moving some stuff around

Today was moving day! Not another moving day for me (thank goodness), but moving day for the office.

While I have several nagging worries about the new building (mostly having to do with me still getting to Crossfit on time after work and who I will be sitting near when we move), it will at least have WINDOWS. Many of them, so I hear. Maybe I won’t turn into a pale cubicle zombie this winter after all!

Actually, I lied about moving day; it’s really tomorrow. Today was packing day, and since I was one of maybe three people at work who do not have a looming deadline this week, I did lots of extra packing. Not that I minded.

In fact, I was secretly pleased for the change of pace. Whenever I’m doing a potentially boring task for long periods of time, I entertain myself by pretending that it’s my official job—like, if I’m cooking, I’m a chef; if I’m mowing, I’m a mower (landscaper? I’ve never paid anybody to do this, so I don’t actually know what they’re called); and if I’m packing I’m a mover. I try to do everything as deftly and efficiently as possible and act like I totally know what I’m doing.

I know, It doesn’t make ANY sense, since if I actually did any of these things as a job I would be sick of them, and probably I would like doing them much LESS than I do now. But, since when has the way my brain works made any sense?

At any rate, I had fun going around all day practicing for my future career change as a mover. However, a few aspects of my work might prevent anyone from hiring me to move their office. Or their morgue (don’t ask). Here are some things I now know (or suspect) about movers:

Movers are able to take simple instructions, without needing a demonstration.

Usually, the fact that I ask a zillion questions or need to be shown things multiple times is not so bizarre, because I do semi-complex tasks at work that might actually be a little confusing. But really, I should be able to follow directions like, “Put this stuff into the bin and label it,” without interrogating the person directing me.

Movers can write the number 5 legibly on a label so that others do not later mistake it for an S.

I do know what a five is shaped like. I just struggle to recreate that shape on paper, okay? I don’t know why, but I have major handwriting issues when it comes to the number 5, or the capital letter E.

Movers are taller than a measly 5’4” so they can reach things on top shelves. Without climbing.

Movers do not eat FOUR pieces of pizza for lunch and then feel kind of ill and a lot less like moving anything afterward.

I can’t help it. I got a little overexcited when my super cool boss bought pizza for the whole office. I haven’t had pizza in a very long time. And this was FREE pizza. I was a lot less productive after lunch.   

Movers wear pants that do not fall down every time they bend over, or if they do, they also wear belts.

I was so enthusiastic about the fact that we were allowed to wear casual clothes to work for two days, that I didn’t think about WHY we were wearing them (like, uh, maybe the fact that we were going to be bending over and crawling under desks to reach plugs and things).  I spent ALL DAY pulling my pants back up, and I’m sure everyone still got to see more of me than they were comfortable with.

Movers do not repeatedly bang expensive computers/monitors/printers against the wall while carrying them.

***

Based on meeting the actual movers at the end of the day, I also discovered that movers aren’t women (at least none of ours were), so apparently a career change is not in the cards for me after all.

On the bright side, I found two plates in the kitchen that I’m 95% sure belonged to me. So I stuck them in my bag and took them home, and now I’m 100% sure they belong to me.  

Also, I got to show off my Crossfit lifting skills and demonstrate that I could lift more than half the guys at work. I think they were judging me for being kind of manly, but it still made me happy. 😀

 

entirely too much information

I can’t help it, I don’t filter very well.

Two of my favorite roommates from college are coming to visit me the weekend before Christmas! I’m extra excited about it.

Although, I refuse to make any sort of comparison between these girls and Kass (who I have known forever, who is a saint, and who is possibly my very favorite person in the world), there’s a sort of rock solid intimacy bred from the way we had five extraordinarily different people crammed into one smallish apartment during junior and senior year.

Sometimes we would all be crammed into one single room of the apartment. Most of the time, it was the bathroom.

I sent B a text the other day, which read simply, “I miss living in an apartment where it’s ok to pee with the door open <3.”

While I did not always enjoy the Russian roulette of mornings spent trying to get thirty seconds on the toilet and still get to class on time, I didn’t mind living in an atmosphere in which it was entirely acceptable to yell, “Wait, I have to poop!” whenever someone was about to get in the shower.

