Thurs. Sept. 23, 2021: Unnecessary Complications

image courtesy of Michael Gaida via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and humid

Yesterday was nowhere near as productive a day as I’d hoped. I got some work done in the morning, between script coverage and other small projects.

I’ve been invited to present next year at the Cape Cod Writers Conference. If it’s live, I’ll be down there for a weekend (it’s a paid gig, plus meals and accommodations). If it’s virtual, I’ll do it from here. Either way, it will be fun. Think of how much money they’d have saved all the years I lived right down the street from the conference center (they wouldn’t have had to pay accommodations). I have about a month to come up with what I want to teach. Their workshops are about rolling up the sleeves and writing in class, so I’m going to create or re-slant a workshop that focuses on the writing.

I started to put together the bookcases for the sewing room, only to discover that they weren’t properly prepped for assembly. Instead of being a single tall cabinet, they are built/broken down into two smaller units that need to be stacked and then fastened together. Only one of the units lacks the capacity to fasten it to the other.

So I took it all apart again and put it back in the box and tried to contact Target to arrange a return. Only Target tries to force phone calls. The claim to have a live chat option, but it kept going around in circles and not letting me enter. What they sent me was a “customer experience survey” which I filled out and gave them a zero.

I also dug out the email address from the corporate office that I used last year, when UPS lost a mail order. I contacted them, explained the situation, and asked for something in writing to allow me to return both boxes and get a refund. Because, you see, Target’s stated refund policy is that they only return goods in UNOPENED boxes.

One of the bookcases is in an unopened box. But there was no way I could have known that the bookcase was improperly prepared without opening and starting to assemble the one in the other box.

I heard back from the manager of the Target, who wanted to talk on the phone to “make it right.” What part of “I don’t do business on the phone” is so hard to comprehend? I told him, no, we were not talking on the phone, as I stated in the previous email, and that the only thing I wanted was to return both bookcases for a refund.

This morning, I got an email from him stating that I could.

Now, I lost 2 billable hours getting the damn bookcases in the first place; I lost 3 billable hours trying to put them together, and now I’ll lose at least another 2 billable hours returning them. That’s almost a full workday lost. But they’ll be returned, and I’ll head to Re-store to see if they have something that works that’s already an actual bookcase and not a bunch of shitty, overweight particle board that’s flimsy while being heavy.

Before anyone starts with “what do you expect from a cheap Target bookcase?” – the answer is I expect a cheap Target bookcase that will sit in the sewing room, not look too bad (I’d planned to embellish it), and hold the items I need it to hold for 2 years or so. I’m not looking for heirloom whatever. I wanted a simple bookcase to hold stuff. It shouldn’t be this much drama around it.

Because I lost three hours of worktime yesterday, I ended up working until 10:45 last night, not something I want to become a habit.

Autumn Equinox dinner was good: Cornish hen with apples and sage, sweet potatoes, spinach.

Simple Equinox ritual,

We’re having too much kitty drama, too, lately. On Cape, Tessa always stayed with me in my room and slept on my bed (since she was a kitten). Charlotte was shut out of my bedroom. In this place, Tessa doesn’t like my bedroom (no carpet, and I’m not unpacked yet) and doesn’t want to stay there. Besides, she likes to roam around at night. So Charlotte now sleeps on the bed with me.

But, by 4 AM, Tessa is hungry and lonely and starts howling. If we were still in the house, I’d let her howl and not get up until 5. But I can’t have her waking the neighbors. So, she gets what she wants, and I stagger up to feed her. But when I try to go back to bed, she starts howling again as soon as she finishes her breakfast. I move to the sofa and try to doze off again, and she’s fine.

She gets plenty of attention during the day, but she wants the day to start at 4 AM, and that’s too early for me. I’m fine with starting at 5. But 4 is too much.

Meditation was good this morning, and now I have to figure out how to get the heavy bookcases back down to the car and go back to Target. Urgh. I have a lot to do today, so I have a feeling it will be another day of work rolling well into the night.

I still haven’t gotten the paperwork sorted to switch over the car registration and our licenses. Since Mercury goes retrograde on Monday, that’s all going to be even more of a nightmare than it needs to be. Urgh. Again.

Well, nothing for it but to get to it.

The house on Cape has an offer pending on it. I’m sure my former landlord is relieved, and I hope whomever buys the place is very happy there.

Post about the garden over on Gratitude and Growth.

Onward.

cat-humidifier.JPG

The cat humidifier I bought at Target.  My cats are fascinated.

Published in: on February 15, 2007 at 2:06 pm  Comments (6)  

February 15, 2007

Thursday, February 15, 2007
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and COLD

And guess what? No hot water! Again. Are you really surprised, at this point?

