Little Tiny Fixes

I dropped my phone again. Now it looks like a taxi cab from Royal Tenenbaums.

There is nothing to be done about that.  I went on a rant awhile back, about how I didn’t have to put up with matchbox fortunes I didn’t like or phones that were busted. I got fired up and kind of taunted the universe about being master of my own fate, and replaced my shattered phone.  Two weeks later I dropped the replacement.  I can’t afford to replace the replacement.  I know better than to taunt the universe like that. Fun thing is, after I shattered the replacement and held it together by a screen protector, all of the little swoosh and clickety-click and tritone announcements stopped.  I haven’t missed them a bit.  Then I dropped my phone again this week, shortly after Dawg gnawed on one corner of it while I wasn’t looking, and all the swooshy sounds came back.  And I’m all, “Fell down a well, eyes go crossed! Gets kicked by a mule, they uncross again! I don’t know.

It’s been that kind of phase.  The list of things waiting on repair in my household is comical, which is why I’m not fixing my phone until I upgrade in a couple of months.  I’m just going to duct tape everything that needs fixing, including my knee, and keep turning my HVAC on and off at the outside switch box as needed. You know.  Like people do. Thank heavens it is neither hot nor cold these days. I don’t even want to know what they’ll charge to fix a thermostat that gets stuck on “heat.”

But know what? I’ve been fixing some small things, because it makes me feel like I have some control over this phase in which a lot of things are busted.

1) I started with my desk:

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It’s a work in progress.  I’m at my computer pretty much all the time, which is a new thing for me, and after about 3 months of constant sitting, I was feeling it.  So just as an experiment, I made a standing desk out of $9 worth of materials. I’ve been standing all day, except for an hour or so in the middle.  The first couple of weeks were great, except for the last three hours of my 8-6 workday.  Ouch.  But now that I’m used to it, I really like it.  Did you know that too much sitting doesn’t just burn less calories, it changes your blood chemistry and metabolism?  I did not know that.  But I feel better, just in general.  And sometimes I dance at my desk.

2) I changed my parking space.  I’m approximately 50 feet closer to my office than I was before.  The difference is, for $7 more a month, it’s paved. As a general rule I walk more than half the time, but when I do that walk to my car in heels in the rain? I deserve paved.  Such a small change.  Such a huge morale boost.

3) And then I decided that, since I was standing all day and overhauling my work flow, I’d try to overhaul my attention span, which is the shortest it has ever, ever been.  I don’t actually have a focus problem, overall.  It’s just that I’ve suddenly switched to writing 40 hours a week, which demands a level of attention unlike anything else I’ve ever tried. Someone from the New York Times wrote an essay a couple of weeks ago, and started it by saying, “As a writer, I have to take a break after every sentence,” and I felt this huge wave of relief.  It’s not just me.  So far there are two things that work for me: I found an app that allows me to stream focus-oriented music, and I also I leave my workspace for an hour a day. The app streams music I don’t know, usually obscure classical pieces, so I’m not involved in humming along in my head.  And when I leave my workspace and go sit in the plaza, or sit in a coffee shop, there are a thousand conversations taking place around me, which is a pleasant background hum.  I get so much done in an hour outside of the office that it resets my pace for the rest of the day.  It’s amazing.

4) I figured out where all of the single men in Raleigh are, and it’s at Joule Cafe in the middle of the afternoon.  They’re all hipsters, and that may or may not be your thing, but I like hipsters just fine.  Even if I never talk to any of them, I’m going to have to quit saying I don’t think there are any single men in Raleigh. They’re all having coffee and wearing Jemaine Clement glasses and sitting in the window with laptops.  Oh wait. I do not need any competition.  Hush up, foolish girl.  I do not have any suggestions for meeting eligible men in Raleigh.

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5) I’m working on getting the dawg under control. Fletch, since his temporary Grand Escape last week, has figured out for sure that he is much, much stronger than I am.  He’s gotten a little cocky this week about thinking he’s the alpha dog.  He’s started bolting, pulling, leaping at everything in sight, and generally re-aligning my spine every time we walk.  Every muscle in my arms and shoulders hurts. I’m utterly uninterested in buying him a prong collar, because although someone loaned me one and I wrapped it around my arm and yanked it kind of hard to see whether they’re as painful as they look, and it’s actually only mildly annoying but doesn’t hurt, I think they look like something straight out of Fifty Shades of Grey.  And people, that was one of the worst books anyone has ever written, and this from a girl who actually read TWILIGHT, just because I was so tired of having to be smart all of the time in grad school. So that’s saying something. At any rate, I bought him a new front-back hook harness, and there was nothing painful about today’s walk. Other than paying for that harness. But I think he looks sort of handsome in it.

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Of course, he’s got a new game now called Dual Entanglement, because look! Twice as many leashes for tug of war on the lawn of the State Capitol! He hasn’t figured out yet, though, that if he pulls, he’ll knock himself off balance.  So I’m calling my new game Topple, and I’m pretty sure I can win Topple. If I can get the leash out of his mouth and the passers-by stop laughing at us.

So, you know. I haven’t figured it all out.  I haven’t figured a tenth of it out, looking at this list of things which Could Stand To Be Improved.

It’s a very small start, though.

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