Mostly, we started off being sort of polite and euphemistic when negotiation for time in the bathroom, but those discussions quickly degraded into saying what you meant as quickly and as clearly as possible if you had any hope of getting what you wanted.

One night, at whatever ungodly hour constituted bedtime to college students, K and I were in there doing the whole face-washing, teeth-brushing, pre-bedtime routine, while B was having a pee and chatting away about her day. All of a sudden her monologue trailed off.

“Oh no. Uhhh, guys, I kind of have to go to the bathroom.”

Puzzlement. “You just did.”

“No, I have to GO to the bathroom.” (This was code for having to poop, if you were trying not to sound like an out-and-out heathen.) “Could you guys leave for a minute? Shut the door on your way out! Thanks!”

We did do normal things together too sometimes, aside from hanging out in the bathroom. Mostly they revolved around food.

I’m trying to decide what to do with them when they come to visit. I have a feeling it’s going to have to involve alcohol, so maybe I’d better put my research hat on and finally try to find out what’s what as far as bars in the city are concerned.

can winter be over now?

I had to bribe myself to get out of bed this morning.

After four days at my parents’ with their woodstove running and a distinct lack of alarm clocks, I was really hating on my freezing cold 6am today.

Just get out of bed, and you can get right in the shower. It’s WARM in the shower.

Apparently, not enough persuasion. I couldn’t even get up and throw my sweatshirt on like usual, because I was already wearing it. And socks.

Okay, when you get out of bed, grab the space heater out of the hallway. Then you can run it in the bathroom! It will be warm in the shower and warm when you get out!

Roomie and I may need to reconsider our money-saving strategy of not using the heat until real winter kicks in. I don’t have the brain power to argue myself out of bed every morning. I have to save my energy for arguing with myself about more important things.

On another note, I officially got my GRE scores back from ETS this weekend (yeah, I don’t know what ETS stands for either, but it sounds awfully official), and I’m about 99 percent sure they’re good enough that I won’t have to take it again! That means I won’t have to spend another $175 on a second test. It’s like I’ve just earned myself $175! Sort of.

parks shouldn’t be this close to each other

I will never become a pirate. Or a taxi-cab driver. Or any occupation that requires the slightest sense of direction. In fact, I can barely navigate my way to the grocery store sometimes.

My worst navigation catastrophe (aka getting totally and incredibly lost) happened all because I turned into a runner at some point during senior year. My runner status was only accomplished through a combination of panic over the idea that I would soon no longer be a horseback rider and the fact that my roommates unexpectedly agreed to my ridiculous suggestion that we sign up for a 5K together.

At some point after crossing the 5K barrier but before I was used to the idea of running for hours at a time, I decided it would be a cool idea to go running at the park. Mostly, it seemed like a cool idea because it was sunny out, and the weekend, and everybody in the world seemed to have some sort of fun plans for the day that didn’t involve me. Running in the park made it seem like I had plans too. Even though I was still just running and it was still just me. It just seemed more legit. Like now, if somebody did ask me to do anything that day, I would be like, “I’m busy. I’m going to the park to run.”

So I packed up and drove the 10 or so miles over to the only park I knew how to get to. (Notice the navigational challengedness already showing its ugly face? Too bad I didn’t.) And I got there ok. And I parked the car. (So far so good.) And I tied my car key to my shoe laces.

And then I wandered around the parking/boat launching area for about 15 minutes trying to figure out where the hell any of the trails were.

I knew they must be there, because I had spotted one of those big wooden signs with a map of the park’s trails on it. I even had the foresight to study it for a little while, just long enough to register that none of them were longer than 3 miles. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Even I could not possibly get lost on trails this short.

After taking a shortcut behind some park buildings and through some poison ivy, I managed to find my way onto one of these trails. I ran for a half hour; this was easy! 45 minutes; I had gotten a pretty good workout. One hour; ok, that was good, I was ready to be done now.

Two hours later, I was getting desperate. I was tired and thirsty and stranded in the middle of the jungle light years away from civilization. And all I had with me was my freaking car key! Had I thought there were going to be cars in the jungle?! I had brought no cell phone, no water bottle, and had not seen another human being the entire time I was out there. I was going to die, for sure.

