Sunday, March 30, 2008

Anticipation, again

Waiting for company again.

I want to have a party, and yet part of me knows that the stress around planning it won't make it enjoyable in the least. I'm not talking about planning the food or the drink, I can handle that, but worrying about who to invite and who will show up, and should I invite random peripheral friends, because what if the main friends don't come and it's just a handful of people I barely know who will feel awkward because doesn't-she-have-better-friends-than-us? But of course I have to remember that a critical mass is only formed when you invite both good friends (who will come if they don't have conflicts, one hopes) and so-so friends (who are a mystery.)

I suffer greatly from what we used to call "Mary Tyler Moore" syndrome, named for the Mary Richards character she played whose parties always turned disastrous (by no fault of her own, though - usually it was guests bringing their own personal traumas into her apartment to upstage her festivities.) On the show it became a running joke. Poor Mary.

I'm not saying that I have a track record of throwing bad parties, but I find myself stressing about them as if I do.

I need to figure out, too, why I am so focused on having one, when clearly I'm more focused on the stress and annoyance than on the fun. Is it to show off my new apartment? To hang out with friends, my own way? To throw random handfuls of people together and see what comes of it?

My doorbell should ring any minute now. Posting.

A year later

Weekends, without a pressing list of packing or unpacking to-do's, seem wrong. Today I passed a couple coming out of the subway with a handful of internet printouts and a map, clearly headed for open houses. It's been about a year since I was one of them. Did I expect to find myself here?

In case I haven't made it clear, I am extremely fortunate and happy with how it's turned out for me. I have a bigger apartment in a nicer building than those first months made me believe I could ever afford. Part of a market slowdown? Maybe, but I think more likely I just was lucky to be in the right place (Craigslist) at the right time (day after Thanksgiving.) If I had gone upstate (as offered) for the weekend, I would have missed the open house and the best-final-bid process, and this apartment would have gone to someone else. If I had not been turned down by the other coop board, I'd be living in a smaller apartment on a less beautiful block, and someone else would be living here.

But here I am.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I wanna go home

Me: "I'd like to change my return flight today."

Delta Customer Service Rep: "Of course, I can do that for you. There is a $95 charge, since you have a non-refundable ticket."

Me: "Seriously?"

Delta: "Excuse me?"

Me: "Seriously?"

Delta: "Yes, ma'am, there is a $95 charge for revising a ticket when it's non-refundable."

Me: "Yesterday you canceled two flights on me, and I was stuck in the airport for three hours. I didn't charge you $95 for changing my ticket."

Delta: [silence]

Delta: "Is it okay if I put you hold to get a supervisor?"

Me: "Of course."

[Annoying hold music. Ads in a foreign language. Me wondering if my customer-service-karma will ever improve.]

Finally, Delta: "Okay, ma'am, we've made the change to your ticket and you won't be charged any fee. We're sorry for any inconvenience you were caused yesterday, and thank you for choosing Delta."

Me: "Thank you."

Delta: "Ma'am, is there anything else I can help you with? Are you interested in applying for a Delta American Express card?"

Me: [silence]

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Today is the day I choose to fly, on the Delta Shuttle, all of which are MD-80s.

Did you know that the morning after the liquid explosives scare, when they immediately banned liquids on flights? Yeah, I flew that morning, too.

My karma is right on, once again.

My 10:30 flight was cancelled (although not until 11:00 - the mechanics were supposedly still doing the inspection), the 12:30 flight had been cancelled much earlier, so I had to wait for a 1:30 flight. That's 3 additional hours in the airport. And if you've ever taken the Delta Shuttle out of LaGuardia, you'll know that it's not really at the airport, but at the Marine Air Terminal which boasts nothing more than a snack bar and free magazines ("Laptop"? "Cigar Aficionado"?) and newspapers (okay, the NY Times.)


Tomorrow promises a "wintry mix" on top of any lingering MD-80 issues. Should I just leave now?

Dry and clean

As I've said (here or elsewhere, who can remember), when you move 5 blocks in NYC you find a new dry cleaner. It wouldn't matter if the old one were between me and the subway stop, but since it's in the other direction, it means 10 blocks out of my way each time I want to drop something off or pick something up. There are at least 4 others in between my new apartment and the old dry cleaners, (and even one or two more between me and the subway), and since I have no loyalty to the old one (after 14 years they still ask me my name for the ticket), it's time to experiment.

