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Pauli

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(no subject) [Jun. 21st, 2005|11:34 am]
Pauli
[Current Mood |indescribableindescribable]
[Current Music |DJ Tony spinning on the Ellen show]

Packing is over. The house is now empty. Tomorrow we sign the papers and the house keys go from my hands to another's.

The things that I am taking to NYC are already in the apartment there. My world in DC is ending and after so much Strum und Drang over the three months of getting ready to move, everything now is quiet and anticlimatic. I think of T.S. Eliot:

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

In several days I will be in NYC. Unpacking. Another world. Fearful? Yes. Hopeful? Yes. Having all the answers? No. I don't even know the questions yet.
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Goldilocks should have been here [May. 20th, 2005|06:33 pm]
Pauli
[Current Mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[Current Music |House full of people noises]

So, the new owners of my house came by with their architect. Was supposed to be for half an hour. The house is filled to the rafters with boxes and...boxes and I wondered how they could even measure anything when they couldn't even get into the rooms...but, hey, that was their problem.

It was raining, raining, raining, and more raining. It was cold, cold, and...you get the picture. So new owners come in. Few minutes later, architect comes in. Then real estate agent walks in. Then, Edison walks in; he's the one whose going to paint everything. Then the floor man walks in. Then Ron Galant walks in. He's the central air conditioning dude. I was thinking to myself that it was turning out to be A Night at the Opera thing. Then I took a real good look at Ron Galant. He was wearing shorts, tee shirt, and sandals. It was very cold outside. And, as I mentioned, very wet.

Me: Umm. Aren't you cold? You're dressed for summer and it's...not.
Ron: Oh! I always wear shorts. Right, guys?
Guys: Yeah. He always does. Never have seen him in long pants.
Me: Never?
Ron: Never.
Guys: Never.
Ron: I was 17 years old when I decided that I was never gonna wear long pants again.

This mystified me.

Me *amused*: Oh, you and Peter Jackson have something in common.
Ron *smiling broadly*: Who?
Me: Uh. Peter Jackson. The director from New Zealand. Lord of the Rings? King Kong? He always wears shorts, even in winter.
Ron: Well, if he's been wearing shorts for more than 30 years, then I am copying him. But if he's been wearing shorts less than 30 years, he's copying me!
Me *couldn't let it go*: Are you married?
Ron *looking at me as if I was coming on to him*: Not anymore!
Me *needing to disabuse him of that thought*: Well, when you got married, did you wear long pants?
Ron: Oh. Well. Yeah. I wear them only in front of priests, rabbis, judges and..well, that's about it. But my second wife had a pair of tuxedo pants made into shorts, so after the ceremony, I wore them for the reception.

He then proceeded to tell me that wearing shorts was also good luck because it saved his life.

Me: Oh?
Ron: Yeah. Once I was in Israel and my group was going touring and we were told we had to wear long pants because it got very cold at night where we were going.
Me: So, naturally, you arrived wearing...shorts.
Ron *winking*: You know it, baby!
Me: And this saved you, how?
Ron: Well, the group did not let me go with them. I was left at the hotel. It ended well, but the group was accosted, taken hostage--no deaths--but it was harrowing.
Us: What!
Ron *smiling*: Yeah, so my shorts kept me from that life and death situation.
Me: Well.
Ron *going upstairs*: Say are you married?

Didn't answer because the doorbell rang and more people came in. The new owners of the house looked at me and said that they hoped that I didn't mind that they invited all these people. Of course not, I thought bitterly, this is just what I need. A billion people climbing over everything!

The real estate lady looked at me apologetically. She told me that she felt like all of them should help me in some way.

Hmm. 10 minutes later, Ron/Peter had finished walking the dog, floor guy had moved some boxes for me downstairs, new owner had made coffee, architect had packed a box with books, and Edison...he just walked around shaking his head and telling me that the house was very large and it would take him and his three helpers a really long time to do the paint job.

I stood back and smiled. Me and my little family. Spending four hours together. Now it would be great if they..went home. Eventually, they did. Before Ron left he told me not to worry about him because he's never too hot, or too cold. He's always just right. Oh, did I forget to mention that Ron is...bowlegged? Yeah.
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Meeting Alice...in Wonderland [Apr. 22nd, 2005|03:22 pm]
Pauli
[Current Mood |tiredtired]
[Current Music |Leading Us Along]

`I quite agree with you,' said the Duchess; `and the moral of that is--Be what you would seem to be--or if you'd like it put more simply--Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.

`I think I should understand that better,' Alice said very politely, `if I had it written down: but I can't quite follow it as you say it.'

`That's nothing to what I could say if I chose,' the Duchess replied, in a pleased tone.




