A break in the juggling act

I have been getting increasingly frustrated and bewildered lately by having to juggle all the demands on my time. Namely, it’s the school and housing issues that are stressing me out.

School takes up a lot of time, we all know that. I’ve had my first class, and my most important seminar will begin next week, so there is a lot I should be doing in preparation. I’ve got lots of assigned reading, and I have professors to talk to and books to buy, and all the other hundred and one little tasks that herald the beginning of a new school year. But it has been difficult to focus on schoolwork when I’m trying to deal with two apartments.

I have my own apartment now, but I’m still technically cat-sitting until this Wednesday, so I’ve been dividing my time between the two places. Most of my stuff is now at the new place, and it’s considerably more convenient to get to school from there, but I still have to spend time at the condo. There’s the cat to feed, and I have to clean and prepare the condo for the professor’s return, but this place also holds my links to the outside world. I won’t have internet access in my new apartment until next Wednesday (a week after the cat-sitting job ends), and who knows about phone service. I’m trying to get a land line, since my cell refuses to work for more than a few minutes at a time in my new apartment, but so far I haven’t been able to order phone installation online since both Verizon’s and SBC’s online order forms won’t recognize my new address. So it’s a terribly annoying and time-consuming situation, having to drive back and forth between the two places. (It’s about a twenty-minute drive each way, depending on traffic and parking.) There are also some other annoying issues at each place: I don’t think we have recycling at the new apt; the condo complex is doing exterior painting so I’ve had to scramble to store/cover the professor’s patio decorations (she may still lose her climbing vines and other plants, to my dismay); the parking permit the professor gave me apparently expired after a few weeks so I got a parking violation (fortunately, it seems to just be a warning, without a fine) and now have to park across the street from the complex… all in all I’ll just be really, really glad when I’m done here and am finally settled into my new place: internet, phone, and all.

I was going nuts with all the school and apartment stuff, so Erik’s visit this weekend really helped a lot. I think I’m also lonelier here than I’ll admit. I do like being alone most of the time, but when all these problems crop up it’s just comforting to have someone else here to absorb some of the stress and help out with some of the difficulties. I do have some friends in LA, but they’re busy, I’m busy, and anyway I can’t call them from my new apartment! And not having internet at the new apartment isolates me as well. I particularly miss talking to Dana online in the evenings.

I’m here in the condo for the afternoon, with nothing more to do than do a little cleaning and catch up on all my internet things. Fortunately, I don’t have class tomorrow, and yesterday Erik and I moved most of my stuff into my new apartment, so until Tuesday I’ve got a bit of an interlude in which to try and take control of things again. I feel like I’m in the eye of a minor hurricane. The calm is amazing. Right now, I’m reading a fairly lengthy NYT article on aluminum tubes in Iraq, and how the White House interpreted these tubes’ presence to suit the President’s political agenda. The piece is fifteen pages, but it’s interesting in its detail.

Britain’s experts believed the [aluminum] tubes would need “substantial re-engineering” to work in [nuclear] centrifuges, according to Britain’s review of its prewar intelligence. Their experts found it “paradoxical” that Iraq would order such finely crafted tubes only to radically rebuild each one for a centrifuge. Yes, it was theoretically possible, but as an Energy Department analyst later told Senate investigators, it was also theoretically possible to “turn your new Yugo into a Cadillac . . .”

“Remember,” Dr. David A. Kay, the chief American arms inspector after the war, said in an interview, “the tubes were the only piece of physical evidence about the Iraqi weapons programs that [the United States] had.”

In March 2002, Mr. Cheney traveled to Europe and the Middle East to build support for a confrontation with Iraq . . . on his return, he made it clear that he had repeatedly discussed Mr. Hussein and the nuclear threat.

“He is actively pursuing nuclear weapons at this time,” Mr. Cheney asserted on CNN.

At the time, the C.I.A. had not reached so firm a conclusion. But on March 12, the day Mr. Cheney landed in the Middle East, he and other senior administration officials had been sent two C.I.A. reports about the tubes. Each cited the tubes as evidence that “Iraq currently may be trying to reconstitute its gas centrifuge program.”

Neither report, however, mentioned that leading centrifuge experts at the Energy Department strongly disagreed.

Entire article here.

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]