My life: awkward and needlessly complicated

The move went extremely well, except that it sort of started on Halloween, which is awkward.  Moving furniture out the door while Trick-or-Treaters are attempting to come in is not something I recommend.  But my dad was in his element: moving heavy things while also scaring small children with his big dog (me: “Don’t worry, the dog is nice!” Dad: “Most of the time.” Me: “You can pet her, she doesn’t bite.” Dad: “At least not yet.”).  My dad is a Man, and he wants you to know it.

The moving things in took about an hour, tops.  Angi’s brother got mothered into helping, and while he showed up and did as promised, I’m pretty sure he will never do another favor for me, ever (“Help me move one thing” secretly means “Please lift this piece of furniture that weighs more than everything else I’m moving combined, possibly including my car.  Enjoy your back injury!”).  My parents went off to get a table from K&A, and in the three hours they were gone I unpacked and set up everything, including my books.  My mom came back and dubbed my apartment the bookcellar.  I live in a library.

So, to review: 2008 started in a house with the G-bird, then the house of rabbits, then the cabin with the poodle, then Bobby Vee’s house, then my parents house, then Steve’s couch, and now this.  So maybe the bathroom is pink, and the baseboards are falling apart, and there’s a stain on the carpet and the closet floor is nasty and I don’t have a bed yet.  No animals, no roommates, no living off of someone else’s charity: no problem.

Hobo Chic

I’m moving on Saturday, and I am going to have the most ridiculous-looking apartment ever. The apartment itself is pretty neat — I keep clinging to anything remotely unique about it, from the hobbit-like entrance to the freaking huge hall closet to the retro-diner kitchen floor. My stuff is the problem. Until recently I was only worried about getting bookshelves, because the ratio of books to shelves needs some balancing (suggestions that I get rid of books will be met with looks of horror). Now that’s more or less taken care of, and I’m suddenly aware that I have no other furniture aside from the crap my parents want out of their basement. And since they’re helping me move, not taking this furniture is not an option. Crappy blue recliner? Check! Wood contraption vaguely labeled “entertainment center”? Already in the truck. What I don’t have, however, is a bed. Or a couch. The main elements of the main rooms of my future home will be, for the time being, a borrowed air mattress and, oh God, the hideous blue recliner. Hmmm. And another thing: I don’t have, nor do I plan to get, a television. I do everything on the Hodgman (that’s what I call my computer). So at what am I going to aim all my furniture (that is, the recliner, the papasan, and the video rocker — no normal chairs allowed)?

Oh, well. These are fun problems to have, and anyway they pale in comparison to the thought of my parents driving a trailer on a freeway. Stay off the road on Saturday.

A month (or so) in review

Since my last thingie was a little on the introspective what-are-you-even-talking-about side, here are some straight-up facts from the last month of my life…

Seattle With Mom: rocked.  My mom and I laughed ’til we cried more than once, particularly on the train when the 5-year-old ahead of us repeatedly sang parts of the alphabet song.  Once he even got to “Y” and started all over.  Torture.  Anyway, the city was great: we walked, shopped, ate, experienced luxury in our amazing hotel, and went to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame and Museum.  Let’s just laminate my nerd card right now, ’cause that shit is permanent.

The Longest Day Ever: got off the train at 5 a.m., drove home, did laundry and re-packed, and drove to Steve’s so I could start work the next day.

The Next Day: Work!  Job!  Have one!  That day (and every day since) involved answering phones, processing orders, and fun with nuns.  I get a “and may God bless you” voicemail message about 15-25 times a day, and yesterday I heard a nun say “fuck.”  I don’t write, but I’m surrounded by the written word and the ridiculous, so I’m doing okay.

Apartment: I’m moving off of Steve’s couch and into an apartment next week.  I went on the hunt with Sabrina, who moved here and started her new job the same day as me, kismet-style.  Anyway, we both fell in love with my future apartment — she because the guy who showed it to us was an exact replica of Michael Cera in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and me because it is everything I asked for in an almost-affordable package.

Jimmy Quit, Jody Got Married, Shoulda Known We’d Never Get Far: The inevitable happened, and Angi and Ari got married.  After all the omigod first of my girlfriends to get married omigod omigod panic wore off, I had an excellent time throughout: the gorgeous ceremony (during which I was honored to be a reader), the bean bag competition (throwing just isn’t my game, y’all), the meal (“Ari, this is the only meal you’ve ever made for me.  Are you sure you can cook, or is it just this one thing?”), the dancing, the post-reception bar time with Lace, Bec, and Angi’s brother Vince (we went crazy in big bad Boone), and the post-bar eating chips on the stairs in our hotel with same (heh).

