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Just as I was getting totally bored with the process at work, something different lands on my plate. I'm more than a bit bewildered by the absolute chaos – there is just no way this will come together in the orderly fashion that they have outlined; however, something has to come together from all these moving pieces by next Friday, or the deadline will be missed and the joint exercise will have been pointless. It does give credence to my belief, as an operations girl, that the development folks just kind of throw things together based on what sounds good.
I've decided this is the month to get my financial house in order. I've already addressed lowering the taxes on my house. I will finish my 2009 taxes soon, and hope that I get some money back. I will do research into lower-cost options for car insurance as the current provider now wants $1400 a year for a 4 year old car, which doesn't seem right. I will look at different approaches to drive down my debt – I think I should be able to cut it in half if I can consolidate payments at a very low interest rate.
I’m evidently the last adult in America to see the classic movie Cool Hand Luke. I don’t dispute that it was filled with excellent performances (and how many of those faces became household names over the next ten years!) but I’m still troubled by the premise that “more guts than brains” is somehow desirable or admirable, especially when it is so self-destructive. It strikes me as glorifying animalistic behavior – never mind how clever the various escape attempts were, Luke never succeeded. What of the concept of “live to fight another day?” or do you die still struggling in your prison?
Another inquiry from the ether makes me realize I need to get serious about the possibilities for barter in this community and start swapping yarn for a pattern, rather than cash. It will clear out some of the yarn I know now that I am unlikely to ever use, and it will allow me to scrutinize more patterns and understand different approaches to garment construction using knitted pieces, rather than cutting out woven fabric. I would like to better understand that, I know there are interesting design choices out there from the small sampling of patterns that I have knit.
Dinner out on Friday nights is something we gave up a while ago, but perhaps we can manage it once a month. There's something so very civilized about just sliding into the weekend without spending the evening making dinner and doing dishes, even if there's no alcohol along the way. Dinner tonight was something of an adventure, albeit a slightly disappointing adventure – I think the food has become progressively less interesting every time we've eaten at this particular Thai place. Although in a very convenient and local location, I think we need to find a place with better food.
I have given up on offering to help, since I'm never able to do anything in the fifteen minutes I'm allotted to do anything. I don't know if I could actually do anything if I had it longer anyway, but perhaps I could actually diagnose the problem, not just the symptoms. OK, weird flashback to Rocky Horror Picture Show as I wrote those words, even though they're not a direct quote. But understanding there is a significant difference between the symptoms and the problem is critical to many things in life, a difference that many these days seem to miss.
Before we got to the house, G asked if going to houses wasn't a kind of torture. I asked if he meant torture because we're not finding affordable houses that we like, or because we might actually find one that we like but couldn't buy? He didn't answer but I suspect he meant both. In any case, we both really liked the house we saw today, one that lived up to the photos on the MLS. It had the right combination of price, property, space and taxes. If G's house had already sold, we would have made an offer today.
I was surprised and slightly taken aback tonight when mom started pushing chicken soup at me long-distance as the cure to all my ills. I don't remember there being an abundance of chicken soup when I was sick as a child; split pea, yes, but not chicken. And then dad got in his plug for chicken soup at the end of the call. Sheesh - is there some new major medical study that I've missed? Do I actually sound like I'm at death's door and the magic of chicken soup is all that will heal me?
I don’t have time now to get really sick, although I’m sliding over the precipice today. So it’s off to the doctor’s office in the hopes that there will be meds to quickly throttle back the symptoms. I’m sorely disappointed to discover that it is diagnosed as “probably a virus infection” and it will take several days for the impact of the meds to build up and make me feel better. I’m disappointed by the state of 21st century medicine, when significant and swift relief for this very common illness is so far away. Let me just sleep through it.
“How can you know who you are unless you experiment with who you are not?” Yes. Exactly. This little gem was waiting for me at the end of today’s Freewill meditation. I think I should be questioning, again, who am I not? And professionally, what do I not want to be, rather than asking the in positive, what do I want to be? Maybe the process of elimination will bring about something interesting. We are encouraged to try on different clothes because sometimes a garment is surprisingly comfortable and flattering. We should do the same with ourselves and our careers.
I will install MS office on my Mac. I didn't want to tarnish it with MS code but I will allow this one instance of a MS product, because it means I can work from home tomorrow. I can barely stand today, I didn't make it through a full day at the office, but as they're willing to be flexible in this regard, I will take them up on it although the price is MicroSoft. Because I'm desperately trying to bank a few days worth of PTO in order to have some vacation. Getting time off shouldn't be this difficult.
