I am now the proud possessor of:


— a coffee-stained copy of Mary Oliver’s Upstream.


Oh, and a cool tote from the Wallingford Library.

The library itself is now the proud possessor of a check from me for a brand-new copy of Mary Oliver’s Upstream. And a tote.

Yep.  There was a book, a cup of coffee, a slightly rickety table in the woods, and my elbow.  All four met in unfortunate circumstance.  I have to blame the elbow; there’s just no other explanation.

I bought the tote because I felt that the library was not charging me enough for replacing the book.  I wanted to give them more money, to assuage my vast guilt.

On the upside, I now own the book. Plus: hey, tote!

In other news:

Now that the third floor is nearly as deserted in the day as it is at night, I’ve taken to pacing the hall as I think.  Last night, as I paced past the conference room, I once again admired their gigantic dry-erase whiteboard.  And by “admired” I mean “seethed with envy over.”

In my own office, I’ve tacked up huge  sheets of dry-erase-style contact paper, to allow me to scrawl deep thoughts and work through twisty structural problems in multiple colors.  At least, in theory that’s why it’s there.  But alas, the contact paper does not work as well as an actual whiteboard.   While it’s true that I can write on it, and erase it,  I can only dry-erase in a 10-second window.  After that, I have to spray on an ammonia-based solvent and use a sponge.  This puts a crimp in one’s spontaneity.

And as I grumbled to myself, pacing back toward my office, it suddenly hit me:

I work at night.  There’s nobody here!

So, I made a big pot of tea, grabbed my laptop and my dry-erase markers and:


As long as I erase before I leave, I’m cool.

The billboard company never technically had exclusive use of the conference room. But it was next to their offices, and they were often gathered in it.  So, I simply got it in my head that I don’t use the conference room.  Plus, there’s a whole fishbowl aspect to it, with one glass wall, and its location among all the offices of the sales force.

But now, they are gone.  It’s just Dave and me.  And that one programmer dude who’s never around.

Plus — I work at night.  Mostly.

Strategically blurred to prevent spoilers.

That was the night of the crazy rain and wind.   There’s something particularly lovely about drinking strong tea after midnight, rain and wind banging on the windows, dreaming up crazy solutions to near-intractable problems, while scrawling wildly on 6 by 4 whiteboard.

Of course, lest I take myself too seriously, there was this guy:

Left over from one of their charity promotions… I do hope they find him a good home.

Hope you enjoyed your Hallowe’en! I did — although I never did make it to the town’s justifiably famous Trail of Terror.  I’ve always wanted to try it just once… too late now.


Next up: More about the local library, about which not enough good things can be said.

6 Responses to “I am now the proud possessor of:”

  • Andrew Barton Says:

    I follow you on twitter, but I seem to have missed at least three of your posts …

    • Rosemary Says:

      Hm. I just checked, and I did tweet links to all the posts going back to at least august 18…

      However, if you follow a lot of people on twitter, it’s pretty easy for one tweet to get pushed way down your feed, if everyone decides to tweet within a short period of time. Also, sometimes I retweet things that amused me, so maybe one of my blog-link tweets looked like a far-less-interesting retweet?

      • Sabine Says:

        Twitter can be deceptive. I find I miss newer tweets when I don’t notice the “see more” prompt in the flow. If I don’t click that, I get older tweets and think I’m caught up.

  • David Tate Says:

    Pro tip — you can erase stubborn dry-erase marks without the full solvent treatment by scribbling over them with a dry-erase marker and immediately erasing. There’s enough solvent in the fresh ink to do the job.

    I’m old enough to have been skeptical of whiteboards as a replacement for slate and chalk. Not any more.

    • Rosemary Says:

      Oooh! Excellent tip, thanks!

      I remember blackboards with fondness from my youth. And cleaning out the erasers. I was outraged when they switched from black to green! I didn’t see whiteboards until I was in college.

      Actually, I’d love to have a HUGE old fashioned blackboard, school-room sized. Ooh, no, wait! I want those blackboards that are in layers, where you slide them back and forth, or up into the rafters so you can keep your work on one, and continue onto another. Yeah.

  • bawa Says:

    Have a tailor-made blackboard which was originally for the kids. It’s not real slate but homemade from a large piece of wood board with several coats of a black paint. You can write beautifully with chalk on it and use the traditional duster too.