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I hate the piece of crap GM car I’ve been given while Lina is in the shop, hopefully being made whole once again. The car stinks, literally, and has a cigarette burn in the driver’s seat upholstery. The only saving grace is that the air conditioning is an amazing arctic blast from the second it is turned on, Americans do love their air conditioning, don’t they? The idea of being stuck with this car for a week is really loathsome – especially as this is a new model of the vehicle that did the damage to Lina in the first place.
I predict chaos and confusion ahead. I was unable to convince The Powers That Be that proceeding with this implementation time line would be tantamount to failure. Communication to all involved parties won’t happen, can’t happen in the time frames discussed, but I seem to be the only one willing to point this out. I’m surprised that the other two turned into Yes men in the presence of the new TPTB. Why am I the only one ever willing to be the voice of reason in the face of unreasonableness (whether deliberate or just the result of being ill-informed).
A vacation day, but no sleeping in for me, instead, I’m on an early train to the city. After a doctor’s appointment, I had brunch and hung out with Steph for hours. We talked about her health, the inevitable “whatever happened to X?” stories, and tried to put four full years since we last saw each other into perspective. It was great but it also allowed me to see a bit of how I’ve changed over the last ten years. Yeah, I’ve mellowed. Is that due to age, the back issues or Geoffrey? Or the accumulated impact of all three?
After going to see the Simpsons Movie (in part, because Geoffrey simply had to, in part to escape today’s incredible heat for a while), we drove past the house again. Every time we are there, we see a small flock of dragonflies cavorting in the front and back yards. I wonder if there are as many fireflies in the evenings? I am starting to absolutely obsess about the house, the space, the feel, the potential for the landscaping, just everything. We walked off the area where we’d put the pool, there’s still plenty of space for garden, deck/patio, play space.
From the bounty of the Davis Peach Farm I made individual peach pies. Very much like turnovers, but with a pie crust, rolled very thin. Quite delicate and delicious, especially when warm and served with vanilla ice cream. The unfortunate thing is that they don’t hold well – the crust goes soggy after a day or so. I’m not sure freezing would help. Unless I freeze them before they are baked… hey, I may be on to something here! I’ve got frozen, unbaked pie shells in my freezer, why not freeze the individual pies that we won’t eat immediately?
At work for less than 20 minutes and I'm nearly ballistic with thoughts of quitting and just walking away swirling through my head. I’m appalled and disgusted at some of the stupidity I see here. Or is it just that everyone is overburdened and in overdrive? Does it matter? I recognized over the weekend that there is no saving this job any more, and I need to get out as quickly as possible, without simply taking the first thing out of desperation. Although finding that “first thing” is taking considerably longer than I’d ever anticipated, let alone the “right thing.”
For about a week now, I’ve been trying to decide what color to select for my free cone of cashmere. A cone is enough for a shawl, stole or scarf, depending on the weight of the yarn. There are a couple of lace scarf patterns I’m dying to try, but admit I am intimidated by the amount of work involved in a single piece – sweaters are broken into several pieces. I’m waiting to see how I deal with the large purple cashmere stole before really diving into the complicated lace shawls. I want “finished objects,” not more “works in progress.”
It’s Showtime! I hate to say I told you so, but there it is: I TOLD YOU SO. Everyone has to learn it for themselves, I guess: that when I repeatedly try to warn you of the consequences of a course of action, those consequences will come true. And generally the consequences are not something enjoyable. Just before and after acceptance of this fact, there is the brief period where I’m the Voice of Doom, but moving beyond that, I become something of a trusted advisor – I tell the truth, I don’t spin things into what someone wants to hear.
Finally, no quibbling, no prevaricating, it is an honest 15. Hurrah! Of course, I initially thought I’d be here in March or April, but it was not to be. Perhaps the larger accomplishment is the fact I’m well on my way to redefining my relationship with food. Yes, I love it, I want to revel in it, but I want to be in control of it, rather than feeling as though it is dictating to me. Acknowledging that there are serious health issues in play has helped – I want to be around to spend the next forty years with Geoffrey.
Geoffrey arrived today, with bags and baggage. It wasn’t nearly as much stuff as I would have thought, but there is time to migrate more as is convenient, it is not as though the Gatehouse is hundreds of miles away. I’m looking forward to the prospect, although I know it will be bumpy – except for roommates in college and the first year in New York, I’ve never lived with anyone, especially not a Man. But the fact he actually has stuff in drawers now, in the bedroom and bathroom, means we are closer to really bringing the households together, finally.
