Saturday, February 17, 2007

1122 Saturday

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I'll be working at the Maritime Museum this afternoon, on the cash register. The Rondout is having some kind of Mardi Gras do. I don't know exactly what's going on, but ice sculptures were mentioned, and the museum volunteer coordinator said I could wear a costume if I wanted.

This evening I'm going to a "Freestyle Frolic" in Kingston. FirstWoman has been enthusiastic about the frolics, so I guess I'm going to find out what it's all about. I asked what's the attire, and she said "Loose clothing you can dance in". I don't much dance, but I like to watch.

Which reminds me, the ballroom dance classes I signed up for start next week. Please please let there be a shortish single man in the class for me to partner with....


Thursday, February 15, 2007

1121 Blew It

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Went to Third Thursday dinner. There was only The Ditz and her husband, and Roman, and me. Roman and I stayed at the table after the other two left.

I didn't mean to, but I told Roman what I thought of the Duchess. I told him all of it, and all of my feelings about it. It's going to make things very awkward from now on. Right now I don't see how we could be even just friends after this.

He said that he had wondered if she was just using him, that's why there were problems in their relationship before, but after she found out about me, "Things got better". He's happy with "things better". Yeah, that's called manipulation, you idiot.

I hate this. Hate, hate, hate it!


1120 Snow

Thursday, February 15, 2007

We got 14 inches. It would have measured more, but there was sleet off and on during the storm, which made the snow pack down. (I almost wished I had a kid here - this snow is very dense, you can cut it into blocks that hold together, ideal for building an igloo.)

I cleared most of the driveway yesterday (most of the 900 sq ft parking area at the top, and all of the 300'+ length down the hill, except for the last little bit at the bottom, where the Aerio was parked), while it was still snowing, then went out and finished it today. Both vehicles are free, and the UPS truck will have no difficulty turning around at the top.

There was only one problem, but it was almost a showstopper.

Jay was a skier, so there are five or more pairs of very good ski gloves in the container in the closet, including one pair that fits me perfectly. They have clips on the side so you can clip them together as pairs, and I have ALWAYS clipped them together in the closet. The only time they're not clipped together is when I'm wearing them. I wore some last winter to clear the drive. There were none missing last winter.

Yesterday, all I could find were left gloves. There wasn't a single right-hand ski glove in the closet. Given that this is the only place I store the gloves, they were there last year, nobody but me has gone near that closet in years, they're always clipped together, this is very very strange. Add in that Jay had left-side neglect (the left side of his body and the world did not exist for his last year), and it becomes scary. Like Jay decided to go skiing and stopped by for his gloves.

All I had in full pairs were dress gloves in knit and in leather, and gardening gloves.

I put on a pair of knits, and then leather gardening gloves over them, thinking that the knit would keep my hands warm, and the leather would give an additional air space and keep my hands dry. I was out there less than a half hour when the tips of my fingers started hurting. By the time I gave up, they hurt so badly that I was keening as I ran them under tepid water.

When they felt ok again, I put the knit gloves back on, then one of the larger left ski gloves on the left hand. What can I do with the right hand? The ski gloves are so thick that they bend only toward the palm, and the thumb is toward the palm. No way you can wear a left ski glove on a right hand. I ended up with my right hand in the palm area of a left glove, but I couldn't get the fingers arranged, so my right hand was pretty much just a club.

It worked. No more pain. The snowthrower didn't seem to care that I was awkward changing gears.

Third Thursday dinner this evening.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

1119 It's (Not) Snowing

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The TV weatherman just said something interesting. He says it's snowing right now, but the air is so dry none of it is reaching the ground.

My theory that last week's snow evaporated without melting might be right.


1118 Storm Coming

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

We've got our first big winter snowstorm coming. TV news had said 6-12 inches at first, then it went to 12-18, then to 20-36. The guy in the local jewelry store said he'd heard up to 40 inches. So I dug out Jay's weather radio.

Seems like back when he was driving to work every day, and we used to listen often to the national weather service on the little receiver, the main report was very specific to this area, from about Hudson to Kingston to Hyde Park, with another (different voice) for the wider area, and then an extended term report.

