1.055 SWBB, photos, grief

Sunday, 1/26/2020

For morning coffee I again walked to the old P.A. Cafe, getting very slightly wet from a light shower. Rather than walk back through slightly heavier rain, I took a Lyft.

For a couple of hours I worked on organizing and filing a month’s worth of pictures from my iPhone. Then I realized, the SWBB game is at 12 and it’s now 11:15. Headed out for Maples.

The Cardinal dispatched Utah fairly easily. There was a fairly dramatic period in the third quarter, when a decent lead got pumped up a lot by a sequence involving our freshman sharp-shooter, Hannah Jump. (In December 2018, blog Day 33, I went with others to see her play as a high school senior.) She has an amazingly quick release from the three-point line and is usually very accurate. So with Stanford up 10 points, we have this sequence (from the official play-by-play) as Hanna’s teammates kept feeding her the ball:

  • 3:35, Hanna Jump missed 3-point
  • 3:31 Hanna Jump missed 3-point
  • 3:10 Hanna Jump missed 3-point
  • 2:40 Hanna Jump made 3-point
  • 2:19 Utah player made 3-point
  • 2:00 Nadia Fingall (Stanford) made 3-point
  • 1:00 Hanna Jump made 3-point
  • 0:33 Hanna Jump made 3-point

So over three minutes, Hanna took six shots, making three. At the end of the quarter, Stanford’s lead had doubled.

Back home I finished up fiddling with those pictures. I went down to supper and as has happened before I didn’t like the look of anything on offer, and went back to my room for a beer and a sandwich.

I want to mention that today, for the first time in weeks, I was bothered by grief. It started when I was walking to coffee, and noticed a Daphne growing in a front yard. This brought back our, or more correctly Marian’s Daphne plant. Daphne is a pretty little bush with highly fragrant flowers. Ours started out as a porch plant in a pot, but a couple of years back, Marian moved it to the back yard. She was very protective of it, and very particular about how it should be watered. She thought it was prone to root-rot, so it couldn’t be served by the drip irrigation. It had to be watered by hand, a specific amount, and only if its soil measured dry. I followed these instructions to the letter after I took over plant care in 2018. I presume the plant is still there at the back of 2340 Tasso.

Anyway, there was a Daphne looking just like ours, and somehow that just started a train of feelings. Later, walking into the basketball game, the daphne combined with memory of Marian’s love for SWBB and for a few minutes I was as near to crying as I’ve been in months.


Day 354, Shustek, play

Let’s go back a day for a grief episode. I think it was Wednesday night, coming back into the building, my mind wandered to the London trip I’m planning. It occurred to me that one thing I could do that week, would be to take the train out to Strawberry Hill station and walk over Twickenham Green past the house we lived in from 1975-78. Walk down the Thames bank to York House Gardens. And even as these images were flitting through my mind — and then the image of when we re-visited it in 2005 and the present occupants saw us gawking and politely asked us in — I was hit by such a stab of grief I was amazed. Those times were some of the best of lives together, and the idea of going back without my partner, seeing those things without being able to turn to her and say, “remember that?” was just… unspeakably sad. Wow. You just never know when a train of thought will plunge into a tunnel.

Thursday, 11/21/2019

A few days ago, I knocked over the indoor/outdoor thermometer that I’ve had for… probably most of this century? Little gray plastic plinth with LCD numbers to display the indoor and outdoor temps, and the date and time. The last couple of times I’ve had to change batteries in it, it has been very difficult to set the date and time. The Set button doesn’t work, or as I finally worked out, has to be pressed with all the might of one’s thumb for a while to work. And even then, it’s never clear the order of what’s being set.

So this time when it fell over, and the back cover fell off and the batteries popped out, so now I’d have to work out how to reset it again, well, drat. Let’s fix this. Such is the nature of the modern world that it was less than five minutes before I had selected a similar but of course more stylish and smarter (does humidity too! doesn’t forget the time when batteries are changed!) device on Amazon and ordered it. So now it’s here, and I picked up batteries at the hardware store yesterday, so this morning I set it up. Very easy to set up, the button user interface is simple and clear, it worked immediately.

Now to trash the old one. But I don’t want to! Faithful old thing, still working fine, barring that the set button doesn’t work and the battery door flies off. So it is lying on my kitchen table and I think perhaps I will take it apart and see if I can diagnose and fix the button issue, and maybe give it to somebody. Or leave it at FOPAL because they do take and resell gadgets too.

