Saturday, May 31, 2014

How Happy Can We Possibly Be?

You know of Pharrell Williams' song "Happy" and the accompanying videos, as well as the "24 Hours of Happy" original challenge.  I didn't participate in that one, because I didn't feel like trying to record myself dancing to the song and then submitting a video!  If I'm feeling a little low, I usually choose the Despicable Me 2 video with the lyrics and play it OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and, well, you get the picture, until I'm just tired of bouncing in my seat.  (I currently have a one-hour video playing in another tab so I can just keep listening while I type.  THAT is a bit of a challenge!)

Today, I signed up for the 100 Days of Happy challenge, not because I think I need a reminder to be happy, but because I maybe need a reminder to express my daily happiness.  100 days is a LONG time, and in the next 100 days, I get to move OUT of this space, travel with Stephen and two cats to Florida, then back up to South Carolina, then across the country to our new digs in California.  I get to move IN to that space.  I get to reconnect with my industry network, for crew and background acting work.  I get to (hopefully) book a fairly long-term gig that puts me on set for twelve-to-fourteen hour days.  I'll be celebrating/commemorating at least four birthdays in the next 100 days.  Not too long after the 100 days, we'll be celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary.  A month after that, Stephen celebrates a milestone birthday.  There's plenty on our plates to be happy about.

I just want to challenge myself to be aware of individual, specific things, and then express some gratitude.  In case you care, today, Day One, brought me THIS video.

If you decide to participate and you're willing, please share YOUR #100happydays!

Friday, May 30, 2014

a new test - one you may not need to take!

I just signed up at to see if my blog posts will go automatically to my Facebook wall or not.  YOU may actually read this very short post because you saw it in YOUR newsfeed, and if you do, you MAY be inclined to comment, either here, or on the Facebook post, that "IT WORKED!"

No pressure. If I see it in MY newsfeed, I'll assume you see it in YOURS.  But if you WANT to comment, then feel free.  Automation!  What a clever girl. ;)

A STOLEN post (well, actually it's already MINE, so I dunno what the legalities may be)

I wasn't intending to blog this early in the day - I usually like to have a "day" and then blog about what happened or what I felt.  I like to offer you a "daily recap" rather than the "weekly recap" that other, more seasoned bloggers offer.  I've still only been blogging since December of last year, and while I feel pretty comfortable on my "sea legs," I wouldn't say that I've made any blogging "patterns" for myself that you, as a reader, can rely on.  Besides, once I get home and working again, this may all go out the window (hope not, but we'll see what we see).
So ennyhoo, I was reading my "friend" Kelly's blog (and I only put "friend" in quotes because we live a hemisphere apart and have only ever communicated online, and while I feel like she would be my great friend if I knew her, and vice-versa, we have not ever met).  She's a much more seasoned blogger, and you know she loves what she does, so her post today is actually, I dunno, ironic? because she doesn't seem to recognize that in herself? but it totally speaks to me.  She asked a question, and my "comment" follows:
I am so grateful, DAILY, that I get to go back to work in the industry that fulfills me… even as I trudge through the DAILY effort of packing, selling, downsizing, calling landlords, booking a shipping container, buying more packing materials, throwing away more and more items that at one time had meaning for me, AND just making the bed and meals and cleaning!
  • Will the entertainment industry pay me well for 8-hour days, five days a week? NO. 
  • Will it pay me well for a couple of 12-hour days each week, interspersed with longer (3 to 6 week) gigs? YES. 
  • Will I end up working long hours in exchange for less money than I’m worth? ABSOLUTELY. 
  • Will I be overwhelmingly happy to do so? YOU BETCHA.

