Friday, December 31, 2010
1. Say yes - I hope I've got one more in me before the steam whistle pipes midnight.
2. Buy Flash - DONE
3. Write a book - Progress has been made. It won't be done by Jan 1, 2011, though.
4. Singing lessons regularly
5. Perform - Working on it.
6. Fix house - DONE - It's been done twice and right now, frankly, I feel like I'm right where I was a year ago because I still have to do my part to put the rooms back together. I know, intellectually, though that I'm ahead of where I was at this time last year.
7. Commit to writing and administration work for The Women's Colony for one year (I write twice per week and have agree to set up and oversee Twitter & Facebook for the site.) - DONE, since the site has dissolved I can call it that, I guess.
8. Plan Italy trip - Postponed until October of 2011, but I'm committed to that time frame and need to start planning in earnest. I think we have the first thing to go on 2011's list!
9. Renew passport - DONE, I even know where my passport it right now.
10. Go to Blogher - DONE and so glad of it! It brought me so much.
11. Write Aunt Rena once a week
12. Sign up for some online dating site - I have followed the letter of this law but not the spirit, more work to be done, more yes to be said.
13. Go on enough dates to judge the dating site
14. At least one session with the fabulous PT, Shelley
15. Write a Life List (per the Maggie Mason model) - In progress
16. Take Flash class - DONE I took it and I loved it!
17. Attend live theatre - already seen Let Me Down Easy and In The Next Room, a Ping Chong piece. Saw Reduced Shakespeare with Carmencita & Alita. Saw Glee Club, which was a delight. Saw Race by David Mamet and Addams Family with Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane. Saw a big old wedding that was pretty theatery. Now I've also seen Next To Normal. Saw Eddie Izzard do stand up, also Craig Ferguson. I saw Language Archive on Thursday night and am going to see something else tonight but it's a surprise for Misti so I won't say what it is. The thing I could not say was Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson which was fantastic and I'm so glad we saw it when we did.
18. Mermaid Parade - DONE and I love it more every time we do it.
19. Take Alita bowling
20. Composting - I've been doing this. It's not so bad. I'm calling this DONE, it's a habit.
21. Lose 10-15lbs - Scale is back out. News is not fantastic but changes and loss are occurring. 141 as of last weighing.
22. Visit Governors Island - DONE and I'd like to go back. Went to a food festival for a friend's birthday. The festival itself was a total clusterfuck but the island is really nice.
23. Sushi class with Chrome - DONE
24. Attend Charlie & Spoon's wedding - DONE
25. Write an article to submit to magazines - Stalled.
26. Get a massage - DONE Got one on Labor Day weekend that was just DIVINE. Had another one yesterday and it was a source of great comedy. But even a mediocre massage is still pretty good.
27. Dental appointment - DONE
28. Gyn appointment - DONE
29. Move this blog to its own domain name. - DONE! Yay!!
30. Buy new rolling carryon luggage
31. Attend Blondie's graduation - DONE
32. Buy and assemble new furniture to make storage and filing more efficient in my home. - DONE, I have even put a bunch of files in the cabinet and books on the shelves.
33. Upgrade to a smart phone - DONE
34. File all my papers and whatsits/use the new furniture to its fullest potential. - In progress
35. Create new housekeeping routines a la Flylady - Decidedly undone
36. Celebrate my 40th birthday with Kath & Alex - DONE
37. Hang my pictures.
38. Acquire a dog. - DONE, neither the dog nor the process I expected but done and good.
39. Dermatologist appointment - DONE, 2 of them actually since I needed a follow up but don't have to go back for another year.
40. Mammogram - DONE
41. Change to more affordable health insurance - DONE and the best part is that my employer has to pay the premium every month so I don't have to worry that I'll forget and lose my health insurance because I'm an idiot who doesn't have a bill paying system.
42. Train dog sufficiently that he can participate in off leash hours - In progress. We took a class. We will probably take many others. He needs a lot of instruction and I need more in order to instruct him. It's possible he'll never be fully off leash. We'll see. He's going to get into scraps and I don't have the constitution for handling those. I come from a small town where everyone remembers all the stupid shit you do so I feel every transgression a little too acutely. Maybe I'll learn my lesson, we'll see. And he's young. It's going to take a lot longer than I first hoped to reach an understanding with him. He is getting plenty of exercise and socialization, though. And I'm getting all the dirty looks from other people that I can hack. More progress has been made since last update but still not done.
