Attention Non-readers!

When I say I’m reading, it doesn’t mean I’m not doing anything. I am reading. Just like you watch TV or movies, I am entertaining myself with the work of an author or writer. The actors are in my imagination, just like the characters that the actors play are in the show’s writers’s heads. I am letting my brain take over the picture portion of the show.

Please don’t belittle your reading friends’s activities. We are not doing nothing. We are just doing something we enjoy.

Bathroom negotiations

A friend and I went out a few months ago. We had a great time! At the end of the evening, I stopped by the bathroom before we headed back to settle in for the night. There were three stalls in the bathroom, each filled with a woman gossiping with the other two women. There was a line for the bathroom. Hurry it up, ladies!

I was the first in line. I wasn’t seriously in need of the restroom, but I needed to go before I left. The lady behind me started listing everything she had to drink over the course of the evening. I’m guessing she was trying to convince me that all that liquid had traveled to her bladder. I let her go first. She seemed more desperate.

Adventures in Getting Organized

When we moved out of the home we had occupied for almost 20 years, we left in a hurry. 20 years of household items got shoved into three storage units. I managed to get the stuff down to two units right away, but then life got in the way and I got settled into ignoring the units until we needed something.

There was a break-in early last year. Some damage was done but mostly it motivated me to get in there and straighten up the units. We got to the point where it was obvious that we could consolidate, but we needed to find help and hands to do it. Then we got notification that the price of the units was going up $200 a month per unit. This motivated me.

We went in and took almost everything out of the unit that we were planning on keeping. Then we started moving the big stuff we’d be keeping into the unit we knew we’d need to keep. We put the stuff that we were getting rid of into the unit we’d be letting go. We worked for hours and lost track of time. We ended up throwing everything back into the units to address on another day.

I contacted a friend of the family who does dump runs and he suggested that I rent a U-Haul since he was too expensive for the trip to the dump that I needed. So, it took me a few weeks and then I finally found a spot on my schedule and I reserved a U-Haul truck online. I gathered the troops and planned the trip.

Pickup at U-Haul was awful. Nowhere to park and they double booked the truck. I managed to get the keys before the second person arrived. She almost started a fight, but I told her that her issue wasn’t with me, it was with management. We were not off to a good start.

We went and threw out so much stuff that we hadn’t needed in all of the years that it had been in storage. I rented a smaller unit and put the stuff that we were keeping but wouldn’t fit into the single larger unit into it. The U-Haul was full and I felt accomplished after we made it to the dump.

I had to go back a few more times to finish emptying the large storage unit we weren’t going to continue to use. On the last day, I went to the kiosk to cancel out the account. The person that I spoke to told me to just leave the unit open and she’d take care of the rest. I got calls for a few days from other people, letting me know that the unit was empty and they wanted to know if I knew it. Yes. I emptied it and reported it closed. I was worried that they would continue to bill me. They did not, thankfully.

I do hope that one day I can find a place and put all of the stuff from storage into a home. Until then, I’ll be storing it for safe-keeping.

Happy New Year, 2023

I knew that I was looking at a lazy long weekend, and I’m having trouble getting it out of my mind. It’s been raining hard, and it’s been cold. I just felt like hunkering down with a blanket, a dog, and books. I thought maybe I would go to a movie this weekend, but that requires me to get dressed and leave the house. I have managed to shower and change into clean pjs. I just can’t get motivated to do much more.

I cleaned a bunch of stuff until I filled the recycling bin. There were boxes and wrapping paper from Christmas gifts, so that took up a lot of room and stalled my cleaning. I’m still working on it, but not as fast.

I met my reading goal and then exceeded it. I stopped reading and decided I wouldn’t finish any books until after midnight. I managed to fall asleep long before midnight, but ended up rested for today. I slept through the time that I would have had to get up and dressed to go to a movie. Nothing caught my attention enough to motivate myself to go.

