Monday, August 2, 2010

Some of the tea cups we used in the photo shoot

Monday, August 2, 2010
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

Busy weekend. Hit the ground running Saturday morning with errands — storage, Target, bookstore, Home Goods, Trader Joe’s, etc. Found the props I needed in storage and a whole lot more, thank goodness.

One of the things I bought was a PUR water filter. They say you just “snap it on” — lying like rugs! You have to “prepare the faucet” — which means you have to take it apart. To me, “preparing the faucet” means wiping it down, not having to attack it with a wrench and pliers and take it apart. But that’s what was necessary. I was so grossed out when I took off the faucet and found slime and GRAVEL pouring out. And I wonder why the plants are dying and we’re all in “gastric distress”?

Anyway, I figured out how to put on the adapter — which isn’t at all the way the directions say to do it — and got the PUR on. What a difference. You can see it in the plants after 24 hours, and we’re all better, too.

Read my friend’s piece — it was great, but I thought it was a short story — and it was a novel! So it took longer than I expected, but was worth it.

The scumbag landlords hit us with more crap — really, the only solution is to cut off their heads and stake ‘em at this point, because I’m convinced they’re not human. Keep those positive moving vibes coming so we can blow this pop stand!

Had some preparations to do for Sunday, because August 1 is always a huge day on my personal calendar.

Getting into Sunday was tough. I was shocked out of rather unpleasant dreams at 2 AM because some numbnut set off firecrackers near the trash piled at the curb, practically under my window. The whole thing could have gone up, which was probably the point. I couldn’t see anyone — I don’t know if someone drove by and tossed them out of the window, or what, so I couldn’t even call the police. The cats were very upset.

Then, I didn’t get back to sleep until about 5, and when I dozed off, I had weird theatre anxiety dreams. Not the best way to start the day.

Celebrated on Sunday, and also spent five hours on a photo shoot for the icon for the new pseudonym. The publisher’s also assigned a “mentor” to me, which is cool, and I’m working on the marketing pieces. But, since the contract’s not signed yet, I’m not making a formal announcement, nor am I putting up the web page. Nothing’s real until the contract is done, as far as I’m concerned.

The shots using the gun prop looked awful; the dagger shots are much better, and draping pearls over the dagger seems to work as well. I’ve got to make a final decision on the photo in the next day or two. I like my top three choices a lot — now I have to stop waffling and make a decision already!

It’s interesting — as I honed the bio for the name, it’s definitely affecting my decision on the photo that will be the icon associated with it. Since the bio has a bit of a harder edge than I originally envisioned, a little more flippant, I’m leaning away from the softer first choice of photo.

Today I’ve got yet more errands (do they ever stop?), re-reading my manuscript to pull out marketing excerpts, come up with the tag line, etc. (yeah, I know, I broke my own rules and didn’t do all of that at the start of the submission process — fifty lashes with a wet noodle for me, I had my reasons, and it wasn’t just laziness). I’ve also got to do some work on the lectures and get some other writing done. I let some uncontracted deadlines go because, well, they were uncontracted, and therefore I wasn’t bound to them.

I’ve also got to clean out four cupboards in the kitchen — decide what to toss, what goes into storage, and re-organize what’s there. AND I have to go through a box of other stuff I brought back from storage, because it was too complicated to try to sort through it there. Violet started to sort it, but decided it didn’t meet her job description of “cat”. So it’s all in a muddle.

Good first morning’s writing session.

Elsa’s hanging in there. She’s definitely more comfortable, but I don’t know if she’s actually getting better. I need to let go of my rage at the vet and move on. We’re now entering our third week on the new medication, and there’s been zero follow-up. I realize vets have many patients, but wouldn’t you think, when one is critically ill and you’re trying a controversial new medication, there’d be follow-up? Not that I think the medication’s doing much good.

