Mon. Nov. 23, 2020: Intent for the Week — Gratitude

image courtesy of Public Domain Pictures via pixabay.com

This week, I am going to try to temper my anger and remember that for which I am grateful.

I want to say home as much as possible, focus on the holiday, and then start the winter holiday decorating.

I realized, in the years I’ve been traveling to Maine for the holiday, I never got to actually rest.

I would prepare the Wednesday night meal ahead of time, and bring it up (feeding anywhere from 6-12, after driving from wherever I was to Maine).

I helped cook all day on Thursday.

I helped clean up all day on Thursday.

I drove back to wherever I was living on Friday.

I never had any time to rest.

Part of this holiday, staying home, will be rest, even though I’m cooking.

Gratitude.

And rest.

What’s on this week’s agenda for you?

Published in: on November 23, 2020 at 6:22 am  Comments (1)  

Fri. Nov. 20, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 184 — Hunkering Down and Trying to Hold the Road

image courtesy of domitian via pixabay.com

Friday, November 20, 2020

Waxing Moon

Neptune and Uranus Retrograde

Windy and cold

Later today, I will have a post up on Comfort and Contradiction with some Thanksgiving recipes.

Yesterday, I baked bread again, using molasses instead of honey. Denser. That took a good chunk of morning. Bread can’t be rushed.

In between, I had the online meditation, which was lovely. I got out some LOIs, created one of the two ads for a client that I need. One will go live today; the other next Tuesday. I’ve got the other one designed in my head. I just need to wrangle it into graphics and words.

Freelance chat was fun, although sometimes I feel like a couple of people try to turn every interaction into a sales pitch. We’re colleagues, not clients.

My back was giving me a hard time. Even the acupressure mat only offered temporary relief.

Had to hunt down some yarn in the storage area. Didn’t find it, but found some other stuff. Worked on some proof reading, but was tired and in pain, so I’m going to have to do it all again today.

Knowledge Unicorns went well, lots of assignments that needed support. But the kids and their parents are exhausted and scared.

Our virus numbers keep rising, and nobody who’s paid and sworn to work on our behalf is. Not to mention the Democrats are doing NOTHING and letting the Republicans get away with EVERYTHING.

Stop saying they “can’t” do anything because “they don’t have the votes.” It simply isn’t true. The voting is the final step in the process. They need to do the work before the vote – the meetings, the persuasion. Find the weak spot in your enemy and dig. Be relentless. Be ruthless. Make sure enough people on the other side don’t show up to vote if you can’t convince them to vote your way. There is ALWAYS a way to block something or pass something. The Republicans slam or block everything they want no matter if they are a minority or a majority. The Democrats needs to grow some balls and do the same.

If we don’t flip those two Georgia Senate seats, it won’t be because the Republicans cheated or tried to, although I’m sure they will. It’s because enough voters are sickened that the Democrats are letting Republicans get away with everything between now and January, and won’t bother to vote. All this whining is a misconstrued belief that by letting the Republicans keep getting away with their atrocities, it raises more money for Democrats. But people are sick of the Democrats allowing this to happen and doing nothing more than posting a few faux outraged tweets.

Democrats need to step up. Schumer needs to step up. He’s the Minority Leader. He needs to stop the daily tweet about the President not having a plan and implement his own plan. Work with Governors on their plans. There’s plenty that can be done to work around Republicans, but all the Democrats do is sit there, with their thumbs up their collective ass, whine they “don’t have the votes” and use it to fundraise.

If you’re not smart enough to work around the Republicans, why WOULD anyone donate to you or vote for you? Step up.

There is ALWAYS a way to ram through what you want or block what you want. Republicans have been doing it, whether they’re majority or minority, my entire lifetime. But Dems just sit there and whine that they “don’t have the votes.” There are other ways to get things done and stop things. There are ways to change other people’s votes. So stop whining and start fighting.

There are plenty of Dems I hope are primaried by more forceful Dems in the coming years.

We haven’t had a radical left in this country since about 1969. We desperately need one to balance the radical right.

I’m so sick of it.

Meanwhile, I’m just trying to stay alive. Literally.

I have to pick up a prescription for my mom at CVS and do a curbside drop off/pickup at the library.

The rest of the day will be client work, writing, and editing.

This weekend is about writing overseas cards, so I can mail them on Monday. If we’re on a roll, we might start the domestic cards, and then mail them a little after Thanksgiving.

I still don’t know if my surgery is going forward in December, or if it will be postponed due to the rising virus numbers. I’m behaving as though it’s going forward and trying to get everything possible done early.

Have a great weekend, friends. See you on the other side of it. I hope.

Thurs. Nov. 19, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 183 — Tired of the Slurs Considered “Cute”

image courtesy of phoenixsierra0 via pixabay.com

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Waxing Moon

Neptune and Uranus Retrograde

Sunny and cold

The latest on the garden is over on Gratitude and Growth.

Shoutout to my Twitter pal Jake, who has birthday today!