I was looking over the first ten songs on my play list on the computer. Songs that I have been listening to over and over for several days:

1. Here Comes the Rain Again
2. I’m Only Happy when it Rains
3. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
4. Ugly
5. So Cold
6. I Hate Everything About You
7. Let Me Go
8. Come Undone
9. Nothing Else Matters
10. Sing for Absolution

Well, damn. Cheery bugger, aren’t I?

Eugene, the man who was going to bring me out of the moving-the-house doldrums…the one who was going to show up today and haul away an attic, cellar, and backyard worth of stuff…never showed up. Never. I called him and he said that he was on his way. Well, he must be coming from Romania. The afternoon is skipping away and he is still not here (was supposed to be here at 8 a.m). So I am assuming that Eugene is not coming. Funny that. I have horrendous luck with men. Even the fucking moving man can’t be bothered with spending time with me.

Was supposed to go to NYC in two days. Can’t now because I must arrange for someone else to come and deal with what needs to be hauled away.

Will go and listen to Leading Us Along.
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Er. Sloppy seconds? [Apr. 16th, 2005|02:48 pm]
Pauli
So, failing_light, I tried the meme and this *points below* came up.


Would anyone want to bang you? by phobia
Name:
Favorite Food:
Wants to Bang you:
This many times:154
Quiz created with MemeGen!


Hmm. Well. Er. O.K. I will wait until you are...over before, well you know *looks sheepish and embarassed*

Also, I KNEW I should have bought those 10 pounds of potatoes. Curry, eh? Forgot about that recipe!
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Always studying, I am [Mar. 15th, 2005|01:18 pm]
Pauli
[Current Mood |naughtyBus horn blowing outside]

I was reading stuff on my computer when I came across something... it was forwarded to me.

The person who led me to this had a quick phone conversation with me first.

Person *intoning quite somberly*: Do you know what year in the Chinese calendar it is?
Me *thinking, then happily remembering*: Yes! I do! It’s the Year of the Rooster, right?

I am sooo happy. I hate when people ask me questions that sound as if they came from the mouth of Sister St. Cornelia. Get the bloody answer wrong and it’s hell on earth for me!

Person *sounding as if they are smirking*: Well, yeah, but let’s just say that’s it’s the Year of the Cock.
Me: Umm. Why?
Person *patiently*: Well, look it up. A cock is a male chicken. A rooster.
Me: Yeah, but I don’t think that those square printed horoscope place mats in Chinese restaurants show it as the Year of…what you said. It always shows it as Rooster.
Person: All I’m saying is that Year of the Rooster, Year of the Cock. Same difference.
Me *suspiciously*: What are you going on about?

So she says that in honor of it being the Year of, well, you know, that I should read this while she was on the phone. O.K. I read it. Now for those of you who are, well, I warn you that it is a bit slashy, so if it bothers, STOP READING NOW. Please.

“In a study done at the Kinsey Institute, researchers have found a relationship between sexual orientation and the size of male genitalia. The results were published in the July '99 issue of Sexual Orientation, a medical journal. Researchers looked at 5,172 men's cocks and found that, on average, gay men had significantly bigger cocks than straight men. Researchers aren't sure why this is the case, but theorized that 'differences in penile dimensions' could be the result of variations in prenatal hormone levels. Researchers say more studies need to be done.”

Me *absolutely gobsmacked*
Person: Well, can you say “dream job?”
Me *absolutely gobsmacked*
Person: You know, at first I thought there was a problem with this study because most of my boyfriends were not…small. But now I know better. Since the cock I was examining was almost always gay, my sample was hopelessly skewed.
Me *oh, you know how I was*
Person: You know, if big cocks now fall under a gay trait, do you think that straight boys will nervously start boasting about how small their cocks are?”
Me: Umm. No clue.
Person: More studies need to be done. Do you have a job yet?
Me *absolutely gobsmacked*
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Truth is stranger than...oh, you know the rest [Feb. 25th, 2005|10:38 am]
Pauli
Of course, there are several people who tell me that they really think I make everything up that I write about in this LJ. Hmmm. That’s a thought for the future.

Anyhoo. It was snowing (AGAIN) yesterday and I stared rather glumly out the window because I knew that pretty soon I would have to go outside and shovel all that sh*t. AGAIN. It didn’t help that the last time I was outside shoveling, my next door neighbor (an Aussie who is an official at the Australian Embassy) decided to have a bit of fun and throw a snowball at me. A huge one. I shrieked. He cackled. I retaliated. So did he….

So, yesterday I was waiting for the snow to stop because that night I had to go to my writing class and I needed to clear a path to get out. The phone rang and it was a real estate agent asking if she could bring over a client.

Me *gobsmacked totally*: COME OVER? You mean, in the middle of this snow storm, someone wants to go house hunting?
Agent: Yes, why not?
Me: I haven’t shoveled the walkway so you will have to…
Agent: Don’t worry about it, we’ll manage.

So, they…managed.

