There's a running joke about a couple of my friends living under rocks, on account of how they are perpetually out of the loop (and sort of like it that way). Over the last ten days, I have joined them as an under-rock dweller. More precisely, I'm an under-moving-carton dweller. No TV: can't access them, and even if we could the surfaces on which they go are covered with stuff, and even if THAT wasn't true, we haven't located the satellite boxes yet. Or called the satellite people to have them reinstate our service. No Internet, either. Just smart phones. Smart phones for receiving calls and dialing out, smart phones for keeping up with the news, smart phones for background music to unpack to (thank you, Pandora app).
Can't say that I "like" being trapped under something heavy, although it was kind of nice not knowing that a man in Miami (who I hope a month from now we won't be referring to as "Zombie Zero" - although that does have a nice ring to it) chewed another man's face off. Or that a local nutso drove a semi truck (sans trailer) down the alley between two streets in our neighborhood, shot out into the street and killed a woman in a passenger van, taking out someone's garage in the process. (So THAT's where the sort-of-freight-train-ish sound came from on Friday night.)
Anyway. The reason that I haven't been blogging, or posting pictures from Box-apalooza, is that my only access to the Internet is at work, and I'm more than a bit swamped at work, after being out several days in connection with our diaspora-in-reverse. Sticking around after hours isn't an option, thanks to our ongoing (and still pretty grueling) evening unpacking ritual.
But I do have Internet at work, and thank Al Gore for that, because I just saved myself some time on my trip home, thanks to Pier 1's Web site. PJ's first grade teacher is retiring, after 27 years (23 spent on our elementary campus) - although according to PJ, she has been teaching for 43 years, which I guess might be possible if you were an elementary education major, went to work straight out of college and waited until age 65 to retire. Anyway again. Mrs. T. says that it occasionally feels like 43 years, but the real number is 27. I wanted to do something to celebrate her (over and above the great Shutterfly book that one of the other moms put together with photos taken from throughout her teaching career, notes from colleagues and students, etc.), so I stopped at the Montgomery Street Antique Mall en route from the first grade awards ceremony (or, as I refer to it, "the festival o' PARTICIPANT! certificates" - don't get me started on our PARTICIPANT! culture, but I will share with you one bright moment: midway through the proceedings, a wiry girl with dark hair and glasses wearing a navy drop-waisted jumper and white blouse with Peter Pan collar stepped out of the wings of the auditorium stage with her arms folded across her chest and her hands - SWEAR TO AL GORE - stuffed under her armpits, and it was all I could do not to shout out, "MARY CATHERINE GALLAGHER! MARY CATHERINE GALLAGHER!").
Back to my MSAM foray. Scored a cool wall chalkboard with a neat scalloped shape, suspended from a bright purple voile ribbon, and a lime green/white-striped Consuela shopping bag like this to put it in:
Also found a purse package of tissues that I thought was appropriate (given that Mrs. T. started to tear up when she got the Shutterfly book today, but Evelyn's awesome mom had planned ahead and packed a box of Kleenex in the gift bag along with the book):
A concept was forming - sort of. I would label each piece:
A bag for toting groceries home from Sprouts - IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY, BECAUSE YOU ARE RETIRED AND CAN SHOP WHENEVER YOU WANT. (Sprouts reference is in recognition of the fact that Mrs. T. lives around the corner from my mother, and therefore around the corner from Sprouts, a cool organic grocery store that seems to be on the retired teacher route, if my mom's shopping habits are any indication.)
Tissues in case you get nostalgic - with a reminder of why retirement might have its benefits.
A chalkboard, in case you suffer withdrawals.
Hmmmm . . . what else? Something that she could use in her leisure time over the summer, and beyond. Aha - my favorite chalkboard carafe from Pier 1.
Continuing with the chalk theme! But does Pier 1 still carry the chalkboard carafe?
I consulted the Web site. Yup, there it was. And below it, a little button - encouraging me to pre-order my chalkboard carafe for pickup. REALLY, AND FOR TRUE? I clicked the button (if memory serves, it was blue). I gave it my ZIP code, and up popped the location at Montgomery Plaza. I clicked on that, and I was taken to a page that asked for my name, e-mail, phone number and pickup instructions. The explanatory notes said that I could type ANYTHING in the pickup instruction window. Ooooo, so very tempting to type in something really, really odd. But, instead, I informed my friendly neighborhood Monty Plaza Pier 1 that I would be by to retrieve Mrs. T.'s chalkboard carafe after 5 pm.
Done and done. I guess I should pop into Office Depot next door and get her some chalk. Although I recall that a piece of chalk comes packaged with the carafe. Wow, Pier 1 is all kinds of helpful and awesome.
And I will have that much more time to struggle with the moving cartons that continue to oppress me.