Because of the rain and cold, we’ve had trouble getting Molly, the dog to go out. She’s been uncomfortable and sluggish, but we know why. At 2am, she decided that she finally had to go out for real. She slept well after that and finally finished her dinner. She went out fine this morning, but hasn’t touched her breakfast.

I’ve worked on goals for 2023. I enlisted a friend to be a gym accountability partner. I have my checklists started. I plan on reading at least 130 books. I plan on posting on the blog daily. I will get into my smaller clothing again this year. I plan on swimming several times a week. I can do this!

I have mostly been reading digitally, but I have a lot of paper books. I plan to tackle the paper books this year. And passing them on, either to friends and family or to the little free libraries.

I have a lot lined up for 2023. I hope that I can manage a lot of it.

2-liter Bottles at the Library

A few weeks ago, I wandered over to Sunnyvale to meet with friends. I had a gap in my schedule, so I camped out at the library there, to be productive while I was killing time. There was a man using the library computer. He was watching autopsy videos and laughing his head off. Already a questionable fellow because of that. I look over and he is about 3/4 of the way through a 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew with a second one ready to go when he finishes. I decided that I was not going to interact with this guy at all. Nope.

Later that week, I went to the library near the college campus, since I needed to finish homework before class started. I sit at a table with two other people. One person is making work phone calls at the top of his lungs, so I put in my noise cancelling earbuds and drown out almost everything he is saying. At one point, he is trying to get my attention to watch his stuff while he goes off to use the restroom. I couldn’t hear a thing. Those things are great!

Across the table from the work phone call guy is a woman who has her whole setup going. I don’t know if she’s working or doing school work or just hanging out with books and a laptop. I wasn’t paying much attention until she got up to step onto the patio to eat lunch. She had a bunch of food containers but left behind a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi with her laptop. It was a lot to carry, I understand. I didn’t think a lot of it, but it was interesting because of the 2-liter bottle guy at the Sunnyvale library earlier in the week.

I went back the following week, and the woman was there again. This time, with a 2-liter bottle of orange soda. I wonder if it’s just part of what she packs for the library or if it was coincidental. Also, I wondered if she goes there every day. I meant to go back to check, but I haven’t done it yet.

Some Time Away – First Full Day

This is another continuation of Some Time Away – The Days Before Departure and Some Time Away – Day of Departure.

I got up early, because that is what I do. I gathered up the books I want to read today. I made a pile and brought everything out to where my laptop was sitting. I went back into the bedroom and started to put on my contacts. Something distracted me and I found myself in the kitchen making coffee. I realized that I had only put one contact in. I wandered back into the bedroom and fixed that.

I did my laundry and realized that the washer was washing everything on hot. Great. Maintenance came by to find that when the washer was installed, they switched the hoses. The next loads should be better, I hope.

I started reading several books. One was for my bookclub meeting for Monday. Others had other due dates. Because I read multiple books, this wasn’t a big deal. Every little bit helps get me to my goal.

The weather was cold, so I put off my trip to the pool until it warmed up at 4pm. I sat in the hot tub for about twenty minutes and then headed back for dinner.

I didn’t really get much accomplished, but it’s vacation, right?

Some Time Away – Day of Departure

Here’s the continuation from Some Time Away – The Days Before Departure.

As I sat in traffic, I was making phone calls. A friend was checking on me to see what I would be doing while I was away. I made a list. He laughed because I had a list for my quiet time, and it was supposed to be relaxing time. The things on the list were relaxing, but there were a lot of things planned. I had three bins of books packed because I couldn’t decide what to read since nothing was technically assigned. I plan on swimming daily. I want to watch season two of Only Murderers in the Building. Most importantly, I needed to finish that last paper and submit it by midnight.

As I am driving, I note that the deadline for submitting the 2500-word paper had come and gone. Thankfully, I had stopped to get it in. The GPS said I would be arriving at the condo at around 7:15 pm. Plenty of time to get the 1600-word paper written and submitted, since it was almost done. I was just crawling along in traffic, but I felt ok about it. I ended up pulling over to get some caffeine, since I didn’t know how long traffic would last. It ended up being a good decision since I ended up on a frontage road and bypassed a lot of the traffic. The GPS still said the same arrival time, but at least I was moving!

