Sunday, February 25, 2007

It's a jungle in here

Furniture arrived as scheduled Friday. All the boxes were brought in first (kind of a backward way of doing it, to my mind), then all the furniture. Now, the apartment is effectively a labyrinth of boxes stacked almost to the ceiling, with pathways carved out to the front door, bathroom, kitchen area and bedroom.

Got the bedroom in order first. Yes. Yes. My very own bed, for the first time in almost 10 months. Gloriously decadent sleep! And my clothes put away properly in the chest of drawers. I've set up a tiny (because tiny is all that's available) computer/writing nook in my bedroom, right next to one of the arched windows. I suspect I'll be writing a lot about trains or things that move like trains or sound like trains, since the Metro North line runs under my window. We'll see how the environment affects my little stories.

I'm really under the gun, trying to get as much in order as possible before Wednesday. I'll be in Ft. Lauderdale (I know, sob-sob) at a conference from Wednesday to Saturday. Back into NYC for Sunday, then Monday - off to Africa! It's all fast-forward right now. And since I'm working all weekend (go in at 1:00 today), I don't know how much I can get done in time for the dog-sitter to arrive. Sigh.

Thanks for all your good wishes, friends. And thanks for hangin' in with me while I get this stuff settled. (I promise to blog about Africa before I go, and - here's hoping - while I'm actually there.)

Must unpack more books - cheers!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Still here

Me, immobilized by work and demands on my time.
I was in Atlanta last weekend to meet the movers and pack a bit of furniture and other belongings to shift up nawth. And since it was World Mission Sunday (how many of you knew that?), I was guest speaker for the adult ed session at dear All Saints'. And 'tween the duties, lots of good food with family and friends. All in all, a much better (and shorter) journey home than Christmas proved to be. But no time to blog, alas.

I'm completely snowed under at work. January and most of February have been taken up with expanding our newly-designed website, World Mission Sunday planning/resources, gathering background resources in preparation for Bishop Katharine's trip to the much ballyhooed Primates' meeting in Tanzania, preparing for the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (taking place over the next couple of weeks), and sorting out plans for upcoming conferences and the big trip to Africa in two weeks. Everyone around here's going crazy - so much to do, so few hands on deck (though the ones we do have are quality), such stretched financial resources.

In short, no time to blog-post at work, and too tired to blog-post at home. I'll try to get back on track soon. My furniture arrives tomorrow (yea! my own bed!) and I hope to find a way to post throughout my upcoming travels.

So until things get back on blog-track for me, sort out the following for me:
  • Stop pre-empting House for American Idol! Aargh!

  • Strap Britney into a rehab facility and slap her parents.

  • Let the Oscar wagers begin.

  • Bury James Brown and Anna Nicole, for God's sake.

See? I still have time to pay attention to nonsensical trivia. Hm. And tomorrow night? My own bed.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

Finally got some snow, though it's mostly ice pellets and slush. Nothin' I ain't never seen before. It's actually my second nor'easter - I was up here in February 1996 when one of these blew through. Didn't slow me down then, either. Lot of complaining from the natives, though. Wah-wah.

I keep waiting for the urge to stock up on milk and bread to strike me, but it hasn't yet. (Maybe because I actually have milk and bread at the apartment.)

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!

Best o' Show

James, the English Springer Spaniel. Lovely dog. Glad a terrier didn't take it again (or one of the poodles - what were they thinkin'?). None of 'em have a patch on my Bailey, but Westminster's always fun to watch. (Yeah, Liz, it's like Crufts, except that Crufts is a lot bigger, I think.) Next year, I plan to be in Madison Square Garden to see these wonderful pooches live and in person (in canine?).

Monday, February 12, 2007

Talk amongst yourselves

My candle's burning at both ends and the middle, and I haven't had much time to blog. And so many earth-shaking events have happened lately that truly need my keen edification! (Insert *sigh* and a little shake of the head.)

Why, I haven't even had time to give my opinion on:

  1. The diaper-wearing murderous astronaut

  2. Snow pile-up in upstate New York (yet, 'nary a flake in the City)

  3. Anna Nichole trainwreck (can't look away)

  4. Hugging skeletons found in Italy

  5. Frankie Laine (RIP, Mule Train)

  6. Molly Ivins (RIP, and thanks for kickin' ass, girl!)

  7. Dixie Chicks' sweet revenge (mo' kick-ass Texas girls, Earl!)

  8. Westminster Dog Show (tonight and tomorrow - can't-miss TV fer sure)

  9. Cartoon Network marketing run amok in Boston

  10. All-Helen Mirren, All the Time (but she deserves it)

Sorry. No more time. Talk amongst yourselves, and I'll get back to you when I'm not so verklepmt.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Best boss ever

I don't know whether it was my good fortune or bad luck to have the best boss ever very early in my work-life. He was nice as nice can be but could give a wonderfully drawn out Southern "bullshit" when the situation called for it. He knew his stuff and knew when folks weren't pulling their weight.