Then off to Shustek for a day of cataloging. On return about 5pm, I had to decide how the rest of the evening should go. I have a ticket for Anne of a Thousand Days at the Dragon Theater in Redwood City, 8pm. Have supper here or somewhere on Broadway in RC? Drive myself, or Lyft?

I decided it would be no fun to drive to RC so I would Lyft. I decided it would be more fun to eat out. So at 6:05pm I went down to the lobby and ordered a Lyft. Might seem a little early, but I thought there might be delays. First I selected the shared-ride option, but Lyft first scheduled a pickup by a car that was 11 minutes away; and after a couple of minutes deleted that and scheduled a different car that was 10 minutes away and on the other side of the freeway. So I canceled that ride and re-ordered a regular Lyft (for $19, ouch) which came in 4 minutes.

On Broadway at 6:40, I went for the easy choice of a Mexican restaurant (at least I didn’t sink so low as Five Guys Burgers or the Old Spaghetti Factory). To the theater at 7:30.

This production was not a success, for me. The play consists of Anne Boleyn, awaiting her execution, recalling all her interactions with Henry the VIII, with her parents, with Cardinal Wolsey and others at court. Except for Anne and Henry, everyone in the small cast doubled and tripled in the various roles. The director had cast a couple of women to play multiple male roles. One had to play both Anne’s father and mother in the same scene, stepping from Anne’s left to her right and changing her pitch and body language in alternate lines. This was clearly some kind of intentional statement about gender roles, but I couldn’t figure out what that statement was.

Most of the actors read their lines very well, conveying both meaning and personality clearly. The production was spoiled for me primarily by the (male) actor playing Henry VIII. His voice and accent were completely, annoyingly wrong. Nobody was attempting a British accent, but his accent was Southern, almost into “y’all” territory, and it was jarring. And he had no stage presence, none of the overbearing, egotistical masculinity that Henry’s lines and actions seemed to call for. Just a feeble performance that stood out among a lot of quite competent ones.

So I left at intermission and was in bed by 10.


Day 346, haircut, papers

Wednesday, 11/13/2019

I didn’t think anything was planned for today but just had an uneasy feeling I should check the calendar and, hah!, I am having a haircut at 10am. So glad I checked.

So I drove up to Ladera center to have Chris cut my hair. And for the first time in weeks, I had little flashes of memories of Marian (who always enjoyed seeing Chris, and had her hair cut there and her nails done just a couple weeks before she died); and pulses of grief. It is so unpredictable, these bursts of sadness and pity. It’s also too bad that my strongest memories of her are the most recent ones, when she was in failing health. I don’t get flashbacks to times she was healthy. I guess those are too far back.

Now I had to kill time until my next event, a meeting at 1pm, so I drove to IKEA to check their selection of area rugs. Someone around here told me they had a good selection. I beg to differ, boring, drab, frankly ugly stuff.

At 1pm I met with Patty to have her sign my Channing House Communications Representative form. CH has this program: a resident can designate another resident to be their communications rep, if they have some medical problem and are away. The comm. rep. answers any questions about the resident’s health status. I’ve seen this in operation a couple of times already: a resident has some issue, goes away to the hospital for a week, people want to know what’s up, how are they, when are they back. They ask the front desk, for example. Their designated communications rep answers such questions, so the person who is away being treated, only has to talk to one person.

There is a form, actually two forms. One is signed by the resident (me) and the person who agrees to be communications rep (Patty), and the original goes to the front desk, so they know who to refer questions to. The other form is a release form that authorizes Channing House (i.e. the front desk) to give out information on whether the resident is hospitalized or what. Not their condition, just the fact that they are hospitalized, which by HIPAA they couldn’t do without authorization.

So Patty agreed to be my rep should I need one. I gave her the info on my medical agents, Dennis and Darlene, so she could talk to them. In the event I am hospitalized, she might find out first and tell them; or if not, she could find out from them what would be valid to say to other residents about my condition.

