gall and gumption

Monday, July 28, 2008

Moving Day

This is the note I wrote my mother about the move, by the way:

Well, that was yesterday. I only exaggerate slightly when I say it was a Biblical epic.
9 a.m. or so: Turkey vultures (Johncrows) circling the yard, which offends the dogs. No quarrel with vultures in the meadow or over the woods but they are not to fly over or perch in the Tree or on The Roof of the House. Two violations were noted, so there was much barking and dashing about in circles while looking aloft.
10:30 or so: I wander over to the shed to take one last look at various clutter Daddy left there and right in the doorway of the shed is an extremely lifelike recently shed snakeskin that made me nearly jump right out of my skin.
11:30 Movers arrive with big truck, packing proceeds with admirable briskness and they slam the truck door shut just as it is about to start raining. I am running to my car in the rain when I spot a big brown hump of something in the yard. I run to take a look and it's a big and unidentifiable dead thing, dead quite some time and apparently dropped in transit by some really really big bird. This might explain the vultures.
1:00 The monsoon arrives. Drive to storage unit through sheets of rain, great streaks of lightning everywhere and ripping peals of thunder. Nothing to do but sit in the car and moving truck at the storage unit and wait the half hour. Luckily this half hour was not on the clock.
3-ish: I am following the moving truck along the Beltway, Misha is panting with excitement and I have just turned onto Highway 395 into Washington when I realize it's not excitement; she takes a gigantic dump on the back seat, and it's not one of those firm ones that just sort of rolls away. I can't clean it up while I'm driving and I can't stop because I have to follow the movers. It would cost me about $50 to stop and clean up that poop.
3:30-ish, we drive through downtown DC with the two dogs huddled in one corner as far away from the poop as possible and the windows open and Misha barking like mad at the pedestrians and me shouting ("SHUT UP!" "STAY OUT OF THE POOP YOU IDIOT!!!) at her and squirting at her with water from a spray bottle I have specifically carried for that purpose. The spraying has no effect what so ever other than to make her cringe and look pathetically remorseful for two seconds.
4:00 Arrived at the underground cave, I throw away the waterproof car seat cover, with thanks and blessings to its creator.
4-ish: The movers bring lots of things into the house that I thought
belonged in the storage unit.
4-30-ish: "Don't worry about the bed. If you can assemble the frame then I can tip it up on its side and put the rug down, and then I can
put the slats and the mattress on by myself."
9:45 p.m. **Well, fine, I'll forget about the rug then and just put the bed together. In fact I'm happy to throw away the wretched rug...**
9:50 p.m. The bed frame explodes.
11 p.m. Having put the mattress on the floor next to the now unusable bed frame, I decide to take a shower.
11:20 p.m. I discover that the bottle of Listerine that I had tossed among the clean underwear had been leaking the whole day.
6:30 a.m. Monday: Found a T-shirt and a pair of knickers that don't smell like Listerine. Thank you Jesus.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


I am sorry for the long break in posting. Blame it on events:

1. Family crisis that has been dragging on for more than three months – the sort of eat it, drink it, sleep it, walk it, poop it and bore your long-suffering friends with it family crisis. Also expensive, emotionally draining and requiring many many phone calls.
2. I quit the awful job. That is a tale to tell all by itself, but now at least I don’t have to open phone calls with the greeting, “Have I mentioned lately how much I hate my fucking job?” And that is nice.
3. I’m back among the good people at the Big Important Scientific Institution, and I feel that I have had a lucky escape. However, my commute takes 1.5 to 2 hours each way.
4. Took on a rather demanding editing project for a friend in exchange for some coaching services from same friend and the coaching is at least as demanding as the editing.
5. Making an effort to get one Notebook project to the next stage.
6. Having to mow the acre of lawn and whack weeds.
7. Having to look for new housing, not quite in the middle of nowhere. (A place has been found, by the way, in DC itself). Much as I’ve enjoyed the Tick Ranch, and much as the dogs have enjoyed it, enough is enough.
8. Having to pack and move and dispose of stuff.
9. I’m basically in the middle of all of this, though the editing project is finished and the quitting of the last job is obviously still not going on.

In the middle of all of this I was actually working on a long piece of bloggage. But I got stuck and then I just got stubborn. I've spent weeks writing and rewriting this thing and it's so tracked over, out of date and irrelevant that the best thing to do would be to let it die a natural death.

Now this all sounds terrible. But the net of it is good and, except for the family crisis which I could well do without, is tending towards better.

Even the long commute is an improvement as I am guaranteed about three hours of reading a day. And I can’t tell you how much I’ve been enjoying that. But of course I will.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


I don't think Sweetie has ever wanted anything life has on offer so much as she wants the creature that lives in the burrow just on the other side of the backyard fence.