October 31, 2004

Happy Halloween

The cats are gone.

The car is sold.

It's getting dark way too early.

I'm nervous about the move and starting to miss people already, even though they're not really gone.

Letting go of all this is scary hard.

October 27, 2004

It's a Flat, not an Apartment

And it's in Marylebone. Top two stories of a house, 3 flats in the builiding, overlooking a gated park (called a "Square" here, I believe) to which will get a key. How very Gramercy Park.

Allegedly, Madonna lives just down the street. We like the place in spite of that.

October 25, 2004

Naked Without You

I unintentionally left the hotel yesterday without my Blackberry, and was already too far into my journey to head back and get it. No phone or email for almost 10 hours. Quelle luddite.

Traveled south of the river to visit some friends, had a lovely lunch, met some new guys, got invited to a party, did a little work (yes, had laptop, but no network connections), and saw a bad movie (although his boyfriend was really nice to look at).

Almost half a day being "unconnected" and I lived to tell the tale. What I cannot tell is how a sock can disappear within a hotel room in the course of a night's sleep. I totally get the whole "dryer ate my sock" theory. But a hotel room? Perhaps the Sanderson's happy fairies are just mischievous little thieves.

October 24, 2004

The Case of the Disappearing Comments

My aplogies to those of you who recently left comments and notice they're gone.

My blacklist ended up getting an extra colon in the list (really, who needs an extra colon?) and I didn't realize till I'd mistakenly de-spammed a bunch of un-spam comments.

More Elixir Please

I guess waking up in the middle of the night giggling is better than dreaming of interrogations. If I only knew what was so funny?

Maybe my subconscious was just relieved at having only one beer, no cigarettes, and getting a bunch of work off my plate. Or maybe a little happy fairy came to visit and gave me a shot of magic elixir.

Those Ian Schraeger hotels do aim to please.

October 23, 2004

Florida's New Voting Machine

Got this from Auntie Rose.

Dream Interrogation

"I'm from Immigration and we've come to collect you."

That was the "wake up" line in last night's dream -- the third dream in about 5 nights where I've been "in trouble" with some sort of authority figure. The other night was about me and some girl I was traveling with (and her two kids) surreptitiously setting free a herd of sheep, and the evil farmers (I don't know why they were evil, but they were and one looked like Dick Cheyney), separated us all for questioning. We'd done it and we were trapped.

A couple nights ago it was all about being apprehended and cuffed with those white plastic restraints that the cops were using during the RNC. I kept coming out of mine and every time they'd tighten it up or put on a new pair, I'd find a way to loosen them, or someone would have a giant scissors or nail clippers to get me out of it.

Last night was the immigration drama. Weird, as that was the day that I got word my work visa had been approved and delivered. Maybe I'm apprehensive about the interview process at the British Embassy before we I officially move.

I was going to get up early today and be very productive, since I spent the last two days house hunting and am now behind on the day-to-day as well as a couple projects that have milestones due on Monday and Tuesday. And then there's a presentation I have to build for a Tuesday am meeting that I only found out about yesterday (the presentation, not the meeting).

So crap ... the better part of a day ruined, and I was going to be a star and accomplish so much. But I guess I needed the sleep. Been coughing my way through most night's lately ... time to cut back on the smoking. Stopped into Boots and picked up some "Chesty Cold" and a "NicAssist" -- Bootian equivalents of Robitussin DM and Niccorette. I know, I've said for years that it's just rude not to smoke over here, but I'll be even ruder if I never sleep again because I can't stop coughing.

It's all so cool and glamorous until you become your wheezing, emphysemic (dead) grandmother.

Enough blather. Time to focus on the tasks at hand which, for the record are:

1. Do my online work insurance enrollment/renewal
2. Write Tuesday's presentation
3. Draft letter to CEO justifying my factsheet project
4. Create agenda for tuesday's meeting with my boss
5. Create summary of the events-to-date on a performance track record project
6. Pay my Corporate Amex bill
7. Draft wish list email for the property we put a bid on yesterday.
8. Go downstairs for a pre-work cigarette.
8. Press save and close Movable Type.

I want to go the movies cinema tomorrow, and if I donít get my work done, no play for me. A new rule guideline in the ďReinvention of BobĒ Ö coming soon to a British neighborhood near you.

October 22, 2004

It's Beginning to Sink In

Work permit obtained.

Offer on flat going in this afternoon (does Montagu Square sound charming enough?), with a couple back-up options on the list. Marylebone, here we come.

But first, celebratory pints in Soho. The Yard in 90 minutes. Y'all come.

