Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I Came to Work This Morning

So I came to work this morning in the silver-chain rain, and smiled all the way here.  Portland is a beautiful city, especially wet and gleaming in the early morning light.

So I came to work this morning, and promptly tore the shoulder pads out of my jacket.  Caught sight of myself hurrying past the mirror in the bathroom and was struck -- again -- by the ludicrousness of shoulder pads as an additive to clothes.  At least to MY clothes.  Possibly some thin and narrow-shouldered people exist out there who feel reassured by the squareness to their outline, but I look like a linebacker.  And a cartoon linebacker, at that.  So I pulled the shoulder pads out with a quick jerk, and now I look human again.

So I came to work this morning, and one of our more recently hired agents -- a nice young family man -- came in to the office about half an hour early.  I was already there, since I avoid traffic and make use of the internet by getting to the office a couple of hours before nine.  He came in and asked if he should slide the pushbar holder back, thus unlocking the front door.  I said, "No -- still got half an hour!"  He looked blank for a few moments, and then asked, "You're here, but the office isn't open?"  As though I and the office are ONE.

So I came to work this morning, and spent at least half an hour fiddling with the hinges on the cupboard door in the kitchen.  It's some kind of fancy-schmancy hinge that has two sets of screws to adjust to make it exactly right, and if you merely tighten both of them, the door won't even come close to closing.  Which is all well and good, except that they also suddenly give way and come loose and need to be fiddled with and experimented with, and loosened and tightened and moved a fraction hither and yon.  I was tempted to merely remove it, like the momentary fad in kitchens a few years back.  But you will be glad to know that I didn't. I stood patiently on the little stool, and opened and closed and wiggled and fiddled and twisted and shoved and tightened and loosened until I was finally able to close the cupboard door.  It's a tight fit, but too bad.

So I came to work this morning, and made a pot of coffee, of which I am now enjoying a delicious and fragrant cup.  It is very tasty.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Chinese, not British

Nameless Agent just asked me to enter his name and e-mail address into the scanner so that he could send himself copies of things with the push of a button.  I agreed, and as I was doing so, he stood and looked over my shoulder.

"Arthur -- that's A-R-T-H-U-R, " he began.  Really?

"Yup, just like the King!"  I agreed cheerfully.

He drew himself back and looked with some hauteur at me.

"I'm Chinese, not British!" he said.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Birthday

Today is my birthday.  I am 49 years old today.  

Yesterday my cousin was telling me that when I turn fifty, all play time is over, I can no longer make excuses for myself as being too young to know something, or making a mistake because I didn't understand something -- "when you're fifty," she said.  "All bets are off."

Well.  However much truth you ascribe to something as didactic as that, it's not for another year, anyway.  I am 49 today.  And will be able to remember this, now, I hope, since this past year of being 48 was one of the hardest-to-remember years I have ever experienced.  I could never tell whether I was 47, 48, or 49, and had to stop and count laboriously backward from the date to the year of my birth.  And sometimes was incapable of doing that.  I just don't get numbers.  They don't speak to me, they don't live in my head.  Words, do; letters, also, do.  Numbers -- you kiddin' me?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Really Very Healthy!


I had my one-year check-up at the eye doctor's this morning before work -- turns out that the e-mail I got telling me that my next appointment would be covered by insurance was incorrect -- I still do not have vision insurance, and had to pay $100 upfront.  Going to be very tight for a week!  But that's okay -- I have bread and milk and tea and a tankful of gas.

In any case, my doctor, an NZed named Rory Cook kept murmuring, "So healthy!  Really healthy..."  which pleased me very much!  It is good for me to be told, occasionally (regularly would be better!) by someone who cannot be argued with, that my worries are for naught.  Like Bob, telling me that my car is running fine, when I am stressing over every little sound.

So, I am seeing out of very healthy eyes today!  And now that the dilation has gone away, I really am!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

No Floor to Stand On

So, last night I had a sudden swell of determination, and instead of sitting down with a plate of food and a book, I went into my bedroom, and began moving things around.  I didn't even wait until everything was put away and tidy, although later I wished I had.  You shall see.

I have been thinking about how to move the furniture in my bedroom around, to give me better usage of space, and keep me from having to walk around the foot of the bed to turn on my bedside lamp, and stand between the foot and the dresser to put clothes away, and all that sort of thing.

