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I've been thrown into the deep end at the new job, which is tough enough, but I'm also sharing an office with someone who doesn't understand about using her “indoor voice” when talking on the phone. It sounds to me like she's projecting like a stage actress. Thankfully, she's not in our shared office much. So far. Although I suppose that could change. The neighborhood is definitely funky, kind of aging hippy with an organic store next door to the new age meets wicca shop. The deli is a complete disappointment, but there's a bakery that is quite promising.
Driving to work this morning I saw them: forsythia buds, delicate tinges of acid yellow-green on the seemingly bare bushes lining the parkway. In a day or so there will be large swathes of sunny color, the real harbingers of spring that I look for every year, and am always surprised by. There are no daffodils yet in bloom at my house, although there are indications of spring bulbs ready to burst in Northport. My garden is missing many perennials, I am beginning to fear the worst. I'm fairly certain my really expensive hydrangia was killed by our hard winter.
I am trying to cope with the commute. The morning commute isn't too bad, I'm driving within an hour of getting up and having my coffee on the drive, so I'm not antsy in the slower traffic on the LIE. The drive home, however, is the real challenge, nearly an hour to get home at the best of times. I am listening to podcasts on the way home, which serve the purpose of being both entertaining in and of themselves, and helping me deal with the slowdowns – who cares if you're moving slow if you're having a good time?
We drove out to Jones Beach and across the Ocean Parkway to Captree State Park. I've only been to Jones Beach twice, both times for concerts at the theater. As we drove the length of Ocean Parkway, I would get occasional glimpses of the ocean over the scrub and dunes, and on such a blustery day, the ocean was quite impressive. Being accustomed to the narrower spaces of Long Island Sound and the Great South Bay, the uninterrupted view of water in every direction from the narrow spit of land, barely enough for the road in places, was still breathtaking.
I knew that Fionn was a strange cat, he's mad for canned mandarin oranges. He went absolutely crazy as we ate dinner last night; we figured he wanted the pate, but he kept trying to steal a piece of olive bread that was studded with olives (Kalamata, we think). Finally, Geoffrey gave him a very small piece of olive, which Fionn immediately gently but firmly took directly from G's fingers. Fionn devoured the olive, then proceeded to splay his front paws wide on the carpet, kneading and nuzzling it, completely enthralled in kitty ecstasy. I never would have imagined it.
Monday, Monday. A surprisingly easy drive to and from work. I'm always amazed at how easy it is to get around the island when traffic is light. One becomes so accustomed to the delays and frustrations of roads with too many cars, and the bad behaviour and driving decisions that frustration leads to, that it almost becomes accepted. Yet when you experience driving on roads without that heavy volume of traffic, it seems you're flying, suddenly you are going across the island in a matter of minutes (north to south, that is; not east to west!) and distances seem shorter.
Tower is getting married. Married? Tower?!? I nearly fell off my chair when I read the email. Don't get me wrong, I'm delighted that he's found someone to have and to hold and to grow up and grow old with. If it's true. If it happens. It seems so impossible, so out of character. Yet I know that's not true and it sounds slightly cruel. He's not a bad guy, this I know. A bad boy well into his thirties, yes, well, perhaps. But now that he's in his late forties, maybe he's becoming a real adult, like everyone else.
What is my shadow like? How it might work to sabotage me? What qualities does it have that might become strengths if I developed them? Very interesting questions to contemplate in one's spare cycles, or in the quiet moments before drifting off to sleep. I don't come to any real answers, in part, I think, because I don't actually like to think about the parts of me that are negative, the shadow. I'm not alone in that, I'm quite sure. But I am disappointed in myself that I didn't take the opportunity to do the work and turn negative positive.
Happy Birthday, Mom! I know the stole won't arrive today, but I hope you get it before we talk this weekend, and that its what you had in mind. I was delighted that you asked for a hand-knit. I think it turned out really well, although since I spent March knitting only two projects, I did get a little bored with it and struggled under my self-imposed deadline for delivery. But I did think of you wearing it while I knit, making it my own version of a prayer shawl. I hope you enjoying it for many years to come.
The Tavern is back on the market, with a moderately reduced price – but not so reduced that the sellers won't cover their initial investment. I am both elated and depressed at the news, as I still love it, but there's no way we could handle that purchase now, unless the Gatehouse sells quickly. Or we win the lottery. Even after seeing other houses in this past year, I still think it is nearly perfect for us with plenty of living room on the main floor but not a lot of unused bedrooms upstairs, and a very private back yard.
