31 January 2010

Day 31 2010

Blogging 31 days in a row? That might be a record of sorts. I might have to breakout my blogger sweatshirt in celebration.

I was up early this morning and finished watching Densha Otoko (Train Man), a Japanese romantic comedy. It was a pleasant film about a hopeless nerd who has a chance encounter with a beautiful young lady on a train and then needs the help of strangers on the Internet to help woo her.

I got a huge gas bill the other day due to sub-freezing temperatures, a poorly insulated house, and turning the thermostat up for a guest. Since then I turned the thermostat to it's lowest possible setting and every now and then go by and tap the lever to see if I can nudge it a little more to the left. As a result, the house can be quite nippy at times. But I have discovered the secret. Layers, lots and lots of layers. If you have enough layers, you are can be quite comfortable even in the coolest house. The long underwear is in the wash at the moment, but normally that would be the base layer. Instead I just have a white T-shirt followed by a long sleeve cotton shirt, a grey ringer shirt, a long sleeve cotton sweater, a fleece vest, and a cotton sweatshirt. A knit cap keeps the head and ears warm. About the only part of me that is cold at the moment is my fingers.

Around 2pm I spent over an hour cleaning the bathroom this afternoon. I went in to give it a touch up and then realized that far more than a just a touch up was in order. I am embarrassed to say I don't think I had given it a deep cleaning since moving in. Well, it's been deep cleaned now. It smells clean and fresh in there. Pretty much every surface, every little nook, cranny, wall tile, and floor tile is clean enough to eat off of.

Around 4pm I headed over to my parents for dinner. Mom's are the best. I was fed much better than necessary and treated like a prince. (Mashed potatoes, eye of round roast, a nice salad, coffee, cake, and ice cream)

Finally home and have fed the cat. Now catching up on my social networks and trying to decide what form of entertainment I want to fall asleep to tonight.

Day 30 2010

Saturday. A friend bought me breakfast at Ikea and then we went shopping. I made it out of with just a couple of night-lights and spending less than $10. Which is good because I had my eye on some blinds, under-cabinet lighting, sheets, bookcases, and kitchen accessories. Was a nice way to spend the morning. On the way home I stopped at Publix and bought some groceries to get started on the weekend and possibly the week. I spent the day doing laundry, puttering around the house, and watching an episode of House and an episode of The Deep End.

The adventure for the day was when I realized that the vent duct for the dryer had come loose and the hot moist air was just spilling into my dinning room. The first clue was all the condensation on my dinning room windows. The tricky part was I cannot actually see the back of my stacked washer/dryer unit. It's a single unit and slides back into a dedicated closet. So I got out my digital camera and reached around trying to get a clear image of what was going on back there. Sure enough the vent duct had indeed come off. I pulled the washer/dryer out as much as I could with the power and water lines still attached, got down on the floor, and wiggled my way behind it. It turns out that the installers hadn't actually secured the duct to the washer/dryer with anything so it was hardly surprising that it had fallen down. With no real way to secure it, I got down on the floor and wiggled my way back out of the closet. I rummaged through the kitchen benches and found of all things a  replacement flexible dryer vent duct of the needed length. I have no idea when I got this duct, how long I have had it, what it was doing in my bench, or why if I have had it unused for years, I had not given it to goodwill or something. Regardless it was just what was needed. I wiggle back into the closet again, replaced the existing duct, wiggled back out again, and presto... I had a properly ducted washer/dryer.

30 January 2010

view from the bus stop going to work Friday morning

Day 29 2010

I've had a cold since late Sunday night, today is the first day I could wake up and really say, I am feeling a lot better. Something is wrong in the universe, you never get over a cold right before the weekend! Another small kindness the universe gave me today was randomly bumping into someone from work at McDonald's and having them spontaneously pay for my breakfast. Don't know why, but it started the day on a nice note.

Went with Donald at lunch to run diapers to his son's daycare. Almost didn't make it back to the office in time for a pretty heavy one pm meeting. Immediately after the meeting I had a class to do so the afternoon flew by. I was a little late getting home, where I had some dinner, left over spaghetti, watched some Mad Men, and what else is new, fell asleep on the couch.

