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October 26th, 2008

06:04 pm - Hooboy -- Dealy! Delay!
I am now in the Philippines, left the states 9/14, one day after Steve's wedding, which was an interesting day. There to Heathrow, to Alan's, two days later to Amsterdam to meet alexis and back to Heathrow, where British Immigration wanted to know what I thought I was up to. I don't blame them. There everything was fresh and exciting til I hit a pickpocket in the underground and all hell broke loose emotionally. I was in a different, if not strange, country, no money, and no access to same. Not good -- I felt so vulnerable, and worthless, too, somehow.

Gary wired me money so I was okay, and Alexis' stash cashed a check for me. But I still have the uneasiness, and watch everything on my person like a hawk. I have had the guilts for not writing anything for such a momentous long time, but I think it's necessary. My letters to people are acting as journaling too, and I think I will add them here so they have a repository, but keep in mind they are largely glossing over the heavier emotional stuff. Feeling abandoned, shoved out, misunderstood and the usual ball of wax. Alan is the only one who has understood this isn't necessarily a glamorous holiday, but a reinvention of a life. Job gone was hard, cats gone much harder, and house gone killed me. Money nearly gone, and that's hard. I do have a shot or two at work here, visa notwithstanding, and that will help my sense of myself and my finances both enormously.

Alexis is difficult. She is, my guess, unhappy, and it shows in everything. While at Alan's she picked at him -- but not directly. She told me all the things she was unhappy with, and like an idiot I told him after she had gone back. Shouldn't have -- all it did was make him miserable since the bulk of the issues were with the house. They are NOT about how he keeps the house. They are her wanting some kind of magic wand to make the house, every time, exactly as she left it, but still wanting to collect rent. She has a distinction between renting a room and having the use of the house, but wanting the rest of the house untouched -- but cleaned. And housekeeper/caretaker chores handled, but the money going the wrong way for that. I tried to explain it, got nowhere, gave up and it was such a huge mistake to let Alan know of it. Damn. Can't take it back.

Here in the P'pines it is all alexis' house. I have now moved the bulk of my stuff into the little sitting room in the front, which is nice. We've arranged the furniture so I feel I have a space of my own and am not in her lap day in and day out, which helps. My little sewing machine is up, plugged in and will be ready to go once I find some sewing machine oil. These FR's drink oil like mother's milk and need lots. I have the use of their US landline to call home and Bill every couple of days, and that helps, too. I don't feel so cut off and am starting to see things as opportunities more than fears. I am always so reluctant to impose and here I am living the ultimate imposition. More to come -- will append a few entries from the letters I wrote at various times just to give this (and myself!) an idea of where I've been.
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

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February 26th, 2008

09:12 pm - Tuesday as Wednesday
Which is, of course, wishful thinking. Work isn't THAT bad but the habit of wishing away the days is a hard one to break. this is a ramble night, nothing heavy but of course insightful and lightly touching on the fascinating. 


I am in the enviable position right now of choosing what to wear to work based on getting some use out of things before I shrink out of them. 6.5 pounds down in the last week, and reducing has nothing to do with it. Getting back to my right habits -- and I do know what they are -- has everything to do it. 


I had a mini-panic attack tonight. Financially I should not be able to make it here, period. My income went down a total of $600/month and my expenses went up $300 +/- which is one hell of a hit. There is no way I should be able to manage this, but I am. So far. It isn't easy, and it's scary, and I know there will be points when I fall behind. But I am controlling my spending as much as my eating, and that is my strength: I am getting better and better at this. I don't need rescue -- and I don't do rescue. 

Not any more. 


Listening to Mason Williams, "Classical Gas" in the car at noon yesterday. Thinking how different the generations are, my 60's exuberant and now so innocent music. Remember Strawberry Alarm Clock? Peanut Butter Conspiracy? Wes Montgomery indicated world weary cynicism by picturing discarded cigarette butts in a puddle. Musing interrupted by a pair of overage gangstas stroll down the street. It's a walk you know anywhere even without the hoodies and slouched pants. But damned if the older of the two wasn't swaggering exactly in time to my music! Maybe a bit more universal after all. 


