Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Quiet Day

Today is a rare gift—a quiet day to do whatever I want. Yesterday I visited Designing Woman in Fairlawn and got some beautiful wool yarn in dark brown, orange, and coffee. This morning I'm sitting in front of the television, making a scarf to go with my rust Eileen Fisher short coat.

I watched Citizen Kane, but didn't get as much out of it as most people do. Last night I went to the WYSU Members' Movie Night and saw Nights in Rodanthe. (By the way, I didn't see any good-looking, age-appropriate single men there, contrary to my hopes. I guess if I had seen the Western instead of the Romance, my chances would have been greater.)

Watching two movies in such a short period of time made me think about my favorite movie scenes. So, today I'll give you a meme of five of my favorite movie scenes. (I'm sure there are many more, but these are what come to mind right now.)

  1. The West Side Story dance scene with water hose from Sleeping With the Enemy. Love that music, loved the creativity of that scene.

  2. From Joe Versus the Volcano, the scene in the California restaurant where Angelica, the ditzy California blond Meg Ryan character, says, "I have no response to that." Love that line—it covers a multitude of uncomfortable situations.

  3. Another Meg Ryan fave: In You've Got Mail, when Joe tells Kathleen he wishes they could be together, and says, "And then all we'd ever argue about is what movie to rent on a Saturday night." I love that line. I had that kind of marriage. Oh, how I miss it.

  4. The Housesitter is another favorite movie to watch while sewing. I love the scene where Newton brings home Chinese takeout, fulfilling Gwen's dream.

  5. A new fave, from last night's Nights in Rodanthe is when Adrienne is telling her daughter, about the man she loved and lost. "There's another kind of love." She talks about the kind of love that makes us want to be our best selves. (I can't find the exact quote; I may have to rent this movie when it's released to capture that line.) It made me compare and constrast my four marriages. Numbers one through three were to men who cared more about themselves than anyone else. Marriage number four was between two people who put each other first and cared more about their partner's comfort and happiness than their own.


What are some of your faves?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Why I Hate Wednesdays

By the time I get home from chorus rehearsal on Tuesday nights, it's 10:30 or later. By the time I settle down enough to sleep, it's after midnight.

This morning I woke up and pulled my laptop into bed. I had looked at the clock and it said 5:45. Or so I thought. The next time I looked at the clock it was 7:15. I said, "Oh shit", and raced for the shower.

I walked into the office at 9:00:59. (I have to be in the office no later than 9:00.)

I hate Wednesdays.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Darling Jaci

One of the great gifts of my life was Tyler having walked into The Cooker twelve or thirteen years ago and meeting Jaci.

My beautiful daughter-in-law is 40 today, and she wears it with style and grace. The past year has been pivotal in her life, as she started her photography business. Each time she aims and shoots, she demonstrates what a gifted artist she is. Spend a few minutes with her blog, if you have any doubts.

I've tried to be a supportive and caring mother-in-law—I've tried to be the kind of mother-in-law I'd want to have. I think the fact that Tyler and Jaci invited me to move in with them is evidence that I succeeded.

Happy Birthday, my darling Jaci. You're one in a million and I'm privileged to know you.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Am I That Old?

The kid are leaving on vacation tomorrow, leaving me alone for two weeks.

Ridley said she was going to draw me a card so I wouldn't forget her. I said, "I could never forget you." She replied that she wasn't sure I could remember, 'cause I was so old.

I guess it's all perspective, huh?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Short Week

It's been a busy weekend filled with music and dance. The babes had their monthly Suzuki recital on Saturday morning, where Ridley "graduated" with her Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star performance. In the afternoon, we all went to Powers Auditorium to see Ballet Western Reserve's performance of The Nutcracker Ballet. Ridley was one of the angels, and did an excellent job. As you watch her perform, it's easy to see that she just exudes dance.

When she was two-and-a-half or three, she would dance in front of the television and watch her reflection in the darkened screen. If you asked her what she wanted to do when she grew up, she would respond that she was going to dance in front of the television. Don't you wish we could all be young and innocent and not have to focus so much on our need to earn an income?!

Today Jaci fixed a lovely dinner and we had several friends over. It wasn't billed as a birthday party, but will be the closest thing we get to a birthday party for this year. On Tuesday, Tyler and Jaci and the babes will leave for their winter vacation—a family reunion in South Carolina, then the babes first trip to Walt Disney World. All day Tuesday, as they are traveling, they will be celebrating Jaci's 40th birthday.

I am constantly thankful that Tyler came to Youngstown State and ultimately met our darling Jaci. She is a fabulous mother, wife, daughter, artist, humanitarian—and drop-dead gorgeous, to boot. Our family is richer for her being a part of it.
. . .
Tomorrow I will meet an electrician at the house to find out how much it will cost to make the electrical system in the house safe for me. I also need to find a mold person to learn how much mold remediation will cost.

And before we know it, it will be Thanksgiving. How quickly this year has passed!

As the week begins, I'm thankful there are only three workdays in this week. And I'm thankful my manager said I could work from home tomorrow so I can go meet the electrician without taking a vacation day.

Small pleasures!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Do What Now?

I'm reading David Giffels's All The Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House. (I'm loving it. I can hardly put it down.) There's a bit of synchronicity in my reading this book, about the restoration of a 1913 mansion in Akron, while I'm trying to buy a 1927 mini-mansion in Youngstown.

The home inspection took place yesterday. I haven't spoken to the inspector, but have read all his words, and they made me pause. Am I getting in over my head? Here I am, a 58yo widow with no handyman who sleeps next to me. And the real estate fiasco of this past summer has left me with severely limited funds and an immense desire to get out of debt. Am I crazy to take on this house?

The electrical system needs to be replaced. The basement has mold. The chimney needs tuck pointing. (What the hell is tuck pointing and why has this phrase suddenly come into my life?)

Okay, Mrs. V has lived there for years and years and years, plugging in electrical appliances. The house still stands. How many years could I live there before I'd Absolutely Have To replace the electrical system?

The mold. How much to remediate? When Tyler texted me that the inspection report had been delivered and the man told Jaci that it would cost "a couple thousand dollars," I thought, that's okay. I had been thinking of offering to pay all the closing costs. Now I'll just split the closing costs and pay for the mold remediation.

But when I spoke with Jaci at dinner, she said, "he told me at least a couple of thousand dollars." Uh oh. "At least" means "no less than and maybe/probably a whole damned lot more than."

There were many other items on the list, those items conveniently printed in red ink. Red means Stop. Shit.

At the same time, the house I made an offer on six weeks ago but was snatched out from under me is rumored to be back on the market. The darling neighbor across the street from the house said he thought I could get it for less than $50K. The new owner got it for $37K. Bastahd. Probably has done nothing to it in the interim, nothing to justify a $13K profit in six weeks. Oh well.

I went to sleep with whorls of "what shall I do" in my head. Oh for a significant other to knock this around with, someone who is going to take this great adventure with me. Memories of making an offer on a 1915 rowhouse in D.C. with John, of planning for our short-lived future.

Can I live with the electricity the way it is?

At midnight I was awakened by Tyler clomping down the stairs from his attic office to the mudroom, then turning on the light in my hallway as he replaced a blown fuse. An omen? An omen of months and months of making sure not to use the toaster and the microwave simultaneously. Months of drying my hair in a dark bathroom because I'm afraid of using the bathroom light and the hair dryer at the same time?

Argh. I need a psychic. What do I do now?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Man, I thought I was a musician nerd!

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Literature Nerd
 

Does sitting by a nice cozy fire, with a cup of hot tea/chocolate, and a book you can read for hours even when your eyes grow red and dry and you look sort of scary sitting there with your insomniac appearance? Then you fit this category perfectly! You love the power of the written word and it's eloquence; and you may like to read/write poetry or novels. You contribute to the smart people of today's society, however you can probably be overly-critical of works.

It's okay. I understand.