29 January 2010

Day 28 2010

  • Took MARTA again.
  • Finally made some progress on a work project.
  • Ate an awesomely healthy baby spinach avocado feta cheese black olive chicken breast salad for dinner.
Watched an episode of Mad Men on DVD from Netflix. Watched most of Bones, but feel asleep during the last ten minutes. I know this because at the last commercial break I looked at my watch, saw it was ten till nine and thought, hey, I am going to make it to the end of the show without falling asleep tonight! Famous last words. Next thing I know I am trying to figure out why the characters from Fringe have invaded the final few minutes of Bones.

28 January 2010

Day 27 2010

I drove into work today to have coffee and to give myself a mid-week break on public transit. I actually might be feeling a little bit better cold-wise. I am more congested, but feel less muddleheaded. Donald and I walked over to Schlotzsky's for lunch. I haven't eaten there for awhile. I did eat a little healthier dinner than normal, cooking myself a hot breakfast of scrambled eggs and blueberry pancakes. I watched an episode of Serenity I hadn't seen before, the latest episode of Castle, and went to bed early.

27 January 2010

Day 26 2010

I did buy a monthly transit pass yesterday good for 30 days, dropping $60 at sort of commits me to the entire MARTA experiment for at least a month. It should also drive up my savings if I take it faithfully. $28 savings over the daily rate if I take it every day. $12 if I cheat and drive once a week.

I hate the muddle headed feeling that I get when I have a head cold. It almost feels like I cannot think straight. I came home after work, made some dinner, laid on the couch and watched the end of The Tournament. I watched the first half of NCIS then suddenly I was watching the first few minutes of NCIS LA. Fell asleep watching TV again. Must have needed the rest.                

26 January 2010

Day 25 2010

I began the day after a really good night's sleep, with a cold. No, no, no! I don't have the time and energy to be sick! My first stop was the kitchen for some Emergen-C and Alka-Seltzer Cold. Next stop Starbucks Italian Roast and a Kashi rollup for breakfast that I quickly regretted. Starting Monday a little under the weather isn't helping my enthusiasm for the beginning of the work week.

The cold really hasn't been getting better as I have gone through the day. I did go out and get a huge bowl of hot ramen soup from the Tin Drum for lunch. Was exhausted when I got home. Killed a bit of time in front of the television watching The Tournament, your standard every seven years all the best assassins get together and have a dual to the death to see who is best. Not something I would have trouble following the plot of even with the worst of head colds. Fell asleep on the couch before eight, woke up long enough to drag myself to bed and the warmth of a down comforter.

25 January 2010

Day 24 2010

It was a rainy drizzly Sunday. After meeting with friends for coffee, I did my grocery shopping at Trader Joe's and picked up a couple of things from Kroger. I watched part of Moon which was better than I thought it would be. I am usually wary of movies with very small casts. In the afternoon I went with V to a pet memorial service put on by Paws Whiskers and Wags for their clients. V's dog Daisy died very suddenly and unexpectedly a few months ago. I wasn't my first choice about how to spend a  lazy Sunday afternoon, but I am glad I went.

On the way back from the memorial it came a gullywasher, I almost could not see well enough to drive, but I did make it home okay. About that time I realized I had a cold coming on. The back of my throat was started to get all scratchy and my nose was starting to run. I don't have time to be sick. I really don't. The rest of the day was spent finishing up laundry, making chili, and curling up on the couch watching football. I really kind of failed on the watching football part. Between games, I finished watching Moon which I give a thumbs up rating, not the greatest movie, but interesting.) The late game, which I had intended to focus on, ended up putting me to sleep. The scores kept changing without any plays being run. Or one team would be driving and suddenly the other team would have the ball for some inexplicable reason. Finally I just gave up and took my sick self to bed where I slept like a rock. Evidently I was exhausted.

23 January 2010

Day 23 2010

I had breakfast with friends at the Corner Bakery, then drove to Lawrenceville for Dean's funeral. It was moving and interesting in the sense that I had never seen a memorial service with a masonic element. Dean was a great guy and very generous with his time and energy. He helped me move my wife out of our apartment and he helped me move me into my new house. He was profoundly generous with his time and I cannot begin to say how much that meant to me. I had a hard time asking for help or even believing that people would help.

I spent the afternoon talking to a friend. Later I spent a quiet evening by myself, heated up a Trader Joe's Turkey Pot Pie, and watched Big Fan, a very interesting movie.

