Saturday, March 31, 2007

My cell phone is missing!

I just discovered a little while ago that my cell phone disappeared. I know I had it this afternoon. I was talking on it while I was driving home at around 1:30 or so. (Used my bluetooth headset -- didn't break any laws.) And I brought it in from the garage. At least I brought in the headset and the phone isn't in the car, so I'm fairly certain I brought it in. But it's not in the house now. I tried calling myself, and ringtone, nothing. I did go out again, but I'm not sure I brought the phone. In fact I think I didn't. But somehow, it's vanished. Weird how a thing that up until a couple of years ago I got along without perfectly fine, now suddenly I feel completely lost without it. And the thing is, I haven't a clue as to where it might be. Musta fallen out of my pocket or my purse somewhere. Or maybe it got sucked into another dimension. I wonder if they'd get a signal over there.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Let me crawl under a rock

This has truly been the week from hell...and it isn't over yet! At work, I committed a colossal blunder, one that could end up costing my museum a vast sum in lost funding. And nobody knows yet except me (and one other person). Yes I admit, it's my fault. But it most certainly wouldn't have happened if we hadn't all been so overworked, overloaded and overstressed. If I had had the proper amount of time, I would have been on top of this project. My brain wouldn't have been scattered and fractured and burned out.

When I started work there last summer, this same grant proposal was being worked on. At that time the department had twice as many people working in it. There was an admin assistant who knew the thing backwards and forwards. And they had an outside guy who came in especially to write the thing. And they were all still running around like lunatics at the 11th hour, trying to get it all done and out! This year, there was me. And my manic boss whose best thing is making everyone else crazy. For weeks my friend in the department and I have been saying, something is going to fall through the cracks. Something is going to fail. Well, it did. Unfortunately on a very important project. But honestly, I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner. The system was overloaded and it crashed.

At least it has thrown into focus for me how much I really don't like this job. I didn't like it when I started and I really don't like it now. It's too tedious to go into the whole thing, but bottom line is, I gotta get out. How is it that I've managed to cram as many uber-stressful things into my life at once? Moving, looking for new job. Now all I need to do is get married again and I'll hit the trifecta of most stressful situations. Lucky (or not) for me, there's no potential husband around.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Saving My Sanity

I've been an absolute basket case for the last week, ever since I signed the lease on my new apartment. I've been in a flat-out panic trying to figure out how I was going to be able to pack and move in four weeks while all hell was breaking loose at work and I had not a minute of extra time.

Thanks to my landlady, I have come to a realization. There is in fact not enough time to get it all done. But just because the apartment is mine as of April 2nd, doesn't mean I have to move in before the end of April. So I'm going to push it back to sometime in May. Yes I know it means still paying for my current place for another month but you know what, it's a small price to pay to keep my sanity. As soon as I realized that, suddenly the knot in my chest went away. I felt okay about the whole thing. I now have time to sort through my stuff, decide what to keep and what to get rid of, just basically figure it all out.

I know it seems like a pretty obvious thing, but it took me a while to get there. Sometimes the most obvious things are the ones you totally miss.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

On a completely different topic...

I read an interesting article the other day about black matter and black energy, which make up 96% of the universe.
The writer says that it's like the ultimate Copernican revolution - not only are we not the center of everything, we're not even made of the same stuff as everything! If all the stars and planets and galaxies suddenly vanished, the universe would be basically the same. We're utterly irrelevant. According to the cosmologists, dark matter is not "normal", meaning it doesn't react to gravity or electromagnetism. So trillions of atoms of it could be passing right through us at any time and we'd be totally unaware of it. Talk about parallel universes! Kinda takes the pressure off, though, doesn't it?

Well, who'd a thought?

Day 4 (?)
Crazy. I was expecting this to take months. Hoping it would take months, in fact, because I couldn't face the prospect of actually moving. We never get what we want. Or, we get what we want but not how we want it, or expect it. It's not 100% certain, but it looks like I'll get the apartment. A perfect case of be careful what you wish for because you might get it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Gone and done it

Yes, I have. I put a deposit down and filled out a rental application. What a ridiculous exercise that was! I told my cute little real estate guy that when they run my credit rating, they're gonna want to pay me to move in! He said, they'll probably ask for an extra month's security or a co-signer because my salary isn't high enough. I asked him if he realized how utterly laughable that was, not to mention insulting. I didn't take it personally of course, but I'm not going to get a co-signer. I don't need no steenking co-signer. I'll show 'em my tax returns from last year. I might even consider an extra month's security but seriously guys, forget the co-signer. If they don't want me, the hell with 'em.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Day of Decision -- it's too soon!!!

Day 3

I saw four places this afternoon -- and one of them I loved! One was too expensive and not great anyway. One was not very intresting. One was quirky and really interesting but not really that nice. But then there was this REALLY GREAT PLACE! It's all brand new, just renovated. Lots of really nice details, like crown moldings in all the rooms. The kitchen is gorgeous. Beautiful granite countertops, all new appliances and really nice cabinets with lots of drawers. It's open to the living room with lots of counter space. I think there's room for my dining table. And how about this -- it has a BIG balcony!

The small bedroom is bigger than the one I have here but the master bedroom is smaller. But even so, I think it's big enough.

Drawbacks: there's only one bathroom, although it's brand new with very nice fixtures. Also, there's no garage in the building. So I'm going to have to find somewhere for my car. And I'll have to go back to taking my laundry downstairs and sticking quarters in the machines. But the price is in my range. Oh - I forgot to mention, I really like the neighborhood. It's pretty much exactly where I wanted to be. And one of my really good friends lives right across the street.

