Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ah, Darlings...

By Cornelia

Well, my apologies for not posting last week. Things are raucous and a leetle bit wacky at the moment--I'm pounding away toward the end of an outline for a thriller novel I'll be writing with someone else (up to 32 pages, and we're hoping to send it in tomorrow), and a moving truck is coming to my apartment this Sunday afternoon.

(Note: These people are obviously on the verge of a psychotic break. NOBODY likes packing that much. Or, you know, AT ALL.)

Have I STARTED packing yet? Um, no. Not so much with the packing. So that starts tomorrow (which will actually be TODAY when you are reading this. Lucky you, to NOT be packing. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate packing? Because I do. I really, really, really do. Oh, wait, not since the last time I blogged about it. I am still complaining, and still not packing yet.)

Yeah, the moving thing... I actually really dug the neighborhood, which I found when I was living in New Hampshire because some great-great-great cousins of mine or something built a country house up there in the 1850s. It's now, I think, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in all of Manhattan to live in, and it was a godsend to me to find a place up there a year and a half ago--a two-bedroom in NYC with a new kitchen and bathroom, a block away from a 200-acre park,

and the last stop of the A train was at the corner of my block.

(NOTE: These people are not on the A Train. The A Train is a subway. 
Other than that, great rendition.)

Oh, and all this for under two grand.

Okay, granted, it was a fifth-floor walkup, but still, it was good. It's a very family-oriented neighborhood, mostly Dominican, and it had a lovely slow pace to it. My bank branch played Christmas carols in Spanish, and a really nice older lady on the first floor would always accept packages for me when I wasn't there--and keep them for me in her apartment until I got back.

People hold the door for each other up there, and are generally kind in a way I don't remember Manhattanites ever being. Once a checkout lady at the grocery store slipped an extra tomato into my bag when I was really broke and trying to figure out how to make some rice and beans last for three days.

Downside: two of my neighbors thought it was a great idea to leave their garbage in the lobby, and so we started getting a lot of rats.

(NOTE: Why this song? Because the movie was about a rat. Named Ben.)

Also, there seemed to be a lot of fires. Like, my laundromat burned down and then I watched an apartment directly across the street burn. Which was scary. But the firefighters got the guy out. Firefighters are seriously awesome people.

And I'm hanging a lot at my beau's place, so it seemed like a good idea to rent something in the country instead of having a place in the city I don't hang out at (see above, rats and garbage...) And also, there are amazingly good grocery stores in his neighborhood (even if they don't give you free tomatoes when you're broke. Or, you know, EVER.)

And then, well, I was out in California with my writing group for my fiftieth birthday on March 8th, (I may have mentioned this. It's still kind of freaking me out to be 50. Who thought I'd make it this long? Not me... it's great, really,) and packed up my last umpteen bazillion boxes of books and photos in storage out there into one of those pod things, to move across the country to my new funky farmhouse--and then it turns out my beau got a job in LA on what might turn out to be a really interesting TV show.

Odin willing, this might mean we're in LA six months a year. Which would be awesome, but of course now all my crap will be on the east coast. Sigh. At least I'll be able to visit my books all in one place. That will be pretty great after four years without them. And the beau rocks and I'm very proud of him for getting this job.

(NOTE: The show has absolutely nothing to do with The Pink Panther. Or Blake Edwards. I just like the song... plus it's Henry Mancini. Whom the tv show ALSO has absolutely nothing to do with.)

Also plus--hey--there is DECENT MEXICAN FOOD in California! Which is about the only thing I feel deprived of while in NYC, other than no snow and the west coast people I love and miss.

So, anyway, I have nothing of great social or political import to discuss tonight. I hope to have way more thought-waves available once the move is complete, and the outline, and I get my brain back and stuff.

I promise to do better, really really really... and hope you all have a magnificent week.


  1. 'a leetle bit wacky' is wonderful. So too: self-worth, beau, thought waves, decent Mexican food, Xmas carols in Spanish. How exquisite - the world through the lens of a typewriter & California from afar. If you have tattoos, you're an honorary member of The Gurl Posse, ranking officer, Cornelia.

  2. Ah, dear Peter, I have exactly one and a half tattoos. Very happy to think I get to be an honorary Gurl Posse chica...

  3. Ms. C, even your packaphobia makes me laugh and scratch my head in wonder. And now tattoos????? What and where, if I may ask. We want pics!

  4. You always seem to be on the go, girl!
    Coast to coast and in between. A life of letters and feathers and tacos and Lord knows what. Why do I always feel you are the most interesting of the Nakeds?

  5. Cornelia Read3/27/2013 2:43 PM

    Oh, Patty and Paul, you guys are wonderful. And I think I just came down with a stomach bug in the midst of all this. Harsh day, but you guys make it better.

    (Patty, I have a small cents sign on my right ankle, and a small star that didn't quite take on my left inner thigh. The latter done with a very old electric tattoo needle that was given to my mother's great love by his first wife. One of those "presents for the man who has everything." His son gave me the tattoo on an otherwise ho-hum Thanksgiving night [1981]. I think the needle was a little dull--it's now a series of blue dots in the shape of a small star.)

  6. from Jacqueline

    OK, Cornelia, quit the groaning about being fifty - you are a mere seed of a girl, a little blink in the eyelid of time in the age stakes, and if I hear you go on about it one more time, well, you'll know all about it! And you know, I just hate packing too - but very proud of you, always willing to pick up and go to make things work. You're one awesome writer too. Wishing you a good box-wrangling day.

  7. Odin bless you, Cornelia. You always make me smile. Thanks, kiddo.

  8. Cornelia Read3/29/2013 6:31 AM

    You guys are so lovely. Thank you!