So I figured that if I opened the top drawer of the dresser, and leaned down to get my fingers into the gap at the bottom of the dresser, I could pull it along the carpet without taking all the drawers out (such a drag!) and then I could little by little get it away from the corner, where I intended to to put my bed.  So I did that, huffing and puffing like an old fashioned steam engine, and covering only five or six inches with each heave.  I got it over to the side of the room, and swung around so that it was directly in front of the tallboy dresser, and keeping me from getting to my closet.  

Then I went over to the bed, and stripped all the bedclothes, and the clothes-clothes, and the afghan off into one enormous pile which I heaved over into the doorway, just to be out of the way of the moving, but ready to be replaced (in part, at least) on the bed.  Then I stood the mattress and box springs up against the wall, and began trying to move the frame. 

To make a long and somewhat embarrassing story at least a bit shorter, I will just say that the headboard came suddenly all to pieces and one of the side-board parts did, too (in fact, it was already split, and just holding itself together in some bizarre and possibly magical way, waiting for me to give it a good hard tug, so it could all fly to bits at once.) 

So then I had to realize that there was nothing I could do about this, that the bed frame wasn't worth re-assembling and gluing, again, and that I had better just disassemble the whole thing, and throw it away, and get a new/secondhand one.

So I ended up doing that, which was more difficult than moving the bed in one piece was going to be -- in my imagination, anyway -- and involved carrying the separate pieces of the bed frame out into the hallway over the large hump of bedclothes and afghan and clothes-clothes which I had just hurled into the doorway -- say about thigh deep -- and put the mattress and box springs (which are the part of the bed that I was PLANNING on getting rid of, they are so old and worn out and crunchy) into the corner, and remaking it, down on the floor.  Now I was drenched in sweat, and very tired, so I clambered over the (slightly less) large pile of clothes and afghans and bedspreads in the doorway and out into the living room and collapsed into my chair for about forty-five minutes, to catch my breath and wait for my heart to start beating normally again.

And slept there, last night -- quite comfortably, in so far as anything that involves that mattress is ever comfortable -- and when I got up this morning, and was getting ready to come to work, I couldn't get into my closet.  Because there was a dresser in the way, and a pile of clothes which were on the floor preparatory to being washed, which had been pushed back into the doorway of the closet, so that even  if I had been able to clamber over the dresser, I would still have been stymied by the no-floor-to-stand-on issue.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Geisler's House

So I went to Doug and Kathy's house for dinner the other night.  It's a large modern home, looking from the outside like any other housing development home built in the 2000s.  I was sort of appalled as I drove up to the three-car garage.  It's the kind of home that wouldn't even register on my brain as I passed it, so completely do I have no desire whatsoever to live in one.

However.

The really excellent thing about this house, which has a lot of good, comfortable things about it, actually -- the really excellent thing, as I said, is the VIEW.

From the upper deck in the backyard, right up under a very tall conifer of some variety, you can see across hilltop after hilltop, and hints of valleys below. As the sun began to set, the sunset filled the entire sky, since they are high enough on Mount Scott (I know, it's called Happy VALLEY, but that's just false advertising) to have nothing in the way to the west and south.  And when it grew dark, the moon was large, vivid and right...over...there.  Moonlight drenched the backyard, already beautiful with water and bridges and flowering shrubs.  It was LOVELY.

Was it enough to make me want to live in a Wealthy House TM?    Nope.  But certainly enough to make me want to go back and visit them again.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Universal Shape

So I'm in my office reading an article about totem poles from Sitka, Alaska, that were displayed at the Lewis and Clark Exposition here in Portland in the early 1900s.  I'm always interested in the Exposition, because my apartment building was built to house the workers.

Anyway, I was talking to Nameless Agent about this, and they were looking at pictures of the poles.  "You gotta wonder what it is about that shape," Nameless mused.  "Is it like pyramids?"

"What do you mean, pyramids?" I asked, confused.

"Well, you know pyramids are some universal shape.  They've discovered that.  And all the totem poles you see are the same shape, so I wonder if they are some universal shape, too?"

"Well --" I wasn't sure where to go with this.  "Totem poles are all the same shape because they are all carved out of a tree trunk.  So maybe that makes them a universal shape.  I guess I don't know what that means, really."

 "Nobody does," said Nameless solemnly.