Saturday, June 25, 2011
BEAUTIFUL!  I’ve been in and out of the house since 8 this morning.  Dropped off the laundry, did some grocery shopping, returned home and made 2 trips to get everything from the car to the apartment; went out to the party/restaurant supply store and then the deli to get a stern tray set up and 5 quarts of meat gravy; came home and got it all up in 1 trip; went out to the liquor store and got wine then went to the beer distributor but the beer was cheaper at Shoprite so I went back to Shoprite and got beer and soda; returned home and got it upstairs in 2 trips; then I went out again to pick up my laundry and a couple of quick-pick lotto tickets for tonight and a quick trip to kmart to get some tubs to put the beer wine and soda in and then back home and got it all upstairs in 1 trip—forgot to take the dvds to mail and forgot to pick up my mail.  oh well, there’s always tomorrow.
Speaking of which I have to go to the baker tomorrow to get bread, cookies/pastries and then I have to get ice and some prosciutto breads….
I can’t wait to go back to work on Monday and relax!  Oh no, that’s not right.  On Wednesday sometime, it was discovered that the guy who does payroll for our department has been fiddling the books.  He was confronted on Thursday and suspended.  They’ll figure out what to do with/to him when they’ve audited the books to see how much is at stake.  I’m quite sure they’ll prosecute him for embezzling funds.  Dope!  So on Monday I’ll be helping with payroll.  Stop laughing - it may not be right but it’ll be honest errors, not cheating.
So back to my party this weekend.  Somewhere in between all my trips out and in and up and down I was in the house for 5 minutes when the buzzer went.  A few minutes later my doorbell rang and it was the flowers above.  My friends Loren and Jill from Indiana sent them to me.  They’re gorgeous and will definitely be the hit of tomorrow’s soiree.
Now I’m cooking.  Tell me, why doesn’t my water EVER come to a rolling boil?

BEAUTIFUL!  I’ve been in and out of the house since 8 this morning.  Dropped off the laundry, did some grocery shopping, returned home and made 2 trips to get everything from the car to the apartment; went out to the party/restaurant supply store and then the deli to get a stern tray set up and 5 quarts of meat gravy; came home and got it all up in 1 trip; went out to the liquor store and got wine then went to the beer distributor but the beer was cheaper at Shoprite so I went back to Shoprite and got beer and soda; returned home and got it upstairs in 2 trips; then I went out again to pick up my laundry and a couple of quick-pick lotto tickets for tonight and a quick trip to kmart to get some tubs to put the beer wine and soda in and then back home and got it all upstairs in 1 trip—forgot to take the dvds to mail and forgot to pick up my mail.  oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

Speaking of which I have to go to the baker tomorrow to get bread, cookies/pastries and then I have to get ice and some prosciutto breads….

I can’t wait to go back to work on Monday and relax!  Oh no, that’s not right.  On Wednesday sometime, it was discovered that the guy who does payroll for our department has been fiddling the books.  He was confronted on Thursday and suspended.  They’ll figure out what to do with/to him when they’ve audited the books to see how much is at stake.  I’m quite sure they’ll prosecute him for embezzling funds.  Dope!  So on Monday I’ll be helping with payroll.  Stop laughing - it may not be right but it’ll be honest errors, not cheating.

So back to my party this weekend.  Somewhere in between all my trips out and in and up and down I was in the house for 5 minutes when the buzzer went.  A few minutes later my doorbell rang and it was the flowers above.  My friends Loren and Jill from Indiana sent them to me.  They’re gorgeous and will definitely be the hit of tomorrow’s soiree.

Now I’m cooking.  Tell me, why doesn’t my water EVER come to a rolling boil?

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Unpack!

I can’t seem to get below 10 boxes to unpack.  Right now here in the little room I have 6 big moving boxes to do; there are 2 boxes on the dining room table and 1 in the bedroom.  Wait - that’s 9 not 10!  Woo hoo!  (Anyone want to do this with me?)