I struggled hard to work from home today – with the work part, not the from home part. I didn’t want to focus on anything, I didn’t even knit in the evening. I can’t imagine this going on for an extended period of time as the doctor suggested. I’m miserable and tired, I can’t sleep —even with the husband pillow, I’m barely staying upright at night, so sleep is an intermittent thing. I can’t say I’m getting better yet, although it is probably unreasonable of me to even contemplate such a thing after only three days of being on the medicine.
The wind was so fierce the storm windows and window sashes behind them rattled with a startling strength. I was afraid the glass might break, even though every window has a storm window. The roof started leaking again by early morning, which just seemed inevitable. A tree in the back yard all but came down, one that wasn’t healthy, but at least it avoided the garage. The leavings of this storm are just more mess to clean up, beyond the regular spring cleanup, which I had hoped to start this weekend. Is this Ides of March or a Lion approaching?
I can’t quite believe it – a continuous, live webcam of a hummingbird nest. You never get to really SEE a hummingbird in the normal course of things as they move about so fast, so it is quite interesting to take a good long look at one at rest, not in motion. I’m sure since the posting appeared on Rav, many of the viewers are knitters; the thread is quite active, and others are Tweeting about it. The drama of nesting, broken eggs, and lizard attacks, set amidst the lovely green bower is quite compelling; Phoebe has become quite a star.
I was perplexed by the new stories today about all the things that go wrong on the Monday after the change to Daylight Savings Time. I don’t really have any problems adjusting to shifts to or away from Daylight Saving Time and I can’t really comprehend it – the change is a single, lousy hour. I was briefly startled tonight when I realized that it was completely dark out – night time! – and it was already after 7 PM; it will take a while to adjust to that pleasant reality, but the mornings are not an issue at the time of change.
Sunshine! It is bright and sunny, the harbor sparkles today. It suddenly, sharply, feels like –smells like- spring. I want to work in the garden, rake up the old leaves, reveal the tender pale shoots of lily, iris, and peony. As I was utterly spent by the time I got home from work, I quietly resigned myself to waiting for the weekend to indulge in a little bit of manual labor in the service of green growing things. I will need to work slowly, but I hope by the end of April I can do several hours without a problem.
Eating corned beef and cabbage for lunch today, I remembered several of my St. Patrick’s Days in the city – I think the best one was when I won tickets to see Hothouse Flowers in concert at noon and then went to Fitzpatrick’s. It was my first St.Patrick’s at Fitzies, and it was a wonderful, weird day. Elizabeth had to go to work at some point, then came back for the rest of the evening fun. The bartenders knew me well enough at that point that they kept an eye out for me and I never bought a drink all day.
Birds. I woke to the sound of birds chirping and making happy-happy noises. This is a real harbinger of spring. There are crocus in bloom in the front yard, daffodils pushing skyward at fast pace, tulip leaves poking out through the leaves….all signs of spring, but quiet ones. The birds are not quiet, even through the closed windows and storm windows. They babble early in the morning, but not ridiculously early; the sunrise isn’t so early yet. It does make you think forward to the long days of summer, even though we’re not quiet yet at the break even point.
Another day with the office to myself – unexpected and delightful. I do miss having an office to myself, or at the very least a cubby that faces people, rather than having them walk up behind me. That was one reason I disliked the setup at The Dream Job – however temporary it was supposed to have been, I was a Director sitting in an open cubby with my back to everyone, and although I worked on things that were of a “need to know” variety, the only position for my monitor allows everyone to see it. It’s the same thing here.
Working in the garden makes me happy. You can immediately see the progress you’ve made, for one thing. I like to create order. I like green growing things, and pretty blooming things – especially if they smell good. I am outside, moving, getting some exercise, stretching some muscles, but I’m not doing sports. Anyone who thinks that gardening isn’t work has never really gardened. Digging, pulling, pushing, reaching, tugging, bending, stretching – it can be backbreaking work. After last year, I hope I have learned to garden without breaking my back, but the first few sessions after a sedentary winter are difficult.
Without intending it, I had a pretty good Vernal Equinox. I had originally just planned to work in the garden. It was a fine day for it and I accomplished more than I’d hoped for. Then there was the added bonus of going shopping for a new laptop for himself when the three year old HP finally committed hara-kiri at noon. We had a late lunch out - and outside, sitting in sunshine while watching the Great South Bay. I may be slightly sunburned by it all, but what better way of honoring the start of spring and new beginnings?