Peeps on parade! Peeps in the movies! Peeps in the headlines! Peeps! I was stunned when I saw the Washington Post Peeps Show III online. First of all, stunned that so many people had so much time on their hands. Secondly, that so many people wanted to play with their peeps! I love it, I love the creativity, the investment of time in something real, not on a computer. It was a wonderful treat, in time for Easter, and makes me hope that after all the rain and grey days of late spring will arrive in all its glory soon.
I’ve thought a lot about how things worked out this fall, what with the upheaval still ongoing at the Dream Job, making headlines everywhere. I was absolutely ecstatic with what I thought was the Dream Job, in heaven for a month then unexpectedly plummeting to earth before Christmas. For months I was miserable, unhappy, full of wounded pride, afraid to do anything, terrified and uncertain how long I would be unemployed. I do wish that perhaps we had done something, gone somewhere, made more of our time together, although probably neither of us was in the right frame of mind.
I’m tired of fighting with my Palm. Getting it to work with the last two office computers has been nightmarish, although one set of issues was trying to synch with Groupwise. It doesn’t seem that old to me, but I must acknowledge that a five year old personal electronic device is old by industry standards. I know how difficult it was for me to adjust to this Tungsten series interface from the original Palm interface, so I dread the idea of a new device, but I am prepared that when I get new home laptop, I’ll need a new PDA.
The only thing that matters today is trying to figure out how much estimated tax I have to pay and get in the mail tomorrow. I need to hang on to as much as possible of the consulting money I made, itsthe cushion between my part-time salary and my real expenses. The government forms are a nightmare, in part because so many parts of the tax code are changing this year. I just want something to tell me how much tax I'm likely to owe, but I have no idea what withholding is going to be in this new job.
I was surprised to get the call today, shortly after I saw the position listed online. I had promised myself that I would call and touch base this week, but the ad caught me off guard and I was contemplating my course of action when he called. It appears promising, but after this fall's debacle in the city, I'm very, very cautious. I'm seriously questioning “do I really want this?” due to the very nature of the company; it could be some serious headaches. But I have to take the interview and then determine if the pros outweigh the cons.
Spring in the city - it always arrives there first. From the train I could see the faint green fuzz that was starting to envelop some tree branches. Walking from point A to Point B, I saw many flowering trees showing off their colours. Yesterday the weeping cherry by the park in Northport was covered in buds, some flowering. Forsythia and daffodil are in full riot on the Island, the cherry trees and tulips will be next and sometime in the coming weeks the Eastern Redbud will dot the landscape with their peculiar twisting shape, outlined in tiny fuchsia flowers.
I got my new chair at work today. It is a lot more comfortable that the old one, which was already 9 years old, apparently . This chair has real support in the seat foam, and the back is a flexible mesh that I find very comfortable. Sitting in the new chair, however, I realized that --yes, indeed-- the floor in the office is not horizontal, there is a rather distinct angle downwards and to the right, toward my back. Which is why I was always leaning forward in the old chair as the seat didn’t tilt at all.
Cleaning the house is either a joy or a real chore. Sometimes it is a matter of attitude, or of sunshine and the right music, and sometimes, well, sometimes it is just the fact that you're cleaning – again. I prefer to live in a clean house; dust bunnies are not welcome. I've adjusted to the fact that means some time spent cleaning on a regular basis. For in recent years, I've enjoyed having some professional help in that regard. The current budget won't allow for that, so I'm doing it all myself. And I mean that literally, all myself.
I've got startitis again today. I'm poring over my stash photos and knitting patterns, needing to find something new to actually start knitting. Finishing off lingering works in progress is great, and I still have about five that I hope to complete this year, but I need to start something new. Something straightforward, but that will look really good on me. With no real budget for buying clothes this year, I really want to use my stash. Although I'm pretty sure I will break down and buy some new yarn at some point. That budget line didn't get completely cut.
I'm washed out today. Sick, clearly, as I fell asleep on the couch this morning and took a nap this afternoon. My joints still hurt, my innards are rebelling, and I'm barely able to move. I hoped to be able to go to the office in the afternoon, but I clearly wasn't up to the task. My boss took the news very well, I didn't get the feeling that I was gravely disappointing them by staying home because I was sick. Which is probably why I slept most of the afternoon, comfortably, rather than tossing and turning, stressing over consequences.