October 20, 2004

Flying Above the Clouds

I'm sitting in a commuter jet this morning, getting ready to land at O'Hare to make my connecting flight to London. It's early still and the sun is just inching up over the horizon, blood orange fingers reaching up to grab the edge of the clouds to the east, preparing for one long, slow chin up into daylight.

Below me is a sea of clouds, as far as I can see, nothing but a gray lumpy mattress of thick vapor, moving ever so slowly. The sky above is clear, but I know the weather on the ground is miserable ... just like the foggy rain I left behind in Cincinnati. I think I see a few scattered stars, but they're just other planes rising from, descending to, or circling around the greater Chicago area.

It seems so peaceful, like a morning boat ride out to a distant dive site. I can see no land, just a few other boats in the distance, going to a reef I'll see tomorrow or one I visited yesterday.

As we slowly make our way into the ocean of cloud cover, I prepare for a jolt of turbulence, but there is none, just an easy glide into the fog ... where we seem to hang forever. I expect to see coral, or fish, or perhaps a merman, but nothing ... nothing above or below for what seems like minutes. How thick can this division between clear pre-dawn sky and cold Chicago morning be?

And then there are wisps of light underneath me. The mist begins to break, and the toy city appears, miniature cars appear on glistening streets, empty parking lots await the matchbox cars to fill them.

I'm landing in a city that used to be home. I've just come from a city that was home, and still is. And in a few minutes, I'll board another plane to take me back into the ocean of clouds, across a real ocean ... to a city that will be home.

Home. Maybe it's not a place or a city. Maybe it's a place inside of us, full of memories and warmth, full of friends and family and feelings, full of the non-tangibles that we try so hard to hold on to.

Or maybe it's just where we get our mail.

October 18, 2004

I Got One in the Hole!

We had a little get-together at my cousin Scott's house yesterday ... the Ohio segment of the Bob Voyage party. Lots of family, a few friends (and some I consider both), plenty of booze, and most all my favorite foods.

I really thought they'd all gone a step too far in making it a special day for me, especially with all the children around, when they asked me if I wanted to play cornhole.

"Um, where and with whom?" I asked, thinking that they'd found a local farm boy to send me off with a bang.

"Outside, with the kids. You can pick your own partner."

Turns out they had a different kind of cornhole in mind. Crazy Ohio people.

Then a few of us "grown ups" stood around the fire pit on the back patio (it's cold here in Ohio) and swapped stories about which immediate family has the most trailer-park-worthy secrets. We all kinda won, in our own special ways. And the brilliant part of it all was, I knew most of the stories that people were telling, and they were deliberately skimming over the really juicy parts.

We're all way more trailer park than we'll admit ... even when we're liquoured up and among friends.

I've gotta go rev up the generator outside the double wide ... almost out of juice to keep this computer running.

October 15, 2004

Cat Burglar

We were at Barrage last night (something new and different) to celebrate his birthday (which is actually tomorrow). I was telling the boys about the Alias-like chips inside the kitties, so that they'll be relo-ready in a few months. The microchip is so tiny that it's just injected into them, and I guess it just lives under the skin.

"Ah, the Manchurian Catidate," Glenn says.

"I'm so stealing that," I told him. And now it's mine.

And I need someone to foster them for about 4 months once we go. Any cat lovers out there?

I've been in two modes lately. Totally crazy busy or completely shut down. I need to find a balance. I worked at home today (again) and ended up watching 3 TiVoed episodes of CSI (two original, one NY) and Oprah, who had the cast of Desperate Housewives on.

Too much Teri Hatcher (but then again, the Radio Shack commercials were too much Teri Hatcher) and not near enough Felicity Huffman. I guess the more botox you put in your face, the more face time Oprah gives you.

Heading to Cincinnati tomorrow for a few days, for the first of a couple "Bob Voyage" parties. Then from there to London for two days of flat hunting and then a few days of work the week after. Should be my last trip over before the move. Looks like we'll be there full-time within 4-6 weeks. Maybe then I'll find balance? Or maybe balance will find me. Or maybe I shoud just wait until 2005, when we get back from our holiday scuba trip to the Galapagos. Is it possible to travel too much?

Haven't been writing much here, but haven't really had much to report. But a quick brain dump comes to mind ...

* I'm sick of hearing about the flu shot crisis
* The Time Travler's Wife is gorgeous.
* I want to lose ten pounds (weight, not currency)
* It's starting to sound normal to say flat instead of apartment
* Packing for 2-week trips is a drag
* I'd like a valet
* I must see this before I leave (because I semi worship her and I miss hanging out with him)
* David Lindsay-Abaire is writing the book for Shrek on Broadway, and Kimberly, Akimbo is being made into a move -- I was in a couple of his first plays in the city, many years ago, when his wife was part of a theater company I was in. Ah, yes, remember when Bob was an actor?
* I'm starting to realize that I'm going to miss New York, but I'm really excited to live in London.
* I feel like it's never going to happen, and yet it's happening too fast.

