Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Another word war.  Fifteen minutes and how many words can you get into your device within them.  I,m unfettered by subject, since I don' have to connect this to anything else I've written.  It's one of the benefits of a deliberately disjunctive writing style.
On the other hand, since I don't have a story to continue or a subject to follow, I have to make decisions about what I'm writing that the folks with more traditional modes operandi.  Oh, well, I wasn't going to win this anyway.  The last time we did this, I was at half the average word count and much further behind the winner.

So, what can I say?  I Got Dear Son, or rather, Devoted Girlfriend, to wrap and mail a package that had to be mailed today.  I included both of them, in the manner I did, because I'm pretty sure that DS made sure that the errand got done, after I sent them both the email, asking, and he did it by getting DG to actually do it.  Kind of a two-step thing, three if you count my step in asking.

I don't feel bad about asking.  It's a gift that we all three went in on, and there was no particular reason to think of the wrapping and mailing as mine, besides the fact that DS mentioned a few days ago that it was getting to be nearly too late to send it, as if, of course, I was the one who would be doing that and wasn't he responsible and organized for reminding me.

The reason it was getting late is that it's an advent calendar. . . A Lego advent calendar.  So they need to get it before December starts, or they start out behind.  They being his brother, S-2, and his wife.  I didn't take his hint/recommendation/order quickly enough for parcel post, so today I emailed him (and DG) from work and volunteered to spring for priority shipping if they took care of the wrapping and mailing.  As if I wasn't going to be paying for shipping anyway.  This way it sounded like I was making a generous offer instead of fobbing off a chore.  Nifty.  Also appropriate, considering it was turn-about.

So that's one thing done.  And I got three things done at work, and a few other things set up. (Time up at 396 words) So I don't feel too bad.  By which I mean I feel bad, but not about the things done.  I could have gotten more done. 

Since this seems to be current events, what else has happened.  Going from work to Empressa and a nanowirmo meetup leaves me a bit disjointed.  It's hard to remember things from one situation while I'm in another.  It doesn't help that my work computer and work note are at work and therefore not here.  It also doesn't help that I want to relax and not think of work right now.  Also that nothing not work related has happened today . . . Except for getting the package mailed. 

That's why I started the exercise with the package.  If I stretch, I can say that when I cleared my desk at work today, I uncovered some personal printouts that I'm in the process of taking home.  They're in my big, solid basket, which I sometimes half think of as my purse.  But I really and truly think of my van as my purse.  The basket is, figuratively, an insert that I use to transfer things between my purse (van) and other places, mostly the office and home.

I've mentioned having a bad memory, right?  I've set up the van to hold the things that I'm likely to need when out and about, and those things just by default live in the van.

Let's see if I can remember them.  My hairbrush is there, in the glove compartment. The security card to trigger the gate into the parking structure at work (for which I pay $75/mo) is tucked into the corner of the glove compartment with its lanyard hanging out of the compartment door.  There are spare bifocals in the sunglasses compartment on the roof, just above the center rear view mirror.  Even if they are the old prescription, it beats forgetting and not having any glasses at work all hollow. 

The handicapped parking plackard hangs from the center rear view mirror. That's not technically legal, but I know for a fact that if I stowed it, I'd end up forgetting to put it back in place, and the ticket I'd get would not inspire a good time.

I've regained enough mobility that I sometime feel guilty about using the plackard.  When that happens, I'll park normally, rather than in a handicapped slot.  And I'll often do that even when I'm feeling gimpy, if there's only one left.  Truly handicapped trumps gimpy.

What else?  My wallet lives in the slot in the driver's side door.  Well, mostly a wallet.  it's halfway between a wallet and a clutch.  For years I didn't have a purse at all.  I had a wallet and never wore anything but pants with a back pocket or a suit with a jacket with pockets. 

Well, not precisely anything.  I would occasionally wear something pocketless and then I'd have to juggle my wallet and keys and pen or brush or whatever.  It wasn't pretty.

Now I have the clutch and I keep it in the van so that I won't forget to bring it, or to bring it back.  I still have to have a pocket for the keys, and I've recently added a cell phone to the pockets, so I still mostly wear things with pockets.  Although now I keep the pocket stuff in front pockets. 

I once had to return a pair of pants that I'd been given for Christmas because they only had front pockets.  That was back in the late 80s, when I was driving pizzas and really needed to keep the wallet in the back.  The counter woman looked at me like I was growing antlers when I said that I couldn't do a swap, because I had checked and none of their pants had back pockets.  I could tell that she'd never in her life considered, not only that a woman might want to use back pockets, but that anyone could possibly think about clothing as functional, as opposed to decorative.

I got the refund with no argument, though, so no problem.