And when I’m not spending a day on set, I’ll be setting up my new household; lovin’ on the cats; blogging; preparing meals; reconnecting with old friends; enjoying the company of my also-happier husband.
I’ll be 48 on Tuesday, and I probably reached this level of “Zen” about ten years ago (coincidentally, when I started working in film and television). It IS possible to do what you love and make your living doing it, as long as your expectations of what qualifies as a “living” aren’t too high (monetarily). I have a LIFE doing what I love – and that is what makes a LIVING.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Closed the SHOP

officially, today.  There are two more items still listed with auctions ending tomorrow, but they've not had any activity.  Had two "lots" of dolls (one lot of seven porcelain and the other lot of seven baby dolls) that we just didn't have time to research, that had auctions starting at a buck apiece for the babies and two bucks each for the porcelain - but the buyers had to take the whole lot.  We'd already taken all of those to the flea market and they hadn't moved an inch.  Well, on ebay, they MOVED!  We couldn't believe how much they moved!

But I have nothing left to sell there, so I've told ebay to go away now.  Just go away. :)

TONIGHT we have OUR "go away" dinner party, and tomorrow, the mailman will make the dolls go away.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

sometimes you just need a nap

I did, today.  So I took one!  It was great.

But there were things that needed doing, you know?  How do you get the things done when you can't keep your eyes open?

You REST.  You take that nap, and when you get up, you get back to whatever it was you had hoped to accomplish earlier, when you just couldn't keep your eyes open.

My accomplishments today include:
  • making the bed
  • feeding the cats
  • making coffee
  • consuming with Stephen his first-ever homemade smoothie (it was delish, altho he now understands why I don't like to use blackberries in smoothies - too seedy!)
  • taking two phone calls from potential landlords/managers to make arrangements for my "legwork" friend
  • applying for another gig; this time for "Associate Producer" which is really just an in-the-office Production Assistant.  BUT THAT'S OKAY.  Ten weeks and four grand okay. :)
  • pulling from the remaining collection those dolls that have either watchers or bids, and packing up all the rest for a covert return to stepmom's attic
  • calling to reserve a big table or a separate room for our "going away" dinner party
  • updating the time on the party invite
  • reading some Entertainment Weekly
  • unloading and reloading the dishwasher
  • washing my water pitcher by hand because there's some crud in our water that doesn't wash away in the dishwasher!  what up widdat?
  • preparing for myself a delicious grilled pastrami-n-muenster sammich and then eating it
  • taking the aforementioned nap - glorious!
  • getting back on the phone to speak with more potential landlords and/or leave messages for return calls
  • blogging
  • UPDATE: ordering a new pair of glasses for Stephen, since the ones he has keep falling apart. :(
Have you noticed that I have blogged every day in May?  I'm not participating in any "challenge," although I discovered that there is one out there.  I had just decided for myself, near the beginning of the month, that while I still have time to devote to you, my loyal subjects readers, that I should find something to say every day.  Once we're back home and I'm working in the industry that I love, I imagine my blogflow will ebb.  I hope that's okay.  For now, I plan to keep on keepin' on.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

COUNTDOWN (the first - I expect there may be more in the not-too-distant future)

  1. FIVE WEEKS from today, we will be HOME.
  2. FOUR WEEKS from tomorrow, we will be heading west from Charleston, SC.
  3. FOUR WEEKS from today, we'll be celebrating Stephen's mom's 70th birthday.
  4. THREE WEEKS from today (or tomorrow), we will do an "overnight" visit in Jupiter, FL and then return to Daddy's.
  5. in EIGHTEEN DAYS, we'll be leaving North Carolina to stay with Daddy in Sorrento, FL.
  6. in SEVENTEEN DAYS, we'll be doing mass-hysteria-style cleaning frenzy in this (by then) empty apartment.
  7. TWO WEEKS from today, Stephen will work his last day at Sam's Club.
  8. in THIRTEEN DAYS, we'll get our U-Haul shipping/storage "pod" and begin filling it.
  9. in ELEVEN DAYS, we'll be helping the stepmom out with her yard sale (and hopefully, selling the last of our furniture).
  10. ONE WEEK from today, I'll be 48 years old.  Whoop Whoop!
  11. in FOUR DAYS, I close the doors of my ebay store forever (I have to "unsubscribe" from some $#!+ to make it "official")
  12. in THREE DAYS, my last ebay auction closes, whether there are any bids or not.
  13. in TWO DAYS, we're "hosting" our own "going away" party at the BEST RESTAURANT ANYWHERE, which just happens to be a mile down the street from our current residence.
  14. TODAY we saw our last movie in North Carolina (X-Men, Days of Future Past).
Are you excited yet?  At some point in that countdown, we have to return any unsold dolls to stepmom's attic, carry our unsold furniture to her house for the yardsale or storage, AND procure our new address (as well as putting the forwarding order in at the post office).  There's plenty of downsizing still to be done, as well as packing, selling, shipping, and Stephen going to his job.  There's probably one more trip to my favorite grocery store.  Ay, caramba.  It sneaks up on ya!