I was featured on Deborah Ng’s “Pay it Forward Tuesday” this week – and too sick to visit any other blogs. So I caught up today.

My “Pay it Forward” is Mia King, who found me here via wordpress or something, and whose new book, Good Things was published about a week ago. Go, Mia! Hop over and visit her if you get the chance. Not only does her book sound terrific, she and her husband run a golfing company in Hawaii!

Visiting the other blogs on the Pay it Forward:

Kelly Boyer Sagertz: Word of Mouth has some interesting information on a variety of topics:

Eleanor Burks’s book Assaulted by Memory – the page goes directly to Amazon.com, not her site, so all I could see was that only one book is left in stock; nothing about her;

Sinclair Nicholas has an interesting Prague Blog

if you’re interested in daily life in Prague. I wanted to comment on the blog, because I enjoyed the writing, but I “wasn’t authorized.” I tried to “log in” and it wouldn’t even let me sign up/sign in/whatever. Oh, well. I’m not going through any more signing up processes. I’m tired of jumping through hoops in order to be able to give someone a compliment. Either you want people to respond to your blog, or you make it too difficult and they don’t come back.

Scott Penny has That Blog

which is pretty fun AND you can leave comments on it without having to promise your firstborn, your dog, and your kitchen utensils.

And I really enjoyed Joanne Mason’s blog, What Do You Read?

Now, back to life, writing, and the rest of it.

I’m much better. No idea what got me down – and, because my union’s so-called insurance plan is not only inadequate, but for all intents and purposes, non-existent (I swear, the guy I was forced to see must have gotten his degree from a matchbook cover, so I ended up paying out of pocket for my former doctor and then going to my acupuncturist, who fixed just about everything), it wasn’t pretty.

Those of you who’ve known me for awhile know I’m pro-union. I’ve served as a union negotiator on contract issues. However, the labor movement, in general, has failed its membership in this country since Bush was crowned President by the Supreme Court (because he sure as hell wasn’t voted in – the votes weren’t even counted).

People join unions for two reasons – to have a unified voice in receiving a FAIR day’s pay for a FAIR day’s work in reasonably safe and sanitary conditions, AND to have access to health care by being a part of a group large enough that an insurance company can actually be bothered. Their responsibility is to provide that day’s work, and the union leaders’ responsibility is to make sure the membership is paid fairly, with cost-of-living increases each year, and to make sure the health care is there.

The union leadership has done nothing but cave to Bush’s anti-labor policies for the past six years instead of holding the line. It’s not just my union, it’s a nationwide problem. Too many egos and personal agendas have taken precedence over the reason unions rose in the first place, and now “union” is equated with lazy and/or corrupt – an incorrect image the employers are eager to push, and the leadership does nothing to dissipate. We need new leadership across the board who clean up the internal messes and then present unity to those who expect everything for nothing.

My industry has prime examples – those with the least contribution to the creative process make the profit, when it should be evenly distributed amongst those who actually generate the work.

Anyway, enough about unions and healthcare.

The show is going fine, in spite of the lazy co-worker who expects to be carried (and I’m not). This person begged for the job; now this person must fulfill the responsibilities. I’m doing MY job, not TWO jobs. I have a second full-time career already. Make the choices, take the consequences, right?

The commute hasn’t been too hateful this week, so far; I’m dealing with it, back to reading on the train, etc.

The writing has gone to hell without even the hand basket – I’m way behind on all the creative work, although I’ve managed to stay on top of the business writing, pitches, follow-ups, etc., and I’m in the midst of negotiating contracts on several interesting projects. I also found some interesting new markets for some of the pieces that I worried about before I left a week and change ago. I certainly have my work cut out for me, catch-up wise, next week, on my week off between tracks. At least I managed to keep up with Circadian posts.

Artie is back, and we went to dinner at a recently opened French restaurant on Ninth Avenue between shows last night. The décor is lovely, the service excellent, the food wonderful, the presentation beautiful. All in all, a good experience.

We had a few kerfluffles in the show – a boot got caught up in one of the massive underskirts and we couldn’t find it for a quick change, so I ran down to storage and got out an old pair and got the actress on stage; two pairs of boots that look the same were accidentally switched, but I managed to get them switched back before the change – little stuff like that. For the most part, it’s been pretty calm, and there’s been enough laughter to make it fun.

I got the child’s humidifier from Target that looks like a small, round, yellow cat. The steam comes out of its ears – it’s pretty funny. My cats are fascinated by it.