From that meeting I went quickly to FOPAL where I cleaned up the Computer section. Six boxes of intake, of which maybe 20 books to keep and shelve, 4 boxes on to the bargain room. I wanted to get this done because I’m away for the rest of the week. I would normally have stayed and done sorting until 4pm but today I had to cut that short after about 20 minutes to come back and attend,

A social event put on by the 2nd floor. The 2nd floor only became apartments 3 and a half years ago, after the completion of the new wing containing the Russell Lee nursing center. Previously the 2nd floor was the assisted living space; then it was converted into 20 rather nice (as I would find out) apartments. The 2nd floor people decided to hold a tea party for new residents and I was invited, along with at least 8 others who’ve come in this year. (At the Residents Association meeting Monday it was announced that all available units have been sold, so I guess I was fortunate in my timing. There will be another 20 units freed up in two years when the renovation is over.)

Anyway the 2nd floor had catered soft drinks, cookies, coffee, and some rather nice brownies and provided printed name tags, and 30 people stood around and chatted for an hour. One new couple, Frances and John, both worked in the Apollo Guidance computer program, working directly for Margaret Hamilton. Then, five 2nd floor people had open house, so we could visit and admire their units, which are indeed spiffy. They have full kitchens and generally are snazzier than the older units. I expect my upgraded unit when I get back to it, will be as nice. No cooktop, but I don’t care.

I had had enough snacks there that I skipped supper.








Day 326, Yosemite, not choir, another play, some mail

Thursday, 10/24/2019

Today I had in my calendar to attend a meeting of FOPAL volunteers at the Mitchell Park Library center. Except when I got there, no meeting. Got into Gmail on the phone, retrieved the e-vite, and of course: it’s the 31st, not the 24th. Bad enough when I forget to look at the calendar; now I’m putting the wrong dates in the calendar.

Anyway, on to the Yosemite warehouse for a partial day of working with artifacts. Then back to CH, arriving around 4:45. This is a problem for the following reason. When I attended the first Chorus rehearsal the other day, Mary the leader handed out a rehearsal schedule, with rehearsals at 4pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next two months. Thursday is the only day of the week when CHM volunteers gather in the east bay to do collections work. I would have to leave every session an hour early, to get back to CH for a 4pm rehearsal.

I’m debating this, but I think on the whole I would rather be futzing around with old computers than singing in the back row of the chorus. Certainly my contribution to the former is a lot more substantial than the latter.

Waiting for me was the online links to all the tickets for the Stanford Women’s Basketball season. The Stanford ticket office does this in a rather lame way, sending you a list of 34 separate links, 17 to PDFs of individual print-at-home tickets, and 17 to PDFs of print-at-home parking passes (I paid the extra to park in the lot next to Maples Pavilion). I sat in my office printing 34 individual sheets of paper and organizing them into a packet, and sniffling quietly because this was a job Marian had always happily dived into, delighted to be setting up for a new basketball season.

By the time that was done it was supper time and I just didn’t feel like going to the dining room, so I had a PBJ and grapes in my room.

At 7pm was a theatrical presentation. Diane Tasca is large in local theatrical circles, formerly artistic director at the Pear Theater and often seen on stage at local shows. Today she and a partner presented a two-person play, “Love Letters”, in which the actors read out the letters written between a boy and a girl over their lives from grade school up. While the actors were doing a good job, the portraits the letters paint of the people, especially the girl, made me dislike them — the characters, not the actors. So I left at intermission.

Waiting in my mailbox were two interesting letters. One is from a bankruptcy court, setting out the details of the settlements from the bankruptcy of the San Jose Repertory theater company several years ago. The letter was addressed to Marian at the Tasso address, I presume because our season tickets to SJ Rep were in her name. The letter contains eight double-sided pages listing at least 150 names with amounts of $200-$500 owed. However, I’ve been over the list twice now and can’t find Marian’s or my name in it. So why did we get a copy?

The other interesting letter was hand-written, but I think I’ll write about it another time.

Day 289, grief, flu shot, more

Tuesday, 9/17/2019

Last night I had a bit of grief flashback, which is lingering into the morning. It started when it came to mind how I’ve ghosted Katie. Backstory. Marian’s brother Emile had two sons, Paul and Mark. Mark is currently head of a radiology group at a Seattle hospital. Paul married Katie around 1998, and they opted to start a farm on San Juan Island, in Puget Sound. Marian and I visited them in 1999 while they were still camping out on the land — we helped construct a roof over the latrine in the woods! We visited the farm again and again over the years as they built a very nice house and developed a thriving organic produce farm. Marian loved the place and loved Paul and Katie, who returned the affection. She took great delight in helping them organize things, and in just doing routine household and garden work, and loved to interact with their son, Quinn.

