Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Five Days and Counting

Hello dear friends, and my apologies for the multi-day post delay. The sad truth is that I've been sick, and when you're sick you don't really want to stand up at a daggone computer terminal at the daggone public library (next to some stinky semi-homeless dude playing sudoku) writing a daggone blog post. But if it makes anybody feel any better, I've been feeling totally guilty about not writing. Does it? Make you feel better?

Luckily, I am now on drugs. Penicillin has been my friend since yesterday, and my sinuses have finally stopped rebelling. The skies are sunny, the temperatures are up, and my outlook is finally bright again! Hurrah for that.

So, what's been happening since I last wrote, you ask? Let's do the numbers:

Eleven (11) . . . the number of episodes of Seinfeld I've watched on my borrowed portable DVD player;

Five (5) . . . the number of times I've been to Target;

Two (2) . . . the number of nights I've spent in the mountains at the Go-Bro's, lovin' on their Hucklehead of a dog;

One (1) . . . the number of days the Boulder Public Library has been closed, thus denying me emailing/blogging capabilities;

One (1) . . . the number of red velvet Victorian sofas I've transported in the back of The Subaru;

One (1) . . . the number of times I've been to the Shambhala Center here, which is crazy huge and intimidating compared to the 6th floor of 118 W. 22nd Street, I must say;

One (1) . . . the number of times I've gone into the office for a meeting (though my first day isn't until Monday);

One (1) . . . the number of times I've gotten really homesick watching Dave Letterman.

In short, life hasn't been entirely exciting. But that's a transitional period for you. I actually feel like my life here hasn't yet begun, seeing as how I haven't started my job and I haven't moved into my own place just yet. Which is wearing me down, I have to admit. It feels like it should feel like vacation, but in actuality it feels more like purgatory. So I'm happy to say that it's just:

Five (5) . . . days until I officially start work; and

Seven (7) . . . days until I move into my happy little apartment on Pine Street.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Karmic Payback, a Good Samaritan, and a Little Homesickness

Trite as the saying is, I can personally attest that we should all be careful what we wish for. Or how we name the posts in our blogs. Because apparently, when you title an entry "Let It Snow," it will.

Four inches worth. On top of your brand new car.

Yes, when I woke up this morning and looked out the window at my parking spot, I thought someone had stolen my beloved Forester because all I could see was white. Luckily she was still there, just hibernating. Unluckily, I had to unearth her at 8:30 am in order to get to the Boulder Medical Center. Nothing urgent--I had an appointment and all that jazz. Just wanted to check in and make sure this sore throat slash sinus headache was viral and not bacterial. Which it apparently is. The very upbeat physician's assistant I saw sent me away with a prescription for ibuprofen, mucinex, and a humidifier. Oh, and a rec for her favorite lotion--Cetaphil Cream. See, I thought I understood the concept of lotion. I thought dry skin and I were old pals. But I knew not the pain--or, more accurately, the itch--of dry skin in a dry clime. My hands look reptilian; my fingers are so sore I can barely play guitar. (Cue the sad music.) As soon as I post this I'm off to the drug store.

I returned home after my appointment and waited for Jane Yamanaka, SAL's friend from college who lives here in Boulder with her husband and two cute little girls. (Plus a third boy on the way.) She was coming by to bring me a stack of magazines she was about to recycle, a portable DVD player, and an assortment of DVDs. Bless her heart, I think Jane Yamanaka is worried about me. She seems concerned first of all that I'm new to Boulder, since she didn't have an easy time when she was first here. Secondly, she saw me in Target* yesterday morning looking like death warmed over. I was there for the express purpose of buying Kleenex (and Advil Cold & Sinus, which required my signing fifteen zillion forms declaring that I would not to use it to cook up meth) and was shocked as shite to hear my name called as I passed the toothpaste aisle. I will note again that there are approximately 5 people in this town who might recognize me in Target. It was not my intention to run into one of them, especially when I hadn't bathed for 48 hours.

Upon hearing that I was planning to hole up in bed all day, and that the house I'm staying in is a TV-free environment, Jane decided to take matters into her own hands. She called yesterday and read off every single DVD in their household, whilst I replied "yes" or "no" as to whether I cared to watch them. And you know what? I'm quite grateful. After I finish this post and go buy Cetaphil Cream, I am going home to watch The Wedding Crashers.