Day 22 2010

Friday. I took pubic transit to work which made 3 times this week. That translates to saving over 120 miles of driving which saved $14 in fuel alone. The total cost of those rides $12. So for the week I am up a couple of bucks of actually cash in my wallet before you even start on wear and tear on the car. I drive a 4 cylinder 95 Honda Accord given to me by my parents. I live in perpetual fear that it is going to need major repairs, especially since I have been learning to take better care of it as I go along. I can be such an idiot sometimes.

I took my lunch early and walked about a mile down the road to get my Starbucks on before returning to start teaching a class at noon. It was a nice day for a walk, although I didn't have time to sit and enjoy my latte and it was consumed long before I made it back to work. I should probably be grateful that Starbucks is a slightly inconvenient walk away from the office. At any given point in time, it's good for my waistline or it's good for my budget.

My friend Dean's memorial service is tomorrow and it was one of those days where people kept mentioning his name, I kept thinking of questions I would have asked him, my weekly Friday meeting with him popping up its reminder on my calendar. Not quite ready to delete it, but is it seems like bad juju to to have an outstanding weekly appointment with a dead guy. No good could come from keeping it.

22 January 2010

Day 21 2010

Well, I got up and fixed myself and that's a start, for the record, eggs and toast. Took mass transit to work and did not get rained on. Work was okay, fairly productive in the morning, got some McDonald's for lunch, got to teach a class in the afternoon, and made it home without getting rained on.Not the most productive of evenings.  Didn't do so great with eating a reasonable dinner. Watched some of the movie Trucker on DVD, switched over to the networks to watch Bones...I am pretty sure I drifted off a couple times during the show, and went to bed soon after.

20 January 2010

Day 20 2010

I awoke to the news that a good friend is a dad again as of 12:02a. Happy Birthday Brendan Martin Williams!

I woke up early and drove in today, so I actually had time have a cup of coffee and think for a few minutes this morning. Time is such a sweet luxury. Seems like I have not had any in 2010. So much on my to do lists, I try to look at that as a good thing, it means that I am alive and living.

I made myself breakfast this morning, a avocado chicken breast wrap, took the car into work, remembered to take a lunch break... even if it was quite late and I fed myself the highly nutritionally suspect McDonald's McDouble 390 cal (19 fat /33 carb / 22 protein) and a tasty if also nutritionally suspect Starbuck's Triple Vanilla Non-Fat Extra Hot Latte 200 cal (0 f/7 c/ 12 p). For dinner I had another wrap and a can of Trader Joe's Chili 460 cal (6 f /66 c /36 p).

I had a such a late lunch because I was teaching a class from noon till three on new products. I cannot believe how much I love to teach. It's funny how I get better and better and doing the classes the more times I repeat it. Sometimes I think I am going to be board to tears, but somehow its a lot more interesting teaching the class than it is sitting in it.

The air was off at work so I tried to come home to get some stuff done, but it just didn't happen. I watched an episode of Castle, and an episode of 24 (and I am still 2 episodes behind). It's just a little after nine and my eyes are feeling heavy.

Dean's funeral is Saturday morning. The weather was awesome today, but I took the car for the second time this week, which means I need to take the bus for the next couple of days. The forecast of course is for rain.

Day 19 2010

I got to work this morning and found out that a friend and close coworker had committed suicide the night before. It was like being splashed in the face with a bucket of ice water. I knew he was facing some challenges, but I had no idea that he had become so troubled that he would even consider something like this.

Dean was a good guy. He helped me become better at my job, he helped me move my wife out, he helped me move, and he would always lend an ear when I was stressing out about something.

Robert B Parker died yesterday as well. He was actually one of two authors that my ex-wife introduced me to when we first met and we had a shared a love of. (The other author being John D. McDonald). Parker wrote the Spencer series and other works, including some first rate westerns. Parker's death seems like another turning of the page as my life moves on to another chapter. There have been so many of these moments since the day I realized that I wanted to end my marriage it's seems silly, but I guess a marriage that write over 19 years isn't something that you close the chapter on in just a couple of pages or even a couple of chapters. People say it takes time, I hate it when people are right.

19 January 2010

Day 18 2010

It was a long day at work. Didn't take transit because it was running a weekend schedule because of the MLK holiday. Got there at 6:30AM but didn't leave until 5PM. Traffic wasn't bad on the way home. When I got home, I tried to relax and take care of myself. I took time to actually cook myself some dinner, scrambled eggs and pancakes, and caught up on a few television shows that I have missed lately: Private Practice, Castle, and an episode of 24. I felt a bit better until I let myself get all wound up again and made the mistake of checking my work email.

