Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Past, The Present

"Haunted by the past" is a commonplace phrase because it's a commonplace experience. Even if one is not, strictly speaking, "haunted," the past is perpetually with one in the present, and the longer it grows and the further it recedes the stronger its presence seems to become. I agree with the Chekhov character who, when, in a crisis, he is reminded that "this, too, shall pass," responds, "Nothing passes."

--Philip Roth, in the recent New Yorker interview

Lots of depression this weekend. Fortunately, Rachel called this morning and invited me to go apple and raspberry picking with her and Frances. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed in the picking fields, so I didn't actually pick anything, but it was good to get out. Then they came over and helped me clear away some more boxes, and put the table and chairs up in the dining room. That was a huge accomplishment.

Ordered digital tv today. Tired of just watching Channel 8. $33 for the first three months, then $45 or something. I think it comes with some music channels which I need cause I can't get NPR stations clearly on any of my radios out here. A big disappointment.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Flower, the matriarch of the Whisker clan on Meerkat Manor, the Animal Planet soap opera of meerkat society on the Kalahari, died in last night's episode of a cobra bite. I was with Rachel and Frances, and none of us expected it, and Frances burst into tears and cried for a long time. Meerkat Manor is an amazing program which reveals through remote filming the entirely complex, cooperative, courageous, hierarchical, and joyful lives of meerkats. It is a wildly popular show, and since I've been without cable or dish tv for a month, last night was the first time I'd seen it in a while, altho I have been watching it for a long time. Who would have thought that the meerkats had babysitting dens, or would banish individuals from the group for a forbidden action? These small, intense-eyed mammals remind us once again that we know so little about the animal king/queendom, and that we have so much to learn from them.

Found a dining table at a tag sale today which matches my chairs, and two umbrella stands, one of which I will give to M. since she has been looking for one and told me to keep my eyes open when I go to these sales.

On the Yale front and my job: Abuse of Power Comes as No Surprise. It is bad, but I am taking action. Don't know yet how it will pan out. Wish me luck.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Kittens on a Cloud

Frances was singing this song today, something about nothing cuter than Kittens on a Cloud. Indeed. Scored this tea kettle for $3 at a tag sale today; I think it might have been a fundraiser for orphan cats. I went to four or five sales today. Got a bedside table, two garden rakes, a couple of VHS videos (for a buck they were cheaper than renting). The tea kettle normally sells for about $50. And it was in good shape, no dings or anything.

Was gonna go to the beach today with Frances and Rachel but alas the clouds were about, and no kittens in sight. They helped me a little bit around the house, and we went to lunch at Peters II, a very small restaurant near my house that is really nice. Good food, very friendly service. Only open for breakfast and lunch right now, but planning to be open for dinner.

Got my free Shutterfly calendar of photos from Elba. It turned out beautifully. Part of the deal when I got my digital camera.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Up Against the Wall . . .

Had another meltdown yesterday, with nose bleed. This time I'm getting the union involved.

Good news: a niece is coming to help me with my new place!!! acksalutapop!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

You Know You're Burned Out

when you are asked to plan a reception for Gloria Steinem and you have absolutely no interest in doing so, and find it just an enormous pain. At 73 she's going strong, and has just published a new book, "Doing Sixty & Seventy," on aging.

Cried almost all day long. Went out to Guilford to meet the Man With A Van to move the rest of my stuff out of M's, got there early, and walked into my mandala garden and lost it. Kip came over mewing and I picked him up and held him, and felt sorry for myself. Went in the house, found M, and cried some more. Got the stuff moved to the new house, listened to two voice mails which upset me, and cried some more. Went to Best Video and had a mocha latte and tried not to cry. Went to the acupuncturist and was able to relax some. Came home and M & S came over with dinner for me, and we looked at the Bindi book from Shutterfly which arrived today, and turned out beautifully.

There is no unalloyed joy.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Oh, MAN . . .