It's changed. Now a female voice gives a long and detailed report, followed immediately by another long and detailed report with different temperature, wind, and accumulation numbers, followed by another and another, and what really bugs me is that there's NO INDICATION WHATSOEVER of what area she's talking about for each report! None.

So, we're getting somewhere between 10 and 36 inches, starting somewhere between 6 and 10 pm tonight and ending somewhere between 7 pm Wednesday and 6 am Thursday. Wednesday will have sleet and ice mixed in. Somebody somewhere will have winds of 20-30 mph with 35 mph gusts (blizzard conditions) on Wednesday afternoon. The rest of the week will be sunny but below freezing.

I tried starting the snowthrower this morning, and was very surprised when it started right up (electric "plug-it-in" starter). It has an inch of old gas in it from last year, which I hadn't run out like I'm supposed to. I was afraid the carburetor would be glunked up and it wouldn't start. (The back-up plan would be to call the Hunk and have him plow.)

So I went out and bought some nice fresh gas to reward it with, and I'm all set.

Um - I poured the remains of last year's gas in the gas can into a dishpan, which is now sitting out on the lawn. What does one do with old gas? I don't want to pour it into a car because it looks dirty. There are black specks in it. Don't know where that came from. Maybe dead bugs?

The watch I ordered Sunday evening arrived this morning, and I hadn't even asked for expedited delivery. It's ok, everything works, I can hear the alarm. Hearing the alarm may not do me any good. I wanted to leave the house to go into the village at 1 pm, so I set the alarm (it's got 5 alarms!). A test. At 1 pm, it beeped, and my reaction was "Oh, alarm. Good." And I kept right on doing what I was doing. It didn't seem to occur to me that the alarm meant anything.

Yes, I have a serious problem with time.

The band needs 5 links removed, and it's not the simple spring posts, so I took it to a jeweler in the village. He's backed up with Valentine's Day orders, so I won't be able to pick it up until late Wednesday, or Thursday.

With sleet in the forecast, and electric line strung from poles all along the roads, there's a fair chance we'll lose electricity, so I checked the woodpile, the fireplace, and the oil lanterns and oil candles. I've got a gallon of spring water, and nibbles that don't need cooking (although I do have a camp stove just in case), so I'm all set for whatever happens.

All except for someone to snuggle with during a blizzard on Valentine's Day.


Monday, February 12, 2007

1117 More from Sunday

Monday, February 12, 2007

Yeah, even day, bad girl, but I spent so much time futzing around looking for a watch last night I didn't finish my thoughts. So now you know why I'm having such a hard time quitting smoking. I am weak.

Today is the first day in weeks that it got above freezing. I hadn't cleared that two inches of snow we got back when, hoping it would disappear on its own. It did eventually go away from the lower part of the drive, the part that gets full sun much of the day, but it stayed on the upper half, and especially in the wedge between the house and garage, where there's no sun at all.

Yesterday I noticed that the upper drive was clear, and even in the wedge the snow was mostly gone. I wondered how that happened. I think I know - it evaporated! We've had some very strong wind. The snow was too packed to blow away (esp. where I'd driven over it), and that's the only explanation - a dry wind slurped it up. The surface of the remaining snow is dimpled, just like sand on a windy beach.

Our first real snowstorm is predicted for Wednesday night. I haven't attempted to start the snowthrower yet this winter. I guess I should do that tomorrow. I'll park the Aerio at the bottom of the drive Wednesday so I won't be trapped, whatever happens.


A few posts back I mentioned that FirstWoman was hosting a screening at her home on Sunday, and I said that it is "not a genre I am not familiar with". Too many nots. That was supposed to say I'm not familiar with it.

When I think Japanese anime, I think of Saturday morning children's cartoons, waifs with huge round eyes with wedges for pupils, all of which I find very annoying, and I can't get past the representation to appreciate the story. A certain "look" I don't like.