Attempt one: failure. It seemed promising: signs that boldly announced "Eco-friendly" and the winner of many dry cleaner association awards (although to be fair, not having done my homework to know which dry cleaner associations might be the more respected, awards are meaningless.) A clean but empty (begin to wonder) storefront. An attendant who wore latex gloves even as he worked the register. (Does that seem odd, or is it me?) An inordinately long time for him to type in information on my clothes, which I later discovered to be detailed descriptions of each garment. Finally, a ticket with a total price so much higher than what I'm used to that I almost laughed.

I should have just taken my dirty clothes and left, but I didn't. A week later, I can vouch that the clothes feel no different than when I used to take them to the far cheaper non-eco-friendly place. I'm no idiot, I know that making purchase decisions based on sustainability is almost always more costly, but I just can't go there again. I will bury my head in the sand and go for the harsh chemicals.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Anticipation, another time

Waiting for guests to arrive is always unbearable for me. I have to keep jumping up to do something I'd missed (hide the kids' easter bags, replace the liner in the kitchen garbage can, put on lipstick.) It's so different here, too, as I am at the back of the building with no view to the street or any passing cars. No sound of slamming car doors to make me dart to the window to see if it could be them. Just sitting here listening to the tinkle of the aquarium (the water is low and in dire need of a change) and the rising hum of the tea kettle. (I am attempting to make coffee with my new french press coffee maker - since I (supposedly) don't drink coffee anymore, I'd gotten rid of the big clunker long before I moved. But I don't make coffee at home, ever, even if I am ducking into Starbucks more often than is healthy. Too late I realize, you are not supposed to use fully boiling water, just hot water. Oops.)

Sounds in the hallway. Not for me.


As much as I would hate for my gym to closer or cut services because of low membership, I really love days like today when it's empty. I don't have to wait for the good machines, or a clear spot on the warm-up mat, or a hot shower. Nobody has their stuff all over the bench in front of my locker. Sometimes, like this morning, the lights aren't all turned on, which I prefer.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Good Saturday

Am I not posting as much because I don't have as much to whine about? Oh, that would be sad.

I'm busy. That's really it. I'm happily fixing up my apartment (hung a full length mirror on the back of the bedroom door yesterday - without a mishap!) and busy at work, and fairly content. Not that all is rosy, because that would be boring.

Ventured down to the old building today to pick up my mail from another tenant. It was odd, because she came all the way down from the 4th floor to let me in, without my mail, expecting me, I guess, to go up to her apartment. I guess she was being hospitable, and maybe I should have been more gracious about it, but I didn't like being back in the old building, didn't like trudging up the dirty stairs past my old door. It felt wrong, and just seemed ultimately weird that she wouldn't have carried the mail down to me, since she was coming down anyway. Is she lonely?

I need to stop spending money. I have only one paycheck between me and the first mortgage payment. I tried doing my taxes and was horrified to see I owed over $700 in federal taxes. It feels really wrong, and I plan on trying it again, blank slate, hoping the numbers will jiggle themselves enough to come up with a different answer. And, I won't be getting the special refund this spring/summer, either. They lowered the maximum salary enough that I'm not eligible. Sigh.

Did I mention how much I love my new apartment? Tomorrow I have company, and am prepping to show it off. I need to mop and vacuum tonight, but otherwise it's pretty neat and clean already. When you care about something, you take good care of it, you know?

Since I am having people over, including small children, I am in an Easter mode. My opinion is that if you aren't especially religious or have children, Easter is an invisible holiday. It's not like you get any extra days off or anything. (Most of us, I mean, who already have Sundays off.) But this year I am buying up little plastic eggs and flower cookies and bunny card games. I even bought an assortment of pastel M&Ms from the M&M bar at Toys R Us - although I've proceeded to eat them all since. Somewhere in my cupboard is a bag of jelly beans, but I've forced myself to forget where they are, at least until tomorrow.

Today I saw "The Bank Job." I'll save my thoughts on it for later.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Midweek, lazily (plus "Miss Pettigrew" and "Snow Angels")

I'm working from home again today. No real reason, other than I like being in my apartment. That's a real (and wonderful) change for me, and one that just crept up on me. I mean, I wanted to be happy here, and I knew I was getting a nicer place, but to just simply have that feeling of "I don't want to leave" is really, really, rewarding.

Rain pitterpats on my air conditioners.