What else?  See, this is why I don't like people borrowing my van.  It's not that I care about them using the car.  Usually the person asking is DS or DG, and they're offering to leave their own car.  They just want the carrying capacity for something.  But I have the van set up to support my life and mobility and I just know that I won't remember everything that I need to take out of it.  And even if I do, I'm risking not remembering to get it all back.  And as soon as they're gone, I'll remember something that I need to do or was wanting to do, that needs something that I didn't remember to take out of the van.

...second word war....

Oh, yeah.  My gym bag.  One of the reasons I didn't remember that is that it got taken out of the van weeks ago when someone borrowed it and it hasn't been put back yet.  You know that they're not going to remember to put anything back.  Sometimes they take out the back seats and it's weeks before they're put back. 

Don't tell me to be forceful.  You can't be forceful with people when you're forgetful.  It comes too late, for one thing, and sounds like you're being suddenly arbitrary. I mean, if it wasn't important enough for me to remember for half a week, why does it suddenly have to happen now? 

I try to have a book to read or a book on tape or CD to listen to.  I stage errands in the van.  Library books that should go back, bags or boxes of stuff for the thrift store.

I could go through the basket and see what's built up in there.  There's a journal (not up to date, of course) and pens and a to do list or two.  Sodas (the kind I drink are diet and no caffeine, which isn't typically available out and about); a baseball hat, to cut down on glare; one of each morning pill, in case I forget when I leave the house; and a container of baby tomatoes, for healthy snacking.

There's usually a sweater or jacket in the back of the van, in case the weather turns.  There's the sort of music I want to listen to.  There used to be reusable bags for grocery shopping.  I probably ought to restock those.  They kind of shifted slowly to the house when DS&G slowly took over grocery shopping. 

If I was forward thinking, I'd use this entry to make a list of things that (end of second word war - 306 words) I have stationed in the van and then put it in the glove compartment so that I can refer to it when someone wants to borrow the van and I don't have much time to think about it.

The odd thing was that I would always feel put upon when someone asked to borrow the van.  And they'd wonder why getting my stuff out of it was a big deal.  And I'd sulk while they were gone and fume when I didn't get everything switched back from their car.

Then I got diagnosed with ADHD-PI and I started looking at myself differently.  The bad memory and lack of focus was something that I needed to deliberately work around, rather than something to beat myself up over.  And it was ok to ask for help and to explain.  So I sat down and thought it through, then I sat down with DS and DG and explained to them that the van wasn't just a car.  It was my purse and my security blanket and my staging area.  I had explained about the ADHD-PI before, and they had been supportive.  So I explained that it made me really anxious to mess with my support setup and that I was never going to be confident that I had remembered either to get what I needed out, or would remember to get everything back in.

So if they wanted to borrow what was, essentially, my life, they were going to have to help me organize what had to come out and help me remember what had to get back in.    It seemed reasonable to them, and they've been helping. 

Recent times have strained all of our organizational skills.  I may tell you about that and I may not.  This is supposed to be free form.  I may organize it later.  More likely, I'll read through later and add connecting thoughts and hyperlinks.  Maybe some day when it's raining. 

When I bought my house I was planning to make the front room into a library.  There was a fireplace and I though it would be great to have a few shelves full of books and overstuffed furniture and read and write by the fire on cold, rainy days.  

I also planned to live there alone.  It was the smallest house on the market at the time and looked too small for one of my sons to move in.  If i'd been able to find a one bedroom house, i'd have bought that, but they don't make those, i guess.

Still, the two bedrooms were small, and the boys lived with lots of gear.  At about 900 square feet, I though my solitary splendor was assured.  Just me and two cats. Boy, did I get fooled. 

S-2 and his wife were my first sudden roomies.  I had a dog by then, thinking I had enough room for that.  They had a dog and two cats.  And their own furniture.  Fortunately, they also had a determination to move out as soon as possible.  That was a very good thing, because it was tight and the animals didn't get along. 

The dogs were fine with each other, but the cats got into a turf war.  They didn't fight, they just marked things competitively.  The dominant cats from each pair, especially, took to peeing on anything plastic that they could slink on top of.  S-2 lost a couple of jet printers that way.

I salute their independence and motivation.  They live more than halfway across the country, now.  Not that they were trying to put distance between us.  Their first move was twenty minutes up the road. 

Dear Son is more comfortable here, so he's stayed longer.  And he's boomeranged once.  I need to prod the last two credits out of him in 2013.  We would both benefit from that.   

He doesn't think I'd do well on my own, but that's a separate topic.  I may or may not get to it this month.

Speaking of months, last night I bought plane tickets to visit S-2 and wife in December.  I'm pleased with putting that together as far as I have. Further planning and scheduling is necessary.  I'll deal with it. 

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