Monday, May 31, 2010

Soooooooooooo close

Kent and I just destroyed our to do list this weekend. We have minor touch ups left but that's about it. I am so relieved to have our apartment feeling more like home.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


So the apartment still isn’t what I’d call done. Oh the major stuff is—we have walls, appliances, heck we even have beautiful floors. We also have a punch list that’s two pages long. Not a single room is actually finished.

We spent some time yesterday knocking off some of those items and have more to do today. Kent worked repairing our living room windows (which were damaged by the nor’easter we had in March) while I tackled the patio. Since Kent is a redhead and might spontaneously combust in the sunshine, it seemed to be a good distribution of labor.

It’s been easy to overlook how damaged the patio was by all that water because it didn’t affect our living space, and I mostly just see it as I come and go to work. The patio is one of the major reasons we bought this apartment—we really wanted some outdoor space and that’s very hard to come by in Boston.

Our patio is mostly brick with a band of growing space along three of the four sides, and it’s also two levels. The upper level is closest to the alley, and the lower level is partially under the balcony of the apartment upstairs. We’d put in a lot of shade-loving ground cover and I must say the ivy appears to have loved being nearly drowned because it’s growing like crazy.

We’d also planted herbs and flowers in colorful pots that we could move to chase the sun around the patio. Some of the pots had broken or were so damaged I had to toss them and in all cases the soil in them ended up being packed in there like cement. So I had to use a trowel to break up the soil. We’ve got a storage chest we store those kinds of tools in—it’s about five feet long, stands not quite three feet high and is probably a couple of feet deep. When I opened the lid, I realized that it still had water in it from the flood. Everything in there was covered with silt and grime and the water line was obvious both on that and also on our grill (which we still need to check to see if it works).

I swept up a lot of sand from the lower level, so at some point we’ll need to redo those bricks. I look forward to the day when I don’t see any reminders of that stupid flood.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Kent’s job hunt continues. He’s had some promising interviews although nothing’s panned out yet. One position was in New York City and I had mixed feelings when I learned they’d filled it; while I would have ended up hating him being gone all week, every week, the job and the company sounded pretty interesting. Today he’s learned that another company that’s been interviewing him has some real problems with the way they are managing their business—probably bad enough to be a deal breaker for him.

So we are looking at single income status again at the end of next month. I remind myself we’ve done it before and God knows I did it with far, far less when I was newly divorced. But just because I have the skills to live on a lot less doesn’t mean it’s particularly fun or enjoyable.

I’m not prepared to consider a name change to Job—things aren’t nearly as bad as they were last November and December. But I am discouraged and so is he. When that happens, we check out LOLcats. I liked this one:

funny pictures of cats with captions

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I take Route 1 every day and parts of it are pretty twisty. It's mostly a divided highway but the term highway makes it sound as though the speed limit would be 55 or 65 MPH and that's not the case. If you've driven on the MO side of Kansas City, just think of 71 Highway with all the really short on ramps and lots of businesses lined up on either side of the road--that's what Route 1 is like.

I'm used to seeing upcoming exits announced as being 1 mile away or 1/2 mile away or even 1/4 mile away. But some of these are announced in feet. One exit is 700 feet away and the other is just 400 feet away. Crazy, huh.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cats are weird

Kent told me that when I left for work yesterday morning, the cats went absolutely nuts. All three raced around the apartment crying and then took turns cycling through his lap for comfort.

I know they hate it when I’m up and he’s still in bed—especially Eddie who will leap back onto the bed and yell at Kent. Really that’s the only way to describe what he does, he yells. Eddie’s got quite a vocabulary. If I placed all three cats on a vocabulary continuum, it would look like this:

Normal meows (Chloe)----------Some “language” (Wally)--------------Full blown “language (Eddie)

They always swarm me when I get home.

It’s Kent’s birthday today. Thankfully the Red Sox don’t have a home game, which screws up my commute and means I stay at work until 6 PM—no point in leaving earlier since instead of taking just over an hour, I’d be sitting in my car for closer to two hours. That means we can have a quiet dinner out at a fairly normal time.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I’ve been gone three out of the last four weeks and the first crazy rush of business travel is over. I cannot tell you how glad I am the next trip has been postponed. I was scheduled to leave for Hawaii this Sunday, hold meetings Monday and Tuesday and fly back Tuesday night. In other words, I’d have spent as much time getting there and back as actually on the ground working. I find it really weird that getting to Hawaii from Boston will take about 19 hours, while getting from Kansas City to Beijing, China took 25 hours.

And I think this is the year I end up needing reading glasses. Some days, everything works pretty well, although generally my eyes struggle first thing in the morning when I’m using my Netbook. Along about midday, everything pulls together although I prefer a lot more light when I read. I used to wonder why my mother complained about it being too dark to read in my house—I get it now. But just when I’m ready to make that eye appointment, I’ll have no problems reading, I’ll thread the needle on the first try every single time and I’ll decide to wait.

