Tags: apocalypse preparation society

if I were me

In which there are not yet pictures

My father-in-law has spent several afternoons over at our house in the last month, first helping my stepdaughter with the painting of her bedroom, and then helping me in the painting of my office. (Somewhere--I think in my car--is the camera with her bedroom "before" shots. Whether or not they are on there, there is no way to post "afters" of any of it without finding the camera. So, finding the camera--that would be a smart thing.)

I spent quite a lot of time laying out the office, first on graph paper and then on Floorplanner.com. Here's the layout. I cannot explain why the chair looks so enormous and the desk looks so small. It's an overstuffed chair and a half, maybe that's why? But theoretically, the dimensions are right...

Anyway, I may have to retire from the room shortly, as I think the fumes from polyurethaning the windowsill are getting to me. The window was open during all of that, but something in here reeks, and I have a headache. And a huge backload of stuff to sort through.

My big plan is to make sure I load only essentials into the new space. So I am going through all my drawers and bobs and bits, doing a rough sort of stuff I know I can throw out or give away... but I'm also enforcing a strict policy of only bringing in items as I need them. At the end of a month, anything I haven't brought in, I will do another rough sort on, keeping a very critical eye as to what is needed and what is not. I'm not saying a month is the true limit--I could throw out some good stuff, that way.

Interesting to figure out how decorative elements come into play, there... I already feel the barrenness of the walls, so that is going to be one of the first things remedied. And the lighting.

I'm also thinking of moving to a two-drawer file cabinet. *gasp!* Well, hear me out: I will probably keep the four-drawer upstairs for a good year or so, and then really rethink my filing needs. Once upon a time, a file cabinet was the epitome of my ideal of organization. But I do so little on paper now, I can't foresee keeping the monstrosity for it.

I may even go so far as to throw out all the reams of coursepacks and photocopied readings from college. *double gasp!* Honestly, I haven't looked at any of the coursepacks since college (the books: yes; coursepacks: no). Possibly it's a browsability issue. In any case, I work at one of the top ten academic research libraries in the country, and honestly, I don't need to keep a personal file of articles that are rapidly growing outdated in subject areas I probably won't actually revisit directly in fiction.

This is an enormous change/admission/goal for me, btw. Just so you know. I've held onto bits and bobs of paper--scribbled "research" notes and the like--fiercely since I was 13, as though hoarding knowledge against the apocalypse. Come the apocalypse, though, I'd be better off with How to Survive in the Woods and my guides to medicinal and edible plants rather than a description of the alarm calls of vervet monkeys.

I'm just saying.

Anyway, I have to go figure out dinner. And look for my camera some more.

ETA: Figured out the small desk thing. Apparently 23 inches to the program meant the depth of the desk and the chair together. Of course!

Dodging the bullet

The power went out at 3:59.

"Crap," I said. "It's an hour to sunset. What then?"

My husband decided avoid this question by taking a nap.

I decided to clean kerosene lamps, shower while the water was still hot and there was enough light coming into the bathroom to shower by, dig out candles, and see if I could light the oven without power. (Answer: no, but I didn't try very hard. Stove, yes, however. Verdict: pilotless gas range is annoying in a power outage.)

As I was fiddling with the lamp next to the bed, my husband muttered, "THIS is the thing you're the ant about."

I read until sunlight failed me, and listened to audio books as long as I could stand staring at nothing while doing so. In other words, I filled about ten of the remaining twenty minutes of daylight.

I crawled into bed next to my husband at 5:00. "I'm bored, so you get me."

Heavy sighs from him and the cats I displaced.

At 5:03 the power came back on. "Seven minutes 'til sunset!" Dann said.

I bounced out of bed. "My life has meaning again!"

if I were me

Room 17

Today at work Suzanne and I went downstairs to our new annex (room 17) to talk to the electrician about outlet placement and some schmancy kind of conduit.

The Door was open.

There are three doors in Room 17--the main, double door from the hallway, the unpassable back door that opens onto shelves in the MonoCat room, and the Sekrit Door, the Locked Door. The door that opens onto a cement staircase overhung with pipes and pipes and pipes, that leads to a brick room with a layer of rust dust a centimeter thick, or so it seems.

We went down the stairs.

Into the steam tunnels.

It was awesome.

The electrician came down. "You guys going to Angell Hall?" he asked.

"Not today," we said regretfully.

I told Ralph--and my boss--, "It's how we can escape the zombie hordes when they show up."

Ralph said, "Won't the zombie hordes be IN the steam tunnels?"

"No, the doors are kept locked," I said gravely. "Zombies can't pick locks. But we can."

They didn't look like they believed me, but trust me. Someday they'll be grateful that I think of these things.