Yesterday was just all over the place. I got some decent writing done early in the morning. I headed out to my client’s. Unfortunately, we all overlapped and it was not comfortable. They are simply too lax for me to feel comfortable, especially with the way the numbers are rising.

I was glad to get home and do some serious decontamination. But it was unnecessarily stressful.

Remote Chat was fun.

My back bothered me, so I spent some time on the acupressure mat. But when I came back down, Office crashed AGAIN. This time, I didn’t get as skilled a tech and I ended up losing the afternoon while we tried to fix it. Finally, I managed to fix it, but by that time, I was in tears and so tired and frustrated I couldn’t get any more work done.

Office shouldn’t crash every damn week. This is why I hate PCs – they’re unreliable. I often said that investing in a Macbook was the reason I could switch to fulltime freelancing, and I stand by that. I regularly lost half my workday with the PC problems, and here it’s starting again. This computer – and the software – are barely six months old. I shouldn’t have constant problems. Nor should I have problems getting things fixed – I bought and paid for three years’ worth of coverage for everything.

As soon as I can afford a Macbook again, I will get one.

I lost all the time I had put aside to do the final proof of “Just Jump in and Fly” and to revise “Lockesley Hall.” I have to make up for that today, plus do at least one, maybe two ads for a client, plus write the next section on the Susanna Centlivre play.

I put down yet another cozy mystery and crossed yet another author off my list because she used “witch” as a slur. I’m sick of these white women pretending to support diversity and inclusion and then pulling this shit. In the same way “gypsy” and “Red Indian” are now recognized as slurs, calling someone “she’s such a witch” when you mean a mean person rather than a spellcasting badass who makes the world better is a slur. Not only is it a slur, it is a personal insult to me.

It’s one thing if a character uses it and the protag or core ensemble calls that person out or there’s accountability. But to act like it’s “just an expression” and something cute, fun, and contemporary that makes your character cool is unacceptable.

It proves you are NOT inclusive, promoting diversity, or tolerant. You’re a sham.

Write whatever you want – that’s your prerogative. But I will not purchase, read, or support authors who are hypocrites and who insult me. As is my right.

I am not your audience.

Zoom Meditation was great and helped a lot. I have bread on the rise – started it around 6 this morning. If I’m lucky, it will be done by noon.

A friend shared a sonnet she’s writing with me, for feedback. I was so honored. It’s a lovely piece, and i gave her the two points where it’s didn’t feel right, and she said it helped. Always glad to help friends with their work!

Peace, friends, and have a good day!

Wed. Nov. 18, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 182 — Trying to Stay Balanced

image courtesy of Manfred Richter via pixabay.com

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Waxing Moon

Neptune and Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and cold

It’s been snowing in Western and Central MA.

There’s a post up on Ink-Dipped Advice about not begging for work.

Yesterday was pretty satisfying, on a creative level. I started finally writing the Susanna Centlivre play yesterday, and I like the way it’s going, at least for a first draft. Working out a lot of it in my head before actually writing was helpful. I’m really delighted by the relationship between Susanna and Joseph.

I had to do a Trader Joe’s run. The lines are back to the length they were in April. The store was pretty well stocked, although, even on a Tuesday, already some items were selling out.

Since I was in the same plaza, I also dashed next door to Christmas Tree Shops for some more cookie tins. They’d sold out of the cute little trucks, but I found some others that are pretty and will do.

And bought some things I didn’t really need, but liked.

Came home, put the CTS stuff in quarantine, decontaminated the groceries and myself. And there was the morning. We’re back to it taking a half a day to do a couple of errands.

I got some client work done, some admin done. I’m spinning ideas for holiday ads for a client, but haven’t landed on the right one. Something with sparkles, but not sure how to pull it off yet.

Then, I worked on the revisions for “Just Jump in and Fly” which will be re-released after Thanksgiving for the upcoming holiday season. It’s a magical fantasy/comedy/romance short under the Ava Dunne name, playing with Yuletide myths, and is still one of my favorite pieces I ever wrote. I need to do one more proof, and then I can sign off on it.

I re-read “The Ghost of Lockesley Hall”, which is a holiday ghost story/romance I wrote a few years ago. I still like most of it. I need to add a couple of scenes to put in some more conflict, but that should be ready to re-release by the end of November, too.

Which, of course, meant I had to make changes on the links on the websites and, as new buy links go live, keep them updated.

I’m also working on the promo campaign for the shorts, and figuring out how to promote the TRINITY OF TEASERS, which is a free read of the first three chapters of the first book in each series.

It was a busy day. I should have gotten out some more LOIs, but I didn’t.

I reached for the pizza pan and somehow hurt my back again, which made me feel old and grumpy.

Received the next book for review, which is good.

Knowledge Unicorns was about steady work yesterday. They’ve had a lot of assignments piled up, with the workload increasing. It’s as though they’re being punished for learning online. But we spent some time on everyone’s assignments, offered support to each other and ideas, and I think they’re in good shape. ALL of their grades have gone up this year, since we’ve been working together. We – meaning the parents, the kids, and I – are working hard to make sure that this isn’t a negative, non-learning, back-sliding time, the way the “experts” who’d rather see kids go to school and die, just so they get their reopening numbers, claim. I spent a LOT of time every day looking for additional resources and tools and fun stuff to add to their curriculums, and to expand on what they’re supposedly learning. I don’t want them to feel restrained by online learning, but expanded.

