Saturday, February 24, 2007

1135 Old Dailies

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Whoop! I got up early enough to take stuff to the recycle center today. About 40 lbs of glass, a large bag of plastic, two grocery bags of newspaper, and two of "clean" paper. And an 18" stack of flattened corrugated boxes. I can move in the kitchen again.

I don't understand where all those boxes came from - one from the shredder, one from the new TV, a few book purchases from Amazon, but the rest? I don't know.


Looking for a small spiral notebook to take to the museum yesterday, I found my Dailies from 1999 and 2000. I used to write down every evening what had happened that day. I'd done that for years. No philosophizing, no opinions, just a list of things done. At the bottom of each page I made a list of "to do"s for the next day. It worked well. I was always able to look back to see when orders were placed, forms mailed, items bought, errands run. Looking through them, I am amazed at how much I accomplished every day.

The Dailies were not kept after December 2000, because things got so hectic with Jay's illness that I lived by little slips of paper and file folders, and I spent very little time at home. Mostly I was in hospitals, on the phone, or on the road. And then after Jay died, I never got back to it. Maybe I should restart. It might get my tail in gear again.

The 2000 Daily has reminded me of how strange Jay was in 2000. I had forgotten.

In May 2000, he decided to cut back the raspberries spreading into the yard from the woods. I happened to glance outside and found that he was cutting everything, including good shrubs, young trees, flowers, everything. Like his mind said "Cut", and the governor was off.

Along about July he started changing lightbulbs. If you didn't keep him occupied with other stuff, if he got to loose ends, he'd start changing light bulbs. When we went to the store, he'd insist on buying more light bulbs. The bulbs weren't burned out - I'd retrieve them from the garbage - it's just like he'd forget to flip the light switch, decide the bulb was out, and replace it. That explains why I now have a few hundred light bulbs in the pantry. Funny how I'd forgotten that.

We used to go to garage sales on weekends. I'd drive and he'd navigate. Along about August he lost the ability to read maps. He could find streets on the map and trace the route to get there, but he couldn't apply it to the roads we were on. We'd come up to a "Y", and I'd ask "Which way?", and he couldn't figure it out. About this same time he could no longer read a calendar, or do the binary search required to find a word in the dictionary. And no matter where we went, even just up the road to the deli, he thought we had crossed the river.

In September, he lost doors and drawers. If they were closed, they became solid walls to him. He didn't know how to get to the other side of them, or in some cases, that there even was anything on the other side. If you opened them for him, he'd leave them open, even the shower stall door. He couldn't figure out how to keep the water in the shower stall.

In late September, he sometimes got lost in the house. If he was tired, he couldn't find the bedroom from the dining room. We didn't dare close bathroom doors.

It was in October that he woke me in the middle of the night to tell me that there was someone else in bed with us. I asked who, where, and he pointed to his left arm and whispered "There. That's his arm." He didn't recognize his left arm. He could move it, use the hand to pick things up, but didn't recognize it, which was very confusing to him. He kept hitting it, like he wanted it to go away.

By November he could no longer dress himself. He would dress his right side, but neglect the left, and of course his clothing wouldn't stay on, and he couldn't figure out why not. He looked so cute coming out to the kitchen for breakfast with his robe on his right side, the belt tied neatly around his waist, but the left side completely naked, and the left half of the robe dragging on the floor behind him. By December, however, he couldn't remember how to tie a knot, so the robe wouldn't stay on at all.

And yet, some parts of his mind were as sharp as ever. It was during this time that he completed work on the invention application (the one that was finally granted last fall), and his old workmates still depended on him for telephone consultation on highly technical matters.

Some things were lost, well, more like hidden, since his logical powers didn't work in the hidden areas, but what hadn't been lost was as good as ever.


I read an ad for a toy that "flies as far as a football field". I'm wondering, just how far can a football field fly?

1134 Apes, and a Gay Impersonator

[Later edit - minor grammar correction. Ignore.]

Ya gotta read the_dilbert_blog/2007/02/disturbing_deve.html. Funny, and right on. We have hit a technological wall!


