Thursday, February 28, 2013

Advice Taken

A business associate had called me asking for advice on a particular situation at his company. He was right in his assessment, but it was not his call to fix it. It's always a tough decision so I told him my line (which I stole from Dr. Laura --I heard her say this while listening to her radio show one day years ago.). Anyway, her line is "Is this the hill you want to die on?"

Of course, it references Custer -- and it makes you ask yourself, "Is it worth giving it all for this particular situation?" And, from time to time on rare occasions, the answer is yes, but most of the time the answer is no.

Anyway, today I got an email from him about the resolution of the situation and he added:

ps. I didn’t die on the hill.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bad Sales Pitch

I field a whole lot of advertising sales pitches on behalf of one of my clients. My client just forwarded me one (I am the one who gets to say no) and here's how it starts:

Please accept my apologies for troubling you today.

Now there's a confident salesperson -- really makes you not want to read further.

Guilt-Inducing Christmas Card

This is to show how stupid guilt is which is a lesson I haven't quite learned.

I sent a Christmas card to a man who is a business associate and somewhere between acquaintance and friend. We're both consultants so we've shared financial information -- like what we charge for different things -- and we like each other but that's about as far as it's gone.

Today I got an email from him with Merry Christmas as the subject line that says:

What? A little too late for greetings of the season? I've had your very nice Christmas Card sitting on my desk for two months, while I built up enough guilt over not having responded to finally write to say thanks.

Heck, sometimes, I've let guilt build up for years.

How you doin'?
I was thinking about how foolish that is that he worried about my Christmas card, but then had to admit that I specifically remembered his card because I accidentally signed it "Love, Pat" -- and it was the love part I worried about -- we're not really in the "love" neighborhood, even as friends. At the time, I decided to just send it as is --that Christmas is the season of love, so why not love this guy?
I replied to his email and told him that story -- so much guilt about one silly card. I felt I was being quite brave in confessing this to him and even, as a joke, signed today's email "Love, Pat."
Here's his response which made me chuckle:
Now, if you had signed it, "All my hot monkey love, Pat" that would have been a different story.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Not Much to Report

Two unrelated items on my mind:

There should be a phrase for that moment when you surrender to the fact that you are NOT going to watch that Netflix and should return it unfinished. I have had a disc since January 31 (I checked my queue) and I didn't really enjoy what I watched but then, of course, I believe that in some magical way I'll put it in again and enjoy it. So now the red envelope is ready to be mailed back tomorrow.

There's some fairy tale about a pot that never empties. I don't remember the details but I recall that for some reason the porridge or stew or whatever was in the pot never emptied. Last week I bought a new bottle of liquid dish soap because I had about 1/2 inch left in my bottle. I swear I keep using this almost-empty bottle and it never empties. I even tried to speed up the process by using it to wash my hands, but there's still soap in there and it appears as if the level is not going down.

This is all possible, of course, because I have an unopened bottle under the sink waiting to be deployed. If I had no replacement, the soap would vanish in one use. And yes, I am too che...I mean thrifty to not use up the old stuff down to the last drop.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Butch Cassidy

Read a bunch off my Butch Cassidy/Sundance Kid bio today -- It opens with Butch and his background. His grandparents were living in England when Mormon missionaries convinced them to come to the U.S. The book brings you through that, the trip to Utah, his father's life, his own early life and how he got involved in crime. He is about to meet Sundance Kid. The book is well done and I'm enjoying it.

Here's the real Butch:

And, of course, here's a photo which tells me there are still some active hormones in this body of mine who sit up and say "yes, please" when I see this photo:

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lunch with Barbara

February Lunch with Barbara was today -- pastrami sandwiches or scrambled eggs? We are both creatures of habit and so we opted for eggs again. We love our same place, our same order, our same table, our same positions at the table. The waitstaff knows our wants and desires.