Monday, May 26, 2014

It's Memorial Day. Thank you, Veterans, and others who have given your lives in service.

I am not a Vet.  I don't have anywhere to host a barbecue today, and I haven't received any invitations to attend such things.  So I have spent a good chunk of today "shredding" - earlier in my ebay career, I would shred old bills and whatnot (pretty much anything that had account numbers or social security info) and use it as packing material when shipping out dolls.  Got out of the habit as I acquired more bubble wrap, especially when I'd learn that a doll I'd shipped had arrived broken.  Erp!

But there were still all those papers, receipts and bills and such, accumulating in a big box.  And I have yet to go through the file cabinet and see if I can eliminate anything else, like I managed to get help doing before this move.  So I sat down in the living room today with the personal shredder I had been "given" when my former roommate moved out all those years ago (basically, she just needed to not take things home with her, and that was a useful item, so I accepted it as a gift.  THANK YOU, former roommate who has not given me permission to identify you here).

I made pretty good progress through the box, but there are dividers between the "teeth" that have degraded over time, and sometimes the papers go through looking more "chewed" than "shredded," and I have to sit with tweezers, pulling paper strips out of spaces where the dividers are completely gone.  It's sort of like the metal shredding teeth are vertebrae, and those teeth are separated by plastic cartilage, and the two spinal columns work in tandem to eat your paper.  My cartilage is wearing OUT!

So I have a much smaller stack of paper that needs shredding; I have files that could probably use a cleanse but will likely have to wait until after the move; I have a dead shredder that won't go (was never gonna go) back to LA, and will get replaced by a slightly-more industrial design.  Ah, me.

Time to celebrate progress, and give thanks for useful lives ended (as well as those other useful lives that have still managed to survive), with wine and coconut cheesecake!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Smell of Victory

... is surprisingly similar to that of freshly-baked coconut cheesecake!  Yummmmmmmmmmmm.

I've stated, possibly here, but definitely in the comments on other blogs and Facebook, that I no longer write out "To Do" lists.  I have various reasons, but I think the primary one has to do with not setting myself up for disappointment.  I had a friend who posted yesterday that she felt "defeated" because she "sucks at time management because she can't accurately predict how long it takes to accomplish particular tasks."  I probably paraphrased that, but the two things that struck me were the feelings of defeat, and SAYING that she "sucks at time management."  No, no, no.  I will never let TASKS to ACCOMPLISH defeat me because I or another person put too much on my plate.

It's basically the same reason I won't commit to attending a play or a party or a ______ unless I KNOW that I can keep that commitment.  I would much rather say "maybe" (and probably make it) than to say "yes" and then flake out.  In the same way, my "To Do" list is pretty much entirely mental.  I've reached the point that I won't even tell Stephen what my plans are for the day, so as not to overcommit myself and then be defeated at day's end.

So today, so far, I have made the bed (yay!), run the dishwasher, including the coffee maker and the cats' water fountain (double yay!), and started laundry.  I have listed the last two items we ever intend to sell online in our store before we officially close "the doors." I have also spoken to two landlords in LA, who were returning calls from yesterday.  I imagine I'll speak to another coupla them before the day is out.  Sunday's a big day to return calls from potential tenants.  While the laundry and dishes run, I'll be (FINALLY) making that coconut cheesecake I had STATED in numerous places that I was going to make (yay!)...