Marian spent many hours tidying the flower garden in front of the house.
In 1999 Marian and Paul celebrate finishing the fencing around the property with this stile.

In 2015, Paul died of brain cancer, leaving Katie and Quinn to carry on. Quinn has since graduated high school and begun attending a small college in Southern California.

A year later, Katie was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers. We last visited in 2017, when Katie’s deficits were starting to show. Fortunately she and Paul had built up enough savings that Quinn is assured of money to finish school and, when the farm is eventually sold, Katie’s care will be secured for as long as she needs it.

Just after Marian’s death I got a very nice card from Katie, heartfelt but also showing  deficits in spelling and limited word choice that made clear that her alzheimer’s was advancing.

So the thought that intruded on me last night, not for the first time of course, was that “I really should communicate with Katie.” Or at least, check in with her friend Michelle who, last I knew, had shouldered the job of managing Katie’s affairs, hiring attendants to mind her and watching her finances. But when I really thought about doing that — I got a wave of emotion such as I haven’t had for months. And now while I write this. Marian loved that place and those people so much… I can’t ever go back there, I don’t want to think about it or them… but I feel a duty to make some kind of contact…

Well there were other things today. At 9am I went to the auditorium where a flu shot clinic had been set up, and got my flu shot. At 11am the Creative Writing group met. I’d been urged to participate. The exercise this was was to write something based on a list of words, which I did. Each of the eight attendees read out their creation. It was interesting to see how different people spun different paragraphs from the same words.

After that I spent an hour working on my YA novel. Then it was time to meet Scott for lunch, except he emailed to say that today President Trump was speaking just up the road from the Alpine Inn where we were to meet. He couldn’t exit 280 there, and I was stuck in stopped traffic on Alpine road. Via cell phone, after struggling with poor reception, we managed to redirect to another place.

In the afternoon I got an email saying that the new Schwab accounts were now set up, and when I log in to Schwab, I am now the proud owner of six (6) accounts. So I sat down and set up a new spreadsheet for tracking these. I had kept Marian’s spreadsheet updated for a few months (starting on Day 68, I see), but there would be such a massive change in the structure when the house closed, I stopped updating it. Now I’ll begin again, with initial values today and then when Schwab’s monthly statement intervals come around.

In the evening I watched the end of SYTYCD and a couple of other recorded items. The Ken Burns series on country music is piling up and I haven’t started it yet.



Day 250, mulch, walk

Friday, 8/9/2019

Went for a run to start the day. It felt fine. I wound it up at the Prolific Oven. I suspect that fine old coffee place is on the way out. 8:30am on a Friday and there were only a few  customers. Three old guys at the outside table. One college-student (or, given my poor age-guessing ability, more likely a college instructor) and me, inside.

Having a good run is always good news. I don’t think I mentioned a few days back that the results of my echocardiogram came in. Modern medical care; I get my results as an email telling me I have a new message at my Sutter Health account. Wait, “modern”? Welcome to the millennium, we’ve been waiting for you… Anyway, it includes “Aortic valve: normally functioning prosthetic.”

I drove to the nursery and bought three bags of mini-fir-bark mulch, and took them to the Tasso house and left them behind the back steps for Richard to spread when he comes next week. I thought briefly of spreading it myself, which is a no-brainer task, but realized I had no garden tools, not even a rake. The sale cleared everything out.

Looking through the windows, it’s clear that Paul is finished with the flooring. All that’s left to do is for the painters to re-install the cabinet doors and paint the exterior trim, and it will be ready for staging. Later in the day I got an invoice for the flooring and tomorrow I’ll mail the check for that.

Also later I got a text from Chuck, indicating that he’d been in contact with some number of foundation contractors and will let me know what comes of that. If he can make that happen in the coming week, my hat will be off to him.

After an hour of fooling around on the computer… OK, I was watching YT videos. Two episodes of the amazing Project Binky (those guys are truly insane, but in a good way) and then, trying to make up my mind if I want to play the game Kenshi, I watched two episodes of a walk-through of it… and a brief nap, I decided to Get Outdoors.

I drove up to Crystal Springs reservoir and walked two miles, one out and one back, on the Sawyer Camp trail, giving me a massive 12,869 steps, 5.7 miles, for the day. It was a sparkly day.