I walked out to the kitchen, where the TV was still tuned to channel 45 CW. An old rerun of Will and Grace was on. I never cared for that show because I find the outrageous stereotyping annoying (Jack, the black-haired broad, and Grace - but Will is ok). I happened to see Jack clasp his hands and turn down the corners of his mouth as he waggled his head, and a light bulb went on in my head.

There's a certain woman in Mensa whom I can't be around for more than an hour or two. She actually has a good heart, wouldn't hurt anyone, a very nice incredibly inconsistent overly emotional drama queen playing for attention and sympathy. (She's the one who insisted on sitting in the smoking section of the hotel lobby in New Orleans and then yelled at people for smoking near her, telling us a story about how at work one day some people had gone outside for a cigarette and when they came back in the smoke on their clothing literally caused her to faint, to fall on the floor, later at dinner she insisted that the casino provide a private dining room because her allergy to the smoke would be dangerous, and then spent the rest of the evening happily playing the slots in the main casino, where the smoke was so thick it burned my eyes and made me sneeze and I had to leave. Yeah, her. That one. The one I want to shake some sense into. The one who feeds her cats by putting the opened can on the floor, without even stirring it, because she doesn't want to have to wash any dishes or utensils, and doesn't think about cut kitty tongues. Her.)

Well, anyway, when I saw Jack simpering, overdoing it, I suddenly realized (having just been with her at dinner Thursday evening) that ALL of her mannerisms are EXACTLY like Jack's. Her extreme facial expressions, hand motions, shoulder and chin movements, are exactly the stereotypical mannerisms of a gay guy trying too hard to be what he thinks is femininely cutesy-poo!

I never noticed that before.

I was fascinated, and actually watched the stupid show. Jack is she! She is Jack! (Except that she's a lot bigger, tends to mix plaids, and slumps a lot.) Maybe she could get a job as a female impersonator impersonator.

Friday, February 23, 2007

1133 Eclectic Correction

Friday, February 23, 2007

Correction - got a terse email from Roman. He said he would have been at the dinner last night, but he was teaching a class. I'm confused. I thought all his February evening classes had been canceled for insufficient enrollment.

1132 Museum Membership Duties

Friday, February 23, 2007

I went to the Maritime Museum today to learn my duties as "keeper of the membership database". I was there a hair over four hours, and I've got a handle now on sending out the renewal reminder letters, and handling the renewals as they come in, what goes to whom, and what records and files get updated.

I go back on Wednesday to learn about sending out the membership cards and premiums. The way it's set up now, it's a big job. I'm hoping I can streamline it some. From what I hear, it's a lot better now than it was a year or two ago, so I think the powers will be amenable to further improvement. I'll need to follow the current procedure for a while, to see the bits of wisdom that must be kept. (They're using Lotus, and that's about the only common application I haven't taken a class in. Bleck.)

I'd like to see automated alerts, for example, and addresses printed directly on envelopes and forms, instead of printing, peeling, and sticking expensive labels. We sent out 58 reminders today and almost one man-hour was sticking labels.

There are certain parts of the job that I have already told folks that I refuse to do. I will NOT be in charge of getting and/or maintaining second class or bulk mail permits. I flatly refuse to have anything to do with the post office people, beyond dropping off items. As an unpaid volunteer, I feel that I have a right to set my boundaries. The folks to whom you pay a salary have to do what they're told - I don't, I won't, and if you don't like it, fire me.

I'm not comfortable with applying for matching corporate grants on membership dues, either (I don't know if anyone has ever figured out what percent of the dues is donation and what is benefit, and I think there's a legal exposure there), but we won't get into the process for that until next Wednesday, so I'll reserve judgment until then.

Not much else today. ATM, groceries. Ate yogurt for breakfast, an orange for lunch, and the other half of Wednesday's chicken salad veggie wrap for dinner. I can't remember the last time I cooked something. Most of the dishes in the sink are Miss Thunderfoot's (she doesn't "do" dishes, you know, or any housework, for that matter).

Piper left a phone message, wants to know if I've got the tax stuff together yet. Sigh. I guess tomorrow I'll have to spread papers on the bed and just DO IT! It'll take only maybe three hours, but I have trouble getting started.


Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convincing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.
What Kind of Intelligence Do You Have?