The GAs were on duty again today. After waking up late cause I was up too late last night, I drove into work, and parked my car on the street as usual. I opened my car door and BAM!!! A kid on a bike plowed right into the door and went splat on the ground. I was horrified, got out of the car, he said he was ok, but clearly he wasn't, and I made him go over to the curb and sit down. I picked up his bike from the street and a crowd had gathered around us and someone took his bike from me, and after ascertaining that he was a university student, I insisted that he let me take him to the health center. He said he didn't think he needed to go, but his shirt was torn, and he had a bad scratch all across the front of his torso. He wasn't bleeding or in any great pain, but there was no way I was gonna let him walk away after that. A young woman offered to take him on the shuttle bus herself but I said no, I will take him. Fortunately, he was wearing a helmet, and finally agreed that it was a good idea to go get checked out. Of course there was construction going on down the street where the health center is, so I parked illegally and took him inside and made sure he was seen immediately. The intake nurse praised me for bringing him in. She said they get bike crashes all the time, and usually the drivers of the cars just curse the kid and drive off. She said I was the first one to bring a kid in. What kind of a world do we live in?!?!?!? Why was I being praised for doing the right thing?!?!?! Someone later even called me "noble." NOBLE?? That's ridiculous. It wasn't noble, it was the only way to react in such a situation. They took his blood pressure, and he didn't complain of any shortness of breath, and they took him in the back for further examination. I gave him my card and said, "Call me!!!" after he was finished there. In the car over he had said he was pre-med, and in the college where a friend of mine is Dean, so after he called and said they didn't find anything terrible, I called my Dean friend to ask her to keep an eye on him. He slammed into my open car door so hard that the door pushed against the front left fender, denting it towards the wheel, and now the door is very hard to open and close, but it does shut. What a way to start a Monday morning.

I watched "A Hawk is Dying," with Paul Giamatti on dvd this evening. Excellent excellent. The best thing I've seen Giamatti do. Very powerful performance. Also watched "Breaking and Entering," with Jude Law and Juliet Binoche last night. Unusual, interesting. Very good acting.

I've been eating nothing but carbohydrates for weeks now. I have no taste for meat or even vegetables. I miss my Guilford garden, and I miss the Branford Stop & Shop. I went to the S & S near Rachel's after work and my classism kicked in. The carts were broken and beat up, the shelves weren't well stocked, there were flies buzzing around, the whole place was kind of dirty. Uck. I'd gotten used to the very well kempt shoreline shops geared toward the more middle and upper classes, and I have to say I'm not happy with my choices around here. I stopped at Best Video to return dvd's and had a decaf latte from beans that they charge 12 bucks a pound for cause they are fair trade and organic. Wasn't that good, but felt calming somehow. Then, I came home and there was absolutely not one piece of mail. Where's all the junk mail I used to get at M's? Thanks to all who have sent me cards and such. Really helps.

Came inside and was tidying up and noticed something sticking out from one of the cabinets near the floor. I bent down, picked it up, and guess what it was? A small picture of an angel that I had at one time cut out of a magazine. Have no idea how it got there.

Note to IKA: your drawings are awesome

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Them Ol' Knees

Got the carpenter here today adding another step to the one step that goes up to the kitchen and the utility room. It's got a nine inch rise which is 4 1/2 inches too high.

Watched "The Night Listener" on dvd last night with Robin Williams and Toni Collette, from a novel by Armisted Maupin. Odd, but they are good actors, and it might have even been based on a true story. Nice to have a mystery movie where the sexual identity of the characters are incidental, and not the main theme. Normalized, not pathologized. Also watched "The Holiday" with Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, and Kate Winslet. Totally lame, but Jude Law is so fine to look at, and Jack Black was brilliant as usual. Anybody got any good movie recommendations? I'm near Best Video which is considered the very best video store in the area because of all the indie and foreign films it carries.

Tommaso came over for a couple of hours yesterday and offered his decorating expertise and skill at unpacking. I've almost got every cardboard box out of here, including the mouse poop that was in so much of it. Yikes. I'm finding more "presents," stuff that's been in boxes for years, things I've picked up from my travels here and abroad.

How do I get Bindi to stop barking when she is out in the yard? It's getting worse and worse. I DO NOT want to use one of those horrible electric barking collars.

