Posted by: dougery | August 5, 2010

Getting Away from et al. (Part Deux)

When we last saw our beleaguered dispossessioned protagonists they were (making an effort at) sleeping on a bare hardwood floor in the Oldtown neighborhood of Chicago, IL. With crooked backs and a newfound appreciation of the ingenious way a mattress allows wrists, ankles and knees to not grind into dust, L and I woke up just before anyone else in the world.

And shortly thereafter we were driving into Indiana in our freshly refurbished Jeep which we had pumped a ridiculous amount of money into over the past few weeks. For some reason I wanted functioning brakes and not bald tires and a fuel pump that actually supplied combustible energy to the engine. These things seemed somewhat appropriate for a trip of 883 miles. Even if we were going to break it up into two days, spending an evening in Hamburg, NY where I grew up and my parents still toil and trouble.

My parents do not practice black magic, at least, I’m fairly sure they don’t. It might explain the mutant cukes and squash in their garden though, these things were the size of labradors. “For some reason we just got sick of them, you should take a few with you,” my mother said, wanted to force food upon her offspring as all mothers do. Sick of them you say? Haven’t the faintest idea why that would be. But we were full up, and then some, so we declined.

For the drive we had a few meager suitcases, full of enough clothes to last us until the Movers arrived in VT (see Getting Away from et al., Part One), and various things we didn’t trust to survive the trip on their own: a record player, computer screen, plants, cats. Turns out it doesn’t take much to fill up the interior of a Jeep, and it was the latter item we were most concerned about. Yeah, this was the first time Barry or Pickle had been in the car for longer than the 15 minutes it took to get to Urban Vet Clinic in Lincoln Park. And now they were going to be stuck in their crates for 15 hours. What could possibly go wrong?

Surprisingly not much. We have some incredibly well behaved cats. Before we had considered drugging them up but I’m glad we just crammed each of them into a separate crate and were done with it. Yes, they didn’t eat or drink at all and yes Barry went into ‘shut down’ mode where he might as well have been taxidermied. But at least he wasn’t Pickle who, whenever anyone uttered so much as a single word, meowed continuously. So much so that if we lifted the sheet covering their cages (vet’s recommended we cover them to make them feel more secure) a blast of cat breath so toxic wafted out that I was sure Pickle had conjured open the mouth of hell.

But all in all the trip itself, minus all of the packing and moving shenanigans, was a cake-drive, if that is an actual thing and not something I just made up. As we pulled in to the Greenspring ski stronghold we were tired of traveling but knew we had a few days to recoup and air out the Jeep before L began her new job at the Clark and I began my new not-job at the wherever I happened to be at the moment.

Looking for work is stressful business. It makes you feel guilty for doing anything not job-search related. Doesn’t matter if it is 10:30pm at night and only a trip to the bathroom. Some fascistic part of your mind awakens, juts its hand in the air and screams “You could be using this time to find a job, lazy-pants!” Of course all that is in German so its sounds like so many rocks breaking and much more threatening. In order to write this very blog post I needed to take several prescription strength relax-o pills (not really) just to be able to ‘waste some time’ (well, that part is accurate, take that blogospere).

And spending money? That is right out. When I don’t actually have an income I find it impossible to rationalize the purchase of anything. I fret over a diet coke. I wring my hands over a bagel. But it isn’t all stress and frugalization. There are moments of calm where I realize that good decisions have been made. Like when I think about our new 3 bedroom farmhouse. A story for part three in a continuously expanding series of Getting Away from et al.



  1. Yeah, unemployment, much like grad school or writing a novel, has that unfortunate side effect of not having hours, and thus, the constant nagging feeling that “I could be working on it.” I drown this voice in beer.

  2. poor pickle. i like to think that if she and vieve got together they would try to one-up one another on the “Things I did to Torment My Owner While They Were Moving” front.

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