Monday, August 16, 2010

Off to Texas

So I'm just about packed. I'm trying to really pare down my bag and I think of done a good job. So good that I'm now regretting paying the 23 freakin' dollars it costs to check a bag on most airlines these days, but I tweaked my back yesterday and the idea of dragging a bag around, hoisting it up into the overhead compartment, and then hoisting it down tomorrow just sort of made me ache in advance. I'm reducing more than I have in a while in one significant way: I'm not taking my laptop! So I can't check work email while I'm gone! This is a big step for me. I figured I can check on everything and clear out the spam on Sunday before I go into the office. And since I'm going to Texas in the summer, no need for any outer garments--that helps too.

A big part of this no-laptop decision is due to the fact that I am now the proud owner of an iPhone. Yes, it's a used device, handed down to me from my loving husband when he upgraded to the iPhone 4. And yes, I'm still as cheap as ever--it's not even a phone yet since I don't have a calling and data plan, so it's basically just a "Touchey" as my nephew calls it, though with one very crucial addition. A camera! That's a big deal to me. So I can upload photos to FB and Flickr sans computer. M was a little offended when I deleted a number of his news apps, but hey, it's mine now baby. My first app purchase was the ocarina app and I'm determined to learn how to play it, but I can already tell it's going to take some practice. Like any instrument, eh? I was thinking I'd download some podcasts to listen to on the plane, but I think I'll just stick to a regular ol' book. A friend has loaned me a mystery, and I'm quite enjoying it.

Another part of the paring down motivation: I read a New York Times article recently about people who are trying hard to live with fewer possessions and instead focus on living within their means and have experiences rather than stuff. For the most part we do live within our means, but--sometimes stuff is part of the experience. One couple, who were determined to maintain just 100 items each, only had two pans and three pairs of shoes (does that count as six items or three, I wonder?). But M and I love to cook together, so the idea of just two pans seems counter to the goal of creating experiences for us, but I guess that's all pretty subjective.

As it turns out, this has been a bad weekend to feel smug-ish about not consuming, which I sort of was, however unjustifiably. M brought our larger charcoal grill up to my mom's some time ago, so we've been using our teeny hibachi for our barbequed dinners. Which means we often have to grill the various items in stages, and I just couldn't take it any more, so we went to our local home improvement store and bought a new kettle Weber. A slightly more deluxe model, which captures the ash in a safer way, which is very important, right, when you cook on a redwood deck near a cedar fence? And on the way home from that purchase, of course M wanted something tasty to experiment with on the grill, so we stopped at Costco to get a rack of ribs and they happened to have a sound bar that was very affordable, something we had on our wish list for some time. I will say that this is the first Costco sojourn in some time where we didn't need a basket. And then today, while I successfully resisted the purchase of a smaller suitcase with the all-directional wheels, I fell prey to the siren song of cute little black Sketchers, another item I'd been wanting for a while. They're kind of a cross between sneakers and loafers, perfect for travelling. So there it is.

It's been a great first day of vacation. I slept in! I watched most of Master and Commander for like, the fourth time. I washed about four loads of laundry and was once again reminded of how many household chores I'd get done if only I didn't have to go to pesky work, but again, there it is.

And now, time to continue on that path: walk the dog, fix dinner, enjoy the sound bar.


At 6:54 AM, August 17, 2010, Blogger bren said...

What's the mystery?

At 9:25 AM, August 17, 2010, Blogger suzanne said...

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson


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