Finally I muddled my way to some nature center (civilization, at last!) where, I hoped, there must be at least one other person. After bursting through the doors and guzzling down a half gallon of water at the first water fountain I spotted—which, in hindsight, I suspect was meant for little children, based on its extreme shortness—I made my way over to the friendly lady behind the information desk.

I explained that I was lost.

She patiently informed me that I WAS IN THE WRONG PARK.

Wait. What?

I had somehow worked my way out of the park I started in, with its manageably short trails, and ended up in an adjoining park that I didn’t know was there.

I think the nice information lady sort of realized that I wasn’t grasping the directions she was trying to tell me, because 10 minutes later, I left the nature center with TWO maps (one for each park) that had the exact trails I needed to follow marked in pink highlighter.

By this point, I was completely disoriented, and since it took me about 10 seconds to forget any verbal directions I may have been told, all I had to go on was the highlighter on those maps.

I eventually came to a fork in the path, and consulted my map(s). I should take trail four here. I looked at the signs. To the left: trail four. To the right: trail four. Huh. . . . I took trail four. It brought me back to that exact same fork. on. trail. four.

I had just run an extra loop.

My exhaustion/dehydration-induced confusion had kept me from realizing that I was already on the section of trail four that the map told me to take, and that I was going in the WRONG direction. Armed with my new knowledge gained from running the needless loop, I headed back in the other direction, where I proceeded to become more and more frustrated with the unclear map and/or poor marking of trails.

I may have tossed the maps aside at some point. It was not my most intelligent or proudest moment. (Dear Mother Nature, I am sorry for being a litterbug. It won’t happen again.)

After running for THREE hours, I finally wandered my way out onto a main road. The good news was that I recognized it as a road that I had taken to get to the park. I knew where I was! The bad news was that it was at least three miles from where I had parked my car. But I couldn’t think of any solution other than to drag my dirty, sweaty self down Mainstreet and walk all the way back to my car. (Running was no longer an option at this point.)

This is the most tempted I have ever been to hitchhike, despite my mother’s warnings about stranger danger and getting into unknown cars with potential axe murderers. But I strongly suspected that none of these civilized people wanted a disgusting ragamuffin in their cars anyway. I could feel them staring at me as they drove past, wondering what my story was: “Did you see that disgusting girl stumble out of the woods just now? I wonder if she lives in there?”

At least I managed to walk back to my car without getting lost or passing out.

And that is the story of why I will never run in the park by myself anymore.

thanksgiving

I have this problem with weekends at my parents’ house. (Okay, technically, it’s Thanksgiving, not the weekend, but not having to get up early or go anywhere makes it pretty much the same thing.)

The problem is that we had horses here up until a few months ago, and while I did not always ride the horses—usually because there was snow on the ground, but sometimes just because I was lazy—the horses ALWAYS needed to be fed. And while my saintly parents were willing to take care of them when I was at school, they were MY horses, so I fed them when I was back.

I got used to the routine. Every day that I was home, roll out of bed, put some jeans on, put a real bra on, put some additional clothes on if it’s cold, hike down to the barn to see my boys do the morning chores. THEN come back up to the house, eat breakfast, start my day, etc.

But now I’m completely wide awake (my inability to sleep in is topped only by my dad’s; he was up at 4am this morning, I kid you not), with no reason to get up. I can’t just get up and start doing normal things like baking the blueberry pie I promised Mom I would finish in time for Thanksgiving dinner today, because I need some sort of morning routine first.

Eating breakfast would work perfectly, but I’m not hungry. Of course, this is my own fault, as I’m a closet night eater: I wait until everyone else has gone to sleep (not difficult here, as everyone goes to bed around 9:30) and then sneak some sort of snack up to my room to eat in bed.

Judge away, I know I deserve it.

This process always sort of worked for me before, because I would have an hour down at the barn to work up an appetite. Then I would eat breakfast, and then I would feel like my day was ready to start. Instead, I’m lying in bed blogging, which isn’t likely burn me any calories.

