05 November 2008

401a Has Moved!

401a has moved to a new location! You may follow my blog here.

24 September 2008

06 September 2008


Hanna around 4:00 AM.

Hanna came for a visit late last night / early morning. I was sleeping heavily due to several martinis. I did wake briefly to check the window A/C units as they have a tendency to leak in heavy rain.

This morning it’s still windy and a little rain, but I think she’s moved on. Some flower pots have been knocked over, branches are in the street. Oh and one of the water drains broke free from the side of the building and landed around my car. Apparently it just missed hitting my car. Thankfully, I can’t seem to find any impact spots.

Hanna at 11:30 AM.

29 August 2008

Road Trip!

Yay, I'm heading home for a few days! I am getting a late start, but no worries as it is only a 5 1/2 hour drive. Now, it is time to round up the children.

I hope everyone has a good holiday. Stay safe.

28 August 2008


Turn your clock back… about hundred thousands years…

It was 1984 and on a family outing driving through Quebec on the Radio was a song “Mimi on the Beach.” The artist was Jane Siberry and she stuck in my head… forever. I love her, I love her, I love her! I place her on the same pedestal as Kate Bush.

Recently, Jane changed her name to Issa. Her recording company, Sheba now sells her work by what she has coined “Self-determined” pricing. You may visit her site here.

What is truly amazing is she has let go of all her worldly possessions. This is something I have dreamed about doing for a very long time, but have not the courage. If I could just let go of even half of what she did it would be truly wonderful and a blessing.

I have included a short news video about her created by the CBC. She explains herself and she inspires me.

23 August 2008

Back to the gym!

Due to the increasing waistline and funky mindset I have joined a gym. The fall semester has begun and my hours have changed back to my regular schedule, which is 1 – 10 PM. I now have the time to return to a gym. ☺

Tarboro Athletic Club

This place was hard to find. As you can tell from the photograph it does not stand out very well and in a way it looks kind of creepy. Destin and I call it the Speakeasy.

You see, the entrance is on the right. You knock on the door, speak the secret code and you will be let in by the strange pair of eyes staring back at you through a little window in the door. Hah! Actually it is a 24-hour gym. There is a keypad where you enter the code to get in.

I did not know what to expect when I went to sign up because I had to call a number on the outside of the building. The owner then drives over to meet you, let you in, shows you around and then you sign up. It’s actually nice inside. It has a loft like feeling and there is plenty of modern equipment, a racquetball court and a great collection of treadmills and stair steppers with which to lift my butt up from its sagging decline.

The best thing is the price. It’s $25 a month! This is better then what I would have to pay to use the facilities at university.

The owner is quite woofy in that muscular, bearish sort of way. Of course he is straight, married and has children. You see like Iran, there are no gay people in Tarboro. I am invisible. Hah! The problem is, they are all married and have children and then hit you up when their wives aren’t around. Sad, very sad.

Anyhow, I am excited about getting back into shape. I worked so hard last year to get back to a size 32 waist and now I am finding it too uncomfortable to squeeze into them. I shall begin my new routine tomorrow morning!

19 August 2008

News to Me

Yikes! This is news to me. I better start making a syllabus.... and learn the subject matter. The Fall Semester begins tomorrow!

08 August 2008



I have not had much to say lately. Granted, I never do. Anyhow, things are going well, I guess though I am itching to get away somewhere. The problem is since I recently started a new job I don’t have any time to take off. For the first year of employment I only get 7 hours and 50 minutes of holiday time a month, so this doesn’t add up much. According to university rules an employee must maintain a minimum of 10 hours for emergencies and if you don’t you could be let go.

I would like to go home, but Savannah is 5 ½ hours away. It’s not quite possible on a weekend because it is practically a day of driving there and back, which does not leave much time for visiting. I would like to visit my friend Gloria in Arizona. She just moved there, but this is way too far for me to go. As well I would like to visit friends in New Jersey, but that too, is out of the question. Hell, I would like to visit my family and friends in the UK and Europe... and while I'm at it I wish to go on a world tour!

