Saturday, August 30, 2008

Just dancing through

I have started this post twice in recent weeks, and had to delete and rewrite both attempts as they got out of date before I finished. Three times lucky, right?

Just got a check from the office of the place I used to live for approximately 2/3 of my deposit. More than I was expecting, until I realized it was the pet deposit increase that they demanded two years ago that they were now treating as my full deposit. What happened to the original deposit from 1990? I don't know. I think it fell off the books. I've decided to treat that as some sort of lease-breaking penalty fine, because I don't want to talk to them again. Also, I have no receipt for the original deposit (1990, right? My bank stopped sending me my cancelled checks in 1988, and switched to microfiche that I could request print-outs of if I wanted them. Those fiche supposedly get destroyed after ten years. And that's if I knew the check number), and I don't quite remember how much it was. I think it was $200, but I'm not sure.

I also found a gift card to Lowe's that I was given a month or so back--a housewarming present from the folks I used to work with a few years ago. Not the place I transferred to after the two libraries split, the other folks. The ones I'm allowed to talk to now that I don't work for Pinky and the Brain. I was very touched that they decided to give me a present, particularly considering how nasty things got during the split. My colleague and I were used as weapons against these people, though we didn't see it at the time. That library is so much happier now without the influence of the two nutcases who left. I think the only regret they have is that their processing unit got disbanded too. Ah well. At least where we are now we can all work together on the government documents-related work issues without fear of Snarling Retribution (another pet name for my old supervisor).

But I digress.

Last week was move-in week for the students. They started trickling in on Wednesday, but the majority of them (and their parents) arrived on the weekend. Most of the grocery, home-improvement, and "big box" stores were hopping as anxious parents bought their youngsters one of everything. Because I am a lunatic/glutton for punishment/poor planner, I found myself at a grocery store Saturday afternoon with a front row seat for all the fun: shopping carts full to overflowing, parents piling more stuff into the carts and saying, "You'll need this," kids shrugging and knowing it's pointless to argue. Very little milk, bread, rice, soup, soda, or cereal left on the shelves.

I remember those days. Actually, I remember moving my little sister into the dorms more than I remember moving myself in. The memory that shines brightest is of Ditter and me tangoing down the cereal aisle of the Lock Haven Weis Market while my mother pretends she doesn't know us. Of course, this makes us turn into four-year-olds, and we chase her down the next aisle calling, "Mommeeee! Mahhh-meeeee!"

I don't know what it is about store aisles that bring out the dancing goof in me. I am always doing that. Never by myself, of course, because that would make other shoppers nervous, and probably make the employees call Security. No, it involves a partner in crime, and that partner tends to be my sister. This past June in Wal-Mart, after placing the order for the paint, my family scattered to the far corners of the establishment -- Dad and Stretch to the hardware section to look for new locks, Mom to the clothing section (I think), Ditter and me off to housewares to pick up a ton of stuff I'd forgotten the night before when I was in that exact same store. As we headed away from the paint counter, I couldn't help it. I started to do the conga while pushing the shopping cart, singing:

"Doot-doo doot-doo doot DOO! Doot-doo doot-doo doot DOO!"

And there was my sister ahead of me doing the same thing. We'd even kicked out our feet to the same side without looking at each other.

What is that, anyway?

There was a point to this post, I think. I started it so long ago, I can't remember. Oh! Wait! Money-Lowe's card-shopping-dancing, got it. I'm going to take that check, cash it in, take the money to Lowe's along with the gift card and go shopping--though not for a few more weeks. Shelves are probably still decimated right now. My sister was saying something about coming up to visit this Fall. I'll probably wait until then. So it looks like we'll have more aisles to dance in. What's a good dance for Lowe's? Cha-cha? I don't know the merengue. Jitterbug? Viennese Waltz? No, I get dizzy on the spins and might go whirling off into some unsuspecting passerby.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Password, schmassword

I got an email from the university's server that my password expires October 1. However, the message said that if I didn't change it by 9/1/2008 I won't be able to get into anything. Doesn't that mean it expires September 1?

Well, whatever. I finally changed it this morning. Now logging in takes twice as long, 'cause I don't remember to use the new one until I've already typed the old one in, hit enter, and gotten an electronic Bronx cheer from the machine. Nerts.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I don't think that's what he meant

Went to a place on campus for lunch where they play the oldies radio station over the loudspeaker. As I'm drinking my soda and reading my book, the strains of Tony Orlando and Dawn's "Candida" attract my attention:
Oh, my Candida
We could make it together
The further from here, girl, the better
Where the air is fresh and clean
Um. D'you think he knew he was singing to yeast?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Drill bits and body wash

Decided to go to the mall yesterday. While waiting for the bus downtown I got an earful from the relatively new sidewalk preacher. He hangs around on the main street that divides campus from town, standing at the ornamental gate on campus and shouting that we're all going to Hell.

