This weekend was so gloriously warm it felt like summer. Today, however, we're back to jacket weather, and it's all my fault.
After weeks of craziness, we deliberately left the weekend free so I could get some things done and The Gryphon could relax.
Since it was so warm, I switched over from winter to spring, taking all my sweaters, flannel pajamas and warm pants out of my drawers and throwing them in the wash.
I traded in lightweight shirts, capris and knee-length shorts after, of course, trying things on to make sure they still worked. Then I got busy, using Dryel on the dry-clean-only items and washing the others. They will be folded in a storage container under the bed in the guest room until next winter.
So naturally, this morning's weather is overcast, breezy and blah. Good thing I didn't take my winter coat to the dry cleaner's or it might have snowed this morning.
I spent a lot of time working on the spring issue (Volume VII Issue 1 - Vernal Urge) of Wild Violet.
A graphic from the upcoming Wild Violet issue
If I hadn't gotten sick, it would have been done by now. I procrastinated a bit on Saturday, in part because we were awakened early by a subcontractor for The Gryphon's company calling with a computer problem. He called two more times before I got up and walked Una. After breakfast, I was still tired and took a long nap.
The Gryphon cooked a delicious lunch of grilled Swiss and smoked salmon sandwiches. Afterwards, I was feeling really full so I walked Una again, taking in the beautiful day. As task-oriented as I tend to be, I have a remarkable ability to procrastinate.
Finally, I got to work and made a good amount of progress. Over the course of the weekend, I finished graphics for the fiction section, finished laying out and doing graphics for the humor section, started layout of the essay section, and proofread both the poetry and fiction sections.
The bulk of the work left to do involves writing, as I've got to write an introduction to the issue, four full-length book reviews, and five capsule book reviews. I'm also reworking my reviews of films from the Philadelphia Film Festival and writing up a brief overview about the festival. I've also got to lay out the Cuttings section, which includes shorter pieces and flash fiction. In addition, I am expecting some Belgrade Film Festival coverage from Serbian journalist Rada Djurica, which will need to be edited, then the pages laid out and proofed. And I've got an interview to transcribe and edit.
So while I've made some progress, I still have a lot to do. I intend to work on it throughout the week and then finish this coming weekend, barring earthquakes and epidemics.
We went out to dinner Saturday at Bertucci's, where I had pasta with shrimp and lobster. I'd avoided ordering it before, fearing it would be too rich, but it was actually fairly light. And there was plenty left over for a second meal.
Sunday I helped The Gryphon clear his personal items out of his office. This will be his last week of employment there, since his company has restructured, virtually eliminating his Cherry Hill office.
Many of his coworkers have already left, and The Gryphon tells me the office feels like a ghost town lately. He was kept longer than most, to help with the transition in terms of information technology. When the office had received the news, about two months ago, they had been taken in one at a time to learn their fate. I thought of that scene from Broadcast News, but The Gryphon tells me it wasn't nearly as overblown. Nobody came out of the office kicking furniture or wailing bitter tears.
Certainly, he seemed fairly cheerful as we packed up two stationery boxes with his personal computer books, vases from Valentine's Day arrangements I'd sent him, photos of me from his desk, and a few office toys, such as an Evangelion plushie and a robot. He pulled out drawers, looking for other items. "Robot accessories," he explained, dumping some plastic laser guns into the box. We took down his paintings: a print of Van Gogh's "Starry Night" and a space-related collage by my sister. We also took a print of a French street cafe, given to him by a coworker who had left weeks ago.
I peered out of the large, plate-glass window at the little landscaped pond, frequented by New Jersey wildlife. The Gryphon used to keep me informed on his sightings of turkey vultures, Canadian geese, mallard ducks, red-tailed hawks, herons and egrets.
"I bet you'll miss this view, won't you?" I asked him. He shrugged. Over the last year, as the office has grown more stressful, I doubt the view offered him much solace. The company was bought by a Florida firm about two and a half years ago, and the slow trickle of changes and cutbacks produced confusion and anxiety. In a way, I think he's relieved to have some finality.
For the past week, he told me that he's been piling unused computer equipment into two locked rooms. The computers, he says, take up most of the floor and desk space in one office and part of another. "It was a blood bath in here," I observed. In a way, those unused computers represent the eight years of service he put into this company, rendered unnecessary in one day.
We loaded the two boxes and the artwork in the car and then ate at a local Moroccan restaurant he frequented for lunch and sometimes dinner, especially when he had to stay late. We shared an appetizer of hummus, each had a bowl of tomato-lentil soup, and had the vegetarian couscous for a main dish. By then, I was so full I had to box most of it.
"We'll have to remember to come back here, even though you won't be working here any more," I said. Maybe we will. Or maybe it will fall to the wayside, like the coworkers I swore I'd remain friends with when I was cut from the museum job several years ago. We met for lunch once, and we had nothing to talk about, really. They shared their latest grievances with the Museum Director, and we parted, promising to get together again.
Sometimes, you just need to move on.
A quiet weekend, for me, involves getting work done.