Waiting for Barbara, I took this photo:

I didn't notice it at the time, but when Barbara arrived, she said what I thought was, "the note isn't there anymore" and I was thinking, "What note?" She knew by the look on my face that I didn't understand what she said. What she had actually said was "Nonna's isn't there anymore." And that's the white building across the street with no more signage and the windows covered. Nonna's is where we have one summer dinner and our Christmas party (yes, just the two of us, but we wear our flashing necklaces and exchange presents -- that's a party, right?)
It's really one of the tragedies of city life when you see any independent store or independent restaurant bite the dust. I was optimistic and said that maybe they were just redecorating. We licked our wounds, ordered our scrambled eggs, and this man who works there and I have this thing about his making me hot chocolate, and today was a good day for it. I think one time I'd ordered it and told him he made it the best and it is now a point of pride with him.
One of the other tragedies of city life is how tiny the tables can get in a restaurant. This doesn't look too bad, but add on two dinner plates, two bread and butter plates and you kind of run out of room. In most NY restaurants, the tables are so close together and so jammed in that when I'm out of NY in a restaurant, I always think that the restaurant has removed tables for some reason due to the wide open spaces.
When I return home, I typically enjoy sitting on my front steps for a few minutes. I tell myself that it's to get some fresh air, but I have to admit, as I did today, that it's a way to procrastinate because if I don't have some pressing work thing to get to, I am in no particular hurry to run to work. I was sitting there thinking there's nothing to photograph, and the "artist" in me rebelled.
Are you kidding? I thought -- there's 1000 things to photograph from my perch on the steps and here are three of them:
There's no doubt an architectural name for this area above a front door, but this is the beautiful detail of the building right across the street. It makes me sad to think how many things like this were torn down in order to make some ugly new apartment building.

This is just to the right of where I sit. It started out -- literally YEARS AGO -- as a bunch of balloons that got stuck in the tree branches. Now it's down to two shredded balloons and it will probably take another decade to totally disappear. It's better when there are leaves on the tree to cover it up.

And finally, this is the building across the street which belongs to the church on 88th Street (and used as the location for one of the weddings on Sex in the City.) I'm not sure what this building is used for other than 12-step meetings which I can always tell are going on during certain evenings when there's a crowd outside chatting and smoking.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Getting Emotional

Ok, I admit it: I was watching American Idol tonight. The actual competition hasn't started -- they're still winnowing down the group to 10 boys and 10 girls. Tonight's show was to take 10 of the girl finalists and reduce it to five.

So I was actually listening and playing a computer game, glancing up at the TV from time to time. Then the very last girl, this African-American girl named Amber, started singing My Funny Valentine. I have to say it's been a favorite of mine, and she was unbelievable. Her voice made me stop playing and watch the TV. Eventually her singing made my eyes well up with tears. It was so powerful and just the sound of Amber's singing made me cry.

I remember one other time when that happened. It was the first time I heard and saw the tenor Jose Carreras sing. It was a performance on PBS and my own tears took me by surprise. His voice was so pure.

Now the update: Amber has made the cut so I will be able to see her again.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mary's Weird Sky

Mary writes: Very weird sky on the way home driving up North Capitol Street 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mary Pictures

Mary labeled this "tough life" in the subject line of her email, and I thought oh no, someone lost their job, has a horrible disease, some tragedy has befallen someone I know etc. I was happily surprised when I opened it and saw who exactly has a tough life:

This weekend, the lyric to a song from many years ago popped into my head. I only know this one line:

Lazy bones, sleeping in the sun. How you're going to get your day's work done?

So now I've googled it and it's an old Hoagy Carmichael song -- here are the full lyrics:

Lazybones, sleeping in the sun
How you 'spect to get your day's work done?
Never get your day's work done
Sleeping in the new day's sun

Lazybones, sleepin in the shade
How you 'spect to get your cornmeal made?
You'll never get your cornmeal made
Just sleepin in the evenin shade

When 'taters need spraying I bet you keep praying
The bugs fall off the vine
And when you go fishin, I bet you keep wishin
The fish won't grab your line

Lazybones, loafing through the day
How you 'spect to get a dime that way?
Never make a dime that way
Never heard a word I say

Mary's refrigerator died after a short illness with all the usual murmurings and worryings about a replacement. But it was delivered yesterday -- a side by side -- and here's the new appliance:

Old Lady Vein

I had lunch today with Judy who has been my friend since kindergarten. She is a nurse who lives in Vermont. As usual, the conversation turned to "Can you believe we're this old?" and I said I don't feel my age, but then I notice things like this -- and I pointed to a vein on the back of my hand which never showed until now. I notice it every morning as I put toothpaste on my toothbrush.