The nights have gotten very cold, and I'm sleeping with my down comforter. Time to install the electric mattress pad! Ummmmmmmmmmm.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Florida With Manatees

Good news for manatees! Yesterday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted to delay downgrading the manatee's status from endangered to threatened.

Calling the manatee "one of our state's beloved natural resources," in a letter issued to the commissioners on Monday, September 10th, Florida Governor Charlie Crist urged them to postpone their decision given the need for a better method to estimate the manatee population and the record 417 manatee deaths in 2006.

The FWC decided to defer the decision on downlisting manatees until at least the Dec. 5-6 meeting in Key Largo, FL. -- from the Save the Manatees website

Laura came over and hooked up the vcr and dvd player to the tv, and set up my desktop computer with all its parts. And put most of my books away. We found so much mouse poo in the cardboard boxes that were stored in the cellar at M's. Even tho everything was in plastic bags inside the boxes, the mousies still got in and did damage. Really disgusting.

But! I got three more pieces of snail mail today!! And that is just so wonderful.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Two Weeks

The standard contractor answer when asked when something will be done. Remember "The Money Pit?" Well, we should get our three computers in "two weeks." HA! How come when I sign onto Blogger with my Google account and I always check "remember me," it never remembers me? How can I do an interesting window treatment without blogging (I mean blocking) out the light for the plants?

Went for a massage yesterday, but it didn't help much. I need one every day for, uh, TWO WEEKS! The clunking is back in my neck. I think I have to keep seeing the osteopath. I think whatever she did helped.

Tommaso is back. I took him to Home Depot to get another bookcase, one of those extremely heavy particle board monsters. And he lives in a fourth floor walk up! Couldn't help him get it up there, tho. I'm sure he managed somehow. It was so great to see him. We laughed and laughed.

Got a set of white dishes on Now to recycle the black ones. I'm done with my black phase. Still don't have the tv hooked up. Miss watching movies.
Babysat for S. last evening for a couple of hours while her mom went to a parents' thingie at school. S. and I went to All Pets Club and looked at the puppies. There must have been 30 or so, all different kinds of breeds. Way too cute.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Dr. Noys' Pet Toys

Hey, I hit the snail mail jackpot today!! Three personal pieces of snail mail in my new mailbox! One from O. in Wisconsin, one from my naturopath and her assistant, and Bindi got the best new toy from her cousin Trinka Deu. It's a squirrel stuffie with a REPLACEABLE squeaker inside a small pouch which closes with velcro. She had seen/played with/chewed Trinka's when we went out to Illinois in August, and now Bindi has her very own. Bindi likes the small toys with squeakers but always rips the guts out and chews on the plastic squeaker within minutes, and sometimes I sew them back up with the squeaker if it's not destroyed, and sometimes I just throw them away. Anywho, it was great getting the snail mail.

Killer day at the Yale office. Non stop. Everyone had a crisis. Tell me this: why does a private university with many BILLIONS in its endowment give me a hard time when I need three new computers? And we need them now. I try to not get too furious about this, except it makes my job harder cause the people who need the computers come to me to do what they cannot. I asked over five weeks ago, and they are gaslighting me by saying someone will come around to do an INVENTORY! An inventory!?!?!?! I already DID an inventory!! I need three computers!!!

On the good side, I called the Cheshire community pool and found out that it's only $250 for the full year to use the pool which is a very good deal, so I'll sign up. The bubble will be in place in a week, and the pool will have been cleaned, so I can get started. An unexpected bonus of moving here.

And finally, rocks! I got a very nice small computer table this afternoon which is exactly what I need. I didn't want something big and honking, and this is perfect.

We need rain. Badly.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Nap Day

Being at the beach yesterday was nice. We were there from about 3.30-5.30, took a dip, and munched on snacks. We noticed on the drive that THE LEAVES ON THE TREES ARE ALREADY TURNING! Aaaaarrrrgggghhhh! Where did the summer go? Oh yeah, looking for a place, going to Italy, my father dying, moving. I remember now. R & F came over later and helped me move boxes and think about the placement of furniture.