The parent session after the kids are done is useful, too, and it’s nice to see the parents making virtual friends with each other and able to offer support.

But I admit, by the end of the sessions, I’m tired. So I can only imagine how exhausted the parents must be every day.

Watched AUNTIE MAME on DVD, the Rosalind Russell version. Wow, she’s good. Her timing, her ability to communicate multiple layers of meaning in a gesture, a glance, a pause. Truly wonderful. I didn’t like the way Ito was portrayed most of the time, although he had a couple of good scenes. The way Mame fought back against the anti-Semitism was good, but would be considered too subtle nowadays. It was a movie with a lot of contrasts and some inconsistencies, but Rosalind Russell was terrific.

Tired when I finally fell into bed.

Slept well, though. That’s a positive from the curfew. No drag racing to wake me up at 2 in the morning.

Getting some writing done this morning. Then I have to spend a few hours onsite at a client’s, then home to decontaminate, join Remote Chat, and proofread in the afternoon. Maybe, if the onsite escapade hasn’t stressed/worn me out completely, I can get some more writing done.

Onward, and trying to be safe.

Tues. Nov. 17, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 181 – Trying for Survival

image courtesy of cocoparisienne via pixabay.com

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Waxing Moon

Neptune and Uranus Retrograde

Partly sunny and cold

There are some ideas for being creative with this year’s holidays over on Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions.

Friday was a more productive day than I expected. I revived the cooking blog, “Comfort and Contradiction: Food as Muse” with an initial post re-introducing myself and talking about the direction I see the blog taking.

WordPress frustrated the hell out of me, because the template wasn’t supported properly any more, and I had to put in a new theme and then rebuild the site. What’s up is very, very simple now, but the font is a decent size, so one can read it.

I will keep playing with it.

But immediately, it got a good response. I’m kind of surprised how good a response it got, but pleased.

It will be difficult to only write it once a week!

Wrote quite a bit, mostly food-related. I’ll be able to use the blog as writing samples when I pitch to companies to write about food. Or maybe it’s too personal. We’ll see.

Read the next book in a series I’d liked, for the most part in spite of inconsistencies. Didn’t like this one. The pace dragged, it was inconsistent to previous books in the series without explanation, and it used “witch” as a slur more than once. I’ve already ordered the next book in the series from the library, but I think I’m done.

My friend Paula and I are both semi-finalists in the Body Be Gone Origin Story Contest. The flash fiction pieces we wrote made it to the semi-finalist category. All the pieces are up for vote – blind, so we can’t say which are ours. The pieces are really fun, but Paula’s is still my favorite. She took tropes and turned them inside out.

Even if neither of us wins, we’re both in the anthology, which will be fun.

My first shipment from Atlas Coffee Company arrived, a brew from Rwanda. It’s good, but a bit mild for my taste. I guess I like the darker roasts!

Finished a third volume of this year’s personal journal, and Saturday started the fourth. I guess I’ve had a lot to say.

Saturday was clear and cold. I was up early, and loaded the car with garbage and recycling for a dump run. Everyone was masked, distanced, courteous. The guy in front of me was talking on his phone instead of pulling in to a dumpster, so I drove around him and cut off someone else. I later found the guy I cut off up at the recycling, and apologized.

He was so pleased. He was very nice about it, accepted the apology, and said, “Don’t worry, it’s early for all of us.” But you could tell it made his day that I made the effort to apologize. And it was a real apology. It was “I’m sorry” NOT “I’m sorry IF” which is a fake apology. I was wrong, and I apologized.

If I hadn’t said anything and ignored him, it would have niggled at him all day. But I apologized. His day brightened, and so did mine.

Home, decontaminated. Our numbers are well over 2000 new cases every 24 hours, so I’m trying to stay away from as many people as possible.

Did the last of the online orders for holiday.  One of my mom’s gifts arrived. Did four loads of laundry, changed the beds, basic housework. The usual Saturday chores.

Baked bread from a recipe in THE ENCHANTED BROCCOLI FOREST and it is spectacular. Just basic sandwich bread, but it’s wonderful. I kneaded it by hand instead of with the dough hooks, and it worked better. Of course, now I want a pastry board. . .

Also baked chocolate chip cookies.

Took a quick rest, then made a vegetable chili from THE NEW BASICS COOKBOOK, which was also good, and made vegetable stock with the remains.

Sunday, I didn’t do much of anything. I cleared away the brush the landlord had cut last week, but left, and ended up bruising my hand – some of that stuff was big and hard to move.

Read some of Mary Oliver’s essays. Read the book for review – it was quite beautiful. I did want to slap the protagonist a few times, but overall, I really liked the book. Ordered a couple of eBooks that were recommended.

The tablet has decided it will connect to the Internet again, so go figure. The laptop is being cranky every time I boot it up, which is annoying. It’s only six months old.