Musician
 
Artistic Nerd
 
Science/Math Nerd
 
Drama Nerd
 
Gamer/Computer Nerd
 
Social Nerd
 
Anime Nerd
 
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

(Thanks to Ann at Gorgeous Things' Blog for forcing me inspiring me to kill ten minutes on this test!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Trying Not to Get Excited

And yet thinking about the possibilities, in two months, of:
  1. finding the box containing my journal and the stack of ten waiting-to-be-read books that were on my nightstand before the movers arrived;

  2. unpacking all my books and being able to decide where to put them;

  3. having all my clothes in one location;

and so on.

White Stuff Comin' At Ya

The drive home from rehearsal last night was, at times, downright scary. From the point at which I drove onto I-76 until just past the Mahoning County line, the flakes were driving at me. I had to sit up like an old lady, gripping the steering wheel, trying to keep the light of the cars behind me out of my eyes in the rearview mirror, and desparately trying to see the lane lines. For that entire portion of the drive, these big ol' flakes were just streaming right at me.

I wanted to get home safely, while simultaneously wanting to just pull into the rest area and wait for it to pass. (Does it ever pass here?) I fantasized about taking Wednesday off and just hiding under the covers, but I remembered Wednesday is my AkronReads day, and two kindergartners would be waiting for me to help them with their reading. (I'm taking one of my boss's AR shifts, so now I have two days a month with third graders and one day with kindergartners.) I kept plowing forward.

When I got home and into my flannel jammies (I hate flannel jammies!) and turned out the light, all I could see inside my eyelids were tiny dots of light coming at me, like stars or pinpoints of light. This continued for about ten minutes until I could figure out how to trick my brain not to see them long enough to fall asleep.

The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was head for the window to see if more snow had fallen on my car overnight. It hadn't.

I'm hopeful for a sane one-hour drive this morning!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wintery Weather Welcome

I walked out of the house at 7:15 this morning. I walked into the office at 9:10. I came very close, several times, to just taking the next exit and turning around to spend the day at home, eating up one of my few remaining vacation days. But I kept on.

The Mahoning County stretch was the worst. The Youngstown bypass, 711, was—for the second snowy morning in a row—untreated, treacherous and scary as hell. I could not see the lane divider lines. When I got to 680, however, the road was clear. Then the snow picked up in earnest and I couldn't see 50 yards in front of the car.

Shortly after crossing Lake Milton and nearing the Mahoning County line, I could see blue skies ahead, and I had about 15 miles of clear and easy driving. Then, as I approached Tallmadge, the traffic slowed to a crawl and I drove probably 10 miles at 5 mph or less.

I've heard people forecast a tough winter this year, so this is probably not the last time I'll have a two-hour commute, one way. At 9:30 tonight I'll hit the road again after rehearsal. I only hope it's not still snowing by then.

And here's a shout-out to the stupid drivers who refuse to brush the snow off the roofs of their cars before leaving their driveways: Don't we have enough problems with snow on the roads? Leave your snow in your own ducking driveway and cut the rest of us a little break!

11:00 p.m. update: I went into Panera to kill 45 minutes before rehearsal. While I was drinking my mocha and reading a great book, and inch-and-a-half of snow accumulated on my car! Enough already!! (And it's only November 18th!)

Beginning to Tell the Story

I have a contract on a house. I'm scared to say too much about this, as I don't want anything to happen and harm the deal. I've had my heart broken by too many houses this year.

I'm taking it as a good sign that the nephew who is acting for the 92yo widow owner wants to close next year. I think any CPA that I contact for tax assistance next year would refuse to work with me once I revealed I had sold two houses and bought one in the same year!

Today I'll tell you about the first floor. I have never come in the front door, only the kitchen door, so I'll use that orientation. The kitchen is a decent size, but dated by about 30 years. In a few years, when I recover from my real estate hell, I'll rehab the kitchen. Next to the kitchen is a breakfast room with built-in cupboards. Remember, the house dates from 1927 and has all those lovely little touches that were being installed in Youngstown homes of that era. The breakfast room floor is linoleum, not gorgeous tile like Tyler and Jaci's. When I redo the kitchen, I'll redo that floor. in the interim, I think this will be my computer room. Then a nice sized dining room, with doors out to the porch on the north side. I foresee summer Sunday morning tea-and-novel or tea-and-beading on that porch.