I spent a few hours this morning planting the hostas. Each clump could be separated into several individual plants by soaking them in a bucket of water and twisted apart the roots. That was I was able to plant about twenty in a row with a plain one, then a variegated one, then a plain one . . . I still have more out at M's to dig up.

You know how I'm always looking for an outdoor pool wherever I am? Found one in Cheshire and went there today for a long slow lap swim. It wasn't great but it was outdoors, and they will put a dome over it for the winter. Cost me $11 just for the one swim, which seems quite a bit, but oh well. It's only five miles up the road. Have to find out if they are open for just lap swims during the winter. Seems to be part of the Cheshire High School, cause it has lots of lap lanes and bleachers and such. Is very convenient for me, however. After the swim I went to DQ and had a chocolate oreo blizzard, then came home and took a nap, the first one in a very long time. I was sooooooooooooooooo tired. Camilla was all cuddly and that was nice. Made some dinner but all I want is ice cream. Can't get on that bandwagon again. No, m'am. No sirree. Nada.

Figured out how to set up my high speed internet, so am not mooching off the neighbor's network any longer. AT&T gave me a free 30 day trial with Vonage download movies, and their selections are the worst! No bargain there.

Monday morning looms. I just don't have enough time to do everything I need to do. Well, I would if I was one of those high energy people, but I'm not. The planting of the hostas was quite a production and lapswimming was necessary. I need to be compassionate with myself and know that moving in will be a slow process, and I need to respect my limits and my own pace.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Here's Laura in my kitchen. We were cleaning before I moved stuff in and she helped me immeasurably. I need her again to help me unpack. I spoke too soon about Camilla. She's still having "issues" so I'll put her back on and keep her on the xanax for a while. Perhaps she is reacting to all the mess and boxes, and thinks we're back in Guilford getting ready to leave. I've had a couple of hard days, trying to unpack, going to my Yale job, seeing clients, getting the little things I need here and there. Been crabby at work. Ate donuts and ice cream yesterday, something I haven't done in weeks and weeks. Went to collect some perennials from a woman who had listed them on and spent a long time trying to find out where she lived. Now to plant them. Got a beautiful housewarming gift from C & D in the mail yesterday, a stunning dark blue bowl with red accents, like my front door. My knees are hurting. It's 5:45am and I'm up cause Camilla had one of her "issues" out of the box and had to clean it up. It's so worrysome with all this carpetting. Rachel suggested we go to the beach this afternoon and I think that's just the ticket. We'll take a picnic, and chill by the water. I still need a dining room table. I'm resisting going to Ikea and just buying one, don't know why. Well, I do know. A lot of their stuff is crap, but for expediency's sake I just might. Have been receiving the local paper which is just really bad. Trying to find tag sales nearby and so far nothing. I'm still not getting any forwarded mail from the last place, even though I submitted the change a week ago. Could it really take this long? I think most people underestimate the toll that stress and tiredness take on a person.

But I have a nice new student assistant who is working for me at Yale. Unfortunately, the provost is giving us a hard time about the three new computers we need for our faculty and staff. How can that be? Yale has billions and a small program like ours gets treated like dirt. I try to not let it infuriate me, but sometimes I can't help it. They're going to send someone to do an "inventory" of what we need computer wise but, duh, I already told them!! Two years, four months and then I'm out of there.

Friday, September 07, 2007

New Home

That's my front yard. That's the front of the house. I'm extremely tired and overwhelmed by boxes of stuff, but glad to be there. It's quiet, and feels so luxurious to have a whole house to myself. My first piece of personal snail mail came from my niece and that made me very happy. Lurkers, send me more! It's quiet at night, and I just put food in the existing bird feeder in the front yard, and the birds are arriving. My animals seem quite content, although Camilla is iffy. She's been hiding in the closet. She is so attuned to my states of stress. Still have a bit more stuff out at M's which I must get, and am hoping to get some free hostas from someone who listed them on Lots of shade, so lots of shade loving plants will be introduced. Dish tv guy came this morning and announced that I can't use dish 'cause there are too many trees, so I guess it's back to Comcast and the cable hookup. Yuk. Been exploring the neighborhood some and it is very nice. Nice nice nice.