Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Things We Did to Occupy Ourselves Offline

That was a close one, guys! A big apology to our legions of loyal followers. If you follow us on the Twitter, you know that we’ve spent the last week, which is also the first week in our new apartment in the exciting New City, sans Internet. Trust us when we say there were dark days, especially for Paul, who was both in charge of acquiring Internet access and relying upon it for his ongoing job hunt. After quickly unpacking and settling in, we experienced the “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone” phenomenon (we’re sure we’ll also experience this with home at some point, probably when our $20/week food budget has taken us past “goal weight” and left us stranded at “meth head”) as we fired up our computers and realized we didn’t have a whole to do on them.

Anya was abruptly cut off from her pretty dedicated Buffy watching regimen, Paul had to stop playing his silly internet games and had nothing to keep him going through those long and lonely night hours that he usually spends staying awake for NO REASON, and we don’t even have a budget that allows drowning our sorrow in Oreos or sightseeing! The horror. So, we did as we always do, and we whined a lot. And then lived like Victorians who time traveled to the 21st century and were trying their best to preserve their way of life. we shit you not, we spent a lot of time cross stitching and reading silently in the living room together, along with the following:

Watch Homeland

The first question, of course, was ‘For the love of God does anyone have anything downloaded on their computer that can occupy our empty hours?!’. Luckily, Paul came to the rescue with the first two seasons of Homeland. We got hooked on the political and personal intrigue, Claire Danes’ cryface, and Anya’s repeated attempts to prove her screenwriting “skills” by guessing upcoming character lines. We’re almost done with the first season, but have so far failed to come up with any fully-fleshed blog articles for it (Top 5 Moments We Identified with Carrie Mathison? Top 6 Weird Homeland Hookups Between Unstable Fucks?). We’ll see.

Costco samples

Ah, the delights of a warehouse/bulk grocer. Coming from an area that did not have a Costco, we were familiar with the theory, but not the execution. Since this is the only grocery store within actual walking distance of our new apartment, we quickly bought a membership and hoped we’d end up doing more than breaking even. Honestly, we’re getting there on free samples alone. Paul and Anya went to Costco two days in a row for “lunch” and to “get groceries”. Who knew they didn’t supply bags at the checkout? Not us! So our afternoon of sightseeing in the confines of a cheesecake and mahi burger smorgesbord was stretched even further into a walk from hell, involving a cast off cardboard box that we found near the entrance and some serious muscle development hauling two gallons of milk homeward.

Creep on neighborhood dogs

One major upside to our apartment is the abundance of windows, and therefore natural light. Added bonus? We’re on the fourth floor, so no one can see us walking around without pants at all hours. Yay! Unfortunately for them, our neighbors in the cute little houses across the street don’t have that advantage, so we spent our time without internet developing an active fantasy life surrounding Henry, the English Sheepdog, and his owner who is an avid runner even on the swampiest of days.
Likes: Car rides, playing ball, people who come to visit, the porch.
Dislikes: The weird third floor tenant, the stand-offish greyhounds from around the corner, flip-flops.

Invent sad meals

We would have been doing this regardless (see above food budget), but when you remove the handy Internet function of being able to search for recipes based on the ingredients you have… it gets pretty fucking dismal.
“What if we cut up the bagel and kind of made it like garlic bread?”
“That could work… if we had garlic or butter.”
“Hmm… Well, what if we cooked it in the leftover olive oil from the vegetable (read: mushrooms) stir fry at the bottom of the wok? Maybe some of the vegetable (still just mushrooms) flavors will soak into it while it toasts?”
“You think this will go with our can of baked chickpeas?”
“Which one’s the main dish?”
Repressing, but edible. So far we’ve avoided the horrifying concoctions created by Swiss Miss that featured jaunty names like Hot Dog Surprise.

Clean the apartment

This is something that Anya does only when pushed to her limits by one of the following: boredom, disgust, impending visit by outsiders. Luckily for Paul and the Libertarian, she was insanely bored and now her parents are coming for a visit, so the place is getting the kind of vacuuming attention it will likely only be able to dream of in the coming months.

Sleep at reasonable hours

And it was over as quickly as it started.


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