Life is too bloody short. That seems to be the message the universe is sending these days, with a number of deaths and near-deaths that are happening around me although none in my immediate circle, thankfully. So what to do about it? I can’t just quit my job and start designing knitwear, or run away with G to some quiet corner of the world. How to enjoy my life more, make it more meaningful? That’s what we all struggle with, every day, in some way or another. Everyone’s answer is different, and we are so easily distracted from the struggle.
I wasn’t supposed to be bored today. I was supposed to be buried in a pile of work, making up for lost resources. I resent being bored, generally speaking, but today in particular as I was looking forward to having stuff to do that needed to be done -NOW!- not at some future date, but instead I spent the day quietly puttering and tying up various loose ends. Then, at 5PM, closing time, the workload finally hit. I need a big project to help me focus right now, I find myself drifting, mentally wandering and then actually wandering the ether.
These entries are my replacement activity for writing letters, in a way; the personal letters that you might exchange with a sister, or a mother, or a best friend. They are the innermost thoughts that I can put down on paper for others to see. These entries are not diary entries, as a diary is something I would be very certain would not see the light of day by anyone until after I departed this world. In those circumstances, I might be tempted to give expression to other thoughts, other rants, other half-formed thoughts. Then again, perhaps I might not.
Walking out at lunch today, I saw little tiny violas open and winking pertly at me in the little park area – small blobs of white blossoms decorated with purple lines. I love violas and violets. Driving home while it was still light, I saw the first forsythia opening their acid yellow blossoms on the Parkway. The earliest daffodils are open in my garden, the small crocus are beginning to die back. Over the weekend, I saw many of the large naturalized purple crocus in the back yard, they are really beginning to spread. Harbingers of spring are all around me.
It has seemed like the project that never ends. It has only been a month of effort, not just on my part but many people. I've done everything I can this week to assist, but there are some things I cannot do – I don't have access to the financial information, and I can't write the content, because I don't know it. This should be my last day working on it, but I have to assume that I'll get called upon for something this weekend, just because if I don't, I'll be really pissed off if my weekend gets interrupted.
I’m an inveterate list-maker. It is how I figure out on weekends what really has to be done versus what can be put aside a little longer, and what I am going to do that is something that I want to do, because a girl’s gotta have some fun. The last month or two of weekend ToDo lists were rather ineffectual, I barely did anything. Today, however, I actually completed virtually everything on the list – including filing my tax return. It feels good to knock off a number of items from the list, and actually make noticeable progress on others.
I’m still climbing my personal Everest to knit a pair of socks that fit. And because they’re for someone else, I keep plodding along; if they were for me, I’d certainly have already ditched the project by now. And joy, I thought I was done with the first well-fitting sock tonight, but no, it is a little short in the toe. Damn! I now have to unpick the grafted toe, but that is not going to happen tonight. Instead, I cast on a swatch for a new spring sweater, and buy the pattern that I’ve been ogling for weeks now.
Macaroni and cheese. Such a favorite from when I was a kid, although I never really liked Kraft's, Fould's was my favorite out of a box, although I can't find it locally anymore. Surprisingly, I really don't care for most home-made varieties, especially those based on a bechamel sauce - they're never cheesy enough, the sauce is always, well, like glue. I like the NY Times recipes, especially the crunchy version, but I think I want to mix it up a bit next time, maybe make it a tiny bit more creamy, maybe change the cheese, maybe add some panko.
Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day! My roof is leaking again. I've called the insurance company. My dining room ceiling is toast, I know this. The star burst decorative finish on the walls and ceilings in the living and dining rooms is partly why I fell in love with the house, why I've been reluctant to tear into these walls. There's no choice now, I must find the source of the leak and address it, but I know the decorative finish will not be replaced. Even if there were funds, finding the talent would be an issue.
I'm still not sure that I will ever understand the point of such trips, even though ours was clearly a successful trip. Such a long day, and the cost of all those hours times four people....it just seems a bit of a waste. Hasn't remote access and teleconferencing technology rendered the need for travel obsolete yet? Out of bed at 4:45 AM to be on the road thirty minutes later, and back home home at 9 PM. I was able to make some rocking progress on an overdue sock for G on the return trip, so not all was lost.
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