Mon, 6 Dec 2010 22:26:36 -0800
I left frigid New York this morning, glancing repeatedly at the weather widget on my iPhone to shake my incredulity that yes, it was in fact yet colder in the Midwest (single digits in Madison!), hailing and negotiating with a gypsy cab at 6am, and, un-upgraded, sleeping most of the flight back to San Francisco. Landing was something out of the movies: I put on my new Ray-Bans against the brilliant California sunshine glinting off the wing of the plane making its familiar descent almost into (but just shy of) the drink of the Bay; I shrugged off my unzipped light leather jacket as soon as I could, too warm in the mid-sixties glow. An expensive cab ride later back on campus, I grabbed a plate of salad, sautéed kale, and vegan pizza, and somehow worked most of a full day. And now I'm drinking white wine (leftover birthday Rueda) on my couch at home as if it were summer (though the fire's on), the only real indicator of the season the early twilight. You'd otherwise never know.
Alyssa and I walked back from New Leaf Restaurant in the black Fort Tryon Park last night, my toes in their thin black stockings and thin gold flats absolutely frozen against the wind off the Hudson, the George Washington Bridge stretching westward toward New Jersey. Scarf, gloves, wool hat to which I am allergic (like Edith, the cat), and half a bottle of champagne rosé were all together barely enough to keep me from turning into an icicle on the spot. (How did I grow up in Wisconsin? Maybe that's why my toes go white so fast.) The heat in the buildings there substantial, well-placed: A small heatlamp over the two-top next to the [closed] window at Blossom in Chelsea; a pipe next to Alyssa's towel rack providing warm linens and heat for the bathroom; every indoor space better insulated than anything in San Francisco -- certainly than my bedroom, in which no fewer than three duvets have recently sufficed against the unheated, uninsulated chill. I've gone through every pair of wool socks I own in the last two weeks.
Now, though, I have the means to wear wool socks every day and never run out. Coming home from work, I was greeted by two gigantic red robots in the back room of the apartment -- that space that spent years filled with boxes, suitcases, and half a couch; the one the caterers for my birthday party finally convinced me to clear out so they could use it -- laundry robots, that is, newly delivered and partially installed. Tomorrow I'm staying home to supervise the gas hookup (and attempt to avoid Armageddon) of the dryer, and then I will do laundry all day. All the wool socks, all the towels, the jeans, the cloth napkins, the sheets ...
December's usually insane -- traffic ramps up, we hit new highs of QPS and of stress, a virus works its way between the vaccinated cracks (bacterial, I mean), the enforced holiday cheer starts to grate. But so far, I have painted my eyes purple and green with Trisha before donning fabulous dresses, drinking champagne, and then flying to Manhattan the next morning in my still-intact beehive 'do; gotten one of the higher-prestige awards in the company; spent a weekend with a dear old friend whom I do not otherwise see enough; stepped one notch closer to attaining Premier status on United for 2011; achieved a 5-year goal of gorgeous laundry in my own home; and am drinking white wine like it's fucking summer. I shouldn't jinx it, but this could be June. Thank you, December.