Turning right from the dining room is the large foyer, that leads to the staircase. Behind the staircase is a half bath.

Through the foyer is the living room. At the back of the living room, on the same wall as the kitchen door, is a small library with built-in barrister bookcases. I can see a small television and comfortable chair here.

On the south side of the living room, opposite the outside porch, is a sun porch. This will be for winter Sunday morning tea-and-novel.

The owner was an immaculate housekeeper. I might pull up the wall-to-wall carpet before moving in, but quite possibly all I'll do is have the downstairs painted before hanging "The King and the Queen of the Prom" on the living room wall.

Fireplaces? In the living room and in the large bedroom directly over the living room.

Oh, and a back stairs from the kitchen up to the small bedroom and bath at the back of the second floor.

Trying not to, but getting excited.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Intimate Morning Conversations

Boston woke up way too early this morning after his sleepover at Grandma's "house". It was 6:20 and he was ready to go downstairs for breakfast, but I tried to stall him as long as I could.

Oh, the sweet conversations we had.

He started singing two songs he had learned in music class at school. He couldn't fully remember one of them and said he needed to ask Ridley. He said, "She stuck it to her forehead with invisible glue so she wouldn't forget it."

What a concept! I said, "Ridley has a very good imagination, doesn't she?"

He replied, "Yes, she likes to pretend things. I think imagination is her favorite toy."

I loved that statement and just had to share it with you this lovely rainy morning.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A House?

TJ cyberslapped my hand yesterday for not telling him I was trying to buy a house. So here's the update:

I've had my eye on a 1950s contemporary a mile up the road for a year now and last weekend it came on the market. It was repossessed, and needed some work. The plumbing had been stolen off the heat pump, and there is serious mold in the basement. But it is a gorgeous house and would fit my furniture and artwork very well, as well as give me significant sewing space.

The rule of thumb when buying a repo is to look at what the bank has in it and offer half of that. That's the starting point and you negotiate from there. The house was listed at $99,900, the bank bought it at the sheriff's sale for $86,000, and I opened the negotiations at $45,000. The bank responded, through their agent, that the offer wasn't even high enough to counter. Whatever. I guess they're enjoying having this house in their portfolio. At least I won't have to deal with removing that mold.

Onward: there's a precious 1927 two-story house three blocks away that I'm working on now. The owner is a 92-year-old widow, in a nursing home after suffering a fall. She has no children and her nephews are trying to sell the house. The nephew who is functioning as the spokesman has agreed to sell the house to me at the price I want. Today I will talk to the banks where I have mortgage pre-approvals and see which one wants my business.

By New Year's, I might be in my own home again.

A Day of Mourning

Yesterday was so long and so traumatic that when I got in the shower this morning, it seemed like about 72 hours had elapsed since the last time I was in the shower.

About 10:30 yesterday morning, the director of development asked the other technical writer and me to come into a conference room. I thought I was going to get my hand slapped for accessing the internet for non-work-related stuff. Instead he told us that our boss had just been fired. Seriously? My boss is brilliant. He's an excellent technical writer, a compassionate manager, and an all-around good guy. He was able to bring a note of humor to every drudge job we did. (And there's a lot of drudge to technical writing—trust me!)

The director also told us that three other people were being let go. In fact, as we were sitting there, my best buddy was also being let go. Oh, stab me again. There was only one person at that company who was anywhere near being in my generation and with whom I could talk classical music and what it's like to live in the National Capital area. Every Friday morning for the last few months I've bought two of my Friday morning pastry and delivered one to my buddy's desk as a pat on the head for having lived through another week in an environment that wasn't real friendly to him. Each night as I left I told him good-night. As I walked past his cube on the way out last night, I had to steel myself to not cry.

So of our workforce of about eighty people, we're now about 5% lighter. The workplace was very strange yesterday. Very little work got done in the afternoon; most people were standing around outside their cubes just chatting, and no manager objected. It seemed like the HR types were wandering around telling jokes, trying to distract everyone from the death in our midst.

