Friday, April 21, 2017

my buds

Had a get-together today with this interesting little posse I have, three guys who are in their twenties, my work pals. I don't want to say too much about them, because of what I am going to say, but I can say that we have fun as a group and that each of us has a good one-on-one connection with each of the others.

There is another woman who is also close with them; we were together with the group at someone else's house. I don't invite her to my house because she can be a bitch, which we all know and which isn't the worst thing; but she is the only person in the group who is condescending about my age and tries to make me feel bad about it. That is not my kind of bitch.

Two of the guys have helped me immeasurably by assembling my dinette set and both of my bookcases. They say they like doing it. I thank them profusely anyway. I can assemble fairly easy stuff, but those were a little above my pay grade.

They are all interesting and have some similarities and some differences. Two are ex-Orthodox. Two are ambitious. Two are gay. One is a great teacher. One is a natural businessman. Two keep tropical fish and are really pushing me to get a tank.

One of them said today that this apartment looks just like me, and this really pleases me. I don't even have anything on the walls yet. One of the other ones studied my plants and odd objects closely. One fell in love with my new vintage travel alarm clock. One fell in love with my secretary.

They're all kind of poor fellas (as I would be if I were living on my paycheck), so I don't talk closely about the pricey things, but I do talk about the cheap stuff; the travel alarm clock cost me about $8 or something.

I love my guys. They're sweethearts. They're interesting. They're good company. They're fun friends.

But no fish tank for me. I'm sticking with high-maintenance plants, and I'm naming them. Phoebe and Susan the African violets somehow became Phoebe and Carol. Both doing well - no pix yet.
Bella was just popping a third bloom when I took this (she had two when I got her), and now she's working on her fourth. She and Phoebe and Carol all seem pretty hearty, all popping new blooms.

But Stella and Clara the mini-violets, and Greta the mini-orchid, did not do well when I was away for four days a couple of weeks ago. Stella and Clara lost their blooms, but their leaves still look okay, so I'll keep caring for them. Greta is pot-bound and seems to have some rotting roots, and her stalk died, but I'm going to transplant her and take off the dead or sick stuff, and see if she comes back. She still has some good leaves.

Anyway, they are devoted herbalists, and always get me pretty floaty. Today was no exception.

It's too early to eat, and I'm not level-headed enough to do much housework. Luckily, I did laundry yesterday. I did just do as many of the dishes as I could, and when they dry, I'll do the rest. Dishes really have to be done twice a day, and if I fall behind even once, it sucks. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

book club!

I finally, finally got back to my book club tonight, after something like 4 or 5 months. Amazingly, all eight of us were there (some of the folks travel or live part-time elsewhere).

I was asked to join the club by someone I knew at PPSC; we got to know each other better after I left as Facebook friends, and she invited me to join maybe 9 months ago. They are a fabulous bunch: old lefties, five women and three men, mostly older than I am. They all either work in or retired from helping professions. All of the women wear arty jewelry.

We go to a restaurant once a month and discuss the book a bit, but mostly schmooze. There's a whole procedure in place for choosing the next month's book, and this seems more serious than discussing this month's book. Each person can propose up to two books (one of the men brings something he's written to promote his book choices), and then we can each vote (secret ballot) on two nominated books. One of the other guys always brings slips of paper and golf pencils for the vote. It's kind of cute.

Since we only meet once a month, it's been a little rough for me to keep track of everyone's names, how they're connected, what they do or used to do. I was terrified that I wouldn't remember a thing after all these months, but after a short time, I had all the names. We had been going for a while to a nice Szechuan restaurant on St. Mark's Place (on the site of the renowned Electric Circus, which later on hosted some grungy AA meetings). But that restaurant closed, so we went to Saigon Market tonight.

Everyone was so glad to see me again, which made me really happy, since I'm the new kid. With eight people around a round table, it's impossible to have just one conversation (though we do it for the brief book discussion). Everyone was concerned about my health and wanted to hear about the new apartment. I'm not super-close with anyone yet, although I did ride the subway partway with one woman and we got to have a nice chat. I feel very relaxed with them. It's such a good, good thing in my life.

I've been hella busy. I had been so crazy arranging the furniture delivery times that I thought both pieces were coming Saturday, when in fact they came yesterday. Good thing I had a slow start and hadn't yet gone out on many errands! The coffee table is great, and Lars himself delivered the small dresser. Lars himself is so lovely. He stuck around for a few minutes and admired the progress on the apartment.

Today was the big errand day. I went down near Kings Plaza and went into Gothic Cabinet (just in case they had a floor model of the wooden file cabinet that I love but think is too pricey); then into Bob's and Raymour & Flanagan to look at recliners. I remembered vaguely that I'd seen one I liked at one of those stores when I was pre-shopping. (It may have been in the couple of weeks between signing my lease and my accident.) I remembered it as being yellow and tweedy. Bob's had a lot of those big ugly leather recliners (some had electric up-and-down), and one push recliner that I liked, a nice blue fabric, but the wooden arms had an obvious and ugly veneer,

Then I went into R&F, let a sales guy show me a few recliners, and then I spotted the one I'd seen before - which was not yellow and tweedy, but a nice tan-ish print. And it's a push recliner, and doesn't look like a recliner - it looks like a nice accent chair. I tried it out for back comfort, and pulled the trigger. It will be delivered on Tuesday, Then I went into Kings Plaza, to browse a bit but mostly to pee, then took the bus down Avenue U a bit to check out a plant nursery I'd seen online, Came home with two big African violets, Phoebe and Susan, for five bucks each. Then back on the bus down Avenue U to pick up my prescriptions, then home.