Neighbors on both sides had parties. Small ones, but no masks, no distancing. No wonder our numbers are going up so rapidly. I’m just trying to stay away from everyone as much as possible. I need to get some stuff from several local stores for the holidays, but I just don’t want to be out and about.

I have to keep adjusting. I have to let go of the rage and frustration I feel at those around me who refuse to take this seriously. The best thing I can do is refuse to interact with them.

Up early Monday. Wrote my review and sent it off; requested the next assignment.

Was at the client’s on my own for the morning, as it should be. Got a good bit done – three email blasts, social media posts scheduled, spun some holiday ideas.

Quick stop at the liquor store for a bottle of wine, and chose something for a colleague’s upcoming birthday. Curbside pickup at the library.

Home, decontaminated, played with the cats. Noodled with some ideas in the afternoon, worked on some marketing campaigns in my head, and will put them on paper and start implementing them today. Made a list of some things I need to get done sooner rather than later.

We’re eating a lot of leftovers this week and into next week, so that there’s room for the Thanksgiving leftovers!

The cookie sleeves arrived, which is good. Makes me feel better about the baking. It’s safer for everyone if each cookie is individually wrapped.

Got a letter that I can keep my health insurance next year. I am so relieved. I was scared that most of the rest of this week would be spent fighting for my insurance.

This morning, I have to do a Trader Joe’s run for a few things (not a big shop, just a little one). After I decontaminate, I’ll do more client work, and get those marketing campaigns going. I have to prepare a few shorts for re-release, and I need to get Trinity of Teasers up so people can download it and have a taste of the three different series. I need to work on Grief to Art.

I’m going to write postcards for the GA Senate run-offs over the next couple of weeks, and looking forward to that.

I’m looking for a good paella recipe. I want to make paella for Christmas Eve as something new and different, since we’re off pork and beef.

I finally sat down and started writing the Susanna Centlivre play this morning. I’ve got the balance of love and banter and connection between Susanna and her chef husband (Queen Anne’s Yeoman of the Mouth), and just introduced Mary Pix, her friend in. A few pages between them, and the antagonist, the male playwright who’s been plagiarizing  them, enters. I want to get the first draft done this week.

I’m hunkering down as much as possible and just working on survival. I’m trying to avoid as many Covidiots as possible.

Mon. Nov. 16: Intent for the Week — Move Forward

Image courtesy of Bhakti Iyata (SoapWitch) via pixabay.com

This is a lovely photo above, and I prefer horses to people, so that’s what I chose for the week’s inspiration.

Mercury and Mars are both direct, so some of our biggest obstacles are out of the way.

In spite of the pandemic, in spite of the need to stay at home, I have a need to get certain elements into play and move forward. I intend to do them remotely and safely, but enough faffing around already. It needs to happen.

This week is about taking the steps to move forward, while following health and safety protocols, not putting myself or anyone else at risk.

How’s your week starting?

Published in: on November 16, 2020 at 6:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Fri. Nov. 13, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 177 — Yes, We Really Are Dying & Being Ignored

image courtesy of minorthreadsco via pixabay.com

Friday, November 13, 2020

New Moon

Neptune & Uranus Retrograde

Mars DIRECT

Cloudy and cooler

Today is Friday the 13th, which is a day that usually makes me very happy, but this is 2020, so I’m not counting on anything.

Meditation yesterday was lovely. I’m so grateful to have found this group. We may be online, but it truly feels like community. We connect to the teacher and each other, not just to the teacher, the way the meditation group I used to participate in in-person did. The contrast is interesting. The meditation leader also teaches us Qi Gong, which I like. I’d never really paid much attention to it before, but I’m glad I found it now.

I finally got out a couple of pitches to a new-to-me publication. I may have sent them in too late to be of use, but we’ll see.

I found contact information for a company with which I’m interested in working, and I’m putting together an LOI for them. It’s a big deal, international thing, and it would be exciting to work for them.

Heard back from a couple of other LOIs that they’re going with people who are more traditionally-marketing-niched (and, I bet, younger). Which is fine. I’d rather hear back, even in the negative, then never hear back. Some of these companies I will keep in touch with as part of my quarterly postcard mailing; others I will let go and move on.

A good portion of the day – probably too much of it, if I’m honest – was spent putting together visuals for two different projects. It was a lot of using the snip tool, converting to jpg, marking each visual, putting it in the right folder, and also putting together a PowerPoint and then modifying it to PDF and saving in multiple locations so I can access it. I didn’t PowerPoint the second set of visuals yet.

I also played with paint visualization tools, looking for a place where I could upload a photo of a house and try different exterior colors. Most of them were very frustrating, and I couldn’t find one (for free, anyway) that allowed me to do the detailing of shutters and trim differently than the exteriors. Of all the tools I played with, I liked the Home Stratosphere Paint Visualizer the best.

For dinner, I made the Eggplant-Mushroom Marsala, although I substituted white wine for the marsala, and it was just fine. It’s a Moosewood recipe. I’m being encouraged to revive the food blog. I might, since people like reading/seeing about what I cook, and respond well to the photos on Instagram.

