Jan. 10th, 2010

entelein: (kara)
Today was a day for reflection and an active indulgence in feeling somber and stuff.

I put more books on the shelves, and while I thought I got every box of books out of the storage space, there's still a few books I haven't seen yet, so they must still be lurking about. At any rate, the apartment is a sorry mess of small piles of things bumped right up against beautiful order and coziness.

It's a style.

I slipped into some serious old coping behavior, including playing some computer mahjong to pass the time and let my brain do its sorting out thing. At first, I was playing a crappy old mahjong game disc I bought years ago but never even unwrapped, much less installed. But this morning the laptop was giving spyware warnings related directly to this installation, so I wiped the registry clean of its effects, uninstalled, and put the disc at the top of the pile for things to be shredded. It was at this point, as I cast about for some other mindless game to play, that I discovered my laptop had a pre-installed mahjong application already, and a much nicer one, to boot.

As the tiles clicked and bleeped and whooshed away in pairs, I let my mind wander back to my days of kid-dom, and of the past year, and the possibilities for the future. The future still looks stupid (no one's fault, just, not feeling the focus I used to), but I found some pieces of foundation to rest my heart upon. Comforting.

I decided this evening that since there wasn't anything dessert-like in the house, that I should get something in honor of my Dad's late obsession with sweets. I decided on red velvet cake. The cupcake shops near me are closed on Sundays (CURSE YOU, THE SOUUUUUUUUTH), but I hoped Harris Teeter had something passable. And they did.

The grocery store was mobbed tonight, and all of the checkout cashiers looked appropriately overwhelmed and/or bemused, so I knew it wasn't just me. I sometimes convince myself that I live in a ghost town, because as a city girl, I am used to seeing people and hearing them all the damned time. When I lived in Chicago, they were on my doorstep, talking outside my windows, yelling out from their cars on the street, walking down the sidewalks, running errands, making the neighborhoods I lived in quite alive and soothing.

Here, everyone's protected and tucked away - the huge expanses of trees hide most streets from full view, and curvy little side roads and cul de sacs make everything detached. Mathematically, there is so very little chance of over-saturating any one area, know what I mean? And so everything here feels like a ghost town, a plastic pre-formed mall strip connected to some trees, and all it needs is for Christof to cue the daytime sequence.

Back to the store: Because it was going to take a while to get through the checkout queue, I took another spin through another aisle to pick up a few cans of tuna, which I'd forgotten from my list. I also got ridiculously happy over some 2-for-1 laundry detergent and fabric softener, in the brand I like, as well as unscented. I felt sort of sad about my bargain giddiness, but at least I won't have to worry about clean clothes for quite a while. Score!

I also found myself nerdily using the reading glasses kiosk eye test. A work conversation recently had me admitting that I'd never had my eyes professionally tested. I've always passed drivers license exams with flying colors, but sometimes when watching TV or reading, I get a tiny bit of blurriness (usually when I'm tired), and when reading, I find myself getting bored or impatient with a book. I wonder now if this difficulty in reading books is less my attention span, and more of an issue of reading just taking more effort now. So I turned the little dial on the light-up display, and picked out a pair of glasses that the dial indicated, and it was indeed a little bit shocking to notice how much less my eyes had to work to focus on text I was holding as close as I would hold a book.

And no, I didn't pick up a pair of the reading glasses. I will instead make it a small project to shop around for a reasonably-priced eye exam - not having insurance, the whole thing makes me feel super-stressed, but I would also really love to know reading again as a big hobby. Seeing the letters a bit sharper and more intense through cheap grocery store glasses was kind of inspiring.

So now I am home, and I have eaten cake, and I am all sugared up and feeling sort of sad, still. It might be time for some more mahjong, before prepping for the upcoming workweek.


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