Thursday, January 21, 2010

Swimming in the Stream of Consciousness

My thoughts this morning:
  1. What should I do while waiting for the Salvation Army to pick up all that stuff we're donating?
  2. I should call the cable company and get them to pick up the DVRs before we move.
  3. I'll need the account number, probably.
  4. Since we went paperless, I'll have to find an email bill from them.
  5. Go to Gmail.
  6. Search for Time Warner.
  7. Ooh, "Warner" makes me think of Blair Warner. I wonder if it does that for anyone else. I bet I could find episodes of The Facts of Life online.
  8. No, no. Moving in a week. No 80s sitcoms for you. Back to Gmail.
  9. OK, wait. I clicked on the link in the email they sent me and I still need to log in?! I sure hope I have that info around here somewhere. I thought paperless was supposed to be convenient. Fuckers.
  10. OK, the user name and password I have didn't work. Why would I have a user name and password written down if I wasn't registered with the site? They must've redesigned the site, requiring new registration. Fuckers.
  11. OK wait. I need my account info to register even though I entered the email address where they've been sending me stuff. Fuckers.
  12. Good thing they kept sending us paper bills for a while after we went paperless.
  13. Good thing I'm a filing ninja who (eventually) puts all the paid bills in a folder marked "Bills".
  14. Except, apparently, the cable bill, since that's paid automatically.
  15. Oh wait, here it is.
  16. Oh, look, the electric bill. I have to call them too.
  17. Create user name and password that I had written down.
  18. What stupid security questions. Favorite movie? Favorite teacher? I can't possibly be expected to think of these things before noon. Fuckers.
  19. Invalid security answer? What? It looks like they don't believe that Buckethead is my favorite musician. I picked him because I'll remember his name. He's one of my favorites. But what makes Time Warner Cable think they know my favorite musician when I don't? Is even the cable company questioning my taste in music? Fucking music snobs.
  20. Oh wait, I used an ampersand in the title of my favorite book. That's the problem.
  21. And now Safari won't let me log in because the Time Warner website has redirected me too many times. I don't even want to think about the wisdom of that.
  22. Search for the original email again. Try not to think about Blair Warner.
  23. Click on link in the original email.
  24. Logged in automatically this time. God, I hate these people.
  25. Tried the online chat. Am told I need to call. Am not shown the promised survey to comment on the poorly designed online chat (don't need to be asked how I'm doing when I've already typed the question and can't copy and paste it, so must retype). Am filled with hate.
  26. Happily press 1 to continue in English. Think of friends who xenophobically complain about that. It's to keep English speakers from having to listen to all the different language options. No wonder we have such badly designed technology all over the place. People don't recognize good design when they see/hear it.
  27. While on hold, receive an email with the online chat transcript that the email says I requested, but I didn't. Want to hit the analyst who designed that process with a rolled up newspaper.
  28. Where the hell is the Salvation Army? If they stand me up, I'm so screwed. And my screwed, I mean carrying a large dresser through the streets of Queens to the Salvation Army store.
  29. Chat with cable person about my impending loss of BBC America. Can we deal with my account now? Goddamn, people in Wisconsin are chatty.
  30. Whew! I was sure the Salvation Army people were going to show up while I was on the phone.
  31. Of course, they couldn't have someone come pick up the DVRs on the days we needed, so the account will be cancelled when we drop off the equipment, so after all that, NOTHING has changed.
  32. Am afraid to call electric company after all that. Make eye doctor appointment instead.
  33. Decide to chance it. Open Electric bill (also paid automatically, so never opened).
  34. Is that what we've been paying? Damn, that lack of natural light sure takes a toll.
  35. They're here!
  36. Am wearing pajamas since their window of arrival was 8 am - noon and there was no way I was getting showered and dressed by 8. Refuse to care about allowing 3 men I don't know into my apartment while I'm in my jammies.
  37. Regret not wearing a bra, though.
  38. Wow, this place looks empty.
  39. Bravely call electric company.
  40. Automated message tells me to cancel my account online. Resist urge to smack head on desk. Stay online since I'm technically transferring the account and not closing it.
  41. Well, that was surprisingly painless and quick.
  42. Make note to fax marriage certificate to electric company on that magical day when I can be assed to get my name changed on my electric bill.
  43. Hope I get a utility bill at the new apartment soon, so I can get a new library card.
  44. Realize I feel wide awake. Wonder if human contact could manage to get my brain going before lunch on every day.
  45. Think back to when I worked in an office and realize that, no.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


New apartment has been secured, packing is in full force and blogging will continue to be sporadic for a while, as will my ability to think in a straight line.