Knowledge Unicorns went well. We didn’t meet on Tuesday, because everyone’s so burned out. But we met yesterday, and got back to our rhythm. We’re studying the turkey this month. Here’s an article from Live Science that we used.

The Sociopath continues to Sociopath and murder American citizens at an alarming rate by simply ignoring the pandemic and hoping it kills as many of us as possible. My main goal between now and January 20th is sheer survival. I have to add in other goals, like earning a living in there, but survival, in spite of the Sociopath and all the Covidiot dickheads around me, is key.

One day at a time, one project at a time, one moment at a time. Hopefully, my internal resources have strengthened the past few months to help me through.

The weekend is supposed to get cooler, and be rainy off and on. Doubt I’ll do much yard work. Plan to do some baking, and I have to do a run to the dump to get rid of garbage and recycling. If we’re going to have another shutdown, I want to get as much recycling out before it happens as possible.

See you on the other side of the weekend, and hope it’s good.

Thurs. Nov. 12, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 176 — Hanging On

image courtesy of Thomas B. via pixabay.com

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Dark Moon

Neptune, Uranus, and Mars Retrograde

Foggy and mild

One calendar says today is new moon and Mars direct; another says it’s tomorrow. I will apologize for yesterday’s belief it’s today, and go with tomorrow, since it’s Friday the 13th anyway.

There’s a new post on Gratitude and Growth about the garden. The front lawn is a carpet of leaves. The lawn guy is coming soon; every time a neighbor turns on a leaf blower, I am more determined than ever not to rake. Although the dumbass running his leaf blower who woke me at 3:30 this morning, IN THE RAIN, angered me.

Yesterday was chaotic. I went in to my client’s. I knew she had a medical procedure the day before, so didn’t expect her in. Going through the emailsto see what needed to be done, I found out that the other colleague in the office has been in the hospital. I felt bad that I didn’t know and offer to help out. But if no one tells me anything, I can’t know.

Anyway, BOTH of them came in, so there were too many people in too small a space, but we caught up on everything (and were masked) and got everything handled.

I was glad to get out of there.

Stopped at CVS to get the prescription to prep for the next surgery, and, of course, it wasn’t there. I will check with the doctor’s office next week to see what’s going on, and if they decided to cancel the surgery due to surging virus cases, but haven’t told me yet. This happened last time, too. It took three calls from the doctor’s office before CVS could bother to fill the prescription.

We had 2495 new cases in the past 24 hours. More than we had in spring. But the mask mandate isn’t enforced, and nothing is shut down. Instead, people are encouraged to pack more into the daylight hours in too close quarters.

Tomorrow, I have to fight to keep my insurance next year. That should be fun. Not. That’s one reason I hope I can slide the surgery in this December; I might not have insurance next year, at least at the beginning of it.

Tried a new-to-me Ina Garten recipe that worked well last night. Have to make a dash to the liquor store for a bottle of marsala (and more wine) so I can make Eggplant-Mushroom Marsala (from Moosewood) tonight.

I can’t believe it’s Thanksgiving in two weeks.

The Sociopath is still sociopathing, and too many people pander to him. He needs to be charged with the murders of everyone dying from the virus he’s “bored” with.

Lots of writing needs to get done today, and I’m looking forward to this morning’s online Meditation.

I’m just trying to stay alive until January 20.

Wed. Nov. 11, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 175 — Veterans’ Day

image courtesy of HeungSoon via pixabay.com

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Dark Moon

Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Veterans’ Day

Partly cloudy and pleasant

I hope to have a post up on Ink-Dipped Advice later this afternoon.

Yesterday was rather a lost day. I’d been told to be ready for the gas inspector by 9 AM. He would be there within a two-hour window.

Which meant that I could only do stuff that could be interrupted, and not any serious work. I did mostly admin, LOIs, that kind of thing.

He arrived shortly before noon.

The misogynist furnace guy who’s refused to deal directly with me on anything didn’t tell him I’d requested he be here early.

The inspector was done within ten minutes.

So another day’s work lost due to men who don’t believe that I work for a living.

Since this furnace issue started, I have lost at least two weeks’ worth of work.

But it’s done, the furnace passed inspection.

And now they want my utility account information for the landlord’s rebate. I’m being pressured because there’s a deadline. They didn’t know there was a deadline back in MAY when they set up this whole deal? No one could copy me on the information once the furnace was installed with a “the furnace is in, now we have to set up the inspection and finish the paperwork, here’s what needs to happen, and this is the date by which it needs to happen”?

How hard is that? Instead, it’s bullying and demand that I jump whenever this guy snaps his fingers.

I am not  giving the furnace installer my account information.

I contacted Mass Save directly (from whom this mysterious rebate is supposedly coming) and told them I was uncomfortable with my account information going through multiple unsecured channels, but I also didn’t want to prevent my landlord from getting his rebate.

The Program Administrator for the region told me they didn’t need my account information. They could verify it separately.

So why is the furnace installer demanding it? Again, I think something hinky is going on.