For those of us eager to soak up any kind of learning and experience, he gave his whole-hearted support for whatever we wanted to do to hone our skills. He had a carved, wooden "name plate" on his desk, which, upon closer inspection, spelled out: "Awquityourbitchin." We eagerly worked double-shifts for this guy, who often added hours to our timecards because he knew we weren't getting paid enough.

His name was Bob Doty, and I found out the other day that he died January 21. He gave me a job at WTCG-TV, Atlanta, Georgia, in October 1975 (before many of you were born). It was the days of Earth Shoes and wide bell-bottom jeans, 2" reel-to-reel video tape, and well before anybody knew who Ted Turner was. This little po-dunk television station cranked out all sorts of weird little things and ran whatever old TV shows and movies we could get our hands on (cheaply). Who knew it would grow into the Turner empire?

Bob put me to work in two departments to test my mettle - the film department (ha! all we did was clean the film and put in yellow leader film to alert master control about where to stick in a commercial) and master control. I worked all shifts and volunteered for any new effort that came along. Bob's attitude was, hell - go for it!

That's when you learn the most - getting your hands dirty, trial-and-error ooh!-let's see if this works!, making (honest) mistakes without getting fired. We learned more about television in a couple of years under Bob Doty than anyone else could learn in 10 years. That's what a great boss does - finds good, enthusiastic, smart people and puts 'em to work. He trusted us. We trusted him.

I've had very good bosses in my various careers, but they all fall just a tad short when compared to Bob. It was a positive, fabulous way to start my life-long journey of work.

Thank you, Bob Doty. May the angels of classic sit-coms and K-Tel/Popeil commercials watch over you. Bet you don't need your "Awquityourbitchin" sign in Heaven.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Ice, ice, Baby

Here are a few shots from yesterday's venture into Central Park (18 degrees F, I think it was). Discovered a whole new section of the park. Harlem Meer (frozen in foreground) and the Conservatory Gardens. The little dancing girls in the fountain statue look blissfully unaware of the cold. At any rate, Bailey and I enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Still no internet or cable TV in the new digs. I keep gettin' stood up by the installers.

That's OK. I just settled in to DVD-land. Watched the entire 6-hour PBS series on the history of Broadway. Then I was off and running with an eclectic mix: The Innocents (I still don't really get what happened), The DaVinci Code, The Ice Storm (how apropos), Best in Show, and Mary Poppins (always save the best for last).

And that's what I was doing when I wasn't freezing off my pa-toot on my little walkies with Bailey (who seems not the least bit fazed by it all).

And today? Well, today I had jabs for yellow fever, polio (booster), Hep A and B, plus I acquired pills for malaria and typhoid. (Er, rather, pills to avoid malaria and typhoid.) All that's left now is the visa for Kenya. I think that'll be a Friday-thing.

Current temp: 17 / wind chill makes it 2. Personally, I can't tell the diff once the thermometer goes below 20. Cold be cold, 's the way I see it.

Stay warm out there, my little Eskimos.

Friday, February 02, 2007

T'ain't nothin' easy

Survived - barely - yesterday's move. Still have a few things at the old place that I need to bail out later today.

Phone was connected yesterday but not DSL (even though the order was with the same company). No computer. So today, I cancelled the original order and went with a company that could get me going by Tuesday at the latest. Knockin' wood real hard. I think I can rig the dial-up (dial-up!) to carry me till then. We'll see.

Cable TV folks didn't show yesterday, even though scheduled. Spent this morning on the phone bullying them 'til they agreed to come tomorrow. Knockin' wood . . .

The new neighborhood will take some getting used to. I already miss my Botox'd rich ladies of Carnegie Hill.

We'll talk about the noise another time. Again, it will take time to get used to it.

Doin' visa/innoculation work this week to get ready for Tanzania and Kenya. Did I forget to mention I'm going to South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya for 3 weeks in March? My bad. More about that later.

So did the Groundhog see his shadow or not? Don't know if New York has the equivalent of Panxatawney Phil or Gen. Beauregard Lee to forecast the coming of spring (maybe Bob of the Bronx? Brooklyn Betty? Quincy of Queens?). We really haven't had any winter here to speak of so don't know if it matters much.

What's with the baby corn in Chinese food? Just too weird to eat, so I have to pick it out. Regular size corn is 'way better.

I'm in a funk. Don't mind me.