Labour Day is fast approaching and I have wanted to go to the mountains and visit friends in Asheville. The mountains are my element. I wish I could be living there again right now, but it is not where the Fates wish me to be. I made plans to go there, but I just found out even though it is a university holiday I have to come in for 4 hours that day. WTF?

It is a state holiday. The university is closed. Why is the library open 4 hours... and only 4 hours? As a socialist I find this very disturbing. It is Labour Day god damn it! So I resigned myself to the insanity and cancelled my trip, but there is the possibility I could arrange for a graduate assistant to cover these hours. We shall see.

I think I will visit Emma in Chapel Hill. I haven’t visited with her in awhile and she is the closest friend I have here in North Carolina. It’s not the mountains, but Chapel Hill... has hills. All my friends live all over the place. We are all so separated from one another and I have moved into exile.

Though it has been over a decade since I lived in Asheville, my heart is still partially there. Someday I will return and hopefully one day, perhaps I will live there again.

22 July 2008

Bringing Up Baby

A few weeks ago Destin rescued two baby Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura), which fell out of a tree along with their nest. Using gloves she placed the babies in a basket with the broken nest hoping the mother bird would return, but alas she did not. Destin’s mother took the birds in a few days later, but neglected to keep them warm and feed them properly so one baby died. She eventually brought the remaining bird over to the building and told Destin and myself that we need to try.

I did some research and created a food mixture of dry cat food and birdseed, which I grind up in a coffee grinder. The bird, which is now named Leslie, loves it. We named it Leslie because we don’t know if it is a boy or girl. Anyway, I have placed it on a tight feeding schedule and exercise regiment and she/he has now passed the danger point and will survive.

It has grown considerably and its feathers have grown in very full. The gruel I created is slowly being thickened to the point where we think we may be able to switch to seed. Leslie gets excited when he/she see’s me and loves to perch on my fingers during and after feedings. I also like to take Leslie for walks outside and it is my hope Leslie will learn to fly soon. I have been making it exercise its wings when it is perched on my finger. I simply move my hand back and forth and Leslie has to flap its wings in order to keep balance.

My only concern is she won’t want to leave when the time comes. We really can’t keep her because I have two cats and Destin has a cat, which pretty much has free reign of the entire building.

We shall see.

Leslie loves her gruel.

Its feathers have developed wonderfully.

Mr. Shankly is very interested in Leslie.

06 July 2008

Casual Weekend

This weekend was a rather casual affair. I worked more on my space and sorted through a mound of paper work. I installed fibreglass insulation as well as foam panel insulation.

The studio room, which currently is serving as a living room has sheetrock on the outside. I have no plans to install sheetrock inside the room so I had to use foam boards, which I attached to the outside using Liquid Nails adhesive. The foam looks great as it has a shiny silver coating on one side.

Other then this not much else went on. Destin came over this evening and we drank a bottle of Pinot Grigio, took unflattering photographs and looked at scary personal adds on Craigslist.

Destin being fresh with my computer.

Too much pinot.

A shape shifting alien pussy.

Man, I don't want to go to work tomorrow.

27 June 2008

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Teaser from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog on Vimeo.

Yay, I love Joss Whedon! Neil Patrick Harris is looking fine too these days. I am looking forward to seeing these Online musical minisodes. I think it should be quite enjoyable. If Joss Whedon is involved its got to be good!

20 June 2008

Special Vanity and Other News

I received my new Specialty and Vanity tag the other day. :) I miss my Georgia wildflower tag so I decided to find one I like here in North Carolina. The mountains are my favourite part of the state and I love the Blue Ridge Parkway so I went with this one.

Part of the proceeds goes to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, which aides in the upkeep of the parkway and the parks. Speaking of, I never understood why in the USA one drives on a parkway and parks on a driveway.

Anyhow, I also splurged and had the tag personalised and as when I created my blog I did not know what to call it so I gave it the number of my apartment at that time. So I have given my tag the name of my blog. Yes, my creativity is astounding.

In other news I am now domiciled in the loft. It’s a big change from the cottage. The children aren’t happy about it. I think they are a little freaked out right now. Nora-Grace is walking around hissing and growling. Tabitha is whining and pacing the floor. I can’t say I blame them as the current two rooms don’t have all that great of a view and they also don’t have as much space to run around in.