I need to make an effort to get some positive healthy routines going. I've had a perfect storm of stressors lately and it's been getting to me.

18 January 2010

Day 17 2010

Finally it is Sunday. Had coffee and breakfast with friends, but was feeling out of sorts and disconnected. I went grocery shopping at Trader Joe's, but had not made a menu plan for the week before going. So I don't know how well spent my grocery money was. I guess the rest of the week will tell the tale. I spent most of the day trying to get some work done to give me a head start on Monday and to catch up on some chores around the house. Honestly I felt a little cheated out of my weekend, like I didn't really have a chance to decompress and recharge my batteries. I felt like I was coming down with a cold so I was drinking Emergen-C every chance I got and popped down to the store for Alka-Seltzer Cold. It was a bit of a frustrating day. I watched bits and pieces of the playoff football games. I even tried taking a nap at one point, which might have helped a bit. I did make one good decision yesterday, I didn't stay up and watch the season premier of 24. I went to bed early instead. Based on how I am feeling this morning, that was a really good decision.

16 January 2010

Day 16 2010

What is it about early mornings and coffee that is such a time devourer? I sat down to have my coffee, glance at the interwebs, and to try to come up with something add to the conversation. And then suddenly it's time to finish that cup of coffee, hit the shower, and launch myself into the day.

View To Greenville in a larger map
I drove my guest back to North Carolina today, two and a half hours each way. We left close to 3PM and I got home about 8:45. The drive up wasn't too bad, but the drive back in the dark and rain was a pain. I should have insisted on an earlier time. The pain was somewhat eliminated by stopping at the Commerce Starbucks both on the way there and on the way back. Of course the downside of running on Latte Power was feeling a little jittery and out of sorts after the drive was over, I was safe at home, and trying to wind down watching the Colts dissect the Ravens 20-3.

15 January 2010

Day 15 2010

It's Friday which seemed to take its sweet time getting here this week. Work has been extra challenging this week and a couple of days away from it will spell sweet relief.

I didn't take the bus as I had planned on Thursday, I had to wear a sport coat to work and that was not compatible with the 21 degree temperature. But I made up for it on Friday.

It occurs to me it costs $4 to take MARTA to work. My commute is 40 miles round-trip. Using AAA's average cost per mile of 54 cents to drive a car, plus a dollar in tolls, the cost of driving is $22.60. So each time I take public transit I am saving $18.60.

So this hip single-speed bike I think would be really cool to commute on... if I put $18.60 in an envelope every time I take the bus... I could pay for that $800 bike by April 30th with zero impact to my budget. I need to look to see if my actual costs of owning a paid off 95 Honda Accord are anywhere near that AAA figure, but still it is an intriguing thought.

Before bed I watched an episode of Serenity as I work my way through the DVDs. It's funny how I have very little recollection of most of the episodes even though I really loved the series.

14 January 2010

Day 14 2010

The sheer number of things that I need to be saving for is depressing, and I have a couple of debts that I am working on eliminating.

  • Eye Surgery ($500)
  • Student Loans ($1,487)
  • Mortgage
Things I need to be saving for:
  • Home repairs: Furnace, AC, & roof
  • Auto: Maintenance, unexpected repairs, and the next car
  • Replace computer
  • New Bike
  • Rainy Day/Sunny Day Fund

Day 13 2010

I was nice to be able to drive into work for a change, but in a way I missed taking the bus. I have enjoyed  putting on the headphones and listening to Stephen King for a couple of hours to distract me from the real world. I have enjoyed watching all the different types of people you get to see when you ride transit through the city. I often wonder what their stories are, where they are going, what they are thinking, and what their lives are like. I could swear that this morning a pretty girl even flashed me a small from the other platform across the tracks. Riding public transit and walking definitely gives me a completely different feel for my environment. It makes me feel more connected with reality. Sealing myself alone into a metal box for hours at a time is a little too much like going off into my own head, it's easy to get lost in there. I think I will be taking public transport tomorrow just because.

13 January 2010

Day 12 2010

Was it only Tuesday? It hardly seems like it. Once again Monday was so long and stressful that Tuesday seemed more like Thursday.

It was a strange day. Somehow in the course of normal conversation I told my friends and officemates the story of the most shameful thing I'd ever done and one of them the true story of how I lost a particular job. I've only told a handful of people that stuff and it's not stuff I normally talk about. It's remarkable to have people at my job whom I trust and respect enough to feel comfortable being real with.

