“Come on, Jerry, this is a security issue. Boy, you wouldn’t last a day in the Army.”

boxes

I’ve been collecting items to take with me on my visit to see my sister.  I used to keep the boxes from all my electronics in a closet.  Since my purge began, I threw away most of them.  It freed up an unbelievable amount of space.  The boxes from my electronic drum kit took up the most room.  For someone who voids warranties like there’s a prize, it was ridic to keep them.

Having a nearly empty closet feels spectacular.  I’m going to use it for tool storage.  I haven’t designed the layout yet, but I’m going to get some pegboard and paint, then make everything easy to find, reach, and return.  Probably some LED lighting.  I should go through all my tools and get rid of duplicates.  I don’t need four soldering irons.  I’m probably going to rearrange my furniture, too.

I acquired this skill/habit from my mom.  Every year we’d go through everything and weed out the things we didn’t use or want.  Then we’d rotate bedrooms and rearrange furniture.  Spring cleaning meant removing everything from a room, cleaning thoroughly, then starting over fresh.  I remember being anxious and excited about it as a kid.  I’m grateful I grew up this way.  It was especially helpful when I served in the Army.

My family had an annual garage sale along with several neighbors each summer.  I have fond memories of these times.  It was a good lesson on letting go of things.  It also reinforced the joys of being generous.  It was a lot easier to pass along a favorite toy when you witnessed its new owners delight.  I recall bargaining with other kids (and placing a far higher value on 2 dollar bills, and fifty-cent pieces than other denominations.)

tools

The only time I’ve held a garage sale as an adult, I decided everything was free a few hours in (because I didn’t want to hang out and watch it anymore.)  People are weird about free stuff.  If I list something for free on Craigslist, nobody inquires.  If I put it in my parking space with a sign, it’s gone in an hour.  It’s as if being seen accepting is a dealbreaker.  I’m going to list a few things on Craigslist this weekend, mostly because I’m curious about what leads to interest, and what doesn’t.

I haven’t sold on eBay in ages.  They keep changing their policies, and I don’t have any desire to read the revisions.  I got four TOS updates from various online entities yesterday.  I’m waiting for the law to catch up.  It’s bullshit to allow a corporation to put virtually anything in their user agreement, knowing not only will the user not read it; even if they do, they likely won’t understand it.  It’s an old deliberate trick.

You’d think a decent attorney could argue one can’t be held accountable for an agreement they can’t comprehend.  (That’s the intention, of course.)  It would involve epic tedium, but I think it could work, (based on my Court TV viewing experience.)  Heh.  (Back when it was watchable, not TruTv.)  I’m off to Lowe’s to shop for my future tool closet.  Peace.

“Kramer, there’s no way you’re sleeping with me.”

 

Goodbye winter!

My role at work is now a text-only advisor.  Yay.  I’m preparing for my next trip, but I haven’t yet picked a date.  One of my reasons for visiting my sister is to pass on things I no longer want.  She’ll pass along what doesn’t interest her to other relatives.  She’s got five adult kids, (the oldest a year older than me.)  I have a lot of nieces and nephews (considering only half of my siblings have children.)

It’s more convenient than Craigslist.  I’m going to load up my car with electronics that need a new home before I hit the road.  It’ll be fun to pack them safely for travel.  I used to enjoy loading vehicles in the Army.  It was like physical Tetris, only far more satisfying when done well.  I need to get a cheap memory foam mattress topper to protect the TV and monitor.   And locate my bungee cords.  😆

I’m already excited, which means it will probably be soon.  I’m getting rid of all my Amazon products, such as tablets, FireTV, Echo and Echo Dot.  I’m going to keep my Kindle Paperwhite, though.  My Prime membership expires next month, and I’m not renewing.  I’m a bit sad to be breaking up with Amazon, but the cons outweigh the pros.  I’m sure they’ll survive without my business.  Heh.

I’ll sleep better knowing I took a gigantic (for me) step toward reducing my impact on the planet.  It will eliminate impulse shopping.  I’ve given lots of thought to my relationship with material things recently.  I don’t feel overwhelmed by excess stuff anymore since I began my purge months ago.  Giving it away feels wicked good.  I’m addicted to witnessing the joy of others as a result.

Packed stuff

When you give someone something they need or love, they must release some form of contagious happiness endorphins.  (Not that kind of doctor, she said, unnecessarily.)  It’s in my top ten favorite life experiences.  I had the ideal parents for learning generosity.  It rubbed off on most of us.  A few times, I’ve gotten something back I previously gave away just when I needed it again.  (Furniture.)

