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Walking the Cityís streets is always an adventure, even for streets youíve walked down a thousand times before, you can discover new beauties, restored facades and aging rock stars. There are a thousand choices for where to eat dinner Ė the tough question is, do you want be adventurous and somewhere new or head somewhere already beloved? We chose somewhere that is beloved to me but new to Geoffrey and feasted on honest German food at Silver Swan. Next time we should go to the City to just play Ė no events, no schedules, and no early wake-up calls the next day.
I was astonished when my name was put forth for Vice President of the chapter. I know Iíve done a lot of work, most of which has been acknowledged, but I was still surprised by the action. Of course, no good deed goes unpunished, and Iíve done more than my fair share of good deeds over the last two years. The other two names that were put forth declined, but it was still surprising. Even with the knowledge that most of the officers appear to be elected without opposition. But this doesnít mean Iíll be elected President any time soon.
When it rains, it pours. After hearing last night that I was looking for a new job, one of the board members approached me today. This is a very interesting firm, one that I didnít think was hiring. Apparently, Iíve managed to impress with my organization and follow-through, and although thereís not an open slot at this specific time, there may be one this fall. It would give me an opportunity to return somewhat to academia and research, while utilizing my professional knowledge and skills, with some occasional travel and presenting. This is ideal, on paper. Time to be patient.
For a few days, Iíll be renewed by the planning retreat, even though it has nothing to do with work. Thereís the feeling of new possibilities and beginnings, of having things to do, kind of like the first day of school, spilling over into work. I admit it, I was one of those children who loved the first day of school: the new books and fresh pencils, new teachers and subjects, and the hope that finally something would be truly interesting, new, maybe even slightly challenging. Unfortunately, I was generally left feeling deflated by my birthday and bored by Halloween.
I hate yappy dogs. I hate the owners of yappy dogs who leave them outside for hours on end. Are these people completely unaware of the yapping of their dog, are they so numb to the sound that they block it out? Or are they simply not there to hear the dog? Or do they simply not care that they are creating a noise nuisance? Yes, the new neighbor has a yappy dog, and even with my limited experience with the situation, I donít know how Geoffrey put up with it for years, as I find the noise very intrusive.
Can I capture everything I want in one pithy request for the universe? Not a rambling, vague statement, or 3 or 4 different fantasies shoved together, or only including a fraction of what I want? To build a life together with Geoffrey and have a rewarding career. Yeah, I think that about covers the significant points what I really want. The specifics of the career arenít significant, and although weíd prefer a large, comfortable home with some property around it, I think weíd find a way to be happy in the Crimson Tower Palace, even if it never gets renovated.
I dreamed of you last night. The circumstances and surroundings were fairly close to my current life, but I had called to invite you to some milestone event, although I had no expectations that you would acknowledge the message in any way. From an upstairs window of the house in my dream, I saw you get out of a car, and even though I havenít seen you in six or seven years, your appearance was crystal clear; my memory hasnít failed me. I ran to meet you, and we hugged; it was as though the falling out had never happened.
I want to find another author that intrigues me, that has a pre-existing body of work that I can work my way through over the course of the next year, or longer. I cannot seem to find books that hold my interest, so many of them have unsympathetic characters, implausible plots, or are so poorly written, I know whatís coming before I turn the page. For the past several years, Iíve basically been rereading my own library. Perhaps it is just time for me to invest in The Essential Ellison, which should keep me going for at least a year.
Weekend release. Playtime. Dinner out on Friday night is a good way to truly close off the week and all of the work-related issues. Running errands and groceries are inevitable on Saturdays. What else to do? Play in the garden? Drive out to Wickhamís? Sit outside and read while sipping iced coffee? My natural inclination, no, my natural compulsion is to work around the house doing all those things that never get done during the week, but this is counteracted by Geoffrey and his natural compulsion to lounge. I am learning to relax on weekends, although thatís mostly on Sundays.
The outside as living room... with the arrival of furniture, and the ability to sit comfortably outside and eat at a table, we immediately started planning, envisioning a pool, the deck, fence, everything it would take to create the private outdoor haven we both crave, and is possible given the size of the property. It would be usable from May through October, possibly a bit longer if we did get a firepit of some sort. That kind of work is more affordable than doing the kitchen, but I know I need to figure out the roof and the kitchen first.