In the meantime, I'm also posting for Skirt! Today's post is here.

When I post for another site, I post the link on Facebook. If you want to keep up with me there, friend me. You can find me using my email address: jenumlas at gmail dot com.

If you want me to post links to my other posts here (because you don't do facebook or just want to keep all blog posts in your blog reader), let me know in the comments. If I don't have time to post, I certainly don't have time to figure out how to put a proper poll in a post, so just speak up in the comments. If you think posting links to other posts here is an obnoxious way to handle thing, speak up too.

If you like reading what I write, then I love you for that and would like to make it as easy as possible for you to keep doing that.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I don't do New Year's resolutions because I can't possibly be expected to turn over a new leaf while still recovering from the holidays. Instead, I'll make resolutions throughout the year as needed and possible, such as deciding to do a little yoga daily.

Since we're moving at the end of the month, we have new apartment resolutions. They all revolve around having a cleaner apartment. When this plan fails, we can always just shove stuff into boxes and put them in the huge, walk-in closets so we can create the illusion of clean.

Last year, there was a group online who resolved to read a book a week. I didn't play along, since it would keep me from reading longer books that I couldn't read in one week. I decided to keep track of the books I read instead. I won't bore you with the entire list, but I still managed to read or listen to 45 books in 2009. Six of them were much longer than the others. I'm talking 900 pagers. I'm going to continue keeping track of the books I've read. I've enjoyed looking over the list and remembering the books.

I do have 2 knitting resolutions.
  1. I'm want to knit up my stash until I can declare stash bankruptcy*. My yarn stash is boxes of stuff I bought when I first started knitting and didn't know better, and stuff I've been given. If I see a pattern I'd like to make, chances are, there's nothing in the stash that would work and I own too much yarn to justify buying more. So I've been grabbing stuff from the stash, picking a pattern that works and making it. I'm going to continue doing it as part of knitting resolution #2, which is,
  2. Build up a substantial gift stash so that I won't spend next December cursing my extended family for being so numerous. A minimum of one knitted toy a month should do it. I realize that what I'm doing here is just moving the yarn from one part of the closet to another, but then it'll all get cleared out by the holidays.
*I'm not saying that I want to have zero yarn stash because I need to have some supplies handy. But I want to have the space to have my dream stash, which includes:
  • Several cones of dishcloth cotton, because it always comes in handy.
  • A few balls of sock yarn, since I'm getting the hang of knitting socks and HA and I don't have too many handknitted socks yet.
  • Project leftovers, suitable for knitting and crocheting toys and other stash busting projects.
  • Whatever yarn I need for the next few projects.
  • Scrumptious yarn that I just had to buy and will be able to use without having to dig through all the other yarn.
So what are your resolutions, if any? And what's your dream stash of yarn, craft supplies, hobby supplies, etc.?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dream Spiders From Outer Space

I had a bad dream Monday night. There was a lot of stuff going on, and then for perfectly reasonable reasons, there was a very large spider of extraterrestrial origin on HA's pillow. Actually, there were 2 of them. He wasn't on his pillow, so the spiders were all my problem. So I started hitting his pillow to brush away the alien spiders. Which I then started doing for real. Bam! Bam! Bam! on his pillow.

My thrashing startled him and woke him up completely. He asked what was wrong, but I said "nothing," rolled over and went back to sleep. I was aware that it had been a dream, but I was still completely convinced that there was a spider from outer space still on his pillow. But that's just crazy, so I had to leave the alien spider there and go to sleep.

It turns out that I could've finished brushing the dream spider away because HA was so awake that he went to the couch to watch a DVD and fall asleep (which he does fairly regularly because of his insomnia).

The amazing thing? He's not pissed that I started beating his pillow in the middle of the night. He says that I didn't do it on purpose and he's probably just relieved that I wasn't having a seizure.

Though maybe I should be mad at him for leaving me in the bedroom with a dream spider that was trying to get me. Because that's just rude.