I dragged my sorry ass into work this morning and then nearly passed out several times, probably because the office really was too warm. I had a chance to talk with boss lady about future plans for me – what projects that I might work on, etc. She was full of warm praise about what I've done so far (yeah!) and didn't speak in terms of “for the next six months” but more in the longer term. They're also planning on going the long path for my security clearance, seeking a higher level,which again speaks for the longer term.
Dazzle me he said. And my heart sank. I haven't had any recent experience with the tools and technologies, although I know how they work. But if my resume and an hour's conversation with me leaves you asking me outright to dazzle you, then there's probably no chance I'll get the job. So I froze. And watched myself give the wrong answer to the question. Of course, several hours later, I came up with the right answer: honest, to the point about why that was the wrong question to ask me (or anyone), while not being disrespectful. Never mind. NEXT!
I am really struggling with the ThankYou note for yesterday’s interview. In part I’m trying to address the problem that I saw in the interview, an awkward thing to do when I don’t know if he perceived the same issue. Something about yesterday put me a off the prospect a bit. I’ve always said jobs aren’t just about the money, but that is admittedly the primary attraction for this job: almost double what I’m currently making. I keep asking myself, what do I want most from my job, and right now, my answer is financial security, but that’s very short-sighted.
A day of pleasant surprises. Korean Day at the office, for example; the CEO brought in all kinds of muchies and snacks from Korea purchased at an Asian market. It is a beautiful day, sunshine and blue skies, and a Friday. G made a luscious pasta dish from the leftover short ribs. My cousin calls me out of the blue, and he's still doing really well, he sounds together, grounded. Best of all, I was able to crunch the numbers on the first full paycheck, and it will be very close, but all my minimum, mandatory expenses are covered. HURRAH!
It was too beautiful today to be inside cleaning or knitting (that’s blasphemy, I know!) so we hit the road. We visited an organic farm that still has CSA shares available. Neither of us is entirely sure we should get a share given our history with buying but not using produce. I’m keen on having more produce around, especially local and organic. It feels like the right thing to do, and means we wouldn’t have to run all over creation on the weekend when the roads are packed, but I think visiting the farm stands is what G likes best.
We had two hours together, eating in a restaurant and then walking in the city, both things that can interfere with conversation. We couldn’t cover everything, so we spoke in our time-honored short-hand: if it wasn’t timely and relevant, we didn’t speak of it. It doesn’t mean we’re uninterested or not caring on the topic, it means we trust the other to bring it up if it something’s going on, acknowledging that we can’t possibly talk about everything. Maybe next time we can sit somewhere comfortable, are a bottle of wine and talk for hours. We’ll still miss some topics.
Even though I have three sweaters that only needing seaming to be finished, one that just needs a neckline reinforced with crochet, and two others nearing completion, I am still filled with startitis. I want to start something new, something quick, not a long sleeved, long length cardigan. And pretty new yarn arrived today, a silk and linen blend in electric purple to which I couldn't say no. I knitted a couple different swatches tonight, with the promise that when I've finished seaming one sweater, I can cast on for something new, assuming my swatches lead me to a pattern.
The last of the old guard of the family is gone. My Aunt Yvonne died today, in her seventies, I think, I was never clear on her age. She was always something of an enigma to me, a petite blue-eyed blonde woman (in this family?!) clearly significantly older than my other aunt and father, and with a somewhat ascerbic personality. She was not a blood relative, but adopted out of unfortunate circumstances in Depression-era Iowa by my grandmother, prior to marrying my grandfather. The home movies from the late 50's of her riding the Arabian horse in Egypt are unforgettable.
I amazed myself today by easily lifting and carrying a 2 cubic foot bag of mulch. I have not been able to do that since before the summer of 2002, when I herniated a disk in my lower back. It is a true indication that I'm healthier than I have been in many years, never mind that the scale has crept back up a bit the last few months. I had no concerns about picking up the bag today, although it helped that the bag wasn't completely water-logged. The last time I bought mulch, Geoffrey had to move the bags.
For the last several years, Beltane has marked the start of real spring for me. Easter and the vernal equinox are wonderful, but they are more the start of hope that winter has ended and spring will actually start, but in recent years tulips and other brightly colored flowers and trees are flourishing on Beltane, flirting with everyone who passes, a reminder of the holiday’s distant origins. It hasn’t been warm enough to celebrate by eating dinner outside, but this year, a lovely dinner with a glass of Prosecco at a local restaurant (not the diner!) is a fine substitute.
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