So much is happening at work, and yet I feel somewhat removed from it - not really on the sidelines, or above it, but distracted. Like the turmoil that is now will clearly disappear and there will be a fresh turmoil tomorrow, so why get too agitated over it? I think this is what people are referring to when they tell me I have a very calm demeanor in the office. They don't know that it's just because I'm old and no longer can be bothered to work up much energy over things that I can't control - and that are only going to pass any way.

Two movies last weekend! It's as if I'm back in the saddle again, freed from the constant obsession with all things move-related, and faced with a fresh crop of post-Oscar films. I saw "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" and "Snow Angels," two very different movies. "Miss Pettigrew" is, of course, a farcical comedy starring Amy Adams and Frances McDormand in pre-WWII London (just barely so, as repeated flashes of headlines question when the country will go to war, and air raid drills and skies filling with fighter planes pepper the otherwise frothiness of the film's mood.) (You know, it's 6 1/2 years since our own NYC skies were crossed with military jets, and still seeing them on the screen brought back those memories, again. Although I can't remember the names of the planes - and I knew then, back then, even me - I can remember the stark difference in the sounds they made as they passed above vs the every day hum of news helicopters.)

Now that was a tangent.

So, yeah, you have Amy Adams as a young wannabe star, a series of unsuitable suitors, a comical mix-up that results in McDormand's Miss Pettigrew becoming her "social secretary," if just for a day. A day in which, since this is a comedy, you can be sure that everyone's ills will be solved, and at least two happy couples will greet the closing credits. On the way there will be much gold and ivory and silk and muted colors, Amy Adams with her princessy upturned nose (and, no, I never saw "Enchanted," although I really wanted to, that is up until the moment during the Academy Awards telecast when I realized it is - shudder - a musical.) (But Adams sings in "Miss Pettigrew" and she isn't really bad, so...)

Tangent two. I can't even talk about the film too long without getting distracted. Guess that says it all - nothing objectionable or painful, but nothing that stays with you. A light meal, good quality, nothing you're going to want to get the recipe for.

"Snow Angels" is a drama about an estranged couple in a small wintery town, and some of the people whose lives intersect with theirs. We catch Kate Beckinsale's and Sam Rockwell's characters ("Annie" and "Glen") midstory, after they've separated and are in different stages in trying to rebuild their lives. They have a four year old daughter and not much else going for them, either as a couple, or on their own. The story is also told from the viewpoint of one of Annie's co-workers (for whom she used to babysit), a boy named Arthur who is played by the actor who was Jack's biological son on "Will & Grace." (Yes, that's where you saw him before.) A lot happens in this film, from betrayal to loss to forgiveness to revenge, and somehow it all hangs together in a completely believable yet tragically avoidable way. Beckinsale manages to pull off that gorgeous-woman-stuck-in-a-dull-life thing that Jennifer Aniston did in "The Good Girl" and I bought it. Amy Sedaris (!!!) is her friend and co-worker, and also nicely navigates humor and sadness. Even the characters who can claim somewhat of a "happy ending" do not get off scot free - this is a movie in which everyone is touched by tragedy and loss, only some bearing up better than others.

Ah, the heat pours on in my radiators. I need to get moving - even a work-at-home day requires an early start at the gym.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Oh, Karma, you devil

How long have been under this cloud of bad customer service karma? Since that time I didn't tip the curbside baggage guy at the Miami airport?

I've lived in this apartment for 3 weeks, and have spent most of my energy dealing with customer service desks, from Verizon, to Time Warner, to Amazon, to Fedex, to UPS. And now, icing on the cake: a piece of furniture I ordered from Pottery Barn, which was supposed to arrive via "white glove home delivery" (delivered, unpacked, and assembled in your home), was waiting for me in the foyer downstairs when I came home last night. All 150 pounds, in a large (7 feet tall) box. The very same item that I had already made an appointment to have delivered and assembled on a Saturday a few weeks from now.

I don't know what possessed me into thinking I could wrestle this thing up two flights of stairs. I wiggled it in through the inside door to the first floor hallway, stared at it lying on the floor at the bottom of the first step, and knew this was not happening. I pushed it over to the side wall, somewhat out of the way for neighbors and their dogs to pass, and ran upstairs to call yet another 800 number.

