Suddenly Things Are Happening Really Fast


Last week I sent an email to the woman I am hoping to work for this summer. I asked if she had received the latest round of paperwork I’d sent to her. I also asked if she had decided when I needed to report for training.

I realized on Monday that I hadn’t heard from her, and on Tuesday I called the office. Her assistant answered the phone. I asked about the paperwork. Yes, it had arrived. I asked if the boss had decided when I should arrive for training. She replied, May 4th, as if the date were something I had known all along.

May 4th? The upcoming May 4th? Nineteen days away May 4th?

I stammered, a bit, I think. Last time we spoke, I reminded her, the boss thought it was going to be later in May. I asked if she were sure the training for my group was going to start on May 4th. Oh, yes, she assured me. The boss had decided she didn’t want to do training any later than that.

Then the woman I was talking to told me the boss was out for the rest of the week, but she’d be back on Monday (April 20). She said I could call the boss on Monday to get all the details. I’m assuming the boss woman was planning to call me on Monday and and tell me I needed to report to the forest in 2 weeks! I’m glad I called on Tuesday and got myself five extra days of knowledge.

I am totally overwhelmed that training on May 4th means I have to get on the road no later than May 2nd. (It’s a 10 hour drive, according to Yahoo Maps, so that probably means a twelve hour drive for me. What can I say? I have to stop to pee a lot. And since I do NOT want to drive twelve hours in one day, I have to leave on May 2nd.) I am totally overwhelmed with everything I need to do between now and then.

Want to see my to-do list?

Buy stamps (I’m hoping 100 postcard stamps and 50 first class stamps will get me through the summer. And by summer, I mean May 1st through Labor Day.)

Try to sell a pile of books at the used book store

Figure out how I am going to pay my phone bill while I am in the woods

Buy 5 money orders to pay monthly installments on a debt (Don’t even ask!)

Finish notifying friends of my summer address

Go through the rest of my clothes and get rid of what i don’t need

Have my transmission mount replaced (I actually have an appointment with my mechanic to do this next Wednesday.)

Buy food supplies for the summer (I have no idea what to buy or how much.)

Buy other supplies (Dr. Bronner’s soap, paper towels, toilet paper, zipper bags, squirt bottles for dish washing system, oh, and don’t forget the laundry soap)

Buy Luci light(s) (How many do I need? Is one enough?)

Wipe out ice chest (I hope it’s not gross. It wasn’t gross last time I opened it, but that was a while ago.)

Get back slider window for van (Ohhh! I’ve been putting that off 8 months! I should have taken care of that 6 months ago!)

Pay insurance on van

Look into new tires for van (That’s going to cost a lot! I’m so overwhelmed!)

Buy bear whistle (I have to remember that when I go to Big 5 Sporting Goods for Luci light)

Try to get May 10th dental cleaning appointment rescheduled

Mail my friend’s August birthday present (or decide I can stash it somewhere in van until August)

Host little gathering for host family and friend family

Buy van supplies (oil, coolant, fuel cleaner)

Replace rusty screws holding on van topper to van

Of course, while I am trying to prepare for the summer, I am also working 8 hours a day, which looks like this:

Wake up at 5:15 am. Curse the state I am scoring responses for. Curse the students who wrote the responses. Curse the two characters the students are comparing in their responses.

Eat breakfast. Prepare lunch. Fill water bottles.

Get dressed. (Don’t forget to get dressed.) Brush teeth. Take glucosamine. (Oh shit! Add “Get glucosamine” to list.)

Leave house by 6:20 to get to work with time to park, put metallic sun shades in window, and be at my desk by 7am.

Sign in. Work. Look at clock.Try to stay awake. Work. Get distracted by coworkers moving around, chatting, coming and going. Look at watch. Work. Fantasize about banging my head against a brick wall. Work.Try to stay awake.Try to get comfortable in uncomfortable office chair. Work. Log out. Get up to pee. Sit back down. Log back in. Work. Look at clock. Work. Wonder if it’s too soon to get up and pee again. Look at clock. Work. Log out. Go on break. Eat granola bar. Sit back down. Log in. Work. Fantasize about banging my head against a wall of ice. Work. Look at watch. Log out. Get up to pee. Sit back down. Log in. Try to get comfortable. Wonder why the idiots all around me don’t whisper if they must speak. Work. Put head down on desk. Fantasize about repeatedly banging head on desk. Fantasize about shouting SHUT THE FUCK UP! at the top of my lungs. Work. Wonder if it’s almost lunch time. Look at clock. Sigh. Work. Try to stay awake. Work. Put my head in my hands. Sigh. Feel sad about the state of the world as it is reflected by the teenagers who wrote the responses I’ve been scoring. Sigh. Work. Hear my own stomach growl. Look at the clock. Notice lunch is in ten minutes. Sigh. Try to work. Feel antsy. Try to work. Sigh. Try to work. Log out. Go to lunch. Arrive back at my desk in precisely half an hour and repeat morning activities all afternoon.