Yesterday seemed a slightly better day at work, although I still have more to do than hours in the day.

The good news about yesterday is that I got my car back from the repair shop! It turns out there was an after-market security system installed on the car that I didn't even know was there. My folks had never mentioned it to me. I don't know if they were even aware of it. The idea was that with this security system wired into the ignition system, you had to have this extra little dongle to start the car. So far as I know that dongle has been sitting plugged in just below the dash since 1995. Evidently last week in the bitter cold the electronics in the security system I didn't know existed gave up the ghost and even with the dongle would not allow the car to start. I could have read the entire Internet researching cars not starting and I don't know if I would have stumbled on that diagnosis. So the fix for the car was removing the security system that had never been used and restoring the car back to factor configuration, which cost me all of $140 including tow.

After picking up my car, I took my guest to the grocery store, came home, watched a new episode of NCIS and went to bed soon after. It looks like I will be able to return my guest this Saturday and it will be back to just me and the cat.

12 January 2010

Day 11 2010 (or 011110)

It was the the only binary palindrome date of the year. I left the house at 6 am and caught a bus, hit pretty much all the connections when I needed to, and it still took about an hour and twenty minutes to get to work. The temperatures in Atlanta are still remarkably cold. It might have actually gotten about freezing yesterday and taking a moment to glance at the forecast reveals it looks like we are going to return to normal temperatures for this time of year which will mean a lot of 40's and 50'.

I had the car towed to Summit Auto Service yesterday morning in hopes of having them look at it yesterday. So yesterday afternoon when it is getting close enough to the end of the day that I can think of it without throwing myself though the office window in despair at how far away it is, I get a phone call. It seems that Summit has misplaced my key and they are sure it will turn up, but they would be able to look at my car sooner if I happened to have a second key I could bring by the office, and yes they realize that I am currently sitting near Perimeter Mall, live in East Atlanta, they are in Dekalb near the Avondale Station, and I only have one car which happens to be sitting on their lot.

So instead of heading directly home I took Marta to the Avondale station which is four stops past my normal destination, the Inman Park station. I walked about a half mile down the street to Summit, dropped my keys in the night box, and then walked back to the Marta station, then took the train back to Avondale. It didn't feel that far out of the way, but it was a huge time suck. I think I left work at 5:00pm and didn't get home until after 7:30pm. On the way home I updated my Twitter status with "Sometimes you have to laugh and figure out how to make lemonade". It was genuinely funny and I am sure the universe had a purpose in that extra long commute. And I guess if the universe didn't have a purpose it's up to me to find one. If nothing else I got some amusement and some exercise out of it. And it's cool to go new places. And it was a pretty nice night for a walk. And I did get some quiet time to myself. And I did get to listen to a good Stephen King book.

It's funny how life and books sometimes intertwine. Under the Dome is about a small town that becomes completely isolated from the outside world by a forcefield like bubble and the effect that has on the town. There are some similarities to suddenly not having a car and suddenly having a bubble descending around you limiting where you can go. Suddenly I found myself nodding at one of the character's thoughts about the dome and realized I was nodding about my thoughts on not currently having a car. Again the universe seems to be messing with me, keeping my house guest here and keeping me around the house more while my house guest is here. Believe me, this isn't how I envisioned it.

They have been the perfect house guest and I suspect they are not really happy at being stuck here either.

At home I cooked up some burgers and watched an episode of Serenity. Before the episode was over I could feel my eyelids getting heavy. I think I might have set a record for how fast and hard I fell asleep when I went to bed just after.

Day 10 2010

I woke up and got a great deal of work done. But then things sort of turned sour in the afternoon, wasn't feeling good at all. I watched parts of a couple of football games, hard to focus. Not feeling very enthusiastic about the work week coming up. It's frustrating not having a car.

10 January 2010

Day 9 2010

Vick picked me up for coffee and later we met up with some other friends for breakfast. After breakfast Ed took me home where we attempted to jump-start my poor Honda. No luck. He was nice enough to run me by the grocery store to restock my increasingly barren larder. I made some phone calls, got a long walk in, but couldn't get any work done, my head just was not in it. Finally I fixed myself some leftover chili and chilled out watching the Jets/Bengals game. Hopefully I managed to recharge my batteries a bit and can get some stuff done on Sunday.