Maybe I'll update this at the end of the day, when I can "tick off" even more fun things on my MENTAL "To Do" list, and we can all celebrate a Sunday full of accomplishment!  Didja catch that "maybe" there? ;)

UPDATE (possibly not the last one of the day):
Did NOT hear from any more landlords; got the laundry done; baked the friggin' awesomeness that follows.  The original recipe, I originally recorded HERE, but what follows is the pictorial step-by-step, including the welcome "interruption" I took time for.  This is why I left all of the time stamps in the photos.


Dunno if Stephen's going to want anything real for dinner when he gets home.  If so, I'll reheat last night's lasagna.  If not, we'll be CELEBRATING all of my little victories with cheesecake.  And possibly raising a glass of wine to all the Vets, including my Daddy, who made days like today possible (and continue doing so).  Thank you, Veterans, for giving us what you gave, including in many cases, your lives.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

I don't oft write of Daddy

so today I will. (I have gotten his permission).

I have been on the phone all day calling landlords in Los Angeles, in the hopes of finding our next "forever home" (or at least a reasonable address to which we can forward mail for the next year or so).

I have also been in contact with my friend who has volunteered to be "eyes and ears on the ground" when the landlords say, "c'mon over!"

I have ALSO agreed to a "best offer" on a doll I was reluctant to sell for so little, because she's just too sweet, and I think, valuable.  So now I have to pack her very carefully to ship her out on Monday.

But one of the last things I've done is take a phone call from Daddy.  He wanted to know which of my numerous names to make my birthday check out to, and would it be better to issue a check, or get cash for me when we get to Florida, or what.  We got that sorted out, and then he reminded me that there's a piece of electronic equipment we need to be sure to not pack in our shipping container, but bring to Florida so he can be "India" for us ("inside joke" amongst the family - when others need tech support, they invariably "call India" even if they've dialed a company based in Omaha; when we need tech support, we call Daddy, a.k.a. "India").  Then we talked about my job opportunities and the timing of such - THIS WEEK ALONE, I have applied for SIX different Script Supervisor gigs, all based in Los Angeles, two of which start on or near my birthday.  Then we talked about his health.  The man has been sober for two months.  He remembers the last drink he had, the one that put him in the hospital for an acute pancreatitis attack.  He knows that sobriety is good for his health because he'll never have to endure that kind of pain again, and it should keep him from strokin' or having other organ attacks.  I told him that sobriety was also good for the health of his family.  None of us have to worry about him.  He's clearer and more capable of doing the things he needs to do.  He should manage several more good years.  Hell, he might even make it to the 120 that Mommy was supposed to reach!

I teared up talking to him, but not out of worry.  I cried because I needed to tell him that I am proud of him.  I cried a little more when he graciously accepted my pride.  I love my Daddy.  I don't ever want to nag him, about anything.  He's lived long enough that he has the right to make his own decisions.  Maybe that's why I'm proud of his sobriety.  Because he's choosing it.  He's not being coerced or bullied by family or folks in the medical field.  He's made it two months, and for that, I am grateful.

Friday, May 23, 2014

This is a TEST

Don't worry, you don't have to "study" for it, but I DO need your participation.

I've been informed by a regular reader that the "CAPTCHA" code for commenting is a pain in the tookus.  I know this to be true of other sites I regularly read, because even though it's cute that "I am not a robot" keeps the spammers away, it is sometimes difficult to actually read those "words" they use.  I have not been able to see it for myself on MY blog, because I'm always logged in, dontcha know?