I still have more belongings to move from the cottage, which I will do tonight when I get home from work. It’s amazing how much stuff I had with me in the cottage. I purposely only brought in the minimal or at least this is what I thought, but it seemed to have multiplied.

During this last move I realised I really don’t need all that I have and can get by with very little. I have even more stuff all packed away on the first floor of the building. Some of it is what I put back into storage after I moved out of my apartment and some of the stuff I had in storage for five years back in Savannah. I seemed to have got along fine without it and sometimes I never thought about any of it. Often I would have panic attacks when visiting it because I would open the door to the 10 x 20 storage unit and be confronted with STUFF.

I think I am going to use this time in the warehouse to sort through things and get rid of it. It’s easier for me to write this then actually do, but it’s going to be an ongoing effort and project.

16 June 2008

Loft (endless)

I had too much to accomplish this past weekend. Needless to say I did not finish everything. In fact there still is too much to do before I move in. I could not hire the movers I wanted because I had an unexpected bill come up so the funds ran out.

Destin and I moved my two large armoires as well as the large kitchen cabinet. I lugged the small sofa… or rather large scratch post up the stairs myself Sunday night, which is why my back is off kilter now.

Anyhow, we managed to put the two armoires together fairly quickly, but were pretty much wiped out afterwards. We will be moving my stuff from the cottage on Wednesday evening when I get home from work and I guess that will be my first night there.

The studio room is just about 300 square feet so it makes for a good-sized living room, but I can’t wait to finish the rest of the place. Patience is a virtue in this case… because I have no choice!

Tomorrow night I’ll work on the place some more. That’s really the last night I have. I’ll have to do the rest once the cats and I are settled. They’re not going to like this because they have become quite accustomed to the cottage and its screen porch, as have I.

More of the same, knocking out the old glazing.

Oh, I came to the conclusion that window glazing is not my friend. Actually, I hate it. I ended up using silicone on the other window panes I replaced. It worked so much better and faster.

It was way too hot without A/C, but this is what I was preparing the window for. Sweat was just pouring off my face. (Bleh!) This is such an unflattering picture.

Cutting out an iron pane so to make room for the A/C.

Piecing the large armoire. It's like a puzzle.

Destin, The Fabulous.

I'm in shorts. It's rare occurrence.


It's kind of weird having two large, heavy armoires in a bedroom, but I don't have any closets so I am grateful I have these. The bedroom is roughly 280 square feet so I think it won't be too crowded. However, I still have to move the bed in.

The kitchen cabinet, which weighs too much.

The large door on the cabinet folds down to reveal an enameled table top, which lifts up for linens. Also inside, behind a glass door that lifts up and retracts back, there are compartments for ice trays, eggs and salted meat. (Bleh!) Essentially this is the British version of a Hoosier cabinet. I am grateful for this storage space as well... even though it weighs a couple hundred pounds.

13 June 2008

Busy Weekend Ahead

This week my friend Gloria was in town visiting her family. We went out to eat one night and had a great time. We also met for lunch on Wednesday. She left for New York City for a wedding and then she heads back to LA. I shall miss her. We always have the best time.

Every night after work except Tuesday night I have gone to the loft and worked on it some. The bed room walls, ceiling and trim have been painted. Last night I painted the first coat on the floors in the bed room and studio room. Tonight I have to apply the second coat to the floors as well as paint two doors. Oh, and its laundry night. Yes, my Friday nights are full of excitement!

On Saturday I will be installing the A/C in the studio and replacing 16 panes of glass. On Sunday I will be putting together a kitchenette of sorts... and I am not quite sure how and what I will do. I have taken Monday off because I will be moving into the loft.

I recently found out I have to be out of the house I am staying at because the owners are coming to work on the house on the 19 June. They didn’t say I had to leave, but I would feel awkward having them and workers coming in and out while I am at work all day. As well, they have a dog and Nora-Grace and Tabitha would not approve.