If you hold your right hand out, palm down, look at the space between your thumb and index finger and then move about two inches toward your elbow, yes, it's that vein.

She told me that EMTs call that "the old lady vein" because the EMTs claim that, come what may, they can always get an IV in that vein. So I said, "Ok, then, I'm prepared for the IV!"

One of those Goofy Internet Stories

I don't normally enjoy or forward those not-very-funny Internet stories that make the rounds, but I thought this one was clever:

A group of 15-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Dairy Queen, next door to the Ocean View restaurant, because they had only $6.00 among them and Brad Johnson, the cute boy in Social Studies, lived on that street.

10 years later, the group of 25-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant, because the beer was cheap, the restaurant offered free snacks, the band was good, there was no cover charge, and there were lots of cute guys.

10 years later, the group of 35-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant, because the cosmos were good, it was right near the gym and, if they went late enough, there wouldn't be too many whiny little kids.

10 years later, the group of 45-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant, because the martinis were big, and the waiters wore tight pants and had nice buns.

10 years later, the group of 55-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant, because the prices were reasonable, the wine list was good, the restaurant had windows that opened (in case of hot flashes), and they served fish which is good for your cholesterol.

10 years later, the group of 65-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner.
Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant, because the lighting was good, and the restaurant had a senior citizen discount.

10 years later, the group of 75-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant, because the food was not too spicy, and the restaurant was handicapped-accessible.

10 years later, the group of 85-year-old girlfriends discussed where to meet for dinner. Finally, they agreed to meet at the Ocean View restaurant, because they had never been there before.

Tweet that Made me Chuckle

Andrew Kaczynski @BuzzFeedAndrew
What if cats have their own Internet and it's full of pictures of us?

Celebrating President's Day

Compliments of Gracie's Corner, I celebrated President's Day the old-fashioned way like we did back in the 1950s -- cherry pie! That used to be so commonplace. No ice cream, but it was still Mmmm-mmmm good. Very cherry tasting!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What I'm Reading

Finished Habits of the House this afternoon -- it was really a quick read, and I learned that this is frist of a trilogy so I'll have to keep my eyes out for the next one. I would definitely get the next one.

So now I'm reading a book I just got from the History Book Club which is a biography of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I haven't started reading -- just paged through and examined the photos. Remember the scene in the movie when they rob the train and use too much dynamite because the bank employee won't open the train car door? Well, that happened in real life and there's a photograph of the train car blown to bits. They got $50,000 from that train robbery -- an amazing amount of money for then.

There's also a photo of Etta Place -- now I can't remember the name of the actress who played her in the movie, but there's a photo of her and Sundance which was taken in New York City. It will be interesting to see how close to actual events the movie is.

More on Dreams

I have been studying and interested in my own dreams all of my adult life. In fact, I remember taking a course on dream interpretation -- and not magical woo-woo stuff, but the metaphors and symbols our mind uses in our dreams -- back in my 20s. When Barbara and I worked together, we would often start the day with our coffee and talking about our dreams. That seems so civilized now.

So last night I had a dream that I was trying to take a photo with a digital camera and it wasn't working. I finally realized that the lens/viewer was cracked. The viewer (or metaphorically the thing through which I view the world) was broken.

In the dream, I remember thinking (hey, good news pyschologically speaking) that I could go to Amazon and buy another camera. I remember "thinking" that is where I bought my current camera (true in real life) and I had the money (true in real life) so it would just be easy to buy a new camera.

This morning I posed this question to myself: What am I looking at in a way that is broken? How does how I "view" something no longer serve me?