Diane, I can’t get a “job” as you put it, that would pay me enough and be stable enough in the area I want to live in until I actually live there — and there’s nothing around this area that would pay me enough except Broadway, and I’m not going back to Broadway, because then I’m caught back in the same cycle I was in before. Saturn’s kicked my ass enough for taking as long as I did to learn that lesson. Getting a job at McDonald’s isn’t going to pay the rent or the mortgage or the cost of the move, and, because I’m unmarried, even a job at McDonald’s isn’t going to make landlords approve the rental application. A “job” here isn’t going to put me in a position to to live somewhere else. Out in the ‘burbs, there aren’t the kind of jobs for which I’m qualified and could earn a decent amount of money. If I start commuting into Manhattan again, I’ll lose 30-50% of my earnings in train fare again, after taxes, which will put me in a worse position than I am now, not to mention a three hour commute time every day, round trip. Taxes in this area of the country run close to 30%, so I’d be losing between 60-80% of my income. Plus, I’d have to get daily care for Elsa, which isn’t cheap, since she can’t be left alone for more than a few hours at a time. If I went back to a traditional job in the city or back to Broadway, I’d wind up bringing home 10% or less of what I earned. I couldn’t pay rent or bills, and I still wouldn’t have heathcare. And the “jobs” for which I’m qualified in the areas I want to live, won’t hire me unless I already live there. I earn better money freelancing, even though it doesn’t give me the “job” on paper that the landlords want to see. You need the job to get the apartment, but you can’t get the apartment without the job. Do you really think I’m so stupid I haven’t sat down and crunched the numbers on all this? Unemployment in this area is close to 10%, and if you count the people who fell off the rolls, it’s closer to 17%. I can — and do — earn more as a freelancer than I can in a day job.


Published in: on August 2, 2010 at 7:08 am  Comments (9)  
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  1. Nice teacups! I have a few from my grandmother – she had a smallish collection of English china teacups. Surrounded herself with pretty things, just as a Libra would. 🙂

    I didn’t have difficulty with installing the Pur filter myself, but I agree the directions are from Hell. I don’t know who wrote them, but clearly they’ve never attempted to install the damn thing.

  2. I say “job” with my tongue firmly in my cheek as I’m often asked “why don’t you get a proper job?”. Even the day job I currently do doesn’t seem to qualify as a “proper job” to some folk for whatever reason.

    I did the number crunching too, and it didn’t really work but it got me the mortgage I needed. That’s what I meant by “sacrifice”.

    Things are so different between our 2 countries, it’s often difficult to get a handle on how it all works. But I’m brave enough (or stupid enough) to know what I said would provoke a reaction. I should have added a “ducks and runs” to the end of it. 🙂

    • Yeah, it’s run very differently in the UK, as in things actually work over there, and there’s not hte same type of economic discrimination there. Also, because it’s a smaller country, in some instances, you can live where you want and still commute to an area that pays better. I mean, it would be difficult to commute from Yorkshire to London every day and not want to commit hari-kiri after awhile, and I know people who live in Philly and commute to NY for work, but you still have a much more humane set up over there. You’re not cut off from unemployment funds after X number of months, you have healthcare, and, from my own experiences renting in the UK, it’s much easier to rent over there than it is here.

      How can anyone not think you have a proper job? You edit a magazine, for crying out loud!

      • I get the “And what does an editor do?” thing. It’s easier to say I’m a writer, but as that provokes the “Oh, and have you written anything?” question, I now say I’m a journalist. They seem to know what one of those is. Although there is also the adage “those that can, write – those that can’t, edit”, a bit like “those that can, do – those that can’t, teach”. Honestly, I can’t win.

  3. When I get tired of SPS (stupid people syndrome), I either answer the “what do yuo do?” question with “none of your business” or “whatever I want.”

    Usually shuts them up.

  4. I’m looked down upon for not having a job. And most especially by other women. I thought we fought for the right to make our own decisions? To be in control of our own lives an to have the right to choose what we wanted to do with our lives? I just chose to stay home and raise my children, to see that their lives were secure. I don’t put down mother’s who work, heck, I often marvel at how they manage to do all they do. But, if I respect their right to work, why isn’t my right to stay home respected? Ack, sorry to stand on my “soap -box”.

    The tea cups are lovely! And the idea of a photo with a knife draped in pearls sounds mysterious and murderous and feminine.

    I continue to pray for Elsa, and you and your relocation aspirations! Best wishes for a good day!

    • Absolutely. The whole point of equal rights for women is that women who CHOOSE to stay home and raise kids have the right so to do, and those who either choose or are forced by circumstances to work have equal opportunities and equal pay as men in the same jobs with the same skills do.

      Landlords aren’t supposed to discriminate, but they do all the time.

  5. I almost bought a PUR and then I looked at the small print and remembered my funky faucet. I opted for Brita pitchers instead. I’m glad it’s working for you.

    I do hope you get out of that building fast. Everytime I go north, I’m always amazed by the age (and quite often character) of the structures. Some are georgeous and some are well . . . are just old. It always makes me appreciate grass, open space, trees and public bathrooms that aren’t an afterthought.

    Take care.

    • I’ve used Brita for years, but the contamination’s gotten so bad that it wasn’t enough. The PUR came with four different faucet adapters, but they’re still standard, so you’re probably better off with the Brita.

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