I got to the condo and unpacked the car with help from my mom. I threw everything into my room and pulled out the laptop. I started writing and then realized that I didn’t change the font type on the 2500-word paper, even thought I was supposed to! Oh, no! At this point, it would be considered late if I resubmitted. I decided that I would have points taken off, either way, and that there might be fewer points off for the font than for tardiness? 50/50. Done is better than perfect, I suppose.

I finished the paper right around 8pm and submitted with plenty of time to spare. I settled down to eat and relax. I unpacked and got ready to go to bed. I was running around a bit, so I didn’t hear my phone ring. My older daughter called around 11pm. I tried to call her back, but she had already called my mom. Her car broke down on the way to pick up my younger daughter from the concert. She had Molly, the dog, with her, so she was trying to figure out what to do.

I ended up talking to her, and it looks like she had something crack or come loose in the cooling system of the car. I told her to have it towed, but the mechanic wouldn’t open until morning. She was working on getting my younger daughter to her, so at least she wouldn’t be alone, with the dog. She couldn’t take the dog in the tow truck, so we were trying to figure out how to do this. I suggested that my youngest go home in Uber and get her car and go back and get the dog. $60 and over an hour wait for the Uber. Suddenly, my mom suggested a cousin who has dogs and lived nearby. Yes, the cousin would come! The tow truck would be at least 2 hours, though. How would we do this? Someone pulled out of a parking spot right in front of the girls. They put the car into the spot and decided to wait until morning for the tow. The cousin arrived and took the girls and the dog home. She and Molly fell in love with each other, according to my daughter.

Everyone was safe, so now I have to figure out how to pay for repairs once the kids get to a place where we know what’s wrong with the car. It has to be towed still, then diagnosed, then I have time to figure out how to get money to the mechanic. We also have to figure out how to get the turtle fed with no car. She can walk or get a ride from her sister, but she’s solo after Monday morning. We’ll see. Hopefully the car is a quick fix.

Not really a great start to a relaxing time away.

Weekend Getaway, Early Adventures

Weeks ago, friends scheduled a weekend Las Vegas trip. They went a few days before me, since I wasn’t able to get time off work.

As those of you who follow my regularly know, my adventures rarely run as planned and never linearly. This adventure started early in the morning at the airport.

I was told to be at the airport 2 hours before my flight. This meant that I needed to be there at 3 am. My daughter was kind enough to drop me off. I was carrying my luggage on and already had my boarding pass, so I went directly to security. They weren’t open yet. Too early. I just stood around for a while, steering clear of the benches and edges. Too many people in those areas were coughing and I didn’t want to be involved with that.

Because I was standing in the open, people seemed to think I knew what I was doing. Suddenly, there was a random line in the middle of the area. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want all of those people to be in line in front of me once security opened.

Finally, one employee came out and said they will open at 3:15 am. So then I had information and it really looked like I knew what I was doing because I had that added confidence.

A lone security person wandered out at 3:15. No one made a move for a minute or so, so I wandered up and was sent through to have my luggage dealt with and to be searched. Other than forgetting to take off my shoes at first, it was uneventful. I had the nerve to think it, so the universe responded.

I put my shoes on and wandered off to the gate. I settled in and plugged in my phone charger, just in case. 15 minutes before the scheduled boarding time, I wandered off to the restroom and moved closer to the boarding line. So far, so good.

We started boarding, only one person attempted to get on before her number was called, so that wasn’t bad. We were informed it was a full flight. I got to my seat, stowed my belongings and waited. Everyone was on board, but no doors were closed yet. Odd. Eventually, ten minutes after we were supposed to take off, the crew announced that this would be a good time to get up and use the restroom. Odd. Then, we were told that the ground crew was checking something. Uh oh. The next thing we knew, we were told we were switching planes because it was faster than waiting for a mechanic. Great. They announced the new gate number and sent us off the plane to the next gate.

