If Only the Unabomber Had Easy Access to Trader Joe's

I am still alive, if only barely — and not that you should have been wondering, or anything; I just intended to be back here and posting ages ago.  I’ve been busy busy busy, and have had only approximately 47 things to tell you about, but I’ve just been too exhausted to bother with any of it.

The past ten days or so have felt like a month, and I can barely even remember now all of the things I had to say.  I can tell you that I had composed a delicious ranting bitchfest about the highway system in the middle of Big City, which assaulted me multiple times and in varied-yet-always-horrible situations lately, but as I was in the car and attempting to drive while composing this glorious screed, I did not actually write it down anywhere and thus it is now lost to the ether of tears and forgetting.

One little detail for you to cherish, however: the highway on-ramps in midtown were all closed off for repairs, which sent me on a brutal bumper-to-bumper venture into downtown, where I spent an hour looking for another way to get back on the highway.  An hour, people.  Much of said hour, by the way, was spent waiting through three or four (FOUR) cycles at each stoplight, because so many fellow motorists were being diverted from the highway and were clogging the narrow downtown streets.  Finally, resignedly, cursing, fists shaking, I had to drive back UPTOWN (as in THROUGH MIDTOWN, WHERE I HAD JUST FUCKING BEEN) to find the only ramp I knew wasn’t shut down. All of this for my beloved Trader Joe’s.

Which brings me to one good thing about Big City: it has a Trader Joe’s, an IKEA, and an H&M, all three of which businesses happily took money from me in the past week, and I happily gave it to them.  The glories of seven-dollar aviator sunglasses, four-dollar Italian Pinot grigio, and Swedish candle holders that were so cheap I was practically paid to take them — these are only some of the wonders of Big City and its many affordable, fashionable, imported goods.

All of the above is basically a microcosm of the past week and a half: lots of wonderful things that were completely worth the nuisances they entailed.  So I am exhausted from it all, but feeling mainly satisfied.  I had a great time visiting with my out-of-town friends, and we all enjoyed getting caught up on each other’s lives, drinking and smoking a little bit too much, and completely geeking out over Dr. HorribleSuomichris, for example, repeatedly woke me up in the morning with a rousing chorus of “Bad Horse, Bad Hoooooorse! He rides across the nation, the thoroughbred of sin….”  (And if you have seen the show, I challenge you not to get that song stuck in your head for at least forty-eight hours!)

When I got back to New Wye, the going-away festivities for my three friends were many and festive.  I hosted the big official party, where there was much wine, many mini-quiches (thank you, Trader Joe’s!), many sad toasts, some booty shaking, and lots of hugs.  It was a really good night, but I think the stress/excitement maaaaay have led me to drink a leeeetle too much of the wine, thereby leaving me gripping the sides of my mattress as I lay in bed later, trying desperately to keep myself from falling off the dangerously spinning planet.  How very collegiate and embarrassing of me.  It’s a good thing no one but the dog knows about this.  Well, and all of you.

We also had, among other get-togethers, our last night at pub trivia (which we won, hello!) and a night of dance- and fashion-based reality television, each event getting slightly smaller than the one before as people one-by-one left town.  In between all of this stuff I have also been dog sitting, helping people pack/move, and covering people’s classes.  While I am obviously more than happy to be able to see people as much as possible before they move, and also am happy to be able to help out with whatever odds and ends I can, I’m also just completely drained right now, which means I will be holing up in my apartment like the Unabomber until I once again achieve mental equilibrium.

I am a tad crazy that way.  Not necessarily letter-bomb crazy, but perhaps remote-mountain-cabin crazy.  I have to have my alone time on a regular basis or I get overloaded and off kilter.  Doesn’t that happen to you, too, or are you guys all the happiest-in-a-crowd social butterfly types? I’m not entirely anti-social — my calendar is always fairly tightly packed, in fact — but at heart I am a bit of a loner.  (Like Nietzsche, Gandalf, and Professor Moriarty, I am one of these — a cold-hearted, logical bitch.)  After a long day of work or socializing, I can’t go right to bed — not with the thoughts of the day still swirling around in my head.  If I try that, I’ll just wind up rehashing conversations and events, wondering how they would have gone if shaped slightly differently.  It’s not exactly l’esprit d’escalier, or at least not always — just a lot of retroactive analysis that usually is in no way useful and merely prevents me from falling asleep.  Instead of falling prey to this, I have to spend at least a couple of hours winding down: reading, writing, watching TV or movies, drinking wine and singing, manicures, or any number of other solo activities.  This is so essential to my sanity that even if I’ve stayed out so late I should by all standards get my ass to bed as soon as I get home, I’m still just constitutionally unable to.  This, as one might imagine, leads to too many late, late nights.  So that’s been happening lately, too.

At times like these, I need at least 24 hours alone to recuperate.  (Wow, I’m sounding so completely sane here, and not at all unbalanced.) (That was sarcastic.)  Tonight I have successfully gotten started on Mission: Lone Wolf, which has so far involved pajamas, The Decemberists, some bad romantic comedies (my absolute Achilles heel of taste), and a very nice dinner — the latter of which is also thanks to Trader Joe’s.  I think I will put away the computer and go fetch some of that four-dollar wine, come to think of it.  At this rate, that horribly stressful trip to Trader Joe’s is paying off more than I could have predicted.

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