Meanwhile, the Sociopath and his cronies are trying to pull off a coup and prevent the transition in January. I hope they’re thwarted. This is ridiculous.

If they’re not, we will become what we fought in WWII, and we will be the ones at war with the world. And we will lose.

I have to go in to a client’s for a few hours this morning. I have no idea if any of the others will overlap, or if it will all be on me. One of my colleagues has been out sick for nearly two weeks. I’m hoping it isn’t COVID.

Again, there’s a dearth of communication, and it pisses me off.

A company “found” me through LinkedIn and sent me a vague invitation to interview. I told them I wanted to know more about the position. I did some research on the company – not someone to whom I would think of pitching, but the money would be good. When they came back stating part of the process was a “personality test” I responded that we were not a good fit.

What I wanted to say was they could take their personality test and shove it so far up their collective ass it came out of their mouth, but perhaps that was a little harsh.

I will be so glad for the new moon tomorrow, and for Mars to go direct.

Yesterday was another day of over 2000 cases in MA. Mask mandate and curfew, and people are still dancing around without masks. At least with the curfew, I’m not being woken up at 3 AM with idiots revving their engines and drag racing up and down the nearby streets.

I have a feeling today will be stressful; I hope I’m wrong. I’m going to try to ride it out at least pretending a little grace, even if I’m not feeling it.

With the new moon and Mars direct tomorrow, I have to take a big leap on multiple fronts.

Peace, friends.

Published in: on November 11, 2020 at 6:56 am  Comments (4)  
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Tues. Nov. 10, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 174 — Alternating Hope and Chaos

image courtesy of Valiphotos via pixabay.com

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Day Before Dark Moon

Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Foggy and mild

I have a new post up on A BIBLIO PARADISE about a book I missed the first time it was published, that I really enjoyed.

The roller coaster continues.

Friday was more about practicalities and keeping on keeping on than anything else. Library drop-off/curbside pickup. Paying bills. Ordering cat litter from Chewy. Some clothes I ordered online arrived – pants. Three pairs fit perfectly; one does a weird pouchy thing along the front of the legs, and needs to be returned.

In the evening, there was a talk session with the meditation group from Concord Library, “Vent with Intent.” It was small, but everyone got to talk and Lara, the leader, led us in some meditation and Qi Gong.

That led to a peaceful night’s sleep.

Votes were still being counted when I woke up. I left at 7:15 to go grocery shopping and wasn’t done until nearly 11. I went to the Marstons Mills Stop & Shop first (they follow protocols, where the one closer to me does not). I did a BIG shop there, but also noticed that prices have gone up 25% since two weeks ago.

I took things back, decontaminated and put away, then jumped back in the car to go to Trader Joe’s, in the other direction. I did a medium shop there. So we’re pretty well stocked until I have to get the fixings for Thanksgiving. While I was in that plaza, I nipped next door to Christmas Tree shops to get things like parchment paper, and they finally had the tins out that I will use for the cookies this  year, instead of doing platters. I bought a stack of them. Plus a boot tray, so I can put disinfectant in it and we can leave our shoes steeped in disinfectant in the garage.

When there was an outbreak of equine herpes a few years back in the racing community, the tracks had disinfectant one had to walk through at various points. They also have that at the NMLC hospital. People bitch and moan (like they do about masks), but it makes a huge difference in the health and safety of the animals.

Biden and Harris were finally declared the winners. They have enough of a lead in the states still counting for it to make sense (and the lead is growing). It’s such a relief. People danced in the streets; world leaders congratulated him.

The Sociopath, of course, was on brand, playing golf and ranting. His sycophants thought they’d booked the Four Seasons Hotel in PA, but in reality, it was the parking lot of Four Seasons Landscaping, next to a sex shop and across the street from a crematorium.

Which just is on brand for this whole Administration.

Biden gave a speech in the evening. It was nice to hear a grownup talk, and no insults hurled. However, there was too much religion in it for me, and this talk about co-operating with Republicans? They will see it as weakness. For Republicans, there is no co-operation, only capitulation, and we elected Biden and Harris NOT to do that.

We still have to flip the two Senate seats in Georgia. I will be looking to Stacey Abrams for leadership on that, and NOT the Lincoln Project. I don’t believe they delivered. The fact that they are officially going 501c3 means it’s just another Republican machine. They can’t be trusted. They might want the Sociopath gone, but they also don’t want the Democratic platform to happen.

Sat on the deck to enjoy the lovely weather. This is the last chance we have on this deck, so we want to enjoy it.

I made a vegetable stroganoff that turned out very, very well. I expected to think it was okay, and a decent experiment, but it was excellent, and goes into the repertoire.

Chewy delivered the 66 pounds of cat litter I ordered yesterday, which is rather extraordinary.

Sunday, I spent a good portion of the day cleaning out the annuals that are spent, washing pots, putting things away, tidying up the deck. I’m leaving out the big pots for a little longer, until the weather turns. I took my time to do the work, so that I could actually enjoy it. Cut back some stuff in the beds, put things away.