I clearly need a new morning routine while I’m here. Or I need to stop this sneaky night eating thing.

On another note, IT’S THANKSGIVING! Here are ten things (big and little) that I’m thankful for, out of too many to count:

  1. I’m thankful for my grown-up job. I may not always want to be there, but I would so rather have it than not, and as far as jobs go, it’s pretty cool.
  2. I’m thankful for my parents; they are saints. They must be, to have raised me.
  3. I’m thankful for the fireplace in my apartment because it’s warm and cozy, and most important of all, because we can make s’mores ALL THE TIME.
  4. I’m thankful for cherry chapstick, or chapstick in general. If there is one thing besides air and water that I cannot make it through my day without, chapstick would probably come before food. My name is Anna Schmitt, and I am a chapstick addict.
  5. I’m thankful to Kass for putting up with me as a roommate; there’s a lot to put up with.
  6. I’m thankful for Crossfit (the sport and the people). It’s one of the few things that make a new city feel like home to me. And I’m thankful to Madeline for introducing me to it, even if I don’t get to WOD with her very often.
  7. I’m thankful to have had horses in my life. So much of me is made of what I learned from them.
  8.  I’m thankful for the existence of audiobooks. They are a lifesaver for people like me who read at a glacial pace.
  9. I’m thankful for my running shoes (which were a present from my sis). They feel like antigravity shoes. I could never run distance without them anymore.
  10. I’m thankful for kind people and beautiful things.

the non-productivity spiral

I have to pack. I have to pack. I have to pack.

I’m driving to mom and dad’s house after work tomorrow night for Thanksgiving. It’s going to take me about 4 hours what with rush hour traffic AND day-before-Thanksgiving traffic. So I’m clearly not interested in stopping home before I leave.

But I can’t seem to get motivated to pack.

I’m quickly slipping down the spiral of non-productivity. I thought I would have some more freelance stuff to do tonight, but they haven’t sent it. I thought I would bake something to bring to the office, but I don’t have ingredients for anything and don’t want to go shopping right before I leave town. The only thing left on my list right now is pack.

Thus, I have obviously not started packing because there’s no urgency: the downward spiral of non-productivity.

Maybe I can tempt myself by listening to an audiobook while I do my packing. I do like my audiobooks.

Lookit how short that blog post was! Success. I can write short stuff … sometimes.

sweaters, laundry, and my inability to keep my mouth shut

I make such a to-do out of these blog posts. I start out with one idea and then end up writing FOREVER about it, or more often, about something completely different. It’s a blog: posts don’t have to be novels. So I’m going to have some practice writing short stuff now. Secretly, it’s just because I can’t think what to write about.

I love the sweater I have on today, mostly because it’s made of cotton and weighs about 5 tons, so although it may not be as warm as wool, it sure FEELS like it must be warm. Plus it has a zipper instead of buttons. It also has a faint hint of pink in places a gray sweater probably shouldn’t be pink, as though it may have gone through the wash with something it shouldn’t (thankfully, my office is very much on the casual side of business casual, so I don’t feel like a complete and total goober for wearing something like this.)

It’s true that I almost never sort my laundry by color, but I feel compelled to point out that I didn’t get pink on the sweater myself; I bought it that way at Goodwill and just failed to notice the pink—possibly a worse oversight, one could argue.

I LOVE shopping at Goodwill, but my mom keeps telling me that I have to stop telling people that’s where I get my clothes. Possibly, it’s not that fact that I tell people this so much as the way in which I tell them that she takes issue with. People don’t usually ask where I bought my clothes or how much I paid for them. I freely volunteer the information in conversations that go something like this:

Friend: “I like your (insert article of clothing).”

Me: “Thanks! I got it at Goodwill for like two bucks!”

Friend: “Oh. Okay then.”

I can’t seem to break the habit. My mouth is already on auto-response by the time my brain has time to filter what I’m saying.

I wish my co-workers wouldn’t complement my clothing though. It makes me cringe every time they do because it means they’ve definitely noticed what I’m wearing, meaning they will definitely notice if I wear the same thing again tomorrow.

… so much for a short blog post! Geesh. Next time, I guess.