43. Submit a photo and blurb to The Beauty of Different blog. - I just did this a moment ago so I could add one more thing DONE to this year. It felt good.
Tally for the Year is 26 things DONE and 7 more in progress. That's pretty ding dang good I think, even if I can hope for slightly more progress next year.
a) happier or sadder? happier
b) thinner or fatter? fatter, ooph
c) richer or poorer? richer after having changed health insurance and gotten a bonus and raise
Acting, Writing, Singing, Cooking, Traveling, Kissing (which I initially mistyped as Kizzing)
Being frightened, being in the office, waiting, worrying
I spent Christmas in New England as usual. Got up at 6:15 and had over an hour to drink cocoa and chat with Queen Bee before we got started. Later I went to have a very Jewish Christmas breakfast with MamaKizz, Aunt Rena and SoDivine. We had latkes and blintzes and cocoa and bacon. Delicious! Moved on to Pond House and a party with plenty of people and 5 dogs and just the right amount of crazy in a beautiful setting. Swung by the Chili homestead then back to mom's. There I was asked to peruse the weather report. After doing that I decided I had to either stay for an unknown period of time (and pay the attendant car rental fees) or head back to Brooklyn right away. So after a fairly relaxed Christmas Day I wound up hurriedly packing my shit into the car and driving with sandy eyes propped open until I arrived home. Sigh. Kind of ruined the nice holiday buzz (high on life, nothing else, promise) I had going but it worked out for the best. Even today, nearly a week after the storm, I wouldn't have felt comfortable driving that boxy little car in the snow.
0. Again. (Curse you biology!) Is it uncool to put that on one's New Year's Resolution list?
What wasn't? I continued to love Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy and the usual suspects. Also got hooked on Justified, Modern Family, and, posthumously, Lost.
Oh lord, do I? I have no idea. Probably not. I think I'm doing better about dissolving the hate. I am still wildly distrustful of a whole host of people and I'm afraid that list might have gotten a little longer this year.
Again I have a really hard time picking one. I loved the Hunger Games trilogy. There's a short story by Neil Gaiman in The Secret History of Fantasy the fed me deeply. I finally read Brokeback Mountain and loved it even a little more than I expected. Bonk was pretty inspiring, too.
Did I discover any music this year? I think I failed to look.
Tangibly I got an iPad. Emotionally I finally said out loud that I wanted a no stuff Christmas and to give donations instead and the response people had to that was inexpressably wonderful. Everyone was supportive of the idea and most people were really excited about it. It was the kind of response that makes you wish you'd spoken up sooner and I had a whole bunch of fun picking out the organizations to donate to and the photos to use on the cards I made to announce the donations.
Spontaneous career success which is a fine thing to want but a stupid thing to expect.
Wow, I really need to start recording what I see. It's tough, I see a lot of stuff. I loved Winter's Bone and I really hope it gets noticed during awards season and not just for one actress. She was brilliant but she wasn't the only one and the whole film deserved praise. A Single Man was also supremely affecting.
I was 41. I can't remember, but this is what blogs are for. I'll go look. I had dinner with Kath & Alex at the Italian place around the corner and the day after was a brunch day so we went bowling at Chelsea Piers and ate German Chocolate cake with both coconut and chocolate buttercream frosting. It was a delicious birthday.
Having boldly taken a trip out of the country.
Shrinking. I've known for months I'm gaining back weight but haven't committed to changing habits so I've been slowly narrowed in what I can wear by what I'm carrying.
Writing, as always. Not having a dog for so much of the year meant I had some more time for it, even if it was just brain dumps to get the thoughts out of the jail in my head.
All the usual ones - Josh Jackson, James Marsters, Lee Tergesen, Idris Elba - and a few new ones. Dax Shepherd made a real impression this year.
Repeal of DADT is still fresh in my mind. A lot of budgeting issues have been at the forefront locally and I think they've stirred me the most because the city and state seem to be in real trouble with no help or end in sight and the people being asked (nay required) to pay for the mistakes of the group are the people least able to do so.
I miss my Emily. I miss Nanny & Joe. I miss a lot of folks.
Man, I met so many new people this year. I think I'm going to go with Rev. Coop, though. We met at a wedding in OH and found we had a friend in common from Portland, OR. Rarely has someone made me feel so comfortable in so short a time and just being in his orbit keeps you entertained, interested and just a tiny bit terrified, but in a thrilling way.
