The Queen

Susan and I watched “The Queen” last night. I had already seen it with my folks this week, but Susan hadn’t seen it yet. The story is not all that exciting–I was never interested in the British royals and ignored most of Charles’ and Diana’s shenanigans–but the performances were excellent. I’ve seen Helen Mirren in a British detective show on PBS. I forget what it’s called but she’s pretty intense. I think she was in “The Mosquito Coast” also.

In between holidays

It keeps snowing here in Iowa. We got six inches after I flew out Denver last Saturday and then a few more inches on Friday. It even snowed on Christmas Day in Colorado. My brother keeps telling me how mild the winters are there but every time I’ve been there in the fall or winter it has snowed.

Christmas was nice. I’ll be spending the New Year here in Iowa, which is a break from my usual routine of spending it with friends in New York or New Jersey.

Agitated hair lady

The lady who cuts my hair took a phone call in the middle of my haircut this evening. The caller, who bought a humidifier from her over two years ago, said it didn’t work any more and wanted to return it for a refund. This lady rarely passes a word to me while I sit in her chair for my 10-minute buzz cut but tonight she was really agitated, explaining to me the whole thing. I made sure to agree with her as she was excited and running a razor around my head. And she managed to do a great job as usual. Best $10 haircuts anywhere.

Ready for Christmas

It’s been a long week. My Uncle Nick, also my godfather, died last week. I was going to try to make the funeral but the lousy weather this weekend blocked me. I’ve a bit down in the dumps about that. I have fond memories of Uncle Nick and I really miss him.

The weather has kept me indoors a lot. Work is so quiet I can’t stand it. My boss has been out so I’ve been rearranging my office space to my liking. This is something I wanted to do the first day I started there. It was a mess and just oozed bad feng shui. When I leave a job, I leave a clean desk. My predecessors disagreed.

Mitchell Report

It’s depressing just how many players have been implicated as users of performance-enhancing drugs. A lot of former Yankees were named, though mostly guys who weren’t with them for very long. I always suspected Roger Clemens, but never Andy Pettitte. I’m really disappointed by that.

I’ve downloaded the report but haven’t read it. George Mitchell has some conflicts of interest, I believe. I’m curious to see how he address organizational corruption in the teams and the leagues.

This should be a reminder that Bud Selig has to go. It’s time for a real commissioner.

Frosted Iowa

Ice storms are all the rage here in Iowa. We’ve had two in the last week and a half. This time we had over an inch of ice. All the trees look very Christmassy.

I stayed off the roads yesterday. I like to space out my accidents a little bit.

I woke up at about 4 a.m. yesterday morning to the sound of running water. In my spare bedroom. It was coming in, faucet-like, through the ceiling fan. I collected about 4 gallons of water in half an hour. The manager did some work up in the attic above me–put a bucket up there and pulled back the insulation to dry it out, but there won’t be any serious roof work until the spring. If we have a good thaw or another rainfall it could start all over again. One of my neighbor’s had some ceiling fall in.

He was cursing the owners (“They can buy and sell you, me, and all the rest of us here” but they wouldn’t put new shingles on the roof as he recommended). I wish he had told me that they were such cheapskates before I moved in. It’s not even winter yet. This could be a long one. I’ve lost confidence in this apartment building.

It’s ironic. I managed to get through Hurricane Katrina without a leaky ceiling, but I’ve had two in two apartments in a year and a half in Iowa.

Don’t trust anyone under 30

Susan’s kids have never seen or heard of “The A-Team” or “Knight Rider”. They don’t know how to make an arsenal with nothing but a welding torch or know what turbo boost is. They’ve never even heard of Mr. T.

I feel so old.

And they’ve never seen “A Christmas Story” either. So I’ve rented it and we’ll watch it tonight.

The hard way

Every once in a while I have to learn something the hard way. We’re having an ice storm today. Of course I had to stop by work and try to run a couple of errands before things got worse. I almost decided to go home before running my last errand and of course I got into an accident. Not a bad one, but I clipped a car that was waiting to turn left as I skidded down the hill. I saw the light turn yellow but I could not stop. I held the skid okay at first but then I clipped him and spun out into the intersection. That was the scariest part because I was more afraid of being hit by the oncoming traffic. Fortunately nobody else had started through the intersection. More fortunately nobody was hurt.

Next time I will follow my instincts about bad weather. Lesson learned.