The agent and the client, a trim male in his sixties with salt and pepper hair and goatee, came into the house. He gave me a very firm handshake and then turned to the agent and told her to take off her shoes. As he did.

Me: Oh, no, don’t worry about it.
Client: NO! The shoes have to be off. We don’t want to mess up your floors!

Then, he took off his scarf, coat, and hat and looked at me expectantly.

Me: Ahh. You would be wanting to hang these up, yes? (I felt brilliant)
Client *smiling at my brilliance*: That would be the point.
Agent *looking nervously at me*: I’ll keep my coat on, thanx.

So after finding a hanger and doing the deed, I just wave my hand and tell them to walk around and do whatever agents and clients do.

They walk about and go upstairs and I hear him chuckle when he reaches my room and I know that he is amused by my full poster cutout of Aragorn.

Agent: Does this tell you something?
Client: Ooh, yes!

I am thinking, Wot? Wot? Wot does it tell you?

Then I hear him tell the agent that he has to go pee. Yes. Yes. He told her that. And so he did. I noted that he DID not wash his hands after!

So after the tour, they come downstairs and he smiles at me and sits down. I am hoping that they will go away soon.

Client: Do you have tea?
Me: Tea? Umm. Yes, yes I do.
Client: What kind?
Me: Oooh. Umm. Earl Grey. Herbal. You know. The usual.
Client: Good. If you made us some Earl Grey, that would be heaven.
Me *gobsmacked, again*: You want me to make tea?
Client *smiling at my brilliance*: Why, thank you.
Agent *twirling her hair*: Martin. We should go now.
Martin: Oh, it’s sloppy out there. Let’s have tea and then leave.

So I am in the kitchen muttering to myself that bloody Martin does not know how to act like a proper client. Come into the house, keep shoes on, don’t get undressed, walk about, say thanx, and then leave!

We had tea, shortbread cookies, and belabored conversation. Two cups later, Martin decides that it is time to go. And they do.

Later, I am relating this story to my friend Joan.

Joan *guffawing*: Oh, you crazy you. I love how you make this stuff up! Are you practicing for your class?
Me: No, seriously, Joan. This truly happened!
Joan: Oookaay.

Later, I tell L. about it.

L: Ah. You have class tonight, don’t you?
Me *defeated*: Yes.
L: Well, that’s good. Good material.
Me: It is not material. It is…my life.
L: Ah. Good. Carry On!

I went to class. Mucked through the snow. Arrived out of breath, cold, but happy that I didn’t play hooky and went into the classroom, where Michael was seated. Then Dara came in. Then. Nobody else. Including the teacher. We waited for thirty minutes before our three brains, together, figured out that class was not happening.

Mucked through the snow. Arrived out of breath, cold, and not happy.

L: How was class?
Me: It seemed to be cancelled.
L: Didn’t you know beforehand?
Me: If I had, I wouldn’t have walked six blocks in the snow and cold now would I?
L *grumpy*: I wouldn’t put it past you! You seem lately to always have to live as if it were a fiction you were writing.
Me *rolling eyes*: Whatever.
L: So, are you going to shovel the snow now?
Me: No. Why would I do THAT at this hour?
L*smirking*: To get material for your fiction?

I gave up and went to shovel. Hoping that the Aussie would come out to play.
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I haven't been the same since that house fell on my sister... [Jan. 29th, 2005|01:15 pm]
Pauli
Still very cold. No shock, there. It is winter, but I look out the window and see the chilled patina covering everything and mildly resent the weather. Joan and I cannot move her garbage can from the front of her house; it’s been frozen to its spot since several days ago and we cannot budge it (yeah, I know. We are some kind of weaklings).

So, decide to stay indoors and do…something. Read or write or eat (my fave) or practice witchcraft (the good kind, the good kind). Or, I could... Ah, the phone is ringing!
…or I could talk on the phone!

MAN: Heelloo.

I don’t recognize the voice. A bit unctuous, it is.

ME *guarded*: Hi.
MAN: I’m just calling from the Shakespeare Theater and…how are you this fine afternoon?
MY BRAIN: Oh, no! A call to ask for money. I don’t have any money! I don’t have a job! I don’t want to hear the spiel.
ME: I’m fine but…
MAN: I want to thank you for being such a generous donor in the past and…by the way, how did you like our last performance?
ME: I’ve never been to see one at your theater.
MY BRAIN: Splendid! Now he’ll go away.
MAN: Oh? Well, anyway, you know about the Free for All summer shows we have, yes?
ME: No.
MAN: Great, well we are calling to let our donors know about our plans for this summer and…
ME *interrupting*: I’ve never donated to your group and I’ve never seen a show there and I’m sorry but…
MAN: …can we count on you?
ME: No.
MAN: You don’t have to give in one lump sum. It could be donated over a period of time. Are you in?
ME: No.
MAN: The actor who was in last summer’s performance of a Midsummer’s Night Dream is returning. He was great, didn’t you think so?
ME: No. I mean, I’m sure he was great but, as I said, I’ve never…

I’m really unhappy about how ineptly I am handling this telemarketing call and I’m trying to think of a word that could really sum up my feelings right about now.

