Tuesday, January 4, 2010
Sun still down, and it’s cold!
New Year’s Day was an exercise in frustration — the Command Hook I moved tore a chunk out of the wall — “damage free hanging” my ass. However, they responded to the complaint with in 24 hours, so kudos for response time, and we’re at least trying to figure out a solution. In the meantime, I stuck the hook back up to cover the missing paint and will hang something festive from it. But now I’m worried about all the other Command hooks I hung up so blithely during the holiday season. Will I be able to remove them without doing damage?
I’ll probably hang seasonal festivities upon them instead.
And the shelves I was so excited about for the basement? The Geelong shelves are crap. The directions have nothing to do with what’s in the box, and the drawings are so unclear you can’t tell which way the pieces go together. K-Mart’s response was ridiculous –thanking me for feedback and then sending me a survey asking if the customer service rep fixed the problem — I had a few choice words! And the head office of Geelong in Hong Kong has, of course, ignored the complaint. If you say “easy to assemble” and that all I need is a mallet, I should be able to do it by myself in twenty minutes or less. The directions should be relevant and the drawings should be clear. Period.
Up at 4:30 Sunday morning, on the road by 6, to CT by 10. Unloaded, got my mom settled, headed to Costco, stocked up on a few things, back to CT. Spent the afternoon reading magazines and doing some writing. Shopping at stores I’ve shopped for years felt like I’d never left.
Up early on Monday, yoga, meditation, etc. Packed up what I needed to. Costume Imp texted me when he was on the train, off I went to my old hometown. It was on time (oh joy, oh rapture). Picked him up at the station, we swung by Salzburg Patisserie to get coffee and chocolate croissants, hit the road.
We had to drive by my former building so to do. It looks even sadder and in more disrepair than when we left. It made me sad — I grew up there, and it used to be a charming, late 1920’s Art Deco building. Now, it’s just being “improved” to its detriment, making it look like a cheap Queens hotel that rents by the hour.
We hit the Book Barn in Niantic hard. I bought so much at the main branch that they packed it in boxes and helped me get it to the car. Yeah. That much. A LOT of gardening books, but some writing books, critical essays, biographies, etc., etc. The colony of cats was happy to see us, played with us, and nudged us to shelves where we’d find what we needed — and they were always right. The big black cat who hangs out in the “Haunted Bookshop” where the mysteries are kept is particularly bossy. But he’s always right.
Of course, their big sale happens later this month when neither Imp nor I can get there!
We hopped across the street and had a lovely lunch at the Niantic Diner, then visited the two downtown branches of the Barn to peruse more fiction. Yeah, we both bought a lot again, but at least this time we could get it to the car ourselves!
Back on the road, feeling the weight of the books in the back every time we tootled up a hill. We drove to Mystic and popped in to Mystical Elements to pick up a few things. Deciding which few is always the challenge.
We figured if we got stopped by the cops for speeding or whatever, we could attempt to bribe with books or a nice amethyst. Actually, I was pretty careful. I have to remember that I no longer have NY plates and can’t act like I’m driving a yellow cab!
Back on the road. Stopped in Rhode Island where I always do for gas, then it was a straight shot back home. Of course, a 4 hour trip took eight, but stopping at book stores is always worth it.
It was dark when we got back, but we put on the trees at the front, he got the tour of the house and got settled. We had beef stroganoff and a nice bottle of Washington State wine. I’m not that familiar with the state’s wine, but this Pine and Post bottle of cab sab is very nice. Hung out by the tree with a variety of desserts and Vandermint-flavored coffee, chatting and catching up.
The cats are horrified — first that they were left alone overnight with no bedtime snacks, then that this STRANGER is walking around the place, and he smells of other cats! They stare at him, then flee and hide. They’ll get used to him.
Up early today, back to teaching. I thought Tuesday’s lecture took last night, but it doesn’t seem to be posted, so I’ll go re-post.
Most of the snow’s melted in the yard (and, more importantly, the street). Imp can take a good look at the yard today and we can talk about possibilities. We also plan to head to Sandwich and Plymouth for awhile — he came all this way, he has to see Plymouth Pebble.
But first — my students.