Friday, April 20, 2007

1215 Who's Out There?

Friday, April 20, 2007

With the various data gatherers available, I can pretty well guess who's reading this blog, and when.

Hello, Clifton, NJ. When you know someone personally, it's nice to alert them when you've found their blog. I'm not absolutely certain it's Y-O-U, but whoever it is went to my AOL profile and found the pointer to my old blog, which contained a pointer to this one. Many people get from AOL to here by that route, but in this case, the timing was significant. (Sheesh. Did you forget you were dealing with a Mensan?) I don't mind your reading it. It is, after all, public. (And I didn't forget you're also a Mensan - I expected you to find it eventually.) I'm even a little flattered that you're reading it - it's a slog, sort of on purpose. I do, however, mind your not having mentioned that you're reading it. That's not fair.

Ahah. Now what do you do? I am not going to mention this to you. Not yet, anyway. You have to decide whether to 'fess up or not. How interesting. Who's playing who?

Also, who's reading from Andrews? You've been a faithful lurker for a long time. I'd love to know a little about you, but mainly I'd like to know why you find this blather interesting. I do hope I'm not a subject of research for a psych paper or something. Or maybe it's all those links to middle eastern blogs. Please reassure me.

1214 Life Begins at 37

Friday, April 20, 2007

Funny how lately things are becoming so clear. I've known for a long time, but never put it into words before, that I became me at age 37. Prior to 37, I was not the me I know now. I was whoever and whatever other people told me I was. My life can be divided neatly into "Before 37" and "After 37", and the two parts are so very different. I was/am so very different. This means I should stop dwelling on the things that happened to me and the things I did Before 37, because although those things went into the making of me, they weren't me.

It's not like "I am a different person today from the person I was yesterday." It's much bigger than that. It took four years of intensive psychotherapy, and then one day I found me, and I liked the me I found. From now on, when I speak of those difficult things, I'll end it with, "but that was back before I was me."

All the little epiphanies I'm having lately worry me. Like maybe they portend some big cataclysm in/to my life. I'm not ready for that. I'm having too much fun right now.


Of minor significance, whenever anyone would ask, "What age do you feel inside?", "Or what age would you like to be?", I've always answered, "37." Back when Jay and I were looking into the donor egg program, I was 50, and their cutoff age was 49, so the clinic put me through just about every medical test known to man, and they approved me, because they decided that my physical age was ......... 37.

1213 Talking

Thursday, April 19, 2007

It was FirstWoman, Roman, and me at the Third Thursday dinner this evening. FirstWoman left shortly after dessert. I don't know if she was really tired, or just sensitive to electricity. Roman was fairly crackling.

Roman and I sat and talked for the next two and a half hours, and left then only because the restaurant closed and they chased us out.

Well, to be truthful, it wasn't "Roman and I talked". Mostly he talked and I listened and validated and sympathized. Which I don't really mind because I love to hear him talk. He seems happy when he talks, it's rare to see him happy, and that's all I want is to see him happy. And I really didn't have anything to say, myself, anyway. He gets impatient when I talk. Funny how when you back off a bit you start to notice things you never noticed before.

I still love him, but in a stand-away way. I see more clearly now. It's entirely possible that it isn't in his path to be happy this time through, that the lesson he is meant to learn is best taught by the woman he's involved with, and it would be wrong of me to divert him from his life's path. It's probably the best use of his life. The right thing for me to do is to support him in his current endeavor, be there when he needs me, and walk away when he doesn't, and that's all.

Back to talking - I'm beginning to notice that many men don't really want to hear what a woman has to say. They say they do, but they don't, and they telegraph that. They end up teaching their women not to say anything important, and then complain because they never say anything important.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

1212 Anticipation

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I met The Man at a New Jersey gathering on March 2, and on April 2 he joined Daughter, Hercules, and me at dinner. This Saturday we'll meet in NYC. He'll meet me at Grand Central at 1 pm, and we have 8 pm reservations at The View. Late train back home.

In the past few weeks there have been a few megabytes of emails and several hours of phone conversation. Last night one of the topics of conversation was online dating experiences, and how profile photos, email, and telephone can build expectations to unrealistic levels. I said "Wouldn't it be awful if, after all this, we annoy the Hell out of each other on Saturday?" His attitude is that we've already met a few times with chaperones, so there shouldn't be too many surprises, and if we find out that we don't work out one-on-one, oh well, we tried. My attitude would be more like "Oh, no, not again."

He's getting a little nervous, I think. I'm not nervous, which leaves me wondering why. I think maybe because based on what I've seen and heard so far, I like him, find him fascinating, but he's nothing like what I was looking for in age, height, interests, and he lives too far away, so however it goes, I guess it's ok with me.

Which is kind of nice because I can really be me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

1211 Tuesday and Wednesday

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Yesterday I paid the estimated tax, filled the gas tank, shopped for groceries, wrote and sent a letter to old friend Danny to ask if he and his wife would be able to meet me for dinner while I'm at the Gathering in Maryland at the end of May, and went to Office Max to see if the laptop would be able to connect through their free WiFi. Bad news.

The hardware locates the wireless networks and even connects, but then I get an error message that it "cannot connect to the internet". Hercules, who had seen this two weeks ago, had said it looks like the hardware is ok, but the software, Windows or Internet Explorer, is screwing up. I guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and make a call to service.

On the way home from Office Max I stopped at Wendy's. I had a craving for french fries. All I'd had to eat all day was oatmeal. I knew I needed real vegetables, too, so I bought a salad, which I brought home for later. But later I wasn't hungry, so it didn't get eaten. It's huge, so I had figured it would be good for two meals, yesterday's dinner and today's.