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Friday, June 3, 2011
SEX?  Hello.  Well haven’t the last few months been something.  I finally closed on the 16th of May and painting started on the 18th and I moved in on the 26th.  Talk about a fucking rollercoaster.  Ever since I moved in I’ve been on the verge of tears of frustration and I don’t know what.  I don’t think I miss my old apartment all that much but the move has been so very stressful for me.  My parents bought me an etegere for the bathroom and so I opened the box to assemble it and it’s got 9 fucking million pieces and needs to be anchored to the wall so I just burst into tears and put it back in the box.
Then the toilet developed a leak.  I was absolutely freaking out afraid it meant serious water damage to all the apartments beneath me.  Fortunately it just meant having the toilet re-seated but what a fucking drama it was.  I used the vendor that the building uses for their stuff - sounds good, no?  NO!  Yesterday the plumber came and tightened the bolts.  Ok.  so far so good.  I flushed the toilet last night and it leaked.  Fucking hell!  I called the plumber and my phone was out of order.  Fucking fucking hell.  Shitfuckhelldamn Verizon fios you shit.
Made arrangements for the plumber to be here today at 2:30 so I took half a day off work and then spent 45 minutes (last night) on the phone with Verizon getting the phone straightened out.
This morning the TV went to a green screen.  Double fucking fucking hell.
Went to work and got home about 1:30.  Called Verizon and got the tv straightedn out.  Fuckers.  Parents showed up (they took care of yesterday’s plumbing visit).
Wait wait wait.  Due at 2:30.  I called at 2:45 and was told in half an hour.  Many calls later he showed up at almost 4:45 - work stops at 5pm.  Super okayed working past the deadline. 
Sloppy work.  I hope they stopped the leak.  It tires me to write about it.
Anyhow.  It’s fixed.  Mostly.  But the thing is my parents can’t call my house phone using their house phone.  They’re Time Warner Cable and I’m Verizon Fios and for some reason when I switched from Time Warner Cable to Verizon the number got switched but there’s a hitch somewhere and it’s just a royal fucking pain in the ass.
I’m tired.  Really tired.  Need to call the doc and get a new rx for the anti-depressants.  Moving is stressful, no doubt about it.
Just reread one of my favorite books:  A Round-heeled Woman by Jane Juska.  This is the personal ad she placed in the New York Review of Books “Before I turn 67 - next March - I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like.  If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me.”  It’s a very honest and moving account of her life and her sexual adventure(s)—some good some awful.  But the most moving part of the book is the chapter about her son.  (oh and she has some good sex too - there’s hope yet - if you’re brave enough to go for it.)

SEX?  Hello.  Well haven’t the last few months been something.  I finally closed on the 16th of May and painting started on the 18th and I moved in on the 26th.  Talk about a fucking rollercoaster.  Ever since I moved in I’ve been on the verge of tears of frustration and I don’t know what.  I don’t think I miss my old apartment all that much but the move has been so very stressful for me.  My parents bought me an etegere for the bathroom and so I opened the box to assemble it and it’s got 9 fucking million pieces and needs to be anchored to the wall so I just burst into tears and put it back in the box.

Then the toilet developed a leak.  I was absolutely freaking out afraid it meant serious water damage to all the apartments beneath me.  Fortunately it just meant having the toilet re-seated but what a fucking drama it was.  I used the vendor that the building uses for their stuff - sounds good, no?  NO!  Yesterday the plumber came and tightened the bolts.  Ok.  so far so good.  I flushed the toilet last night and it leaked.  Fucking hell!  I called the plumber and my phone was out of order.  Fucking fucking hell.  Shitfuckhelldamn Verizon fios you shit.

Made arrangements for the plumber to be here today at 2:30 so I took half a day off work and then spent 45 minutes (last night) on the phone with Verizon getting the phone straightened out.

This morning the TV went to a green screen.  Double fucking fucking hell.

Went to work and got home about 1:30.  Called Verizon and got the tv straightedn out.  Fuckers.  Parents showed up (they took care of yesterday’s plumbing visit).

Wait wait wait.  Due at 2:30.  I called at 2:45 and was told in half an hour.  Many calls later he showed up at almost 4:45 - work stops at 5pm.  Super okayed working past the deadline. 

Sloppy work.  I hope they stopped the leak.  It tires me to write about it.

Anyhow.  It’s fixed.  Mostly.  But the thing is my parents can’t call my house phone using their house phone.  They’re Time Warner Cable and I’m Verizon Fios and for some reason when I switched from Time Warner Cable to Verizon the number got switched but there’s a hitch somewhere and it’s just a royal fucking pain in the ass.

I’m tired.  Really tired.  Need to call the doc and get a new rx for the anti-depressants.  Moving is stressful, no doubt about it.

Just reread one of my favorite books:  A Round-heeled Woman by Jane Juska.  This is the personal ad she placed in the New York Review of Books “Before I turn 67 - next March - I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like.  If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me.”  It’s a very honest and moving account of her life and her sexual adventure(s)—some good some awful.  But the most moving part of the book is the chapter about her son.  (oh and she has some good sex too - there’s hope yet - if you’re brave enough to go for it.)

