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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Dawn Does "Ditzy" in Three Acts

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Dawn Does "Ditzy" in Three Acts

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beer wine beer
This is my way of affirming to everyone in LJLand that I am still alive: by telling you stupid stories from my daily life.

Act I

The scene is early in the morning, about 6:45 a.m., and Bobby and I are both preparing to go to work. Bobby makes himself some oatmeal, so I ask him to leave the kettle on so that I can use what's left of the hot water to make the travel mug of tea that I require to get through my hour-and-fifteen-minute morning commute.

I am not a morning person, so it generally takes me forever and a half to get ready, not because I concern myself with vanities like putting on makeup or even combing my hair, but because I tend to find myself in the middle of doing things but really staring into space for the past five minutes.

So, by the time I get to the kettle, much of the water has been boiled away.

To understand how Act I concludes, one must understand our tea kettle. It is a two-piece kettle, with a separate lid that in no way locks into the kettle itself, thus easily dislodging itself. Because I didn't want to put on more water and didn't want to chance watering down my caffeine tea with warm tap water, I tipped the kettle as far as it would go to drain it of every. last. drop.

I tipped it until the lid tumbled right off and onto the floor.

Which released all the steam trapped in there for fifteen minutes by that point, directly onto the first knuckles of my right hand clutching the kettle.

And I still had to top off my travel mug with warm water from the tap.

Needless to say, my knuckles screamed at me all the way to work. They are now a charming pink color and puffed up a little, but no blisters so far, and they've chilled out enough that I can comfortably type. Right now, I don't feel inclined to ask for much more than that.

Act II

I would forget to bring my head with me if it was not attached to my shoulders and further attached to my person by virtue of my long hair, which tends to get caught down in my trousers and so on. I forget my travel mug at work just about every other day. This I know because, every other day, I have to take Bobby's.

Today, I was determined not to forget it. Determined!

When I go to work, I more resemble a pack mule tricked out for a two-week trek across a featureless desert than a young woman going to work at her quiet office job. First is Pengolodh Lord of Gondolin, who travels in his laptop case (yes, Gondolin) and is as heavy as the super-tall "real" Pengolodh Lord of Gondolin probably would have been, enough that I have to walk on a slant to shoulder his weight. Add to that one or two cinder-block-sized literature anthologies for my schoolwork. One will usually fit in Gondolin with Pengolodh; the other usually has to be carried in my arms. Also in my arms is my hardback paper Bag of Weasels. Half of the week, I take my lunch in an old grocery sack, which may or may not include a gallon-sized glass jar of water (since I trust the public water in Jessup about as much as I trust drinking the water that pools out back on the parking pad). And of course my purse, which is large enough to hold a paperback book; that and a strap long enough to wear it over my shoulder are my only two requirements for a purse. Finally is, of course, the travel mug of tea.

The only things that I can remember to bring to and from work with me are Pengolodh and my schoolbooks. So, if I want to remember to take something home with me, I either have to put it in Gondolin or set it on top of my schoolbooks on my desk.

So, upon finishing my tea today, I sat the travel mug on top of my schoolbooks so that I would not forget it.

However, because I had not yet begun my schoolwork, then I had to move it again in order to open the books to read them. Which set me up to forget the travel mug, which I did.

Luckily for me, it was not all a wash. Once I got in the car and realized my error, I also realized that I had left Bobby's travel mug in the car the day prior. Well here was something of an opportunity for redemption! I could barely carry all that I had with me anyway, so I would bring Bobby's mug into the house with me rather than mine, wash it up, and use it tomorrow, per tradition. Tomorrow, hopefully, I could remember to bring mine home and bring them both into the house.

I drove home (see Act III). Upon arrival, I made a very strong mental note to remember Bobby's travel mug. Because it was very warm today, I wore a sweater instead of my coat to work but didn't wear the sweater in the car driving home because it was too hot. So I wrapped the travel mug in the sweater and went into the house.

After talking to Bobby for a few minutes, I realized that I had left the travel mug outside in the car. Again. Thoroughly pissed at myself, I debated whether I wanted to go back outside for it. Well, in the meantime, I decided to hang up my sweater.

In the process of unfolding it, out rolled the travel mug, which I had forgotten that I hadn't forgotten.

