Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday was fun. Hot and sticky, but lots of good food and great company, after typical NYC transportation kerflamma.

I left early to run a few errands and got to the train station well before my train. The previous train was running late, so when it turned up, I jumped on, figuring the later train would be even later. Got in to Grand Central early. Texted Costume Imp — who was stuck on HIS train. Wandered over to Starbucks for an iced coffee– the woman behind the counter was hilarious, telling the woman in line behind me, “We have lots of great stuff here. Don’t you be fixing your face like that!”

Revived by iced coffee, I heard the announcement that the train I PLANNED to take was stuck somewhere along the line, and was grateful I wasn’t on it. Also noticed heavy police presence and that the trash bins were removed — NYPD must have gotten a tip.

Costume Imp arrived and we booked up Fifth Avenue through the tourists to Central Park. Of course, when we got into the Park, I got us headed in the wrong direction, but we found a helpful man with a map and only got to the Boathouse a few minutes late for our reservation. We were seated at a table right at water’s edge, where we could see the turtles poke up their little heads asking for bread from the bread basket. I don’t think I’ve ever seen turtles beg before!

We had a lovely three course meal with the appropriate wines — pate to start, I had the flank steak with horseradish-dill mashed potatoes and asparagus, Costume Imp had the pork, and we split a layered Key Lime Cake with mango after. Unfortunately, the cake also had coconut, which neither of us like.

We pulled out the Prague books and shared information, and Imp told me about this three weeks in Italy, which sounded wonderful! We’re gathering a lot of information for the trip, but also giving ourselves a lot of flexibility — not deciding a moment-by-moment itinerary, but seeing what we feel like doing each day, knowing we will cover a lot of ground over the course of a week.

On the way back, we stopped by the Strand outpost next to the park, where I got a book about dime novels and a Swedish mystery. We continued back down Fifth Avenue — Costume Imp peeled off to go back home, and I went over to Hagstrom’s to get a better map of Prague –one that actually has the part of town in it containing our hotel. I found it right away — and there was a whole shelf of books on Prague, which made my mouth water. I settled on a book of walking tours — although I don’t think we could do all of them (most of them are day-long excursions) — it will give us some details along the way.

The cultural history of Prague I’m reading discusses their “tradition of defenestration.”


As good as the food was, I don’t eat meat often, and it sat like a lead ball in my stomach all night. I skipped both dinner and my workout.

Books arrived from National Geographic — a travel tale about Norway, a book about an excavation in the Andes, and the Family Reference Atlas, which is one of the coolest Atlases I’ve ever seen!

Packed for next week — clothes, anyway. I’ve got to back the books and reference materials today, and then I’ll pack the food first thing before I leave.

I’ve got to stock up on cat food at Trader Joe’s today, get some client work done, and get some work done on the short stories. I had a great morning’s work on the second mystery, but I’ve got to get the draft of the first one typed and printed so I can revise it over the weekend. I am not looking forward to figuring out how to cut 1500 words — that’s almost a story in itself. In other words, I have to decide if I’ll take out one of th elements running through the piece, or if I can make enough small, internal cuts and tightenings so that it adds up to 1500 words.

Ran into a neighbor while I took out the garbage this morning, and mentioned the DSL problem. He’s been having the same problem with Verizon, as have several other people in the building. When they call, they’re told to switch to FIOS to fix the problem, which is of course, more expensive. So it looks like all of us are making the jump to Optimum instead. None of us are amused by this strong-arm tactic.

Fixed the other side of the 1950’s chair yesterday, and hope to fix the seat today. Week after next, after the site job and the internet switch, I’ll go in search of fabric to make new cushions.

Got a reply to a job pitch. I’m definitely qualified, but this guy is trying to get me to give him a quote without giving me the details I need to give him a quote, saying he can’t talk about the project in detail yet and he needs a quote to see if we can move forward so neither of our time is wasted. I asked him a few more questions — if he answers, he gets a quote. If not, buh-bye. I’m sure I’m out of his price range anyway — I’m pretty sure, even though this is a long-term, royalty-producing project, he’s looking for an inexpensive work-for-hire, so he should probably get someone earlier in their career. But if he wants it to really take off, he needs someone with experience. Tough, when you’re creating a project, but if you’re going to hire in people rather than creating from within your tribe, the boundaries are different.

At least it’s cooler and less humid — for the moment.

Have a great weekend!