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Stuff that’s pissing me off right about now

1.  The seller still hasn’t signed and returned the contract.  What the fuck is he waiting for?  This bastard had the balls to write “time is of the essence” on the initial agreement and he’s done nothing but drag his fucking feet ever since.  Fucker.

2.  The guy who lives upstairs is constitutionally incapable of closing the front door.  At least twice a week I come home to find it ajar.  It’s not that hard.  On your way out, grasp the knob and pull the door shut behind you.  On your way in, grasp the knob, and push the door shut.  Fucker.

3.  My father says to me today - in a quiet, confidential tone - you know, you’re putting on weight.  No shit!  You think I hadn’t noticed?  (this is where I’d like to say “fucker” but I won’t).

4.  My mother starts in with the money my parents are gifting me.  She feels bad because she’s not giving the same amount to my brother and sister.  But, as her friend Moira always says, “there’s one that needs more.”  She makes it sound like I’m forever asking for stuff.  (this is another place where I’d like to say “fucker” but won’t.).

How was your Sunday?

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Angela Lansbury singing “Liaisons” from A Little Night Music at the 2011 Olivier Awards tribute to Stephen Sondheim.  (Seated on the stage watching her are Stephen Sondheim and Cameron Mackintosh)

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Olivier Awards

Instead of airing the awards uninterrupted as if the radio listening audience is in the Drury Lane, BBC Radio 2 has Matt Wolff and someone else talking to the winners.  Nice, but I want to hear the AWARDS, not the winners’ interviews.  Air that stuff AFTER the awards.

Grrr

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011
NO, I WANT YOU TO FIND MY PARENTS FOR ME.  But today I signed the accepted bid on the apartment.  The seller and I agreed - at exactly the middle between his original ask and my original bid.  So I’m pretty happy.  The daunting part is the actual move.  There’s so much to do: get a mortgage, get an inspection, get movers, pack, unpack, have the bathroom renovated, wish to have the kitchen renovated, paint, pray it all really happens.
It’s a top-floor unit which means there’s NO ONE ABOVE ME!  And after 27 years of having people upstairs, that will be a real treat.  It’s a small-ish 2-bedroom unit with one bathroom so if I want to renovate the bathroom - and it needs it! - that has to be done before I move in - I don’t think the building management will permit a porta-potti in the hallway during renovation.
So I’m excited but at the same time kind of calm about it all.  It’s time.
My current lease expires March 31 and I already submitted a 2-year renewal to the landlady so I’ll have to break it - I hope it doesn’t get ugly but she’s a bitch so it might.  Wish me luck on that one. 
The owner is already moved out - he still has stuff in the closets but that’s a one-day thing for him and his wife to handle.  So once we close I can call the movers.
Actually, before I do that I have to get bids on renovating the bathroom.  It’s the original bathroom - small and old and tired and dirty.  So I want to do it over.  Do you blame me?  So I need to contact contractors and see what’s up.  I know what I want to do.  Since it’s an old bathroom and I’m not changing the floorplan at all or moving the plumbing, I want to rip out the tub and replace it with a 3/4 shower and then in the rest of the space put a slim closet for hair products and all the crap that goes in a bathroom; there’s a linen closet in the hallway so I don’t need to worry about that.  I’ll put in a pedestal sink and a new toilet.  That way I get the illusion of more room than there really is.
I’d love to do the kitchen at the same time but I can’t afford to do both and since I use the bathroom more than I use the kitchen, the bathroom takes priority. 
So today I was in a meeting that ran over and my cell phone rang; I looked at it and it was my parents.  I debated but let it go to voice mail.  About 10 or 15 minutes later I checked and they didn’t leave a message.  I checked my desk phone and sure enough 2 messages.  The first was my father having a coughing fit.  The second was my father saying “Everything’s fine.  Nothing to get excited about.  I’ll call you back.” 
Everything’s fine and nothing to get excited about.
I immediately got excited.  They weren’t home and they weren’t answering the cell phone.  I tried multiple times.  I did what any neurotic daughter would do.  I called the ER (I have the number in my cell phone from the last several thousand visits) and they weren’t there.  Thank god!  But where were they?  Their car died on Monday but it was fixed.  Did it die again? 
A bit before 1pm one of my colleagues, Kenny, came by and took one look at me and backed off.  He asked if I wanted a glass of water.  I said “No, I want you to find my parents for me.”
About 3pm or so my father called.  From home.  They’d been out gallivanting and stopped in at the bank and he wanted to let me know about mortgage rates.  Mortgage rates!  I couldn’t believe it.  I was so relieved.  They did some banking, some grocery shopping, visited the beach and hung out with their pals for a bit.