(The other two guys who were let go? One I knew by name; the other just got married a couple of months ago. Talk about inserting stress into a new marriage. Oh, and my buddy? Has a new baby daughter, about three months old, along with three boys and a stay-at-home wife. Have I said enough to alert you to his stress level?)

My two newly-jobless friends will find work quickly, I'm sure (I hope)(I pray). But my worklife will not be the same.

I'm in mourning.

Your Friday Giggle

Yesterday morning during my commute, Gayle King commented on a lawsuit a woman filed against L'Oreal cosmetics.

The thing that struck me as funny was the woman's statement that she could never go back to being a natural blonde. Wait—if you're coloring your hair, it's technically not "natural", right?

Enjoy—and Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Where Do They Learn These Things?

Boston told me last night that he and Claire are friends again.

This was a little girl who was his best friend on day 1 of second grade. Then she said something mean to him (who can remember what it was?!) and a few more mean things thereafter. He quickly learned to dislike her. And then she was seated next to him in class, so it became a problem.

I suggested to him that he try to be as kind to her as he could. Say nice things to her. Tell her she looked nice that day, or compliment something she said. Ignore any perceived meanness.

He sounded greatly relieved last night when he told me he has passed her a note in class that said, "Are you not my friend?" She passed the note back and whatever she wrote assuaged his concern. He wrote back, "Thank you." And she responded, "No, thank you."

My little diplomat!

(When, where, and how do kids learn to pass notes in class? I can't imagine how that starts!)

And later he told me he had asked the teacher to back up in a lesson as one little boy was falling behind.

This child has an enormous, giving, loving heart. How lucky I am to have him in my life!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Doing It Right

Although I'm not happy about the XMRadio/Sirius merger and losing a couple of favorite stations, I am impressed that Sirius put redirects on the channels that moved. I got into the car this morning and pushed the button for Channel 110, XM Classics. It automatically settled on channel 78, Symphony Hall.

I'm not happy, but I'm placated. And impressed with their tech staff!

(An aside to the Sirius people: SIRIOUSLY Sinatra is not the same as High Standards! Boo.

Oh, yeah, and if you wanna get rid of Dr. Laura from xL SIRIUS XM Stars, I wouldn't quarrel with that [brilliantly intelligent] move.)

Lovely Music for Veterans Day

At last night's Akron Symphony Chorus rehearsal, we did some more work on the Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem that we will perform in February. We performed one movement of this work, the Dirge for Two Veterans, in our concert a week ago.

The words are drawn from the writings of Walt Whitman.

The last movement brought tears to my eyes each time we sang it. I envision the moon shining down over the columbarium at Arlington National Cemetery, where John's ashes are inurned.

The moon gives you light,
And the bugles and the drums give you music;
And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans,
My heart gives you love.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Favorite Veteran

I've already told you I'm a softie where my country is concerned. Tears well in my eyes when I sing the National Anthem or God Bless America. Walking across the acres of Arlington National Cemetery leaves me speechless in awe for the sacrifices of the men and women who have served their country.

As John was nearing his death, I asked him what he had hoped to accomplish in his life. He—who was loath to enter into such a discussion—freely said, "To serve my country; to be a good citizen; and to be a good father." I told him that if those were his criteria, he had lived a successful life.

So, today I tip my hat to Lt.Col. John R. Ross (USAF Ret.) whose service in Vietnam and exposure to Agent Orange led ultimately to his death of prostate cancer. He loved his country and his children and all three of his wives, during their respective tenures. He loved fast airplanes. He loved golf more than life. He loved to run down to the Mall to watch fireworks celebrating any occasion. He was proud of his service in Defense Intelligence Agency. He loved walking the halls of the Pentagon.

He loved his country.

He loved me unconditionally.

Monday, November 10, 2008

There's More to a Man Than Looks

I stopped in Starbucks this morning for my mocha and sat for a few minutes with a crossword puzzle.

