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This is what happens when you get off your second job of the day at 9:40pm.  You narrate your situation in the voice of Mr. Sedaris, noting your choice of dinner – leftover beans and rice with a pumpkin ale – and your peculiarities of habit.  You think about how those NaNo people have it easy because they can take a day off and catch up later, but us BloPo folks, we’ve got it tough.  We are here, day after day after day (for all three of them so far) and even if we don’t have anything to say, we keep going.

Okay, dinner awaits.  And ale.  And chocolate ice cream.  And The Remains of the Day, because Netflix hath sent it to my roommate and I forgot to pick out some movies at work today.*

Reading: Fly By Night.

Listening: Me Talk Pretty One Day.

*I love that I can combine career and movie browsing.  Reason #3,418 to work in a library.

I just picked up the Six Feet Under soundtrack (volume two) from the library* today and listening to that song, the one at the very end of the very last episode makes me feel like I’m in Six Feet Under. And kind of like Kate’s tipsy post about everyone dying. And vaguely sentimental and contemplative, like I should just stand at the window staring out at the rain. Um, yeah, okay.

I started out the day by finishing up John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines (check out the cover art, it’s super – as is the book**). Yesterday was like the Longest Day in the History of the Earth (or at least of being at work). Like my usual Saturday workday, on 5-6 hours of sleep and caffeine to go. I was there from 8am till 6:30pm. 10.5 hours, ie too long. I was getting slightly hysterical at the end because my brain was telling me GO GO FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET OUT but the list of things I needed to take care of kept growing and finally I clocked out and practically RAN to my car.

And this morning I woke up feeling the effects of a compromised immune system. A groggy throat, headache, and general lack of a will to do anything other than read and drink coffee. Sorry, God. Laying in bed felt more important than getting up in time for church.

*The across-the-street Hippiewood Library, not MY library. My library didn’t have the CD when I went looking for it.

**As in, I was laughing so loudly that Kitri, in the next room, wondered what was so funny. I also fell asleep the other night trying, unsuccessfully, to anagram my first name. I was out before I managed to add my middle & last names to the mix.  I’ll work on it and get back to you.

My ability to get rid of things goes back and forth.  One day will find me hoarding old stationary, pillows, and worn-out shirts like there’s no tomorrow.  The next, I’m furiously cleaning out my closet, or under the bed, or my sock drawer.  I’m filling bags with recycling and garbage and making money at garage sales.

Sometimes it seems right and good to hold onto things – old letters, for instance, should never be tossed in the trash.  I believe in the concept of handing things down from generation to generation, even if it’s my great-grandmother’s slightly ratty rocker.  I want things that last, not things that are disposable.  But things that can also be reinvented and stay fresh.  Someday I’ll reupholster it.  But it will still remind me of Laura Belle and the apartment she lived in until the day of her death.  Also of Max, a cat who loved the chair and generously bestowed his fur on it.  Some things hold too many memories to be gotten rid of lightly.

But the rest?  Beauty and usefulness only.  Preferably both.

I’ve lost a roommate, and gained a new one, and in the process the house gets taken apart and put back together.  It’s a good time to clean out that cupboard above the stove, or find a new place to keep tupperware, or line up foodstuffs in glass jars instead of messy bags.  To repaint and reconsider the art on my walls.  To clean out under the bathroom sink.  To find better ways of storing things (better than heaps on my bedroom floor).  To clear out and start afresh.  It’s addicting.  One morning, after painting till 11:30 the night before, I rolled off the couch (the fumes were too much in my room) and immediately set to work putting my room to rights.

It’s the putting back together that I really love.  I hate ends of eras, and seeing all of Kate’s things gone, I hate leaving places, but the starting over?  Bliss.

Now I’m off to get a free meal from my folks.
*Elizabeth Bishop, “One Art.” **

**EB now always reminds me simultaneously of reading her in a college course on “Travel and the American Literary Imagination” – “And have we room/ for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?” – and a story I once wrote in which a volume of her poetry figured quite prominently.

I’m back at my usual post. It just now occurred to me, after spending several minutes looking up addresses, checking email, and reading blogs, to turn the fan towards me. My forarms are sticking to the laptop. I just had a piece of blueberry tart (take one cooked, cooled pie crust, add one container of mascarpone cheese mixed with a couple tablespoons of lemon curd, and top that with about two cups of blueberries mixed with a couple more tablespoons of lemon curd. Chill. Devour.) But that’s not stopping me from wanting an ice cream bar. Or a popsicle. I was at Albertson’s today to buy lightbulbs (the single light in my room has been burnt out for about, oh, a week) and I thought to myself, surely I must need something here. I have this problem, though, where the stuff at most grocery stores doesn’t look like food. This is it. I’m a grocery store snob. But Haagen Daz vanilla & almond bars are the same everywhere, so home they came with me.

And I’m completely rambling! Yay for the heat!

*This joined my family of favorite phrases after reading The Reptile Room.

It is now necessary for me to use the rather hackneyed phrase “meanwhile, back at the ranch.” The word “hackneyed” here means “used by so many writers that by the time Lemony Snicket uses it, it is a tiresome cliche.” “Meanwhile, back at the ranch” is a phrase used to link what is going on in one part of the story to what is going on in another part of the story, and it has nothing to do with cows or horses or with any people who work in rural areas where ranches are, or even with ranch dressing, which is creamy and put on salads.

October 2021

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