So here's the "test:"

  1. For the next few (however many) posts I create, I have turned OFF the "are you a real person?" block.
  2. I have also kept "moderation" disabled, to see whether my traffic is all real people, and not spambots.
  3. YOUR JOB is to comment HERE.  Make it a "real" comment, please (not "test test test" or some gobbledygook).  You should not be required to jump through ANY hoops!  Your comment should appear IMMEDIATELY!  I shouldn't get any additional emails that I wasn't already getting, asking me to "approve" your comments!
PLEASE participate, this one time.  Even if you'd much rather comment only on Facebook, please comment here (as well as on Facebook, if necessary).  I don't have a huge audience yet, as I only started this six months ago, and I do get to see where my audience is.  I'd like to find out if the bot-killer is even necessary.  As a favor, you know, for the people.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Today's misadventures

Got two more "lots" of dolls listed today, auctions for 7 days because eBay's starting to charge listing fees for various and sundry whatevers... immediately had 3 "watchers" on one of the lots and a message that was vaguely incoherent, asking if I would "sale" the lot to her individually for Buy It Now.  She's going to have to make me a true offer of a sufficient amount for me to pay the extra listing fee.  We'll see.  I'm willing to leave it up for a week in an auction - whatever.

Also got added to a new "yard sale" group on Facebook, so I added our silly "Drop-In Non-Yard Sale" items there, and I now know how to update the posts on the other pages.  Please oh Please let me Please move some FURNITURE before the stepmom's actual yard sale!

Turkey burgers and veggie masala burgers and wine and chocolate later, we're watching "Iron Giant."  It's cute.  It'll do.

Tomorrow I get to tell the local employment office why I deserve to continue collecting unemployment benefits, and ask them how I'm supposed to find work as a Script Supervisor in a state that has no film categories of occupations in its online jobs database.  Hmm.  And/or, Yay.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Gone. (Well, maybe not quite)

At 4:15 today, I grabbed my phone, some keys, a one-pound box of German Gretel porcelain doll that was made in Taiwan, slipped on my flip flops, and walked to the Thomasville, NC (USA) post office to ship said Taiwan/German doll to Russia.  I also had some questions about voiding a pre-paid label, so when I got back in the door at 5:15, I felt pretty good about my 3mph.

Still have some things to sell but have no idea how much will actually move in the next ten days.  See, kids, I'll be closing the doors in ten days.  Nothing to ship past my birthday, provided anything that sells gets paid by then.  Move any dolls that don't sell back into the attic; help the stepmom set up for her yard sale on Saturday the 7th (along with any of our home furnishings we hope to move there); be DONE with all manner of sales before we have to start loading the shipping container.

Wow.  It really feels like all the time that we did have "in the world" is now gone. Gone. Gone. Gone. Gone. Gone. Gone.


And I still need to make that coconut cheesecake!  ACK!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Stuff you find when downsizing

We went through a bunch of bins of crap that we'd simply transported to NC when we moved here a year and a half ago, so that we can actually NOT carry "crap" back home to LA.  A lot of times, when you pack for a move, you don't really have time to sort through every single piece of paper that you haven't thrown away, and so you lump things together into a box or a bin or a notebook, and you figure you'll eventually get through it in the unpacking.  I know of no one who actually gets through it in the unpacking.

But that's what we're doing in these last days and weeks before we have to fill a shipping container - we're going through the boxes, bins, notebooks, and folders, and seeing just what really needs saving, and what we can tear ourselves away from.  Today I found the following, written out in my own hand, and I'm willing to share it here so I can actually throw away the pages, since it's the thoughts that matter, not my "hand:"

