Friday, July 25, 2008

"Supply lines are growing longer..."

Talked to Karen today. She's splitting her time between one friend's house and another's until the house she technically bought closes. In the meantime, the bulk of the rest of her Stuff rests in storage here. Won't even get into all the Stuff she'd left with me.
Someone asked me how long I'd been working where I'd worked until today. Had to think, as it became unimportant after I'd become vested. Well, my start date was July 23, 2001. Told the curious coworker that the mirror broke on the 22nd and that I was only just getting over it now.
Free at Last.

The box was packed first thing (the drawings, posters, photos...everything that I used to help forget that I was in a sort of fattening pen...were taken down days ago), then came the emails. Of course there were snags. Of course I was going to be ridden to the bitter end.

DID get a chance to have lunch with a coworker (now a friend) whose last day was today as well.

When five hit, I finished up my last minute notes to the Powers That Be, called a cab, and picked up my stuff. Called out one last "Good Bye Finance!*" and was answered with a resounding "Good Luck, Bev!"

Alone, safe at home, I'm still grinning like a fool.


* My big thing after they moved me to the cube farm was, Monday mornings, to climb onto my desk, stretch out my arms and call out "Good Morning, Finance!" In the beginning, most folks would ignore me and some would groan. After a while, an awful lot would holler back, "Happy Monday, Bev!" or "Good Morning!" That was one of my highlights of the week.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Had my exit interview today, for what it was worth. Did allow myself to speak my mind, though I doubt this will leave the interviewer's notebook.

Felt pretty good, though.
Just got word from Karen that she was passing through Little Rock.

More fun than Thelma and Louise.

They'll hit Texas this evening; journey'll be over by tomorrow.

Friday, July 18, 2008

One Week to Go.

The view from across the street from work. I'm really going to miss the morning walk through the chop shops and junkyards. Nothing can last forever, though. In a few months to a couple years after I'm long gone, this area will be completely changed as zoning's moved from industrial to residential/commercial.

Made it through the week fairly unscathed; am now halfway home-free. It's going to be a long next week, though.
Picked up the Frenchie yesterday. It's really nice to have him back. He'll be staying a month (eee!).
Nothing to Worry About.

Areva employee in hazmat suit: Do we look like we're worried about radioactivity?

Areva's having a bit of a PR nightmare in France lately due to a couple of accidents in the last week: Tricastin and Romans-sur-Isère. Both were leaks that polluted local rivers, and both were considered to have negligable impact on the environment (though what "negligible" actually means is open for discussion).

Of course, two leaks in a week at two plants operated by the same company that runs something like 40 centrals in France, is the largest nuclear supplier in the US and that is expanding operations to the Middle East and China is causing a bit of soul-searching and even questioning of the party line regarding the 'clean, green, renewable' energy source in the Hexagon. As well it should.

I hear a lot of American pundits-types talk about how we should go nuclear using France as the model of how things should be done. Now, I'm not anti this by any stretch. However, I do think that such decisions do require a fair bit of looking before leaping. What would be the cost/benefit comparisons between starting from scratch with nuclear and improving coal plants? What advantages does nuclear have over wind, for example (don't laugh; wind power is harnessed as well in France and is quite competetive with other sources), what are the operational costs (including down time) for a the typical Coal/Nuclear/etc delivery method?

It would also be good to check out data provided by sources other than the French monopoly, too.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Posted From Home.

Can you all tell that I really don't want to go into work today?
On a good note: Dr. Dick told me that I won't actually have to get a second opinion, because my dystrophy is clearing up as it should. He IS, though, going to run some tests on hormone levels, as there's apparently something wicked out of whack there. I told him to go lightly on the testing as I was going to quit my job soon. He told me not to worry about that all.
Oh, and my little brother and big sister in law are getting divorced. I was really rooting for them. Am very disappointed, especially how casual they are being about the whole thing.

This makes me the only person in my family who's never divorced; that's largely because I never married, I think.

"It's a Hard World for Little Things."

Robert Mitchum gave a name and a face to that shadowy nasty thing who chased me nearly nightly in my dreams up until very recently.

I'm not little anymore, though. Have to keep remembering that.


So, I got home last night after an awful-awful day and checked my phone messages. What did I hear but a message from some credit/mortgage company stating that I was a contact for my ex-step father and that it was imperative that I call them.

This really threw me for a loop as, well, I thought (and hoped) that he was dead. Told my mother about this - she said prettymuch the same thing. Was much more sanguine about it than my Dad, who I know was weirded out, as he did the rare raising of the voice thing when I told him.