Realizing that it may be that I don't leap often because when I do I tend to go right in the deep end. This month two or three people have said, "So you just took him sight unseen!" about the dog and, in my mind, I didn't but they're right, I totally did. There was no question in my mind that, barring some catastrophic difference of opinion, I'd keep the dog that was dropped off at my doorstep that night. Why would I make such a big choice on such short information? I don't know but I think I do it a lot. I knew I needed to go to NYU and I knew basically nothing about it, certainly nothing at all about the day to day workings and I'm still here in NYC nearly 25 years later. Well, christ, if that's how I do my leaping no wonder I hardly ever do it. I might need to learn how to revise more than I need to learn to leap.
This just came to me out of the blue while I thought about this question so I read the lyrics to the whole song and I think I'll stick to it. Here's the most pertinent chunk of Bjork's It's Oh So Quiet but the whole thing works pretty well for my year:
it's nice and quiet
but soon again
starts another big riot
you blow a fuse
the devil cuts loose
so what's the use
of falling in love
Thursday, December 30, 2010
I like end of year wrap ups and beginning of the year preps. I have a few that I like to do here. I'm not very organized about it this year and it may take me a while to finish them but I do want to get started. Today I'll list the first sentence of the first post of each month of the year. As usual this will either be super cute, a little embarrassing or a difficult combination of the two.
January: Happiness is a warm cat.
February: So it turns out that I might be talked out about the dog issue.
March: Been a while since we've gone all Hot People here.
April: I shouldn't have hinted at it on Tuesday.
May: The Year of Yes keeps bringing me things.
June: 10 Things I Could Do Without
July: More later but I keep meaning to mention that there are only 3 of us with photos entered in the Photo Challenge right now.
August: His people are gone (for the day).
September: Apparently most of you live very staid lives.
October: Starting today you're likely to be inundated with urgings to think pink, buy pink, drink pink, wear pink, wash pink, eat pink, sit on pink, drive pink, just pink pink pink pink pink.
November: The busy, busy weekend is over.
December: Today you should read over at Kizz & Tell instead of here.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
For my part I didn't understand why she even thought that was an option. I explained that the city agencies were overloaded and how many people were stuck in how many places and how the stores were even sold out of shovels at this point even if they were open and I could almost see her sit back. She said she'd shoveled herself a fantastic workout to clear her house and car then taken the drive to Dunkin's for granted. So now it occurs to me that you might all be wondering about this sort of thing. Or you might not know to wonder. Or you might just skip this post and go to another one.
It costs about $1 million per inch to clear the snow in New York City. With 20 inches of snow even I can do the scary math for a city slashing services without mercy and still unable to balance the budget. It means 12 hour shifts for sanitation workers and an intricate plan for which streets get priority and what order to plow them in. It means postponing garbage pick up and canceling many parking regulations. The MTA takes care of the subways, which aren't entirely underground. However, if a train goes above ground near the end of the route and the above ground part gets snowed under then you have trains backed up behind that. Don't even get started on the trains that come above ground briefly then go back under. Oh and the trains are run with electricity and snow is water so...there's that.
FDNY couldn't get to the hydrant or had to take time out to clear the hydrant before attending to your flame-engulfed dwelling....well, it just might be in one's interest to participate in the conspiracy to overthrow American values this one time.
OK, now for a visualization exercise. Picture that there are 3-5 foot drifts of snow (if you're having trouble check out the photo above of my dog standing on top of one this morning). Picture a plow going down a street with cars parked on both sides. Now picture that the people who own the cars that have recently been plowed further under are required to dig those cars out. Where do they put the snow? They can toss it toward the sidewalk, which may or may not have been shoveled to some extent, but they probably walked down that sidewalk to get to their car and will probably have to walk back up that sidewalk to rest their weary bones after they clear out the car because they still can't really drive anywhere. Alternatively, they could toss it out into the freshly plowed street. The sanitation department has been whining all week about that, "Don't throw the snow in the street or we'll just have to plow that street again and we might never get to those side streets you're tweeting and facebooking and blogging about. Quit it!" Seriously, they need better PR people. In a lesser snow storm with more car traffic you can usually toss the snow from around your car into the street and the friction from passing vehicles will melt it and all will be well. In a storm like this? Not so much. Some people manage a sort of snow fort feat of engineering where you make taller walls of snow around your car with a kind of doorway to drive through. It's kind of precarious, though, and I have no idea how you honestly drive safely in or out of such a thing.
