Saturday, July 31, 2010

3041 Bigger confusion

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I am fully aware of all the things I don't know,
and those things seem more important than the things I do know.
-- Silk --


I've mentioned a few times that I believe we pass through life many times, and that on each pass, we have a lesson to learn, that we may not know what that lesson is, that our souls develop as we learn these lessons. I was talking with someone recently who believes similarly, and she said she was afraid to learn the lesson, because maybe that meant she would be finished with this life and would die.

I pointed out that there are people who enter our lives to teach us things. I call them intersectors. And we also act as intersectors in the lives of others. So you may or may not know what your lesson is, you may or may not know whether you've learned it, but it doesn't matter, because you can still be an intersector, perhaps especially after you have learned what you are here to learn. So learning the lesson doesn't mean you are finished.

Well, that got me thinking about my lesson, about what it might be.

There have been multiple themes running through my life. I can see where I have been tested, many times. I've learned many things, but there's one area I have pretty consistently failed, where I know what's right, what I should do, but I fail.

I'm not good with temptation, in any form.

As the saying goes, I know what I want when I see it, and if it's offered, I pretty consistently take it, even when I know it's a bad thing. I cannot handle temptation.

I am currently very tempted. It's a bad thing. Wanna know how bad I am? After the conversation with my friend, I am now trying very hard NOT to convince myself that if I give in to this temptation I'll live longer. The weak me is thinking, "Fail the test, fail the test! Go ahead. It will be fun! You know you want to try it." The strong me thinks, "No, no, do the right thing. You know what's right! Important decisions aren't supposed to be easy. Or fun."

Of course, maybe temptation isn't my lesson anyway. In which case it doesn't matter. [Oops. That sounded a lot like the bad me.]

But damn! I DO want it.

3040 Confusion, Recipe Time, Vehicle Pickup

Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Doctors do it for a living, patients do it for life.
There's a difference.
Bother the doctors as much as you need to."
-- Cathy, in "Lessons From Lou" --


I went to a Mensa pool party today. There were only seven people there because there were some competing weddings today, and people made their choices. No biggy, except that yesterday I had hit the grocery store and bought a small fortune in ingredients to make a special (huge) cold dish .

Something that bugs me about recipes - the time estimates. The ingredients list will say things like "1 C chopped pecans", and 2 C scalded milk", and 2 C cubed cooked chicken" and so on for 10 ingredients. Then in the directions, the first step is to mix all the ingredients together, and the time estimate is 5 minutes.

Yeah. Uh huh. They don't include the time it takes to cube, chop, scald, measure, sift, cream, melt, whatever else, and all that, like every plumbing job, always takes longer than it should. Sheesh. It took me three hours to make the freakin' dish. The estimate on the recipe was 10 minutes. I guess I'm supposed to have kitchen elves, like the cooks on TV do, minions who take care of all the prep overnight.

I had originally planned to put it all together last night. But late in the evening a friend asked me to help pick up a truck in Ashokan. I figured it would involve driving him there, then following him as he drove the truck back. I said yes, sure, because he's often doing big favors for me, but more because I like spending time and talking with him, and it sounded enjoyable. I'm all about enjoying.

After we got on the road, I found out it was actually picking up a truck at a construction site, bringing it back here, putting stuff on the truck, then taking it back to where we got it, then returning home. Ok. I didn't think about it then, the logistics are in his purview. We went to the deep woods around the reservoir, left my car there, came back here in the truck, took the loaded truck back to Ashokan, and returned home about midnight, and that's when I finally thought about it and realized he hadn't needed my help at all. His car was happily relaxing in my driveway. He could have done the whole job alone.

Oh well, I did enjoy it a lot.

Two things happened.

The construction site was a home designed and being built for himself by a stonemason. It was full dark when we got there, and I noticed the door was open as we drove up, so we explored it by flashlight. It was huge! With a lot of fantastic stonework, fireplaces, marble floors, huge rooms, multiple double French doors to the porch (also to the full-width second floor porch) instead of boring windows, like you'd see on a southern plantation mansion, amazing! Makes me want to spit on my new house.