I think it’s safe to say snowing is over for the season.  I’ll be glad when the 2 feet melting on my balcony is gone.  That last storm was a doozy.  It’s nearly 50° F today and getting slightly warmer in the forecast.  Yay.  I’m getting ready to set up my Privacy Pop tent on the floor in my playroom.  It’s going to be my ghouls (or gools.)  My safe zone.  I have a twin mattress and some string lights to cozy it up.  I think it will be good for keeping my anxiety in check.  I hope.

Amelia Bedelia will assume it’s for her, but I don’t mind her company.  I remember ghouls from playing tag as a kid.  And calling, “Ollie Ollie och-ten free!”  It’s funny to me now because we all knew these words by rote but could easily explain them.  I used to shout, Ollie Ollie oxen free (until someone noticed.)  I’m still notorious for mispronunciation and getting the lyrics wrong.  😂  I’m off to beat my drums with sticks.

“What’s your definition of scary cold?”

travel

I’m back in Sioux Falls.  We had a thunder blizzard last night.  It felt pre-apocalyptic, but I was overwhelmed at the time, (so assume a minor adjustment for reality.)   I’m sure I’ve mentioned how thunder freaks me out, (beyond my ability to pretend I’m fine.)  Strong gusts of wind against my improperly weatherized balcony doors made it worse.  The howling wind in my living room was creepy.

Today there’s a layer of ice covering everything, including my windows.  It’s as if it rained sideways, froze, then snowed.  I opened my balcony doors to have a look because the windows provide a trippy view.  It took lots of effort to open them.  Then after gawking for a bit, I struggled to close them again.  I had to dig through two feet of snow to step outside.

It’s supposed to snow all day, then twice more next week.  Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow shiver this year, I guess.  I’ve already determined my next travel destination:  Northeast to visit my sister.  It’ll be both visit and tech consultation.  I send her my former gadgets, knowing she’ll pass along whatever doesn’t interest her.  She’s repeatedly surprised me with her interest and eagerness to learn.

groundhog

I’ve made the drive before, and there are only three turns.  Heh.  It’ll be soonish (before my sister leaves for her summer place.)  I’m a bit leery of my niece who she’ll be visiting afterward, (her oldest kid.)   I still have the occasional nightmare of her beating me up.  She punches like Miss Sophia in The Color Purple, (and from a similar training ground.)  She knocked me out when I came home from basic training for Christmas.  (Just to remind me of my place in her world.)

My sister has that toughness in her, too.  But she uses it to endure rather than bully.  I’ve only seen her be violent to a brown bear who invaded our camp.  She calmly pelted it with rocks until it fled.  😂  I’m going to teach her a bit of Photoshop and lots of tutorial links since she has a DSLR camera.  I’m also going to give her my 25-key Novation midi keyboard to try some music apps on the iPad.  And a keynote presentation on why she needs to get broadband.  She uses her iPhone for all things interweb.  (!!!)

I probably have a Wacom tablet in my retired gadgets closet.  I’d like to see her embrace her creativity digitally.  I love teaching tech to people who are older than me.  They’re so easy to train it’s delightful.  The only thing you have to do is pretend you’re doing it for the first time, and say what you do out loud as you do it slowly.  Then give it to them in writing as an ordered checklist, and done, (they master it after you leave.)  They also usually end up teaching me about features I’ve never used before.  (Probably because of RTFM.) 😂

Baby boomers tend to be less intellectually lazy than Gen X’ers in my observations.  Let’s blame corn syrup.  😶  I’m going to try and watch more Star Wars:  The Last Jedi.  I’m already anxious as hell, so I may as well knock out some anxiety-provoking activities while I’m already maxed out.  Too bad I don’t need anything from the mall, or I’d throw that in, as well.  😂  Peace.

”Elaine, she’s a psychic. She knows how her kid’s going to be.”

16th St Mall, Denver, CO

I’m in Denver and am thrilled I haven’t lost anything so far.  It’s probably something to do with wearing my phone and wallet in a small pouch around my neck. I look like a doof, I’m sure. But it’s worth it.  I’m hanging out with M’s cousins while he attends a meeting. Then we’re off to discover pinball machines.  It’s around 70 F and sunny.  Much better than the snow at home.

I have no idea what we had for lunch, but it was delicious.  It was Indian food, but I forgot to ask further.  I learned as a teen never to decline food from people who invite me into their home.  I offended an African (university student) who was braiding my hair and didn’t realize my error until her son told me she cooked explicitly for my appointment.  I apologized and ate with them, (but I also cried at the same time, and had post-crying hiccups afterward.)

