You know, I wouldn’t have to keep making these posts about bra shopping if I’d stay the same damn size for more than five minutes straight.

Three months ago, or thereabouts, I bought a new bra at Victoria’s Secret, where they kindly informed me that I was a 40D, probably headed towards 40C. Okay. I could handle that. Sure, you don’t get the really cool bras, but at least you can buy something there, instead of being relegated to the icy hinterlands of DD. (…So…cold….)

And yeah, I’ve lost a little weight since then, so the looseness of said bra was no great surprise. I assumed that, as is normal in women losing weight, I’d dropped a cup size. In the course of packing, I also came to the glum conclusion that my underwear drawer is an absolute disgrace to humanity, threw out about ten pairs that should have been mercifully executed years ago, realized that my underwear shopping also hadn’t kept up with my weight loss, and decided it was time to go blow some hard-earned book advance on what is euphemistically known as intimate apparel.

Off I went. Victoria’s Secret is my choice for bras, because a bra is a complex beast and it is best left to the professionals. I slouched in and was accosted by a dead-eyed saleswoman. “40C?” I asked hopefully. She looked vaguely past me and waved in the direction of the back, where they keep the sizes for those of us who are more Bouguereau than Nagel. I sighed.

Once in the back, another saleswoman, much less dead-eyed, descended on me, like a blond whippet on a despairing rabbit. “What are you looking for?”

“40C?” I asked, much less hopefully.

She eyed me up and down and said “No.”

“…um…?”

“You’re not a 40. There’s no way you’re a 40.”

“…really?”

“Not a chance. Come on.” She unslung her tape measure and hustled me into the back. “You’re a…yup…36D exactly.”

“…I am?” I haven’t been below a 40 in years.

“Yup. Perfectly on the nose, too, not a half size or anything.”

“Well, I did lose a lot of weight recently…Does this mean you have more bras that will fit me?”

“Do we ever. Here, take these…and these…and these…and this one…”

So, having apparently dropped four inches around the ribcage in three months–but not a cup size–I then spent far, far too much money on a pair of bras that actually fit. Because suddenly Victoria’s Secret had a whole shit-load of stuff that fit me.

I stared in the drawers that were now my size and thought They actually make bras in colors other than white and beige?

Dude. I mean, I don’t NEED leopard print or stuff with rhinestone hearts, but it’s nice to know that if I felt the urge, the choice is there!

(Mind you, in another few months, I’ll probably be back there shopping again, but wow. Divorce is one HELL of a diet plan.)

The majority of my books are packed up now–a few more still to go, requiring that I get more boxes. I even ditched a bookcase yesterday. Which is ultimately a good and neccessary thing.

Unfortunately, it’s affecting my mood–the resulting hole in my apartment feels like a missing visual tooth, which at the same time there is still so MUCH to pack that the thought is grueling. It’s just enough to be unsettling without having changed the environment enough to be a whole new visual space. (I could change it that much, but that would require living out of boxes for three weeks, which is another kind of depressing.)

Discouraged by this, and with my comfort reading all in boxes, I do what I generally do in times of melancholy and called my buddy Alan, one of my oldest and dearest friends, who knows all of my most extravagant failings and still likes me anyway.  He can usually cheer me up, although perhaps not in the way that normal people would.

Ursula: “Actually, I’m doing pretty well. If I could just shake the nagging fear that no one will ever love me again, I’d do fine.”

Alan: “Uh…yeah, see, that’s just the human condition. You pretty much keep that one ’till you die.”

Ursula: “OH! Well, shit, then I’m doing great! Cool!”

So that cheered me up. Unfortunately, this morning, the hole in my apartment was still there, so I went out for my usual two-mile slog around the lake, whereupon my iPod began crooning “…goin’ to California…with an achin’…in my heart…” and I stopped in my tracks and said “OH DEAR GOD, I’ve become a Zepplin song.”

And really, you gotta laugh.

Screw it, I’m packing up except for the Barong, basic art supplies, the computer station, and some dishes. It’s better to have the whole feeling changed than to have a hole in the space you know.

According to iTunes, the two songs I listen to the most are Tool’s “Prison Sex” and the Weather Girls “It’s Raining Men.”

I swear that I am not as psychologically unhealthy as this might indicate.

Well, it appears that our advance scout has secured the terrain, and it’s time to form up the supply lines, by which I mean Carlota landed us an apartment (with separate bathrooms, a surefire road to domestic harmony) and I’m starting to pack.

Books form the backbone of my existence, and packing them up is the hardest bit. I’ve sold off a good half of my collection, but even more are going to stay here. Since I’m going for an estimated 6 months-to-one-year, it’s a little like the desert-island-scenario. I am bringing only the indispensable reference books (“Book of a Hundred Hands,”  “Artist’s guide to Facial Expression,” “Sibley’s Guide to Birds of Western North America,” “The Idiot’s Guide to Amazing Sex,”–you know, the important ones!*) and my comfort reading shelf, and leaving the rest in storage to await my return.

So the Pratchett comes with me, but the guides to birdfeeding stay. The guides to decorating a miniscule apartment come along, the guides to Santa Fe architecture stay. Lovecraft comes, but not Derleth. Snow Crash comes, Cryptonomicon stays. Demon-Haunted World comes, How the Irish Saved Civilization stays. Mieville comes with me, Dark Tower stays. Most of my comics stay here, because I don’t re-read comics all that often, with the exception of Sandman, which is definitely coming with me. And all the books that I read when I’m feeling low, or have PMS, or just feel small and lonely and insignificant come–Robin McKinley, Sharon Shinn, the better Tepper (including Gate to Women’s Country, which I re-read when I really want to wallow in my misery) Bujold, Juliet Marillier, that Anne Bishop trilogy that reads like fanfic and is a totally guilty pleasure, Diane Duane, a couple of random books by Georgette Heyer that I have no idea why I like, and the collected quatrains of Rumi.

Stripping down the bookcases is making it all start to feel real, but it’s not close enough for me to get excited yet. I begin to feel anxious, and slightly melancholy instead. I’m leaving the art up until the bitter end, because once the Barong come down, the apartment won’t feel like home any more.

Still, at the end of the day, you just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

*If you have to ask which one I’d take to a desert island, you haven’t been paying attention. I might not get laid out there, but I would damn well ID every bird on that island before they picked me up.

I survived! It was rambling and strange and I haven’t had so many boob jokes made about me in the last five years, but it was a lot of fun anyway. (Squid’s a dear friend, and in his own diabolical and perverse way, good for my ego.)

And if they can’t get their regular anchor on next week, I may be back to be traumatized again.

Thanks to the people who called in/logged in/etc!

Although next time, I gotta find somewhere else to call from than an abandoned tennis court. I have to pace when I talk or my brain shut down, but a two hour show is REALLY hard on my feet.