In Which Our Heroine Does What She Can

13 September 2003

Yesterday's mail came, and it was good, and I got in the car immediately and faxed the letter in question to our mortgage being, Pam, as soon as I could get to The UPS Store with it. It'll probably sit on Pam's fax machine until Monday morning, but I don't care; I've done what I can to make this go as quickly and as smoothly as it can. I anticipate that there will be more snags along the way. I'm told that there are always more snags along the way. But I've done my bit so far.

I told the clerk at The UPS Store (which I still think of as Mailboxes Etc., because I haven't UPS'ed anything there and don't anticipate doing so soon) that we were buying a house in Minnesota. She marveled at the distance of it and then asked how much we were paying. Usually I would not react very well to that kind of personal question from a total stranger, but for some reason I just answered her. The look she gave me...oh, poor Bay Area resident, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have made her feel bad that way.

A little more with the packing. My paper journals almost filled a whole box yesterday, which surprised me but probably shouldn't have; I've been keeping them in various sizes and forms since 1997. I also packed the manuscript printout of the Not The Moose Book. That was my commitment to greater sanity for the next month: I can still work on it on the computer, I can still scribble notes about it in the journal, but I cannot decide that now, this very minute, is the time when the first section absolutely must be edited in every particular. That has to wait for October 9 at the very soonest. This morning I packed a box of periodicals, and I have more yet to go. We are the sort of family that has to consider whether we'll want to bind our periodicals eventually. I like that. I might like it better if I knew where we were going to put all these boxes once they're packed. Hmm. Some of the bookshelves are not going to make the trip back: too old, shelves bending, backs tearing. If we remove a few of them in advance, we can stack boxes where they were. Hmm.

It's hard, trying to anticipate what three people will want to read in the next few weeks. I've been doing the easy ones: periodicals, paper journals, manuscripts. My next box will probably include more manuscripts and author copies. Then photo albums. But I have to get to the actual books sooner or later, and by then...well. We'll deal with it.

I didn't talk about my social butterfly-ness yesterday! Thursday, Timprov and I drove up to Berkeley to have dinner with Zed and his girlfriend, who has a journal name in Zed's journal, but I'm not sure if I'm supposed to use that or her real name or nothing at all, so she can be Zed's Cool Girlfriend if she comes up again while we're here. (As opposed to Zed's Uncool Girlfriend, I suppose....) Anyway, we had lovely dinner with them, and they did a quick improvise so that we could eat on the patio when it was discovered that we had a cat household/cat allergy combo going. And out on the patio was...oh...Prince. Prince is Zed's Cool Girlfriend's Cool Sister's dog. (How do I know the sister is cool? She has Prince. Evidence enough for me.) Prince is a collie. And Prince was so sweet. Also the new house was nice, but the new house didn't have soft pet-able fur and a very sweet face. Which, in the long run, will probably be a good thing. Then yesterday David came down for lunch and hanging out. I mentioned that, I think.

Today we're going to see Amber at her flea market/craft fair/whatever -- and if you can't make it to Montclair to buy Amber's awesome jewelry, worry not! It's right here, on the web! Okay, sales pitch over. Anyway, we're getting ice cream with Amber when she's done receiving money from her adoring public. Tomorrow is Zachary's pizza with Wendy and Daniel. So far, Monday looks free, but Tuesday we're getting Cuban food with Evan. And also mojitos. Woo! We are social butterflies, is what.

I started reading A Wind in the Door last night, remembering how good the other Madeleine L'Engles were for the other parts of this whole house/move thing. Maybe I should have started it sooner, when I was still stressing out about getting this one silly little document. But anyway, I'm not very far into it; it's short, and I'm sure I'll finish it today and move on to a library book of some sort. (The rest of them look much better now that they're not weighted down by The Egyptian.)

Also in the "comfortable and happy" category, I watched "Barelaked Nadies," the Barenaked Ladies DVD, last night. Ooh. Loved it. I haven't watched it with the band's commentary tracks yet; I'm saving that for later. This band just makes me so happy. Mark and I had a discussion, though, because he thinks they're funny-looking. And to me they just look like what people look like. So I asked him whether members of the Old Crowd from college were funny-looking. Got an emphatic yes, and I think that's the problem: to me, the Crowd (along with other friends and family) is what people look like. If other people don't go around looking like that, they're the ones who are funny-looking. To Mark, being able to pick out two college friends who looked something like Steve from BNL simply meant that we had at least two funny-looking college friends; to me, this meant Steve looked pretty darn normal.

I think this is the physical extension of my belief that you don't get to have a crowd of freaks. If you're a good deal like everyone else you choose to hang out with, you're not internally weird. And if you choose to define your rules based on people you've never met and don't even care about, rather than the ones you know and like and love and choose to be around, then you are pretty internally weird, or at least internally messed up.

I turned on the AC, because it was really hot in the kitchen-dining room-living room continuum yesterday and promises to get that hot today. And even if I'm not here for a good chunk of it and return refreshed after eating ice cream, I don't really have time to stare listlessly at the walls and whine because it's too hot. Even if the whine was only internal. It gave us a taste of early fall, and then, oh, never mind, it didn't mean it. Silly weather. It's comfortable in here, anyway, and it'll be a good day to go out for ice cream.

Oh wait. Silly me: it's always a good day to go out for ice cream.

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