Speaking of home, I feel it would be disingenuous not to admit that I have been feeling a bit homesick, lo these past 24 hours. Being sick-sick is part of it, for sure. But last night I did shed a tear or two (or about 250) for the life I just walked away from. The trigger was writing a letter to ND, my beloved therapist who still doesn't have email. I signed off, "I miss you already!" and then, upon realizing that I really did, proceeded to lose it. Luckily nobody else was home.

I fully realize that one day, in the not too distant future, I will look up to find that Boulder has become home. But for right now, in the words of the inimitable Neil Diamond, "New York is home but it ain't mine no more."

*If it seems like I've been to Target every single day since I left New York, that's only because I've been to Target every single day since I left New York.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Let It Snow

There is a myth that persists throughout the American consciousness, which is that Colorado is all snow, all the time. This is because when folks think of Colorado, they tend to think of Vail and Aspen, where feet-thick powder is the raison d'etre. But what many don't realize is that 2 million of the state's 2.6 million inhabitants live along what's called the "front range," or the plateau that runs along the foothills. This plateau is flat. It looks at the mountains, but it is not in the mountains. Were one to describe its ecological makeup, one might call it "alpine desert"--i.e., high and dry.

Yesterday, as I drove back from dropping SAL at the Denver airport, I basked in the true beauty of life on the front range: clear blue skies, white peaked mountains on the Western horizon, space as far as the eye can see in every other direction. And tumbleweeds. Literally, tumbleweeds. (They're so cute! They tumble!)

Do you notice what's missing from this picture? Let me give you a hint: Over 22 inches of it dropped on my friends in NYC this past weekend, at the same time as SAL and I were driving around with the moon roof open.

But I shall now retreat from my high horse, as last night we did have a flurry. It happened as I was driving back from the hospital at around 10pm, after spending the afternoon/evening with J.Go and G.Bro as the latter awaited his second-to-last surgery. Other than a really, really weird anesthesiologist (when J.Go asked him a question he paused, looked directly at her, and said defensively, "Anesthesia is an art, not a science. Okay?") the whole thing went over pretty smoothly. We all LOVE his surgeon, Dr. Desai. Very capable, calm, responsive, explicative, and kind. I'm happy to report G.Bro is getting very good care.

Me, on the other hand? I'm getting no care whatsoever for what I suspect is a sinus infection. Damn that COBRA, which I don't understand at all. But getting sick might as well have been on the schedule. I got sick my first week in NYC as well, and back then I didn't even have a bed to sleep on. I'm much better off these seven years later in my little Victorian sublet room in my little Victorian house looking out my leaded Victorian windows at the beauteous mountains.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Day Three In the People's Republic of Boulder

Greetings from the Boulder Public Library, where I suspect I'll be spending a good bit of time over the next two weeks. This is for two reasons: 1) I don't start work until 2/27; and 2) there is free internet here, and I have no internet available to me elsewhere.

In other words, expect these posts to be short and sweet, since I have to stand up while I write them.

Not that I should be complaining about standing up, as I have heard one burns more calories that way than by sitting down. Burning calories is at the forefront of my mind right now. SAL and I just finished what may in fact be the best, most delicious, most highly caloric breakfast I have ever consumed. For we just left Lucile's Cajun Cafe, known for its ridiculously amazing beignets and its spicy, hammy, Cajun Breakfast. (Think red beans, ham hocks, eggs, hollandaise sauce, grits, and homemade biscuit. Yes, I just ate that.)

Lucile's is located an all-too-brief four-block walk from my new apartment. This, my friends, is classified as a problem.

Those of you who will be visiting me in the beautiful mountains, including but not limited to The Captain and Cece's Mom, who are coming in July, will definitely be introduced to Lucile.

Update on G.Bro

I hung out at the hospital again yesterday with G.Bro and J.Go. I re-strapped G.Bro's foot boot more than once. I watched as he made a valiant effort to walk, aided by a walker and a kind physical therapist, down the hall. I tried to coax him to order ice cream from room service, but he didn't want anything "too sugary." Anyone who is under that much morphine and still worried about consuming sugars is going to be so fine.

His surgery to remove the heavy metal frame keeping his knee in place is on schedule for tomorrow afternoon. I'll be dropping SAL at the Denver airport around 11:15 am, and will head directly over to the hospital to provide what moral support I can offer. I'll report back as soon as I can.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Good news, bad news from Colorado

The good news is this: I have arrived in Colorado to sunny bright blue skies, white snow-capped peaks, and a cute little interim rooming situation in a historic Victorian on 7th and Arapahoe.

