track of the number of days until my birthday: that number is ten. And now you know. Just in case, you know.

If you've started reading this journal since my last birthday, you might not know it, but I am the Birthday Princess. I would be the Birthday Queen, but that job is already taken, within my own family, even. The family has a rule I keep repeating to people: you get a minimum of five days of celebration for your birthday, unless it's a big birthday, in which case it's ten days. Minimum. Big birthdays are: 13, 15, 16, 18, 21, all birthdays ending in 0, all birthdays ending in 5 after age 60, all birthdays after age 90, and your golden birthday. (Golden birthday is the year that you turn your birthdate age. Mine will be next year, for example, 26 on the 26th. One of my cousins, I think Deborah, decided that she had gotten cheated, since her golden birthday was when she was too small to appreciate it, so she started celebrating her golden birthday modulo 30, or 31, I forget which, depending on which month she was born in. This seems a bit excessive to me, but you always can celebrate for more than five days if you want to.)

So. I like birthday greetings. I like birthday cards and birthday presents, but birthday e-mails make me very happy, too. Don't worry: I'll remind you when they're appropriate. All will be clear. Oh, and I do include time spent together in the category of birthday presents. Birthdayness is so good. It's all flexible and stuff.

Hee. Birthday birthday birthday. I love birthdays. I wore one of my birthday presents yesterday -- we shopped for them, as I said, and Mom is the one who is usually adamantly opposed to opening birthday presents before one's birthday, but since I was there to pick out every one of them, she thought I might as well wear them while I was at it. So I've started. But there will be more birthday to come. Whee.

Guess which city was named most literate in the country? Oh, just guess. I'll give you a hint: I've been telling you and telling you. What a surprise.

Today I am not getting sick. Not not not. I'm coughing and snozzling and feeling generally groggy and run-down, but it is clearly not illness-related. No. I am allergic to California, possibly. Yes. I like this explanation: allergic to California.

Crud. Well, if I have to get sick -- which I don't, right? -- this would be the time for it: no birthday festivities yet, no outside-the-house plans for the day (although if Dr. Bill isn't free tomorrow and is free today, off I go), and massive amounts of vitamin C purchased yesterday at Trader Joe's in convenient berry and tomato form. And I still have lemon chamomile tea.

Yesterday, I showered with some luggage. Mark's shampoo had spilled in his suitcase (he had it inside a plastic bag, which also came open), and so I wrestled it into the shower to rinse. I think some corners of the bathroom are still damp, and the whole business was suboptimal with my shoulder, but the suitcase is no longer soapy, and that does count for something. I was not thrilled with the suitcase in the middle, when I was wrestling it around to get water into all of it and trying to get the suds to drain. Made me wonder about Pratchett and the Luggage.

When I called Jenn, she said the movers were at her house and expected to be done by noon. I had errands to run in her vicinity, so I did about half of them and then stopped in at her place. It was 12:45. The movers were not nearly done. So we hung out and chatted a bit, and then I went to the library and took care of more stuff, and then came back. Still with the movers. By the time we got to lunch, it was 3:00, and both of us were pretty woozy and punchy. It was still good to see her before she goes, though.

I read a little more of Declare. Hope to find the time to finish it today, but there are all kinds of small tasks that need attention, not to mention working on new sections of novel and so on. I left a message with Dr. Bill. I hope he calls back soon. It would be good to know when I can get in.

I think one of the things that gets to me about coming back after an absence is that the clutter rate is much higher for a few days. I'm usually as ruthless as I can be about clutter without infringing on stuff that isn't mine -- I usually pay the bills pretty much right away, for example, just to keep them from junking up the place -- but some of it is just inevitable as I take care of things that have gone a few weeks without getting taken care of.

And I'm more easily sidetracked when the house is cluttered. I got up to get a CD out of my backpack, spotted the invitation to Tony's wedding, picked it up and RSVP'ed (a no, sadly: no western Wisconsin for me within the next few weeks), continued with the composition of another e-mail, ordered myself some more jeans, added a few things to the to do list and started another section of to do list and put some ideas on the cooking list on the fridge whiteboard...realized that there was no music playing. Start again: unpack the dried fruit from that segment of my backpack, look for my new driver's license, fill out organ donor card...right. I finally have the music on the CD player. The thing is, most of the stuff I've done is stuff that needed doing, so I can't really feel badly about being sidetracked. It's just not how I prefer to do things.

So it's time to take enough off the list, a little at a time, that the clutter is decreased. Mentally and physically. I know I've gotten things done since I've gotten back, but it's easy to lose track of how much, since the list was so long to begin with, and since I keep coming up with more. I'll just keep going today. That's a good goal, I think: to keep going. You keep going, too, then.

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