MAN: …And he will reprise his role as Puck.
MY BRAIN: Ah, yes. Well. At least it rhymes with the word you need.
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Happy, happy [Jan. 24th, 2005|11:27 am]
Pauli
Read that today is the most depressing day of the year (!) It seems that a Welsh psychologist has developed a formula that told him so.

This is what it’s about: weather + credit card bill + no more holiday partying (hence the credit card bill) + SO not following New Year’s resolutions + I don’t wanna, what’s the point motivation = January 24th = WAAAH!

Well. What should depress me is that I woke up… not depressed. When I read the article from that poncy git (sorry, Sarah), I thought, hmm, well, what is wrong with me?

The weather here is not great. Let’s see, it’s colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra! (As I learned yesterday from darling Estella), I do have credit card bills. There is no real partying in this town (Bush went to bed at 10:00 p.m. on the night of his inauguration. I mean, fer crying out loud, he had many parties to attend that night, couldn’t he stay out of his flannel pjs for at least another hour?

And don’t get me started on resolutions. I think I may have eaten out the fridge…last week! And I don’t exercise in the snow (even though it only snowed two days ago). As far as motivation? Weeellll. It’s there. Somewhere.

So, I SHOULD be depressed today. Along with everyone else. *Sighs*

.
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The gift of touch [Jan. 23rd, 2005|03:30 pm]
Pauli
A very dear family friend has died and Friday was his service. He had been a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend. He also had been a conscientious, capable, and trustworthy employee. His job was what ultimately killed him. The nature of his work many years ago had exposed him to copious amounts of asbestos, and there was nothing the doctors could do anymore to keep his lungs from sharing space with grapefruit-sized tumors.

It was to be a very private gathering. A cremation. Just family. The phone call on Thursday urged, “You must come, after all you are family.” It would not be possible to be at the service, we could not get there in time, but going to the house to spend the afternoon with the bereaved was something that needed to be done. After all, we were family.

The drive to New York State – to a town on the west side of the Hudson River -- took just about five hours. As the car got nearer to the house, I remembered all the drives to this area to spend the summers away from the heat and humidity of D.C. The first thing that needed to be done, after opening and airing out the house, of course, was to call these friends and tell them we were finally there. “Ah, the summer has officially begun,” he would always say and then, “Come for supper.”

Driving to JackandMary’s house. That’s how I always called it. Not Jack’s house. Not Mary’s house. JackandMary’s house as if it were one word. Before supper, there was swimming in the pool and then, on the stone back patio, we would sit, eat, talk, and laugh. For years, we followed this routine. They were like parents to me, making sure I had what I needed when I was alone at the house where I spent the summer. And when I didn’t have the car, Jack would come and pick me up and take me to his and Mary’s house for swimming and supper.

So, on Friday, I was finally at…Mary’s house. Her children were there and she was sitting in the kitchen in her wheelchair and she looked calm. We shared stories about Jack, drank coffee, ate, laughed, and shared. It was time for supper and the children pressed us to stay and have something to eat before we hit the road because, unfortunately, we were not spending the night in the area and had to drive the five hours back to D.C. It was getting late but, of course, I stayed for supper.

When it was really time to leave, I looked around and everyone was doing something. Mary was at the table in her wheelchair and she was quietly looking at everything around her and seemed to be enjoying the bustle. She hadn’t cried the whole five hours I was there, and this made it possible for me not to as well. Privately, I had wanted to reach out to her, to find something to say to her that would help her in her grief. I didn’t know what to say because what could one say in such a situation. But I was leaving and it was time to give her some comfort. I walked over to her, hoping that I would find the gift of words that would give her peace, for that moment anyway.

She looked up at me and winked. That threw me. I expected a small smile, maybe, but an impish wink? I smiled at her and put my hand on her head. It was then that I realized that for the time that I had been at her house, nobody touched her. Oh, they spoke to her, gave her things, pushed her wheelchair when she wanted to go to her room, smiled at her, laughed at what she would say…but, no touch.

My hands were on her head and I began to stroke and play with her hair. Her reaction was immediate: she closed her eyes, sighed and said, “That really feels good. I could go to sleep right now.”

So for about ten minutes I stayed by Mary’s side, stroking her hair, feeling her relax. Then it was time. I hugged her tightly and whispered, “Mary.” She squeezed my arm and said, “Ssh. I know.”

Hugging the children goodbye, they each said the same thing to me, “I am so happy and moved that you were here. Thank you for coming.”

How could I not? They are family.
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