Monthly Archives: June 2006


I take Carol’s 9:15 yoga class, and Carol is actually teaching it, after two weeks away and then last week cancelled for the holiday. And assisting her is the same woman who was assisting when I took her class in early May, but she’s not named Karen as I thought. Although again this time I hear someone saying hi to someone named Karen, and when I turn around it’s this person that I see. But her name is Purvi. I introduce myself after class just to make sure.

Afterwards I meet Dawn outside and we walk up to Academy of Theatrical Arts to get tickets to their fiftieth anniversary recital. Dawn took ballet there for years, when she lived and worked closer, before we moved all the way across town. They’re all excited to see her, and excited that we’ll be coming to see them at the recital.

I’m looking for the next Horatio book, since I’m threatening to finish the current one soon. (Ship of the Line. Next one is Flying Colors.) The used bookstore Kultur has apparently closed, moved to Los Angeles. We go to Kramerbooks, but they only have two Horatios, Midshipman and Lieutenant. On the way back to the car we stop at Second Story Books, another used bookstore, but they have no Horatio. We’ll try Borders tomorrow.

We stop at Whole Foods for cucumbers for a salad Dawn wants to try making. We buy a bottle of white wine because Dawn likes the bottle. We stop at Safeway on the way home as well, for the regular weekly groceries.

We have quick snack for lunch, then we’re off to the dump. Officially it’s called the Fort Totten Waste Transfer Station. We have two old cabinets to take, one a kitchen cabinet, a corner cabinet, that’s been slowly rotting in the back yard while we’ve been using it to store bags of potting soil and mulch, the other a little cabinet of Dawn’s that used to hold videos, and more lately I’ve been hacking away at trying to fashion a shopmade router table, which I don’t need now with the new Ryobi saw with the extension that I want to see if I can drop a router into. The dump is fairly deserted. Some days we’ve had to wait in line, but not today.

On the way home we sort of what-the-hell stop at Home Depot. Dawn’s mother is coming to visit next weekend, and Dawn seems to think that her gardening needs a bit more show. So while Dawn looks for flowers and plants, I get ten minutes to go check out the tool corral.

I play with the fence on the Ridgid table saw that’s way out of my price range, just to see how much steadier it is than the Ryobi saw I’ve got. I’m pleased that it’s not remarkably different. Then I check out the little Ryobi bandsaw. It’s a little 9″ thing, meaning that you’ve got nine inches of clearance between the blade and the arm of the saw. It doesn’t mean that you can resaw nine inches. Depth of cut is probably like three inches or so, around the same as my table saw. I check out the Ryobi planer, playing with the depth adjustment. I think I’ll buy a planer next year. And finally I play with the drill press, trying to figure out the stroke adjustment.

I go back to meet Dawn and help her grab some hanging plants too high for her to reach. We’re on our way to get in line when I think of needing a deck box or something to replace the cabinet that we just threw away. We see a lot of Rubbermaid ones, but no prices. We decide it’s probably in our price range and grab one.

When we finally get through the line to the cashier, it won’t scan though. The cashier pages for help and has us wait while she checks through the next customer. Then she has a problem with him trying to charge something to his store account. Then her entire register computer just flat out dies. We read the gardening circular to pass the time.

At home the thing snaps together in a jiffy. The instructions are on the giant box itself; there’s no printed manual or instructions inside. The instructions are just pictures, even, no words. There’s a picture of a screwdriver and a hammer, and a block of wood with “1×4” under it. Like who has 1x4s just lying around? I find a strip of MDF that’s about right and use that. And then I stretch the plastic hinges while I’m screwing on the straps that hold the top. I have to yell for Dawn, who’s inside toasting walnuts, to help me. Finally it’s done. And it fits pretty well in the yard, where the old cabinet was. Looks a lot better.

11. Continue to follow US-1 NORTH – go 1.3 mi

Dawn and I go after work to Arbutus MD to the Ambrose Funeral Home. The father of our friend Rhea has passed away suddenly. We’re using Yahoo/MapQuest directions. We get lost.

Step 10 gets us off I-195 and onto Washington Boulevard/US-1. Problem is step 11, which says to continue on US-1. But apparently we should have veered off to the right, which would have taken us around and under the road on which we stayed, and would have taken us to where we needed to go. And compounding the problem was that, right around the time we were supposed to turn left on Selma Avenue, there was in fact another fucking Selma Avenue right there exactly. And we find Maple and Poplar Avenues, streets that we see on the map as being right by where we want to be, but they’re also apparently the wrong ones. Could it have possibly been any more confusing?

So we get into the classic man/woman thing about asking for directions. I’ve never before understood this, really. Like who wouldn’t stop for directions if they were lost? Well, me, turns out. But it’s because Dawn is suggesting that we stop for like any person walking. No way. I’ll stop at a gas station or some other business for directions, but I sure ain’t asking just any random schmo for directions. That’s just crazy.

So we pass up various random schmos. Dawn will say, “How about this person?” and I’ll reply “No, I don’t like that person.”

It appears from the map that we’re on the wrong side of these railroad tracks here, despite Selma and Maple and Poplar. So we find an overpass, and on the other side we find Oregon Avenue, which we also see on the map. So we take that and sure enough we finally find Sulphur Springs Road and the Ambrose Funeral Home. And later it’s only on the way back, retracing the Yahoo directions that we see where we got off track. And probably those railroad tracks are a later addition to the area, is why there are non-contiguous streets with the same name on both side of the tracks.

At the funeral home a sign directs us into the visiting room immediately to the right, where we sign the guestbook just inside the door and then wander further inside. I don’t see Rhea in the crowd. A man comes up to us and asks who we are and introduces himself. He’s Harold Jr., Rhea’s brother. He points out where Rhea is standing, talking to other people. Dawn had already spotted her, and we were just waiting politely until she was finished, whereas I thought we were waiting for her to arrive. But anyway Harold Jr. takes us over, because Rhea’s talking to some people who used to work with her, at Covington & Burling, where she and Dawn work now. Sort of predecessor coworkers of Dawn’s then. They are Roberta and Ann. We meet and greet for a while. We also meet Rhea’s mother, who’s a dear.

Then we talk with Rhea over by her father, by the open casket. She says that he doesn’t really look like him, and Dawn notes that she thought the same thing at her Grandfather’s funeral last year. There’s a kneeler in front of the casket, and I want to kneel and pray, but I’m not sure of the protocol. I’m not sure if it’s more of a Catholic thing, the kneeling and praying in front of the deceased, and I don’t know if making the sign of the cross is okay in Lutheran settings. So I opt for safety and refrain. I tell Rhea that, I don’t know why, but I found the loss of my grandparents ameliorated somewhat by the thought of them having had lost their own grandparents. Somehow I was comforted by the idea that they themselves had to deal with this very same grief. She understands.

The trip home, back into Washington, is a lot faster than the rush hour trip coming out to Arbutus, going against rush hour traffic now.

Two Years

I celebrate my second anniversary at ASH, the American Society of Hematology. I have my evaluation with Matt at three o’clock. It’s an easy evaluation for him to do, since pretty much the things I did well last year I still do well and the things where I need improvement I still need improvement. At least the things I do well I do a little better this year, and I have improved a little in the areas where I need improvement although I still need to improve more.

I get a raise, though, happily. Four point eight-nine-five percent. It rounds off to five percent, so I’m happy. Well, I’m happy to keep the job, happy I’m not handed a box and given five minutes to collect my personal effects before a guard escorts me out of the building. I’m happy to get paid as much as I do now.

I’m thrilled to get a raise.