Act III

Last night, it was raining. Bobby needs a new windshield wiper on his car, so when he went out to pickup hockey, he asked me if he could use my car instead. Of course I didn't mind.

I have a bitter loathing of certain small tasks in life and put off doing them as long as I can. I am a master of both delayed gratification and delayed mortification. Putting gas in the car is one thing I do not like to do. I don't know why; it's such a stupid thing. But, throughout the week, I watch the gas gauge and try to estimate how many times I can make it to work and back before I will need to fill up, and I'm really annoyed if I don't make it to my goal. I'm also really annoyed if I do, because I still have to put gas in the car.

I had figured out earlier in the week that I would need to fill up on Thursday morning. What I didn't figure was Bobby taking my car to hockey. No mind; I had enough to get to work. I would stop on the way home.

I even left work five minutes early to remind myself!

I work in Jessup, which is quite literally the location of half the state prisons in Maryland. So it's not the nicest place to get gas, what with recently released prisoners walking down to the B&W Parkway to hitch-hike all the time.

So I really didn't want to fill up in Jessup. Besides the fact that every pump in Jessup seems to have some weird malfunction. Either it won't let me lock the handle in place or it pumps about a gallon per minute, ensuring that I am standing outside watching the ex-cons strolling past for a good fifteen minutes or so.

I thought about stopping in Columbia, but Columbia is so expensive.

But I had enough to make it up the interstate to my exit, where there is a Citgo about a mile off my route home. I would stop there.

I should mention that I had to take a detour to return a library book. Bobby and I went out on Monday for me to buy ice cream ingredients and return the book, and I forgot to bring the book. I put it in my car the next morning so that I wouldn't forget again. Yesterday, it was raining and traffic was awful, so I didn't stop. It was a beautiful day today, though, so I figured I'd detour into Westminster too before my overdue fines force us to take out a second mortgage on the house.

Somewhere between deciding not to stop for gas in Columbia and getting off the interstate, I forgot to detour to the Citgo. I did, however, remember to go into Westminster, where there are lots of gas stations. However, I failed to remember to stop at one of them.

Library book returned, I headed home to Manchester. When the light at Hampstead-Mexico Road (no it does not go to "real" Mexico) turned green, I put my foot on the gas and ...

And ...

The car finally lurched reluctantly forward. At which point I realized, Oh shit, I forgot to stop for gas!

I do not know how an otherwise intelligent woman sets off for more than an hour-long drive home with the gas gauge nearly on E--and fully realizes this!--and then proceeds to forget, over the course of the next hour-and-a-half, all about that fact. I suppose the same way that I forgot about the cup I deliberately rolled into my sweater and forgot about the existence of gravity.

The next three miles or so going home were interesting. Luckily, Route 27 has a wide shoulder all along, so I knew that if the car suddenly conked out, I could easily coast out of the way of traffic. I tried coasting most of the way home, which worked half of the time, since I live in the foothills of the Appalachians. So it worked whenever I was rolling downhill. Uphill was another story. There is a Sheetz in town, and I briefly pondered passing the ol' homestead and filling up there, but all I could imagine was waiting at the light in town and the car conking out and being the cause of a backup all the way down 27. So I decided to try to make it home instead and use what Bobby had in the gas can for the lawnmower to make it to the Sheetz tomorrow morning.

Since we live just a little downhill from the highest point in Carroll County, there is no way to get to our house but up unless you start in an aircraft. It is really interesting driving up a steep hill with a nearly empty tank of gas. The car would jerk forward a few meters, lose power, jerk forward again, lose power ... I was convinced that I was going to break down at any moment, but I made all the way up the hill to home.

Now, the key tomorrow will be remembering that I need to get gas before driving down to Jessup because I will not be able to make that journey on E twice!
  • Oh, Dawn! I hope your burns heal fast!

    I remember those literature anthologies (most of my friends in college were English or writing majors). Cinder block is an accurate description.

    And of course my purse, which is large enough to hold a paperback book; that and a strap long enough to wear it over my shoulder are my only two requirements for a purse. Ditto, with the addition of being large enough to hold both pairs of sunglasses (one's clip-on, the other's fitover) and a tiny notebook.