I really couldn't think of anything -- and here I hope my friends reading this aren't gasping and saying "Is she KIDDING?" if you know what it is.

However, I did have a huge insight -- huge, at least to me -- this past week. I am troubled sometimes by how bad memories sometimes bubble out of nowhere when I least expect it. I can be watching TV, for example, and something will bring up a bad memory out of the blue.

Somehow, the same mental chain of events that brings up bad memories, brought up a good memory this past week. Somehow I started thinking of a birthday a few years ago when Lane was in New York and she said she'd take me out for dinner anywhere I wanted. I gave it a lot of thought and decided I wanted to go to this tiny neighborhood Italian restaurant which we did. The food was particularly good, we have a fantastic waiter, the place had just a few tables of nice people and the waiter made this little birthday presentation out of a dessert.

It was a very mild night for October so Lane walked me back to my place and we decided to sit outside. It was a beautiful night, and around 11 pm, all the dog walkers, who were particularly friendly that night, were coming out so we were talking to them, playing with their dogs, and just having this wonderful time. So much so that we continued to sit outside until Lane had to rush to get the last train back to White Plains.

As I'm thinking about this, the sane part of me said, "See? You have good memories too." Then I thought I have more good memories than bad ones. This might seem like a DUH moment; for me it was an AHA moment. It had never occurred to me that I had more good memories (which I have to say I sort of took for granted) than bad ones.

So maybe this dream was a reinforcement of how I view my life... through the viewer of all the good and wonderful things that have happened to me rather than just the bad ones.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Anxiety Dream

Sometimes I have to laugh at my own anxiety dreams -- how anxious we become while dreaming. Last night I dreamt I had a FedEx package and I called FedEx to have them pick it up and the envelope was sealed but I "realized" I hadn't proofread the letter and didn't know if I should open it to proofread the contents.

So FedEx never came (remember this is an anxiety dream!) and I called them in the morning and the woman said yes, we did too pick it up, and I said, no you didn't, I have the envelope in my hand when I "realized" I was at Mary's house in DC and FedEx had gone to my NY address. So then I decided to open the envelope and saw that there were mistakes in the letter. Of course I had a hard time reading and focusing and understanding the letter, but there were mistakes and I had a computer but didn't have a printer so I didn't know what to do. Then I decided that the mistakes were OK, that I was being too much of a perfectionist, and I would call Fed Ex again to come to Mary's address, but now my FedEx envelope was opened and I didn't have another...

And so it goes... At least I didn't have the "I haven't been to class and don't know my schedule and now there's a test" dream which I still occasionally have. The other anxiety dream I have is that I'm going on a trip on the airlines and can't figure out which gate, or on the way to the airport I "realize" my passport is expired.

The only good thing about an anxiety dream is when you wake up and for a few seconds think the dream is reality and then come to your senses!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

What I'm Reading

My friend (since kindergarten) Judy believes she and I were servants together in another life as we are each fascinated by the Upstairs, Downstairs/Downton Abbey type stories. I can believe that, and I have to say I always identify with the servants more than with the rich people.
This is a novel written by the woman who wrote the pilot for Upstairs Downstairs. It takes place in London in 1899 and is the usual story about the rich folks and their servants. It's quite well done, a fast read. 
And here's the British book design. I have the one on top which I definitely find more appealing than this one:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Shout out to Marilyn

Marilyn has been helping me for three or four years now. Currently she comes twice a month for three hours at a stretch. She does all my errands -- bank, post office, dry cleaning, trips to thrift store for donations and a host of other things. We also declutter, clean out drawers, and simplify things. I totally trust her judgment on anything. She is simply the best. She is the hardest working, most cheerful, funny, smart, insightful person you could imagine. As they say in letters of recommendation, "I recommend her without reservation."

