Thursday, January 28, 2010

Does it feel cold in here? Just ignore the icicles.

The slumlord of NYC is no urban myth.  I've been in my apt. for 17 years and I've endured a lot of ridiculous living conditions—sometimes no heat or hot water, always low water pressure and what about the soot from the boiler, and the carbon monoxide.  Luckily, the City does require CO detectors in every apt.

Our latest battle is lack of heat.  The owner wants to keep costs down on the fuel oil, so he just cuts back on the heat.  Oh sure, there are laws about the minimum indoor/outdoor heat ratio, but convincing the managing agent that it is actually too cold for comfort is another story. 

We have a City Council, Community Advocate on the case, but the wheels of justice turn extremely slowly in this town.  So, the landlord can delay and delay before they are actually forced to do anything.  By that time, it will be Summer.  They've got it all figured out. 

Bottom line:  the tenants are like the hamster on the wheel; and it's an endless and unproductive waste of time.  I'm having a bad day.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Trust No One

It really is true—some people just can't be trusted.

A few days ago, an idea for a procedural change was presented to me by the person for whom it would benefit; and since it had an indirect effect on me, my opinion was solicited.  I said, "Fine, I'll go along with it if it is approved, but please, do not make it sound as though it was my idea."  I didn't really want to make the changes and it was definitely NOT something I would have suggested.

The next day, I was told by someone else, that the idea had actually been presented as coming from me!  (What?!?)  Unfortunately, the idea was rejected by the powers that be, as I instinctively felt it would be, but guess who looks like the trouble maker........... 

Thanks a lot!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Where am I? — What day is it?

I'm a bit of a night owl, so I decided to give it a try. 
Everything was going very well for the first four or five hours. 

Here I am, hard at work:

But, by the time 2:00am rolled around, I felt more like this:


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happiness is a "state" of mind

Last month, I had a conversation with someone who said they believed that life is about struggling, because everyone they know is struggling. 

Since I don't share that belief, I decided to ask the world at large — "If you're happy and you know it, let me know."  Well, unfortunately, I didn't hear from anyone. 

Apparently, someone conducted a national survey, and today, this map was in the news.  Do you think happiness is just a state?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sleepy, sleepy Sunday

I really slept the day away today.  I guess I needed it.  I feel rested now. Listening to some jazzy Christmas music on Pandora. 

This is the view from my kitchen window.  The park, where the trees are, sits on what once was the base of one of George Washington's forts during the Revolutionary war.  And, it is the highest point in Manhattan.  At least I don't have to look into someone else's bedroom!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Housework is never done!

That's the problem with housework--you do it, and then you have to do it again.  My most dreaded chore is the laundry because, here in NYC, most of us have to go to the laundromat.  The buildings are old and the plumbing is not really adequate for the water pressure, plus the washer has to hook up to the kitchen sink and the dryer vented through a window.  Whew!  Some landlords don't allow washers in the apartments.  My building has a laundry room, but you still have to go outside to get to it.  No one is keeping it clean, etc., so it is just too creepy to consider using. 

On the other hand, carrying a basket of clothes down the street seems so primitive—like heading to the river bank to beat the clothes with a rock.  Or maybe it's because I didn't grow up in this city and have always had my own washer, that makes it such a challenge.  Oh well....

So, week after week, I suffer.  I have tried to change my attitude, but when the wind chill is -15, even my attitude can't "sugar coat" that inconvenience.  I'll do almost any chore to avoid the laundry.  So, guess what?  The apt. is clean and the dishes are done, but a lot of laundry is still piling up!  The good news is that, eventually, it does get done.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Around and around the aisles I go

A month or so ago, I ran into my dentist at the neighborhood grocery store. He told me that he comes into the store once a week and just buys whatever is on sale. I thought that was interesting because, that's what I do too—but I'm on a very tight budget.  I was surprised to learn that now, our unstable economy is even affecting the lives of well-paid professionals.

At any rate, I buy whatever is on sale and plan my meals around that for the week.  There is always something different on sale next week, so you still get variety.  And don't forget—when it is something that you use all the time and that you will always buy—whether it is on sale or not—buy three or four when it IS on sale.

I don't pay full price for that much.  I make a list and try to stick to it.  Occasionally, I am tempted to splurge and just buy whatever I want; but if I did that, then I wouldn't be able to buy buttons, and the buttons are much more of a treat than something that I will just eat and it will be gone.

Look at these little darlings that I just got.  They are extruded celluloid made in the 1940s or 50s. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Button, button—who's got the button?

Another frigid day today, and we're expecting worse.  Really don't want to go out, but tomorrow I must procure provisions.  Just ate my last egg and last English muffin, so now, I don't have a choice.  LOL.  I have plenty of food, but always like to have my favorites on hand.

I've been looking at buttons on eBay and have purchased a few.  There are thousands of them and I've done my best to look at most of them—to the point where now, I am dreaming about buttons—not good.  I have creative plans for the buttons.

Look at these Mother of Pearl beauties: