Grump Central Archive: Week of 10 February 2019

Saturday, 16 February 2019. The week has been a rollercoaster ride, and by Friday I was utterly spent. So, I mostly spent the day sifting through some of the detritus of my life, taking stock of its remains, and struggling to find a path forward. Also, a high of 64° in the afternoon was truly strange.

Grump Central Weather at 6:00 AM

  • temperature 37° F
  • humidity 54%
  • barometer 29.81" rising
  • wind 2 mph NE
  • no precipitation

Listening To...

Ralph Vaughan Williams, Symphony No. 5. Of all the music I've ever heard, this one piece remains my most cherished; in particular, the third movement is twelve minutes that encapsulate and define my life—my personal theme, if you will. I have over a dozen recordings of this work, and of them all, for me the very finest is by Sir John Barbirolli leading the Philharmonia Orchestra, recorded in May 1962. While I've never heard a "bad" rendition of it, Barbirolli really owns the Fifth, imbuing it with subtle yet deeply affecting emotional character; even after hearing it literally thousands of times since I discovered it when I was 14, it can still bring me to tears.


Friday, 15 February 2019. Yesterday was quite productive, although not in any visually interesting way; it was all about organizing my crap so as to prepare for a big push to sell the vast majority of it online to help fund the completion of the house. It's amazing how unimportant personal possessions become when one's survival is at stake. Also... my helper, who spent last night in the house, couldn't stop talking about how amazing it was to wake up to The View—he's catching on to the whole raison d'être of the house! (And I envy him for an experience I've not yet enjoyed.)

Grump Central Weather at 5:30 AM

  • temperature 47° F
  • humidity 71%
  • barometer 29.81" falling
  • wind 5 mph S
  • no precipitation

Listening To...

Sting, The Last Ship. A very adult quasi-concept album (based on music from his stage play about the end of shipbuilding near his hometown) from a veteran performer at the height of his talents. It wasn't especially popular or successful, but then one wouldn't expect such an unusual and uniquely personal work to be; FWIW, I find it enthralling.


Thursday, 14 February 2019. The storage container on the property is empty, and ready to be removed. It will be wonderfully different to have it gone—a striking visual change I've been anxious to see for years.

Grump Central Weather at 6:30 AM

  • temperature 33° F
  • humidity 71%
  • barometer 30.04" rising
  • wind 3 mph ESE
  • no precipitation

Listening To...

Nothing, as I have a house guest sleeping over—my helper spent the night to save gas, making him the first person to sleep in the house... before me!


Wednesday, 13 February 2019. I'm reaching a point where I'm not sure how to proceed—or, perhaps more accurately, if I should proceed. Maybe I should just sell the property and find a cheap little bungalow, or maybe a trailer. A growing part of me thinks I was never supposed to have this gift, or that I don't deserve it. If I did, why then is everything about it such a protracted, painful struggle?

Grump Central Weather at 4:30 AM

  • temperature 34° F
  • humidity 98%
  • barometer 29.63" steady
  • wind 2 mph E
  • no precipitation, 0.06" rain overnight

Listening To...

Samuel Barber, Adagio for Strings. Barber's most acclaimed work is my go-to music when I'm deeply troubled. I can get lost in this piece. Legend has it that, at its Russian premiere, the audience refused to leave the theater until it was played again.


Tuesday, 12 February 2019. Yesterday I applied for a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. The building inspector thought I was ready, but I guess he didn't realize what all still needed to be done, so a TCO is out of the question for quite a while.

Grump Central Weather at 5:30 AM

  • temperature 32° F
  • humidity 80%
  • barometer 30.31" steady
  • wind 4 mph ENE
  • no precipitation, another ~½ inch of snow overnight

Listening To...

Frank Sinatra, September of My Years. When I'm really down, I put on Ol' Blue Eyes for reasons not easily articulated, except to say this album is so "me" at this point in my life. Sinatra doesn't so much sing these songs as own them, especially "Once Upon a Time" and the double-Grammy-winning "It Was a Very Good Year." (And to think Sinatra never learned to read music...)


Monday, 11 February 2019. Looks like we're in for a spate of nastiness: a full-bore "wintry mix"—including snow, rain, freezing rain and sleet—is predicted for the next two and a half days, with a total possible accumulation of two to three inches. Wish I was moved into the house so I wouldn't have to trudge through the sludge, but my timing has always sucked, and my plan to apply for a TCO today is probably screwed. At least Zack seems to have made a full recovery, so that's one less thing to worry about for the time being.

Grump Central Weather at 6:30 AM

  • temperature 29° F
  • humidity 93%
  • barometer 30.28" steady
  • no wind
  • lightly snowing, ~¼ inch of snow overnight

Listening To...

E.S. Posthumus. In the little-known genre of epic music (a.k.a. trailer music), E.S. is arguably among the very best, although sadly the group is no longer active owing to the death of one of its two founding brothers. It's a good way to get the blood pumping and crank up the enthusiasm.


Sunday, 10 February 2019. Zack seems to be back to his normal, happy self, although I'll continue to watch him very carefully to be sure he's not putting on an act (as some cats will do). That comes as a huge relief. So now my plan is to apply for a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy tomorrow; if that goes through, I'll begin the final migration from the cabin to the house. Even though I'm all out of funds at the moment, it's still an exciting prospect: 29 February will mark the three year anniversary of groundbreaking.

Grump Central Weather at 6:00 AM

  • temperature 20° F
  • humidity 79%
  • barometer 30.72" rising
  • no wind
  • no precipitation

Listening To...

Maurice Ravel's Boléro. Close your eyes and let the deceptively simple structure carry you inexorably to an orgasmic climax—Ravel's change in key near the end is truly one of the most brilliant moves in classical composition. A really good performance will make you want to leap up and shout, "Bravo!"

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