On a personal note, we also enjoy each other's company -- well, I hope she enjoys mine as much as I enjoy hers --  and enjoy our conversations about everything from world events to celebrity gossip. So today Marilyn was here -- and it is such a treat for me on the weeks she is coming to dump clean laundry on my sofa awaiting her arrival and master folding skills. And yes, I am this lazy that I sit and chat with Marilyn and watch her fold my clothes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

48 Hours Verdict

Barbara helpfully pointed out that I could read a recap (or watch the entire show) at 48 Hours website. So yes, the son was convicted and is serving life without parole, although the evidence was all circumstantial. His sister turned against him, but his wife and son stand by him. If you like true crime, this is really an interesting story -- lots of twists and turns.

A-OK at the Periodontist

Had a great compliment today. Hadn't been to the periodontist in about 8 months. Went today for a check up and cleaning and he told me that my gums are "surprisingly good" and then later upgraded them to "amazing." Wow! I have amazing gums. But I figure a periodontist assessing my gums as amazing is as good as it gets.

Of course, it wasn't without a bump. My appointment was 10:30 and I got there about 10:23 -- I sound obsessive, but I entered the lobby at 10:20 so it was pretty good timing. I only sat there for a minute and I was called in. I was walking to the elevator to leave when I looked at my phone and it was 10:54. When I went to pay, it was $400. I really started to laugh. I was not expecting that. I think the BS is that it's not "just" a teeth cleaning, but a periodontal exam or some such.

Anyway, I decided I got off cheap and that I'd vamoose before he changed his mind about how amazing my gums are.  I had said no to a whole bunch of dental work 8 months ago -- to the tune of $25,000 to which the dentist I was seeing at the time would gladly arrange credit for me -- sure... and I just said no. So today, the periodontist said, "You want to just maintain, is that right?" and I said yes. I don't need to reinvent the wheel in my mouth and do stuff that's "nice to do" -- especially for $25K. He also had noted that the place where a molar was extracted had "healed quite well."

So on with the show:

Traveling down Fifth Avenue toward Central Park South. The beautiful snow is gone, replaced by muddy, dirty, gray snow. Where the heck does all that dirt come from?

Looking across Central Park and it really still can look grand and beautiful.

Grand and beautiful until you see the reality of dirty, melting snow.

Central Park South.

You know, I've never done a carriage ride, but today might have been a good day for one -- very mild. I so enjoy the clip clopping of the horses, but at the same time I feel sort of bad for them.

This is the same car I photographed on Sunday, so I guess its owner was right in not trying to dig it out. You can see by the snow on the roof that extends to the windshield that this car has not been touched.

And the garbage continues to pile up.

Home again and I have to show off my periodontal goodie bag. He has started putting the stuff in these clear plastic cases which have a red zipper closing. Sure beats the cheap plastic bag with the dancing, smiling tooth on it. I always ask for extras. Not shy about it. I may have to pay $400, but I'm getting something for it! I thought this case was very chic, so much better than the plastic bag.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Anybody Watch 48 Hours on Saturday Night?

I need someone to tell me how it ended as I fell asleep watching it. It was the murder of an upper middle class couple in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Solid citizens, everyone loved them, no one would want to see them die. They were in their 60s with two grown children, a son and a daughter who adored their parents, etc.

As the show progresses, the fickle finger of fate started pointing toward the son. He had financial problems, a not so good alibi, etc.

It is at that point that I conked out. It could have gone either way -- that the son did it or else 48 Hours was just sort of playing with us and some other deep secret was unearthed. I thought I could watch it on On Demand, but for some reason, it's not part of On Demand.

I suppose some day this summer I'll catch it again in reruns if no one knows.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Barbara's Wall

Let me live in a house at the side of the road -- well, at Barbara's home, you won't forget. She writes:

I dug around and found a photo of my bedroom wall in CT that has all the samplers of "Let me live in the house..." -- and a couple others that are house themed: "Dear house you are really very small just big enough for love that's all." I've acquired most of them from flea markets including the big one in German which I always forget what it means. The wall also has some family pieces -- the pink flamingo's were made by my grandmother, the very small petit point of the windmill is my great aunt Anna's, my mother did the "Be it ever so humble" sampler, and the cartoon-y lion I made when I was about 12. (I guess this also gives you an idea of how happily cluttered I live.) Welcome back! 

