Posts Tagged ‘getting out of the house’

Driving to St. Petersburg to pick up my mother, sin cell phone because I do not currently own one, I become disoriented and forget whether or not I am supposed to take the 66th Ave. exit or another one or what and stop to find a pay phone. Walk into diner, no pay phone. Walk next door to motel, no pay phone. Walk into Wing House (knock-off Hooters), no pay phone. Move car, walk three buildings down, find pay phone at gas station. Pay phone eats two quarters. Walk into gas station, am offered use of their phone. Mother does not pick up phone. One voice mail later, proprieters ask what’s wrong. When I tell them that I’m just visiting, no cell phone and lost trying to pick up a mother who constantly leaves her cell phone somewhere she is not, they ask where I’m trying to go. They confirm directions I already knew, and tell me, “You can’t change the person,” and “my mother does the same thing!” and we laugh, and then I walk back to the car and continue on my way to pick up the mom.

Turns out she saw the call but did not recognize the number. I need a cell phone!


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With another plane trip in the works, travel preparations have been in high gear, as are my fears that I will forget something. I’ve made a list, and checked it thrice, but now that a friend has alerted me to the fact that my thrice-checked acupuncture points tattoo is incorrect on one side, I am even more afraid that I will have left something vital off the list. But there are stores, even in rural northern California, and anything I discover I need may be purchased when I get there.

It’s too bad that I’m terrible at sewing by hand, and that it’s not as secure, because I’d love to be able to make stuff while I’m there. I will just have to content myself with knitting my cowl, which I have graciously neglected to do in order to give myself something to do out there. No phone and no internet and a mountain makes for an amazing forced break from the world but will I go insane? Only time will tell. So for now I dream of redwoods and cedars and drizzly rain and fog. I’m kinda hazy on the rest.

Portland is a bus ride away, and I have joined the fixed gear/single speed forum out there and already been offered a loaner bike when I make my way up there. That’ll make it much easier to get around, my trusty map in the back of my waistband and a non-binding itinerary in my head. I’d really like to see what that city’s like, what the people are like, how much apartments cost, what kind of jobs are available, how easy it is to get to nature, what the food’s like, the list goes on…

Mt. Hood

Mt. Hood

There’s a mountain! How ’bout that? How amazing would it be to have the opportunity to look at a mountain every time you go outside?

Willamette River

Willamette River

And a river! It looks to be about the width of the Thames, with easily tamable bridges. Lookin’ better and better!

I will have only limited internet access for the next month or more, so please bear with me and keep checking back! I’ll update as soon as I can.

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(though in actuality, I will be in the mountains of the Fog Belt)

Saturday marks the third time in twenty four days that I will have hopped on a plane. Sleep is fractured, full of strange dreams and I awaken early most of the time. Last night’s dream was being in a flying contest [propelled by one’s own muscle power] where everyone was trying to cheat by pulling down everyone else’s vehicle, which were like tiny Victorian ideals of balloon travel, and then I actually got close to the front and one of the guys opted to lose, himself, in order to lead me wrong and make me lose. Obvious, much?

Until then, friends, friends’ children, Mom & Gma, the beach, and working on my tan.

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Chicago is off the itinerary since I had no clue how exhausting children are. I have not slept very well, and have been enjoying doing stuff around the house, riding the bike around occasionally and going to the park, and mostly doing stuff around the house. Since time both drags and seems to suddenly run out when you least expect it, it is now Thursday and I fly back Saturday mid-day.

So today I will be riding 10 miles to Mitchell Park Conservatory, locally known as The Domes. I’ll be heading past Ben’s Cycles again because it turns out I will actually need a chain breaker in my near future and they sell the one I suspect the bike shop in Florida was going to sell me, but $7 cheaper. That works.

Then, I have directions to go to the Milwaukee Museum as well, but don’t know if I’ll get there. Actually, after looking at the site, maybe I will. There are some cool exhibits on. G is going to pick me up after the kids’ nap time, and we will go to the knitting shop she likes. I guess I’m going to learn how to knit! Because I want a few more cowls, and because no one I know, except G (who is overburdened with projects) knows how to knit, a new hobby sounds like a plan. However, I bet I’ll have to check my luggage this time as I doubt they allow knitting needles on the plane, though I could check easily enough. Turns out I can. Sweet. So I’m borrowing G’s 10.5’s and buying a skein of alpaca (super soft and keeps its shape), awesome! Will give me something to do instead of trolling the internet and reading.

Speaking of reading, I’m so happy to be reading again. We went to the library last week and I took out Charlaine Harris’s third in the Harper Connely series, An Ice Cold Grave. Banged that out in two days, then moved on to the Dexter books. Book 1 down in three days, now I’m working on Book 2, which I will take with me to the conservatory. It’ll be nice to read among the flowers.