     When I came "home" for Christmas 2001, my marriage was officially falling apart.  Everyone saw the reality of my situation before I did, and they ALL urged me to get to Los Angeles before it was too late to pursue my dreams.  I finally made the trip, with all of my belongings packed into a U-Haul trailer to tow behind my big ol' Cadillac.  Mommy made the drive with me.
     We hadn't even gotten out of Florida before the Caddy refused to tow a trailer in the heat, and we had to upgrade to a TRUCK, towing the car.  That drive across the country was the kind of adventure she lived for ... get in the car, hit the open road, see what God and Man have made of the countryside.  We had our route mapped out, down to each night's hotel stay - fortunately for us, we hadn't made too many reservations, because I think the vehicles only allowed us to stay in ONE pre-planned hotel, a place in Mobile, AL where Mommy had stayed before.  She was undaunted.  We kept going.
     Even though the Grand Canyon isn't REALLY "on the way," we had planned to include it AND Las Vegas, because they were both more "on the way" than they ever would be again.  So as we were climbing, ever slower, in our U-Haul with trailer, we realized we'd better just park the belongings and rent a little pickup truck to reach the Canyon.  The views were incredible, and the experience with Mommy was possibly our closest bonding up to that point.  She would venture to a picture spot, and I would take her picture.  Then I'd head another 2 or 3 feet closer to the edge, and she would panic, even though I'd still be several feet away from danger.  This pattern repeated all day, as we went from one vista to the next.  We were so awestruck by the wonder of God's handiwork that we each decided Vegas was out of the question; there was no need to stop there.
     When we finally arrived in California, we ended up renting one room in a house owned by a psycho chick, who introduced us to her church and then got offended when Mommy wanted to join the choir immediately.
     We got out of there and shared a nice studio apartment for the next six months.  Neither of us knew how to start an acting career, but every step I took, she was there for me, cheering me on.  I've had a few roles and met a ton of important people, and even though I'm lately doing a lot of background work, the last thing she said to me was that she was proud of me, and that she loved me (of course).  She was ready to make another cross-country trek to see me, but I was just too busy with my own life.  I was afraid I wouldn't have time to keep her entertained.  But when did she ever need us to entertain her?  Just being with us made her happy.

I am unsure if this is actually the first draft of the eulogy I wrote for her in 2006 - it certainly sounds like it, but I haven't gone back to what I ended up reading at her services to know how much of this made it into that.  Maybe on October 28th, I'll post that.  (It's likely - that's the anniversary of her fatal traffic accident, and I won't have been blogging a year yet).

Monday, May 19, 2014

Casual fact-finding day, just what we needed!

Got up early again, for no reason.  Saw Geoff off on the next leg of his Odyssey.  Told him like three times that we'd be expecting a "safe arrival" call or text, and it's now 12 hours since he left here, and DARK out, with no word.  Bad Geoff. ;)

Decided we needed to make an easy grocery run, and while we were out, we also checked some of the other stores in the area for things like disposable cat litter boxes (for the trip, of course), and other potential "supplies" (for the trip, of course).  Made a stop in at the local Costco, which is what we had access to back home, and had a lovely time reminding ourselves of what we were missing, in both available products and all the yummy samples!  Left there having had a substantial lunch, and drove back to Podunk ready for a nap.

Got in and relisted a bunch of dolls and bears in the store.  Sent a message to a potential buyer who'd expressed an interest in a particular bear.  Laid down for a nap around 5:30 (two early rises + late shuteyes = NAPTIME!); Stephen joined me around 6:15; both times Cocoa also needed some belly-rubbin'.  Awoke from a very restful slumber at 7:15 or so, and checked emails, Facebooks, and the store.  The bear sold!

Packed it up and labeled it for a tomorrow ship, and then settled in for some DVR'd tv, wine, and chocolate.  Now we're just waiting for Geoff to let us know he made it to WV!

Really good day.  Thanks for asking.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Interesting Flea Market, Baby! Day

well, maybe.  Got up at Dawn's Tramp Stamp.  AGAIN.  Then that bitch showed us her crack, and then we were on the road.  We'd managed to downscale the sales vehicular load to ONE (the van, which I mostly loaded throughout the week), as well as the table need to ONE.

Got the van parked sideways and all the gear out, had a sale just before the official 8 a.m. "open," and then our immediate neighbor who had a "permanent" shed spot showed up and we had to re-park the van.  Oh, well.

Then the dude who came to collect our table rent made a second trip around to let us know that if we could spread out to the next table, that would be great... because the market itself would "look" busier.  Greeeeeaaaaaat.  So we did!  Yay!

