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Showing posts from September, 2011

Life on my own #12: Tangrams

The fantastic thing about living on my own is that there’s nobody around to bother me in the evenings I’m at home.On the other hand, it’s also the most confounding aspect.My dilemma is this: I like my alone time and my apartment provides plenty of it. Sometimes a little too much. I get stir-crazy or bored, watching a movie every night that I’m not occupied elsewhere. I must have watched about a third of the movies at the public library by now, since my own collection consists of precisely eight DVDs and about an equal number of VHS tapes.Goodwill is a worthwhile source of VHS tapes, by the way. I found the old Indiana Jones movies, “The Pagemaster” (great animated flick for book nerds), and a number of other fine movies there during the 50-cent sale. I did not own a single VHS tape when I moved to this apartment, nor did I have to spend an arm and a leg to acquire the new movies I found on VHS since.Back to the subject. I’ve seen the movies I bought too many times for them to be of an…

Life on my own #11: Generosity

If I’ve learned anything since moving out of my parents’ house and into my very own apartment, it’s this: Anyone and everyone is interested in the minute details of your living arrangements, to a degree not seen in their interest in any other area of your life. I hypothesize that it’s just because everyone remembers the excitement of moving into their own space back when they were young and carefree.So when I mentioned to friends at church (who were my parents’ age) that I had found an apartment of my own and would be moving out, I got all sorts of questions. Where? What’s it like? Is it anywhere near insert-location-where-person-used-to-live-or-work?But above all, people asked, “is there anything you need?”And to tell the truth, I was already pretty well off. I had my grandmother’s Revereware pots and pans and even her Corelle dinnerware and Corningware casserole dishes. My parents had given me permission to abscond with a bunch of their furniture too, either stuff I was already usin…

Life on my own #10: School files

I learned a secret in kindergarten that I’ve never forgotten. Without water, there would be no zoos.It’s the honest truth. A short paper I wrote when I was, like, five said that without water there would be dead people around; there wouldn’t be any trees or grass; there wouldn’t be any zoos; and, last, that there wouldn’t be any animals, either. I suppose that without grass, trees or zoos, the animals wouldn’t have had any place to live, and that’s why they went last.That paper turned up in the middle of my last cleaning project. Apparently when you move out you’re actually supposed to take all your stuff with you, so I came home last week with two totes full of old school papers that I had to go through. Until I did, the boxes sat in the middle of the living room, obstructing the view of the TV and banishing all hope of watching a movie.As you can imagine, this cleaning project didn’t get put off long.I sat down two nights later to sift through the folders full of certificates, craft…

Life on my own #9: Wal-Mart vs. Wal-Mart

My first time visiting the new Wal-Mart in town—or rather, my first time in the new town visiting Wal-Mart (see? word order makes difference!)—I literally stopped in my tracks to get my bearings.My equilibrium was shaken and I reeled. My vision clouded for a moment. I felt as if I had walked through some sort of space-time continuum.The store was backwards!In the store I’m used to, the left-hand door opens into the housewares/“stuff” part of Wal-Mart, and the right-hand door takes you to the food. I walked in the left-hand door here, and I found myself in what I mistook to be Kroger. The food was there, starting with the produce, on the left-hand side of the store.But the signs said Wal-Mart. I had not, in fact, found a magic door to take me halfway across town. Though that would have been fun. I could have made some serious money giving space-time-continuum tours.Then I wondered if I had walked into a magic mirror where the things you saw mirrored became real. Maybe the doors to Wal-…

Life on my own #8: Gardening

You know, growing up I hated gardening. Mostly because it was one of those Saturday morning things that my dad drafted me to help with. Seriously, there are so many other things an 11-year-old could be doing with her time—like reading, or playing a computer game, or eating a snack, or sleeping… simply a plethora of excitement there. At any rate my ideal weekend did not include pulling green things from brown stuff. I didn’t even know what green things I was supposed to be pulling. What’s the difference when none of them have flowers?So I could use my youthful strength to get rid of whatever plants my dad told me to pull, but I never had the slightest notion why I should pull them, or how to identify the unwanted plants in case I had to do it by myself someday. Other than dandelions—those I know about. Everything else looks about like a flower to me. I call them by their colors and by the relative size of their bloom, often tagging on an endearing adjective as well. “Oh look at that cu…

Life on my own #7: iPod

I hear crickets and trains outside my apartment every night. If I were the kid in August Rush, I would say I could hear their symphonies flowing through space in complete union with nature’s rhythms. But I’m not, so I just say they remind me of camping.And though it is rather musical, there are some nights when it’s… just… too much. I need a little man-made sound (ok, other than the trains) to get me through the dishwashing and other chores. I have relied on the radio and its meager offerings, or on my poor overheating laptop’s iTunes, to get me through the almost-silent nights. (If it were winter, I could say they were Silent Nights, but that’s a phrase reserved for Christmastime.)That is, I’ve relied on such 1990’s technology… until now.I purchased a prettiful dandy old iPhone from my old college roommate about two weeks ago. It’s marvelous and wonderful and splendiferous even though it doesn’t make calls. What it does do is get wi-fi Internet whenever I’m in range of a wireless sig…