Eh? Well, if you say so....

1130 Appearances Are Deceiving

Friday, February 23, 2007, 2 am

I haven't been feeling all that great lately. I'm not getting things done that need doing, and I'm not making any progress in what I want in my life. I'm feeling frustrated. But oddly, I don't think I've looked so good in at least ten years. I'm looking pretty darn good, in fact. Even with those stubborn last 15 pounds. At the Eclectic dinner, a woman across the table said that I looked beautiful tonight, and others agreed with her.

I'm not feeling beautiful. I'm feeling sad. I'm feeling old. I'm feeling like the years are ticking away, and I'm losing them. I think I need an intimate someone to take care of. So where is the glow coming from? It's not supposed to work like this.

I don't understand.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

1129 Eclectic Dinner

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I delivered more Frolic flyers today, one to 0mega Institute. 0mega is one of those personal development type places, a cluster of buildings and campground in the woods, expensive workshops, heavily into yoga and popular "Buddhism", with heavy doses of inner light. Which is ok if you know what you're talking about, but most of the 0megans I've run into are just plain flakes.

Anyway, starting just beyond Rhinebeck, the roads are full of signs, "0mega -->". I'd never been there before, so I followed the signs. Many many turns later, I found the place. After delivering my flyer, I got out the county map, and figured out where I was. I was annoyed to find that the "-->" signs had added about 30%, 5 miles, to the trip. There was a much shorter and straighter way out. Somehow it fit with my thoughts of the institute and its thought patterns.

Something that didn't fit -
When I started out delivering, it was raining. By the time I got to 0mega, it was snowing. As I walked from the parking lot to the office door, in one spot near the beginning of the walk, and only in that spot, there was a very strange sound, like corn popping. It was the snow hitting the walk, maybe there was ice in the snow, but why in only that spot? I looked, and just at the edges of wherever I was looking, there were tiny explosions as something hit the ground, and that's what was causing the popping sound. Whatever hit the walk was exploding. Nowhere else but that one spot.

When I left the building, I stopped at the end of the walk again to listen and try to figure it out. Another woman, an 0mega employee, left the building, and as she approached me, I said "Listen. Can you hear that popping sound? Isn't that strange? It's only right here." She said "Oh, it's probably just hail" and kept on walking. No interest.

Who was the true 0megan?

Tonight was another Mensa dinner. It used to be the Ethnic dinner, but they've changed it to the Eclectic dinner, because we were running out of acceptable ethnic restaurants. There were nine of us tonight. Roman wasn't there, which is unusual. I don't know that he's ever missed an "E" dinner unless he was teaching an evening class, and he didn't have a class tonight. Since I told him what I thought of The Duchess last Thursday, I've sent him one newsy email, and received a pleasant response, and when I didn't get the usual call Tuesday or Wednesday night, I figured it was because he figured he'd see me at the dinner. So, perhaps I really did finally blow it. Or maybe he had to go to LI on estate business. Oh, well. Get used to it, Silk.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

1128 Spring-like Day

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

It was in the mid-40s outside today, our first day above freezing since early January. I took the garbage down the drive without a jacket on, and I wasn't cold. No wind, and warm sun. The sound of snow melting.

At the Frolic last Saturday, the organizer was asking for people to post flyers in different areas, and when he came to my area (the "other" side of the river), no one volunteered, so, naturally....

Today I posted Frolic flyers at the local college, and a dance studio, a cafe, and a health food store in the village. Tomorrow I'll post some in the next village down the road.

I took a shopping list with me - things to buy at the pharmacy and the grocery store. I've been building that list for a week, things it would be so easy to forget. Neither my sweater nor pants had pockets, so I folded the list and stuck it in my bra. Somewhere along the line it must have jiggled out. I wonder what the people in the pharmacy parking lot thought of the woman peering into and feeling around in her bra through the v-neck of her sweater. Just the monthly lump-detection, folks. Multitasking. Ignore.

I went to the first session of the Ballroom Dancing class tonight. There were seven men, all of whom had come with a partner, and seven additional women without partners, including me. Not cool. Oh, and that reminds me of another weird thing about me (see previous post) - I have absolutely no sense of rhythm. I can't "feel" the music. I see very little difference between "one two three one two three" and "one two three four one two three four". I mean, they all go evenly into twelve, right?