We were all hanging out there with several people dealing with connecting flights. We were now scheduled to leave at 6 am instead of 5 am. One person near me said that he was grateful that the mechanical issue was found before we left the ground. Good attitude! I wasn’t grumbling before, and his comment made me realize that most of the people waiting with me weren’t, either. No one was upset or taking it out on the staff.

By the time we got the crew back on board and all the connections dealt with, it was after 6 am. We finally started boarding. No major issues. The doors were still open. Luggage. We had to wait for the luggage to be transferred from one plane to the other. We finally took off around 6:40.

We arrived in Las Vegas right around 8 am. I stopped at the restroom and grabbed water and a very expensive soft pretzel. I wandered out to the shuttle area to buy passes to get to the hotel and for my return trip to the airport the next day. I was told that the shuttles were delayed around 40 minutes because of paramedic activity. Actually, all traffic from the airport was delayed because of it.

I went to where the shuttle would get us and found that it wasn’t just paramedics, but the police were there, too. A whole gaggle of emergency personnel were attending to a man in handcuffs with an IV running. I sent a message to the group chat with my friends, fully expecting no one to be awake at 8:15 am. I sent the message that I had landed and I wasn’t the one being arrested. Keeping positive thoughts.

The shuttle finally arrived just before 9 am. We left about 9:10 and by the time I got to the hotel, picked up the key that my roommate left for me, and got to the room, it was 9:30. I changed my clothes and got in an Uber to get to our brunch reservations by 10. I arrived as the group was being seated. Coffee. I need coffee.

I’ll write more in an upcoming post.

Upcoming Pride Parade

Well. Since it’s June, it’s time to plan for the Pride Parade at the end of the month. Usually, an email goes out at the last minute to ask the staff at work to walk the parade.

This year, I texted a friend who has asked me to walk with his company in the past. They were dragging their feet about asking people to walk the parade, too.

Early last week, I finally got the information about walking with work. I signed up and asked my cousin if she was interested in joining me. She was unsure. I signed her up with me, just in case.

Yesterday, I got the text that my friend signed me up with his company. His group walks earlier than my group, so now I’m trying to decide if I want to walk twice or just walk with my friend. I suspect I’ll be hot and tired after the first run through, so I’ll just be walking with the first group.

I am happy that so many people are a part of this celebration of Pride! I feel like no one has been doing much because of the pandemic, but this event is so important to the LGBT community, it needs to be celebrated.

Happy Pride, everyone!

Spring Break 2022

This week is Spring Break. I have been informed by an instructor to use the time for rest, and not for catch-up. I don’t know how to do that, I think.

I did rest a lot yesterday, but I also wrote and submitted a paper that was mentally weighing me down.

I have bookclub the next two weeks, and I am leading both. I have finished neither book.

I am organizing a dinner and a lunch with friends. We are adding a movie to the lunch event. I’m dealing with head counts and the movie theater hasn’t released show times yet.

I have a midterm to work on this week, due the week we return to classes. I haven’t finished the book, although I have a good idea about how it will go.

I am listening to lectures from an instructor who has been tardy about posting them. They aren’t difficult, but he does go way off on a tangent with his thoughts.

I am mentally working on a final project for a class. I am mostly done with it in my head. I need to get it written out. I also have a creative writing due in a few weeks and I’m thinking about that.

I am mentally packing for an upcoming weekend vacation. I am hoping I don’t forget anything or overpack.

Last but very much not least, I have to finish up the reviews of the books I finished in the last couple of weeks and I need to post them here. Most of the work is done, but I just need to follow through with it.

I haven’t taken time off work during this time off school, but it shouldn’t make a difference. I can handle it. Graduation’s light is at the end of the tunnel. I have applied and paid for it already. I just have to do the work.