After an absolutely beautiful, mild summer day, we gathered out in the back yard for a Seafood Extravaganza Evening. Celebrating my weight loss milestone, and Geoffrey’s return to the Yoke of Working Man Oppression on Monday, we worked our way through mounds of scallops, steamers, and lobster, a tomato, onion and smoked mozzarella salad with micro basil, grilled corn and fresh peach shortcake for dessert. This is how I imagined summers: with friends in the back yard with the dining set. We need to do this more often – although this summer is nearly over. A goal for next year, then.
The house is Hamptons-style, cedar shake siding with substantial white trim, and various dormers upstairs. There is a slate grey paver walkway from the driveway to the porch, which is nothing too substantial, but big enough for a few chairs and the inevitable corn stalks and pumpkins in fall. The wide front door is Craftsman-style wood with matching sidelights. Once inside, the wide front hall goes straight through to the kitchen in the back. First, though, on the right are the stairs to the second level, and the entry to the living room; on the left is the “front parlor”.
In the front hall is a nice closet, a bathroom with spacious shower stall and the stairs down to the basement. The living room is sunlit and large, with a fireplace, mouldings, and sliding glass doors to the back yard. The front parlour looks out on to the porch, and behind it, accessible by two French glass doors, is the spacious dining room, which has a wide entry on to the kitchen. The eat-in kitchen has an entry from the small back porch next to a small storage seat with coat-hanging nook and windows looking out to the back yard.
There isn’t an excess of countertop space and I’m not sure how I feel about the built-in desk space, the distance between the fridge and the sink/stove countertop, or the off-white cabinets that have a slightly French Provincial feel to them, but there is a pantry closet and a full size broom closet. It is a big kitchen space, very bright and comfortable. Upstairs, immediately to the right is the “library” bedroom, a small room made large and bright by a dormer on the east and west walls and lots of built-in bookcases and half-height closets. I want the room.
The guest bathroom is updated Victorian white tile, with cobalt blue accents in the floor, and while not posh, is extremely acceptable. There are other two bedrooms, one a little smaller, a perfect office or child-size bedroom, the other more suited to an adult guest bedroom, and both have decent closet space. The doors in the house, except for the French (glass) doors between the parlour and dining room, are “traditional Americana,” primed and ready to be painted, but neither of us like the style or the pewter-toned hardware. The master bedroom is not huge, but with two large closets.
A small hallway with a nook perfectly sized for my kidney-shaped vanity connects the bedroom and master bath. The toilet is discretely off to one side. A double sink vanity is on one side and the whirlpool bath and adjacent shower stall are opposite. The tile in the master bath is a tumbled limestone type. It is not a huge master bath, but comfortable. The hallway upstairs is wide, and would accommodate adding a permanent staircase to the attic, which is huge, beautiful and ready to be finished. The basement is full-height, and huge, and likewise ready to be finished.
The price on the dream house has dropped again. As I read the number, I’m momentarily filled with terror that someone else will buy it, as its approaching a very feasible number for many people. Perhaps the volatility of Wall Street and the housing market will keep everyone else at bay for just a little longer. Never mind Geoffrey’s Jekyll and Hyde attitude, alternating between “how to manage the financing?” and “not buying anything for at least 6 months” - I want to see the inside again and make a final decision: buy it or walk away from it completely.
Helene’s silver silk fan and feather pattern stole is burning in my hands. Her birthday brunch is tomorrow and it is almost done, but the second line of silk is now dreadfully snarled. All I have to do is to bind off the edge and I don’t know that I can untangle enough to manage that, as it will be the long edge of the stole. I have learned several hard lessons with this project, and cannot wait to be done with it and finish my lace sweaters. I’ve promised to finish those before casting on any other large project.
Puff the Magic Dragon is one of the beloved songs of my childhood, and with a distinct memory attached to it. The Saturday morning program at the Nature Center was something I really enjoyed - be it the occasional program in the actual Nature Center, the bike riding tours (even if I did get mistakenly attached to the Big Kid’s ride) or just a regular morning in the little cottage – and that is my distinct memory of the song: sitting in the cottage, someone playing a guitar, and everyone, I mean everyone, including the adults and older teens, singing along.
How to describe the sensation? Of being in a pressure cooker but without the humidity? A taut guitar string in the initial second after it is plucked, vibrating in all directions? I imagine that this is something like experiencing those g-forces in supersonic jets, but maybe it is something completely different. In addition to the unsettling sensations in my chest, is the tiredness and an odd tension, a brittleness, as if I might break or fly apart into a million pieces if I stop holding myself together. The doctor is of no help, telling me to just take deep breaths.
I feel as if I’ve aged twenty years in the last week. I can’t move fast, I’m having problems with strictly linear thinking, any excitement or activity and I feel exhausted. I don’t seem to be able to carry on a conversation without yawning several times. I don’t believe that there’s nothing to be done for me, that there’s no treatment for blood pressure that suddenly spikes this high other than just wait it out until you hit some magical threshold. Or perhaps this is just the hubris of living with the advanced state of medical treatment in modern America.
