Friday, October 13, 2017

Ides of October...Or Something Like That


One of my coworkers remarked, the other day, that as soon as a month starts, it's over. I don't want October to march off too quickly. Let's have some fall in our lives before winter, I always hope. And so far, so good. 

And speaking of work, there have been some changes, most of which I regard favorably, mostly because change decreases boredom. For one thing, after years of working the drive-thru almost all the time, I'm now working the lobby most of the time. I like the drive-thru, but change is good. Either way, the entertainment can be free. For instance,  in the drive-thru, we have an older gent who starts his day off at the grocery store, riding around in one of those battery operated scooters...then, he comes through the bank's drive-thru--in his battery operated grocery store scooter, and when he's done with us, he gets into the Arby's drive-thru queue in his battery operated grocery store scooter. He eventually returns it...I'm sure people who are not used to seeing him tsk about those big letters on the side of said scooter that say something about not leaving the grocery store, but whatever.

In the lobby, there is much variety...every day, around 4:00pm, Ed comes in, whether he has banking business or not, to trade out his bad blue money for better money, and by "better" he means bills minted in Republican states. He makes quite the impression on the other customers because he has no volume control.  And my manager is not very good at being dignified around him. 

The other change is, we all have phone calls to make, and that is not fun, but--having obligations does pass the time. And honestly, some of the people on these lists can be crossed off right away...and then we have compliance courses, another obligation that does keep us engaged and busy on days that are otherwise not too hectic. Lately, our branch has become busier--but somehow, we're making do with a smaller staff AND these added tasks. And eventually, the branches will be remodeled so as not to have a separate drive-thru, and that will make things easier on us, too. 

Enough of that.
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The last movie we borrowed from Netflix (we still have the snail mail version) was We Need to Talk about Kevin, which is also a novel by Lionel Shriver, one that I've had on my virtual TBR list for quite some time. It's a haunting movie and now I'm even more motivated to move that up on my list. At the end of the movie, I had questions, and I hope the book illuminates some things...it's a heartbreaking story. During the movie, my tears were for Kevin's mother, who did not seem to be getting any sympathy from many others.

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Speaking of books and such, 3D and I got to see Salman Rushdie at The Midtown Scholar, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Mr. Rushdie was very charming and read the first chapter of his new book to us. I'm in the middle of The Golden House and loving it.

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Good news: I got new running shoes, and I love them. After spending weeks walking, my left foot finally feels better...I did see a podiatrist, who diagnosed my problem as extensor tendonitis, and suggested these shoes. Of course, I am now walk-jogging: being very careful, since I am ever so good at irritating myself. Without further ado, here they are!*




Aren't they wild??? Very cushiony, intended for people with knee pain and problematic feet. That's me. They are expensive, but there are better deals to be had online. I ordered my usual size, and they fit perfectly, big toe box and all. The laces are elastic! I mentioned them to my oncologist and he googled them right away--I thought that was funny.

Speaking of my oncologist, I just had my last three-month appointment and have graduated to seeing him every six months. Yay, fewer doctor appointments. I think the blood draws might be over, too; those numbers were simply checking my recovery from treatment, and I have been recovered from treatment. 

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This coming weekend might feel like a study in opposites. Before the word bipolar was used to describe a certain type of depression, I might have used it here...but anyway: on Saturday, we are going to a wedding, which will be a joyous occasion, but it will also be sad, since the bride's father is gone. Her father was Mike's best friend, and her mother has already cried at the sight of her daughter's dress, and I'm sure this will be an especially loaded event for her. But it will mostly be happy! These young'uns are great people and well-matched. Their children are doing well. 

On Sunday, we will go visit Mike's family. Our niece is driving all the way from Minnesota to see her grandparents. Mike's mother is now in palliative care at the nursing home, where they are now acknowledging that she will not be going home. It will be wonderful to see Niece, but in general, the mood will be melancholy. 

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It's My Blog and I'll Cry if I Want To!

And then, there's politics. The backdrop to all of our lives right now is the dumpster in chief, and how in the world we are to recover from this. Puerto Rico! If his base still thinks his words are okay...then there are no words. 

Okay, I won't start. Besides, I need to get ready for work...


Cheers! I read some study that stated that Americans are drinking more. Really?? 



Whatchaupto?



*Hoka One One Gaviota. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Lovely Weekend before September's Last Week

Yes, this is the last week of September, and I am still reeling from the realization that summer is over.

This was a nice weekend for me; I stayed pleasantly busy walking, reading, talking, eating, playing Scrabble, watching a movie and some magic, as well.

Our Saturday movie was Nocturnal Animals, a thought-provoking, sad film starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. It's so dark and scary that I would not recommend watching it alone. I'm glad we saw it, though--it's well done.

My weekend mediation....

delighting in
a beautiful day
taking a walk
feeling good
my family
my home
having a job
having health insurance
good times
beer
future plans
good memories
books
music

Goal: stay busy, using my time, my precious life, for peaceful enjoyments

Speaking of future plans, Della is coming to An Evening with Salman Rushdie with me--and it's THIS Friday! Dates do sneak up on me so...And after I come home with The Golden House, I must make a point of reading reading reading...it's up next for discussion.