There were three men sitting with their coffee. One was reading the newspaper; the other two were talking. Talking about how horrible the Obama win was, and how detrimental for our area and the nation.

Listening to them made me realize that I may see someone who is attractive, and may learn he's single and looking, but that doesn't give me a clue to what goes on inside his brain.

It's such a long, tortuous journey to find someone compatible to spend time with.

In the long run, is it worth the effort.

I no longer know the answer to that question.

Friendship is Hard Work!

Again this morning Jon Katz has touched me with his Bedlam Farm post.

This has been on my mind lately, as my "Man In My Dreams" post prompted a couple of dear friends to wish church on me.

Anyone who wishes me to sit on a church pew on a Saturday or Sunday morning doesn't understand the abuse I have taken through my life from Christians-in-name-only. One cannot truly be a Christian and treat me as I have been treated in my life.

And if you think I'm going to ever again in my life put that amount of trust in someone, in the name of wasting two hours on a Saturday or Sunday morning, then you truly don't appreciate the abuse I've suffered.

I'm just saying: Your lifestyle works for you. Good. I'm happy for you and respect your choices. Please don't minimize my pain and loss by wishing your lifestyle on me.

Deal?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Create Something!

I've become quite enamored lately by the blog entitled Bedlam Farm Journal. Each day I anxiously await Jon Katz's frequent posts, always accompanied by gorgeous photography.

Last Thursday he posted about his seventh anniversary on Bedlam Farm. I was touched by his closing words in that post:
"So I enter my Seventh Year on Bedlam Farm, and I ask myself what it is that I want? What does it mean to me to be here? I want the same things I've always wanted, and sometimes found, sometimes not: love, truth, creativity, change, growth. To write about animals and life. To take photos that reflect the world around me. To feel that each day counted for something, and that every single day, without fail, I created something."

This weekend I created a vinyl mesh tote bag and small zippered bag for the Montessori School of Mahoning Valley's fundraiser. As I was digging through my plastic storage containers of fabric for just the right animal-themed fabric for the tote, I was humbled and embarrassed by the quantity of fabric I have.

When I was a young sewer, I would buy a pattern and a piece of fabric and sew it. I would never buy a piece of fabric when I hadn't finished the last piece I bought. Then, fifteen years ago, when I started quilting, that pattern changed. Quilters can never have too large of a fabric stash—you always need one little bit of some color that can be found in your stash, without an interrupting drive to the store.

The first year I lived in Tucson, I traveled to Europe eight times. I had my favorite fabric store in Stockholm, and in every other town I visited, I managed to search out the good fabric stores and come home with a meter or two of fabric.

Now that stash-building is haunting me. I have enough fabric that I could sew something every day for a year, with only occasional trips to the store for thread. It's overwhelming.

But when I read Jon's words, "To feel that each day counted for something, and that every single day, without fail, I created something," I was inspired.

This weekend I made a new blankie for Boston, at his design and request. On the front of the blankie is a zippered pocket to hold his favorite pocket-size stuffed tiger. I helped him make two 6.5" square mini-blankies. He made one for himself. Then he was so proud of what he did, he decided to make one for his sister. Her's instantly became a blankie for her favorite stuffed kitten. He's adept with my Bernina 1630—all I have to do is thread the needle. He's happy when he's sitting in my sewing room, searching through my stash, deciding what he wants to do next. Now he's decided his tiger needs a pillow, so that will be next weekend's project.

The upside for me? I reduced my stash by about three yards of red polyester satin, one white zipper, a yard or so of batting, and a scrap of brilliant blue China silk that had been sitting around for four years. And I helped a child create.

I also made two items that will encourage the Montessori School's pasta dinner attendees to buy more tickets for the Chinese auction so they can have a better chance at my great mesh bags.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Male of the Species

I'm convinced that the over-50 male of the species is a subspecies, with the accent on sub.

