Friday, July 16, 2021

Where Do I Go From Here?

Badly needed to sleep in today after the long couple of weeks I had! When I finally got rolling, I had a fried egg and tomato sandwich for breakfast while watching She-Ra. Picked up from where the set I found at the yard sale left off with "The Stone In the Sword" from the first season. When the stone in Princess Adora's sword cracks, she can't transform into She-Ra or rescue Bow from the Horde. She goes on a journey through magical caverns to repair it. 

Switched to Match Game '79 while making my grocery list and doing the dishes. In the first episode, the contestant is so thrilled when Elaine Joyce matches her unusual answer, both women jump all over the stage...and then Gary Burghoff leaps out and dances with the contestant, and everyone else jumps all over the place! Bill Daily nearly had a nervous breakdown trying to figure out an answer to the first question in the second show. 

Headed out towards the end of the second episode. Didn't really need a ton of groceries this week - I ate out of the fridge a lot, when Jodie wasn't giving me food - but I did need a few things that were on a good sale. Had online coupons for riced frozen veggies, sorbet and plant milk ice cream pints (went with passion fruit sorbet and coconut milk ice cream), peanut butter, and oatmeal. Found a small container of shrimp in the seafood section for dinner tomorrow. Restocked yogurt, cereal, milk, bananas, and hair elastics (my current ones won't hold my hair and keep sagging). 

Also found Clearly Canadian on a good sale. I used to love Clearly Canadian in the early-mid 90's. Bought it all the time from the Eckard's on Bayshore Road as I'd ride to and from the Villas Library. Too bad they're so expensive...because the tart cranberry flavor tastes as good and sparkling as I remember. 

Not nearly as happy with my schedule next week. Two days off (one for counseling) and my cashiering days are normal six hour shifts...but I have three 8 and 1/2 hour bagging days, two in a row. One of the baggers went on vacation, and a lot of people are on non-virus-related health leaves right now, or they've quit. Like everyone else who isn't an at-home job, we're just short on help. 

Put everything away when I got home, then made a Banana-Berry Smoothie while watching more She-Ra. Madame Razz explains how She-Ra came to acquire her famous home "The Crystal Castle," aka the huge pearly pink castle playset every girl in the mid-80's coveted (including us). Hoping to keep Hordak from destroying Queen Angella's home Castle Bright Moon, she befriended a group of trolls who were wary of humans to learn the secrets of the castle's magic. 

Headed out to get the laundry done after I cleaned up from lunch. It wasn't a huge load, but there were a few things I really needed to get done, including a sheet and work clothes. Sat outside and worked on story notes while my clothes were in the washer. It's still sunny, hot, and sticky humid here, but the laundromat was so busy, every chair was taken. Strolled to WaWa after I put everything in the drier for a Chips Ahoy Chocolate Smoothie (basically, Chips Ahoy bits and chocolate syrup in a smoothie - very tasty). 

Rose called while I wrote outside. Did I want to join them in the pool after I got home? Sure! As soon as I rolled in, I put the sheet back on, made the bed, then wriggled into my bathing suit and hurried out to the pool. Rose and her tribe and Reilly and her mother were already there. Jodie and her Aunt Colleen came out later to say "hi." A friend of Khai's came around later (and got into an argument with Rose over whether he could eat Doritos - apparently, he has a food allergy, and Rose wasn't sure). 

The pool water was amazingly warm, like stepping into the shower. Finley probably didn't even notice. She swam from one end of the pool to the other with me and her mother, climbing on my back and laughing when I dunked her under the waves. She's fearless in the pool, probably because she wants to keep up with the other kids. The older kids, for their part, think she's funny. The girls in particular treat her like their little sister and have no trouble playing with her and swimming with her. 

We broke up around 5 so Rose could take us home to make dinner. I dashed into my place to changed into regular clothes and finish putting away the laundry. Ran Match Game '74 as I worked. Janet Finn, who became one of the most popular and winningest contestants of the entire 70's-80's run, made her debut towards the middle of this episode. We got some jokes about whom the Three Musketeers would kiss when her initial audience match was "The Three __." Finley and Reilly came to pick me up...and it was a bit hard to shoo them away from the dolls and stuffed animals!

When we pulled into Rose's house, Finley showed me her room. Or what I could see of it under the intricate layers of toys, dolls, stuffed animals, hand-knitted blankets and sweaters, tap shoes, play food, and Disney Princess costume jewelry and ball gowns spread all over the floor. We were able to find her nifty play kitchen and see how she could open her "oven" and "refrigerator" and take care of her two little baby dolls with her doctor set. 