You can't help but hear him. He holds his Bible up to one side of his mouth, making a sort of megaphone out of it. First time I saw him do that the phrase "Amplified Bible" popped into my head. I've never seen him open the book and read from it. The reason he does his hollering from campus and not from town is that in the borough it's considered disturbing the peace. Or maybe it's street-performance, and you need a permit. Whatever the reason, people who try street-corner preaching in town get shooed away by the police. The university doesn't do anything. Free speech and all that.

The thing I went to the mall for was a set of drill bits. I have a cordless drill, but when I bought it I got a set of screwdriver bits to go with it. 'Cause I didn't need to make holes, see, I was trying to put together furniture. Now I need to put up curtain rods and add little thingies to the bottoms of chair legs (to keep the color from rubbing off onto the laminate flooring), things like that. So I got drill bits yesterday.

Tool-selling sure is a racket, isn't it? Why doesn't a drill come with bits? Without them it's just a big, funny-looking paperweight.

Only had that one purchase to make and an hour until the next bus, so I wandered around some.

I'm amazed by the number of things I find out there that I don't want in my house. Lately I've been having a lot of "Ew, yuck." moments. Furniture that looks like it was designed by people who never sit down for very long. Muddy colors. Appliances that look like alien space ships. Maybe it's just that I'm paying more attention than I used to because now I'm actively looking for things to put in my house.

Even the stuff at Bath and Body Works makes me stop and scratch my head. I'm always on guard for the young ladies with the baskets who want me to try their newest "flavors." I haven't been accosted by one lately. Maybe they discontinued that because they got one too many pedants pointing out (like I did) that unless I'm supposed to ingest the product, it's not a flavor. Scent, yes. Fragrance, yes. Variety, sure. Flavor, uh-uh. I'm not gonna gnaw on a candle or use shower gel as toothpaste. Stop injuring my language, please.

There was a huge display towards the front for some new fragrance called "Sea Island Cotton." Having no idea what they meant by that, and wondering if cotton flowers and has a nice smell, I tried the tester. Know what it smelled like? If you read my Twitter updates at the top of the page you do. Smelled like something pulled right out of the dryer. Why would I want to smell like the laundry room?

I have a hard time finding scents I like in there, and yet I still go back. I keep looking (in vain) for something rose-scented. They did have one thing with roses in it--Moonlit Path (or something like that)--but they went and threw lavender in as well. Like the color, hate the smell.

A lot of their things are food-scented (perhaps that's why they call 'em flavors, eh?): blackberry, apple, mandarin orange, spiced fig, vanilla, caramel, melon...I don't want to smell like dessert, people, where are the flowers? Gimme some lilac, some roses, some orange blossoms, carnations, chrysanthemums! Eventually I settled on something called "Rainkissed Leaves." Smells like a garden after the rain. It's a nice clean smell, and I decided to buy some of it. I just now looked at the label and...oh, for pity's sake! They got me. There's food in it. Watercress.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Free to roam about the house

I tried to post this yesterday, and just as I hit the "Publish" button, the server at Blogger got taken down:

I gave myself a wireless router for my birthday. This means I no longer have to check my email while sitting on the floor in the bedroom--unless I want to, that is.

Of course while trying to install the software I got a funky error message about the "target blocking an invocation." ¿Como? Was the software written by Dumbledore? One hour-long tech support phone call later and a few experiments on my own and I finally got things configured. Yay!

Other than that, it's been a slow day. Got the windows measured, started moving things around in the craft room. I'll commence painting later on in the week. It was too humid today, I thought the paint would take forever to dry. That, and I just really didn't feel like it.

The movie I went to yesterday was "Mamma Mia." It was a toss-up between that and "The Mummy." I was worried that seeing that movie would give me an ABBA earworm, and then I thought, "Well, I already have one just from the trailers. If I go see it, then I'll have the whole ABBA catalog in my head. Give the worm a little bit of variety." I'm glad I went. It was a good time. Julie Walters is so funny! Well, the whole cast was great, but I love her. There's a movie I keep catching bits of with her and Rupert Grint, it's called "Driving Lessons," and I wonder every time I see it how weird was it for them to be in a movie together where they aren't playing mother and son? I have to try to catch it from the beginning, it looks like fun.

Monday, August 04, 2008


I'm on vacation all week. When people at work asked what I was doing on vacation, I said, "Well, I'm turning forty on Monday, and I'm taking the rest of the week to recover."

Really what I'm doing is taking a week off to make this place look less like I'm living in a warehouse. I Twittered to my sister sometime this past week that it feels like I'm living in a fort made out of cardboard boxes.

Step one: Measure for curtains!
Step two: Finish the second coat of paint in the living room!
Step three: For pity's sake, set up the craft room already.

That all starts tomorrow. Today I'm going out to lunch and the movies, and at some point I'm going to wander around the neighborhood. There's a park a few blocks over that I keep meaning to visit and never quite manage to get to. Must remember to bring the camera.

Everyone oohs and aahs over the years that end in zero, and I don't get why. I'm only a day older than I was yesterday.

That doesn't sound like denial or rationalization at all, does it?