The bad news is this: G.Bro, famed husband of the Go-Bro duo referred to in posts past, had a terrible skiing accident on Tuesday. I didn't want to write anything here until I saw him with my own eyes, which I did yesterday and will do again shortly. He and J.Go were skiing with friends at Breckenridge, where a tree apparently had it out for him. He broke his left leg in a very painful way, had some internal injuries, and had to be helicoptered to Denver where he was put into surgery immediately. He's been at St. Anthony's hospital ever since. He's scheduled for another surgery on Tuesday.

He's going to be FINE, though--never fear. Yesterday when I saw him he was cracking bad jokes like always. The doctors knew he'd be okay when, upon hearing that he'd had his appendix removed while he'd been under, he asked if they'd replaced it with a table of contents.

You can write him and/or send him very manly floral arrangements to:

[Ask me if you don't know his real name and want to write him.]
Room 433
St. Anthony's Hospital
4231 West 16th Avenue
Denver, CO 80204

Off to the hospital again, and will send a new dispatch as soon as I can get to a computer.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Greetings from Kearney, Nebraska!

Now, you're wondering, what the heck is there to do in Kearney (pronounced "Carnie") Nebraska?

The answer, as far as I can tell after 3 hours here, consists of the following:
  • Eat at Grandpa's Steak House (pretty decent filet, preceded by a ragingly bad salad bar experience. Let's just say smoked herring played a primary role.);
  • Go to a conference, since Kearney is the Conference Capital of the state of Nebraska;
  • Post to your blog from the lobby of the Americ-Inn Lodge & Suites;
  • Visit Harold Warp's Pioneer Village.

Not that SAL and I have made it to the latter. While I'm a closet fan of the historical village experience, SAL--who has always been a fancy-shoe type of person--is rather traumatized by childhood memories of churning butter on a field trip to Connor Prairie outside of our hometown of Indianapolis. Her reluctance, combined with the fact that we got a late start out of Des Moines (a surprisingly cool and fun little town) this morning, meant that I didn't push the envelope. Instead, we spent what free time we had this afternoon at the Hastings Museum's permanent Birthplace of Kool-Aid exhibit. (I'm no fool. I may like a historical village, but I know a not-to-be-missed encounter with kitsch when I see it.)

Our only regret? Not budgeting the time to make a side trip to Alliance, NE to visit Carhenge. I never thought I'd say this, but there may in fact be a reason to return to Nebraska.

Moving on to the Weirdest Moment of the Day Award, we come to our sighting, right outside of Omaha, of a white claw-footed bathtub in the left-hand lane of Hwy 80. Once we got over the Near-Death-Experience of it all (I mean, my little Forester is proving a terrific road-trip vehicle but I can't say how she'd fare in the face of pure porcelain), we decided we needed to report this thing.

Me [practically hysterical]: Hello? Hello?

911: You're breaking up on me. How can I help you?

Me: I'm calling to report a bathtub on Highway 80! In the westbound lane, just past 193rd Street!

911 [bored, thinking she's being pranked]: Ma'am, 193rd Street doesn't intersect with Highway 80.

Me: SAL! She says 193rd Street doesn't intersect with Highway 80!

SAL [from the passenger's seat]: It was just past the 193rd Street overpass! The overpass!

Me [into the phone]: The overpass!

Needless to say it emotions were running high. And you thought Nebraska was boring.

Tomorrow, we will drive the final leg into the great state of Colorado. We plan to get up early and be on the road by 7:30 or so, after partaking of our complimentary "Expanded Continental Breakfast" here at the Americ-Inn. This should give us our first views of the Flatirons at around noon, Mountain time. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Back Home Again In Indiana

There's no place like home, or so they say. And no matter how far I roam, home still feels like Indianapolis, IN. Which is where I sit right now, a week and a day since my last post.

So much has happened in the past week I've barely had a moment to sit down at a computer, let alone post to this blog that nobody has yet laid eyes on. So with the caveat that it's a bit late, here's a summary of the past week:

A week ago yesterday: Jesus Garcia picked up my stuff from 417 Humboldt and set off on his merry way. (See previous post.) I cleaned the apartment, putzed around, sent my computer to myself in Indy.

A week ago today: I spent my last day in Brooklyn, doing more cleaning and straightening up for BS, who took over my very Genovese-connected apartment. Missed having lunch with my Shambhala beloveds because I had too much to do at home. Later little GTO came over, beers were consumed, and much goodbye-ing was in effect. Met Winslow at DuMont for dinner. Ah, how I will miss the DuMont.

