Monday, August 23, 2004

Little Old Ladies...

On 59th Street the other day, coming from must have been either the hospital or a doctor's appointment in the neighborhood where I work, was a little old lady in a brown tween suit, with the kind of mashed up face that older women sometimes have. She was being pushed in a wheel chair by someone who clearly worked for her and was helping her get around. On her lap, she had a big shopping bag from Agent Provocateur, which is a haute-fashion undergarment store. (The link is definitely not work-safe.)

I love New York.

Shelving System

Last week, I had a cold and I spent my sick day trying to procure a drill that would allow me to hang my container store shelves in my closet. There is brick under the walls, so my hand 7.5 volt Black and Decker drill wasn't doing it.

They look nice, they look quite well organized, and the vast majority of the things that I wanted to fit inside do, with only a little bit of moving things around in order to get to various other things.

I'm still in nesting mode. When I leave for work, the only thing I want to do at night is come home and clean the litter box. I've served lots of little meals on my end table coffee table and I have high hopes of selling some of the furniture that is in the way still taking up space.

Monday, August 16, 2004


The apartment is coming along nicely. But there appear to be an unending number of projects that are essential to establishing order in a small space. I find myself drawn to home after work, drawn to the installation of curtain rods, the measuring of kitchen cabinets, and the destruction of graduate school files for example. One afternoon was devoted to separating myself from two boxes of cards, ticket stubs, and playbills. I was gratified to get everything into one box and I probably could have reduce the contents of that box more. My fingers were itching to toss various packets of letters from people I had not spoken with in years; but somehow I just couldn't do it. I decided that the pleasure of reading the letters again at some point in the future, as a way of remembering a different time in my life, would outweigh the freedom gained from ridding myself of that particular box of clutter. I am trying to embrace the process of cleaning, extracting, leaving behind things they might be weighing me down. But that requires a balance with maintaining the pleasure of having reminders of other parts of your life. For instance I found six letters from a student in Northern Ireland that I had during an internship I did in a school. I remembered that she had written me, but had no idea that it was that many times. My compromise is to limit myself to one box. If everthing I have saved between 1995 and 2004 is in one place, then I can't be too out of control.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Home again

Well, I am back in New York. On my third day back at the office, getting caught up, taking stock of everything I have to do. The apartment is starting to look less like someone's storage space and more like my home, which is nice. Still lots of little organizing chores to do, lists to make spaces to measure, bookshelves to obtain, but definitely coming along.

The vacation was great, the travel was wonderful, I was completely away from the internet for two weeks entirely, just checked email in Barcelona and then at the airport hotel for a few minutes. Also, I left my cell phone at home, naturally and found great relief in knowing that the ringing sounds were never, ever for me.

In one hundred words or less, on vacation I went to thermal baths, stayed with a French family with a terrace and a mountain view, visited two abbeys, hiked my way to one of them, saw all the places where Salvador Dali lived and worked, including a visit to the Museo-Teatro Dali, which is something else. Stayed in a backpacker hotel in Barcelona that looked like it had furniture dating back to the Spanish Civil War, read The Forging of a Rebel by Arturo Barea (which I am going to talk more about later), which I recommend to everyone the tiniest bit interested in Spain, unions, anti-fascism, swam in the Mediterranean on several occasions and ate octopus, wonderful fish, jamon iberico, drank cheap rose wine, and many wonderful cold beers.

Now I am back, and am enjoying getting accustomed to the new home. Also, starting today, I got back to the thirteen week plan, from which I took a three week hiatus. I biked in to the office today, which was nice because I got to take advantage of a few sunny cool days that New York City sometime has during the summer.