If you have reading glasses, what made you go ahead and get them?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lessons in gratitude

I boarded my flight from San Luis Obispo at 6:15 AM Friday. I was already in a cranky stressed out mood because I had a fairly tight connection in Phoenix and had to change both terminals and airlines. Most airports have set up shuttles or trams so passengers who transfer terminals don’t have to go through security again—but not Phoenix. I learned this the hard way Tuesday and had run from Terminal 3 to catch the shuttle to Terminal 4 and then sprinted to get through security and to my gate. So I was already a little uptight.

In the waiting area, I saw a man pushing a wheelchair. He walked oddly but I didn’t think anything of it until right before we boarded. That’s when I realized he was a double amputee, with one leg gone above the knee and the other below the knee, which explained his odd gait. He wore a t-shirt that supported a veteran’s organization, and had a service dog with him.

I’m not all that familiar with service dogs or the criteria used to provide people with him, but I figured perhaps his injuries involved more than just his legs (as if that weren’t bad enough).

I thanked him for his service and boarded the plane. I made all my connections just fine and I hope he got where he was going with no troubles.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Stupid brain tapes

Today at breakfast, someone commented he could tell I work out. Instantly in my mind, I utterly discounted what he said.

I got the same sort of comment two weeks ago in Wisconsin, and also the week before in Oregon—all three comments, while they made sense in the conversation, weren't because I led the conversation down that path. For example, the one in Oregon was because I really struggled with the altitude and dryness there, which was a first for me, and the recruiting manager said he was surprised because clearly I was fit. All three have been that way, believe me I'm not fishing for a compliment.

Yet I discounted all three comments immediately. Every single one. Why do I do this? Why can’t I change my mental image to incorporate the fact (yes, fact) that I am fit?

Stupid brain.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Two quick memories in honor of Mother’s Day.

First, I was probably five years old. We lived in Nashville and Mom was a single parent with two small children. My brother and I had been finger painting with her, and I remember she painted apple trees. I was so impressed because her trees really looked like apple trees.

Second, I was a year or so older and I’d burned my finger on the iron early one school morning. I needed to get off to school, and she promised me something special when I got home. I was expecting a toy or a cookie or something but instead she’d made me a “medal” out of colorful construction paper that proclaimed me a member of the Royal Order of the Iron. I loved that thing, and in fact I had it well into adulthood—until my house was broken into and my jewelry box, where I stored it, was stolen. I was as upset about losing that as I was about a lot of the jewelry I lost.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Patience is a virtue

(I don’t possess)

From last night:

Me: grumble, grumble about Jae’s taking five minutes more than usual for a carry out order.

Kent: This is a great opportunity to practice being patient.

Me: I have practiced! I practiced for five months after we flooded! Oh wait, I practiced for NINE months while I was in Kansas City selling the house and you were here!

Kent: (big grin on his face) Well I practiced patience for three YEARS.

(For those who don’t know our story, I wouldn’t date him for three years. Yes I shut up then.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A very random list

I wrote this last week while I was in Wisconsin. I’d never been there before and found it to be remarkably like the Kansas City area in terms of geography. I’m sure the winters are more extreme, and maybe the summers are hotter. I felt positively nostalgic when I saw typical Midwestern sights while I was there—I saw billboards for Love’s truck stop, the Black Cat Fireworks stores and I stayed in a Holiday Inn that probably hasn’t been redecorated since the 1960s. I took a video just so you could see the horribleness of the room, but apparently I deleted it. The room had both a king size bed and a Murphy's bed and the ceiling was in three distinct pieces like a modular home. Very odd.

Wednesday night I had dinner at Ed’s Tee Pee Supper Club. Seriously, that was the name. I was really surprised to walk into the restaurant and see people smoking there. I guess I’ve lived in Boston long enough to forget about smoking in a restaurant.

Friday as I headed south to Madison, I almost hit a turkey as it took off flying low over the road. I’ve never seen a wild turkey flying and I struggled to make sense of what I was seeing—almost to the point of hitting the damn thing.

I’m glad I got to visit a part of the Midwest I haven’t seen before. I was also very glad to get home again. I’ll be gone for two weeks this month so having a week at home first is refreshing.

This list is pretty random and consists mostly of things that make me go “huh?”
  • I don’t get smoking as something pleasurable.
  • I am completely baffled by couples who share a Facebook page. You really need to be that enmeshed?
  • The same thing is true for email addresses. Come on, they are free, get your own.
  • I will never understand sports fans who so hate another team that they threaten physical harm to the players or the fans—and seem to mean it.
  • I don’t get people who relocate to be near grandchildren. Are you that positive your children want you that close by? And what happens if they move?
  • Why do people wear pajamas out in public; for example, to run errands or go to class?
  • Why does one of my cats drool when he’s apparently very happy?
  • What makes someone think it’s a good idea to hold a personal telephone call while in a public bathroom?