I went to work for a little over half a day today. On my way home I stopped at Target because I needed a couple of things and I'm pretty sure I'm not going that far away from home again until the new year. So I was carrying about 20lbs on my back and another 10 or so in a shopping bag. The most efficient way home meant that I scaled a couple of drifts, walked down the middle of a couple of streets, scaled more drifts, stood and waited for a bus that never came, walked down some sidewalks, some more streets, bought 10lbs of dog kibble and down more streets and sidewalks to my door. Took me around half an hour. Hurt. I took the elevator to the 2nd floor. Pathetic but required by that point. It's just the way of it, though. I wished for snow pants. Then I realized I'd only really need them a few days of every year so did I really need them? (No, honestly, do I?)
It's similar in blizzard recovery. In a smaller town or city there's more delineation between what is the individual responsibility and what the municipal. You take care of your part, I'll take care of mine and when we're both done we'll both be able to safely navigate the labyrinth of solid, white water. Here we're intertwined to such an extent that it can take a little while longer to untie the knot. Not always but sometimes.
Make no mistake, I'm still angry at our smug, lying mayor. I'm still incredulous that a city agency that left passengers stranded with no information for more than 30 hours on a subway train is going to raise its rates enormously in two short days (photo above is of the most treacherous part of my commute today, the stairs into the Nevins Street station, untouched by a shovel of any kind, leading into a station with no station agent). I'm also a little frightened about what could have (and probably did) happened while emergency services were (and continue to be) so compromised. But I've seen this before and I'm sure I'll see it again and I'm just hoping we'll do better next time.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
I did all the right things but at some point you learn a lesson no matter what. I knew the worst of the storm was going to be between 4pm and 3am so I took the dog out for a longish walk in the few inches of snow at around 2:30. We went to the park, we toodled all around, he was fine, I fell on my face and when he shivered we went home (pictured, nearly home). Easy peasy.
The plan was to walk him again at 11, our last pee of the night unavoidably in the thick of things. I have been falling asleep on the couch all day since my Christmas sort of accidentally went from 6:15am to 2:30am on the 26th. But I rallied to the sounds of Walter Bishop playing a crazy king in one of the LotR movies at around 12:30. I don't believe the story I'm about to tell you would have been much different if I'd woken up 90 minutes earlier.
Big sweater, jeans, boots, long jacket, hat and hood for me. Sweater, jacket, harness, long leash for the dog. Didn't look out the window to assess the challenges ahead. Warned the dog verbally that this would be the worst of it, I promised. Out we went.
Well, to the lobby we went. At which point I saw that the front door was propped open. By snow. The drift out front is as high as my thighs at its highest. I headed out part way into it to see if the dog would follow. A lot of dogs surf the drifts so I had to let him make his own choices. He cowered and backed into the lobby. Really, who could blame him, it was blowing and making that haunting noise and the flakes were like weensy little ice daggers. So I picked him up and shimmied around the door to the lowest drift point and carried him over which is, I have to note, a fuck of a lot harder than it sounds. I know he's little but I sunk up to my knees and had trouble freeing my legs. We didn't fall, though!
Away from the drift I set him down. Trying not to baby him. He's smart, though, so he walked in my wake which helped keep the blowing snow from blinding him and made it easier for him to walk. We got to the security booth and all four doors were basically propped about an inch open by snow. He walked in fine, shook and flat refused to walk out the back door. In the process of encouraging, then hefting him I must have kicked a paw or let the door boot his butt because the scream he let out will haunt my dreams. He wasn't hurt, I promise.
Out the door I found the next flat place to set him down. Well, flatter place. He rallied and walked. That side of the building has scaffolding up so we were some protected but not by much. Still he could walk comfortably and pee. We got to the corner and, despite a few more feet of scaffolding, that side was much taller. He continued in my wake and even conquered a small drift then, out from under protection, he went back to letting me break the path. I got the hint and took smaller steps so he'd have a better time. I finally had to pick him up again for the last few feet to the corner
At the next corner you're at the big boulevard of a street. The wind whips up and down between tall buildings made harsher by our proximity to the water. The drifts were much worse. I saw someone walking in the street but by my, still much blinded, calculations she wasn't a hell of a lot better off. I had time to evaluate that because the sidewalk was clear in a little patch around the fire call box and the pay phone and I thought the dog might pee. No, he just paced increasingly frantic circles in the cleared out place. Now, the shortest route would have been to gut it out on the boulevard but the depth was unknown and the dog wasn't going to walk any of it so I opted to lug him back to the scaffolding and walk home under that. By this time my old, fat ass was wheezing like a broken steam engine.