One perk of being a doof:  I learn the shit out of valuable lessons.  Sigh.  It’s barely a perk.  I’m super tired due to being too excited to sleep last night.  My mind is doing aerobics, but my body is whining.  I watched the beginning of Star Wars:  The Last Jedi, when I realized sleep wasn’t happening.  Love it so far.  Spoiler Alert:  I (internally) slammed my foot against the ladder along with the doomed rebel to get that damn remote to fall.  I bet every Jedi (dreamer) who saw it did, too.  The catch and press scene was brilliant.

Star Wars TLJ

Also, I helped General Leia Organa slap Poe for his ruthless priorities.  The timing might be a bit off for the humorous quips, though.  Or, more likely, I just wasn’t ready to laugh after all that loss.  And I have this bizarre need to touch Supreme Leader Snoke’s skin.  He’s scarier than Emperor Palpatine.  He also appears fragile except when furious.  Weird how that increases menace.

I asked M if he thought weed would help me tolerate intensely exciting movies, but he said it would make it much more overwhelming for me.  So I’ll be sticking with patiently waiting for the version I can control with a remote.  (And tossing it up and catching it while pressing pause, like some rebel in a galaxy far, far away.)  ✌🏽

 

“You know, he came by here at 3 o’clock in the morning to pick up the tape. I was scared out of my mind!”

cornfield on a sunny day

I guess I’m done messing with the design of this blog for a while.  Unfortunately, I seem to have broken several things in the process, much to my frustration.  I should have known better than to touch it with a hijacked brain.  As I recover, I recognize more things that are missing.  I’m a bit surprised I noticed, considering.  I’ll have a go at fixing shit when I’m back on my feet.  Hopefully, it didn’t mess with anyone, (else.)

Amelia Bedelia is not interested in accompanying me on my road trip.  She cried on the test run.  I only have one job:  Make sure she’s happy.  I guess being in a carrier for more than a few minutes sucks.  I know, a bit of forethought would have saved me the time and agony of hearing her cry.  Yo, Hindsight.  Go lay by your bowl, dammit.

I’m getting both nervous and excited about my upcoming road trip.  Apparently, I’m terrified of encountering road construction.  Driving in the midwest sucks in the first place because it’s so flat and dull.  I guess that’s why they call it The Great Plains.  Heh.  Having the rules of the road change with a short warning is challenging when you treat your car like a sound booth and let the music take you.  I’m hoping I can check online where to be careful before I embark.

I’m not driving past Sioux City (ever again) because they put cement barriers right on the edge of the highway when there’s construction.  It’s too close to your vehicle, and when you’re going 50+ MPH, a sneeze could end you (and many behind you) in that situation.  It’s like playing a twisted, high-speed game of Chicken for no reason.  Nope.

I need the whole lane to be free of barriers when I drive.  Call me picky.  I plan on going west a bit, then south through Nebraska.  If I see anything super cool, I’ll try to remember to take a picture.  (I’ve never even made a selfie, and it’s the midwest, so expect accordingly.)  I can’t see for shit, so I’m not very visual.  I navigate by sound and intuition.  I also have lots of bruises most of the time because I bump into shit often.  Heh.

You know how you feel right after you’ve had a full-blown weep fest?  The post-crying, post-face-washing time, where your breath still catches every few minutes?  I’m stuck there.  I’m hoping to shake free while I take this short trip.  I can’t be away from Amelia Bedelia for more than five days;  it hurts my heart.  I don’t know what my driving stamina is yet.  It’s been a while since I traveled by car.

I resent the shit out of passenger trains for not bothering to include South Dakota.  I think Omaha is the closest place I can go to start a train trip.  Or I could steal a ride on one of the many trains hauling other shit from Sioux Falls, but the accommodations aren’t up to my standards.  I need transportation that’s legal and reasonably safe for a woman.  See?  Picky.  I do plan on taking a train from Omaha to (somewhere cool in) California in the future.

scarecrow in a cornfield

For now, this trip is just a test run to see how I do.  I’m aiming for Wyoming.  I’ve never been there, and it looks beautiful online.  If I turn out to be excellent at driving on the highway, I’d like to go to the Four Corners Monument.  Otherwise, there’s probably some neat stuff in Nebraska to entertain me on the way.  Besides cornfields, because I read a lot of Stephen King novels.  Although, I’ll probably run around in one at some point just to scare myself alert.  (A little gift from the King of horror.  Muwahahahaha)  I’m off to beat my drums.