Iím nearly finished with the heathered navy cashmere stole and Iím like a woman obsessed. I donít want to do any chores, read any books, do anything, other than knit and finish this stole. Of course, there are four more projects waiting in line, including the lilac lace mohair cardigan that is already in progress, that are pushing for their turn for my undivided attention. But my mind isnít done coming up with projects Ė the newly arrived French silk has me spinning with new ideas. At this rate, Iíve identified enough projects to keep knitting for the next two years.
Discipline. Habit. Things Iím normally quite good at, but which seem to be all but impossible for me right now. I know Iím hibernating in the only way that I can right now. If I had a pile of vacation, Iíd probably take a week off, or perhaps every Friday for a month. Iíd just like to hide away, read, sleep and eat for a week. True hibernation isnít possible, so Iím withdrawing from as much responsibility as I can right now, even those things that make me feel good, like going to the pool, and working in the garden.
Iím home today, too sick to do anything, including knit or read - ugh! That hasnít happened in a very, very long time. I can generally manage one or other but with the room spinning even when laying down, Iím not good for anything but the most passive lassitude. I slept most of the day after experiencing what appears to be (in retrospect) food poisoning. The cats are both being snuggly, trying to make me stay in one place as a result of their sixth sense about these things, or maybe just because it is a cold, damp day outside.
Iím having a terrible time keeping up with the program. Even though Iíve made the decision to do this, and Iím serious about it, when push comes to shove in the evening, Iíd rather knit than think. Iím having too many problems getting out of bed to contemplate trying to write in the morning. So Iím writing piecemeal at work, which is the circumstance Iíd hope to avoid the most as Iím certain it poisons the writing and thinking that I mean to be doing. It must increase the odds of work-related rants, which I specifically wanted to avoid here.
Ah, yes, all my bad dreams were fulfilled today. Not that there was really much likelihood or rational hope for any other outcome, but I am still outraged and pissed about the decision to further marginalize my work. At a very abstract level, I suppose it is interesting that in such situations I retain such impossibly optimistic hopes right up until the moment they are obliterated. But I think that if I had given up a month ago when this was all taking shape I would be even more miserable and more unhappy about the situation than I am now.
After a busy day running errands, we were dining al fresco at last, with an amazing accidental recipe for grilled rack of lamb with a citrus-mango marinade. Sitting outside at the end of a day with perfect weather, lingering over after-dinner conversation, it seems like the good life. I hope that we have many more like this during this summer, and on weeknights as well. I am really counting on the quality of my personal life to carry me through my work life for the next few months, as I donít expect any changes for me to happen before September.
Recently weíve been talking about raising children, the guidelines and principles we believe in, mostly in response to seeing poor behaviour on the part of children or parents, or both. Every time the topic comes up, I feel compelled to state it is purely a theoretical conversation for us, that weíve run out of time. Today, he beat me to the punch, suggesting that anything could happen in the next year, that the next six months would be quite interesting. I find myself wishing that he would just decide if he wants kids or not Ė no more waffling or equivocating.
Getting out of bed on a Monday seems almost impossible, even with, or perhaps especially because of, Geoffrey in bed next to me. I know the situation at work is causing this mental reluctance which has me sleeping until the last possible minute, hitting snooze, delaying the inevitable, sometimes waking with an unhappy digestive tract. It is second grade all over again, where the terrible witch of a teacher made me so unhappy I would start throwing up at the sight of the school bus. I donít think a new CIO can salvage this situation, it is too far gone.
Iím spending my days looking at yarn, looking at job postings, looking at anything to amuse myself. Iím so bored. There is very little real to do for those very long eight hours a day Iím stuck in my office. I could be knitting, I could be reading, but no, I have to at least look productive, even though thereís almost literally nothing for me to do outside of attend scheduled meetings and process change control. I want to scream somedays with the boredom. Iím almost at the point of downloading a free electronic book and reading it on screen.
After a full day of work at the office I came home to play baker in the evening, making the goodies for the solstice celebration. It was a late evening, ending with a cake that needed to bake for an hour and a half, but the clean up was very easy. It made me wonder about the viability of starting a bakery business out of the home by supplying desserts to local restaurants. My oven would hold four cakes at a time, even if my mixer wonít. An evening each for cakes, brownies and large tarts... would it be enough?