I mentioned yesterday that I saw a hyperhandsome man at Starbucks, but I didn't walk over and scope him out. I merely obsessed on the entire drive to Akron about possible opportunities. Then I did what any techsavvy woman of the 00s would do: I posted a Missed Connections ad on Craigslist. A couple of hours later I received an e-mail from a man who said he had been at the Canfield Starbucks and made eye contact with a "mature woman" (his words, not mine—doesn't he know how that sounds?!) and wondered if he was the man I seen [sic].

We exchanged a couple of e-mails and a handful of facts (where he was standing, what I was wearing) and determined that we were not the ones making eyes with each other. Then came the clincher—a final note from him saying he wouldn't mind seeing me. "I am married, to long, not looking for a divorse, just having fun..Love is grand, Divorse is a 100 Grand!!! Cheaper to keep her!!"

Are you kidding me?

I quickly responded, "I don't do married."

BTW, I also don't date men who can't spell and/or don't bother to proofread their communications.

About three hours later I got an e-mail from another man. His cryptic message was, "hey im not him but id love to get coffee with you and im very handsome." His e-mail included a photo of a man, presumably him, shirtless and striking a flexed-biceps pose.

Wait, you know nothing about me except that I state that I'm 58 and that I stopped at Starbucks yesterday morning? And based on those two facts you want to have coffee with me?

Maybe meeting a suitable man of an appropriate age and with adequate education to write well is impossible.

But just in case my guy-by-the-window is a possibility, I'll probably stop a couple of mornings next week for a mocha. Just in case.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Travelin' Music

I stopped at the Canfield Starbucks this morning and, on a whim, picked up the new James Taylor "Covers" album, which turns out to be great music for driving miles and miles at oh-dark-thirty.

While waiting for my mocha to hit the counter, I glanced around the dining room and made significant eye contact with a hyperhandsome age-appropriate man (ring finger status: unknown). I think I'll be stopping at this S'bux again next week to see if he's a frequent patron.

Hmmmm.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The Timely

Daylight Saving Time is gone for another season. I love and hate this change.

The Good: I'm an hour closer to all my friends in Tucson, and find it much easier to chat by phone with them at two hours in time difference than at three.

The Bad: It's not yet mid-November and already dark if I leave the office anytime after, oh say, 5:10. And I have an hour-long commute, so it's pitch-black by the time I get home. I hate driving in the dark, especially this boring 60-mile commute. Hate it.

The Moderately Good? When I get up at 6:00, it's already somewhat light, although I know that will change within a couple of weeks.

I can deal with the snow (I think). But I don't like dealing with the dark.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

An Anniversary, Of Sorts

Two years ago this week I visited my doctor to complain about a migraine that masqueraded as a mini-stroke. She promptly took me off my hormone replacement therapy (and my Imitrex for migraines). When I expressed alarm at having to endure hot flashes, she said, "Oh, you don't have ovaries. The hot flashes, if you get them, should only last two months."

When I went back to see her in three months and told her I was still having hot flashes, she said, "Six months, tops."

Alas. Two years have passed, and I'm still getting the damned hot flashes. I perceived myself as Understated Elegance. Well, trust me, it doesn't feel very elegant to sit at a table with someone and suddenly have perspiration (okay, sweat) pouring off my forehead and my cheeks turning beet red.

I'm hopeful that, before the third anniversary of this event, I will be able to report a cessation of my own personal year-round summer.

In the meantime, please excuse me while I go mop my brow.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Man Of In My Dreams

Just when I think I'll be perfectly fine being alone, sans a significant other, for the rest of my life, I have a dream that makes me sad to wake up.

Last night I dreamed I had applied for a job at IBM and been invited to an interview. When I met the man who was to interview me, lightning struck and we both recognized it immediately. He quickly assigned my interview to someone else and we started a wonderful relationship. At some point in the dream we went out to eat and he paused to say grace before he ate. That concerned me. He had a son, around 10yo, and I knew I'd be going to church every Sunday if we were a family. I wondered if I could get used to that again, but—ever adaptable—was willing to make that concession, to give up my leisurely Sunday mornings, to have a love in my life.

And then I woke up and was back to real life.

Ho hum.

(No, I don't know if I got the job. That didn't matter. I had a man.) ;-)