The Sociopath refuses to concede, the Republicans are rude to the incoming administration, refusing to acknowledge them, and then call for “civility” and that we should consider their “feelings.” I keep repeating this: I am not required to be nice to people who are actively trying to kill me.

And I won’t.

Watched a DVD of the Broadway production of SWEENEY TODD starring Angela Lansbury and George Hearn, directed by Hal Prince. It was amazing. I’m lucky enough to have worked with all of them: I dressed Angela Lansbury in the staged reading of ALL ABOUT EVE, the last Broadway piece I did before leaving New York and she was a delight; I worked with George Hearn when he did a stint on WICKED as the Wizard, and he was gracious, classy, funny, and wonderful; I worked with Hal Prince on THE PETRIFIED PRINCE at the Public, and kept in touch with him after, for years. I learned so much from all of them. I also worked with Sondheim (who wrote the SWEENEY score) on the revival of FOLLIES, and liked him a lot, too.

Sondheim’s scores are complex – the chorus singers need almost as huge a range as the leads. The role of Sweeney is stunningly demanding. The whole production took my breath away.

Slept reasonably well again on Sunday into Monday, although I’m still having weird dreams. Up early on Monday. I went in to a client’s, where I worked on my own. I noticed that the colleague with whom I split time hasn’t been in at all last week – she must still be sick, and I hope it’s not COVID.

I worked flat out all morning. Then, I had to brave a store to return the pants that didn’t fit (because sending them back would have cost more than the pants – shipping prices have all gone waaaay up). I couldn’t believe how many people were out shopping. I stood in line for 45 minutes to do the return. The woman in front of me touched every single item on the display shelves that were on either side of us as we stood in the line. It was kind of gross. At least everyone was masked, although most weren’t distancing properly. Believe me, I kept people FAR away from me.

But the return went smoothly, and then I headed over to the library for a drop-off/curbside pickup. They have book carts with books for sale out front, and the dumb fucks were taking off their masks to READ THE TITLES. What part of “airborne virus” are they too stupid  to understand?

Supposedly tougher mask mandates are in place. Yeah, right. Not ONE man wore a mask as I drove around to do my errands, except while inside a store. Older white women are not wearing masks. Masks are required in all public spaces. Parking lots are public spaces. Streets are public spaces. What part of “airborne virus” is above their level of understanding?

I’ve never had a high tolerance for the stupid. The stupid has risen around here so sharply in the past few years, as many of the smart with whom I interacted when I first moved here have left.

The air purifier arrived, and it’s already helping. Imagine – I lived a block from 42nd Street in NYC, across from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, but on CAPE COD I need an air purifier. That’s how much destruction and overbuilding has happened around here in the past ten years.

Wrote and submitted the review for the book I really liked. Submitted the invoice, was paid in less than five minutes, received the next book to review. That’s the way I like to work!

Have to finish a pitch to send to a new-to-me magazine, and received a query to hire me to freelance that smells a little fishy, but it’s a high-paying market, so I want more information.

Ordered the cookie sleeves for the holiday baking. I should have ordered them the first day I saw them. The price is now double for half of what it was then.

The Republicans are still being assholes and traitors, which is to be expected. They’re still trying to pull off a coup and deny the duly elected next Administration.

Today, I have a lot of work to do, in spite of my landlord putting around for the entire morning “pruning” – meaning he’s going to destroy the habitat I’ve built for the local wildlife – as we wait for the gas inspector to come. The guy at the furnace company is going to call the inspector this morning to tell him that no one in this house has COVID. How would he know that, since he has refused to ever deal with me directly or acknowledge my existence during this entire process? All he’s done is demand and bully. I’m so sick of the unrelenting misogyny in getting a furnace installed. It’s disgusting.

But then it will be done. We have a ton of leaves here, and Roger will come soon to take care of them. I’m so sick of the neighbors who can’t stand to see a single leaf on their astro-turfs. Then don’t live in New England.

I’m sick of them all.

I wish it was the end of January, and the new administration was sworn in. The next few months will be hell, and we will have to fight like crazy to make sure nothing happens to derail it.

At least the new Biden-Harris Corona Task Force is in place, with actual doctors and scientists, there’s hope for a working vaccine from Pfizer, who did not participate in the Federal Too-Fast-Who-Cares-If-It-Kills-People-As-Long-As-There’s-A-Photo-Op program. The stock market went up 1200 points.

But we still have to fight the Sociopath, Barr, and Moscow Mitch. Not such fun times.

Onward.

Mon. Nov. 9, 2020: Intent for the Week — Breathe

image courtesy of pixabay.com

Sorry this posted so late. I don’t understand why the scheduling tool isn’t working on Mondays.

Last week was stressful, we had some joy this weekend; we’re moving into a rough period for the next few months.

I have some stressors bearing down on me this week.

So, whenever possible, I am going to take even a moment or two, and just breathe.

Follow my breath.

Know that those who are causing my stress are only passing through my life, because I CHOOSE not to let them stay.

Just breathe.

How’s your week starting?