I think it looks very homey -- like a room you'd want to sit and read a book in. With a cup of hot chocolate. I know someone who speaks German so I'll get a translation. I know LIEBE is love, but don't know therest.

Home Sweet Home

All that worry for nothing. Left Allentown around 9 am and was in my apartment around 11:30. The New Jersey Turnpike was totally dry, not even snow on the side of the road. Very little traffic, George Washington Bridge was dry, as was the FDR Drive. Zoomed into town, and really only encountered snow once I was in the city. And then, really only on the sidestreets.

My two worries -- well, beyond the big worry of impassable streets was that I would run out of windshield washer fluid and I ended up using none yesterday or today -- I really thought it would be sloppy, sloshy and it was not at all -- so that was one worry -- my other was that I'd not be able to get a cab home from the rental car place and that if I tried to walk I'd be lugging my suitcase over snowbanks or something. Well, the sidewalks were clear and it took me 15 seconds to get a cab.

The only adjustment I had to make was for the cab to let me off down the block a bit from my apartment since I couldn't climb over the curb/snow and so I had him drop me in front of a parking garage where, of course, the driveway was clear.

When I came inside, I headed straight for the bathroom and sat there happy to be home, happy to be inside, happy to have not much to do, happy to be warm, happy to come home to a clean apartment where Ana even took my dirty sheets with her since she works in a laundromat as well as my sheets are nowhere to be seen... so then I yelled out spontaneously "Yippie I-O-Kay-Ay" or however that's spelled. Glad to be home.

And here are some photos:

This is the Red Roof Inn in Allentown. Nice room, cheap, clean, friendly. It was also really cold. Twelve degrees this morning, but sunny. There's something delightful about really cold air and the warm sun.

This my car, the parking lot, Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... oh wait, yes I know these are fascinating photos. It was a beautiful, cold morning in Allentown.

The hotel parking lot adjoins this shopping center which was totally dry, totally clear except for these mountains of snow. Whoever plowed this shopping center parking lot did an amazing job.

There's a drive-thru Dunkin Donuts in this parking lot, and I swear the stupidest staff in the world work there. I've used it a half dozen times and every time it's an ordeal.  I don't think they speak English well enough to understand what you're ordering. I ordered a hot chocolate (I was avoiding coffee in the hopes I wouldn't have to stop to use the restroom) and it took 4 or 5 back and forths for her to get that... "Yes, a medium hot chocolate."  You want a hot chocolate? "yes" What size? "medium/." You want a medium hot chocolate. "Yes"  So it's a medium hot chocolate. "Yes" -- Then I ordered four doughnuts -- two to eat on the way and two to save. But then I decided I didn't want to save the two, so when I stopped for gas  (to top it off for the rental car place), it's full-service only on the NJ Turnpike. I had to return it on 3/4ths and I was determined to not give Dollar Rental Car an ounce more gas. So the young guy worked with me as we estimated how much gas so that when I got to NYC (about 30 mins) it would be at 3/4ths.  I gave him my two doughnuts which made him happy. Back at Dunkin', they had put the four doughnuts in a box, and I said "I don't want a box, put them in a bag" and so the guy put the box inside a bag and handed it to me. I know, not s huge problem, but annoying. Oh, the point of this was the tip jar, which was out of reach if you were in your car, which I was... so I don't think they get too much return for their "exceptional service."

This is a car right in front of my building, and you can see that the sidewalk and the street are relatively clear.

Whoops, somehow this got out of order and I'm too lazy to fix it. This is the NJ Turnpike and you can see how clear and dry the road is.

Here's my street where the garbage is piling up. At least it won't smell in the cold as it does in the summer.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Saturday Night In Allentown, PA

Almost home. I got here around 4 and did feel that twinge of guilt that I could have kept driving, but I have to say I was ready to rest. Even though I drove about six hours, the last three went fast as I was listening to this call-in radio show where people called in their legal problems and got answers. Lots of interesting calls and the show appealed to the nosy person in me. One lesson: If you ever have anything custom made, make sure the receipt gives a very detailed description of what the finished item is supposed to be. That lesson was based on a man who had a coat made for him when he was in Alaska... he paid $1600 for it, and it was the wrong fur, the wrong color and it didn't fit him. All this was done by word of mouth -- no written receipt -- and he was out of luck.