This is why I have been rushing to get the loft partially finished. I will set the studio up temporarily as a living room and kitchen. The bedroom will be just fine. I will work on the rest of the space while living there. Ultimately I believe this will push me to move faster on having it completed especially since the cats and I are about to be confined to 500 square feet. We are all going to miss the wonderful screened porch and I know Tabitha is going to be quite vocal about it.

Walls have been painted.

Bedroom: First coat of floor paint.

Studio: First coat of floor paint.

08 June 2008


This weekend it was my intention to stay focused and work on the loft, but it was too damned hot. On Saturday I managed to use the paint sprayer and painted the studio/junk room. It was 100F degrees outside and inside on the third floor it was way over that. I thought I would pass out.

Today the temperature was 104F, which made the third floor damn near 110F! My poor little bedroom air conditioner barely could keep up. I was planning to work on the windows too, but as stated it was too hot.

This week I will need to work on the space a little everyday after work because I am a little behind schedule. I finished one coat of the wall paint in the bedroom, but ran out of paint. The paint was a mixture Melissa and I made before I left Savannah.

It was created after a wonderful bottle of merlot... or was it Pinot Noir? Anyhow, I went to True Value to see if they could match it, but it came out a wee bit lighter. So now I am not sure I have enough of the new paint. Ugh!

In other news my friend Gloria has come home to visit her family in Greenville and we will be having dinner one day this week. She also said she may stop by campus one day for lunch.

Gloria lives in Los Angeles now. I don’t get to see her often so it will be nice to catch up.

Priming the bedroom ceiling.

Studio/Junk room painted.

04 June 2008

French & Saunders

I love Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. I have been watching them for years and they always manage to make me laugh. I never grow tired of them.

This is a year old, but I still enjoy it. It's a parody of Alanis Morrissette's song, "Thank You".

01 June 2008

Loft (continued)

This weekend I managed to finish priming the studio room. I also primed most of the bedroom. The big project was knocking out the opaque glass and cutting the iron bars out to make room for an air conditioner.

Grout Removal

The grout on these windows is over one hundred years old and it’s very solid. It’s a testament to the way they constructed and the materials they used back then. I had to use a flat head screwdriver as well as a chisel to break up the grout. Then I had to use a rubber mallet to smack out the glass. Of course the glass broke.

Thankfully it is a safety glass so it did not shatter everywhere.
I will have to repeat the process for every window because I want to replace the panes with clear glass. That’s only 81 times!

Cutting Iron

Constructing A/C Frame

Mission Accomplished

The electrician comes tomorrow to install some power for the heavy duty A/C, which is for the large room as well as a couple other sockets.

Next weekend I would like to begin painting the ceilings, walls and the floors.

25 May 2008


Thanks for all the well wishes. I am feeling much better. This weekend I worked on the loft, which was in dire need of attention, as I have not done a thing to it for sometime.

I finished laying the sub floor in the studio room and framed out a door between it and the bedroom. As well I repaired some wall damage. Then I started priming the studio room with stain blocker. I have gone through one gallon on the ceiling and it looks like it will require one or more gallons. Ugh!

The electrician comes on the 2 June to install the power for the three window air conditioner units needed. Then I need to lay another sub floor in what will be a foyer outside the bedroom and main living area. As well I will need to construct two new walls, install a door and then paint. Slowly it is coming together.

I hope to have the loft livable come July or August. This is not to say it will be completed because I have to replace every pane of glass in the windows, build eleven storm windows, insulate, have the electrician come back to install more power and start planning for the Winter.

Destin and I spoke about the possibility have having a gas line brought in to the building for heating. I have no idea as to what this will cost or if it is possible. We shall see.

Tomorrow I have the day off so I shall continue with the painting.

16 May 2008

Sick, Allergies and a Surprise

I have been sick with some funky cold this whole week and on top of this I am having an allergy attack. Bleh!

However, a real sweet surprise this week was a certain Mr. HappySad of All Things But None sent me a birthday card with a Target gift card. He's such a sweetie. I went out and got me some 600 thread count bed sheets. Wooo!

09 May 2008

Another Year

As of today I am now 39.2. Bugger, it came upon me out of nowhere!