Rose's original plan was to use the grill for dinner, but she apparently ran out of propane. We had baked turkey tenderloin, green beans, and roasted potatoes for dinner. Yum! I loved it. The turkey tenderloin came out moist and flavorful. Rose thought she overcooked the green beans, but they tasted fine to me. Even the kids ate enough of it. 

After dinner, we looked at all the photos Jodie gave me a few months ago. Rose wants to scan ones she doesn't already have copies of, and I need to start scanning photos, too, now that I have a scanner. We showed Khai pictures of us goofing off in what's now Jodie's pool in the 1980's and feeding ducks on the bottom of the hill in her backyard where the dock now is. Finley got to see us at Disney World in 1986 and 1990, and all the photos we took in front of the giant alligator statues at the hotel we stayed at in Kissimee in 1986. They got to see the pool table and the organ Uncle Ken had in the den in the 80's and early 90's, and Rose and I with Mom visiting Dad-Bruce in Ft. Lauderdale in the early 80's. 

(Research later in the evening revealed that the Gator Motel is still there, though no word if the alligator statue survives.)

Rose also told me around this point that she lost her job as a lawyer for Camden County in March. Apparently, it was a thankless job, and not one she was entirely unhappy to let go of. While she and Craig considered remodeling their house, they came to the conclusion that it's really too small for their family. The kids want a larger backyard, and Rose wants a bigger kitchen and more room to breathe. They're thinking of moving to Hammonton, one of the small cozy suburban-style towns just outside of Atlantic City. Rose offered to find a house that either came with an attached apartment for me, or room to build one.

I have mixed feelings on that. On one hand, I've also put serious consideration into leaving the area over the past five or six years or so, since before the Manor Avenue house changed hands. As nice as my neighbors are, I never really fit in here. I'm tired of being a fifth wheel wherever I go and having no one in the area I can talk to. Even if Dad had lived, I never intended to stay at the attached apartment for more than two or three years at most while I figured out what to do next. 

I've had no luck finding apartments for rent I can afford here, either. That's the other reason I didn't move sooner. Most of the apartment buildings are situated on busy main roads or next to gas stations or car shops and often are not in the best condition. Attached apartments are not only getting expensive, they usually prefer people they know...and I don't know many people.

Trouble is...I don't know what to do next. I want to remain independent, and my needs are different than Rose's. I'm looking for people I can talk culture and do projects with, not good school districts and giant backyards. I'd rather find something near them but not next to them. I do like Rose's idea of the Atlantic City suburb area. Close enough to family and the Shore that it won't take long to see them, far enough away for the prices to be slightly more reasonable. Plus, I still know the area relatively well from going to college at Stockton and taking the train to AC. 

I also need to get away from the Acme. I'm going crazy there. I'm tired of dealing with customers, coworkers who have nothing in common with me, and the revolving door of managers. There's no chance for advancement, or doing anything besides the same thing I've done for 20 years. The only things keeping me from quitting tomorrow are my need for cheap health insurance and my fear of talking about myself. I'm still not sure how to promote myself or my writing. I don't really know myself well at all. I know what I like, but not what my values are, or what I need for my wellbeing. I'm not sure what I want or need anymore. 

Rose had one last project she wanted to do with the kids before I left. Evidently, they read either online or in a book on science projects that Mentos dropped into a bottle of soda will make fizzy liquid shoot high into the air! We stood back as the kids dropped mint candy into plastic liters of Pepsi on their front driveway. It did fizz and shoot up...a little, but not very high. Rose came to the conclusion that the bottles were too warm. They would try again after the bottles chilled. She and Finley dropped me at home shortly after.

Finished the night on The Roku Channel with The A-Team. It's a "Bad Time at the Border" when B.A encounters a little Mexican girl at a local baseball field and becomes attached to her. Turns out she fled from a truck carrying illegal immigrants into the country to be used in a slavery ring and wants to return to her mother, who is deathly ill at the compound where they keep the Mexicans. When they capture Hannibal as well, the others spring to the ready to rescue them. 


Linda said...

James thinks the soda has to be diet to do it.

Emma said...

I forgot to mention they had two Pepsi bottles, one regular, one diet. And yes, the diet did go much higher, though still not as high as they hoped. ;)