Thursday, November 12, 2009

An Inconvenient Life

We were without internet for over three weeks, until today, and it has been a royal pain. I didn't realize just how much of my day to day functioning is internet-based. But now I've kind of gotten used to living in isolation. It's not too bad. I have a lot more time to do other things. And the course I was taking over the internet has unfortunately pretty much fallen by the wayside. No more straight "A's" for me I guess.

Anyway, that is why my posting and commenting and visiting of other blogs has been kind of light lately. I need silence and my separate keyboard and my separate screen and my trackball in order to be truly functional at the computer. Using my laptop at Panera, parking outside my friend's house in the middle of the night, or sitting on her couch at more reasonable hours still leaves me feeling spastic and unable to think. Also, I haven't yet memorized all (three) of the html things I use for blogging.

While I was feeling sorry for myself about the internet situation, I started pondering some of the other inconveniences that have been added to my life after everything went up in flames over four years ago. The main thing is what I alternate between calling the cinderblock cell and the cinderblock chalet, depending on my mood. We've been renting this house while we get our real house, FoamCoreFantasy, back into liveable condition. It was not my idea for it to take this long, but that's another long story.

The cinderblock chalet is small, and that was fine at first since we had just lost more than 90% of our belongings. And I was on the road or working on a ship for most of the first year so I wasn't really bothered by that or by its ugliness. In fact I like small - it's very easy to keep things neat and tidy in a hotel room or a cruise ship cabin. Ugly is a little harder to take. The kitchen and mud room in the rental house are kind of late 70s trailer home or hunting cabin style. But at least it has a washer and dryer. Speaking of mud, it is impossible not to track things in. The house is built on a slab at ground level and there's no sidewalk up to it so leaves, dirt, and other debris are always finding their way in. I'd have to vacuum every fifteen minutes to keep the floor clean, and that's impossible.

Some of the things we don't have are related to our "temporary" situation, so I guess I shouldn't complain. We don't have a TV, but we don't really have time to watch one right now either. I just drive the 5 miles to the nearest Blockbuster when I feel the need to stare at the screen for a while. We don't have a land line phone, so when our wireless goes out we can't get online. We don't have trash service. We have an oil tank for our heater which never seems to get filled before it runs out. It takes at least twenty minutes longer to get anywhere in DC than it did from my "real" house. But it takes less time to get to Baltimore, so that's good.

One of the weird things about this place is that it has a huge gravel parking lot and the landlord rents out parking spaces to various large vehicles. So for two long years, every time I left the house I was pretty much forced to look at this truck:

Never Have an Ordinary Day!
Isn't that nice?
My days are weird enough already, thank you very much.
I've always found that when I need cheering up, cookies and milk do the job quite nicely. I don't keep cookies on hand because that's kind of the last thing I should be eating, but I'll go buy them if I get the urge. So for two years I somehow found myself buying those Pepperidge Farm cookies on a nearly daily basis. What can I say, I was pretty miserable and cookies cost a lot less than drugs or alcohol. Fortunately 7-11 has them in a two-pack and they come in a bag of eight at the grocery store, so it's a large amount of excess calories, but it's not nearly as much as a normal sized bag of cookies. And it is more comfortable to "only" eat two cookies, or eight, or sometimes six, if I was feeling generous. Anyway, I recently noticed that I haven't had the urge to buy Pepperidge Farm (Chesapeake, if you must know) cookies for about six months and that may very well be how long the truck has been gone. I tried (and apparently failed for the most part) to not see it, so I didn't notice exactly when it stopped being there. I remember glaring at it each morning, already regretting how my day would undoubtedly end. I'm really glad that stupid truck is no longer parked there. I need to have ordinary days, without the cookies. The school buses that park there now don't seem to be activating any food urges, so that's good!

I could continue to gripe about this place that we will be living in for hopefully only a couple more months, but I'd rather just forget about it. Ignore it. The one thing that I've really enjoyed about staying here and can't ever ignore is the beautiful and huge magnolia tree. Here it is in the spring:

And here's the same tree in the fall. I definitely like this tree even more than I like cookies!


Bowie Mike said...

Wow! I can't imagine living in the cinderblock chalet. Looking forward to the day when your other blog is renamed FoamCoreReality.

lacochran said...

The giant cookie on the side of that truck is really tempting. Pepperidge Farm bastards!

I've always had a weakness for the Brussels version. Mmmm.

Barbara said...

You should spend more of your remaining time at the rental looking at the beautiful tree and less time cleaning up dirt on the floors. You can always clean them just before you move out if you need to. As for the truck, Pavlov showed how this works a long time ago. You responded just like those dogs did!

Cyndy said...

Bowie Mike - Yeah, that will be NICE!

lacochran - before the truck came on the scene I had a thing for the Bordeaux cookies. But the Brussels ones are also delicious. They all are, unfortunately.

Barbara - I've sort of been applying that philosophy, but four years is an awfully long time to go without cleaning the floor. I'll miss the tree, but I definitely haven't missed that truck!