09 January 2010

Day 8 2010

The Honda still will not start, I have not figured out where and how to get it fixed. But it was a good day to take the train into work. (Although this is a picture of the journey home. The predawn journey into work didn't really lend itself to photography.) The roads where not exactly impassible, but there were definitely some icy spots and Atlanta drivers are not known for their safe and cautious winter driving. They are more likely to dart around as fast as ever and act surprised when they find themselves skidding across ice towards a collision. I actually watched this phenomenon occur outside my office window. The side street was perfectly passable if you were slow and cautious, but would bite you if you were carrying any speed.

It was a long and stressful day at the call center. The snow, ice, and school closings resulted in a high number of call outs and I had to spend most of my time on the floor which is going to leave me with more work this weekend than I would like.

With the car temporarily disabled, I have been thinking again of a commuter bike, both the Surly Steamroller and the Raleigh One Way are starting to look very interesting.

07 January 2010

Day 7 2010

I took a few minutes off to drink some coffee and watch Jennifer's Body this morning, I thought it a well done example of the genre, a teenage horror movie with a little bit of wit and class, but with all the "classical" elements, girls, boys, breasts, sex, teenage angst, mental institutions, spring formal, rock and roll band, demonic possession, and of course some girl on girl action. But it's not a parody of the genre, it's a rare example of the genre done really well.

Right after writing the above paragraph, I went outside and got in my car ready to start it up and head off to an early day at the office. I turned the key, the dashboard lights came on, there was a click, and... nothing. The starter didn't engage or even try to turn the motor over. I ran through the entire Denial-Anger-Bargaining-Depression-Acceptance cycle in about four minutes, went into the house, got a couple of things together, got myself in gear, walked about 200 feet down the street and around the corner, and caught a Marta bus. Score one for ITP (inside the perimeter) living!

The commute by bus was not a bad thing. I was already dressed appropriately, my iPod was charged and loaded with the latest Stephen King, and I was head to work early. There was also the most incredible sunrise. The weather was changing and the sky was absolutely soul-stirring. I am not sure I would have noticed it if I had not been standing at a Marta station. I would have been sitting in my office staring my computer screen. Car breaking down, probably around $500. Getting to see a really awesome sunrise and really noticing it, pretty much priceless.

The funny thing is the commute was longer than driving directly in, but shorter than my typical drive home. I think it might have averaged itself out. I think I will make a point of taking transit at least a few times a week once my car is running again, more if I can get in shape and buy the single speed bike I want to use as a commuter.

Before going to bed, I watched 9 on DVD and really enjoyed it. (The animated post-apocalypse film, not the Italian musical.)

06 January 2010

Day 6 2010

I woke up this morning having a work related nightmare, dreaming of plots, conspiracies, and general bad juju. I hate waking up directly from a nightmare because I sometimes have a hard time shaking it off, particularly if it plays directly into something that is going on in real life. I am sitting here, sipping my coffee, trying to remember that it is now, i am here, and i have coffee. I am trying to avoid slipping into a mode where I am either obsessively worrying about the past or the future and get focused on what I can get done today. Not what I need to get done, not what I have to get done, but what I can get done.

Wow, what a day. Left the house about 6 AM, it's 6 PM and I have just decided that my brain is so fried that I need to take a break. Come to think of it I didn't take a lunch or a break today. Stacy, Dave's wife, sent me chili for lunch... which I ate while busily working, so I did get something to eat at least.

Picked up some fast food one the way home. Diet FAIL. Watched about half an hour of Jennifer's Body. Talked to mom on the phone for a bit. Bed.

Day 5 2010

Wow, looking for something good to say about the day. I got to work at 6:30 AM, left work 6:30 PM and then only because my brain was totally fried. I came home, ate a chicken pot pie, watched NCIS, and went to sleep.

Changes at work have me stressed out.

05 January 2010

Day 4 2010

The first work day of 2010 and it started off with a bang. Major changes with a significant workload increase and refocus headed my way. It’s funny, there have been times when the prospect of change has just tipped the anxiety meter over on its edge. This time around I can tell the anxiety is there, but there is also some excitement. It’s a very weird feeling, but a good feeling.

In the middle of this really crazy day, I almost missed an important appointment taking the ex to a doctors appointment on my lunch hour, but didn’t. A little voice told me not to take an extra five minutes to get the Starbucks I was craving which would have made me miss an important meeting. I am not the best in the world at listing to that little voice, especially when it comes to something like a Starbucks that I am craving, but I did this time… just one of those little miracles I guess.