When I checked in here -- the local news claimed 6 inches of snow, but it didn't seem that way -- more like 2 or 3 inches -- enough to make me do the old lady worry of slipping on ice/snow in the parking lot. They gave me a room and I am taking baby steps, getting out my giant suitcase, having to go to the bathroom, etc. When I opened the door to my room, it was totally dismantled and being renovated. Arrrrggggghhhh.

Back to the office to get a different room. What a pain in the butt. So tomorrow, it's two hours back into the city and I don't want to tempt fate by anticipating no problems, so I'll just say so far, so good.

Here are some photos from today:

I wanted to capture how cold it was this morning. It was just bitter. And then I worry about slipping on the snow/ice.

This is my car, and I love this hotel -- actually motel -- it's an old motel made up of two buildings and it's like a time warp. Very clean, very friendly, very cheap -- $50 a night.

Time warp -- motel circa 1962

This is the motel road leaving the property. In warm weather, it's really beautiful. I just like that this plae is tucked away as it is.

The other building -- such a cold morning.

I was impressed by my own effiiency. Had planned to leave at 9 and that I did -- right on the dot.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Night In Wadsworth Ohio

I'm happily ensconced in a hotel room, having had a large Wendy's chili and baked potato for dinner. 95% of the drive here was dry and clear and the last bit was blowing flurries -- very strong wind, very cold, really just nasty. It's just supposed to be flurries here overnight so at least I'll leave in clear weather in the morning.

Here are some photos:

I'm fascinated by this little house near my client which I think existed long before the area got more developed. It reminds me of a poem that I think of each time I pass it. Know which one?

The poem is "I want to live in a house on the side of the road and be a friend to man" and when I look at this house I think about how lovely it would be to buy it and fix it up and I can imagine how it would look with some TLC.

On US71 North on the way to Wasdworth

On my way here, I got cash and got gas.

This is Columbus which is about the halfway mark.

The weather challenge starts tomorrow, but so far, so good.

A Journey of 1000 miles...

Travel with me as I try to get home. I am leaving my client today at 3 pm and drive from southern Ohio to Northern Ohio. So today the NE weather doesn't impact me. I am trying hard to not obsess. I am totally prepared physically (and prepared about 75% mentally) to just stop anywhere along the route if necessary.

The plan is to go tomorrow from Ohio to Allentown, PA. The snow is supposed to stop in NY around 1 pm on Saturday. I spend the night in Allentown (arriving there approx 4 pm) and then go from Allentown to NY Sunday morning.

My two worries right now are the last two hours or so of Saturday driving, and getting from the rental car place home on Sundayt.  Sunday is supposed to be totally sunny. It's quite possible that this is a messy drive, but not a dangerous one. I can honestly say I won't do dangerous. I'm too old for that. With my computer, phone, credit card, I am pretty much self-contained. I had even brought extra underpants and clothes I haven't worn. However, no boots, but I do have good gloves and a really heavy winter coat. And a snow brush thing that came with the renatal car.

So stay tuned and throw some good thoughts my way.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Good Apology

Believe me, I am no fan of Dick Morris, former Fox pundit, who totally blew it on his predictions of the presidential elections. He was ousted from Fox and said about it:

 ‘I Was Wrong At The Top Of My Lungs’

It's a colorful way to state it -- enjoyed the language. I hope I don't have to borrow his words one day.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

So Nice to Have Clever Coworkers

In a klutzy move today, I somehow put the heel of my hand down hard on my glasses and realized I broke off one of the ear pieces. I asked Doug, the man who sits next to me, if he had any Crazy Glue. I was going to attempt to fix the glasses so I could wear them.