NO, I WANT YOU TO FIND MY PARENTS FOR ME.  But today I signed the accepted bid on the apartment.  The seller and I agreed - at exactly the middle between his original ask and my original bid.  So I’m pretty happy.  The daunting part is the actual move.  There’s so much to do: get a mortgage, get an inspection, get movers, pack, unpack, have the bathroom renovated, wish to have the kitchen renovated, paint, pray it all really happens.

It’s a top-floor unit which means there’s NO ONE ABOVE ME!  And after 27 years of having people upstairs, that will be a real treat.  It’s a small-ish 2-bedroom unit with one bathroom so if I want to renovate the bathroom - and it needs it! - that has to be done before I move in - I don’t think the building management will permit a porta-potti in the hallway during renovation.

So I’m excited but at the same time kind of calm about it all.  It’s time.

My current lease expires March 31 and I already submitted a 2-year renewal to the landlady so I’ll have to break it - I hope it doesn’t get ugly but she’s a bitch so it might.  Wish me luck on that one. 

The owner is already moved out - he still has stuff in the closets but that’s a one-day thing for him and his wife to handle.  So once we close I can call the movers.

Actually, before I do that I have to get bids on renovating the bathroom.  It’s the original bathroom - small and old and tired and dirty.  So I want to do it over.  Do you blame me?  So I need to contact contractors and see what’s up.  I know what I want to do.  Since it’s an old bathroom and I’m not changing the floorplan at all or moving the plumbing, I want to rip out the tub and replace it with a 3/4 shower and then in the rest of the space put a slim closet for hair products and all the crap that goes in a bathroom; there’s a linen closet in the hallway so I don’t need to worry about that.  I’ll put in a pedestal sink and a new toilet.  That way I get the illusion of more room than there really is.

I’d love to do the kitchen at the same time but I can’t afford to do both and since I use the bathroom more than I use the kitchen, the bathroom takes priority. 

So today I was in a meeting that ran over and my cell phone rang; I looked at it and it was my parents.  I debated but let it go to voice mail.  About 10 or 15 minutes later I checked and they didn’t leave a message.  I checked my desk phone and sure enough 2 messages.  The first was my father having a coughing fit.  The second was my father saying “Everything’s fine.  Nothing to get excited about.  I’ll call you back.” 

Everything’s fine and nothing to get excited about.

I immediately got excited.  They weren’t home and they weren’t answering the cell phone.  I tried multiple times.  I did what any neurotic daughter would do.  I called the ER (I have the number in my cell phone from the last several thousand visits) and they weren’t there.  Thank god!  But where were they?  Their car died on Monday but it was fixed.  Did it die again? 

A bit before 1pm one of my colleagues, Kenny, came by and took one look at me and backed off.  He asked if I wanted a glass of water.  I said “No, I want you to find my parents for me.”

About 3pm or so my father called.  From home.  They’d been out gallivanting and stopped in at the bank and he wanted to let me know about mortgage rates.  Mortgage rates!  I couldn’t believe it.  I was so relieved.  They did some banking, some grocery shopping, visited the beach and hung out with their pals for a bit.