Reminds me: I had a CD on because I'm back to a moratorium on NPR. They are hip deep in elections and I am weary indeed of that. I got a survey by phone tonight. Liberal or conservative? Clinton or Obama? Which statements would you agree with? Then he tossed out the humdinger:

"You may hear one or several of these statements in the campaign this year. Would they make a difference in how you view the candidates, in how you vote?

For example if you heard Obama snorted cocaine when younger how would it affect your vote? It wouldn't.

If you found that clinton was a radical while at Yale law school, supporting every Marxist student group around, would it affect your vote?

Okay, I get it. What a sneaky way to spread crap about the Demos!

I told them it would be the deciding factor for me: if I found that was true I would DEFINITELY vote for the lady!

Good grief. 

Current Location: Home home home
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
Current Music: Junky TV night again

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February 24th, 2008

09:18 pm - I did it!

Rocky is fixed. Humming along like a singer with perfect pitch, bad pun, Rocky being a Singer Rocketeer sewing machine I have just finished re-working who now has a perfect stitch.

It feels so good to take an old piece of good machinery and make it hum again! This one still needs a cleaning and good oiling, but I got the new tension assembly on and adjusted, the biggest bugaboo for old sewing machines. I tried all the fancy stitches too and damned if they don't work as well -- unheard of on the first go round. the knobs need some de-gumming and a good polish all around is in order, but he sews PERFECTLY!

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February 22nd, 2008

06:56 pm - Machine Madness

It's Friday, a blessed day in my working world. I'd rather be home either communing with the cats or drowning in sewing machine oil. I work with what are supposed to be grown men but I feel more like a supervisor on a playground most days. One out today with a sick child and the other sulked -- just too convenient, he said, that the kid is sick on a Friday. I suggested his lower lip was dragging and received the glare that presages a full tilt sulk. The other grown-up of the group is coming back monday after three months out on comp -- dear friend, but it's not written anywhere that dear friends can't be pains in the butt at the same time. This one is: ever met an emotional bully who also oozes negative vibes, but only at work and about work? Everything else is sunshine and roses and perceptive affection but on the job he rates a large 0 from me. 

To the ranch this w/end, see if I can walk off some of the work energy. My friend up there has a new pup who looks either like Spuds Mackenzie or the old Little Rascals dog, and I'm betting that mutt will want a good romp as much as I will. It will be a good trick, come to think of it, in rain and the rumored 50 mph winds. Hmmm. Have to change that plan -- 

Tonight was a sewing machine triumph! I've been fighting with one of my old Singers for weeks, and today went to see my one remaining hope for a decent repairman in town. Wonder of wonders, he's one of us: passionate about the old machines, an eBay seller who has had his own share of the feedback/refund/PayPal miseries, and he gave me an idea. It worked -- I got the tension assembly on at last! Now, of course, I'll have to adjust it, but it is ON!! I'm going to take my newly refurbed Elnita up the hill with me to stay there -- it's light, purrs when it runs and will be perfect for piecing. I've got four baby quilts to do, so it's time to get a move on. I spent January re-doing the IBM's after the great cat crash caper, and all of Feb so far has been machines. Time to switch gears again and start getting the tops done: I can't quilt them til I've got them.

Current Location: At Home
Current Mood: dorky
Current Music: Naah, TV tonight

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February 21st, 2008

09:27 pm - Tail end of a long week

Not bad at all: met a good friend in person at last and walked Chinatown for the afternoon, picture taking for once taking a back seat to coffee and conversation. There is something as comfortable and comforting as old slippers in meeting someone you know well on line for the first time. Not intimacy precisely, but all the preliminary nerves are taken care of. "You get to know each other inside out," he said, "instead of the other way round."

Well put. 

I'm elbow deep in very old sewing machine oil tonight, parting out an ancient machine in search of the one screw I need to finish the tension on another machine. I think I might have to break down and ask someone precisely what I need, but at least I have this one stripped. An old Singer plastic and lord, at this second I can't even think of the model. But it's a Rocky I'm restoring, so it's worth it.

Current Mood: accomplished

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