We’ve had just a beautiful summer, never too hot, clear air… I have been intentionally and consciously appreciative of it, almost every day. The walk was an emotional experience. I had forgotten my ear-buds, so I couldn’t listen to a podcast, as is my usual wont when walking. So I had to think, and my thoughts turned to the last weeks of Marian’s life, some of the good moments, like when on her final visit to her doctor, the doctor told her how much she admired Marian, and said, “You’re such a bad-ass!” and they parted with a hug. So it was a rather emotional walk. And no tissues in my pocket.

Day 227, not much

Wednesday, 7/17/2019

When I don’t do a blog post at night before going to bed, I have to do it, as now, first thing in the morning. Even then I struggle: what the heck did I do yesterday? All that shows on my calendar is a normal stint at FOPAL. I went for a run; then I somehow whiled away two hours. I drove to FOPAL about 11am and worked there until 3:30pm. Came home quite tired, well that’s no surprise, after being on my feet, schlepping boxes of books, for more than four hours. Had a nap, went to supper, sitting with Rosina and Billie and Ed.

Watched some TV, went to bed. I’m pretty sure there was something else in there. Maybe it will come back to me.

Oh, right. A bit of grief. During the morning, looking at various internet sites, I saw an article on the use of an AI to restore old photographs. Which reminded me of a website I used to spend some time at, where amateurs shared their efforts at restoring old photos, around 2005 or so. I got a lot of pointers from it while restoring old pictures from an album of my own. But what was its URL? I’m pretty sure it was “restorationpro…something”. No such URL exists now.

Well, maybe at some time I saved a bookmark for it? I hardly ever look into my saved bookmarks any more, but when I went to Safari’s Edit Bookmarks menu, there they were, a couple of generations of them, imported at different times. I spent half an hour going through and deleting all the ones I’m no longer interested in, or that don’t exist any more.

Toward the bottom was a set of Marian’s bookmarks, imported into some browser sometime, and somehow imported by me and then carried along through generations of browsers. So I looked through and there were the links to all her enthusiasms, knitting sites, videos on how to quilt, various online retailers she liked to browse, and a nice collection of reference sites for projects she’d worked on. I got pretty teary-eyed seeing those. It really hurt.

Didn’t find the photo restoration site, either.

Day 214, a walk, grief, fireworks

Thursday, 7/4/2019

Good night’s sleep, pleasant quiet morning. Edited two more chapters of the book, then at 10am decided to go for a walk somewhere. Where? Some years ago we had a nice outing in Edgewood Park, on the west edge of Redwood City. However, this being a holiday, no doubt the parking lot will be full already, so: take a Lyft. Which I did.

Edgewood park’s trails all start with a stiff climb of about 300 or 400 feet. I do not think Marian could have managed those anytime in this century, so my memory of a pleasant outing there must date back to the 90s. Today was one more in a series of just beautiful days, temperatures in the low 70s, clear and sunny. I went up the hills in decent style, feeling normally strong.

After an hour or so, I called a Lyft and headed back, in time for a special lunch here, barbecue on the patio. Very decent ribs. Got invited to sit with Nancy, Tom and Karen, all retired from the medical field, working at Stanford or PAMF, I’m not sure which.

Played my space game for a couple hours (it’s wearing thin, I think I’ll toss it), and then Deborah texted with a picture: do you want the stuff in this drawer?


What the heck drawer is that? She was working at the house, so I went over to see. It was a shallow drawer in the top of the bedroom cabinet that I’d simply overlooked. Apparently Marian had used it as the place to keep… stuff she didn’t want to throw away. Mostly SWBB memorabilia, but quite a few other things, like the wrap-around sunglasses she used for a while, and her Stanford Blood Center Volunteer badge with its 750 hours endorsement. Deborah suggested I bag it all and sort it later, which I did.

Back at C.H. I went through it and set aside a few items as meaningful to me, like the orange button, “Croix de Candlestick”, for surviving an extra-innings night baseball game there, and some other pins. Several things seemed particularly meaningful for Marian’s life, and I put them in the box of her memorabilia I created some months ago. The rest went into the trash.