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Friday, January 28, 2011
O! The Joy.    Hmmm  let’s see. It started snowing on Wednesday morning so when I parked the car Tuesday night I put the wipers up so they wouldn’t freeze to the window.
Got up yesterday morning to find 9 inches of snow on the front steps and, according to www.mta.info, no bus service and no train.  All buses had been suspended city-wide.  SIR is above-ground and that wasn’t running either.
Oh well, got ready for work anyhow.  On Tuesday my boss, Rob, said “you have to get in – no matter how late.  We’re a building services firm”.  To which I wanted to say “You’re an idiot and I’m a secretary – neither one of us is needed in a foot of snow!”
But I didn’t.
At 6:37 yesterday morning I saw a train headed to St. George.  So the trains were back.  Damn!  Headed out about 6:50 or so – waded through snow from my front door to the street and to the corner.  I had to hold the skirt of my coat up above my knees or I’d have gotten stuck in the snow.  North Railroad had been plowed but my street had not. 
The train station hadn’t been shoveled.  (Did I expect it would be?)
Undaunted I carried on and trudged up the stairs to the unshoveled platform and waited until a train came at 7:35.  
The train was being pulled by a diesel engine.  We didn’t get to St. George until 8:20.  The boats were running every half hour so there was plenty of time to get a cup of coffee and a bagel.  (Both were spectacularly execrable.  If you’re ever at the St. George ferry terminal, skip Liberty Deli. 
While I was waiting for my coffee and bagel, there was an announcement about a bus.  “There is one bus, the S-48, that is leaving now.  It goes along Forest Avenue.  There is one bus, the S-48.  One bus.”  Seriously, the announcer said “one bus” three or four times.  Can you imagine?  8:30 on a Thursday morning and there’s one bus serving all of Staten Island.  Not even one bus line.  One bus. 
At least the 8:30 boat left on time (I think).  It could have been a couple of minutes late but what’s a few minutes between the city and hundreds of commuters? 
I stood on the lower level – the car-free car deck – and enjoyed being outside.  I even took a few pictures of the harbor sights.  (Imagine a civilization without camera phones.  How very Dick Tracy we are.)
When we got to Manhattan I took the R to 34th Street.  No pictures, but the stairs out of the station and the sidewalks weren’t cleared so it was slip and slide up the stairs and around the corner to 6th Avenue. 
Got to work about 9:35.   All told, about 2 hours and 50 minutes to get to work.  
Then I got to go home at 5:30. 
The evening commute wasn’t bad at all.  Because so many people had taken the day off, there were a lot fewer people commuting.  I actually made the 6 o’clock boat!  Leaving at 5:30 usually gets me to Whitehall in time to wait for the 6:15 boat (which leaves somewhere between 6:15 and 6:30).  
So when I got home I decided to check on my car.
I could tell it’s mine – the wipers were still in the UP position.  I’ll dig it out on Saturday.  I hope by then I’ll be able to brush off the snow and just drive out of the spot.   
So last night I walked in my door – after falling once in our icy parking lot – at 7.  Only 90 minutes to commute home. 
And today I’ll do it all over again. 
O! The Joy.

O! The Joy.    Hmmm  let’s see. It started snowing on Wednesday morning so when I parked the car Tuesday night I put the wipers up so they wouldn’t freeze to the window.

Got up yesterday morning to find 9 inches of snow on the front steps and, according to www.mta.info, no bus service and no train.  All buses had been suspended city-wide.  SIR is above-ground and that wasn’t running either.

Oh well, got ready for work anyhow.  On Tuesday my boss, Rob, said “you have to get in – no matter how late.  We’re a building services firm”.  To which I wanted to say “You’re an idiot and I’m a secretary – neither one of us is needed in a foot of snow!”

But I didn’t.

At 6:37 yesterday morning I saw a train headed to St. George.  So the trains were back.  Damn!  Headed out about 6:50 or so – waded through snow from my front door to the street and to the corner.  I had to hold the skirt of my coat up above my knees or I’d have gotten stuck in the snow.  North Railroad had been plowed but my street had not.

The train station hadn’t been shoveled.  (Did I expect it would be?)

Undaunted I carried on and trudged up the stairs to the unshoveled platform and waited until a train came at 7:35

The train was being pulled by a diesel engine.  We didn’t get to St. George until 8:20.  The boats were running every half hour so there was plenty of time to get a cup of coffee and a bagel.  (Both were spectacularly execrable.  If you’re ever at the St. George ferry terminal, skip Liberty Deli. 

While I was waiting for my coffee and bagel, there was an announcement about a bus.  “There is one bus, the S-48, that is leaving now.  It goes along Forest Avenue.  There is one bus, the S-48.  One bus.”  Seriously, the announcer said “one bus” three or four times.  Can you imagine?  8:30 on a Thursday morning and there’s one bus serving all of Staten Island.  Not even one bus line.  One bus. 

At least the 8:30 boat left on time (I think).  It could have been a couple of minutes late but what’s a few minutes between the city and hundreds of commuters? 

I stood on the lower level – the car-free car deck – and enjoyed being outside.  I even took a few pictures of the harbor sights.  (Imagine a civilization without camera phones.  How very Dick Tracy we are.)

When we got to Manhattan I took the R to 34th Street.  No pictures, but the stairs out of the station and the sidewalks weren’t cleared so it was slip and slide up the stairs and around the corner to 6th Avenue

Got to work about 9:35.   All told, about 2 hours and 50 minutes to get to work.  

Then I got to go home at 5:30

The evening commute wasn’t bad at all.  Because so many people had taken the day off, there were a lot fewer people commuting.  I actually made the 6 o’clock boat!  Leaving at 5:30 usually gets me to Whitehall in time to wait for the 6:15 boat (which leaves somewhere between 6:15 and 6:30).  