02 May 2008

Pleasant Surprise

This afternoon at work the Access and Delivery department at the library had a farewell gathering for a coworker and myself. There was a cake with both our names on it and ice cream.

I was not expecting it at all. I say, not bad for only being there one month, eh?

01 May 2008

Onion Radio News

I love The Onion and I truly enjoy Mr. Redland's broadcasts.

"Mr. Redland"

Check out his report on Researchers Discover Massive Asshole In Blogosphere.  You will be glad you did. :)

24 April 2008

Florida Nonsense

Here we have yet another reason I can’t stand the State of Florida. An article on CNN this morning informs us the state is considering a new “I Believe” license plate tag for all those Christians who wish to express their belief on other people.

“Rep. Edward Bullard, the plate's sponsor, said people who "believe in their college or university" or "believe in their football team" already have license plates they can buy. The new design is a chance for others to put a tag on their cars with "something they believe in," he said.”

Yet again we have fundamentalists, the American Taliban trying to infringe on the separation of church and state. I have nothing against people and their beliefs, but no religion should be sanctioned by the state. I believe this is completely inappropriate.

22 April 2008

Decision Made

I have decided to take the position at East Carolina University. It truly is a no brainer when you consider what I am spending a month in fuel just to get to work. I will have less wear on my car and my nerves and more money in the bank.

The music library at ECU is small so I won’t be constantly bombarded with unimaginable personalities on a massive scale. I found myself very drained at the end of my day having to deal with the shear numbers at NCSU.

Also I noticed the ECU music library has more streamline procedures, which will make for smoother operations. As well there are only five of us working in the library and the work-study. As it stands here at NCSU there is something like 200! So I gave my two week notice today. My last day is the 3 May.

Funny thing is my supervisor also handed his resignation at the same time because he can’t bear to be without me. Ha! Actually he got a great internship at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. He is about finished with his Masters. … My turn next!

17 April 2008

Work and a Decision

This is my second week at the new job. So far so good. There is quite a bit to learn and it does keep me very busy. I like the people I work with and the environment is nice too.

However, there is a nagging issue… and that is my drive to work. I have an hour and ten minute drive to Raleigh. This translates to 75.6 miles, one-way or 151.2 miles a day. Let us take this a few steps further. That is to say, I drive 756 miles a week and 3,024 miles a month or 36,288 miles a year.

So far, I need to fill up the tank every two days. Currently in this region, gas is $3.40. I have a 16.9-gallon tank. This translates to $57.46. Therefore, I spend $172.38 a week on fuel for getting to work. This does not include any other type of driving. The yearly fuel cost for just getting to work is, at the current gas price, $8,274.24.

You know, I think I am spending well over 12 hours a week in commuting hours. Before my moving to North Carolina my carbon imprint was very little. Now, it is the complete opposite!

When I was job searching I had interviewed for a position at East Carolina University after I interviewed for the current position at North Carolina State University. Well, ECU called me today and offered me a position. It figures I would get this offer after I start at NCSU and already been through orientation, been issued keys and am in heavy training!

I know one might think why not move to Raleigh. The answer is I really cannot afford to at this time. I probably could later, but I come to realise I have an awesome living situation here in Tarboro, which could help me pay down my debt. If I stay here, I am certain I will be debt free within two years, maybe less. Now that is brilliant.

Anyhow, here is the situation. ECU is located in Greenville. It is a 29.1-mile drive from Tarboro. Therefore, it would take me something like 40 minutes to get to work. It is quite a bit less driving a year (13,968). I am certain I would not have to fill the tank up as much either.

However, the position pays $300 less then my current position. I pay more for gas a month driving to Raleigh. There is also a part of me that feels a little guilty for leaving a job that I only started a week ago. So … what do you think? What would you do?

08 April 2008

Car Stuff

Today I got my North Carolina driver’s license. I passed the knowledge exam with a perfect score. It cost me $32.

The other thing I had to take care of was the tag, title and registration. In Georgia, we call them tags, but in North Carolina, it is called a “license plate”. So I go down to the tag… err, license plate office and I discover something interesting. The registration office is not located in a state run building. It is a privately run office located in a tanning salon! Yes, I could have got a tan while I waited for my paperwork to be completed. ‘Tis very odd. Anyhow, this cost me $218.