Doug didn't have glue, but said he'd fix them for me, but it wouldn't look pretty. I said I didn't care how it looked as long as I could wear them. He fixed them while I sat there, so thrilled to have someone else fixing something of mine.

When he gave the glasses back to me, I did a double take. I was expecting a big glob of tape or something but here's how they look:

You can barely see the tape, and it held all day, and now into the evening. I can even bend the ear piece to fold up the glasses. I kept thanking Doug, telling him how clever he is, and his attitude was like "calm down, I just taped them." But, of course, the point was how well he did it.

Safe and Sound in Ohio

Had a slight blip yesterday with a sudden onset of (luckily) short lived food poisoning, stomach flu. It reminded me of that scene from Two Weeks Notice when Sandra Bullock was stuck in traffic and needed a restroom badly. I wasn't quite that bad, got off at the first exit, found a gas station/store and I'll say this: my timing was impeccable as if there had been someone in the restroom and I had to wait, it would not have been a pretty site. Thought all might be fine, but it repeated itself about an hour later and that was the end of it. No fun when you're driving. My advice: when you first feel those twinges, take them seriously!

So now I'm headed toward my client for the day. Big snowstorm scheduled for my return so I will have something to worry about. The sane part of me says I can just stop anywhere at a hotel and I can do just as much work there as I can at home. Oh well.

Monday, February 4, 2013

On the Way to Ohio

First, the two sad things I saw today. On the way to the rental car place, at the corner of 87th and Second which is a complete mess due to the Second Avenue Subway construction, I notice two uprooted stumps of trees. The trees that line the streets make New York livable, and these two had been sawed down, I suppose for the subway. I am glad I wasn't there to see it happen.

The next thing was I went to McDonald's drive thru for lunch and the young woman was this sort of sad looking creature, not attractive, stringy hair, bad teeth. She reminded me of a line from a Richard Brautigan novel where he wrote, "She looks as if the only mail she had ever received in her life was bills." And that's what this young woman looked like.

She also had her arm in a cast and a sling. Spontaneously I said to her something like "Oh no, how did that happen?" and she hung her head and said, "that's something I don't really like to talk about." So I apologized -- said I didn't mean to pry, and I didn't. But I would imagine she had been abused. What was sad is she wasn't clever enough to say "I fell" or any story ''dumb accident" -- she and my relationship lasted 10 seconds so she didn't even have the strength or whatever to make up a story for a stranger.

So of course, despite the weather forecasts, I did head into snow. From what I can gather, it's just one3 or two inches and I have to say it wasn't slippery at all. A little foggy, but that's it.

This is pretty much how it looked most of the way... gray and snowy.

I pass a Scenic Overlook and today I decided to take time to smell the roses, or rather look at the scenic overlook, which I have to say was pretty much underwhelming. When I make this same trip in May, I'll teturn and I suspect it might look nicer then.

Of course, I was pushing my luck and depending on technology. I had about 20 miles to go when the empty fuel light came on, but it told me I had 60 miles so I didn't stop. I'll get gas first thing in the morning.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ground Hog Day

I didn't hear the verdict from the Ground Hog, but flipping around I did watch a bit of what just may be my favorite movie: Ground Hog Day. I have always loved Bill Murray and I've seen bits of this film dozens of times. I typically don't stop to watch the entire thing, and didn't today, but I love this movie. Also in my top 3 is Shawshank Redemption. I don't know what my third would be. I also love the ending of The Way We Were. Cry every time.

It's clearly still winter here -- in the 20s in NY here. I am driving to Ohio on Monday so I'm glad that (knock on wood) that nasty white stuff (nasty if you're driving; lovely if you're inside with nowhere to go) is not in the forecast.
Meanwhile, in DC, Mary sees signs of Spring:
Mary says: The green always looks bright against the drab leaves and earth

Close up of a daffodil
I believe this gardenia blossom in inside.

Mary says: It's only February 2 but things are starting to look like spring. Here's a hyacinth pushing up out of the ground. Don't worry, all the bulbs do just fine even if it freezes after they appear.