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We made an unplanned stop at the dream house yesterday. Geoffrey admitted he canít get it out of his mind either. Theyíve made some progress, especially with the landscaping, and while the fireplace box is acceptable, neither of us likes the kitchen cabinets or the painting of the front door. We spent half an hour wandering outside, peering in windows, sitting on the back steps, discussing the house while watching the largest flock of dragonflies Iíve ever seen play chase in the backyard. This house as an almost magnetic pull on us, even if the location isnít everything we want.
Another unbelievably boring day at the salt mines. Iíve tried to write there, Iíve got time, but Iím just not comfortable, I canít get my mind into that gear. This also would be the perfect time to get stuff punched out for the InfoSec group, but it appears that the boredom has numbed my brain, I canít seem to think, Iím unbelievably unmotivated for any kind of mental activity. I am so bored, Iím going to try to read a novel onscreen, although the selection of free e-books is rather limited Ė it will at least appear as if Iím working.
Itís always fun to break up the work day with a trip to the doctorís office. Itís even more fun to get the news that they still canít find what theyíre looking for, that another test with a scary name is required at a later date. Iím looking forward to the needles, yes, indeedy I am, maíam. Thereís no point in worrying about this, Iím told it is a common procedure, yes, yes, we do hundreds of them, it is just a precaution. Iíve two weeks to wonder what will happen and just how much fun it will actually be.
I don't want to see people or to be social today. I want to do my garden work and then sit comfortably and knit, or read. No making nice-nice with other humans, except Geoffrey, but since he's not here today, I want the world to go away and just leave me alone. I also really want a chocolate malt, but on the theory you donít get everything you want, I opt for privacy instead of the ice cream confection and consequently ignore the neighborís holiday celebration as best I can, thankful the unstable weather provides an excuse for staying indoors.
I dream big. All the things Iíve really dreamed about for my life have been big things, seemingly improbable things at the time. Not all of them materialized, and sometimes the dream changed before it could come true. I never really worried about smaller things, perhaps because I was confident I could bring them about myself. Now, my dreams really donít seem to be such obviously improbable things, they seem more realistic than some of those earlier big dreams, but given that nothing seems to be shaking loose to make them happen, they do seem less likely to come true.
I just kind of collapse on Friday nights these days. I make it through dinner all right, but by 10:00 in the evening, I am yawning. Even in a week like this, a supposedly ďeasyĒ week (meaning, there wasnít a lot to do, not many meetings, and a day off work in the middle of the week), I am all but asleep on the couch at 11 pm. Perhaps because Iím trying to stay up later on weeknights, trying to get an extra hour into my waking schedule so that I can flip that hour to the mornings and writing?
It is interesting to see what choices other people make, especially about their home. I think often it is related to the type of person you are: do you deal with form or function? When a house needs serious attention, do you address the foundation and structural issues, or simply paint and plaster the inside? It seems many homeowners choose the latter, leaving the former issues for the next occupants to deal with, allowing those things to deteriorate from small projects into major renovations. It probably isnít surprising, as most people focus on form over function, but it is disappointing.
I went wild this weekend, starting (again) on a kitchen redo, I couldnít stand the open basket pantry any more. So I chose the hottest day of the year to tear apart the pantry. Plastic drawer units, a curtain rod and a length of fabric will help me organize, and keep food containers and cooking pots clean, and hide the entire mess from view. Iíve hatched a wild scheme on how I can redo the kitchen without spending $30K and having a contractorís mess for months, but it hinges on electrical outlets in the kitchen being wired on separate circuit.
The universe is a strange duck. One of Geoffreyís neighbors has expressed an interest in buying the Gatehouse, with the idea of turning it into a guest cottage so that his daughters can be close enough to his pool and tennis courts, while not actually being underfoot in the neighborís own waterfront house. Could this possibly turn out to be the way to quickly and easily sell the Gatehouse, allowing us to move on, develop our plans and actually make some decisions? Would we be able to move it along fast enough to seal a deal on the dream house?
Last night I worked on knitting Heleneís birthday present which remained untouched through the weekend. I tried untangling a massive snarl of silk but eventually had to cut the threads and started rewinding the silk onto a new cone until I ran into the same massive snarl. Then I pinned the hemlines on one of my new kitchen pantry curtain panels. I didnít want to stop with only one pinned, but I needed to sleep. Iím making things, and the ideas keep pumping out of my head, combinations of patterns, yarns, stitches, even ideas on how to renovate the kitchen.