As you may expect, Pottery Barn customer service is much more pleasant than any I've dealt with. (Although Amazon was pretty great, too.) Not only were they horrified to find out what had happened, they never once tried to shirk responsibility, not even when they weren't quite sure what had happened. They understood that I was not going to be able to carry this thing upstairs myself (forget assembling it), and that keeping it in my building lobby was not only a security risk but a safety one. I was told that I shouldn't stay on hold while they straightened it out, given two direct lines (one a supervisor), and told I'd hear shortly. And, yes, within a half hour, a call that the delivery company is going to come today and take care of it for me. I didn't have to listen to the negotiations (I'd been told earlier that Wednesday looked like the soonest), just be told what's been done for me.

So, good, right? Not yet ready to celebrate, but hopeful.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Insomniac (for once, I'm not referring to me)

So, you know how they say that you can be in a comedy club on a regular night, with a line-up of relative unknowns, and one of the big guys will waltz in unannounced to get a little practice? Yeah, well, last night, I'm out to see a friend perform, and wham, halfway through the show, Dave Attell is announced. And it's really him. And suddenly, you go from pee-wee league to the major league play-offs. Nothing against the poor souls that proceeded him - one, at the least, was pretty damn funny - but the ones that followed were terribly, terribly screwed. It wasn't just that their material wasn't as good, or their delivery, or their experience - the energy of the whole room left when Mr. Insomniac slithered back out the door.

And he was funny. All over the place, constantly stopping jokes and starting others, commenting incessantly on what was working or not, making you feel a little like he was home in his bedroom practicing in front of the mirror, and you were the mirror.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Random is as random does

Are there owls in Brooklyn? Regularly at night I hear a soft hooting.

My new refrigerator is very loud. It's not new (except to me) so I assume this might mean it's also costing me a great deal in electricity.

Last week the cable behaved so well, I canceled my appointment Friday to get a new DVR. Naturally starting on Saturday it began to freak out again, and has not stopped. I have another appointment for this Friday. For two weeks it's been on the outs during AMC's weekly re-airing of "Mad Men" (1:00 am on Mondays) so I am feeling withdrawal.

When I started this blog I stumbled across two others, which I began to visit regularly. Now both are gone - one retired completely, the other moved to an undisclosed (to date) new location. Odd that both are gone; I keep checking, but yes, it's true.

The governor's scandal is so depressing. How can someone with so much going for him throw it all away for something so ridiculous? It irks me, too, that we live in a country (world) where some people think a woman can't be trusted with power because of her theoretical hormonal mood swings - yet we trust men with power who are willing to throw it all away for a good blow job.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Be kind, rewind

No movie again this weekend - had my eye on a few, but time got away from me. But last weekend I saw "Be Kind, Rewind," which was written and directed by Michael Gondry of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "The Silence of Sleep." Like those films, there is an immediate need to suspend disbelief in order to be taken on the ride the film promises; in this one, it's fairly simple yet twofold, for once you can accept that Jack Black's character can become magnetized (but otherwise unscathed) through electrocution at a local power plant he's protesting, you have to accept that an entire neighborhood will become fascinated by the fake movies he and Mos Def's character film to replace the videos that Black's magnetism erases. I of course had a harder time with the latter: they make one 20 minute film, rent it to one person, and there is a line outside their door the next day for more. But with any of the Gondry/Charlie Kaufman films, the ride is so joyful that I get on with little hesitation, and once I'm strapped in - wheee!

This is no exception - it's fun, and silly, and does, as the promos promise, remind you of why you love films. The two main characters, and a young woman they pick up at a neighborhood drycleaner's (when Black protests romantic scenes shot with only male actors), start creating new videos in order to save the video store which is about to be shut down (ostensibly for building code violations, although really to make way for new condo development.) So there is plenty of film-within-film parody, and some truly inventive filming methods - dangling strings over the camera lens to mimic older scratchy film stock, aligning the hands of black and white "actors" to mimic piano keys. Fun, fanciful stuff, exactly what you expect from Gondry (although still tamer than "Science of Sleep.")

Mos Def, new to me, (although with an impressive "in production" list on imdb) is decent, Black is his usual quirky self, but appearances by Mia Farrow and Danny Glover are startling. Farrow is a convincing batty old woman, but my god, when did she turn into an old woman? It's heartbreaking. And Danny Glover plays the same quiet, sweet, old-fashioned neighborhood grandpa you see in film after film (he has long refuse to switch from VHS to DVD or to raise his prices above a dollar a day, since the neighbors count on him.) But most confusing was the focus the movie had on "Driving Miss Daisy" and the inability I had (really, was it just me?) to remember whether Glover was in that movie or not. (Okay, so it's Morgan Freeman.)