Speaking of staying busy.

May my motivation get me exercising after work, as I did not get up early enough this morning!

Need some bunnies here, no?

While I sit in the lap of luxury, I am troubled by the news of people in Texas, parts of Florida, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, and Mexico--and every place where people's lives have been upended by nature's forces--and global warming.  That is one thing most of us can agree on.

Whatchaupto?

Friday, September 15, 2017

September's Little Getaway and Some Half-Baked Notions

Home again, home again...taking the train to Atlantic City to get a peek at the ocean was relaxing, and we did have nice weather...



My pictures tend to look like Monets...good for an overall impression. Since we don't gamble at all, this was all about walking up and down the boardwalk and eating. Drinking. And since this was the off season, it wasn't at all crowded.

One thing I must say that perturbed me a little was the constant noise coming from the casinos along the ocean front. In some areas, the music videos and advertisements completely drown out the noise of the surf. That seems to violate the beauty of being at the shore. If listening to the sound of the waves is the point, it's necessary to either walk all the way down to the beach, or walk more to the end of the boardwalk. Both are quite expansive.



It's a lovely beach, such a juxtaposition with so much tackiness. But then, casinos are tacky. There's simply no way around it.

On Tuesday night, we walked quite a ways, over a mile, to reach The Tun Tavern, but unfortunately, it was closed for a private party.  Fortunately, we found another charming place--

I took a picture of the back wall, so as not to forget this place. Wingcraft Kitchen & Beer Bar has a stunning microbrew menu. The food is good, too. Yes, they have wings, but we had some very good pizza.

Two smiling people who arrived very hungry and relieved to find this place! 


On Wednesday, we visited The Havana Tower, where we had dinner at an Italian place called Il Verde. It was wonderful. I ate too much, something I find myself doing lately...


This section is referred to as The Quarter, and the fake sky overhead is reminiscent of something I remember from Vegas (at The Venetian? Not sure). Another impressionist picture, no? The Tropicana is lovely.

The next morning, I rented a bike and rode up and down the long boardwalk for an entire hour, but did not see all of it! I was surprised that there is a very long, very quiet residential section. Who knew? 


On taking the train: honestly, the only hassle is finding a parking space, and we agreed that we wouldn't be parking again--we'll get a ride. And I was thinking that someday, if we have more time, this might be an alternative to flying to Florida before cruising. I was noticing that both these train stations do have escalators or elevators for people who are schlepping more than a carry-on, but if that is a problem, Amtrak will ship stuff from one station to another. Of course, there is a fee for this. I don't expect it's prohibitive.  Just a thought, if air travel gets more expensive and/or onerous...

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Now, for the weekend...whatchaupto?




Monday, September 4, 2017

September again!

Yes, I'm late. Yes, this blog is, indeed, called September's Rabbit in Argyle. I was in such a rush that I forgot the argyle. 

What's happening? Hmm, the school buses are back in the 'hood, it's not as warm as it was (downright chilly, at times), and it's Labor Day.

This and that: This weekend, we watched a movie called Damsels in Distress, which was interesting, quirky, and had some funny moments. I picked it out on a whim, and consider it a successful one. You never know, with me...I also finished reading  The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker, and enjoyed it very much. And it makes me feel like going to New York City and walking all over the place.

Also, I've been making an effort to meditate for a little over a month now, and believe it's made a difference, that it's helping me stay calm and keep perspective. And stop fretting about issues out of my control. My life is good--and pretty easy.

It's hard to read the news these days and not feel muscles tightening...people in and around Houston: what will they do? Lives have been lost. Then, there are people who are sick or on treatment without their meds...mortgages due on houses that are now uninhabitable or gone, schools closed indefinitely...so many issues, it hurts to think....

And here I sit...distracting myself.

Mom and I checked out Bedford Street Antiques in Carlisle yesterday, and were blown away by the volume and variety of stuff--beautiful china that--no one wants anymore, vintage clothing too small for people today, records, books, all kinds of tools from a by gone era that had to be labeled for a millennial population, old sewing machines, jars, hats, jewelry, luggage, shoes, lamps, cabinets, tables, shelves, and--gossip chairs. Mom figured out what they were called. On Pinterest, I learned that they are sometimes called tête-à-tête chairs, which means the same thing, only in French, so it's more...refined.

I did not take these pictures. Obviously.
You get the idea. And here's a more modern and very practical version...

I
The lever-thing almost looks steam punk, no? I found it on a site called: Chairish. It's sold. Too expensive, anyway. 

Newsflash! Mike and I actually got into a pool before August ended, at the home of one of our book group friends. It was a very fun evening. 

Also, we are both taking off the week of September 10th, and will spend a couple nights in Atlantic City. We're taking the train down. I enjoy train rides...and we'll be lunching at Bridgewater's, a pub at the 30th Street station, on the way down. We always enjoy the place. With the balance of our time, we may go hiking somewhere...