Anyway, since I was a minor when they divorced, there's really no way I could be held liable for any of his shenanigans. Makes me wonder, though, how they got my name and address. More than makes me wonder, as I've not had contact with this person since I was a child. It kind of freaks me out, actually.

I wouldn't put it past him to have forged my name on something. He ruined my mother financially years ago and made life very difficult for all of us for years after the divorce. Won't even get into how it was when he lived with us.

I don't like thinking about this.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Chicory in the junkyard on my walk to my soon-to-be former job.

Posting will be sporadic at best over the next few weeks, as I've a number of big dates coming up:

- End of August: house move (haven't started packing yet or even looked into finding a mover.)

- Mid-August: drop dead date for all my extended courses

- A week from Friday: my last day at work.

In addition to this, the Frenchie will be arriving on Thursday and I think my landlord will be trying to renovate my kitchen (yeah, right). I'm hoping to be able to pencil in some sleep time at least in between everything.

Light a candle (or two) for me; I'll be needing it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Look at the Birds, Consider the Lilies -

I made a giant (for me) leap of faith today. Am going to be a bird or a lily for a while.

It feels pretty good.


"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?


And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,

I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.

-Matthew 6:25-30

Thursday, July 10, 2008

You know: I could never pair myself off with someone who, if I tickle their belly, slaps me.
How weird is it to have a gyno named Doctor Dick?
My six-week waiting time is up; am going to the doctor today. He'd better have some treatment option for me, as things are very near unbearable right now. (Try to imagine sitting on a fire ant nest or something like that.)
As trying as things may be right now, at least:

a.) I don't have cancer.
b.) My house wasn't struck/burned down by lightning.

For these things I am thankful.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

More Organic Green.

That other scarf I was working on had to go. The blocks were killing me! Thought I'd try out vines instead.

What a joy the new pattern is to work with. The yarn's giving me no trouble at all, either. Guess I found the right pairing.

This is going to be Karen's going away present. She gave her notice last week. Is moving to Texas with the ultimate goal of building her own (sustainable) home and learning to garden in the desert.

We've worked together for seven years. Though we both had this great knack of driving each other crazy (Stubbornness...Buffalo-ness?), I'm really going to miss her. Am getting a bit teary-eyed just thinking about it.
It's been awfully hot lately, so have been avoiding turning the stove on in my place. Breakfast is usually a no-brainer (oatmeal microwaved at work or some fruit and yogurt) during this tough time; however, I was getting sick of prepackaged and sugary. Needed a change, so decided to coax from the ether one of the Frenchie's Proust-recollections.

One summer a long time ago (actually, before I was born, I think), a young Frenchie went on an adventure with some friends to Egypt. There were all sorts of trials and tribulations, runins with the authorities, even a classic coming of age sort of romantic thing. Wonderful, but rather run of the mill compared with the food, which apparently was real memory-making stuff.

What was it that kept coming back to him, that he kept describing to me in such loving detail? Certainly nothing exotic - just some local vegetables (squash, carrots, celery, onions) cooked in water until somewhat soft, then served cold with peppers, a bit of oil and salt. Apparently, there was bread on the side and some good, strong coffee. Hmm.

My version reflects what I had around the house and my memories of good North African tastes (stories for another time):

Legumes à L'Egyptienne

2 carrots - cut into coins
3 stalks of celery sliced cross-wise
2 small zucchini - cut into coins, then quartered
2 small yellow squash - same as zucchini
3 small leek stems - cut into rounds, both green and white, and rinsed in several waters.

Fill a three quart pot maybe 1/3 full with water, add the vegetables and a generous pinch of Jihadi saffron (This is the North African thing. Love it. Love how it colors the vegetables. Love how it perfumes the kitchen. Makes the heat bearable.).

When vegetables are somewhat soft, take the pot off the heat, then let cool. Refrigerate overnight if you can. Serve with flat bread. A hard boiled egg. A bit of cheese if you have it.

4 generous servings.

Isn't it pretty?

How weird, too, that I ended up coordinating my outfit with breakfast:

I swear I did not do that on purpose!


Note to my Dad: This is what color daylilies taste like.

Friday, July 04, 2008


Raphaella's garden, July 4th, 2008

It's a quiet, gray day here. This afternoon and evening, there will most likely be rain. I'm looking forward to the quiet, to rest, to a bit of calm in my own safe little corner of the world.

All my good thoughts and prayers go out to those folks who've chosen to give up a world of family barbecues and fireworks displays in order to protect the peace here.

Thank you so much for this gift.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Sorry to be off line for so long. Am feeling a bit blue and that makes it hard to write sometimes.