Now, either the theater I was in had a bad copy, or the entire movie is shot in a somewhat dull and faded way, but this only underscores the theme of homemade entertainment being far more entertaining than its glossy counterparts. The locals, who start out as customers but become actors, set designers, techies and costume designers in order to bring their favorite films to life again, learn the love of movies from the inside out. Which, in the end, is what it's all about.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Bedsprings & Flowers

"Spring ahead" is my favorite time change, as it means that I'm not waking up so ridiculously early. Today I was awake at what would be 5:51, but which was now 6:51...

Small things.

Speaking of springs - I woke up last night to the sound of someone's squeaky bed. My beautiful new apartment where I will live happily ever after, disturbed by the sound of someone boinking. Well, if that's what they were doing I'm not sure they were doing it right - there was a few seconds of "squeak, squeak, squeak" and then a few seconds of silence and then it would start again. I know it's been awhile for me, but isn't there generally more of a steady rhythm, not a stop-go, start-stall?

I went into the living room and proceeded to fall asleep on the sofa, not the open sofa bed, but lying stiffly on my side on the sofa proper. Two hours later I woke up and came back to bed, to silence.

* * *

Friday I worked from home and I got a voicemail at work that there was an attempt to deliver flowers to me. I called the florist and they will deliver to my office on Monday. I resisted the temptation to ask who they were from. I'm stumped. It's likely something silly like a vendor who is trying to get my business.

Sadly, I can't think of anyone I've met recently who I'd like to receive flowers from. I mean, in a romantic way. What scares me is that I reconnected with an ex, purely through a business network (we were colleagues, oh so many years ago), and within two emails (the first being only a "hello"), he managed to spill that his marriage has gone sour, they are just together for the kids, it's in "name only," blah, blah, blah.

Maybe I'm too cold about this, and maybe it's easy to judge from the outside, but I think that's all hogwash. I have divorced parents, and believe me, if they had stayed together for us kids, we would have suffered much more. I think children are better served with parents who are happy and fulfilled in their life and loves, whether it's as a legal unit or separate households. Do you want your role models to be two people who were miserable together and only were that way because of you? Or do you want two parents who've made their own lives, and are finally happy, even if it's not with your other parent?

(This might seem contradictory for me to insist that a "broken home" taught me the value of a good relationship, as here I am, still single and without one of my own, but the truth is my siblings, all younger, have very strong and healthy marriages. Maybe I'm a bit more screwed up in that vein, but then again, I lived with our two parents longer than they did. So, hmmm, maybe I am proving my point?)

The other thing that annoys me is when a man assumes that telling you his marriage is "in name only" means that you would embrace his return into your own life. Why would anyone want to dive into that mess? If he's so free to date other women, why the farce of a marriage? You think the kids will be happier knowing that daddy is pretending to sleep with mommy, but getting it on the side from a woman who's willing to "wait" for them to graduate so she can be with their daddy for real? (And then, the youngest graduates, but there will be another factor - it's waiting for him to get on his feet with his new job, and then the other kid is going through a bad patch with his fiance, and the third one has a health scare, and - what was I waiting for anyway?)

You see I have strong feelings about this. It has the ability to destroy any joy flowers could bring. But of course I can't be sure it's him, it's just that the timing is weird.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Rainy days and Saturdays

Yesterday I was sitting at my desk (here at home, not the office), and glanced to the window at my side and was greeted with the underside of a squirrel as he ran up and down the metal grated gate that is attached to my window. I love having my desk by the window. In the last apartment the view was over a busy street into the windows of the building across from me. Here it's a fire escape beyond which is a large tree, bare this time of year, but already sprouting small reddish buds - it will be interesting to see how green and leafy my view becomes. Beyond that are small backyards which I can only see if I stand and peer down, and beyond that are the backsides of other apartment buildings. The yards make a bit of a courtyard - very "Rear Window" ish.

I don't know how I feel about the metal grate on the window. For one, it is fairly tightly meshed and so blocks light. It can be swung open over the fire escape, though. It's purpose is security, although it has no actual lock, just an inside latch. Still it's a bit awkward to slide open, and in the panic of a fire, I could imagine myself not getting it open. I think it might actually be illegal to block the fire escape this way.

I am sleeping better now, in my new bed and new home, with relatively uninterrupted sleep, but I still rise early. 5:30 today.