It's easier for two people to "man" two tables, even when one of us needed to take a walk around the lot for any reason.  And we did get a "better class" of traffic when we were spread out, but Stephen named what our situation was all about - the Law of Diminishing Returns.  Saturday One (two weeks ago) - not too much stuff but very new at the game - big sales, moved a lot of stuff!  Saturday Two (last week, day before Mother's Day, overcast weather and threat of rain) - um, less than half of the "movement" of any of S. One.

Today - Sunday One but Weekend Three - significantly less stuff (only one vehicular load, after all), similar weather but supposedly the day the "buyers" come out - um, not so much.  Well, not terrible - we did make enough for June's rent - but certainly not anything we'd want to do on a regular basis.  Our biggest expenses are gas money in the big ol' van to travel 25 miles (roundtrip), table rent, and our own physical labor of loading and unloading.  Today, we each earned minimum wage, as long as you don't count any of that load/unload time in hours worked.  So.

On June 7th (after my birthday), I (or we) will be participating in the stepmom's yard sale.  Hopefully, in the meantime, I'll sell a buncha stuff online and well, online (in Facebook "yard sales") and won't have to load any furniture for the yard sale!  Wouldn't it be great if all I need to do is assist at the physical yard sale rather than worry about our own personal sales?  Yeah, that'd be AWESOME.

But anyway... the rest of the day.  We have a one-night couchsurfer!  His name is Geoff, and he's Stephen's friend from back home, and he's doing his own personal Odyssey across the country (and is hoping to start a new trend of creating Facebook Groups that track progress of things like personal Odysseys).  I'm not promising to pick up Geoff's trend; chances are really good that I'll just blog our trek across the country.  We'll see.  I like Geoff a lot; he's very personable and charming and gentlemanly (and appreciates my appreciation for the "f" word), and as far as I'm concerned, he can couchsurf on our couch anytime.

We had to search for a restaurant in which to consume dinner on a Sunday in Podunk... we showed Geoff the stepmom's Victorian house... I had a long convo with the stepmom re: grief, and we all returned here for homemade ice cream.  Stepmom went home; the three of us who remained had wine; Geoff fetched his laser pointer from the car and entertained the cats.  Now Stephen's showing him "Pain" on the PS3 with George Takei as "the victim" and I'm telling y'all about it.

Really great day!

UPDATE: This post originally posted on 5/18/2014, and TODAY, I inadvertently "reverted to draft" while reading it. Yes, I am a moron.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

FOUR weeks from today, we hit the road!

Progress is a beautiful thing.  Moving is a stressor.  We've carried heavy things (furniture and bins and boxes full of stuff) to the flea market on two consecutive Saturdays, and we expect to do that one more time tomorrow.  Cool, overcast weather is forecast, but we've also been told that Sundays are better selling days (folks browse on Saturday but BUY on Sunday).  We haven't had the physical fortitude to test the theory in one weekend, so we'll see what tomorrow brings.

  • If the theory holds true, then that will mean we've made our June rent tomorrow, and we won't have to return to the flea market, and anything "left" can be listed online or go with us to California or be sold at the stepmom's yard sale or put into storage in her attic.  (Having options is nice, huh?)
  • If the weather keeps folks away again, then I may have to return by myself next weekend, and do both days.  Stephen's working the whole weekend, and it's Memorial Day, so we'll probably cross that bridge when it appears.  I'm hoping for the first ^.
Whatever happens with the flea marketing, there's still Amazon and ebay for the remainder of May.  I've got a doll packaged to ship to Russia, and I'm waiting for the post office to clear my voided ship label so I can print a new one and get that out.  Send some "clear that label" vibes towards the post office, if you would.  That'd be great.  Then anything else that sells online should ship right away, and I'll close all my auctions by the 31st so I'm not shipping anything after my birthday.  I'm mentally ready to close those doors.

We've joined the online apartment-search community, and we've got at least one pair of eyes-and-ears "on the ground," as it were, to liaise with potential landpeople on our behalf.  I've ordered a new cover for my mattress, and it's going to be shipped to another friend to hold for us.  Thank you, unnamed-until-you-give-me-permission friends!