Is This Heaven? No, It’s Iowa:  The day after the wedding, we stopped for Subway and had to wait in line behind a bus load of male European soccer players.  Then the radio started playing Aerosmith, and it was clear I was in heaven.  Or at least in the middle of the best dream of my life.  There’s no point to this, I just like that story.

I’m Growing Up Never: Last night I went out for pizza and beer with Lacy and Dan.  I had an appropriate ratio of pizza to beer, but still wound up in babblin’ brook mode when got back to Steve’s.  I was alone with the cat, so I did what anyone would do in my situation: purchased a Wynonna Judd song off of iTunes and fell asleep by 9 p.m.  Do I know how to party, or what?

At a slower pace than others

My life is a list of haves, needs, and wants.  I have many things — great, accomodating friends, for one — and my needs are comparatively few, as are my complaints.  My wants are everything, from world peace and well-spoken leaders to a hot cup of coffee and a visit with a friend.  I have a job (strike up the hallelujah chorus) and it’s someplace pretty neat, if not the most thrilling job in the world.  Nuns are involved, and so are books — obviously the job for me.  I need an apartment, and I almost have one.  I’m signing some papers and cutting some checks later this week, and I should be able to move off of Steve’s couch and into my own place come November.  My own place.  Sigh.  Five years, 26 roommates and around 14 homes in the making.  I want a GPS unit for my car, but I think I’ll settle for that old-school when-I-was-your-age-television-was-called-books thing — a map.  I want to get where I’m going without being told what to do.  I just like figuring things out for myself.

To be homeless or to be jobless…

Fourteen hours before getting on a train to Seattle, I got (and accepted) a job offer.  I get to start that job about 28 hours after getting back from my vacation.  Overlooking the fact that I won’t have any place to live and no time to find one, my life just took a turn for the happy.

I hope Mom doesn’t mind me turning this Seattle trip into an extended “I got a job” party.  Do they serve margaritas on trains?

I Read Too Much: The Unemployment Edition

Have you been on the edge of your seat, waiting to hear all about what I’ve been reading for the last three months?  Then this is the entry for you!  Here is the third-quarter tally (July – September), in order finished:

One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
Fluke (Christopher Moore)
Love Medicine (Louise Erdrich)
Reconstructing Brigid (Lee Nichols)
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (Michael Chabon)
Bloodsucking Fiends (Christopher Moore)
Assassination Vacation (Sarah Vowell)
I’m a Stranger Here Myself (Bill Bryson)
A Short History of Nearly Everything (Bill Bryson)
I Was Told There’d Be Cake (Sloane Crosley)
Lamb (Christopher Moore)
Island of the Sequined Love Nun (Christopher Moore)
Of Mice and Men & Cannery Row (John Steinbeck)
Twilight (Stephenie Meyer)
New Moon (Stephenie Meyer)
Eclipse (Stephenie Meyer)
Breaking Dawn (Stephenie Meyer)
Bridget Jones’s Diary (Helen Fielding) (re-read)

That’s eighteen, bringing the 2008 total up to 65 so far, which is insane.  I’m pretty proud of the first half of this list.  Two official Great Books (One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love Medicine), plus one bookclub-killing, Pulitzer-winning bit of awesome (Kavalier & Clay), rounded-out with a book that made me feel both snobbishly intelligent and wickedly ignorant all at once (A Short History of Nearly Everything): not bad, kid.  Then again, Reconstructing Brigid is in the running for worst book I’ve read yet.  Not just this year, ever.

It’s pretty clear that I started a love affair with Christopher Moore.  Lamb is most excellent, followed by FlukeLove Nun and Bloodsucking Fiends are less worth one’s time, but still funny.  Also filling the funny quota are Vowell, Crosley and Bryson: of the three, I’d most like to be Vowell, the uber-nerdy, history-obsessed MPR chick, rather than Crosley, the hip Manhattan twenty-something whose work has been published in Maxim.  That’s probably just me.  And then we get to the reason I keep this list: actually admitting in writing to reading a book called Island of the Sequined Love Nun left me no choice but to dive head first into Of Mice and Men.  I imagine I’ll soon be picking up War and Peace to atone for the Stephenie Meyer…situation.

This has been your third-quarter summary: not the most books, but almost certainly the most pages (friggin’ vampires…) so far.  Feel free to lay money down on how many more books I can cram in by the end of 2008, and how many more vampire-related obsessions I can create before then.