So when I got home I decided to check on my car.

I could tell it’s mine – the wipers were still in the UP position.  I’ll dig it out on Saturday.  I hope by then I’ll be able to brush off the snow and just drive out of the spot.   

So last night I walked in my door – after falling once in our icy parking lot – at 7.  Only 90 minutes to commute home. 

And today I’ll do it all over again. 

O! The Joy.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011
NOT A SINGLE BIT OF ICE IN THE HARBOR!  Well, the news is not in my favor.  The seller countered my offer of $188,500 with $223,500 and he has another offer on the table and 2 more viewings.  I’m out.  Which makes me sad because I like the apartment but I’m not going to get in over my head.  I can afford what I can afford and no more.  I look at it like this:  20 down + 10 for the bathroom + 8-10 for closing costs + 3-5 for moving and painting leaves me fairly little liquid.  I could go into my 401(k) but if I take 40 out of that, subtract 10% for penalty and subtract another 30% for taxes and I net 24.  That’s a huge hit.
So I stay where I am but I really need to move.  I need to be someplace different.
Today’s commute was a royal pain.  I woke up to a huge snowfall.  The city suspended all bus service and the train wasn’t running either.  Finally, I saw a train pass at 6:37 this morning so I walked over to the station and waited til 7:35; made the 8:30 boat and got to work about 9:30.  Pain in the ass.  But since I don’t often ride the ferry I took some photos.  (What did we ever do before phones with cameras in them?)  What surprised me was that there was no ice in the harbor. I remember when I used to work downtown that during the winter the harbor would be filled with huge chunks of ice that had come downriver.  Today?  Not even a single cube of ice for a gin and tonic.

NOT A SINGLE BIT OF ICE IN THE HARBOR!  Well, the news is not in my favor.  The seller countered my offer of $188,500 with $223,500 and he has another offer on the table and 2 more viewings.  I’m out.  Which makes me sad because I like the apartment but I’m not going to get in over my head.  I can afford what I can afford and no more.  I look at it like this:  20 down + 10 for the bathroom + 8-10 for closing costs + 3-5 for moving and painting leaves me fairly little liquid.  I could go into my 401(k) but if I take 40 out of that, subtract 10% for penalty and subtract another 30% for taxes and I net 24.  That’s a huge hit.

So I stay where I am but I really need to move.  I need to be someplace different.

Today’s commute was a royal pain.  I woke up to a huge snowfall.  The city suspended all bus service and the train wasn’t running either.  Finally, I saw a train pass at 6:37 this morning so I walked over to the station and waited til 7:35; made the 8:30 boat and got to work about 9:30.  Pain in the ass.  But since I don’t often ride the ferry I took some photos.  (What did we ever do before phones with cameras in them?)  What surprised me was that there was no ice in the harbor. I remember when I used to work downtown that during the winter the harbor would be filled with huge chunks of ice that had come downriver.  Today?  Not even a single cube of ice for a gin and tonic.

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Do I hear two hundred?

I haven’t heard anything yet.  Yesterday I submitted my bid for the apartment.  The owner’s asking $228,500 and I bid $188,500.  Let’s see what he counters with.  Whatever it is, I’m sticking at my price - unless he asks for $190,00.  That’s it.  I know what I can afford.  If he doesn’t take my bid, I’ll wait.  The market’s going to drop again and when it does, I’ll offer less.  The longer it’s on the market the hungrier he’s going to be - unless he can afford to sit on it empty.  If so, he’s a fool.  He should at least rent it out.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011
PEACE OF MIND OR A SECOND BEDROOM.  I crunched numbers on Friday night and it comes down to this:  I have an apartment I want to bid on.  But the monthly maintenance and taxes equal the cost of a month’s therapy.  It’s an either/or proposition because I can’t afford to do both.  It really bothers me that I can’t do both because I need the space and I need therapy.  Sometimes, just sometimes, choices suck.

PEACE OF MIND OR A SECOND BEDROOM.  I crunched numbers on Friday night and it comes down to this:  I have an apartment I want to bid on.  But the monthly maintenance and taxes equal the cost of a month’s therapy.  It’s an either/or proposition because I can’t afford to do both.  It really bothers me that I can’t do both because I need the space and I need therapy.  Sometimes, just sometimes, choices suck.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

More Snow!

Looks like this winter is going to be one storm a week.  But actually, if it’s only 2 or 3 inches at a time, I can deal with it.  It’s the huge dumps of snow - 20 inches at a time - that are the killers!

