Friday, July 15, 2016

Scenes from the Writer's New Life

It's hard to focus on a hard revision when my new home remains chaotic and I could be organizing, cleaning, and hanging up pictures, rather than fixing this book. The news, which is heartbreaking everywhere, every single day, also makes it difficult. But I am focusing and fixing the book, because it feels even more awful not to.

 I stuck this on my new window.

In the meantime, it isn't all chaos.

 Here's one of my favorite kitchen nooks, full of treasures.

The Scully candle says "Our Lady of Common Sense."

 These little guys live on my writing desk.

 My magic wand and my magic umbrella are in position.

  My new home has lots of charm but few electrical outlets, so I've had to get creative in some places…
 like in my bathroom, where these little solar-powered night lights charge up every day in the window.

Further afield, yesterday in New Jersey, we got together with this distinguished gentleman…

That's my dad.

...and totally learned to GOLF.

See my jaunty cap and collared shirt? They are evidence I'm a golfer. Along with
the golf clubs, of course, lent to me by my wonderful (and left-handed) Aunt Rose!
Sort of.

It was our first time. We started at the driving range, where my dad taught us the basics, demonstrated a few things, then made extremely kind and encouraging comments as it became clear that I CAN'T HIT GOLF BALLS. Oh my goodness. They're so small and far away!

 Kevin's batting average was much higher than mine.

 See how he's looking up? I never hit a ball high enough to need to look up.

 Dad, in the meantime, is a wonderful golfer.
I'm pretty sure Kevin is saying "Wow" here.

Oh my goodness. When I actually managed to hit the ball, it would usually go in the right direction, and sometimes it would even have some lift and go a little bit far. But probably 75% of the time, I didn't even hit the ball. ALSO, TODAY I AM SO SORE. FROM SWINGING VERY HARD AT AIR.

Dad demonstrates.

Kevin imitates.

Dad tries to find the ball I hit into the shrubberies.

Now, don't imagine that I got discouraged. I got the ball in the hole eventually every time. Look, here I am lining up my putt! Aren't you proud of me?

Dad kept getting pars and bogeys (if you don't know anything about golf, that's amazing). Kevin consistently scored a few strokes above par on every hole, which is excellent for a first time. I lost track of my strokes on every hole, but listen, I'M A WRITER. This means I'm extremely good at being dreadful at something; working at it stubbornly for a really long time; then eventually becoming slightly less dreadful at it. I'm going to keep trying. I would also like to point out that Kevin was wearing a Pokémon badge. Everyone knows that's good luck. It was lent to him by my nieces, who don't care a fig about golf (OR ME APPARENTLY) but had earnest hopes that Kevin would catch some Pokémon on the golf course. No one thought to lend me a Pokémon badge. Humph. Little traitors.

(Hang on, it just occurred to me that they are six and they can read now. Sweethearts: That was a joke!)

(Can you believe they are six? Almost seven! Eek!)

Despite how unbrilliant I am at golf, this was my favorite new thing I've done in a while, because, well... we got a golf lesson from my dad. :o)

Now I'm home again, and I've gotten back to work. My muscles will start to feel better, I'll continue to chip away at the chaos… and every day, my little night lights will sit in the window soaking up the sun, so they can spend the nights doing this.

Sweet dreams, everyone.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Moving and Floating

We decided to go to Float, this place in Somerville where you close yourself inside a small floating tank with body-temperature water containing a thousand pounds of Epson salts (causing guaranteed flotation), and, in silence and complete darkness, float for an hour.

Why, you ask?

Curiosity, I guess.

You step into this tank of water and close the door.

I went into this with no expectations, other than looking forward to doing absolutely nothing for an hour in the midst of a very stressful week (my moving week!). People who float regularly talk about amazing meditative experiences, and while I wouldn't say I went into this with cynicism, I definitely wasn't expecting an amazing experience. I was prepared for the possibility that it might be relaxing, just as I was prepared for the possibility that it might be completely stupid.

Turns out I loved it.

While Kevin in his tank was apparently spinning around in circles and running a series of hilarious experiments (which he told me about later), I just lay there in the body-temperature water, trying to become accustomed to the very odd sensation of not being able to feel my own body – except for these two throbbing things at one end of the tank that I recognized as my poor aching feet (moving is so hard on the feet!). At one point, my inability to feel my body freaked me out a little bit, but I flexed my various muscles and became reacquainted with my own body and was able to relax. I didn't think about my move while I was in there, not once. This wasn't a choice; it simply never entered my mind, despite it being my entire life at the moment. I achieved an emotional clarity so quickly, and found myself thinking about deeper things, the important things I haven't been able to access during the whirlwind of moving. I thought about these things with a level of clarity that I've previously only ever experienced while hypnotized. Most amazing, though, were the physical effects. I went into that tank with aching, burning hands, forearms, and feet. In the tank, suspended in water, it was like weightlessness, it was like sleeping on a cloud, all my muscles relaxed, and I came out of it with zero pain. Floating did not feel as good as a massage, but afterwards, I felt physically better than I feel after a massage.

To my great surprise, I may go again sometime when I'm in the midst of stress – especially if the stress has physical manifestations.


So, I now live in a new home! I can without reservation recommend Anton's Moving Company. Sergey, Taras and Dan were careful and tireless and fast, and made heroic efforts to get my couch into my new apartment. They went so far as to hoist it over the balcony and remove my door. Alas! It turned out to be a physical impossibility. My couch is mine no more! It's okay, we were able to keep it in the family.

Yesterday, while purchasing a new, small, narrow couch online that will definitely fit through my door, I was amused to notice the little drop-down box where you indicate how many you want to put into your shopping cart. Do many people buy more than one of the same couch? Today, while looking for coat hooks at Pottery Barn, I chose one of their couches at random and investigated how many I could put into my shopping cart.

I wish I'd thought to check on the giftwrapping charge for 99 couches.

Afterwards, I closed my browser and wandered off to organize my new kitchen. Later in the day, Pottery Barn emailed to remind me that I still had items in my cart. Did I forget to purchase them? Yes, thank you Pottery Barn, I did forget to purchase 99 green Chesterfield Grand Sofas.

Thank you, dear readers, for reading my first blog post from my new home. Despite the chaos, I already love it here, and now I'm going to put some books on some shelves.