Saturday, March 27, 2010

writing ambiance

So I set myself up to write. I pour the wine, I light the candles, I turn on my lava lamp, and turn down my other lights. I sit at my computer, my iTunes playing my most evocative songs, I open internet explorer only to and Wikipedia.
Then opening the files for my unfinished stories, I wait for the ideas to unfold, the inspiration to fill me, and the words to rolls forth.
For a while tonight, it worked. Good thing, as I haven't really worked on these stories (novels in progress actually, two of them, one contemporary, one fantasy) in months. But them my mind begins to wander. Which is why I have them both open, their very different contexts and voices allowing my mind to wander on different paths. Even still, I think about my own life, my own past, my own future, and the words that fill my head are not meant for my stories. So I open facebook and send out messages I maybe shouldn't to boys from my past. Look through pictures of times I missed. Open Gmail and see if anyone is around to chat (they aren't). Start texting to see if anyone responds (some do, but not for long, they are out, busy).
I listen to the music and gaze into my undulating lava lamp and think about how I should be writing. But I am writing, my mind says, just not the fiction I am supposed to be spinning tonight.
I love it when it comes. The words spill out as if from someone else trapped in my mind, telling of their experience, with my hands trying to keep up with their voice. But when the voice stops speaking to me, it's a painful process, forced out stuttering and uncooperative.
Maybe it’s been too long since I last tapped into the syrupy flow of words and they have all congealed at the tap, stopping the stream. Or maybe I’m not trying hard enough to force them forth. I don’t know the answer, only that I miss the effortless way the stories sometimes shoot from my fingertips, restrained only by my ability to type them out quickly enough. .

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Home sweet apartment

I am finally in possession of and moved into my new apartment. The process has been ridonkulous. After finding the apartment back in October, it took this long to actually close on it. But that story I will save for my Bank of America rant, which will come as soon as all my accounts with them are officially closed. But spoiler alert, they are EVIL.
Anyway, last week, me, my parents (who were kind enough to loan me money when the bank wouldn't stop stalling), our lawyer, our real estate agent, the sellers, their lawyer, their agent, a representative from the building's management company, and reps from the two banks the sellers had mortgages with, all sat down in a tiny conference room and signed a whole bunch of papers and checks, until they finally slid the keys down the table to me. It was symbolic, like getting your diploma, and I loved it. Even though I will be paying my parents back for the rest of my life (better than giving BOA any more of my money).

So after 3 weeks of commuting from CT, I wasted no time, moving in the next day. I had movers get my stuff back out of storage and into the new apartment, and then my parents drove in our vintage 1984 Toyota van (in auto terms, anything over 25years old is considered an antique. So glad I'm not a car) full of newly acquired tag sale furniture, which we schlepped in ourselves.

Then the process of arranging, unpacking, and organizing began, as my parents headed back to the suburbs. Man are my muscles sore. I think the furniture is all in the right place, minus the couch I haven't yet bought and the chairs that go to a table I don't have, and might not be able to fit.
But the first priority for my 2nd floor street view apartment was blinds. As much as I love natural light, I'm less of a fan of street lights blazing all night, and pedestrians gazing in at me while I change my clothes. That called for a trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and then a frustrating hour of trying to make sense of the instructions, use my cordless drill/screwdriver (which is amazing, I recommend everyone have one), and get the damn blinds to snap into place. I haven't even been able to get started on curtains yet. But here is a glimpse of my little work in progress, mine all mine:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Power Of..

This morning my cube mates and I had a half hour conversation about cheese. It started out with a discussion about Laughing Cow cheese, which is great stuff, and low calorie, until you eat every one of the little round wax wrapped wheels, or the little soft cubes, or the little soft wedges, and man how good they all are. But we couldn't figure out what kind of cheese the yellow wax wrapped cheese was.
The red one is the original Edam, there is mild Cheddar in yellow, light in white, and now they even have Gouda in tan/gold package. But what is yellow? It just says Bonbel. So we had to look it up. It turns out, that bonbel is a variety of cheese, a blend of cream, milk and fresh and aged cheeses. Education can be delicious.
After that lesson, I was thinking about how amazingly good cheese is, and how many great cheeses Babybel/Laughing Cow make (turns out the same company owns Boursin cheeses as well), and I thought, this is a company I would like to invest in.
So we looked into it, found that the parent company is Unibel, a French company. I was all set to buy some shares and be a part of the cheese business, but when I looked it up, it turns out it trades for around 185Euros per share. That means over $200 a share! Talk about the power of cheese. If you own a cheese company, you could make some serious cheese. Sorry, was that cheesy? :-)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Pain of Commuting

Specifically, it is a huge pain in my rear.
I am currently between apartments, which leaves me living back at home in rockin' CT with my parents. It could be worse, I mean, we get along, my room was never converted into a gym or sewing nook, and my mom let me sneak my groceries in with hers at the store, saving me additional cash.

However, it is still living at home, and commuting an hour and a half each way every day. Meaning I now get up before the sun does, because it's winter up in the North East, and along with being frickin freezing and slammed with snow, it's dark many hours of the day still.
So I now drag my tired butt out of bed at 6am, manage to get somewhat presentable, and get in the car with my mom to go to the train station. She drops me at the corner with a nice, "Have a good day," and then goes off to her job. I take the train, and while I have a book with me, so far, I mostly snooze against the window, waking up every time I realize my mouth is hanging open, or that slight snoring is coming from me. A little over an hour later, I arrive at Grand Central, and take first one subway then switch to another, and get myself to work at about 8:45am (depending on the trains, cause I'm at their mercy now).
Then just before 5pm, I have to grab everything, and take the same subways back to catch my train home so that my dad can drive me home from the train station with him. I actually do read on this ride, but it's crowded and long and leaves me restless by the end.
At home, we all watch Jeopardy and yell our answers at the screen, then have dinner while watching the requisite TV for their age bracket (NCIS, Antiques Roadshow, This Old House, etc).

Basically, while it's OK for a brief time, I had better close on my new apartment soon, before I start worrying about what trouble Agent DiNozzo has gotten into this week and asking for permission to stay out past 10pm on a work night.