I haven't managed to do much housework except for two loads of laundry, vacuuming the living room, and wet-Swiffering the bathroom. It'll all get done.

Tomorrow I have therapy in the city at 11, and I suspect a stop at Union Square on the way home. Sunday I have a long dental appointment: temporary bridge and I suspect some work on the crown (I never had a crown before, so I'm not sure what that entails). It's supposed to be a beautiful day so I may mosey on down to Coney Island. Monday has nothing scheduled yet, so I expect I'll be cleaning, maybe go to the Botanic Gardens if it's nice out or a movie if it isn't. Don't know yet when the chair will come on Tuesday.

Then back to work Wednesday.

When I came home, there was some sort of candlelight procession half a block from home. I asked one of the candle-carriers what it was for. He said, very seriously, "the resurrection of Christ." That's my reminder to call Mary on Sunday to wish her happy Easter.

Time to see if I have a copy of The Handmaid's Tale and then some TV - probably the new MST3K on Netflix.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


"Peaceful" is a good word for living in my own home. There's quiet if I want it; any noise comes from me or my doings.I'm close to being unpacked but there's still furnishing and decorating to be done.

I was at Jannah's new house this weekend. It's a compact version of her old house, on one floor instead of two. There are still upper and lower outside decks, only now they face a little canal which is shut off one one end and leads to a bay on the other. She brought her furniture and decor, so it has much of the feeling of her old home. It is perfectly lovely and comfortable. Considering that she was in the old house 20+ years and so not a frequent mover, she did a very nice job. I also met a couple of really great women over the weekend, which was a big plus. I need to make new friends as I can.

My bookshelves (one in the bedroom, one in the living room) are assembled and already have books and tchochkes (Yiddish for knick-knacks) on them. Also plants. I decided that since I can't have a pet, I'd get some high-maintenance plants and name them. The two mini-African violets, Clara and Stella, live in the living room. Clara did not do that well over the long weekend; I run the humidifier when I'm home. The mini-orchid, Greta, also did not do well; I suspect she needs to be transplanted. A new full-sized orchid, Bella, joined us yesterday, and she is about to pop a new bloom.She is about the prettiest thing I've ever seen.

Since I get a LOT of dry steam heat here, I bought humidifiers for the bedroom and living room - initially just for me, but both the violets and the orchids like humidity. I've moved my secretary to the living room, since I did not want to have a desk chair in the bedroom. Works better out here, though I still need the desk chair.

I'm adjusting to using my first-ever laptop. I've figured out how to use it as a "media server" so I can watch movies from my hard drive on my smart TV. (The TV is ever-so-smart.) I am much in favor of cord-cutting, and the Sharp/Roku TV has made it much easier. Between wi-fi, Sling TV, Hulu and Netflix, HBO and Showtime, I pay around $100 a month. I have more channels than I can possibly watch, and I watch a lot less TV. There is too much puttering to be done around here.

I am off from work this week and Monday and Tuesday next week for Passover. (The Jewish holidays are one of the best things about my job.) It's ended up being a busy time: I was at Jannah's from Friday night until Tuesday morning (had the first Seder there), went to the second Seder at Elise's on Tuesdays night (wasn't sure I'd be invited since my separation, but I was indeed included). Yesterday, Howard and Tina (my uncle and aunt, who live near Princeton, NJ) came into town, and we had lunch near Union Square (Blue Water Grill - yum!), and walked around the Greenmarket and a few stores nearby. (Got Bella at the Greenmarket.)

Today and tomorrow will involve the last of the unpacking, housecleaning and laundry, getting my hair trimmed and picking up prescriptions, and going down by Kings Plaza to look at recliners in the furniture stores. Tomorrow night is my book club. Saturday I have therapy at noon (my therapist finally has an office in Manhattan - we've been having Skype sessions for months), then I rush home to get furniture deliveries. I have a walnut coffee table coming, and also a lingerie chest from Lars. (Have I mentioned Lars, my wonderful Danish mid-century furniture guy, from Lanoba?) Sunday I have the dentist at 11, and no plans yet for Monday or Tuesday. Probably whatever cleaning I didn't get to, maybe a trip to Doody (home center) for a new pot for Greta, and some orchid soil.

I still have to plug my phone into my laptop to retrieve some photos; I still haven't figured out how to get it done wirelessly.

My dental work is entering the home stretch. I've already gotten two bridges to replace the protruding "vampire teeth" I had in front. Next is a bridge and a crown on the right side of my mouth. Then I'm done. After a number of years with this dentist, he and I are accustomed to each other so I'm not afraid he'll hurt me. I have a sensitive mouth. My mouth will soon be quite nice.

My dad has not been well. He went into kidney failure a number of weeks back. He's home now, but going to dialysis three times a week. He's finally starting to adjust a bit and is no longer exhausted all the time. But he still doesn't want visits. Between the dialysis and dad's new special diet, Mary is running herself ragged...but doesn't want any help. I can only respect their wishes. It's also driving Howard and Tina nuts (Howard is dad's younger brother).

Time to do some dishes and make breakfast. More to come/