Wednesday: Called a car at 6am and flew out of LGA to Denver. Met by the lovely and accomodating J.Go, driven to Boulder to start with the househunting appointments. (Not before lunching at Sherpa's Adventure, a small and delightful Himalayan restaurant with four-star chai. Seriously, nothing should taste quite as good as that chai.) Will not bore you with the details of the househunt, which was laborious. At the end of the day, drove back to Evergreen and into the arms of G.Bro and Huck, that spunky mountain dog. (A little clarification for those of you who aren't up to speed: J.Go and G.Bro are married types. Incidentally, they met at a Memorial Day picnic thrown by moi, nearly four years ago, in Prospect Park Brooklyn. They now live on the side of a mountain near Boulder, and have been an essential part of my move thus far. Shout out to the Go-Bros!)

Thursday: More househunting, chauffeured by the ever-patient J.Go. Panic sets in. Will I ever find a place that I can be excited about?? So much carpet, so little hardwood. So much stuccoed plaster wallboard, so little wainscoting. And then I find it: first floor of a Victorian, just two blocks from Pearl Street. Leaded windows, french doors, view of the Flatirons from the back porch. Oh, and a rockin' 1950s pink stove. Wrote a check immediately. (Downsides include a no-pets clause and a move in date of March 1. I'm fully hoping to sweet talk the landlord around the former; the latter, while annoying, seemed a small price to pay for an apartment this great.) Back to the mountain to eat a steak dinner and watch Grizzly Man with the Go-Bros and their neighbor, a not entirely un-grizzly fellow named Wink.

Friday: Spent all day on the mountain, much of it finagling the details of acquiring a storage unit where Jesus can deliver my stuff. Driven back to Denver International by that queen of the stick shift and MVP of the week, JGo. Picked up at the airport in Indy by SAL, best friend-type who is herself back in Indy for a couple of weeks.

Saturday: Woke up in my parents' bed, as they are snowbirding it down South at present. Orchestrated the delivery of my goods to the storage unit from afar. (Thanks to a fellow Capricorn out in Boulder, who really deserves an award. I got her a massage instead.) Went car shopping but found nothing. Ate decent Thai food and fell into bed circa 7pm; proceeded to watch more TV than I think I have in the past 12 months. Did you know there's a reality show about the Playboy bunnies???

Sunday: Woke up, bored already. Called SAL and demanded she floor it home from her trip to Cincinnati and take me to Steak 'n Shake for lunch. Which she did. (If you don't know the joy that is Steak 'n Shake, I am very sad for you and shall say no more about it than that.) After lunch, tooled over to SAL's sister's place to see her new, tiny, wrinkly and adorable twins. Hello, cute. Back to SAL's parents' place to watch the Seahawks get beat. (I was rooting for them, K&E!)

Monday: Up early to get some stuff done before breakfast at the R household. Mrs. R's biscuits and eggs--talk about a childhood flashback. Off to Speedway to look at Subarus! Met Dave Morris, a very nice young salesman. Test-drove the car I thought I wanted--Subaru Impreza Wagon--and was underwhelmed. Caught sight of a shiny new silver Forester on the lot, and it was love at first drive. GJN called and did the negotiating for me, with the result being me not just buying a new car when I had budgeted for a used one, but me buying an EXPENSIVE new car when I had budgeted for a used one. But hey, you only buy your first car once. Back at the ranch, found Dabney home from work (little bro-type housesitting for my parents) and took him to Cheesecake Factory for dinner. (Where I proceeded to cut him off sternly after watching him toss back two martinis before the entrees had even arrived. It's official: I've turned the corner and am now old, maternal, and uncool.) Back to SAL's parents house to watch Dora the Explorer with her 3-year-old niece, which was a surprisingly satisfying way to end the day.

Today: There's really nothing to say except that today I drove my new car off the lot. She's a beaut, if I do say so. You'll be pleased to know that we agreed, as we left the parking lot, never to have a car accident together. Drove in my new car to meet J&S for dinner at Sakura. Love those old birds. Then went to Target (hurrah for Target!) in my new car. Then took my new car home and put her in the garage. Then spent the next 20 minutes investigating all the cool things about my new car. Put down the back seats and assessed the sleeping potential of the new car, and re-emerged with both thumbs up. Said goodnight to my new car. Came to my computer and began this insanely long post that if you actually finished reading, really read all the way through, means you're either one of my very good friends or terribly bored. Either way, I love you for it.