Iíve fall off the wagon. I was home sick today but didnít write anything for this day. So now Iím backfilling. Fionn enjoys cuddling when Iím home sick, being as snuggly as he knows how, which Iíve always found interesting. Merlin did the same and I would often find myself beneath a blanket of cat on the comfy chair when I was home sick. Consequently the story later this month about the nursing home Grim Reaper Kitty didnít surprise me at all Ė some cats do sense when somethingís not right, and they try to be close, offer comfort and warmth.
I got a call from another woman in InfoSec, Karen, who wants to start her own firm, and someone who has the credentials of having very successfully sold security services, and has a network of customers, CIOs. Weíve spoken in the past, but nothing came of it then. Sheís putting things together, and while I find the prospect of working for myself very tempting indeed, Iíve already jumped off that cliff once before and donít know that I financially afford to do it again so soon. Weíll get together sometime this fall when Iím in the city, see what happens.
With Dr. Bob and Evelyn, we went on impulse to the Great South Bay Music festival, to eat unexpectedly decent carnival food, cruise really bad crafts and vendor stands, and have our eardrums assaulted by music that was simply much too loud. There crowds werenít as thick as for the Irish festival and had a high quotient of aging hippies, which must hav been imported from somewhere, because they donít all live around here (although I did see my mailman!). Geoffrey and I enjoyed a blast from our past, Richie Havens, who as an acoustic performer, was actually not over-amplified.
We went househunting by accident, discovering open houses in one of our target neighborhoods as we drove past. Although charming and overall spacious, these older homes would need renovation to make a master bedroom big enough to be comfortable, and they all lacked a master bath. Which brought us back -- quite literally -- to the Dream House, which really doesnít need any layout changes, except making a permanent staircase to the attic. It needs landscaping, a pool and a full 2 car garage, but the inside of the house is just fine. At least, we remember it that way.
After waking early as instructed, we spent half the day waiting for the freezer to be delivered Ė our very own freezer in the basement. Weíre both excited about it, with dreams of fresh frozen produce, baked goodies, special deals on ribs or cheese or simply having room to freeze leftovers, although Iím a little concerned about the electrical system, my house is only 60 amps. After the freezer arrived, we had to stick around and make sure it got cold without blowing the circuit or the whole electrical panel. All went well, however, and now the dream is a reality.
Going to back work on Mondays is just plain difficult. Not liking the job, not liking the commute, knowing Iíll be bored, it all just makes me sick. Sometimes literally. It reminds me of second grade, as noted elsewhere in these words. Going to work is harder when Geoffrey is there, only half-joking when he asks me to stay home, play hooky with him. Iím tempted, every single time. And yet, getting out of bed is harder when he isnít there, when I can hide my inaction from everyone else. At least until I have to call in my absence.
The commute to Brooklyn was easier than I thought, except for the heat of the platform at Atlantic Avenue. The trip to Grand Central and Rye was likewise easier than anticipated, in part because I left the conference early. Dinner at Fish, followed by a drive around Rye and visit to the marina, it felt like a Friday night. Not an Anything Can Happen Wednesday, those are too far in the distant past, but a Friday night. Unfortunately, I will have to get up early and go to work tomorrow, proving it isnít a Friday, merely a plain old Tuesday.
Nothing new on the knitting front. Iím still working away at Miss Hís present at home, and hauling the purple cashmere stole around. I made huge progress during the last two days, knitting on the train and during conference sessions, so now it is too big to take on the train. Iíve not finished anything, although I have ordered several new patterns and a few individual skeins to swatch and understand if the yarn will work for what I want. Once these two stoles are done, Iím going to finish the spruce green lace sweater, and the mohair lace jacket.
I think we all learned more about the New Boss today than anyone was anticipating. It was good to hear him say ďthe job suckedĒ in reference to his past, it shows heís a real guy, that he can understand dissatisfaction with the work or the people around and above you. Heís given hints of what he wants to do, the direction heís going to head. And while minimizing our reliance on consultants is guaranteed to get the team behind him, standardizing and implementing controls is not. But it did give me hope that things might change for the better.
I realized I'm hardly listening to music anymore. I don't really know why - is it a question of time? No, clearly, I have time on the road, time at work, and time while knitting. Is it because Iím bored with my music collection? No, thereís Arvo Part I still havenít listened to, seven months after Christmas. Am I punishing myself for not writing on a daily basis? HmmmÖ.. perhaps. Whatever the reason, I have vowed to bring along at least two CDs in the car, for the ride home, and perhaps music at the office. Music makes me happy.