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Today is the first Labor Day that we will not spend eating with Mike's parents in their backyard. Unfortunately, my mother-in-law is now in a nursing home, where the staff are helping her regain some strength so she can go home. She is very sick with pneumonia, and we believe that she had a mild stroke before that. Her rehabilitation is going to be quite a challenge. 

And now it's time to get up and move. I get all kind of stiff very quickly these days!

Whatchaupto?












Monday, August 14, 2017

Uphill Downhill Monday

Happy Monday! Another weekend gone, another week ahead. And so it goes...

It was a better than expected one, as far as the weather goes. On Saturday, I sat out on the patio for awhile, vegging out and reading.  Gradually, a storm happened, and at first, I sat outside and watched it rain for the first time since childhood. It thundered. When it became chilly, and the wind started, I decided it was time for me to retreat, and just as I did so, there was a tremendous thunderclap.

Yesterday, Mom and I strolled through the borough, and met a couple sweet dogs. We also gazed at the grassy lot that had been the elementary school we'd attended years ago, and noticed all the mushrooms that have sprouted here and there because of all the rain. I don't remember seeing mushrooms around here before, but then, I can't remember such a rainy time, either...

This morning, I rode my bike around the neighborhood for half an hour. It looked like it was going to be a wimpy workout, but actually, if I use my brakes to slow the downhill coast before pedaling up these little inclines, it actually turns out to feel like interval training. It caused me to break a sweat and breathe hard, so it was worth the time. I have an unspecified soreness in my foot, and whatever it is, the answer is to stop pounding for awhile. I needed a change, anyway; jogging laps was getting boring and I was uninspired. (The traffic around here is too scary to wander very far. Really. It's either drive somewhere else first, or--join the army doing laps.)


For some reason, I feel a little silly. Oh, well. It's probably congenital. 

So, the solar eclipse is happening one week from now! And around these parts, we should see the maximum effect around 2:30pm. I work in a place that is basically all windows, so perhaps I should go to Lowe's and get some shades, if they are not already sold out....Evidently, there will be another eclipse seven (7) years from now, and we will actually be in the right place! Something to look forward to...

Whatchaupto?



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Monday of Mondays

Today must be the coolest day I can remember experiencing in August. And it's raining.


That is in the forefront. In the background, which in this case means all around, everywhere, is the fact that my brother has now been gone as long as he was here. Twenty-six years. I am thankful that my younger, out of town sister is visiting, at home with Mom today. Twenty-six years...so much has happened. I remember where I was, for that first somber anniversary. Was that really twenty-five years ago?


The internet, Bill Clinton, the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, the 2004 Tsunami, Barack Obama, social media, cell phones...there's probably something huge and glaring I'm not even thinking of.


I am thinking of Kevin. Quite often, actually. Today is a day that must be acknowledged.

Let the week begin.






Sunday, June 25, 2017

Beautiful Sunday




It's a perfect day.

Now that I have a smart phone, I can simply take a picture of my husband enjoying one of his magic books outside and email it to myself. No more hunting for a USB cable for a camera, or plugging in an SD card. Voila.

From now on, I've decided to think twice before posting some silly image from the interwebs, too. Well, until I cave on that...another epiphany from the smart phone world: my phone's gallery, which is a built in app, contains ALL my google-related pictures--anything I've posted on one of my blogs or facebook or whatnot, it's there. And when I started to delete some of them (cuz I don't need ALL my pictures on my phone), guess what? I also deleted them from my blog entries. And since we got a new computer earlier this year, there were some pictures that are not on our back-up stick. . So--they are lost. Slipped through the cracks.  Not many. Live and learn.

Last night's movie was Florence Foster Jenkins, starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. It was excellent. I knew nothing about it before we started watching (Mike picked it), and was delighted that it was serious and poignant as well as funny and improbable. It's a true story, as counterintuitive as that is...

Here I sit, forgetting what I was going to write...this reminds me of that first time we were upgraded to an ocean-front room at that special resort in the Riviera Maya and I just plopped down on the swinging lounger on the patio, a little tipsy from the arrival champagne the staff handed us, and thought, it's all too beautiful. And I just veg out on lovely sunny weightlessness. What have I done today? Some housework, ran an errand, practiced knitting (trying to be patient), read a novel on the couch upstairs, then downstairs, then outside (but not inside out). Onlined--there should be a verb for that time we enjoy/lose/waste doing stuff that involves being connected.

And it's late afternoon on Sunday...almost gin-and-tonic Scrabble time. I enjoy blaming my games on the cocktail. Some of these weekends are fabulous.

Mike will be flying to Bangalore, India in just a couple weeks. One week left in June. Tempest fugit, indeed.

This just in: it's okay that I don't know what frim fram sauce with oss and fay and shifafa on the side is. It's just silly lyrics. Aren't you glad I looked that up?

Whatchaupto?