Tuesday, December 21

The first time back

Did you know that at 37 degrees 45' 01" North Latitude and 77 degrees 50' 09" West Longitude is Virginia's Center of Population according to the 2000 census? (Disclaimer: only if everyone weighs the same.) It says so here, at this nice little monument sign, in Goochland.

So when I went to New York for the weekend I threw off the invisible balance. And that's not even true because I did not live in Virginia in the year 2000. I was just looking for a lame transition from VA to NY. Now that that's taken care of, I made my first trip back to New York the second weekend of December.

I walked to the bus at midnight, boarded, fell asleep, and woke up surprisingly refreshed at 6:30 a.m. in New Jersey. The city was near and I could see the familiar skyline. I was nervous about my visit, worried I would feel an ache.

I stepped onto the pavement like I had never left and went straight for the subway to meet Kristin for breakfast. As much as I love the video chat, in person can't really be beat. We saw a dog walking on its hind legs. For blocks. On a leash.

Already New York reminded me of how unique it was.

Morning time with Kristin concluded and I went up to the office "to drop my stuff off." Yes, Simon & Schuster still feels like "the office" to me and I guess that's fair because it's the last office I went to on a regular basis. I was greeted by the familiar (and friendly) security guards. They asked me how I was in my new place, wished me well, and let me up without calling anyone. Little things like that make me smile.

I ended up being at the office all day. I even crashed the holiday party.


I started this post about two weeks ago and am just now getting back to it. I'm going to have to speed things up since I'm writing so retroactively.

The rest of the weekend was spent amongst old friends, another S&S holiday party, and in the old borough.

I felt cool knowing where I was going without looking for directions, but I also walked really slow (which I think blew my cover). It was interesting being the visitor and I still love all the city has to offer. But I'm happy to be a visitor there and a resident here.

My nerves were soothed and when I boarded my 11 p.m. bus back to Richmond, I was glad to be going south.

But it is a trip I will fondly make again and again. Because there are things like free famous art that might (or might not) blow your mind, grocery store quarter machines that some people just can't resist, the grocery store man who greeted you every morning on your way to work.

P.S. I didn't even take that many photos.

P.P.S. Happy New Year. Possible resolution: be better about blogging. Not for you, but for me.

Sunday, December 5

What I call being productive, others might call being a loner

Right now I'm devouring my dinner of stuffing, creamy corn, and greens because I didn't quite get enough of the traditional Thanksgiving fare on Thanksgiving. (Greens aren't normally part of my tradition, but I had to cook them before they went bad and they have nice nutritional value.) I'm also listening to Christmas music.
All in all, a nice way to spend an evening alone.

So these evenings alone, and who am I kidding, occasional days alone, are proving to be pretty productive. At least in the knitting, cooking, and home maintenance front.

Here are some projects:

bandit raccoon and green kitty

vegetables for my friend's daughter for Christmas because she "loves to play garden"

buttermilk cheddar biscuits and pumpkin pie

a fourth bookshelf, because three just wasn't enough

little Christmas tree with only nine ornaments on it so far

In other news, we went to the Eastern Shore for a weekend and walked on the beach barefoot because it was just that nice out. I drove across a 17-mile-long bridge*, met Andy's dad and other siblings, beat Andy in Ping-Pong, beat Andy in Ping-Pong again, and saw the wild horses.


1. the pier in the middle of the bridge
2. you can't see our bare feet in the shadows, but they were bare
3. the moon rising over the stillness

It was a really nice weekend and I saw a part of Virginia that I literally did not know existed.
Oh, these states, so big and secretive.

I also got a job. Nothing too glamorous, too time consuming, or too boring.
I'm picking up some hours at the Scuba Center. I do love scuba so I consider it a pretty good fit and I kind of enjoy the part about getting paid to get out of the house.

To bring this full circle, I guess that means my productive days alone will be more limited.

I don't have too many more productivity photos, but there are more from the Eastern Shore here.

*Some of you might not know that driving over bridges is kind of one of my fears. I can do it and have driven some pretty major ones (Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, bridge to Dauphin Island, bridge to North Little Rock), but I usually do it in silence and with white knuckles.