This morning I walked to the bus stop rather than take the train, ferry, and subway to work.  It was gorgeous.  I left about 10 to 7 and the sun wasn’t yet up so the sky was still blue-ish and the snow was falling - big fat flakes.  Really lovely.  And the fact I was the first footsteps in some of the snow was a kick.  As I was walking along I remembered part of a poem from freshman year (high school) english class:

The snow had begun in the gloaming / and busily all the night / had been heaping field and highway / with a silence deep and white.

So of course I start thinking about english class and that brought to mind another poem:

I must go down to the seas again / to the lonely sea and the sky / and all I ask is a tall ship / and a star to steer her by.

And then finally, I thought of John Donne’s

No man is an island, entire of himself.  Every man is a piece of the promontory a part of the main. … Any man’s death diminishes me, therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.

So of course I had to google these poems once I got on the bus.  So here for your pleasure are The First Snow Fall by James Russell Lowell, I Must Go Down to the Sea by John Masefield, and last (but certainly not least) Meditation XVII by John Donne.

The First Snow-Fall

By James Russell Lowell

 

THE SNOW had begun in the gloaming,

  And busily all the night

Had been heaping field and highway

  With a silence deep and white.

 

Every pine and fir and hemlock

  Wore ermine too dear for an earl,

And the poorest twig on the elm-tree

  Was ridged inch deep with pearl.

 

From sheds new-roofed with Carrara

  Came Chanticleer’s muffled crow,

The stiff rails softened to swan’s-down,

  And still fluttered down the snow.

 

I stood and watched by the window

  The noiseless work of the sky,

And the sudden flurries of snow-birds,

  Like brown leaves whirling by.

 

I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn

  Where a little headstone stood;

How the flakes were folding it gently,

  As did robins the babes in the wood.

 

Up spoke our own little Mabel,

  Saying, “Father, who makes it snow?”

And I told of the good All-father

  Who cares for us here below.

 

Again I looked at the snow-fall,

  And thought of the leaden sky

That arched o’er our first great sorrow,

  When that mound was heaped so high.

 

I remembered the gradual patience

  That fell from that cloud like snow,

Flake by flake, healing and hiding

  The scar that renewed our woe.

 

And again to the child I whispered,

  “The snow that husheth all,

Darling, the merciful Father

  Alone can make it fall!”

 

Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her;

  And she, kissing back, could not know

That my kiss was given to her sister,

  Folded close under deepening snow.

 

 

 

I Must Go Down to the Sea

John Masefield

 

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face and a grey dawn breaking.

 

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

 

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

 

 

 

MEDITATION XVII

Devotions upon Emergent Occasions

John Donne

 

No man is an Iland, intire of itselfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Manor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Really, really stupid

I just read this.  Is this guy for real?  Sounds to me like Alabama just took a giant step backwards.  I think it’s time to give up religion and church. 

New Ala. gov: Just Christians are his family

By JAY REEVES, Associated Press Jay Reeves, Associated Press Tue Jan 18, 11:39 pm ET

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley told a church crowd just moments into his new administration that those who have not accepted Jesus as their savior are not his brothers and sisters, shocking some critics who questioned Tuesday whether he can be fair to non-Christians.

"Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother," Bentley said Monday, his inauguration day, according to The Birmingham News.

The Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday called Bentley’s remarks shocking.

"His comments are not only offensive, but also raise serious questions as to whether non-Christians can expect to receive equal treatment during his tenure as governor," said Bill Nigut, the ADL’s regional director.

Speaking at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Church after the official inaugural ceremony, Bentley told the crowd that he considered anyone who believed in Jesus to be his brothers and sisters regardless of color, but anyone who isn’t a Christian doesn’t have that same relationship to him.

"If the Holy Spirit lives in you that makes you my brothers and sisters. Anyone who has not accepted Jesus, I want to be your brothers and sisters, too," Bentley said.

After his speech, Bentley said he did not mean to insult anyone.

Responding to questions about it, Bentley’s office released a statement Tuesday saying he believes “he is the governor of all of Alabama.”

"The governor clearly stated that he will be the governor of all Alabamians — Democrat, Republican and Independent, young, old, black and white, rich and poor. As stated in his (inaugural) address, Gov. Bentley believes his job is to make everyone’s lives better," the statement said.

Ashfaq Taufique, president of the Birmingham Islamic Society, told The Birmingham News he wasn’t sure how Bentley’s remarks were intended.

