27 October 2008

Liesl's Magnificat

Yesterday was luscious. We had almost written the whole weekend off, what with Saturday's rain and slop and wet. Saturday was a non-day. A day to clean the kitchen, a day to finish up that project that's been sticking its tongue out at you from the floor of the hall. A day that we simply endured together, sleeping and eating and sleeping some more. A day for drinking raspberry tea. Not a bad day, just a prosaic day.

But, oh, Sunday, sweet Sunday, the autumn day of my dreams. The rain brought in warmer air, for one precious Indian summery day. The sun woke us up, nudging us into the day earlier than usual, so that we could taste and savor the sweetness of the bluest sky and hear the crispness of the leaves.

We wandered through Central Park, the only proper destination for such a day. We shared the gray-beige rocks of Turtle Pond with other couples and watched the men row their ladies in green rowboats. Impromptu kisses beneath the goldening leaves may or may not have been shared. We talked of cabbages and kings, of wedding plans and future things. Shared one slice of pizza between the two of us, a sip of coffee, and a free chocolate. Played in the leaves and the stuffed animals. Walked and talked and walked and talked down the sidewalks of the city.

Sublime and pure, the sun warmed our hearts and the leaves opened our souls to each other. It was, in short, the consummate fall afternoon, the prototype of autumn, the mold from which all fall days should be cast.

And the best part of the day was sharing it with you.

20 October 2008


So, this has been a day. I arrived at my office building to find that the elevator was out, and I'd have to walk up the eight flights of stairs to get to work - again. The stairs were wet, with water dripping down my neck as I climbed. It actually got worse as I got farther up.

If only that were the worst of it.

When I finally got to my floor, it was raining. Inside the building. Yes, raining. Like, dangit, I forgot my umbrella. Like, I want to stay in bed and watch a movie. Like, good day for ducks. Inside the building.

It appears there was a false fire alarm on the 10th floor, or a pipe leak, or something, that didn't get checked over the weekend. It's 3:30 right now, and they tell me water is still running on the 9th and 10th floors. My specific office isn't affected, fortunately.

The director's office was a soggy mess. His computer no longer works. His chairs squished when you sat down on them. When you lifted up a corner of a ceiling tile to see where the water was coming from, a fountain gushed out the other corner. We emptied out his office entirely, moving 60 years and a PhD's worth of books. We strategically placed recycle bins to catch the drops. We rescued his diplomas and family pictures and knicknacks. We set up fans to dry his important documents into crinkly, crispy pages. We set up a temporary office for him in another room. We called the crew to bring carpet fans. We thought we were done.

And then...we opened the storage closets next to his office. The ones that hold ten years' worth of paper archives, in cardboard boxes. Which were now wet archives, in wet cardboard boxes. I took a puddle of dirty cardboard water to the face when emptying those shelves.

So now we have archives, Christmas decorations, electronics, chair cushions and all kinds of documents strewn around every possible surface, drying. Fortunately they tell me the floors are made of concrete, so there's no risk of those collapsing. The ceilings, that's another story. I'm keeping my ears peeled for the crash.

Talk about a flashback to Odo-Ban!

03 October 2008

The Frozen North

It occurred to me that Canada might be feeling a little left out of this presidential election.

"Hey, we're next to Alaska, too!"