Then when we were driving back in the truck, he said my door didn't seem to be closed. He stopped, and I tried several times to close it, and finally slammed it with both hands. Later, we found out why. I had put my purse on the floor, and I always hang my keys on the strap on the outside of the purse, and the Suzuki key dangled under the bottom of the door, and that's why it wouldn't close. I don't know my own strength. When I slammed the door, it bent the key. Poor Suzie's key now has a 30 degree crook in it.

And so that's why I was chopping, sauteing, measuring, mixing, for three hours this morning. Oops, excuse me, 10 minutes, according to the recipe.

But, I wouldn't have changed a thing - except maybe Suzie's key. And the size of the flippin' salad, which was scaled to feed thirty, and the remainder of which is now crowding my refrigerator.

3039 Why is this woman still missing?

Friday, July 30, 2010

"It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value."
-- Arthur C. Clarke --


I found this story, a cold case, by accident, while searching for a bowler named Dixie, because RockyGrace mentioned a New York bowler named Dixie, and that name sounded familiar, given that I've been dating a pro bowler and reading tournament standings. (How's that for a tangled sentence?) Anyhow, the story is at It's unbelievable that nothing has been done, that the police are so uninterested. It took six months for the woman's mother to get a missing person report filed, because the husband kept saying he'd heard from the woman.

You really need to read the story. It's unbelievable.


If anyone's TV news has been showing clips of Rhinebeck, where Chelsea's wedding is tomorrow, if you happened to see the one today where Bill Clinton was walking down the street, well, that was directly across the street from the artsy theater where I go to movies all the time. And the big old hotel they keep showing, the Beekman Arms (Washington really did sleep there) is on the corner. That's where I had my all-afternoon office goodbye party when I moved from this area to St. Louis in the early 1970s. I have lunch (overpriced) there occasionally.

I keep hearing that Rhinebeck is a madhouse, mostly reporters trying to get something, anything, from anyone. It's only a few miles away, but I have been carefully avoiding the entire area. I mean, sheesh, parking is nearly impossible there on an ordinary day.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

3038 Tuesday

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion."
-- Sir Francis Bacon --


A woman, a Glamour dating blogger, wrote a list of 36 things every single girl (girl? Just how old is the audience?) must do before settling down ( at I am shocked by the list. I can't imagine anyone over 24 not having done almost all the list by necessity or by default. Are most young women more sheltered than Daughter and I were?


I planted about half the flowers in the pots across the front of the house this afternoon. It's late for planting, and I doubt they'll fill in before the end of the growing season, but it looks a lot better anyway.

This evening I went to a movie, "Cyrus". The subject itself is a bit disturbing, but even more disturbing was that the man had a strong physical resemblance to a man I know who bothers me, and the woman had a strong physical resemblance to a woman I know who bothers me. So I kept being bothered.

The end of the movie left me hanging. So, what happened next? Did Cyrus move out? Did he really back off? It was all too neat.

Further, I was reminded of a guy I knew in my teens. He and I were born minutes apart in the same hospital, our mothers shared a room (that was when new mothers and newborns spent five days to a week in the hospital) and became good friends. They expected me and the boy to become great friends, but I found him weird. He was very attached to his mother.

The last time I saw him was when we were eighteen or nineteen. I was visiting Gramma on some holiday break. He still lived with his parents while commuting to a local college. I had gone over to their house. His parents were out for the day. He pointed to a door and said, "That's my mother's room. After Dad leaves for work in the morning, she lets me sleep with her."

It wasn't so much the words he said as the way he said them. There was a hint of panting, and he watched me carefully, even ducking and curling around me to see my face, to see my reaction. There was an implication there I refused to acknowledge. I shrugged and said, "I gave that up when I was four."

I left, and never visited them again.

Monday, July 26, 2010

3037 Visiting the house

Monday, July 26, 2010

"No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you'll see why."
-- Mignon McLaughlin --


This is an oldie, as you can tell by the cost of the room.
Three men go into a motel. The desk clerk said the room was $30, so each man paid $10 and went to the room. A while later, the desk clerk realized the room was only $25, so he sent the bellboy to the three guys' room with $5. On the way, the bellboy couldn't figure out how to split $5 evenly between three men, so he gave each man $1 and kept the other $2 for himself.