Now I have to make a decision! I hate having to make really important decisions under pressure! I didn't want to put myself in this position! It's probably the nicest place I'm going to find that I can afford. But this is a big deal. And I'm so not in a hurry to go through the whole moving thing. AAAAHHHHHHHHH! I don't know what to do!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A foray on my own

Day 2
Saw a place on craigslist. It was being listed by the onsite rental agent, so I went on my own. I felt a little guilty but what the hell. The building is new, six stories high. It's in an area that's kind of on the fringes of the main residential part of this particular neighborhood. It's in midtown, which is...kind of hard to describe if you don't know it. It's a combination of businesses and working class residential buildings. But they're starting to build and renovate farther and farther west, which means farther from the center of where life happens. So, the rents go down but the nice things that make a neighborhood desirable also go down. This mean artists live here. Which is a good thing. But it also feels kind of isolated. The building's on the south side of the street and the apartment is in the front, which means the windows face north. But, they're not really windows, they're walls of glass. Which means there's more light. But it also means that you're very visible from the outside. There are blinds on all the windows but even so, I'm not wild about it. Also, the windows face across to a brick wall. There's one window that faces west so I would get nice sunsets, but eh. The rooms are small. I would have to jettison about half my furniture. I'm thinking no on this one. But at least I took a look at it.

Also, no drawers in the kitchen. And no microwave.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Illusive Apartment: The Search Begins

Day 1:
Met my agent during my lunch hour at a building near where I work. He is the son of the woman who helped me buy and sell the house I no longer own. She was fabulous and I made out like a bandit on that transaction. Her son is very cute and seems to know what he's doing. Since I said I was fairly open as far as neighborhood, he figured he'd show me a few places downtown in the financial district, which is literally a few blocks from work. After 9/11, a lot of effort was put into making downtown an attractive place to be again. So developers were given lots of incentives to convert half-empty office buildings into residential ones. The problem is, it's not the kind of neighborhood I'd like to live in. It's very busy and crowded during weekdays and fairly dead the rest of the time. More and more people are moving in, and I see more baby strollers every day, but even so, I don't like it. And the apartments, well...even if I liked them I couldn't afford the nicer ones. The rooms are small and the worst thing is, most all of them are dark. The is the area where the original city was built back in the 1600s, so the streets are narrow. And the buildings are all tall so very little sunlight gets into these places. Too grim for me. And too expensive. So at least one positive thing came out of today's looking: I know I don't want to live down there.

I'm gonna poke around on craigslist over the weekend but now that I'm using Jeffrey, I think I'll let him do most of the legwork. The next thing we're going to see is on Tuesday. He says it's very nice. It's on a high floor and has lots of windows and a great view. If I remember, I'll bring my digital camera.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Big decision, other big problem solved

I've been talking about this for months now and I figured either I'd better shut up about it or I'd better do something about it. So I've opted for the latter. I'm about to begin apartment hunting. I'm moving back into the city. Enough of this lurking in the burbs at the city's edge. I no longer have a reason to be here. Most all my friends live in the city. Those that don't have cars and have no problem with driving in. I work in the city and my commute is now an hour and 20 minutes each way. I have a real problem if I want to do something after work because the buses run less and less frequently the later it gets. So tomorrow I'm meeting a real estate agent on my lunch hour to look at a few places. I don't have a lease now and I don't have to get out of my place at any particular time so I can look until I find something I really like. Of course I'm going to have to pay more but I'll save on utilities because most apartments in New York include gas, heat and water. So I'll only have to pay for electricity. Some even include AC, but not too many. This month, my utility bill was $350. But those savings will be offset by having to pay for a garage. I am NOT parking my car on the street. So I'm pretty excited about this. What I'm definitely not excited about is packing. I'm trying to not think about that part.

The other big problem solved was a structural problem with my play. Two nights ago I figured out how to fix it. I'm thrilled! Now I can go ahead and write the scenes. For me, the hard part isn't the writing, it's the construction of the story. Now that I' know how it works, it shouldn't be too hard. Yahoo. This calls for more Peeps.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Life begins again, and not a moment too soon

In my universe, there are two sure signs that spring is on the way. The first happened a couple of weeks ago when pictchers and catchers reported to spring training. And very shortly now, I'll be able to hear that very special clack of the bat on the ball -- the unique and wonderful sound you can only hear in March. Once they come back up North and into their full-size ball fields, the sound is different. Less intimate, less immediate. Minor league ballparks come close, but it's still not the same as spring training games. But for now, just knowing that the guys are down there is great.

The second sure sign of spring -- well, I saw it today. I can't believe it had evaded my seasonal radar till now. But be that as it may, I was in CVS, scouting for nifty little who-knows-whats, and there they were. Marshmallow Peeps. Yup. Peeps. I don't know why they hold such a special place in my Hierarchy of Important Icons but they do. It's largely symbolic, I think. I mean I do eat them but my affection for them has to do with much more than just soft, sweet squishy stuff. A Peep embodies everything hopeful about spring. The sense of renewal, of anything being possible. Kind of like the confectionary version of the bat on the ball in a Florida ballpark.

Of course now they make Peeps for every season. But you know they're not really Peeps. They're just Marshmallow-y shapes that taste the same as Peeps. Real, true Peeps are the chicks. Not even the bunnies count. And yellow. They have to be yellow. I mean, whoever heard of a pink chick? Or even worse, purple? There's just certain things you shouldn't mess with. And Peeps are one of them.

But today I can forgive them, because now I know spring is truly on the way.