A three-day weekend, and boy am I happy about that.

This is going to be the summer when I get everything together. For instance, I just had the clever idea that if I took all the useless plastic bags out of the drawer under the microwave (which I never use, but others do) I could store extra paper towels there.

See, things like that.

But I have things to plant and walks to take and people to hang around with, so I’m happy to have the time to do it.

In other news,

People are getting used to the new workspace. It’s oddly quiet. Very quiet. No one expected that. I think it’s because we’re underground. Maybe we need a tape playing city sounds quietly in the background.

M is looking for a job. This is a very painful process for her. I remember the horror myself, of wandering the streets and filling out applications for jobs, like waitressing! that I was sure I was completely unqualified for. We’ve identified some possibilities, though. And the thing is, when she actually submits applications and resumes, I think she’s not quite as hapless as she thinks she is. I mean, I think she actually talks to the people instead of just mutely handing them her resume and running.

Perhaps I am just being overly optimistic. In any event, it will be an experience, right?

Notes from far away


N is in Hungary. Her class has ended, but she’s stayed on to wait for her visa to go to Saint Petersburg to live in Soviet era block housing.

It’s kind of an adventure. She thought the invitation, which she needs to get the visa, would have come long ago, but in fact it just came, and it’s a bit of a gamble whether she’s actually going to get the visa in time to catch her plane.

Luckily, I bought the cancellation insurance.

So now the plan is that she’ll submit everything and then go out to the country to work on a farm for a few days.

Today, apparently, she spent the day writing a paper in the park.

As she said about some aspect of this, although it pretty clearly applies to all of it,

“yeah, it might be ok though
or at least it will be an experience”


So, no rapture. Although there was a small earthquake, and a vase was blown off the windowsill and into the sink.

Also, I’m really hungry, and also kind of tired.


Finally Friday


Just about to go home, but here is a picture of the new workspace now that we’re moved in.

Here’s another,


and another.


Are you ready for the rapture?

I think we’re going to gather with some friends in the backyard and smell the roses while our neighbors (you know who I mean) ascend.

We will be drinking coffee, at least, when the world ends.

Thank heaven for small mercies.

This is our ride


All right — it looks like we will all survive our new environment. One good thing is that, although we are underground, we are actually closer to the outdoors than we ever were before. It’s just upstairs.

Another good thing (although some people find this a bad thing) is that our office is on the thoroughfare to the kitchen, which means that people pass by all day long.

I like a bit of distraction now and then.

I brought in some roses, too, which might help.


Settling in


Okay, it was a sunnier day today, and it turns out you can watch the light change as clouds drift across the sun, and that’s a nice thing.

People seem to be unsettled and somewhat crabby, but after a few explosions we seem to be settling in, sort of.

Also, I went out for Thai food for lunch. I think that’s going to be key — getting out of the hole in the middle of the day just to breath some air.

Oh god.



[Bad news expurgated.]

In better news, it’s been raining, and it’s now cool and lovely outside, AND I got three blueberry bushes! I’m going to plant them along the back fence and the birds are NOT going to eat the blueberries. I love blueberries.

And, there may in fact be room for K’s mother at the senior apartments of our dreams! Close to his brother’s family, in walking distance of the Giant Eagle (the local Pittsburgh grocery chain. !!) and the library, and a seemingly really nice place — full of pretty vibrant elders listening to visiting Israeli kids singing folk songs. Honestly, it appears to be a great place and it would be a great place for E. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Okay — back to the salt mines! (Ha. Not funny, I know.)

I sort of feel like Maria Shriver, if you know what I mean.


Big trees


The midwest has some lovely trees. My theory is that they get lots of rain and grow big and tall and stately.

I read The Irregulars by Jennet Conant on the plane back. It’s about Roald Dahl — apparently he was a spy in New York during World War II, working to get the US into the war. It was after he was in a plane crash and unable to fly planes for the RAF. Interesting, but pretty terribly written — you suddenly realize a chapter later that the US has joined the war and it’s never been mentioned, for instance. It gave you both too much information and not enough, and maybe the subject was somehow not that interesting — I think the writer just did not have the knack for taking lots of minutiae and making a consistently compelling story out of it, although actually, it should have been interesting. In any case — one of the things that’s rushed through at the end is Dahl’s 30 year marriage to Patricia Neal (although here we’re well past WWII). Charles Marsh, a sort of patron of Dahl’s, gives Neal some advice early on, when things are not going well. She should let Dahl manage the money, even though it was mostly made by Neal. “Marsh felt that as a successful actress, Neal overshadowed her husband and that she needed to assume a more traditional housewife role. . . . ‘You can’t have the balls in the family. You can make the money, but Roald must handle it.'”


Okay — off to the unveiling of the splendors of my new underground lair. Maybe if I line it with mosses and dried leaves I will like it better.