I’ve got a few hours before I head back to the show tonight to try and get some stuff done out here. I need to dig out my mom’s car later because she’s got to get on the road, and I’m not going to have her do it herself.

February 19 was supposed to be a day off, but because I lost so much ground when I was sick, that’s just not going to happen. Maybe the weekend of the 24/25, I can have some time off.

Doesn’t it suck that Mercury went Retrograde on Valentine’s Day? Hope it didn’t have too much negative effect for any of you.

Will catch up on everyone’s blogs over the next few days.

Devon

February 1, 2007

Thursday, February 1, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

There will be about Imbolc over on Kemmyrk later this afternoon.

There’s a bit of poetry news over on Circadian also later this afternoon.

I was furious with my web host yesterday – server problems kept me from accessing my site or my mail, which meant a document sent late the previous night which I needed to turn around that morning for a job was stuck in limbo. I finally pulled it through another site, but it was frustrating. When I finally got someone on the phone, the response was, “Yeah, I guess we’re having issues. They’re working on it. Try again in a few hours.”

Remind me why I’m paying them again?

I understand that every site has problems once in awhile. But this is just too often. I thought Yahoo was a bad site host, but . . .

However, I doubt I’ll ever find another template as perfect as the one for Cerridwen’s Cottage, so there’s that, too.

A new issue of Devon’s Random Newsletter goes out today. I know, I know, two months in a row, don’t faint. If you didn’t get yours or haven’t signed up, send me an email asking to subscribe here.

Worked on the Barbaro article; started the next column for SDR. Didn’t get through enough of the piles on my desk.

Some errands today, but I need to focus on getting it all done before I leave town on Monday.

What can I say? Yesterday, I just didn’t wanna!

This morning, the whole routine was thrown into a tizzy because of the meteorologists saying a snow storm was on the way to dump four inches of snow, starting at 2 PM. So, my choices were: Be stubborn, write first and drive around in bad weather OR get over my damn self and get the errands done and then come back to write.

For once in my life, I decided to be an adult. I shot out the door before 9 AM, went to the bank, drove to White Plains, hit up Target. Target, of course, didn’t have what I drove all the way to White Plains to get and God forbid someone being paid to work there should actually be bothered to stop conversing with another employee and check in the back, and God forbid that I should go to customer dis-service and they could be bothered to do anything but tell me they can’t look up anything without an Item Number. Which I happen to know is complete and utter bullshit, because every other Target in the country can do so.

However, I filled my cart with a whole bunch of stuff on which I hadn’t planned, but definitely needed, so I checked out, then ordered online what I needed – which, since they offered free shipping, ended up being cheaper than if I’d bought it in the store – some tax thing.

So it was all good, in spite of the crappy customer service. Which was a surprise, because usually Target’s pretty good – except in the White Plains store, where you might as well not ask where anything is because not only do none of the employees know, most of them could care less and just give you wrong information anyway.

Off to Trader Joe’s to stock up on cat food, so my mom has plenty to feed them while I’m gone – and stocked up on other stuff, so I can cook in advance for my mom and all she has to do is heat it up. Off to the other grocery store to get the rest of the stuff, the wine shop, etc.

Came home and the meteorologists were now saying the storm won’t start until 4 in the morning. I think they’re wrong – my head’s about to explode with the pre-storm headache (I seem to be a human barometer).

Yes, Dru Ann, the Merry will go out somewhere else – or I might work on the novel length version – I have two possible publishers for that.

Tammy – the list is part of the Goals, Dreams and Resolutions a group of us work on every year – I’d be happy to email the questions to you if you’d like, and the to-do and wrap-up lists are born from that.

I found an exciting anthology and sent a pitch last night and got more info this morning – I only have until March 30 to come up with 10-25K, but I think I can do it, especially since the topic excites me. So, off to do some more research for that, send them more info to see if it’s along the lines of what they need, and then – clean off more desk stuff and get down to work! AND, the anthology editor sent me guidelines for a new imprint she thought would be a good fit with me. All good!

Back to the desk, and then to the page.

Devon

February 2007 To-Do List

13-in-Play

Kristen King’s 2007 Query Challenge – 3-5 pitches per week

Biblio Paradise Newsletter Out

Finish next “Literary Athlete” column

Work on revisions for Assumption of Right

Circadian Poems

Kemmyrk

Work on Real

Work on Fix-It Girl

Work on typing Shallid

Finish typing Token and Affections

Finish Chasing the Changeling

Catch up/restructure 13 Traveling Journals

2 full weeks on the show

Get Dixie Dust Rumors queries out

Finish Tumble revision

Work on the “Illuminated Nude”

Work on “The Man on the Yoga Mat”

4 Dog Blogs