Monday, January 4, 2010

More Stuff I've Gotten Rid Of in Anticipation of Moving

  1. One dozen bras* that no longer fit me, but are in good condition. Time are tough and the craigslist** "stuff for free" postings reach a lot of people who need free stuff. They went to a single mom who previously owned only one bra. Hands down, the best thing to come out of my recent weight gain.
  2. Craft supplies, given to a local nursing home, including 2 crewel embroidery kits and some 1970's vintage macrame cord. Although a few people are taking up macrame again, finding them is a challenge. You can buy macrame cord on eBay for very small amounts of money because it's so uncommon. So if you're looking for a cheap hobby, that may be the one. And yes, I thought of the nursing home because macrame is something done by people who were adults in the 70s (such as my mom, who would've probably thrown it out if I hadn't taken it) and well, not that I'm calling you old Mom, but, well, you are of retirement age and not everyone in your age group is as healthy as you are. The more you accuse me of calling you old, Mom, the more I'm gonna call you "spry", so it's on.****
  3. Partially used bottles of vitamins. Craigslist free stuff listings FTW.
  4. Party decorations from my parents' 30th wedding anniversary surprise party. Their 40th is this year and it's taken me all this time to realize that I have no need for a big banner that says "Happy 30th Anniversary". The "30!" candle was lit, but not long enough to actually melt at all. I've carried this stuff with me through 3 moves. Craigslist again.
* Until last year, I thought you had to wash a bra after only one wearing.*** After a discussion with my knitting group and asking the saleswoman who fitted me for my current batch of bras, I found out that you can wear them 3 times between washings as long as you alternate bras instead of wearing one for 3 days in a row. At the time, this felt like life-altering information.

** Unsurprisingly, I got an email from a guy who wanted my undies. I mentioned this to HA, who responded, "Well, not for free." Surprisingly, I only heard from one of those guys and not a multitude.*****

*** Therefore, I owned 2 weeks worth of bras because hand washing is a bitch. My cheap bra secret is buying them on eBay from someone who sells them on behalf of a homeless shelter. The company donates the bras and if there's no immediate need for that size, they sell the bra to support the shelter. Since there are no tags (since they were donated), the $30 bras go for about $10. But they're new, so it's not icky and I feel safe buying. If you're interested, e-mail me and I'll send you the name of the seller I use, but you can also just look for "New, No Tags" and then contact the seller to find out why there are no tags. That's what I did.

****Yes, my motherfucking parents read my blog now. I wonder how much profanity it would take to scare them away.

***** Considering how many mentions of underthings there are in this post, I suspect I'll be hearing from a lot more.

Random Stuff

I'm moving at the end of the month, which means that between packing and finding a new place, I'll be busy, harried and crazed. Posting will be affected accordingly.

In addition to here and Work Her Way I'm now blogging for Skirt! My first post is here and you can access all my future posts there via my profile.

Things I have managed to get rid of in anticipation of the move:
  1. Several dozen large yogurt containers. Stonyfield Farm used to take them back to sell or give to Preserve to be turned into toothbrush handles. So I saved up a whole big box to mail. Now that Preserve is collecting them directly, Stonyfield Farm doesn't take them anymore. I could've mailed them to Preserve, but they have a collection point at Whole Foods, so I was able to drop them off on my way to a Doctor Who event last night.
  2. 3 old pairs of sneakers. Someone on Freecycle is collecting them to send to his country, where sneaker quality is less important than here.
  3. My old blueberry iMac. My mom will use it at school in place of her old one which runs OS 9. I hadn't recycled it because it's cute and yummy and will be a collector's item someday. But we're not going to pay extra rent for a place big enough for me to store an old cute computer. Buh-bye, Blue.
  4. Two (recycling) garbage bags of papers. I've been keeping my writings since high school. I'll be scanning in a copy of each story, but I no longer need handwritten manuscripts, comments on my grad school novella by my workshop classmates, or form rejection letters from literary magazines. I'm torn between a) publishing some of my old stories here in a Cringe-worthy Wednesdays feature and b) keeping my dignity. B is winning, but I will tell you that the stuff I wrote in high school is much less embarrassing than what I wrote post-grad school. It's not that what I was writing was pretentious. It's that I thought everything I produced was BRILLIANT LITERATURE (hence the saving of illegible handwritten manuscripts for POSTERITY. I think that the whole trying to be literary instead of commercial/funny is what stalled my writing career in the first place. More on that subject someday maybe.
So what's new with you guys?