FW showed Grave of the Fireflies. ("Named Best Animated Feature at the 1994 Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, this film explores the plight of two orphans in post-WWII Japan. Most know of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, few of the allied firebombing of Japanese cities. A poignant and powerful antiwar statement." - from FW's invitation.)

I was late and missed the first half or so, but that's ok. Given the treatment of the children's plight that I did see, the firebombing may have been too much for me.

It was very beautiful, very artistic. Very effective use of light and dark. I noticed that the sky often reflected the emotions of the action. There's a lot of symbolism, not the kind of thing you can watch just once, and "get". For example, at a key point, the fireflies the children had caught the night before have died (they don't live long). The little girl buries them, which reminds her brother of the mass graves after the fires. The scene pulls back into the interior of their cave shelter, where we see two remaining fireflies. They flit in the light, one above the other, the higher one leading, the other following playfully. They move deeper into the cave, into deeper and deeper darkness, until in the deepest darkness, their lights die out. They didn't die, they were still flying, but their lights went out.

An omen.

I probably will not develop the intensity of FW's interest in anime, I think I'll still prefer live action, or even the book of the story, but I do want to see more.

The others there commented that it's quite different from American animation, in both the style and the course of the story, particularly the ending.

Yeah. My opinion is that American animation started downhill with Roger Rabbit, when people thought that it was so important to impart visual depth to the characters. In typical American fashion, we get visual depth but no emotional depth. (I prefer claymation, anyway. Love Gizmo.) American filmmakers seem to think that a story has to have a happy ending. They want to send people out of the theater in an "up" mood. We get a kiss on the cheek with no truth or honesty, no attention to the integrity of the story.

Oh, well, that's my movie review for this year, I guess.


1116 Bleck!

I've been reading reviews. It seems that when a watch is waterproof to 100 meters, the alarm is very difficult to hear.


Just what I need.

An alarm I don't hear.

That could be worse than none at all.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

1115 A Watch - A Start

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Well, I've been all over the internet. I found several watches that would be perfect, except that when I get into the details, they're all men's watches. Which would be ok, I don't mind as long as they look nice, except that men's chronographs are like 1 3/8 inches wide, and I can't wear a watch that wide. From the crease of my elbow to the bump at the wrist is only 6 3/4 inches. I don't have a lot of arm to spare.

My criteria was really loose. I didn't sort on price at all. I figured I'd find "the" watch first, then decide if I wanted to pay that much.

I've ordered this one. It's not mixed metal, it's not dressy, and it's probably going to be too wide, but it's certainly ok for the price, and it'll work while I keep searching. It's got five alarms and an hourly time signal, so functionally, it'll do the job.

Maybe now I won't be so late all the time. I have a definite problem with time. I think it may be related to my left-right confusion. "They" say that being late when someone is waiting for you shows a lack of caring. It's not. I really do try. There's just something wrong in my head where time is concerned, and the more important something is, the more likely I am to be late or rushed.

I get so concerned when I have to be somewhere early in the morning that I don't fall asleep the night before until just before the alarm goes off, and then I don't hear it and sleep in. Which means that the next time, I'm even more afraid to fall asleep. (A man in the bed relaxes me. I figure he'll wake up if I don't.)

I also don't seem to have any innate sense of how much time has passed.

There was the problem last night, exacerbated by stupid traffic. Today I wanted to go to FirstWoman's anime showing. I needed to be in N3wburgh at 2, so I needed to leave the house a little before 1, so I needed to start getting washed and dressed by a little after 12 at the latest. I looked at the clock and it was 11:20, so I figured I could check my email and do some other stuff first. The next time I looked at the clock, it was 1:20. I was still in my pajamas. I got there an hour late. Unwashed.

Actually, glancing at the clock in between wouldn't have helped much, because there's something wrong in my thinking. If I had looked at my watch and it said 12:40 (and for all I know, I may have) I might not have panicked, because I'd think, "Oh, I have to leave at 12:55, plenty of time yet", without realizing that I had yet to bathe and dress. I do that all the time.

