Monday, January 17, 2011

Nice Day After All [Updated]

From Drop Box

Updated at 6:25 with this unfortunately blurry phone photograph of the apartment's first homemade (aka machinemade) sandwich bread. It's a Mark Bittman recipe modified - did you know that when you run out of milk, you can use yogurt instead? I didn't either, but it was a successful experiment.

When I write a post that is nothing but a rant, I tend to worry that readers will perceive this sort of crankiness is a large part of my personality or at least my mood for that particular day. But after laughing at Verizon and writing them a very rational e-mail that thanked them at the end for their time, I went about my business and had a nice day.

Note: I intended to include a picture with this post, but when I got up to find my phone and send the picture I had taken to the Verizon website so that I could e-mail it to myself and then to Picasa and then add it to this blog...well, I remembered that my phone is in the car, where it is charging. Due to the loss/theft of my phone charger, I am borrowing a friend's car charger. It's daytime and I am writing from the balcony, with my car in full view, so I am not concerned about theft from my car. Oh, and while we're on the subject of appending photos to finished posts, I added a photo to this post of the pre-housewarming non cake-tastropic lemon cake a few days later.

Anyway, yesterday was set to be my Big Day of Cleaning, the day to not only complete routine tasks such as washing dishes and putting things away, but also the day to sweep and mop the floors, to take out the trash, and the day to take on an organizational project. This week's project was to use the boxes from moving and furniture purchases that I still haven't put out for the recycling to divide up my drawers. Tyler teased me the first time he saw my drawer dividers, not because they were repurposed garbage but because they were drawer dividers, and that is dorky. I don't care what anyone says. They have changed my life. I do not recommend spending $14.99 or whatever on those spring-loaded drawer dividers; it's rarely a good idea to buy stuff to deal with a problem of "too much stuff." But more than that, they are a waste of money when cardboard works just fine. Perhaps I will deal with the ugly factor by covering them with wrapping paper or maps or something some day. (This reminded me to write "Mod Podge" on the shopping list on my whiteboard, and then I got distracted.)

Anyway, Big Cleaning Day would be the day to vacuum the living room, if I owned a vacuum, which I do not. When I started to obsess over this fact and profess that the pieces of schmutz on the floor were driving me crazy, I realized it was time to stop cleaning and go outside.

It didn't happen quite like that, as in between sunny spells, we had periodic downpours -- not the usual Portland drizzle, but truly pouring rain. So there were a lot of boring things that happened in between me going vacuum-crazy and really leaving the house, such as eating soup, putting my coat on, seeing it rain and taking my coat off...you get the idea.

By the time I went out, the downpours were done for the day. At some point, I did get spat on by some light rain, but it was okay. For the most part, I walked through sunlit streets. I walked to the library to pick up some holds. On this walk, I recalled that I had wanted to go to the co-op to pick up bulk baking yeast. The thought of walking back to my car to drive to the co-op seemed heartily unappealing. The thought of continuing another mile to the co-op seemed extremely appealing. So I continued up what turned out to be kind of a big hill to the co-op.

I think it was the first time I went to the co-op when I wasn't in a hurry. So I took some time studying the shelves, debating buying a $5 brownie (I didn't), scanning the produce (taking note of $6/pound Brussels sprouts from California, no thanks), and doing the math in my head to determine that bulk whole wheat flour was in fact cheaper than that in bags. For something like $6, I was able to get what felt like a lot of flour, rolled oats, and baking yeast, plus two candles for the apartment.

The light was fading, but some sun was still in the sky, so I kept walking.

Does this hat look silly? I thought, trying to catch my reflection in a store window. I wonder if that boutique on this street is still selling those hats that I like. What was that boutique's name? What was the cross-street? I decided to just keep heading east until a store looked familiar from the day I went to all of the boutiques on that side of the street. It was a store with a wall and the hats were on the east wall...

I found it. It was Tumbleweed. I found the hat of my dreams by Muluk. I've linked to her Etsy, but the style of hat I got isn't on that page. The Bluebell hat looks really stupid on me, but she makes these other hats that look kind of like the turbans women wore a hundred or so years ago. It is the perfect hat for bad hair days. It's made of cotton (or something equally light) so it can be worn indoors without getting too hot.

Then, I walked home. Later I found that I'd walked about three and a half miles! Not bad for winter!

Back at home, the un-vacuumed floors looked strangely devoid of the schmutz I'd imagined a few hours previously. In a clean kitchen under the wreath I'd just made, I made rustic cabbage soup and bread machine whole wheat sandwich bread. In a newly-organized closet, I picked out some outfits for the work week. It was a pleasantly uneventful evening.

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