Dog, again, not stupid. He knows we're headed home and he knows he can pee along there so he's hauling ass and takes just one opportunity to pee. He braves the drifts into the security booth. When we get out our side into the courtyard the path I broke not 5 minutes before is gone, completely. Dog doesn't care, he forges ahead of me straight toward home. So straight toward home that when I zig to the left to go over the shorter drift to our front door he fucking bulls it right over the very tallest part and into the lobby. There's a brief moment when his weight first drops him into the middle of the drift where I see the whites of his eyes roll by but he bucks right back up. I had to just let go of the leash and let him go in on his own because he was much faster than I. I floundered in the drift and had to push myself out with my hands.
You always worry when something unexpected comes up. I still don't know this dog very well. Who's to say what will hurt him or freak him out? I try to make educated guesses and informed choices but sometimes, for instance in your first blizzard, you have to wing it. I had a sudden flash of what would have happened if Emily's illness had been the arthritis we thought it was and and not the neurological hell that killed her. I can't imagine how I'd have gotten her out to pee. But Ed's under 16 lbs and he's one tough little fucker. They have that last in common. Still I was afraid that he'd been somewhat traumatized by the experience.
Inside he let me take off the coat, harness and leash. Then he took off to rub the melted snow off his face by rubbing it along the sides of the couch. Before I even had time to peel off my sweater and soaked jeans he'd brought me a ball and wanted to play fetch.
I think he's going to recover.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
I can't believe I haven't asked you what you're doing for the holiday. Please excuse my rudeness. I was working and it was busy and I wasn't very organized. I'm packed now and all my New York presents have been parceled out and I'm just about to leave to pick up the rental car. I'm centered. We can talk.
I'm taking an adventure on public transportation to get to La Guardia and pick up that rental car. I'm doing that because Steph adopted the cutest, roly poliest doxie, Charlie, and she didn't realize that Amtrak is run by haters and don't allow dogs, even cute, roly poly dogs, secured in travel bags. So when she gets off work I'll pick them up and all 4 of us will travel North...assuming the thought of all 4 of us in a car doesn't cause Ed to run around in circles until he turns to butter.
Tomorrow Queen Bee and I are buying Ed a sweater that fits and maybe some other stuff. I'll visit with Aunt Rena. I'm meeting Auntie Chili for coffee (except I won't have coffee). In the evening I'll have dinner with my dad's family even further North on the beach. Well, inside a house but the house is right there on the water. We can see the sea from the dinner table.
Christmas Day will be a slow roll, no pressure. Morning with the Bees, mid-morning with mom and Aunt Rena, Christmas din-din with the extended Bees and a visit with the Chilis in the early evening. For me? The whole day will be about food. Mmmm, I love food.
On the 26th I'm definitely having breakfast with Steph and Bud and their dad. Some time after breakfast they will head to VT. (She's going to try the Fung Wah with the dog for the way back.) Then will I have lunch with my dad? How would we do that because I'll have Eddie with me and restaurants frown on dog patronage and it's WAY too cold to eat al fresco. Drive through? I could do that. Anyone know of a lobster drive through near Boston? As I wend my way South again I may also see fondofsnape and/or JRH. It's all up in the air. I don't have a deadline. Well, I have to be back in NYC on Monday to return the car before it costs every single penny of my holiday bonus instead of just most of them.
I won't have a proper computer with me. I'll have the Blackberry, though. I bet I'll chart my progress with a few photos on the fly. I will definitely check the comments on this post. So, tell me what you're getting up to this Christmas or, as they call it in Israel, Saturday.
*Bonus, here's the deal that's making me drool today.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
This is going to be a hot, quick, dirty post since today is so busy. Scroll down, click through, join the next challenge, comment on photos, have happy holidays, peace, love and understanding.
P.S. I love how there is both order and chaos in each photo.
Given how busy it is today and how busy we all may be in the next week or so I feel that conforming to a specific prompt is too much to ask. So, another free skate! Post any photo you like to our Flickr Pool by Tuesday January 4th for posting on January 5th.