I spent quiet evening before the solstice Ė the longest day Ė begins. No party prep, no working on stuff, just a peaceful evening knitting and watching some mindless television. It was really all I was up for; my energy is being sucked right out of me by the situation at work. Iím working hard to resolve it, I even had an interview this week, but Iím not yet impressed by the company, the job or the prospective boss, as Iíve got more experience than he does, and handled a broader range of issues; Iíd have him for lunch in two weeks.
An evening of dancing in the kitchen with Geoffrey as we try to mince, chop, dice and mix our way through an assortment of different preparations for tomorrowís party. It is the first time that we are both working in my kitchen that is without countertops, and we actually manage to do quite well, which seems impossible, given how many problems I typically have working by myself in the space. Nothing we did required cooking, which is probably why things went so well Ė there was no worry about something burning, so there was no hurried movement, just grace under pressure.
A glorious day Ė perfect weather, wonderful food, delightful guests, an outdoor tea party with prosecco, melding into a late evening with spirits and desserts, gathered around the table in the back yard. This is what I always wanted in a solstice party, except for the mosquitoes, which were very fierce and uninvited guests. A few guests did not show up, although most of those did make their excuses. Although not terribly spiritual, it was an incredibly restorative day, from morningís assembly of too many sandwiches through to the final cleanup, and Geoffrey was at my side through all of it.
Today we visited Eagleís Nest. It was not as massive in scale as Old Westbury Gardens, but it was still a house I wouldnít want to live in. The views of Northport Harbor were quite spectacular, but the house (Spanish Moorish style), the furnishings (too many religious paintings and dark wood) and the guided tour (With ďactorsĒ !) - it was all not to my taste, not at all, although the specimens were fascinating when not grisly. I hope that somewhere there is a Great Home we can see, one where you can imagine a family with children living comfortably.
I am doing almost nothing these days at the office, so it shouldnít matter that the mammogram retest starts late and runs later, except this is my pet peeve: doctorís offices that cannot manage to stay close to appointment times. I am a professional with appointments during the day, but its unacceptable for me to expect someone to wait 30 minutes or more after they have arrived at my office for the appointment. Yet Iím routinely expected to believe that a medical degree excuses this rude arrogance, or that to advise patients that a doctor is running late is unnecessary.
Time to give an update on my list of knitting projects. Finished Objects: navy cashmere stole, blue linen shell (OK, so that is waiting for the side seams to be finished, then washed, but it is Off The Needles!). Works in Progress: uh, everything else from last month, plus a purple cashmere stole (I couldnít help myself, the fan and feather pattern is really therapeutic, and Iíve got lots of cashmere to play with). Iíve got silver silk on order for Heleneís birthday present, and am currently swatching a large section in the pale purple silk Iíve got, double stranded.
I love to dance. I took ballroom dance classes in college and have always wished I had done more with it. Watching competition ballroom dancers, I'm amazed at the dedication (obsession?) they have, but that isn't for me. It would be great to go to a real dance class once or twice a week, but I know Geoffrey wonít go with me. I can't manage a weekly pool visit in my current life, and dancing mean would letting down a partner. Iíll just continue living vicariously through the spectacle that is the TV show, ďSo You Think You Can Dance?Ē
It has been slow progress, but I believe I am changing my relationship with food. I enjoy it too much still, that hasnít changed, but I am able to say no to it. As long as thereís no ice cream in the house. Seriously, I am now notice when I am munching just to eat, not because Iím hungry, and I stop. Likewise, I am able to make better choices when I am hungry later in the evening, but hunger at work is still an issue, and making better choices when Iím out on the road is still very difficult.
We went to Port Jefferson for dinner and ended up somewhere other than originally planned, but we had a good meal nonetheless. The best part of the evening was definitely the drive back in the Miata, watching the full moon veiled in gossamer clouds play hide and seek behind the trees on the twisting road, all the better as there was very little traffic behind or in front of us. It was another unseasonably but delightfully cool night Ė it could stay like this all summer for me. With every mile, the problems of the last week fell further behind me.
An evening of quiet in the backyard, finally unbothered by mosquitoes. We watched a beautiful miniature fireworks display courtesy of the fireflies that gathered as darkness approached. There were dozens of fireflies and sometimes nearly all of them would glow in the span of a second, creating quite a show. I still cannot believe that there are no fireflies in England, home of the twinkling fairies Ė could it just be that John hasnít seen them?
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