I am looking forward to a peaceful weekend, settling back into a routine. Packing is pretty much done - all that remains are the pictures for the walls, and I don't want to do them yet. I need to live with the space and the furniture layout before making wall decisions.

I need to see a movie this weekend! I saw one last weekend, for the first time in a long time (2008 is off to a slow start!) "Be Kind, Rewind" - I'll have to opine about it later.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Pitter patter

I have an insanely early meeting in midtown, so my alarm was set for 4:45. But at 3:45 I woke to strange sounds, which I soon identified as rain (hail? sleet?) striking the air conditioners. (I bought the apartment with the air conditioners still in the windows - I should have them taken out and stored in the basement, but it seemed like a lot of trouble.)

So now I'm up.

I fell asleep to a different sound - the tinkling of wind chimes somewhere outside. I don't know where they are, but sometimes I hear them from the street (the opposite side of the building) and often from my bedroom window. I like the sound.

Wow, it's really coming down now. I hope it's quieted somewhat when I have to leave at 6.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Balance in the universe

I have a phone! A real, working, landline phone. I had to come home to meet the repairman, but I had a non-booked afternoon, he was willing to sit outside my apartment in his truck until I did (he had "nothing better to do"), and it was painless quick. (The sticking point all along was that there was a ledge broken on the telephone pole that made it unsafe for anyone to climb and get to my line - the last 10 days were spent trying to get someone to fix the ledge.)

But naturally, my cable is now wonky. My beautiful HD DVR, the fourth one they've given me since August 31, has hard drive issues. So I will be here on Friday morning to greet another Time Warner service person to get a new DVR. The last guy told me that all he does all day long is replace these boxes, as they are pieces of crap. You'd think it would cost them enough in service call man hours that they could just provide better quality ones. At this rate, I will have had a new one almost every billing period - they might as well just send me a new one with my bill each month.


Or at least snippets. In one, I was cleaning out a refrigerator and found this long eel-like piece of fish that I knew I'd bought several days earlier, and figured was bad. I set it out on the counter to determine how to dispose of it and continued sorting through the other food. I glanced up and it was wiggling, moving, flopping like a fish, a big long flesh-colored, snake-like thing, suddenly alive and gasping on my kitchen counter. (Yes, I see the phallic symbolism here. But why would I want that on my kitchen counter, and why would it be suddenly alive and flipping like crazy?)

Then I was in the tunnels under Rockefeller Center, heading past take out food places and lower level entrances to corporate buildings, toward the subway, and right where Woolworth's used to be (when I worked in that area) four of my current co-workers were huddled, one talking very quietly and seriously to the others. I wondered if I walked up to them, if they'd include me in their secret, or if they'd clam up and pretend to be on about something entirely different, and if I'd know which was which. I finally decided to simply wave "hello" as I passed, but the leader of the group, K., came running after me and told me that she simply had to tell me, she was sworn not to tell a soul by a client, but she couldn't not tell people, and a woman on the other side of me (because now I realized I wasn't alone), said, "Is this about WW 3?" And K. said, yes, yes, that's it, and said how she knew for a fact that it was true, her source was really reliable: that we had entered into a third world war, but the government didn't want the public to know, since it was doomed and we were all doomed and why upset everyone? And I knew that she was wrong, but even so, felt a hollowness in the pit of my stomach, and started to rattle off (in my head, for she'd run off again), all the reasons it was illogical: there was no way to hide this from the media, they'd need to recruit many many more soldiers, too many people would know and you can't keep that big a secret if even more than one knows it, plus there was the foreign media, etc.), but I woke up and all this reasoning was still running through my head as if I needed to crystallize it and write it down for the next time I saw K.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Campaign trail

A friend of mine is very involved in the Hillary campaign. She has been traveling to volunteer in other states now that the NY primary is over. When the subject first came up, months ago, I mentioned that I hadn't decided which of the leading Democrats to vote for. She told me that if Obama won the nomination, she'd likely vote for McCain.

We never discussed again my opinions, and I never told her I voted for Obama in the primary, nor that now I really feel he is the right candidate. Yet she acts as if we are in sync, that every mention she makes of Hillary is one I fully endorse. I don't think I should have to tell her that I disagree, nor do I think making a bold statement of "let's not discuss politics" would do anything but make it more of an issue than it needs to be. So I just sit quietly and change the subject as subtly as I can.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Day of waiting, over

My call to Time Warner was painless. She reinstated my premium channels, plus fixed my billing errors and gave me credit for the days I've gone without. It was such an easy satisfying process that when I hung up I actually started to laugh.