'Nother weird thing (result of a trip to the refrigerator), I've been known to put mustard on pizza. And I put salt on cantaloupe. And I own eleven different musical instruments and I can't play any of them. I just tune them once a year.

Ok. I'm weird.

1127 Tagged!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I have been tagged! Wow! I've never been tagged before! A first!

Becs, of "Becs Again", at, has challenged me to reveal six weird things about me.

Having read The Queen's weird things, I don't think I've got a lot to offer. I KNEW I shouldn't have read hers first! Now I feel so boringly normal.

Let's see - my main problem here is that I've already 'fessed up to so much in these pages, there's not much left.
  1. In contrast to Becs, I can't sleep alone in a dark room. I even take a low-wattage nightlight with me to hotels. I always put the nightlight behind something, so there's just a glow on the wall. Most nights at home I fall asleep with the reading lamp on, a pillow under my tummy, and my face in a book or a crossword puzzle I've cut out of the newspaper. I wake up with ink on my forehead. One of these days I'll wake up stabbed by the pencil. If I have company, then dark is ok.
  2. I didn't know why I had a period until I was seventeen. I thought it was because things were "developing" in there, and I expected it to stop as soon as I finished growing up.
  3. I have strange tastes in men. I like to look at guys like George Clooney, Johnny Depp, or the Korean guy on Lost, but that's all, just look. The ones I want to get to know and touch and maybe even cuddle with are more like Gene Wilder, Anthony Edwards, Morgan Freeman (pant pant!), Jackie Chan, and the like. (I probably spelled some wrong, but I'm not going to look them up.) I guess I like my men a little plain. They seem more masculine to me than the pretty ones.
  4. I have never ever in my entire life been happy with a professional haircut. The only person who can cut my hair right is me.
  5. I have no secrets. Anyone can ask me anything, and I'll honestly tell them all.
  6. My big toes turn up, which makes it hard to wear some shoes, and my second toe is longer than the big toe. The base of all my toes goes straight across my foot, no slant. But people who see them usually remark on how pretty my feet are before they realize that they're rather odd.

1126 Found Feelings

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Wandering around the ether, looking for something else, I accidentally found the following in in Jewit’s blog, “The Insatiable Nomad” I think it's called, in the archives at

I tried to search on the words, to find out where they're from, but the only hit was on Jewit's blog, so it may be original to her. I have copied it here because it expresses perfectly how I feel at the moment toward a certain person. (Of course, I reserve the right to change my feelings...)

Is it from Arrowsmith? Anyone know?



i am tired of you
and the things i have to do with you and for you

i am tired of thinking about you
flirting with you
arguing with you
trying to impress you

i am tired of pretending i don't care when i do
i am tired altogether of caring for you

i am tired of the things that you do
sick of the things that you don't

i am tired of loving you
yet i hate hating you

so yes, i love you
but i am sick and tired of you

to the bones



go chill out with aerosmith

Monday, February 19, 2007

1125 Saturday, Sunday, Today

Monday, February 19, 2007

I was scheduled to work at the maritime museum on Saturday, from 1 to 5. The museum isn't technically open, but they decided to open for one day during the Rondout's Mardi Gras day.

I was told could wear a costume. I decided to wear a purple renaissance dress, with a floral headpiece, and 10 genuine-from-New-Orleans purple, gold, and green bead necklaces, and Victorian tapestry lace-up high heeled boots. The dress has a wide neck with quilted trim, very long pointed sweeping sleeves with lacing up the upper arms, the ties hanging down to my ankles, and a flared skirt. I love things that swing and flutter when I walk, and this dress flutters all over. Not exactly Mardi Gras style, but I love the dress and never get to wear it, so I grabbed the opportunity.

I looked really good, and got a lot of compliments. Unfortunately, no photos.

So often when I've worked at the museum, there are long periods of nothing happening, so I took some crocheting and a book. In three and a half hours, we had at least 350 people stop in. It was a madhouse. We weren't charging admission because the main gallery wasn't open, so all I had to do was tell people where the bathrooms, children's activities, hot mulled cider, and juggling was, keep count of how many came in, and collect money if anyone bought anything in the shop. I lost count several times, because they were coming through so fast. I sold a lot of postcards, probably 30 t-shirts, several books, and some toys. I've never seen the shop so busy. We also gave away beads and masks.