The next thing I have to do is have my car inspected. We do not have automobile inspection in Georgia except in Atlanta and that is only emissions. So I do not know what to expect however I do know it will cost me another $30. Therefore, for me to have my car legal in North Carolina it has cost me $280. Bleh!

Could you imagine if I had Steve’s Bentley or Jim’s Jaguar… or even Kevin’s Audi? So, it could have been worse.

On the bright side of things, I start my new job tomorrow at North Carolina State University. Yay!

03 April 2008

Spring Time

This morning I walked down to the Calvary Parish Episcopal Church and the Old Town Cemetery. It was such a wonderful gloomy day! It made me want to dwell with the dead for an hour or so. Ever since I was a child and much to the chagrin of my parents, I would spend quality time with the dead. I would spend hours laying in the cemetery. Anyhow, the weather is gone cool again, but the flowers and trees are blooming. I got some great images.

The Calvary Parish grounds are amazing. The design of the churchyard and its original plantings are the work of Joseph Blount Cheshire, rector of Calvary from 1842 until 1889, who collected plants from all over the world to create an arboretum here on the church grounds.

Some of the greenery featured is Saucer Magnolia, China Fir, American Holly, Carolina Cherry Laurel, False Holly, Bald Cyprus, Sweet Bay, Willow Oak, English Yew, Yaupon Holly, Incense Cedar and Eastern Redbud. There is much more!

The Old Town Cemetery, by contrast is disappointing. I am not sure as to what happened, but most of the gravestones are missing. There are a few Confederate markers as well as some rather well worn stones.

Here are a few images. If you wish to see more click on the Tarboro Cemetery link.

02 April 2008


The search has ended! I am now an employee of the DHL Library at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

I received the telephone call late this morning. When they told me the salary, I was disappointed and slightly offended. They asked if I am interested in the position and I asked a little time to think about it.

The salary is less then what I made at SCAD so I first felt like it was an insult, but then after mulling over it for an hour I changed my mind.

A friend reminded me of the job security you have with the state as well as the state benefits. Another friend reminded me SCAD is a private institution and NCSU is a state institution so there is bound to be a difference in salaries and yet another friend reminded me that in times like a recession it is not wise to pass up an offer.

Sometimes one needs to take a step back before going forward.

My first day is next Wednesday.

29 March 2008

Slender beams of moonlight enter this darkened place as I kneel, 
always somber, always silent, frozen here, waiting. 

Haloed forms wrought in panes of glass loom as dust dances in the air, 
forming an image in my mind, sparing not my exposed soul. 

A reflection on a mirror's face. 

I raise my head, now defying this callous light.

24 March 2008

Too Familiar

I am heading back to North Carolina today. I am leaving a day later because of the martinis. That is all I am going to say about that.

The above picture is all too familiar lately. I believe I have almost everything, but there are a few more items I will need to come back for at some point. However, this should be the last UHaul I will need to rent. Yay!

It was fun to be back home and see everyone. We had a swell time. ☺

20 March 2008

Heading Home

I am heading home today for three days. My family and friends wish me to visit and I need to pick up more of my belongings. I really cannot afford to be doing this, but I figure I had better do it now in case I end up with a new job soon.

Apparently, my references are being checked because one of my references telephoned me to let me know. Yay, I may be employed again! It will be a bit odd not working for myself anymore, but then again actually having a regular salary, well that is just too sweet.

I guess I should pack a few things and get ready to leave a little later. It is a 5-½ hour drive and I do not wish to be getting to Savannah too late. I am a little dazed now because I woke up around 4:30 this morning. Tabitha, the destroyer, the annoying one, the NQR, was hurling herself against one of the bedroom windows making the freaky noises she often does.

Anyhow I kicked her out the room and closed the door and tried to go back to sleep, but to no avail. I finally got out of bed around 5:30. This should prove to be an interesting drive.

(*NQR= Not Quite Right. This is a term I use often to describe all sorts of things.)