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11/30/12
Altho one of the Powerball winners came from Arizona, it was not me. So, it's back to doing cheap activites for fun - Irene and I went up to Camp Verde (about 90 min north of Phoenix) to go to the Out of Africa Animal Park. We love zoos. So much fun, and there were prairie dogs, which always make me happy.

11/28/12
Since I had a doctor's appt at 9.30am, and then the supervisor's meeting at 1.30pm, I figured it would be easier to stay in Peoria until the meeting, and just get my errands done there. So I did my non-perishable shopping, got a massage and a facial at the spa (and made an appt for Friday to get my hair highlighted), bought my Powerball tickets, and got my nails done. And then went to the meeting where I was, of course, so tired.

Got home at 3pm and went right to bed.

The World Baseball Classic is playing a round of games in Phoenix in March. I got my tickets for the two games I can attend - Team USA (Joe Torre!) will be playing here, can't wait.

11/23/12
Home - that is, in Arizona - again.

The Thanksgiving feast was delicious, and yes, I took home half the apple pie to have for midnight snack/breakfast. So good. When we got back to Mom's I immediately fell into a food coma the likes of which have not been seen since last Thanksgiving.

Today was packing and traveling. Since I bought a framed print at the Norman Rockwell Museum that I wanted to carry on, I had to fit everything else into my real carryon bag. So I ended up bringing home with me: dirty laundry, winter coat, makeup bag. Everything else I bought or had brought to NJ with me went into a big box that was mailed to AZ. I'll keep an eye out.

The flight back home wasn't bad. The annoying part was the people in the boarding area at Newark. I kept praying that I wouldn't be seated near the guy who thought the boarding area was a playground for his kids (do you KNOW what's on that carpet?) or the woman who thought that shrilly cursing at the gate agents would get her and her bratty kids seated together. After all, she did spend three hours on the phone with United to make sure that would happen (as everyone on the concourse soon found out).

Irene picked me up at the airport, we stopped off to see cousins Chris and Ken and Staycie on the way to my house, and as soon as I got home, I collapsed onto the couch with the kitties, who I dearly missed.

Laundry is done, mail is sorted, shower is taken, time for bed.

Back to work tomorrow.

11/21/12
So busy! So much to write! I had a lovely time up in the Berkshires. I've decided to adopt Audrey, all five years of her. Tristan is also a cutie, but he doesn't say much yet. Jen and I were able to hand off the children to Sean, and have a very nice adult dinner downtown. I was so happy to see her and Dona and Missy on this trip.

I realized about this point that Lou Gehrig is also buried in Westchester - I'll have to go there on my next trip home.

So I also realized that Lenox is a mere 118 miles from Cooperstown, my favorite baseball town. So Sunday morning I headed west to the Baseball Hall of Fame (yay!) and did some window shopping in town. I saw a rain gauge with the Red Sox logo - if they'd had a Yankees one, it would be mine. Alas. I had forgotten, of course, that from Cooperstown to Matawan is four and a half hours, but I managed it with the help of a fabulous Starbucks caramel-chocolate-mocha-frappa-hooha. Deliciously caffeinated.

Monday, I was off to the city - NJ Transit is mostly running again. My train was only twenty minutes late and a half hour slower than usual, which isn't bad for the tracks being all washed out from the hurricane. Dad, Ann and I went for steak dinner at a place called Wolfgang's. The owner was the headwaiter at Peter Luger's for twenty-plus years, and it shows. Good service, great steak. Full belly.

Tesse and I had planned to go to MOMA on Tuesday (where I've never been), but guess what? Closed on Tuesday. So then we thought about going to the Met. Eh, anyway, by the time I made it to her apartment, we decided on lunch and vegging out in her apartment. She did some writing, I did some napping, and it was productive all around. We met up with my friend Peter Shankman for a tour of his new apartment (too high up for me, but great views), and then over to Becco for dinner. We did the all-you-can-eat pasta, and I'm still surprised I can move today. So full.

And today was theatre-day. Mom and I met up to see The Mystery of Edwin Drood, starring my friend Will. I dropped a note backstage before the show, which granted us the privlidge of not having to wait in the cold to say hi afterwards (got to wait backstage instead). Really enjoyed the show (I did a production in summer stock many moons ago), and he was terrifically melodramatic.

And now - relaxing with a dinner of salad and Diet Coke, in preparations for tomorrow's gluttony.

11/17/12
Hey, the east coast is cold! Made it in to NJ with no problems. We stopped at the mall on the way home so I could get a new winter coat. I want to drive around Keyport and some of the areas that got hit by the storm, but Thursday I was so tired that all I wanted to do was go home and eat and play with Mom's new cat Savanah (so cute) and veg out on the couch.