Alarms will help. If I've got something blaring at me, I'll at least think "Why is it doing that? Oh, yeah." Having multiple alarms on the watch will help. I can set one for each stage.


1114 I Want an Alarm Watch

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Last year I went looking for a woman's watch with an alarm, and couldn't find any. I even hit the expensive jewelry store outlets at Woodbury. Why don't they exist? Jay always had an alarm on his watch. Why can't I?

--------- short break for online search ---------

Ok, yeah, they do exist, but now I remember the REAL problem. They're all ugly! Jay's was dressy.

All the women's watches with alarms are big clunky sport things with rubber or leather buckled straps, in weird colors. I want a dressy-looking watch with a small face and an expansion band, metal, preferably a mix of gold and silver tones so that I can wear it with gold or silver.

That's not too much to ask, is it? Jay's was dressy, she whines.... Don't women need to know what time it is when they're dressed up? Is time only important when you're wearing sweats?


1113 Samedi Gras

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Last night I went to a "Mardi Gras celebration" at the B1g Easy Bistro in N3wburgh*, with FirstWoman (this being most decidedly NOT New Orleans, it was held on Samedi). There had been a parade earlier in the day, but it was just too cold for my interest. I was an hour late meeting FW.

[* numbers to foil searches.]

The first problem was the bubble bath. I knew I had to leave the house by 5:25, because the drive would be maybe one hour and 5 or 10 minutes, so at 3:30 I climbed into the tub with a book. Normally, timing isn't a problem, because the water gets cool within an hour, and then I know to look at the clock. I don't know what happened, but when I checked the clock it was 5:10, and I still had to wash my hair. I flew low for the next half hour, and then called FW to tell her I'd be late.

I left the house at 5:50, and then it got worse. I didn't get up to the speed limit almost the whole way. Between Rh1nebeck and Poughk33psie, I got behind a line of cars doing no more than 40 in a 55 zone. Just before Hyd3 Park, we did 30 in the 45 zone. I wondered what would happen when we hit the 30 zone in Hyd3 Park, and yup, we dropped to 20. I passed every time I had a chance (winding roads, not much chance), but I never got to the head of the line. It took me 1 hour and 40 minutes to get to the bistro.

The rest of the evening was nice. We both had crab cakes and salad, and there was a combo of concertina, coronet, trumpet, susaphone, clarinet, and I forget what else, older guys, and they surrounded tables in turn and took requests (FW and I were the first so honored). They were pretty good at impromptu improvisation ("um, hum a few bars...") (as opposed to planned improvisation, of course), and they were fun.

It took me exactly 1 hour to drive home.

I think maybe rather than wait for them to take my Mensa card away, I should just mail it in. I use the EZ-Pass box to cross the river on the toll bridge. N3wburgh is on the other side. The box was in the minivan, and I really did carefully consider whether I should move it to the Aerio, and decided I wouldn't need it, "because I'm going down this side of the river". If I were planning to go down the other side, I'd have taken it. Yeah, except that at the end, N3eburgh is STILL on the other side! Not a major problem. You just have to make sure you have a dollar bill, because if you pay the toll with a ten, and the toll taker is a joker, you'll get $9 change in quarters.

FW is showing a movie this afternoon, open invitation. It's not a genre I'm not familiar with, something I associate more with comic books and children's cartoons, it's a long drive, and the other people who have RSVP'd are not my favorites in the local group, but, on the other hand, perhaps I should gain some familiarity before I reject, the subject of the film is serious and it has won awards, it's not so very cold today, I'm "up", so I think I'll go.

On the third hand, Piper is starting to push me for tax documents, and he wants me to sell more of my odd lots of stock so he can be ready to hit the bond market when it's good, and the Angel will need those sales figures to calculate this year's estimated taxes, so I really do have things I should be doing this afternoon. Piper will call on Tuesday, and I'll be ashamed to say "not yet" again.

Plus, this morning the little TV in the kitchen died. The picture is condensed into a thin bright line across the middle of the screen. That's the set I watch the most, and it has a built-in VCR that I use heavily, so I want to shop around and see what's available to replace it.