I think I’ve finally gotten over the Dream House. I’ve focused on the location flaw and the fact that I don’t want to wake up to commercial garbage collection sounds in any new house, and between the doctor’s office and the proposed new buildings, there’d be at least one commercial garbage collection right outside the bedroom window. Ugh. OK, so the windows wouldn’t have to be open in summer, the house has air conditioning. By focusing on that “flaw” very hard for the last several days, I’ve damped the hope that flared brightly after walking around inside the house again.
Another week of my one-on-one meeting with the new boss being blown off. Last week it was because a vendor was visiting, this week it's the budget. Next week, I’m sure it will still be the budget – the fiscal year doesn’t end until the day after the scheduled meeting. I sort of understood the lack of respect when it was the CIO who was blowing me off, but I find it very hard to tolerate when it comes from this guy. And gee, why not bring me in to the budget process, since we’ve got a $775K project next year?
There are moments that seem to make everything worth it, make you pause and realize things aren’t that bad. For me, it is often seeing a bit of natural beauty. After struggling to make it through the day, feeling as though I was going to explode, we went out to dinner at JT’s on the Bay. It was a beautiful night, not too warm or muggy, with a nearly full moon rising. As we walked back to the car, we both spotted it – the nearly full moon against the black sky, and its scattered reflection in the nearly black bay.
The small things about my house that drive me crazy are finally getting to Geoffrey. The kitchen light switch, relocated from being inaccessible when crammed between the wall and the refrigerator, is just outside the kitchen. And the fluorescent light fixture often refuses to turn on when the switch is moved. You stand there, flipping the switch, to no avail, five, ten, sometimes fifteen times. The fact of a single bathroom. The loud creaky stairs. The back yard that is anything but private. At least there is a viable solution for my feminine couch that isn’t comfortable for two people.
Often, movies made from books with irresistible stories are, themselves, completely resistible. And sometimes, movies from smaller stories that are made with first rate stars are little more than box office flops. I was concerned for Stardust, with Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Evertt, and Robert DeNiro, but after reading that Neil Gaiman, the original author, liked the movie version I had increasing hopes for it. After having seen it, all I can say is, “GO SEE IT YOURSELF.” It is probably the best movie adaptation of a book I’ve seen, true to the essence while appropriately modified for the visual medium.
I really liked the people I met at this small company, and the work would be very interesting. Some of it is significantly more academic, some would make use of my recent experience, and some would give me the opportunity to grow. The charming location would be an even longer commute. Ugh. And the company attitude is not at all friendly towards working from home. I'm disappointed, but not surprised, that my current salary is a bit beyond their reach, but I was very surprised and disappointed that there would be a day less time off than I currently have.
Co-emergence. Yin and Yang. Every cloud has a silver lining. The good is not always easily distinguished from the bad. Which is to say that life is one, big, messy ambiguity. Really? Gee, I hadn’t noticed…. what with a job I’m very interested in that pays less with fewer benefits and a longer commute, and a house we adore on the perfect lot, but with location issues? Yeah, life’s filled with ambiguity, so tell me something I don’t already know – like how to resolve some of that ambiguity, to differentiate between the layers of bad, like the levels of purgatory.
I am trying hard not to think about the job on the North Shore, but the desire to leave the current gig is so strong, I can’t help but focus on any semi-viable alternative that presents itself. The more I think about the situation, the more disappointed I am about the salary and time off. Those have me so on the fence about the whole prospect, I haven’t yet sent the required Thank You notes. It is seems impossible to seriously consider taking a job that wouldn’t allow me to pay 100% of my own bills, yet I’m doing it.
I want to be packing for DragonCon, but there is no trip to Atlanta ahead. I just want to go somewhere that removes me from this existence, and there’s hardly a better remedy than running around with 40,000 of your closest science fiction, fantasy and alternative freaks. OK, so Harlan isn’t there this year (where is he??) but there’s more than enough outrageous entertainment to go around, with stormtroopers and Klingons in costume, coffee or alcohol fueling the runs through the rabbit trail from one hotel to another Perhaps next year we’ll go again. Didn’t I say that last year?
I am utterly in love with the yarn from Sundara. The silk must be on the outside of the single ply, it is very soft and, well, silky. The color, Violet of Heliotrope, a plummy purple with bright notes of lavender and fucshia, brings me to my knees. I am knitting a swatch, I tell myself. But looking at how the variegated color plays with the lace, I want to immediately order the other 600 yards in existence and knit a magnificent creation, but 800 yards isn’t enough for a sweater so I am momentarily stymied on what to do.
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