Get off work at 3:30, feeling ravenous. Run errands if necessary. (Do I have enough gas to get to work in the morning?) Get home. Eat dinner. Check email. Wash dishes. Fill water bottle halfway and put in freezer. Try to write. Feel too tired to write. Try to control brain. Try to write. Notice it’s already after 7pm. Give up on brain. Give up on writing. Take a shower or decide I can go another day without a shower. Brush and floss teeth. Set alarm on phone. Read a novel until I’ve relaxed enough to sleep. Try to sleep. Try to shut off brain. Fall asleep.

So I guess what I need to do is make lists according to the next nineteen days. When will I go to the auto repair shop? When will I go to Discount Tires? When will I go to Trader Joe’s? When will I go to Big 5 Sporting Goods? When will I call the dental collage?

What am I forgetting? No, for real, what am I forgetting? PLEASE, leave a comment and tell me what I’m forgetting.


About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now I have a little travel trailer parked in a small RV park in a small desert town. I also have a minivan to travel in. When it gets too hot for me in my desert, I get in my minivan and move up in elevation to find cooler temperatures or I house sit in town in a place with air conditioning I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

6 Responses »

    • Oh Maggie! You are wonderfully sweet! No, I’m not forgetting. How could I forget about all of you lovlies? I could not!

      I got a lot done in the last 24 hours. Paid insurance and set up automatic payments for phone.

      Want to hear the latest news? (I know you do.) The boss lady’s assistant left a voice mail for me this afternoon. She said she’d talked to the boss lady, and I needed to report for training on (get this!) APRIL 27th!!!! How did mid May turn into April 27? I have to call her tomorrow and find out what is going on.

  1. Hi Blaize,

    I think writing stuff down and then asking for feedback is both reassuring and motivating. Kudos to ya. I think your list is comprehensive and you’ll be fine. How far to services/shopping once you get to your campsite?

    Here’s my two cents.

    Assuming your current job goes through April, is there a possibility you could work it out with your boss to make your last day April 29? If so, you could leave on the 30th. Traffic should be less busy and stressful, and you can break up the drive with two nights on the road and still have a settling-in buffer.

    Motivate yourself at work over the next two weeks:

    * Eat low sugar and brainpower booster snacks to combat the sleepies. * Use break and lunch times to make appointments and do quick research. * Practice slow, deep breathing now and then to help you re-focus.

    Put some of your list on the back burner and do along the way to break up driving:

    * Make your first night’s stop not too far from your departure point to alleviate the stress of, ‘Why, oh why did it take me 3 hours longer to get going than I had planned?’ * Drop off clothes and books on the way out of town. * Shop for summer food supplies. * Stop at a Dollar Tree for household supplies. * Stop at a small town Post Office for stamps. * Email new addy to friends when you’re stopped for the night.

    Put all van tasks on the front burner:

    * If having a back slider window is critical for summer comfort, push to front of list; you’ll be glad you did. Do you have an installer in mind? * Can the Wednesday mechanic help with the rusty screws? * Search for tires by your exact tire and choose best prices in your area or somewhere along your route. * Call your auto store and see if they’ll pull your items for pick up so you’re in and out.

    Get 2 Luci lights. Sometimes I forget to put mine in the sun. If you have two, you’ll at least have one when you need it! A clothespin will hold that light just about anywhere. I use a headlamp for tasking/reading. Black Diamond Spot is rated very high for battery life and lumens.

    Ask someone who has done camp hosting to send you their food list – Bob and Judy, Blars?

    When you feel overwhelmed, breathe and choose to think about what one small step you can take that will further your progress to your intentions.

    I’m excited for you and am cheering you on.


  2. Well drats! I lost the reply I left for you. In any case, thank for your thoughtful, thorough advice. I am letting it churn around in my head.

    The boss lady’s assistant left a voice mail for me this afternoon. She said she’d talked to the boss lady, and I needed to report for training on (get this!) APRIL 27th!!!! How did mid May turn into April 27? I have to call her tomorrow and find out what is going on.

    I stayed up way late last night reading a book. I must go to bed earlier tonight.

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