the danish outpost
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the numbers game

24.12.2001

feeling kinda how a girl feels

whoofdy. almost didn't think i was going to make it thru yesterday. i thought my arms were going to fall off.

i woke up plenty early to get everything done. odd, when i have a family obligation, i wake up compulsively early. most days, i could sleep thru heavy construction. but somehow, my brain knows i have deadlines and obligations, and keeps stewing away while i'm asleep, working on lists and to dos. and then it wakes me up, primed for bear.

so i got up, showered, shaved my legs, generally cleaned up. side note: i had forgotten about the insulating properties of hair. well, yes, fine, i wear my hair short and am fully cognizant of every winter breeze. but legs? i hadn't shaved them in ages, because i wear jeans every day, and why bother? i'm wearing a skirt for Christmas dinner, that's why bother now. lathered up and shaved, put on some lotion, and slipped into my jeans. boy, did it feel weird! it's as if my skin is now hypersensitive, having been protected so long (no pun intended). made my legs feel all skittery. and cold, when i stepped outside.

okay, back to the day. stepped out to get cat food, left a huge mixing bowl of food just in case, refilled their water (they have a Poland Spring-like dispenser to make sure they always have water), and cleaned out the litter box. packed up my stuff, and was quite proud of being able to pack for three days in just a backpack. made sure everything was locked up and turned off, and headed out a few minutes early, laden down with backpack and bags, to catch the bus to the subway to the train. and as i walked down the block, i saw the bus pull out and go sailing off.

augh! i had left myself plenty of time to get down to South Station, but i was still freaked out. what now? wait for the next bus and chance getting there in time? what if there was a line for tickets? what if the bus was full? do i get a cab? do i cab it to the T, or South Station? gah!!

after a few minutes of freaked out deliberation, i checked the schedules and determined that i could get the next bus at the top of the hill. i had 15 minutes to walk up there. so i turned around, walked back past my house, and started up the hill.

mind you, it's not a big hill, and i only had about 4 blocks to go. but i had a fully stuffed backpack and two large bags, probably 40 pounds of stuff altogether (i'm guessing). it felt like 140 by the time i was halfway there. but i couldn't stop. if i stopped to put down the bags for a minute, i'd never pick them up again, and i'd be late, and i'd see bus #2 go sailing past me. so i kept taking small steps, chanting to myself, and mentally refiguring the distance left every few feet. 'almost there, almost there...'

made it with plenty of time to spare, thankfully. and i swear, if i'm not confident enough with the standard next time i need to do this, i'm renting a car. or mailing all the presents.

figured out a way to get a chai when i got to the bus station. this was a challenge, as i didn't have a free hand, and couldn't really put the bags down anywhere. managed to get one of them up over my shoulder to free up a hand, and was so grateful to have a large vat of vanilla sugary caffeine in one hand, two jelly donuts tucked away in one of the other bags. wolfed down one donut and an orange juice while waiting for the bus, and sipped the chai all the way down.

getting on the bus was a challenge, too. bags on each arm? i squashed my way thru the door and plunked down in the very first seat, checking to make sure i hadn't mangled anything. Teddy Bear seemed none the worse for wear, nor did the gifts.

i realized all over again, during this little saga, that i obsess about the oddest things. to wit: i play a lot of Canfield. the point of the game is to earn money by completing the hand. i will keep playing until the total is some multiple of $500. it bothers me to have a score that doesn't multiply neatly. volume controls? the stereo has to be on even numbers (never 13) or a multiple of 5. the cable volume *has* to be a multiple of 5. and when i'm stressed, i count my steps.

i'll count my steps from one room to another, walking down stairs, going up escalators... i'll count the steps on each flight of stairs and add them up. if it's an odd number, it's some sort of luck. if it's an even number, that's satisfying in a different way. i don't know why that's the compulsion that comes out under stress, but there you have it. i mentioned it to my mom, and she said she does the same thing with words in a sentence. i wonder if you can have a genetic predisposition for certain quirks?

anyway, despite all the counting and plodding, made it down to the Cape safely, and am ready for a few quiet days with family. more about that in a bit. hope you have a lovely Christmas Eve!

yesterday :: tomorrow

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