Otra vez, ustedes trajo un video musical:

Me encanta Shakira, cuando tiene razon o no, no me importa! Pero, en serio, que pasa con eso video!?

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The boyfriend and I took in a film a couple of days ago, it was his first in the theatre in ages. Moon, a story of a man posted to a mining unit on the back side of Earth’s moon for a three year contract, was wonderful. No aliens, no sudden loud sounds, just psychological suspense, and very good.

Sam is alone at his post, aside from a sentient computer named Gerty, voiced by Kevin Spacey, in a good-sized space station for one person. I noted that being assigned, alone, to a post that far away for that long is basically like being in solitary confinement. A computer is not a person, and even one other person would get to be too much after a while. Soon, it is apparent that he is cracking up and the rest of the movie is spent examining that and the system that placed him in such a dehumanizing setting for so long.

This was an excellent movie, everything well thought out with an extremely realistic setting and a nuanced performance from the lead actor. Definitely recommended.

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Well, we are in a tiny, adorable attic room in East Dulwich the view of which looks out over south London rooftops and reminds us of a scene from Mary Poppins. I found a small crawl space just outside the room at the landing, which I will be using to get as many boxes as possible out of the room. Some are ok, but he is happy to leave them all piled up on one wall of the room whereas I would like to use the bedside table and not have another sitting out in the middle of the open space we do have. That will happen tomorrow, today we could barely get out of the house in order to mail paperwork he desperately needed to get out. I had trouble sleeping, worries and our flatmate’s television keeping me up. Then it seemed every time I turned over the boyfriend had a knee or an elbow poking me in the back or the side and was sleeping on 2/3 of the bed. We’re all stressed and tetchy but we’re out of the apartment and happier for it. Tonight is the drinks night for Southeast London but I don’t think we should go to it. We spent a ridiculous £50 on Sunday and whenever you go out in London, probably all of England, people buy rounds. Suddenly there’s a pint in front of you and you’ll owe that person somewhere down the line. We seem to owe half the LFGSS forum drinks at this point and it’s getting to be a pain. It also means I drink more than I want to. The boyfriend had to get up at 6:30 a.m. yesterday, ride 40 miles for day work with Rollapalooza and then help move, so was out like a light by 10 p.m. We didn’t get up until 9 a.m. this morning. I wish I’d slept longer. I wish it wasn’t gray and drizzly. I like the mattress in here. I have to go have dinner now.

New True Blood and Weeds to watch tonight.

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Moving temporarily to East Dulwich (south of the Thames, somewhat centralish, for those of you not in London) in order to leave house owned and lived in by landlord we were forced to have arrested, who is now embraced by the long arm of the law. We have been offered a garret room of romantically small proportions (and a slanting roof and a window cut into the slanting roof) free of charge for two months in exchange for house and back garden DIY. These past three days of semi-squatting have been mentally taxing. I say “semi-squat” because we have paid and are thus allowed to be here but feel weird and want out ASAP. Today we meet up with the guy whose house we’ll be moving into for the handover of keys. This all comes at a fortuitous time, he’s about to go on holiday tomorrow and we need to save money. Tomorrow another friend with access to a work van has agreed to shuttle our stuff from Point A to Point B.

The flat is an utter wreck and I feel somewhat crap about that. I’ll be forced by my own conscience, despite our landlord’s actions, to vacuum the hallway and to put the kitchen to rights. That’s not a big deal. Then we’ll have to leave a note for the back tenant to take the trash and recycling out on Tuesday night since we (God in Heaven) won’t be here.

East Dulwich is a working class neighborhood with a more racially diverse population than Ealing. It feels a bit like Brooklyn and is as cut off from the rest of London as Red Hook is. There are no Underground lines, hardly any bus lines and only London Overground and National Rail. That’s fine, because it’s not permanent. And it’s about 6 miles to London Bridge and quite a bit closer to O & K than Ealing so we can visit more regularly (I hope). Also will be one n’hood over from my new friend A, an American girl from Tennessee who is baking my birthday cake. We trade pilates for massage, it’s awesome. Don’t think we’ll be able to do that for a while as I would feel really bad to take over the living room of the temporary lodgings unless I knew no one else was in the house.

Also, through some quirk or other, we’ve had no hot water for the past few days. Cold water showers in England are bitingly cold. I think we had summer, it was like a week long, in the 80s, and they called it a “heat wave”. Last night I was shivering and had to wear my hoodie. Today is the Bright Times vol. III BBQ at South drinks (The Coach and Horses). The boyfriend is making Mexican rice & beans. I wanted to make the luscious mac & cheese with pickled chiles that A made last week but gave in when the boyfriend made an oh-please-can-I? face.

I hope to have photos of charmingly tiny room soon. Finally found the battery charger for the digital camera.

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