October 12, 2004

Oh I Used to Be Disgusted

but now I try to be amused
and since their wings have got rusted
you know the angels wanna wear my

And speaking of angels, meet my new friend Emma.

I shared a lovely Canadian Thanksgiving with her. She's sweet and funny and charming and beautiful. And she shared lots of stories with me. Like "sometimes when my little brother sneezes, he poops on the bathroom floor."

I told her Larry does that too.

October 10, 2004

Northen Turkey, Eh

Greetings from London. Well, London, Ontario. Itís Canadian Thanksgiving, so thereís a turkey in the oven and the men are out trying to snag a moose. Plenty of Molson in the cooler, and the beaver-shaped Jello mold is setting up nicely.

We have two, count 'em, two big dinners today. The first around 12:30 here in London, actually lovely Lambeth, and the second this afternoon in Orangeville. Itís suburban hell bliss. Actually, itís quite lovely, and Iím blessed to have this second family who make me feel so welcome and loved. It's very very cool. I think itís interesting that Iíve been around longer than a lot of the other ďin-laws.Ē Kind of sweet that the gays are some of the
stable long-term couples, albeit without the grandchildren. And we all know how stable I am.

I think it's almost time to quit smoking again Ö or have a month week-long detox. Was having a nice meditation this morning, and my chest is all rattly and wheezy. And my morning cough is starting to be a little painful in the left-hand side of my back, about half-way down. Whatís the lung cancer treatment like in the UK?

October 7, 2004

Don't Forget to Breathe

This move thing has been an amorphous blob on the horizon of my future for awhile now, but I guess it's really going to happen. I got a work visa application from UK HR yesterday and had to fill out questions justifying the transfer. I felt like I was answering an RFP about myself. Movers came this morning to take inventory and give us an idea what's involved with packing up and shipping our stuff across the pond. The Jeep is up for sale (very good insider price if you're interested). The kitties have been injected with microchips (quelle Alias) and are waiting another 5.5 months till they can be shipped over, which Larry's employer is taking care of. Anybody want to foster a couple charming cats for 4-5 months?

It's still all so surreal to me, and I think I'm in some sort of detached denial about the whole thing. There is still no "move date," but things are definetly progressing. I still say I'll believe it when I'm getting mail there and am sleeping in my own bed in a new flat. Will London be livable without room service?

I just want it to be done with, but I don't want to deal with any of the moving or saying so long stuff. Fortunatley, I guess, I've never been so swamped with work, so everything else seems to be taking a back seat. There's just too much to get done, both in my work world and my personal world. Would it be too much to just go to sleep, get shipped over, and wake up with everything done for me? Kinda like when Sigourney Weaver got shipped into outer space, but without the drooly monster with nasty teeth?

In the meantime, I'm trying, with varied rates of success, not to stress. Trying to enjoy the ride and take it all in. And take account of the simple pleasures ... like the dish of candy corn in the office around the corner, and the pefectly delicious fall days that we've had here lately. And knowing that, after as of 6pm today, I won't have to have any more root planing done for a good long while. Had quadrant 2 done yesterday and am sucking it up and having quadrants 3 and 4 done this afternoon. Joy. Rapture.

Off to Toronto and London (Ontario) tomorrow for Canadian Thanksgiving, and to go through the first round of family farewells. This is all so friggin' weird.

One thing I can tell you I'm not going to miss ... the check-out hags at Duane Reade. I've had to go there twice in two days and they are H-A-T-E-F-U-L. Please send them to outer space ... with the Alien.

October 4, 2004

And We're Back (for now)

16 days, 7 plane rides, 4 hotels, and 4 countries later (I guess we count Texas as its own country), I'm back on New York soil pavement. And last night I slept in my own bed. No room service, but it was certainly nice to be home.

I had the dubious honor of being compared to a celebrity over the weekend. I was in a local Houston bar and this guy was chatting me up and said, "Did anyone ever tell you that you look like Ed Begley Jr.?"

And thank you for playing ... we'll move on now.

Went to the most beautiful wedding Saturday evening. Short, sweet, a little quirky and so full of joy. Details later.

And, I guess the big news is the move is pushing forward, and it's going to happen fairly quickly. L's papers are in the works and they want him there for November 1. I'm following right behind, as soon as I can get my paperwork done. I still don't believe it's real ... but it looks like we'll have a London mailing address by the end of November.

I'm excited and nervous and a little overwhelmed. But it'll all be good. Won't it?