"Does it mean that those who according to him are not saved are less important than those who are saved?" Taufique said. "Does he want those of us who do not belong to the Christian faith to adopt his faith? That should be toned down. That’s not what we need. If he means that, I hope he changes it. We don’t want evangelical politicians. They can be whatever in their private life."

The official with the Anti-Defamation League, which fights discrimination against Jewish people, said it sounded like Bentley was using the office of governor to advocate for Christian conversion.

"If he does so, he is dancing dangerously close to a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which forbids government from promoting the establishment of any religion," Nigut said.

___

Associated Press Writer Bob Johnson in Montgomery contributed to this report.

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

What the hell is wrong with people?

I bet the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and Judge Roll is going to turn out to be the work of some Family Values, God Fearing Christian who thinks that killing is a legitimate answer.

Excuse me but the commandment is Thou shalt NOT kill.

Not Kill.

Got that?

NOT KILL.

I’m so angry and upset.  I feel as if my country has been captured and is held hostage by people who think

I can’t even formulate my thoughts I’m so upset

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010/2011

Just a recap of the last several weeks.  My sister and BIL came up from VA for Christmas—spent the Eve with Mom and Dad and the Day with Vic and his family.  Met Erica’s boyfriend’s parents who came for cocktails.  We like Bryan very much.  He’s a nice man.

Gerry and Steve drove back to VA on the 26th—took 10 hours instead of 7 but they got there safe and sound.

Monday I woke up and was stranded.  23 inches of snow on the front steps.  Didn’t see a plow until Wednesday night - or maybe it was Tuesday.  Whatever.  All I know is the city dropped the ball on this one - they should have declared a snow emergency on Saturday.

Oh well oh well.

I had to take Monday the 27th as an unpaid day.  Since the city didn’t declare a snow emergency or officially close things, the fact I couldn’t get to work meant I had to take a personal or vacation day - but I’d used them all up so it was unpaid.

Oh well oh well.

Tuesday my landlady called to say she didn’t understand my letter about the rent increase and what the overcharges were.  Talk talk talk.  She still didn’t understand and I told her I didn’t have the papers in front of me and so I couldn’t explain it.  Then I mentioned - as I probably should have in the letter - that I met with Mr. Ali at the rent board. 

On Thursday she called me back to say “I understand”.  No shit.  She got unconfused when I told her I’d already been to the rent board.

So now we’re square on the rent amount.  I’m taking a credit in February, and another small one in March and then in April the new rent begins.  I’ve adjusted the lease papers and will send them to her from work after I’ve copied the lease and my letter to her.

I was invited to Vermont for New Year’s Eve.  And I said “yes” but then I bought the tv and it was being delivered on the 31st between 8am and 4pm and so I decided to take delivery of the tv instead of going to VT.  Only I never called or emailed the hosts to let them know.  Yes, I know.  Rude.  Stupid.  So NYE about 4 or so my phone rang and it was my brother and SIL from VT - not at Dave’s house yet but not too far away either.  Did I ever call Dave and let them know I wasn’t going?  Oh shit!  So I told Vic and Lin that I’d call Dave - give me his # please - and say I wasn’t feeling well.

So I did.

But then it was bothering me that I lied and mostly that I put my brother and SIL in an awkward spot.  So this morning after breakfast after church I sent this mail to Dave and his wife:

I wish you both all the best for the new year.  Please accept my apology for not calling you sooner to tell you I wasn’t going to be at your party.  Although I said I wasn’t feeling well, the actual truth was that I had a delivery scheduled for the 31st (between 8am and 4pm) and had to wait around for that; I should have let you know much soooner that I wasn’t going to be able to be there but because I didn’t, it seemed easier to say I wasn’t feeling well.  In truth, I was embarrassed by my rudeness and so, craven coward that I am, seized on the easiest excuse at hand.  I’m also embarrassed because it put Vic and Lin in an awkward spot.Please accept my wholehearted apology and my best wishes to you and your family for the new year.Anyhow, I hope they’re not too pissed at me.  I also copied Vic and Lin on my email.When we were having breakfast at the diner this morning, we were talking about the storm, of course, and the waitress was telling us that one of the workers died during the storm.  He’d been ill beforehand but didn’t go to the doctor.  Then during the storm he went to the diner to see if someone could give him some help with going to a doctor (I think he might have been an undocumented alien working off the books which is why all the reticence about going to a doctor) and according to the waitress, he collapsed and died and wasn’t found until a day or two later.Really breaks my heart.  According to her, he was 37, living here and sending money home.And so the new year begins.  I think 2011 is going to be good.  I hope it is.
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