This morning I got up late, so I rushed to get to the museum by 1 pm to handle a backlog of memberships. When I got there, the door was locked, and there were no cars parked outside. The Rondout creek is over its banks and lapping against the museum foundation - I'm sure the basement must be flooded. I wondered if maybe that's why no one was there. Even if they're out for lunch, there should be a car or two there.

The road was blocked off just past the museum. It looks like all of lower Kingston is flooded.

I decided to walk around the Rondout district (higher ground) a bit, see what shops and restaurants are new. I ended up having lunch, pulled pork and salad, at the Ship to Shore. It's very fancy and gentrified now. Twenty years ago it was pretty much a beer, wine, and hamburger place. Mensa used to do a Yahtzee TGIF there every Friday. I can't see playing Yahtzee there now....

I wandered through a few boutiques ($40 necklaces On Sale! for only $200!!), and got back to my car at 3 pm, just in time to see the museum director pull in. She saw me and waved, but it was too late for me to start processing memberships, so I left.

I really truly hate being under pressure to get stuff done on any kind of schedule. I am determined to enjoy retirement. I have been very clear right from the beginning of this volunteer gig that I want to just show up when I can, and do jobs that always need doing, and are finished when I leave - like painting walls, cleaning floors, caulking windows, weeding flowerbeds, filling in at the cash register in the gift shop, setting up for events. I don't know how on earth I got talked into this membership thing. It's an ongoing responsibility with time requirements, which is EXACTLY what I didn't want! Someone, someday, is going to complain about the buildup in the "Membership ToDo" box, and I'm going to hand it to them and say, "You do it", and walk out and never return. No one can say they haven't been warned.

I refuse to give up my freedom for this.

Well, anyway, having eaten lunch in the Rondout, I don't want that salad in the refrigerator. Tomorrow is the Third Thursday Therapy dinner in Poughkeepsie. Saturday I'll be having lunch and dinner with The Man in NYC. So the whole salad will have to be eaten on Friday - if it's still good by then - but Friday I have to try for the museum again, and I hate to take it with me.

Damn. I do this all the time. Is it any wonder I hate schedules. It's WORK for me!

Monday, April 16, 2007

1210 Annoyed

Monday, April 16, 2007

I'm getting very annoyed at all the "Monday morning quarterbacking" regarding the officials' response to the Virginia Tech shootings, especially regarding the lack of a lockdown during the two hours between the two sets of shootings.

They knew what they knew when they knew it, and did what seemed right at the time. They had no reason to think that it was other than an isolated and personal crime of passion. Sheesh! Nothing like criticizing actions based on later knowledge, huh? It's easy and fun.

Yes, looking at procedures and seeing if something could/should have been done differently is proper, but that should be done by those intimate with the situation, not by TV reporters! This kind of ripping and laying blame only leads to "cook books", where people aren't allow to make decisions, and are forced to follow paper procedures, and then if something goes wrong, you can just point to the paper and say - "I followed procedure." NOT the best solution! It leads to overreactions.

I'm also getting very annoyed at some Christian station that's been breaking into my television reception for the past four days. I get gray snow and Bible-thumping shouting instead of news and weather. You get that when self-righteous idiots broadcast a wider signal than they're allowed. I'd report them if I could figure out who they are.

1209 Flood

Monday, April 16, 2007

I spent some time planning trips today, making hotel reservations. The Maryland Mensa gathering over Memorial Day weekend is already out of rooms at the group rate, so I got an executive room at the regular rate. Not a big problem, it's only $20 a night more (and with any luck I'll have company), but I'm getting tired of Mensa groups not reserving enough rooms. They get snapped up too quickly.

I also finally located the hotel I had stayed in nearest to Jay's father's house in Irondequoit. For some reason, they had dropped off the internet last year, and I had to stay in that icky place where the fire alarm kept going off. The good place is back now, and it's a different chain, so I guess that explains it. I'll be going to Rochester for Dad's ninetieth birthday, the weekend of May 12.

Given the propensity for hotel rooms at the Mensa group rate to disappear, I'm booking the October Chicago gathering room now. I don't know what my travel plans will be, so I've booked from a day before to a day after the gathering. It's easier to cancel if I don't need the room than to try to get another day if I do.

I went out to run some errands today, and was surprised to find flooding on my street. My house is on the top of the ridge, and the road curves down. Several lawns had large deep puddles, and the water was running like a river down and across the road. I don't know where it was coming from. So I decided to drive around on the back roads a bit and see what's what.

Lots of houses have huge deep puddles in their lawns. I'm sure their basements are flooded. One house had a pair of ducks swimming in the lawn lake. It was kind of cute. They looked very happy, like they were planning to move in.

I went through a woodsy development to the south west of my house, and couldn't get out, because there's a little creek that winds through, and every turn I took ended at a flooded bridge. I had to retrace my steps out.

I went down to the river. I've never seen the Hudson so high and fast. I'll bet Kingston has lost all their beach sand.

The next county up is on emergency whatsis - nobody but essential services and occupations are allowed on the roads.

Miss Thunderfoot doesn't mind. When things get bad, she gets tuna fish.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

1208 Iraqi Letters

Sunday, April 15, 2007

[Later Edit - added another link.]

This is a new website, set up for Iraqi citizens to write letters to be read by the outside world. There's not much there now, they're just starting, but tuck the URL away, and go visit sometime, perhaps in a week or two or three there will be more.

Find out what real people really think.

The bottom link on the left of the "Iraq Has a Voice" home page is to

which is a collection of blog entries, mostly by very young Iraqis, children, even. There's some good stuff there already. Check it out. I am impressed with these kids and with their command of the English language.