Religious experience

On Friday, I went out for Chinese with my mom and got a fortune cookie that said “You do not need to worry about your future.” So there you go. God speaks to some through burning bushes, but He speaks to me through dessert. What can I say? He knows me.

My other favorite fortune cookie, “Someone will invite you to a karaoke party,” finally came true this weekend at the bachelorette-ification of Angi. It was my first, and it was good, even if the singing wasn’t.

If you’re wondering why that last entry didn’t make a lot of sense, it’s because I wrote it while feverish.  That’s what I do when I get a fever; drive and babble.  And then I shut down completely, refusing to remove myself from the couch or answer the phone until I am well again.  That last bit gets me in trouble, especially this time.  Several of my friends took to stalking me (in a pleasant way) in order to figure out if I was, in fact, alive.  This is sweet, although it has led to a week of putting out fires.  “Omigod, I’m so glad you’re okay” is the number one response, although my personal favorite is “so, am I just the d-bag for not being worried about you?”  For the record, I am okeydokey, and you’re not the d-bag, I am.  I have great friends and I ignore them; pretty soon there will be no one left to ignore.

My life continues to move forward, kind of.  I still live at home, I read a lot, and my mom and I are taking a trip to Seattle in a little over a week.  We were going to put it off until I had a sense of future, but it turns out it’s pretty easy to get a vacation from doing nothing.

Not authorized for viewing

Caribou has cut off my access to xanga (a nice scary “NOT AUTHORIZED FOR VIEWING!” message pops up whenever I come here), which I guess is a nice reminder that I don’t go to coffee shops to blog like a nutcase, I go there to apply for jobs like a sane (but still unemployed) person. So now I’m at Lulu’s, getting my priorities in order. They are as follows:
1) what’s for dinner
2) how can I get my hands on the third season of X Files for borrowing purposes
3) how much do I currently hate the creators/writers of “Bones” (number 3 with a bullet)
4) oh crap, I gave all of my cold-weather clothes to Goodwill last April, what am I gonna do now that it’s September which means practically winter in this state
5) where does the cat go during the day (mystery solved: she hides in the closet with the Christmas decorations until my mom comes home)
6) how to accurately describe the ridiculous sounds my animals make (Chewbacca is the best I’ve come up with for the dog, and Abu from Aladdin, if he were pathetic and dying, is the best for the cat, but still not perfect)
7) Trying to win at Subway Scrabble
8) reading “A Short History of Nearly Everything,” because I like seeing the look on my parents’ faces when I tell them I’m reading about quantum mechanics for the hell of it
9) deciphering Pete-speak into English (Rachel: Did you win at golfing today? Dad: Well, what time is it? Rachel: Four-thirty. Dad: Oh. (leaves room))
10) maybe I should find a job. After dinner.

Trapped in the closet

This one’s coming at you live from Lacy’s. I decided to visit because a) I love Lacy and b) my parents’ cleaning lady is coming tomorrow morning and I needed an excuse to be out of the house. Lacy’s in bed after a rousing game of “Book Lover’s Trivial Pursuit,” but I overestimated my caffeine need for the day and find it necessary to blog about all of my thrilling exploits.

Of which there are none. For the past week, I’ve basically split my time between cleaning my room and watching Bob Costas. And this is one big-ass room, guys. The upstairs of my house used to be an apartment, and my room was the living room. Kevin’s was the kitchen. He would be well-within his rights to hate me. Anyway, in recent years my room has sort of turned into the mausoleum: the aforementioned four chairs, a desk, a dresser, two tables, a bookshelf, an ottoman and a queen sized bed, all buried under boxes of junk and old sheets to keep the dust and cat hair from settling in. Not quite as creepy as the basement in the Bobby Vee house, which was exactly like the basement in Buffalo Bill’s house in “Silence of the Lambs” except with a laundry room, but it still has a pretty good horror-movie feel.

I wasn’t sure what I would unearth since I hadn’t lived there in five years. It became way more fascinating to learn what was in every box than to, you know, put away laundry, even if it meant scaling the shelves in one of my closets (wow, can we just talk about how overprivileged I am again for a second here? “Scaling the shelves in one of my closets.” Yikes.). I was hoping for treasure or, at the very least, enchanted evil board games, but I had to settle for a footless, pantless GI Joe in a sleeveless rainbow-striped turtleneck in the “Rachel’s favorite childhood toys” box. If I only had a therapist (“he was in the closet, too!”). Other than that, just the run-of-the-mill junk I held on to for far too long (notes from high school science classes! Clearly I need to keep you forever, just in case I decide to become a chemist after all), but I finally feel like I own my space.

I hope to God I move out soon.