the car

I haven’t been driving the new car much mostly because the radio isn’t as good as my other car and there’s no AC and the windows crank, but I did get new plates for it. This was a heavy driving weekend. I must have gone 500 miles just getting to two dinners and a doctor’s appointment. It involved some amazingly lovely parts of route 100, both under 89 and above, and some not-that-interesting parts of route 89 that I’m already sort of bored with.

I got two add two photos to Wikipedia [Buels Gore and Hancock] and decided to update my 251 club status. I have 38 towns left in VT that I’ve never been to.

We’ve had thunderstorms here. Enough so that I was driving down a pretty empty part of Route 100, just north of Stowe and I heard the Emergency Broadcast Signal and then the “this is NOT a test” message and a warning about “quarter-sized hail” I came around a bend and I could see the massive thunderhead full of lightning spraying all over the place, in the direction I was driving. I got to Stepahnie’s house just as the winds were picking up and got to sit around watching the lights blink on and off for a while but the hail never materialized. I got home several hours later and all the appliances were telling me that my power had been off too.

come ooooooon autumn!

The pool is going to be open until 10 pm. This is great news. This means there will be something to DO at 9 pm around here during the week.

I went to the movies again, this time with Rick and Sarah. We saw Ratatouille and then it started to pour rain so we skipped out on Pirates of the Carribean 3 which is okay by me. Then a bunch of social stuff fell through (mixed signals plannign a lake trip, too many clouds for flying) and I knew I was back to my old self again when I shrugged and thought “oh, well I guess I’ll have some free time to do a bunch of stuff around here” And I did.

I took all the recycling out. I cleaned up the kitchen. I took the hanging baskets with the fake plants on them off the kitchen ceiling (you’d have to see it to really get it) and put them out on the porch where they look nice and are more easily dusted. I mopped the floors. I paid the bills. I did the laundry. I unpacked some stemware that I’d brought home from my Mom’s place months ago and put the box out in the garage. I planned the Nova Scotia trip. I updated my blog software (well, I’m in the process now). I finished a blog project for a friend. I started another blog project. I downloaded some music. I changed lightbulbs. I did a little dusting. I threw out a bunch of bottlecaps with pithy sayings because I didn’t have anything to do with them. I wrote a few letters. I made plans to move my 401K from the random people who were managing it to Fidelity who has the rest of my investment-type money. I called the fuel oil people.

You get the idea. It felt GREAT. It’s been getting cold here and tonight I had tomoato basil soup and a two-cheese grilled cheese sandwich to welcome the Autumn. The Virgo Month of Leisure begins on Thursday and I think I’ve gotten a lot of picky nonsense done that I will NOT have to do while I’m trying hard (and failing, as usual) to relax.

Plus I’m training to be a lifeguard. More on that in a few days.

free day in August!

I got back from Seattle Wednesday morning the first and Wednesday was a sort of predictable sleepy haze. My sister arrived on Friday (see drive-in pic below) and there was a meetup at my house last Saturday for about 13 people. My friend Joanne stayed over so she wouldn’t have to drive down the moose and bear highway late at night. Sunday Gordon stopped by briefly with his cheese head and I had a friend from libraryland swing by on a trip through the Northeast for the evening. Monday I hung out in Randolph with my friends’ three cats. Tuesday my friend Peter stopped by on his trip around the US and I got to pick him up at the train station right in Randolph which is something I don’t do very often. It’s nice to get to walk to the train station. Gordon showed up at about 1 am on his way back from a punk show in Pennsylvania and he slept here brielfy before catching a morning flight. I drove Peter to his Dad’s house — one of my all-time favorite houses but alas I don’t want to live there — and then it was back to catland until Tom (MetaFilter user Meatbomb who sent me a lovely satchel from Afghanistan as well as this excellent hat) showed up with his fiancee on their first stop on their cross-country adventure. I made them some waffles in the morning and sent them off to Niagara Falls. Then it was back to clean-up and laundry and closing down the catsit for my friends’ return. When my friend Finn showed up last night I wanted to take a photo of him holding a sign that said LAST BAG but forgot about it entirely and we went for a walk down by the river and ate some homemade foccacia and were savaged by mosquitos.

I went to bed in an empty house and woke up with a totally open day. Well, open until I have dinner with friends this evening and I’ll probably hop into the pool before then, and I guess I have some errands to run. My plan is to spend the next few weeks doing some local visiting. I have friends renting a lakehouse up in Vermont and a few other pals with new babies a little farther out that I’d like to see sometime before things get hectic again. The hectic, of course, coincides with the Virgo Month of Leisure, as usual.

drive-in, success!

Watching Harry Potter

I had a bunch of people over to my house for a pseudo-MetaFilter meetup. Then some of us went to the drive-in. It did not rain. I did not go alone. The weather was nifty and the stars were amazing. There was something really fun about watching Harry Potter on the big screen and seeing shadows flitting over the whitewashed plywood. Bats!

how much?

I have heard about people that lie to their psychiatrists. I almost lied to my mechanic today when I took my new (to me) car in for an inspection and some new tires. For some reason I was inordinately concerned with what he thought about the car and my ability to have gotten a decent deal on it. He liked the car and didn’t call me any names when I told him, honestly, what I paid for it. Yay for new cars.

how was seattle, how seattle was

more than anything it reminds me of a veterinarian's office

This is a post I was meaning to write for a while. It was going to be the post of “where did my Summer go?” and then just about the time I got motivated enough to start typing, I was off again, and then I was down again.

The short story is that in mid-May my friend and good family friend Pat died. This was the most recent event in what has generally been a somewhat down year including dating a third year law student, breaking up with a third year law student, my Mom being sick, me having miscellaneous mystery ailments and a good dose of hypochondria, and this rainy swamp that passes for Summer around here and my everdamp and moldy basement. I’ve been okay but I haven’t been great. I’m usually great. I was exercising a lot, all the time, and I knew it was going wrong when I realized that I’d already swam a mile, my third or fourth that week saying to myself “gee, I don’t feel tired at all, how strange. I must be getting better at this…” but in fact, I was getting worse.

I torqued a few muscles including one chest-wall muscle that set off a “go get a mammogram!” scare and one groin-area muscle that I kept poking to make sure it wasn’t a swollen lymph node. I have a good doctor who set me up with a good physical therapist who has been my coach and companion in getting better. Meanwhile I’ve been out of the pool. I just started getting back in it last week.

I don’t think there’s been a week that I haven’t been travelling in at least 18 months where I haven’t been in the pool but this kept me out for a month, even a little more. I had gotten used to the release valve that was regular aggressive exercise and without it, things got a little discombobulated. I got depressed, anxious, moody. I slept well for the first time in a while but also too well. I had a hard time getting up and when I got up I didn’t feel truly awake. I didn’t feel sad or depressed, I just didn’t feel … anything. Wasn’t hungry, didn’t want to see friends, didn’t want to do anything. This lasted for weeks. As my body healed, so did my mind. I just started, over the past few weeks, feeling like myself again. I was in Seattle raring to go, and I got hit with a big Summer cold that flattened me out for a few days on a friend’s couch, but I managed to get my ass on to the plane and get home on schedule. Just gives me a good reason to go back to Seattle again.

So, it’s been an odd Summer. I feel like I’ve missed some of it. I’ve been doing a lot of the things I norally do, it’s just taken a lot more effort and seemed a lot less rewarding. I didn’t really want to say anything until I knew I was putting it at least somewhat behind me, which I think I am. I’m now solidly behind in my quest to swim the length of Lake Champlain and I haven’t decided yet whether to give myself a break and add a month on to the end of the challenge or just push hard once I think I’m ready for it.

Thanks to everyone who has given me maybe a little more slack than usual. I have a hard time admitting that maybe I can’t do everything and this has been a pretty humbling experience. I’m typing this up after getting off the redeye flight back from Seattle this morning. I’m just waiting until it gets a little darker and then I’ll be sleeping the sleep of the newly returned home, coupled with the rest of the “yay I’ve got my brain back.” Welcome back brain, I missed you.

Here are some photos from Seattle
. I didn’t get out as much as I’d wanted, but I still saw some nice stuff.