About halfway through, I found out partly why - the museum is having a big iceboat display for the opening on May 5, including the huge rather famous Roosevelt iceboat. The newspaper blurb on Saturday's activities on the Rondout was badly worded, and it sounded like the iceboats would be there Saturday (which would have made sense - we've got ICE now!). As it was, we had only one small iceboat set up in the side yard. Which didn't satisfy the folks who had come from Vermont and Michigan to see the iceboats. Thud. Oops.

Anyway, I spent about four hours standing and running around in my highest heels (4", which doesn't sound all that bad until you realize that my entire foot is only 8.5"). Since retirement, I have avoided heels over an inch and a half, so I was very tired by 5 pm, when I got the flock out of there before the parade started and they closed the streets and and I'd be stuck there for hours.

Went home, changed clothes, etc, and met FirstWoman at 9 pm at a Freestyle Frolic dance in Kingston. Interesting people there. It's a regular DJ playing club music, but everyone dances (no shoes allowed!) on their own. Partners seemed not only optional, but unnecessary. I tried to get with it, but I just wasn't feeling it. I found a chair along the wall that looked like a throne, and settled in to watch. I think about half the people there were high on something. Late in the evening, the Lady (local bellydancer) and her husband (drummer) arrived, and I enjoyed watching them. (Their sexual energy rolls across one in waves!)

FirstWoman and I went out for food after, and I got home maybe 1 am-ish, I forget.

I will probably go again, maybe once or twice, but it's not going to be a venue where I'm likely to meet a man. I like the nerdy types, and the possibilities there were so far from nerdy.... I mentioned that to FW, and she said, well, where are you most likely to meet nerds? There are computer clubs that meet in Kingston and Poughkeepsie. I attended one once when the topic was something Roman was interested in but he couldn't attend, so I went for him, and later I scolded him, "Why didn't you tell me that's where are the men are?" Maybe I'll get their meeting schedules and check it out again.

I almost didn't go to the frolic, because of the mulled cider. I had been sipping it all afternoon, and then when we were about to close up, Betty said she was going to dump what was left down the drain. It was so good, and cider is good for you, so I thought that would be a shame, and I'd had nothing else to eat all day beyond my breakfast yogurt - so I quickly drank almost a quart of what was actually dregs. Heavily spiced dregs.

It started when I was driving home, the strangest loud noises from my tummy. It got worse. I was afraid to eat anything - more ammunition and all that. I went to the frolic hoping the bathroom would be convenient, but was thankful to find that the ballistics seemed to be over. I do have a fast system - even normal input goes through quickly.

So, that was Saturday. I don't have the faintest idea what I did yesterday, and I don't seem to have done anything today. I'll have to ask the cat.

1124 Birthday Celebration Website

Monday, February 19, 2007

In the local Mensa group, anyone who has a birthday and wants company can host a "Mirthday" party - dinner or dessert for/with anyone who has a birthday that month and anyone else who wants to attend, usually in a restaurant or ice cream parlor. (The lure of food with company will usually draw Mensans.) We eat and sing Happy Birthday and generally embarrass the honorees.

A friend on the west coast who doesn't like being alone on her birthday has decided to set up a website for similar networking. You can sign up, register your birthday, and find out if anyone else in your area would like to get together to share a birthday celebration. The site is only two weeks old, and hasn't been "discovered", so her daughter-in-law has asked if I'd advertise it here.

Go to

Pass it on.


1123 Some Super Maps

Monday, February 19, 2007

A map showing the spread of the world's major religions, by major portion of the population over the past 5,000 years, is at Fascinating! I didn't realize that Hinduism is that old, but I guess if I'd thought about it, I'd have figured it out.

Scroll down a bit and you'll find the link to "Imperial History", which illustrates the spread of political control. I'd never even heard of the Sassanid Empire, but it was apparently significant.

For more fascinating explorations, click on "Maps" on the left.

Good stuff.