I love my new bed. We'll see how well I sleep on it tonight.

2:11 pm

Cable guy showed up at 1:50, ten minutes before his 4 hour window expired. I now have my DVR working, and my own internet access (thank you to the unsecured neighbor who let me "borrow" all week), but I don't have my premium channels. I am on hold now with TW customer service - he told me he couldn't do it, but that it could be fixed over the phone.

Hmmm. This sounds like the start of another nightmare, no?

I won't sit here too long. I want to get outside and buy food. Enjoy the sunshine. Live outside of my bubble.

1:26 pm

anxiety level rising

1:02 pm

No cable company. Not happy. 1 hour to go, and I'm hungry and my refrigerator is empty. All of my books have found homes (albeit crowded ones), I washed and dried two throw rugs, and vacuumed (with cell set to vibrate in pocket, and ear turned toward door buzzer.)

12:32 pm

Box spring showed up just as I posted the last entry. Now I have a comfy, fully made bed. No cable visitor yet, though.

2 hours and 32 minutes into the cable company's four hour window.

10:42 am

Bed has been delivered, set up, and the packing materials taken away. I love the way it looks but can't fully appreciate it as the box spring hasn't come yet.

2 hours and 44 minutes into the box spring's 4 hour delivery window
44 minutes into cable company's 4 hour window (preceded by an automated phone call to confirm, so hope continues)

I caught my inside palm in the latch of my stepladder as I was pushing it locked. I am in severe pain. But I have almost all of my books unpacked - still struggling with where to put them all (could I really have that many more than when I packed them? Do they breed? Multiply?)

9:31 am

91 minutes into the mattress company's 4 hour delivery window
31 minutes into the furniture company's 3 hour window
29 minutes until the clock starts ticking for the cable company

I've managed to do a load of laundry (wash, dry, fold), and quickly review my taxes (scribbled notes, not on the actual form.) I thought I'd get a federal refund as I had a sizable bonus in the fall that was heavily taxed, but it looks like I will actually owe a few hundred. I had to put it away, and will figure it out from scratch again to be sure. But it also looks like I get $100 back from the state/city, which is something I guess.

Next year I'll need an accountant, as I will have all the nuances of coop ownership, etc.

On call

I just went down to the basement (which involves walking out the front door, down the stoop, and down a few steps under) and when I stopped on my way back inside to pick up the neighbors' newspapers that were stacked on the top step, a woman walking by sang out, "Good morning!" Is the whole block this friendly?

The sun is shining; it was supposed to be rainy.

I have two deliveries and a service call today: a box spring, a bed, and the cable company. I have posted my cell phone and apartment number at the front door (with the security of extra tape) so that none mistakenly (despite my instructions to their dispatchers and customer service people) call my phantom landline. I will not let Verizon ruin something else. (No phone yet, of course. I have a full name and direct phone number for a manager but she was still working on it Friday. I discovered, too late, a call from the Brooklyn engineers - of course they called me on my non-working line, because that makes a whole lot of sense when I've repeatedly given both cell and work numbers. Sigh.)

I am poised to jump for buzzer or ring. Who will come first?

Going to the dogs

My new block has the added bonus of a regular pile of dog crap, which seems to reoccur roughly at the same spot on the sidewalk, sometimes closer to the curb, sometimes to the front stoops of the buildings alongside it. Coupled with the uneven sidewalk slates with whose pattern I've yet to become familiar, it makes walking a head-down affair.

This morning, out for an early coffee run, I noticed an elderly woman in front of me walking two dogs, rather large terrier-types. (My dog breed knowledge is limited to those owned, or once owned, by members of my family. My car model knowledge is infinitely worse, having never owned a car and often unable to tell you the color of a family member's vehicle even as I'm sitting in it.) (Well, at night, between navy and black.) One dog was standing, somewhat crouched, a fresh pile between his hind legs. While I didn't actually see him deposit it, the way in which he staggered away and turned back to look at it led me to believe it was his own. The woman tugged at his leash and kept walking.

As I passed her, I wondered how much of a dirty look I could give or if I'd have the balls to say something. But then she smiled and said cheerily, "Good morning" and all I could do was mumble, "Good morning" back. I am a wimp.
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