During all of that I was sniffling. I haven’t mentioned grief much in the past couple of months. That’s because it has not been a common problem. It hits at widely separated intervals, triggered by quite unpredictable events. This was an obvious one. But anything that recalls the life we used to have, the comfortable, interesting life of “Dave’n’Marian”, is cause for a deep wave of regret. I’m not going to compare my present, very comfortable life to that one; they exist in completely separate compartments. They aren’t commensurable. But the old life is gone forever, and every once in a while I get reminded of that and get a spasm of emotion.

I also still get occasional, brief twinges of the anxiety that I noted in the first weeks. I’m pretty sure it is based in the fact that for 45 years I had a smart, diligent person double-checking me and calling me on my bullshit and catching my oversights. Nobody around to do that now. What am I forgetting to do in a timely fashion? Well, actually, nothing. Nothing I’m aware of, anyway — but that’s rather the point, isn’t it?

So the transition continues.  Later tonight C.H. gathered on the 11th floor deck to watch fireworks in all directions. I stayed at the party for a few minutes, had a delicious rootbeer float (thanks to the Fourth Floor which were the nominal hosts) and looked at distant sparkles. But it was chilly out on the open deck, and crowded inside the penthouse, so I went back to my room. Not without some guilt; I really should stay up there and “network” but I don’t feel like it.

Distant artillery noises–the sound of a distant fireworks show travels better than the light–continued until 11pm.


Day 210, coffee, FOPAL, supper

Sunday 6/30/2019

For Sunday morning coffee I went to Mlle. Collette. The coffee and pastry selections are top-notch. I snagged a pleasant seat at a table outside that was partly shaded by a tree. The other outdoor tables were in full sun and I don’t think would be very nice for reading the paper.

Back home I spent an hour repotting the two big plants for which I bought pots last week. When I watered them, however, water from the bottom crept toward the edge of my deck. None actually spilled over, but definitely I need saucers to match the pots.

During this process I realized how it was really more convenient to do my plant-watering on Sunday. I’d been upholding Marian’s decades-long tradition of Monday watering since her death, but… it would actually be more convenient to do it on Sundays. (Actually, the plants on the deck, with more wind and sun, need another shot of water mid-week too.)

Next, I was replying to an email from Frank, another volunteer at FOPAL who I’ve been chatting with, when something in his note reminded me of PGDP, the site that applies crowd-sourcing to the job of proof-reading and formatting old books for Project Gutenberg. From roughly 2005 to 2015 I put in thousands of hours there, helping to create free online versions of dozens of books. Then, for various reasons, I fell out of love with it and hadn’t given it a thought for several years. Did it still exist? Did my old ID still work? Yes and yes. There went an hour down the internet drain…

Meanwhile a text came from Deborah; the washing machine buyer planned for this afternoon had canceled. That opened up the rest of the day.

OK, what else to do with a Sunday? For a couple of weeks I’ve had a goal of taking another train trip to the City, to see the Andy Warhol exhibit at SFMOMA. Should I do that today? I was just about ready to do this, using Google Maps to decide whether I would walk from the station or take a Lyft, when I noticed that Google had helpfully colored Market Street with a rainbow to remind people that today was the Pride Parade. Oh. That could make the streets, and the train either way, a bit crowded. OK, put that off again, to maybe Tuesday or Friday.

Now what? Well, I feel some pressure to get down to FOPAL and tidy my section. Normally I’d do it on Monday, but Monday’s schedule is chopped up with obligations at noon and 2:30. So, how about doing FOPAL today, freeing up Monday? So that’s what I did: drove to FOPAL and spent two hours tidying up the computer book section.

From there I stopped by the local nursery to buy those saucers, then stopped at Tasso street for another small kitchen item. To my surprise, Deborah was at the house, busily pricing and arranging goods. We talked about the used McCroskey mattress. She’d asked its age, and I’d managed to find when we bought it by searching old credit card statements online: November 2013. She’s selling it for $90. I didn’t tell her how much we paid for it. Well, actually, I don’t know, because we bought multiple items on the one transaction. But it was at least 20x the sale price.

Something about remembering the purchase of the mattress, and/or seeing our goods being priced for sale, or both, gave me a solid grief-spasm on the drive home. I want to write about grief and anxiety, which I’ve not mentioned for some time, but this post is too long.