    And I hate pumping gas as well. I really, really do.
    • My despondent Maglor sees your despondent Maglor! :D

      My family found out firsthand about the "cinderblock" when we traveled to the UK last fall and I took along the first volume of The Norton Anthology of English Literature. They left Scotland a day before my husband and I did so carried my book back for me ... >:^))))

      I can also fit my writing journal into my purse. And a 20-oz bottle of soda (not for sneaking into movies, of course ...)
  • Oy vey, what a day! You are owed a day when everything goes right.

    It strikes me that, if your hair keeps getting caught in stuff, it might be worth putting it up occasionally.

    On the other hand,

    And of course my purse, which is large enough to hold a paperback book; that and a strap long enough to wear it over my shoulder are my only two requirements for a purse.

    You are clearly a woman with good taste in purses.
    • I do wear my hair up about half the time ... but even with hair sticks, my hair is so long and heavy that it gives me a headache! I do wear it up whenever it's hazardous to do otherwise. Like vacuuming. I vacuumed up my hair once, which was not fun.

      There was a shampoo commercial a couple years ago with a woman with very long hair whose male friend decided to "play" and tie her hair to an immovable metal bar. Yeah. Did not find that funny. He's lucky that long-haired woman wasn't me.

      You are clearly a woman with good taste in purses.

      Well, thank you! The long strap requirement is because (surprise surprise) if I cannot attach my purse to my person, then I forget it places. >.
      • whose male friend decided to "play" and tie her hair to an immovable metal bar

        Please tell me that the commercial ended with her totally ripping the bar out of the wall using her long hair made even stronger by the wonder formula of the shampoo, grabbing the bar and then beating the guy with it.

        The long strap requirement is because (surprise surprise) if I cannot attach my purse to my person, then I forget it places

        That's why I like the strap, too. One less thing to make sure I have in my hands.
        • Please tell me that the commercial ended with her totally ripping the bar out of the wall using her long hair made even stronger by the wonder formula of the shampoo, grabbing the bar and then beating the guy with it.

          I wish. It was more like "Ha ha you tied me up by my hair while I was ordering my skylight snowball teehee that's funneee. *two-handed girly slaps*"
          • Skylight snowball?
            • Yes, it's a pink-and-blue snowball (sno cone? I've heard that snowballs are a Maryland thing?); the taste is hard to describe beyond "sugary." I haven't had one since I was a kid.

              I have no idea who thought up the name "skylight" ...
              • Allow me to say . . . ewwwwww. I'll stick with the tomato soup cake and lemon bars I made this week, thanks ever so.
    • Yeah, snowballs (especially skylight!) are definitely something I've left behind in childhood! Kind of like cotton candy. Concentrated sugar-syrup over ice chips? *shudder*
    • Btw, tomato soup cake sounds intriguing ...
      • It is. It's one of those wonderfully weird recipes dating to WWII rationing, and the original recipe is straight from the Campbell's Soup Company.

        Here is the recipe I used; I'm pretty sure it's the original. I didn't do the frosting, though, since I didn't have time. Instead, I just dusted the top of the cake with confectioner's sugar, which looks pretty, tastes good, and is much lower in fat than cream cheese frosting.
  • I make Kurt go put gas in my car. Or, I take it to the one full service station in town even though it costs 5 cents more a gallon.

    I have a lovely travel mug. It has been forgotten on top of the car so many times that it has dents in it from bouncing on the pavement. I sort of like that actually... gives it character.

    :D
    • My icon in answer to your icon. ;)

      I agree! That is character! :D Mine is terribly bland: silver and black, perfectly round and undented.

      Bobby will quite often put gas in my car for me as well. Especially in the winter when I really struggle! He's a good husband. :D
  • Oh noes! You know I was imagining how you'd walk down the hallway at work and suddenly it struck me, you need a belt with a holder of somesort for your tea mug ;) You'd look awesome with that.

    I am not a morning person myself but these days I have no sense of mornings whatsoever, but I can relate to the staring into space a lot.

    However, I am wondering if there is enough gas in the mowing machine for you to get that far. Wouldn't it be something for Murphy to do that to you?

    Edit: salve with calendula works very well for burns like that!

    Edited at 2009-02-12 10:49 am (UTC)
    • You know I was imagining how you'd walk down the hallway at work and suddenly it struck me, you need a belt with a holder of somesort for your tea mug ;) You'd look awesome with that.

      LMAO! That would be awesome! :D It could be like the belt that I used to wear to Ren Faires with my pewter mug hooked onto it. Plus, it would make my coworkers think I'm even weirder than they already do. ;)

      However, I am wondering if there is enough gas in the mowing machine for you to get that far. Wouldn't it be something for Murphy to do that to you?

      It would figure ... luckily, the gas station in town is only about 3 km away and it's all downhill! :D I barely have to touch the gas pedal at all to make it into town, only to get started again at the two traffic lights.

      Edit: salve with calendula works very well for burns like that!

      Thank you! After a good night's sleep, the pain was completely gone the next day. I <3 my immune system like that. Today, however, my knuckle started peeling, which was weird. Really weird.
  • Yeouch! What a day. You deserve a triple chocolate smoochie served by an elf (preferrably Feanorian). ;-D

  • The only reason why I don't run out of gas once a week is because I seldom use the car to commute so the drives are around the neighborhood and I can get to the gas station just with the last wiff of gas. I dread it when my husband uses my car because there is usually a ten minute rant about how dirty it is and how I never have a reasonable amount of gas but, as you said:
    >I am a master of both delayed gratification and delayed mortification
    • I envy you: I wish I didn't have to drive to work! :D

      Bobby can't complain about the state of my car. His is just as bad. (Okay, maybe not quite as bad, but mine is doubly messy because I have the larger vehicle, so it's the one that gets used for moving firewood, rocks, and leaves!)

      We generally only clean the interiors of our cars when we expect guests riding in them. We never clean the exteriors--what a waste of time! :D
  • Sigh... I hate kettles for precisely that reason, which I consider a MAJOR design flaw, btw.

    I knew someone in college who was always loosing his CUPPS cup (you have those?) so he got what amounted to an old-school phone cord (the curly kind) to attach his cup to his bag, so he'd never leave it behind. Granted, this only worked since his cup was unbreakable plastic (he often wound up dragging it off the table as his way of reminding him to take it along with him), and would only work if you don't mind having your beverage tethered, but it DID stop him from losing cups on campus.

    Good luck, and thanks for the lovely mental image of the distracted scholar's life! ;)
    • Thank you ... I need it! :D

      It's rather funny because a lot of people have replied to comment, "Oh, what an awful day!" but it just felt quite normal to me. Maybe slightly more absurd than usual, but as I was chugging up the hill on fumes, I was thinking, "This is the sort of day that will really amuse my LJ friends." ;)

      The phone cord on the cup is a really good idea! If I did that for everything that I need to bring with me and routinely forget, all I'd need was the JUST MARRIED sign to complete the picture!
  • Argh! I hope your poor scalded hand heals quickly... :/

    And congratulations on getting your car home on gas-fumes and will-power ;D
    • Hehe ... thank you! :D

      My fingers had stopped hurting by the next morning; it turned out to be an injury that looked much worse than it really was. Today, the knuckle of my ring finger started peeling. I've never had peeling knuckles before! It was weird but kind of interesting. (Am I the only sick person in the world who enjoys peeling a sunburn? Actually, come to think of it, my husband does too ... that makes at least two of us!)
  • Ouch! Steam scalds HURT! *sympathy*

    *sends you an electric cordless kettle* ;)
    • Awwww ... thank you! (I initially hit the row of keys below where I should have and typed Asssss ... ;)

      It hurt less while it was actually being burned than afterward! That was miserable.

      But my fingers started peeling today. Fun! :D
  • Ouch! You poor thing!
  • My goodness, that sounds like an ordeal. I dread running out of gas one day coming home from work or school. I've been lucky so far, but now that I've said anything, you know what's going to happen. ^.^'

    And hey, it's Beer Wine Beer! Ah, good times. Speaking of which, I'm looking forward to the Bears game. I'm pumped!
    • So. Did you run out of gas this week? ;D

      Beer Wine Beer indeed! I love their little kicking legs. Which are surprisingly shapely and sexy.

      (Slash!)

      I'm really looking forward to the game too! I bet your hair has grown another foot since last I saw you! I'm going to try to sit next to you so that I can regale you with

      "Make the pass! Make-make-make the pass! Make-make the pass! Make the pass! ... Fight! *oooo weeee oooo weeee oooo weeee*"

      >:^D
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