We made it a playday instead of chore day, and spent most of it driving around the north shore, looking at Great Houses. Or the shells of formerly great houses. Chelsea in Muttontown, Castle Gould and Hempstead House in Sands Point, and a brief stop in the parking lot of Inisfree Ė at that point I couldnít go in, I just wanted to head home. The views of the Sound from Hempstead House were magnificent and even though it is closed and stripped of most furnishings, enough of the former glory remains to make me weep at what has been lost.
I'm doomed. I'm not writing daily, I've not been able to bring that discipline around yet. I'm hoarding bits and pieces, jotting them down, then trying to write several days, weeks even, in one sitting. I know, this is not the spirit of the project, but it appears to be the only way I can manage this right now. It would be so much easier to give up, not write at all, admit my failure and lack of discipline. But I canít seem to do that either right now, all I can do is persevere and hope for the best.
I played hooky today. It wasnít premeditated, but I needed a mental health day, and it was cool and rainy Ė a good day to stay inside and watch bad TV or videos. Geoffrey stayed, convinced by the universe not to go home on Sunday night. I have realized in the last few weeks that Iíve not had a decent vacation in nearly three years, nothing beyond a long weekend, and those have been rare enough, while working longer office hours, and having fewer holidays off than ever before in my life. I need time off before the Fall Reunion Extravaganza.
Medical technology has made terrific advances in the last twenty years. The kinds of tests that can now be performed with minimal invasiveness to the patient, is amazing, even if weíre not quite at the days of Star Trekís little scanning device. The many kinds of imaging technology, the fact that everything weighs less and is more flexible, it all allows more information to flow to the doctor Ė who is still the human element in interpreting the information and making a diagnosis, subject to human limitations and failures in judgment. But would anyone trust a diagnosis made by a computer?
The Universe gives and takes away: everything's fine with me but the party interested in the Gatehouse doesn't want to spend anywhere near what the house is worth so the deal is off, the plan is back to putting the house on the market in the spring. Geoffrey has mentioned options that would allow us to buy a house before then if we actually settle on something, but the issues concerning the Dream Houseís location are still bugging both of us: even if we werenít bothered by the neighboring development, would it make it difficult to sell in ten years?
Am I evil for enjoying the chaos I see brewing? Do I really care? No, I honestly do expect to be leaving soon although I donít know how or to where. I canít imagine that all these changes will actually happen, that the organization is ready to change course. Besides, I want more guaranteed time off or the ability to work from home, and thatís not going to happen, although the New Boss is out on a weekís vacation already. The potential of the job, if they are successful in changing course is enticing, but the benefits donít cut it.
I was actually busy today at work. Things have picked up, thereís enough to keep my busy, if not actually engaged, during work hours. Helene and I spoke by phone at lunch, kind of got caught up, but I wish we could have sat over dinner and talked through things, rather than just doing an update. Am I really ready to work in the city again? Probably, if I could work from home one or two days a week. I have been thinking about Karenís proposal, and Anitaís potential job; they interest me more than the job up the street.
The universe keeps things in a devilish balance Ė never handing out a really good thing without something bad happening. Thereís another party interested in the Gatehouse, who specifically wants a stone gatehouse with slate roof. The deal is almost too good to believe, but if it all comes through in the next few weeks, it still wouldnít conclude for nearly a year. Hmmm. Good things come to those who wait? The bad: someone with a learnerís permit scraped Lina while driving in a parking lot. There goes the last of my ďextra cushionĒ for the deductible to get things fixed.
Sitting on the red couch with Geoffrey in the evening, watching the Sunday night TV rituals of The Simpsons and Iron Chef, we were both very happy. It might have been a fleeting thing, what with the immanent return to the working week and the Island for me, but at that moment, at the end of a day filled with quiet goodness and a basement that didnít flood, we were both just content to be, and be with each other. IT was further proof that the best things in life are free and that the small things really do matter.
The fog this morning, combined with very light Monday morning in Summer traffic, made for an almost magical commute from Rye down to the Island, and on day of the full moon no less. The bridge appeared to be, quite literally, a road to nowhere, its sides melting into an impenetrable grey haze and the towers seemed to float in mid-air with no end and no beginning. It reminded me of the modern bridge from New York that was attempted in Mark Helprinís
which is really one of my favorite books. Perhaps it is time to reread it.
I hesitate to ask, but can they really be that stupid? Are they unbelievably optimistic? Or are they in complete and total denial about the reality of the environment? Then I ask myself, do I care what the answer is? And, yes, I do care, although I still canít understand why I care. I donít like working for and with stupid people, I guess. But the other two options, irrational optimists or being in denial, are also significantly problematic for me to deal with. Any combination of the three is also unacceptable. The only solution is for me to leave.
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