I found a Secret Santa package on my front stoop from Seattle, inside a Starbucks mug and coffee, so the universe saw to it that I got my Starbucks yesterday after all, just in a different time and place from what I had originally thought I wanted.

Later on I made another good decision that had a lot of parallels to the Starbucks choice earlier, but was considerably more intense. It will be interesting if life leaves something like that on my doorstep.

04 January 2010

Day 3 2010

Woke up, met friends, had coffee at Pot’n Pan. Went by Trader Joe’s on the way back to the house to get some groceries. Cooked pancakes and scrambled eggs for breakfast. In the afternoon I went to see Up in the Air with mom. It was a really good film, genuinely funny in places, genuinely dark in others. One of the film’s themes was the protagonist’s failure to connect with anyone which struck a little close to home. Over the past couple of years I have struggle to include more people in my life and to forge more connections with people.

After the movie I came home and fixed a spinach chicken salad for dinner. My house guest and I watched an episode of Serenity and I hit the sat early. I was feeling a little melancholy, I don’t know if was the movie, the houseguest, the end of the holidays and going back to work, or some combination thereof.

02 January 2010

Day 2 2010

I had breakfast with friends at the Corner Bakery next to Maggiano's. Came home and puttered about the house for a bit, putting the finishing touches on the guest bedroom. About 11:30 AM I drove to Greenville, about halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte to meet my ex-wife and give her a ride to Atlanta. She's not driving yet, she is in the process of getting her driver's license straightened out and getting a car. Meanwhile, her pain specialist is in Atlanta. It gave me a chance to find the one Starbucks just off I85 between Atlanta and Charlotte that I had not been to yet. We at lunch at 5 Guys Burgers and had a good conversation on the way back to Atlanta. I think we got back to my house about 6:00 PM. We talked for a bit. I got some good advice from a Plurk friend and called another friend to get a sanity check. We talked for a bit longer and watched an episode of Serenity on DVD. I think I might have ended up acting like an adult in communicating my feelings and my boundaries in plain English.

I am an ex-husband who cares about the person he used to be married to for twenty years and would like to figure out how to be a friend to his ex-wife and support her in what she tries to do as a completely independent person. I don't want to be her best friend, I want to be a friend among her friends. I am not going to try to  fix, not going to try to rescue, I'll just be someone she can call if she needs to talk.

01 January 2010

Day 1 2010

It was nice to wake up on the first day of the new year to a house that was a little cleaner and a little cozier than it started the week. Household things that I have gotten done the past few days: drained the outside water faucets, crawled across crawlspace to repair vent in foundation that had fallen off, sealed off hole in foundation for air conditioner power line, hung a set of blinds in the office, hung a set of shades in the bathroom, hung a mirror in the hallway, put some really cool Ikea nightlights in the hallway and living room, started scraping the peeling paint off the hallway ceiling, made up the bed in the guest bedroom, moved some of the-stuff-with-no-place to the attic, vacuumed, cleaned up the kitchen and organized things a little bit better, found the duvet cover, put the down comforter on the bed, washed all the dirty laundry, folded it, and put laundry away.

Lately I’ve watched a couple of episodes of the Serenity television series which I picked up for a song at Best Buy. Via Netflix I have seen: Episodes of Califonication Season 2; The Poker House (on a recommendation by Moncia Puller) which I thought a well crafted film; Blindness, a better than average entry in the Lord of the Flies category; Good Dick, which evidently is completely forgettable because I have forgotten it already; Transformers RotF, which was terrible; and The Proposal, a solid entry into the chick-flick category which I really enjoyed.

I had breakfast with friends at The Original Pancake House and then Vickie and I went saw an early showing of Avatar. I really like the movie, but I found it derivative of other works, especially Dances with Wolves, Star Wars, and LOTR. Or have I just consumed so much media that I find everything derivative. The movie did keep a sense of humor about itself without going over the top and did have some topnotch actors on-board. It was the first movie that freaked me out with how real an artificial environment could be made to appear on screen. It’s possible the 3D had a lot to do with that.

After the movie I came home and puttered around the house for quite awhile. I vacuumed again, tidied up the kitchen and washed the glass in the kitchen door making the kitchen itself look a thousand times better. I didn't use my time very well, I was a little distracted by something.

Finally had some dinner and settled in to watch Breaking and Entering.