At supper time I was again disappointed with the dining room’s offering. The food has been adequately attractive so far, not great cuisine but ok, until Saturday lunch and again tonight. Chicken wrap for Sunday dinner? And a veggie dish with a lot of carrots, something I dislike. I served myself, took a couple of bites, and left. Went up University in the car and took the first open parking space, which was right in front of Walburger’s, which I took as a sign, and ate there. Not sure what I will do if the food continues to annoy. I’m not a fussy eater; I’m more a “fuel up and go” person. We’ll see.

Day 193, Shustek, realty, bed, TaskRabbit

Thursday, 6/13/2019

A strange emotional thing this morning. As I was starting my drive to the Shustek center for a day of artifact work, I was thinking about the impending move, and suddenly I was full of emotion, sadness, grief. I was driving down 101 wiping my eyes and cursing that I didn’t have any Kleenex in the car.

I’ve been cruising along, staying on top of the situation, managing the logistics of buying furniture, packing, scheduling, like a boss, and while occasionally feeling unfocused anxiety, not any strong emotion. And suddenly this business of moving house was a major thing. I couldn’t talk about it without my voice getting husky and breaking. It’s like grief for my lost partner, but now for losing a home. Or, as I wrote back on day 3 or 4, another big shard of the old life falling away.

Well, you can say this for grief, it sure clears the sinuses.

At Shustek, Greta asked me to do packing. After new objects come in and are cataloged, they move to the “need photo” rack.

Tray of seven happy artifacts waiting to be scanned

After they are photographed, they move to the “pack” rack. Now small artifacts get stowed in acid-free cardboard trays, which get stacked in acid-free cardboard boxes and, after all the bar-codes have been scanned so we know what box every object is in, the boxes will get shipped to the Yosemite warehouse for shelving.

The last time I did this work was seven or eight years ago, when the museum was packing the whole collection for the initial move to the Yosemite warehouse. It’s a nice Tetris-like puzzle game. The objects may be in this tray for many years. They shouldn’t be touching each other, because over time plastic can weld onto whatever it touches. We use archival bags and bits of foam to ensure that, and to keep them from moving. We test movement by tilting the tray 30º each way, nothing should move.

So I did that for three hours plus a break for lunch, then I had to leave early in order to meet with Chuck and Deborah at 3pm. Chuck had not met Deborah before; she was recommended by someone he used to work with but this was their first meeting. They got on well; I imagine he will call on her to manage client sales in the future. Chuck and I discussed the L.L. and her husband. He still isn’t sure what motivates her. She’s pretty tightly wound, apparently. We just don’t know if she is going to go through with the deal or will have a panic attack and pull out at the last minute. The last minute would be 5pm Saturday, when the time mentioned in the acceptance letter expires.

Chuck had just gotten a text from the other agent, saying that L.L. and her ex-husband slash architect wanted to do one more walk-through and inspect the foundation — on Saturday morning. I said, if they don’t mind stepping between guys moving boxes out to a van, sure. So maybe I’ll get to meet her. I’m not worried about them looking at the foundation, there’s a good story to tell there, about having it repaired and the house bolted down in 1990.

We talked about what to do if she does bail, and scheduled the day of the big estate sale with Deborah, for July 6/7.

About this time Bill, a client of Deborah who wanted to see the bed, arrived. He looked at the bed, gave me $200, and we arranged he could pick it up Sunday at noon.

On Wednesday I’d emailed Angela to confirm having Facilities help setting up furniture on Saturday. Today she wrote back saying I could have two hours of free facilities time and somebody would be available 2-4 Saturday however, the person might be called away if there was some higher priority item to do. What?

So now I tried to set up a TaskRabbit arrangement. But Angela said, they don’t allow outside workers without a Certificate of Liability Insurance. Now ensued a period where I texted back and forth with the particular “Tasker” I’d chosen, while myself delving deep into the TaskRabbit.com website, trying to find the elusive C. of L.I. He thought he’d found it, but it was at a URL that could only be opened by someone logged in as a Tasker, not by a Client. Eventually he sent me a screen capture of the document, which I forwarded to Angela, but by then it was after 5pm.

Later that Tasker just canceled out of the job. I restarted with another, but at 9:30pm he had no more luck at finding the elusive document. He said he’d try to get back to me by tomorrow at noon. Meanwhile I sent a late email to Angela stressing I would want a Facilities person between 2 and 4 Saturday. I figure if I also have managed to qualify the outside contractor by then, fine, there’s work enough for both.

I may end up assembling my bed by myself, and will be rather grumped if that occurs.