Yesterday I went to Croton-on-Hudson (a beautiful drive once you get out of Yonkers) to see Missy and Dona, and Missy's new baby Nicholas - even when screaming his head off, he's a cutie. I said, "you get to snuggle him forever, hand him over," and did some baby-snuggling. And after lunch with the girls, I continued on my way. Missy lives so close to the cemetery where Babe Ruth is buried (I knew it was somewhere in Westchester, but had never looked up where exactly), maybe 20 minutes away, so I detoured over to see the Babe and also Billy Martin's gravesite.

And then it was up up up the Taconic to Western MA, where I am warmly ensconced right now - beautiful drive until it got dark, and here in the land of no traffic lights, dark is DARK. I'm headed out to walk around downtown Lenox, where I've never been, and then going to see Jen and Sean and little Audrey and littler Tristan. Yes, this is the baby-snuggling trip.

11/15/12
Best part of no line at airport security? No line. Worst part? Having to wait in the terminal for two hours before boarding. Well, it's fun to people-watch. I have packed every piece of warm weather clothing that I own - I sent most of it to NJ last week for hurricane relief. But I do own jeans and a warm sweater. Phoenix has been cold in the mornings, and I cringe to think that our "low" temp is the "high" back east.

Note to self: find out which airlines fly out of Terminal 4, since that's where they opened all the new restaurants at Sky Harbor. Terminal 2? Not so exciting.

OK, to the plane!

11/12/12
Got a letter from the Verrado community folk, the health club/gym that rents out the building downtown is going to vacate (low membership etc), so the building is going to be turned into a full-time community center. With the gym part now available (free!) to all Verrado residents. I may actually check it out now. There's a meeting to discuss that and other community things but it's on Thursday, and I'll be on a jet plane. Hopefully they'll send another letter or email or put info on the intranet or something.

11/11/12
Still no power etc. at Dad's.

And it's 40 here (the aforementioned cold snap). I put on the fireplace. You know, for the cats.

11/9/12
Still no power or heat or hot water or elevators at Dad's. I have plans to stay at Tesse's for the two nights I was going to stay downtown.

Two movies in one week! We are decadent! But James Bond beckoned and did not disappoint. Skyfall was terrific - Daniel Craig half-naked, Javier Bardem chewing the scenery, and hot girls and lots of gadgets. Super movie. Makes me want to go to Istanbul.

I picked up a top and a jacket at J. Jill after the movie, since it was right there in the mall. Love J. Jill. The store manager who helped us remembered me from the last time I was there - she asked if Mom was coming back to visit. It probably helped that I happened to be wearing the J. Jill sweater that I bought last time I was there! But that was like six months ago, so that woman has a super memory.

11/8/12
Power back in Matawan!

I gave some thought to rescheduling my trip, but after adding up the change fees and non-refundable hotel in MA and the thought of missing Aunt Linda's apple pie (priceless), I decided to go ahead and go east next week. It had better not rain or snow or hurricane or tornado while I am there.

Wrapped my holiday gifts and put up my tiny tree. Not in the holiday spirit.

Then again, it's only November 8th.

11/7/12
Still no power in Matawan, Dad's building still uninhabitable. And snow is on the way, in the form of a nor'easter.

They're starting construction on another new house on my street. Only one more empty lot on this block! Still haven't met the neighbor next door, which is now sheer laziness on my part.

Totally enjoyed the screening of Lincoln. It was mostly about the passing of the 13th Amendment, and it reminded me a bit of 1776, in that you knew how it was going to end, but you were still on the edge of your seat. Especially the bit where they were polling the reps. Also timely in its parallels to the marriage equality debates going on. Daniel Day Lewis was terrific, as was David Strathairn.

later on 11/6/12
I remember watching the election returns four years ago with my coworkers, crying because we were so happy. Tonight I am watching on my couch, and am just as happy. I am in such a better place than I was four years ago. Congratulations to President Obama!

11/6/12
Get out and vote! Now!

Day nine of no power in Matawan or at Dad's apartment. Cautiously optimistic that power will be back soon. I mailed two big boxes (and the book for Mom) to the east coast today.

Not much else going on. I took off from work tonight so I can curl up with CNN, and because I have a free pass to see an advance screening of Lincoln tomorrow, and I want to be awake for it.

11/2/12
Went to the bookstore to get the collection of Diana Gabaldon's short stories - there were two copies left! One for me, one to mail to Mom. It isn't available in the US yet, but the store here (where she does signings all the time) imported a slew from the UK. Then to Target to buy socks and shirts etc for the two people I know in NJ who lost their entire HOMES. Crazy. I'm mailing care package boxes out.

11/1/12
Still no power to most of the east coast. The NJ Transit train lines are a mess. No subways south of 34th St. I'm supposed to fly home in two weeks - keeping an eye on the airline's website in case I need to reschedule the trip.

-catherine

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