This meant that the 3 men each paid $9 for the room, which is a total of $27. Add to that the $2 the bellboy kept and the total is $29. Where is the other dollar?

I went to a street fair in Rosendale on Saturday. The Hairless Hunk had told me it would be hot, heat index something like 103. Uh, yeah. It was very hot. Street fairs tend to be held on streets, not in cool glades.

The parking lot was a good half mile away. The online info had said there would be shuttles, but there wasn't. I had to go piddle when I pulled into the lot, but by the time I'd walked halfway to Main Street and the first porta-potties I no longer had to go. I was there about 4 hours, and drank at least two quarts of water and iced tea, and never did have to go. I guess I reabsorbed it.

There was a lot of good music, and a lot of vendors. I walked the length of the street twice waiting for the sun to get lower before the walk back to the car.

I'm glad I went, but I doubt I'll go again.

Now that I'm moving away, I feel like I have to finally sample all the things that I'd been aware of for years but kept putting off.


Yesterday I went to NJ to visit Daughter and Hercules. Daughter had been doing massages at a triathlon, and ran a bit late, so while I waited for her I was overcome by temptation and visited my new house across the street.

First I just walked around the house and looked in windows. The trim is all done, and the stove, sinks, dishwasher, and so on are in. The curb has been cut, the porch has been surfaced and steps have been poured. No driveway or lawn yet, or railings on the porch.

Then I tried the door.

According to the contract, I am not allowed on the property until the inspection visit just before closing. I was not supposed to be on the porch, let alone trying the door.

The door was unlocked.

I went in.

It looks good. It's supposed to be about 550 sq ft larger than this house, but it really doesn't feel like it. There's one more bedroom than here, and the bedrooms are larger, but the living room, kitchen, laundry room and dining room downstairs seem much smaller, and I'm going from a 2.5 car garage to a one car garage, and from a full walkout basement to no basement.

There are phone and cable jacks in all four bedrooms, but downstairs the only phone jack is in the kitchen, and the only cable jack is in the dining room. The builder referred to what I intend to use as the dining room as "the family room", so I guess that explains that, but why no cable jack in the living room? Actually, it probably won't bother me - mostly I'm on the computer when I'm watching TV anyway, and I can see the dining room from where I'll probably set up the computer - but movie watching with company? Living room would be nice.

Same 2.5 bathrooms as here, but the bathrooms in the new house are TINY! The sink cabinets in the bathrooms here have two wide doors, three drawers, and a lot of counter space. In the new house there's two narrow doors, no drawers, and next to no counter space. I've never seen bathtubs so small. In the kitchen I am going from 20 cabinet doors and 8 large drawers to perhaps 9 cabinet doors (if that, I didn't actually count), two tiny drawers and one large drawer.

I'm going to have to do some drastic downsizing.

(There are cabinets in my current kitchen that I haven't opened in years. I suppose that whatever's in them doesn't need to move with me. There's a saying in DP that a program will expand to fill the space available. Same thing happens in kitchen and bathroom cabinets.)

I told Daughter that I was surprised that the door was unlocked, aren't they afraid of vandalism? She said it's a fairly safe neighborhood. Then in the next breath she said she'd heard that someone had stolen all the copper from the house back before they got the sheetrock up.

That might go a long way toward explaining the delay, and why they were having such a problem with the electricity.


My current BMI is 26.1. To get to 24, I need to lose 10 more pounds.


Answer to the puzzle above:

There's an explanation at, but the explanation there is also confusing to me, anyway.

To explain it to myself, I had to get rid of the other two guys. I got the room all by myself for $30. Mistake was found. Bellhop appears at my door with 5 one-dollar bills. I pull off two and give them to him. I spent $25 for the room, $2 for a tip, and have $3 in hand. So I spent $27. That adds up.

If the other two guys show up, I ask for $9 from each to cover their share of the room AND their share of the tip. What has been spent is $27, $25 for the room and $2 tip, which is $9 x 3. The other three dollars are sitting on the table.

That's the only way I can understand it.