Monthly Archive: April 2007

New to Cleveland

Due to some strange weather peculiarity, it’s not quite spring here yet, although according to the locals it should be. There are a lot of bare trees, but in the evening rain that doused me a little coming out of a huge 24-hour grocery store, it really was not cold. On the way up I had an over-three-hour layover in Dulles airport, a real dog of an airport–at least, it’s been my least favorite. Before touching down I decided, somehow, I was going to look for things to like about it. I must have landed on the right concourse, because I got a great burrito at a good price. Indeed, the B concourse where I had entered did have a large selection of food places. I had sat next to an old woman in Norfolk awaiting the plane for the first leg of the journey. She was somewhat dowdily dressed in a matronly old lady kind of way, but not cheaply dressed; her clothes were in good shape. We did not converse. When I got my burrito I walked to a seat in a calm, partially-deserted gate and sat down a couple of chairs from the busy walkway, which in that portion on the opposite side of the walkway from me was a long, blank wall with only a private, locked door for employee access. My back to a wall, I sat munching my burrito, realizing it would have been helpful to get a fork, but managing not to make a mess. Walking in the same direction down the passageway I was facing came the elderly woman who had sat next to me in Norfolk. As she appeared on my left passing the wall at my back, she backtracked behind where I was sitting in the corridor, where I could not see her, then she walked by again. She walked towards the other side of the corridor from where I was sitting, gestured with her hand, then backtracked and came over to me. “Excuse me,” she said, pointing to the empty space of the blank wall in the then empty corridor. “There’s a spirit over there. Granby.” Then she walked off. I wasn’t sure if I’d heard her last word correctly. My tendency was to believe that somehow this woman had perceived something. If she had, it was clearly not in the material realm. Saw a large stand of sunscreen being sold in the grocery store where I shopped tonight. Coming from Orlando, although I know it might be useful sometime here, I could not help but think, Who needs sunscreen in a climate like this? It’s very nice here in Candlewood Suites. It’s weird. You catch a plane, go shopping, next thing you know you feel at home. There are free CDs and movies to check out at the front desk, high-speed Internet, a kitchenette and big refrigerator and microwave.

Weather (Newport News)

Yesterday, here on the Peninsula, the temperature was in the upper eighties, almost ninety degrees Fahrenheit. The air conditioner on my car was blowing cold, the fan on “5,” when I first got in on my way home. These past few months I’ve noticed occasions when it was about ten degrees warmer here than in Orlando, which indeed often has a climatological sweet spot through the end of May. Today, before leaving my apartment, I took a second to check the weather by bringing up the dashboard on my Mac, a cool feature whereby by the touch of a single key a selection from among thousands of widgets are displayed on my computer screen, some of which instantaneously draw information of sources in real time off the Internet. It takes all of a few seconds to get the weather. I noticed it would be cooler today, but left without a jacket, wearing an undershirt and a heavy long-sleeved shirt. Today when I left my office at 5:00 (my hours have been varying almost daily, but today that’s when I left), there was a slight fog out, it was in the 50s (a little over thirty degrees cooler than the day before), with little water droplets hitting one’s skin while walking. Magical variety. This afternoon I came home, ate some cheese and crackers, then lay down for a moment and was out for a couple of hours. When I woke up, I had a weak cup of coffee (not taking time to grind some fresh, then set out with a salmon salad at Panera Bread in mind for dinner. Arriving ten minutes before they closed I was informed there were out of lettuce, and no, I didn’t want anything else. When I left my apartment, I encountered thicker fog than earlier in the afternoon, a night fog, often an orangesque glow caused by the orange sodium street lamps throwing their light into the foggy mist, with each water droplet becoming like a little light bulb of orange splendor. Driving down the street, it could have been fantasyland. After the brief stop at Panera Bread, I started navigating through the massive backstreet infrastructure of retail malls, restaurants, huge cul-de-sacs of  retail “anchors” and parking lots to make my way to Walmart without driving onto the main drag. This part of the peninsula has grown fast, and it is indeed city here. About a hundred yards from the parking lot of Walmart, climbing a hill, on my left was a brilliant of spectacle of light in the fog, stunning in its magical beauty. I had that thought that I’d never noticed these lights before, then realized these were auxiliary approach lights—fog lights—to the Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport, (aka PHF, Patrick Henry Field), where I had recently returned from Orlando via Airtran on a one-hour-twenty-minute flight. Yesterday the sun felt so sweet it made one want to go to the beach and hang out all day. Tonight, the fog was so beautiful it made one want to stay up all night and roam around in it. But this was, after all, a work night. I must look pretty geeky in my second military haircut, even shorter than the first (after  twelve weeks without a trim, it was time). It cuts my shower time down to about ten minutes though, making for a fast morning routine. It seems weird maintaining a residence 800 miles away, where I visit infrequently. It shouldn’t; many people do that. After all, it’s now part of my humble portfolio, and one must take care of one’s investments.