Published in: on November 9, 2020 at 7:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Fri. Nov. 6, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 170 — The Need for a Healing Weekend

image courtesy of pixabay.com

Friday, November 6, 2020

Waning Moon

Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Partly cloudy and pleasant

When I woke up this morning, the count was still on. I’m fine with it taking as long as it takes. Every vote matters.

I am not fine with the right-wing terrorists that are being allowed to do whatever they want.

Meditation group yesterday was lovely, and much-needed. I signed up for another online session this evening, directly with the studio.

I got out a few LOIS, did some client work. My Llewellyn editor sent me the proof for the piece I have in the 2022 Almanac. I’d forgotten we might have a 2022. I turned that around for her. My Script Mag article will go live on November 18, which is a relief.

Finished reading ASSAULT AND PEPPER by Leslie Budewitz, which I really enjoyed, and started THE LOST RECIPE FOR HAPPINESS by Barbara O’Neal, which I’m also enjoying.

Knowledge Unicorns was fine. The kids are upset and stressed. A couple of them turn 18 next year, and are determined to register to vote as soon as possible.

The page magnifier I ordered arrived and is already making life easier.

Watched SUMMER STOCK last night, starring Judy Garland and Gene Kelly. Wow, what a hot mess. There are moments of humor, and the one piece that’s survived for Garland is “Get Happy.” But the plot and story just don’t hold together, the musical within a musical is meaningless (what they rehearse and what they perform are totally unrelated), and there’s no ending.

I have to go to the library later on – or maybe tomorrow – to drop off/pick up.

This morning, when I turned on my computer, nothing in Microsoft Office worked. It kept telling me it was updating and then failed. I was lucky to get a good technician on the online chat who could fix it. So now, things seem to be working. But still — this computer is only a few months old, as are the programs. I shouldn’t be having issues.

More LOIs and client work today, writing, and stuff around the house. I already baked biscuits this morning, and I will start some bread soon. I’m going to have to suck it up and go to the grocery stores this weekend. If I’m feeling up to it, I might hit both tomorrow, or maybe one tomorrow and one on Sunday.

I forgot to mention that, during remote chat on Wednesday, we started joking about a virtual pub to hang out in called Cork and Cap – with the band name being Stress Diversification. So now we have to figure out how to create it.

I’m afraid to hope things will break our way, and we’ll actually have someone sane in the White House soon. What I’m doing is making Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, so that I have options, no matter what happens.

The plan is for this to be a healing weekend, no matter what happens.

We had over 1200 new virus cases in MA  yesterday, from the previous 24 hours. And people are still flaunting the mask mandate without repercussion. It’s disgusting.

My 96 year old mother is now not only a Keith Olbermann fan, but also a John Oliver fan.

Peace, friends. Have a lovely weekend. See you on the other side.

Thurs. Nov. 5, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 169 — Pleasant Weather

image courtesy of wingsofcompassion via pixabay.com

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Waning Moon

Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

We’ve been promised a stretch of days with unseasonably warm and sunny weather. I intend to spend as much time as I can in the garden, and here’s a post on Gratitude and Growth with a little more about it.

Yesterday was, basically, a lost day. I had a stomach bug, and worked at home for a client, got out a bunch of LOIs to interesting companies, and spent too much time watching election results. We’ll know when all the votes are counted. I want all the votes counted, even if the results make me unhappy. I’m already unhappy because this country has so many millions of racist, misogynistic, selfish morons.

I felt awful all day. By evening, I managed to keep a little food down.

I didn’t even read much. I had trouble concentrating. Although I’m enjoying a book by a new-to-me author set in Seattle. I was miserable the year I lived in Seattle, but I enjoy authors who love the city and integrate that love of it in their books. Obviously, the city has changed a lot since I loved there in 1986, and, from what I read in various outlets, for the better.

Wrote in my head a bit while I was lying down in between bouts of illness. Hopefully, I’ve retained enough of that writing In my head to actually get on a page somewhere.

My plan for the next four days is, yes, to get some work done, but mostly to focus on healing. The stress from the pandemic and the politics and everything else have, literally, made me sick. I need to heal myself from it, and rebuild the coping resources that are so badly depleted.

Some of that will be achieved through writing, because I find writing more healing and useful than anything else.

Some of it will be working in the garden. Since it’s warm and lovely, I plan to savor these last days on the deck. I won’t live here to enjoy it next summer and fall, and I want to enjoy the time remaining. For all the frustration as this area has deteriorated due to greed and selfishness and stupidity, I do love the house and the yard. My little patch has been a joy, and I am grateful for the time I’ve had here.

I’m not counting on anything until all the votes are counted. I know there will be chaos after, no matter what, but I refuse to get my hopes up.

I’m also sickened by the millions of dollars spent on elections. That should be spent on infrastructure, education, health care, and other things. NOT marketing, which is really all a political campaign is – a giant marketing campaign.

Morning meditation with the group at Concord Public Library (via Zoom) was wonderful. I’m so happy I found this group and that I can participate. When they go back to in-person only, I will miss them.

Trying for a more productive day today, but also a healing one.

Peace, friends.

Published in: on November 5, 2020 at 9:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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