Then there's rearranging the apartment some more so that the spare room is a mock storage container.  At some point, there should be at least one "say goodbye" dinner with "local" friends.  At another point, there's adapting the car in whatever way we can to keep the cats comfy (or figuring out how to sneak them into hotel rooms for the second leg of travel).  Then, come June 10th, there's the loading of the storage container and the cleaning of the apartment.  Then there's the packing up of my car with all of our travel gear, saying one last goodbye to the neighbors, and hitting the road on the 14th!

... any "spare" positive thoughts, feelings, or vibes you can put "out there" in our direction WILL be felt and are greatly appreciated!

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Sunburn Saga

Last weekend, we set up at the flea market NOT facing the sunrise, and because it was overcast, I spent a couple hours in the morning wrapped up in a blanket.  Once the sun managed to burn through the cloud cover sufficient to raise the temperature (or possibly, once I'd been active enough), I shed the blanket... and got a raging sunburn for the several hours we had left to man our tables.

Having grown up in Miami, I had a very tan childhood.  I tan easily, and in Los Angeles, I'm active enough to "maintain" a tan without having to suffer a "first of the season" burn.  The last year-and-a-half in rural North Carolina, however, I haven't really had an opportunity to maintain my color.  Because of the overcast sky, I didn't think about the sun.  And frankly, because of my history, I've never really been a fan of sunscreen.  Thus, my "Yes, I am a moron" post from last Saturday.

It's been almost a week now.  We're heading back to the flea market on SUNDAY.  It's expected to be cooler weather, possibly overcast again, with a slight chance of rain.  I'm hoping that "chance" leaves the forecast before Sunday, because we really need it to be a blowout day so we don't have to plan to return ever.  We're ready to start pre-packing our storage container by filling an equivalent space in the spare room.  Can't do that yet if we've still got stuff to sell.

But the sunburn, you ask?  You saw how red it was.  I mentioned that sleeping hurt, because any turning I might do would stretch my already taut skin.  You want to know whether I'm a tan beauty yet?  I'll tell ya - it no longer hurts, but it's peelin'.  Beautiful tan thin layer peeling away to reveal more red. :P

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Welcome, GREECE!

I got FIVE, count 'em, 5 (five, five, five, five, let's sing a song of FIIIIIIIIIVE; how many is five? ... "five strawberry shortcaaaaaaaaaakes!") visitors from Greece today.  Somehow, Sonia sent me some folks... but Sonia calls herself the Aussie Ambassador for online shopping and vodka, which should  mean she found me via my ebay store?  But I think it's more likely she found me via Kelly.  But how does Greece figure into all of that?

I dunno, but I'm supercalifragilistic-expialadociously excited.  I've sung the Sesame Street counting song atcha, forgoodnesssake!  So, welcome, Grecians!  Dig around, let me know if you like what you see.

... maybe I should eat something.  My blood sugar seems to be surging or something. ;)

No news is good news?

Lately I've been hankerin' to write a poem or two for ya... or video blog, like the kids are doin' these days.  So I've created a short vlog that I think I attached here, but I don't see it in this space.  I've tried twice now, and I may give it one more attempt today, but I really dunno what's going on with it.

In other "news," I've decided that using the 1" guard on my electric trimmers has so many more benefits than I had originally thought:

  • super-easy to cut all the hair the same length without a mirror, even!
  • great head massage while it's happening (for as long as you wanna run it)
  • for the entertainment industry, this is definitely a "look" that will get me hired for more background work, particularly if they want ... lesbians - (hey, work is work, and who am I to fight the stereotyping of the background?)
  • it will easily lay flat for a more "sophisticated" or "professional" look as well
  • once it grows out a little, it'll do THIS with just a toweling out of the shower (no product!):

Tomorrow, an update on the sunburn saga.  Today there's rain and gloom and a mohawk.