April 14th, 2006


Passover or Pass Out?

I was so happy to get my taxes done early that I celebrated by neglecting my other work. It's starting to pile up, and I need to make a to-do list. It's also time for laundry (whee!).

Although I stayed up way too long on Wednesday, I managed to wake up early Thursday. In the afternoon, I was fading and needed a nap before getting ready to go to the seder. Ensuing events show I may still have been napping later, even though I was awake.

I had not heard anything about the weather, so I put on my winter coat as usual. It seemed awfully warm out, but I didn't want to go back and risk missing the train, even though I had plenty of time. I found out later it was in the 70s.

I reached Grand Central with time to spare, and got my ticket in the machine. I refrained from buying a bagel, though invariably I'll have a bagel or pizza and then remember, "Oh yeah, it's Passover." I had written down "5:31 to North White Plains" and found the train.

When the conductor punched the tickets he asked if I was going to Pleasantville, and I said no, North White Plains. I wondered if I went to Pleasantville so often he recognized me. I looked at my ticket. It was to Pleasantville. I was so used to going there, I reflexively punched it in the machine. Duh.

I knew my host lived in Scarsdale/Yonkers but somehow missed the part of the E-mail where she told me when the train got to Scarsdale, and assumed I had to get off at North White Plains. I have no knowledge of Westchester geography. When the train stopped at Scarsdale I noticed N and her daughter on the platform. Luckily there was still time to get off. Yikes, that was close.

So there I was with the wrong coat, the wrong ticket, and almost the wrong train station. Happily, the rest of the evening went OK. They even kept the dog away from me. We did a moderate amount of seder. N's daughter's non-Jewish friend seemed to enjoy it, and even ate the gefilte fish. I also had matzo ball soup, brisket, noodle pudding, mashed potatoes and string beans. And of course charoseth (yum), a bit of horseradish (clears the sinuses), parsley and matzo. And grape juice.

I thought of getting a Scarsdale ticket for the trip back since I could always use the Pleasantville ticket the next time I went (which now looks like tomorrow), but I was lazy and just kept it. I started explaining to the conductor, but he didn't care since it was more expensive than the correct fare. I had a care package of leftovers which I've already eaten.

On the train I thought I heard someone talking about Renu MoistureLoc and fungus infections. I use Renu MoistureLoc. It was recommended to me last year when my contacts were uncomfortable. Going through E-mail back home (I'm still not caught up, but making progress), I had a notice from drugstore.com telling me to go to the site for an advisory. It said that shipments of Renu MoistureLoc have been stopped due to possible involvement in blindness-inducing fungus infections. Oy. I've had no problem with it. Today I called the Optometry College and asked them what to use instead, and they suggested Optifree or Complete. I'll have to go to the drugstore later, and hope they are well stocked for the Renu refugees.

My birthday is tomorrow. Normally it is spent frantically finishing taxes. When I was at MetLife I often took my birthday off, since why ruin a birthday by working (plus I needed time to frantically finish taxes). This year, my taxes are done, and I was asked to work in Westchester tomorrow. I enjoy that work so I'm going to go.

That Umbrella

The soon-to-be-famous bedraggled umbrella seen at the end of "Wordplay" is not actually my umbrella. When my department was gradually being laid off at MetLife in 1996, my coworker DeForest Howland left some items behind, including his blue and white MetLife golf umbrella. Yes, that umbrella.

They were moving me from the MetLife building to Penn Plaza (where a few months later, I too was laid off). I needed to do housecleaning and called DeForest and asked if he wanted his things. He either said no, or I just got the machine. In any case, I took the umbrella home. (The refrigerator we chipped in and bought was just left in a cubicle and for all I know, is still there.)

I've been using the umbrella all this time and it's seen better days. Seeing it in the movie shamed me into buying a new one recently. I used my new red and white non-MetLife golf umbrella for the first time today. Even though the blurb says "lightweight," it's really heavy! Not easy to hold with one hand, while also lugging a Duane Read shopping bag and another bag filled with at-home entries. I will weigh the umbrella when I get my new scale (I ordered one that resembles the glass-topped one in the Philly hotel).

I decided to write DeForest to tell him what his umbrella was up to. The E-mail address I found on Google bounced. I'm too lazy to call, so maybe he'll Google himself and see this. Hey Deef, if you want to auction off your old umbrella for charity, get in touch.