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One hot New Year's Eve, coming up

I do know that this page is long overdue for site maintenance, and I apologize for having it go over 50k, but ya know, it's the holidays, and I've been running and driving and traveling and just plain lazing, so pick an excuse, and I'm covered.

Until I got home last night, I'd forgotten what it was like to live in a place where there's no noise above you. I have got to get the bucks together to get a house, and soon.

Now that I'm back home, I'm all caught up on the news. I see that some half a million fools are going to gather in Times Square, as usual. I call them fools not because they're taking a chance of being blown up, but because it's going to be sub-freezing weather, and my idea of a nice New Year's Eve is not hanging out with hundreds of thousands of drunken strangers (as well as the thieves and pickpockets that are in the fringe of every crowd event in NYC). My idea is now a quiet evening, a few friends, and--a hot tub.

Because tonight at midnight, my friends and I are going to the Wincott Spa (his folks house) and ring in the new year in the hot tub. Yep. Think of those half-million fools freezing their asses off, then think of me and my friends, raising a glass of champagne to toast 2002, while luxuriating in 100-degree water. Ahhhhh. Just thinking of it makes me wish it were midnight already.

Have a safe and happy and healthy New Year, folks.--MAY



People come and go so quickly

Has it really been a week since I arrived? This is not only the longest I've stayed in Virginia in quite a while, but also the strangest vacation I've ever taken here. I guess it should be called a working vacation, but nobody's paying me for it. And the most ironic moment of all came this afternoon, when I checked my voice mail and discovered that my agent from Richmond called me on Friday to check in with me. No job possibilities, but I could have visited her at the office and then written off the whole trip. Dang.

Heidi told me today I need to get back north. She says I'm starting to talk too southern. That's because we've had a lot of contact with some good ol' boys, what with going to Home Depot or talking to the contractors on a daily basis. It might also be because the move today was accomplished with the help of Sheila's pickup truck, which G. drove and Heidi and I sat in the back each time. So I kinda got used to sitting in the bed of a pickup, which, trust me, is an experience that I can barely recall having at all in the past. It was so strange that it felt decadent, which is generally not a word you use in the same sentence as "pickup truck".

And there was one point at which we were moving a chair, and, well, maybe when Heidi sends me a copy of the picture I'll scan it and you can see for yourself. Southern decadence, pickup-style.

The weather here was beautiful today. Sixty-five degrees and sunny until late in the day, when a wind blew some clouds over, and a few branches, but no rain. I understand it's barely reaching forty back home.

Tomorrow is one more moving day. I'll probably stay and help in the morning, then head home in the afternoon. Bummer. I don't want to go home, exactly. I like it just fine right h'yar.--MAY



It's cold in that thar house

Do you remember that old Bugs Bunny cartoon, starring the Great Philosopher himself, Mr. B. Bunny, and Yosemite Sam? The one where Sam kept yelling, "There's gold in them thar hills!" and then went running off to find it?

Well, hey, that's how titles of blogs occur to me sometimes. Words and voices enter my head, and, well, there you have it. I've often thought that all authors are necessarily suffering from multiple personality disorder, because there are voices in them thar heads that come out onto pages (and computer screens) for you.

And the reason that particular title came to mind is because for six days, since I arrived here, I have yet to feel completely warm in this house. This isn't Heidi's new house; it's their former next-door neighbors' house, now starring as the temporary house to live in until their new home is built. Well, that was the plan before the house was sold, but anyway, this house is the worst heated house I have ever had the mispleasure (is that a word?) to stay in. It has heat registers and fans, but some of them blow out warm air and some blow out cool air, and the warmest room in the house is the downstairs bathroom, which is, frankly, pointless unless you have a digestive problem and plan on spending several hours in the bathroom each day. I briefly considered moving the featherbed in there last night, but decided to get an extra blanket instead. I've been nightly increasing the number of blankets I'm using, to the point where I think Heidi is out of extra blankets and is going to have to fight me to get them back to use in the move.

Oh, I forgot to tell you that the futon torture machine has been mitigated by the addition of a featherbed that we put under the sheet. Now it feels like I'm sleeping on a featherbed on a raised floor instead of on a floor with sheets. And for the past couple of nights, their miniature poodle has been my footwarmer, as he sneaked in one night and I just let him stay. I'm debating whether or not to let their 100-lb Rhodesian Ridgeback stay there tonight, but he snores, so I think not.

And yet, in spite of all this, I find myself not wanting to leave. Heidi says that if our friendship can survive this week, with her and her husband at the most stressed I've ever seen them, we'll be friends forever. I'll be heading home Sunday, probably, and I wish I didn't have to.--MAY